Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 18th May 2012 21:54 UTC
Windows A long - very long - blog post justifying all the ideas and choices behind Windows 8. We've all been here before, but it's nice to have it all summed up once again for easy reference in case we hit another yes/no debate on Windows 8 and keyboard and mouse. Anywho, the most interesting bit is that Microsoft has updated the theme of the traditional desktop, flattening it to achieve a very nice look.
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Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Fri 18th May 2012 22:45 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

it is good that microsoft does these big blog posts. but it has been hard to interpret them as anything other than well rehearsed marketing. I want to read it like a "blog post" but it feels like I am drinking a sweetened beverage (I spit it out)

anyone think this blog post convinces anyone who isnt already in the cult? ....

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Luminair
by MollyC on Fri 18th May 2012 23:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Most of Steve Sinofsky's blog entries have a great deal of PR in them, because he's a VP; PR is a major reason for the "Buiding Windows 8" blog, whether the entries are written by Sinofky, Jensen Harris, Thom's crush Julie Larson-Green, or somebody else. (Though at times the entries in that blog are more like the normal MSDN blogs written by programmers, that are less about PR and more about technical stuff.)

As for "it won't convince anyone not already in the cult", I don't know. But I'll agree that it won't convince anyone that's in the "Windows 8 sucks" cult, that's for sure. Then again, there are those that think President Obama is an America-hating, Kenyan-born, Muslim Marxist, and no matter what you say, you simply cannot convince them otherwise.

Maybe the blog entry is indeed PR, but that's because the "Windows 8 sucks" cult would have folks believe that the decisions made in creating Windows 8 were made with absolutely no good reasoning whatsoever. What's wrong with Microsoft putting forth their reasoning for their decisions and countering the constant FUD spewed by the "Windows 8 sucks" cult?

Edited 2012-05-19 00:06 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by l3v1 on Sat 19th May 2012 08:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe the blog entry is indeed PR, but that's because the "Windows 8 sucks" cult would have folks believe that the decisions made in creating Windows 8 were made with absolutely no good reasoning whatsoever.


I think one ignorance doesn't top another ignorance, overall, ignorance is just some smelly crap you can't get rid of, and unfortunately other people can smell it too.

So, what I'm getting at is, it's somewhat weird to assume the people who dislike Win8's current state would make other believe that decisions in making this had no good reasons behind them, That, my friend, is crap. A boatload of it.

While I can't ignore, that a lot of people "hate" Win8 because they got used to hating Win and MS, but there's a simple reason for a lot of us not liking Win8: it is not good, that's why.

Now, for me to make Win8cp usable, I had to install Start8 (other solution also exist), and manually add an desktop app to the StartUp folder (yes, there is a windows/start menu/programs/startup folder) so that after login the "classic" desktop gets up. Now, that's no way to treat long term devs on your platform. Make your damn new, "super", under-test, it's-the-future, idiotic UIs optional and most of people wouldn't say a word. But no, hell no, suck it up. Brilliant.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by segedunum on Sat 19th May 2012 22:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe the blog entry is indeed PR, but that's because the "Windows 8 sucks" cult would have folks believe that the decisions made in creating Windows 8 were made with absolutely no good reasoning whatsoever.

Of course there were good reasons, the biggest one being to create more work to keep UI designers employed.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Fri 18th May 2012 23:01 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

"Just as yesterday's static highway signs telling you what you already know are being replaced by active and customizable message boards with road conditions, traffic alerts, and flexible lane usage, your PC should convey information that is current and up-to-date. Icons are yesterday’s way of representing apps."

apparently apple really does have the patent on making icons dynamic. either that or microsoft hasnt been able to figure out how to improve desktop icons, right? because they're the same they've always been, and here is sinofsky complaining about them. I'm starting to get angry thom, dont let me read any more

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Fri 18th May 2012 23:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

"Windows is almost absurdly configurable. Even the most obscure features are often tweakable through a sometimes impenetrable labyrinth of control panels, group policies, special command-line utilities, undocumented registry keys, etc. Most of these settings are changeable not only by the user, but by any program that happens to be running on the PC that decides to “tweak” something."

no, that was not a mac fanboy on a forum. that was a microsoft employee working on windows.

serenity now, serenity now....

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by WereCatf on Fri 18th May 2012 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Well, you should see this as Microsoft trying to find new niches: they're training online-comedians these days! ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by MollyC on Fri 18th May 2012 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I'm trying to figure out what your point is. Do you disagree with the comment, or are you upset that the comment is accurate? I can't tell what your complaining about here.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by WereCatf on Sat 19th May 2012 00:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I'm trying to figure out what your point is. Do you disagree with the comment, or are you upset that the comment is accurate? I can't tell what your complaining about here.


