Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Jun 2013 16:41 UTC
Windows Microsoft has released the Windows 8.1 preview for download, but they region-locked it to 13 specific languages, and Dutch is not one of them. So, even though my Surface RT has been completely and utterly English from the day I bought it, I can't install Windows 8.1 and tell you something about it. Those of you who can download it, why don't you tell us what it's like - or you can head to The Verge who got early access. In case you couldn't tell, I'm a little annoyed that we're arbitrarily being left out once again.
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"ISO files are not yet available"
by jasutton on Wed 26th Jun 2013 17:15 UTC
jasutton
Member since:
2006-03-28

Even for those of us in the US of A can't install it quite yet. If you click the download link at the top of the page, you're greeted with the following in large letters:

"ISO files are not yet available"

It says they'll be available "within the next day." Good call, Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

znby Member since:
2012-02-03

If you have a Win 8 installation that you don't mind (potentially) ruining, you can grab an in-place updater from here:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/preview

EDIT: When you install this and reboot, you then need to go into the Store app and you'll be prompted about the option to install it.

Edited 2013-06-26 17:47 UTC

Reply Score: 3

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

If you have a Win 8 installation that you don't mind (potentially) ruining...


If you have a Win8 installation it is ruined already. So why worry about it?

Reply Score: 7

jasutton Member since:
2006-03-28

The ISO is now available. I just installed it in VirtualBox.

I'm happy to report that Classic Shell (classicshell.sf.net) runs correctly, suppressing most of the Metro bullshit, and giving the users the choice of a more desktop-friendly interface.

Reply Score: 1

Start Button Useless??
by Fusion on Wed 26th Jun 2013 17:33 UTC
Fusion
Member since:
2005-07-18

Looks like they've added the start button, but it appears to just bring you to the Metro overlay/home screen. (See 1:10 in the preview video.) Way to make the jarring Windows 8 "START" experience more accessible via mouse.

Lame sauce.

Can someone who downloads this please confirm?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Start Button Useless??
by drcouzelis on Wed 26th Jun 2013 18:26 UTC in reply to "Start Button Useless??"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

I don't use Windows, but that is what Microsoft said they were going to do. They "listened to the users" and added the Start Button, but there is no Start Menu. Clicking it just returns the user to the Windows 8 home screen.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: Start Button Useless??
by lustyd on Wed 26th Jun 2013 18:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Start Button Useless??"
RE[3]: Start Button Useless??
by WereCatf on Wed 26th Jun 2013 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Start Button Useless??"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

they are right about full screen being better.


That's an opinion, not a universal fact. And I do not agree with that opinion.

Reply Score: 19

v RE[4]: Start Button Useless??
by lustyd on Wed 26th Jun 2013 18:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Start Button