While your question wasn't aimed at me I thought I could also answer it: I have to disagree with that assessment. For example, something being possible to alter via undocumented or unintended ways is not designed "configurable." "Configurable" means a something where you can alter it by design, where the capability for someone or something to alter the functionings of it is intended. Even when something is designed to be configurable you often need a 3rd-party tool to actually do that.

Most software on Linux, on the other hand, is designed to be configurable; their configuration - files are generally very easily editable since they are simple text-files, their respective homepages usually document quite clearly what can be configured and how, and there often aren't any unintended or undocumented configuration options at all.

Can't really comment on OSX as I have used it only very briefly, but in general I have an image that it is a lot less configurable than Windows.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sat 19th May 2012 01:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

the point is they're basically saying everything the company has done is wrong. so either microsoft was always wrong, or the guys in command of the billion dollar behemoth today are wrong. these ideas are too opposed to both be right.

if you agree with that premise, you probably also agree that the people who turned microsoft into the billion dollar company weren't stupid. the people who inherited it are.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Luminair
by tomcat on Sat 19th May 2012 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Luminair"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

the point is they're basically saying everything the company has done is wrong. so either microsoft was always wrong, or the guys in command of the billion dollar behemoth today are wrong. these ideas are too opposed to both be right.

if you agree with that premise, you probably also agree that the people who turned microsoft into the billion dollar company weren't stupid. the people who inherited it are.


No, it's not "wrong". It's just an alternate way of doing things and, given what has been learned about the way that people mine information, it's less effective to encapsulate everything in nested hierarchies of control panels. Many people will disagree, though; thus, nobody can really say it's "wrong".

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sat 19th May 2012 23:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

nobody can really say it's "wrong".


these people from microsoft can and do and have. are you sure you're read up on this topic?

actually, this should be obvious without any research. replacing a billion dollar apple with an orange implies they think the apple is wrong. unless your opinion is they think both are equally good and they're switching to the orange for fun.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Luminair
by Delgarde on Mon 21st May 2012 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Luminair"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

actually, this should be obvious without any research. replacing a billion dollar apple with an orange implies they think the apple is wrong. unless your opinion is they think both are equally good and they're switching to the orange for fun.


"Wrong" is the wrong word - it implies that one of the options is absolutely better than the other, in all possible circumstances.

In practice, they're probably making the change because they believe that, for the majority of their users, oranges will give a better experience. No doubt there will be some of those users who disagree, but well, if they can't cope, they can go buy apples... ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Luminair
by MollyC on Sun 20th May 2012 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Luminair"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I see.
WereCratf gave you more credit than you deserved. Your "point" was just as inane as I suspected.

Did it ever cross your mind that people use their computing devices differently than they used to? People don't fiddle with their computer settings as much anymore. I can't remember the last time I opened the Control Panel or System Prefs on my computers (Windows and Mac), let alone manually altering registry or preference files, and I'm technically knowledgable enough to know what I'm doing; a common user would have even less desire to muck with that stuff.

Heck, back in the day of the Commodore 64, Atari 400/800, TRS-80, TI-whatever, and Apple II, a significant percentage of computer owners actually wrote their own programs. There was even a magazine called "Compute!" that had source code listings for programs written in the various BASIC languages that came with each kind of computer that computer owners would type in and run. Switch to 2012: "Compute!" magazine is long gone and what percentage of computer owners in 2012 actually type in their own programs? 0.001%? Lower?

Times change. Microsoft understands that. You don't.

Edited 2012-05-20 16:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sun 20th May 2012 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Luminair"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

new-microsoft contradicts old-microsoft. not an inane observation. and nothing to do with my opinion of metro.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Luminair
by WereCatf on Fri 18th May 2012 23:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

either that or microsoft hasnt been able to figure out how to improve desktop icons, right?


I don't really grasp his logic, either. Icons are actually a very good method for conveying non-physical meanings fast and precisely. Human brains are developed in a way that they can recognize familiar shapes very quickly and efficiently, whereas recognizing text in arbitrary boxes is a much more inefficient process for us.

What I am getting at is that there is a time and place for everything and that both approaches can be used simultaneously where applicable. Unfortunately Microsoft has decided icons are a second-class citizen now, if even that, and that everything should provide a live tile even when it makes no sense.

OT: The article was a good read, though I do also agree that it has a very 'we are doing this only for the PR' - feeling to it and that I do not agree with everything there. Still, worth reading.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by tomcat on Sat 19th May 2012 23:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I believe that he's saying that a lot of hierarchical organization is unnecessary and should be flattened/simplified.

Reply Score: 3

Never a fan of Aero
by redshift on Sat 19th May 2012 03:48 UTC
redshift
Member since:
2006-05-06

I think that Microsoft may have a bipolar disorder.

I was not a fan of Aero glass anyway. The transparency just made it hard to read things... but this swings too far the other way. I did not think you could have something that is both stark and cluttered at the same time.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Fergy
by Fergy on Sat 19th May 2012 06:32 UTC
Fergy
Member since:
2006-04-10

Many reviews were critical of the release because to use it effectively required one of those oft-criticized mice.

Right at the start of the article they are really really trying to convince me that people thought mice were stupid. My first computer was an atari with a mouse and the OS was made for a mouse. This was about 1985 but this 'blog' wants to claim that even in 1990 most people would look down on mice.
My prediction for the article: they want to compare mouse skepticism with touch interface skepticism.

It is a really defense article. They must get A LOT of complaints about W8.
Vista gets the shortest mention and only mentions aero.

Edited 2012-05-19 06:40 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Fergy
by MollyC on Sun 20th May 2012 17:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by Fergy"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

If you're referring to the Atari ST, that's a totally different world than the IBM PC world of that day. In the IBM PC world, there was indeed lots of bashing of mice, guis, etc. Folks in the corporate world and the tech world (as documented in the article that you're denigrating, such as the quote from that self-important blowhard, John C Dvorak) swore that command line based UI was better, and would always be better, end of story.

P.S.
IIRC, Wordperfect even bet their company on GUI OSes failing (relative to command line based OSes), as when Windows 3.0 came out (the first successful version of Windows), they initially refused to port WordPerfect from DOS to Windows (and refuse to port the Mac version or Atari ST version to Windows). They instead created their own GUI-ified DOS version of WordPerfect that was still a command-line based UI (key codes and whatnot) with a bit of mouse-ability, and tried to push THAT against Windows Word, Ami Pro, etc. Needless to say, it failed; WordPerfect hasn't recovered to this day.

Reply Score: 3

nice look
by l3v1 on Sat 19th May 2012 08:56 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

flattening it to achieve a very nice look


You folks seem to possess quite a funny taste ;) Anyway, if it would remain like that, but Metro would be an option easily switched on/off with a settings in Control Panel, I'd even befriend this "nice" flat thing ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: nice look
by quackalist on Sun 20th May 2012 05:45 UTC in reply to "nice look"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

Thought it was only Apple with the 'reality distortion field' .........I was stunned by the 'nice look', flat it certainly is; flat, boring and without any elegance whatsoever.

Reply Score: 2

If you have to force it....
by ncgmac on Sat 19th May 2012 13:33 UTC
ncgmac
Member since:
2011-09-22

Nobody wants it. The debate on windows 8 isn't Metro really. It's the idea that Microsoft is trying to force a poor interface design for non-touch environments by forcing you into this full screen large icon, wish it was on my cell phone world, on your laptop/desktop. It's so simple, if they had only given folks a choice, and left the start button with the cleaned up interface, all would be right with the world. The new "UI is an app" design is actually a great idea, if you get to choose your app!

The R&D to make this happen would have been millions cheaper than the PR they have paid to justify something that clearly few will want. The touch crowd will not want legacy window apps on non-arm tablets going to the desktop, and the rest of us know how we feel about metro in our mouse and keyboard world.

Reply Score: 2

RE: If you have to force it....
by tidux on Sat 19th May 2012 18:06 UTC in reply to "If you have to force it...."
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

Come to Linux. We let you pick your window manager. The GUI really is just another userspace application.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: If you have to force it....
by WereCatf on Sat 19th May 2012 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE: If you have to force it...."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Come to Linux. We let you pick your window manager. The GUI really is just another userspace application.


Unfortunately many of the issues with Linux aren't related to WM.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WereCatf,

"Unfortunately many of the issues with Linux aren't related to WM."

I'm usually a linux proponent, but sometimes we're so defensive that we don't accept any criticism whatsoever even to admit a platform has issues, I undid 1 downvote on your post for that reason. In my opinion it's important to get our issues fixed, but to do that we cannot deny their existence, it's counterproductive to deny problems.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: If you have to force it....
by tomcat on Sat 19th May 2012 23:14 UTC in reply to "RE: If you have to force it...."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Clue train: You can replace the Windows shell, as well. So what.

Edited 2012-05-19 23:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: If you have to force it....
by MollyC on Sun 20th May 2012 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE: If you have to force it...."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

ngcmac's concern isn't about a "window manager" or being able to choose one (which Windows has allowed forever anyway), after all, the Windows 7 desktop is still in Windows 8. His/her complaint appears to be about the StartMenu. But there are already available 3rd-party StartMenus for Windows 8, which one can install as easily as choosing a "window manager" for Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE: If you have to force it....
by MollyC on Sun 20th May 2012 17:05 UTC in reply to "If you have to force it...."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

If you have to force it, Nobody wants it.


Yep, exactly what command-line devotees said about GUIs back in the day. Way to prove the article's point. ;)

Edit:
Your point also reminds me of the Office "Ribbon" debate, where detractors demanded that Microsoft maintain the old UI as an option rather htan "force" folks to use the Ribbon. Microsoft was wise to reject that demand.

But in Windows 8, they're doing much less "forcing", as the Windows 7 desktop is still there anyway. If your only complaint is lack of a Start Menu, just instal StarDock's start menu. I think the Start Menu issue is way overplayed, but we'll see.

Edited 2012-05-20 17:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by zhuravlik
by zhuravlik on Sat 19th May 2012 18:52 UTC
zhuravlik
Member since:
2009-08-24

Windows style now corresponds to MS Office style.
Important decision!

After I've had an experience with Windows 8 I can say that it is a fail.
Yes, mouse is dead. Modern OSes should move toward touch input at least.

But they left classic UI for file manager, and traditional desktop view. With all that small and touch-unfriendly controls such as ribbon UI, side panels and window control buttons.

What I expected to meet after all the rumours is the wholly new paradigm of window management incorporated into Metro laf.
It should be like framework unix wm, supporting several layouts including tiling modes and widgets around windows, but created to be touch-friendly.

This window management paradigm could easily incorporate old-school applications as well due to the fact that it is more of window management. Old apps could co-exist with Metro apps.

But no, they redesign window borders.

I think, if Awesome WM will incorporate multi-touch support and Clutter for wow-effects instead of Cairo, it will surely win over current Windows 8 ui paradigm.

Reply Score: 2

TL;DR
by toast88 on Sun 20th May 2012 18:37 UTC
toast88
Member since:
2009-09-23

A very simple punchline can be drawn from this article.

Microsoft thinks that:

1) In 1995, people used their computers to get work done. Nowadays, computers are mostly 2000 Dollar Facebook machines and kitten video consumption devices. (Their motivation why everything has to be an app with a Live tile).

2) A laptop computer is the same as a tablet PC. (The increased sales of laptop computers over desktop PCs is seriously their argument why Windows primary interface needs to be touch).

3) All people who dislike the new UI approach of Windows 8 are the same conservative, closed-mind prototype of user as the people back then who disliked the mouse in 1984. (On top of that, Microsoft pioneered the double-click with Windows 95 in 1993).

TL;DR: Microsoft thinks their users are idiots.

Disclaimer: Yes, I read the full article and still think the Metro design on a desktop is completely brain-dead.

Reply Score: 3

Ooookay...
by Neolander on Sun 20th May 2012 19:12 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

So, if I get it right, critics are idiots that will always complain about new things, users can get used to whatever gets thrown at their face if they really need to, and with Windows 8, Microsoft have actually moved their OS into a perfectly relevant direction that will prove to have been extremely insightful in the long run.

I guess this proves that even megacorporations are capable of quality trolling ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ooookay...
by zima on Fri 25th May 2012 23:59 UTC in reply to "Ooookay..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

with Windows 8, Microsoft have actually moved their OS into a perfectly relevant direction that will prove to have been extremely insightful in the long run

Perhaps I can see their point here... everybody wants to bring the next hot thing, and I can imagine "Metro 3.0" + the display tech of MS Surface 2.0 (should bring low prices, eventually: among the usual pixels, the panel has also microcams that detect objects; essentially the production methods of present mass-produced LCDs) as being just that, before this decade ends.
(and it would explain the apparent "forcing" of Metro now, to prepare the landscape)

It might be even awesome, we'll see.

Edited 2012-05-26 00:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Windows 8 looks mighty fine
by mfaudzinr on Mon 21st May 2012 21:30 UTC
mfaudzinr
Member since:
2008-02-13

I have tried Windows 8 Consumer Preview in VM and I thought it's a strong start albeit a bit of getting used to. The preview is more suitable if you have touch screen. Anyway I'm all for change. The move to a less Aero interface is a good call. I love clean interface. I'm looking forward to a Nokia Windows RT tablet, only if it is 10" or more, 1080P resolution (Or retina-ish) and quad A15 ARM processor. I wonder how it'll look like with no legacy x86 code bogging it down.

Reply Score: 1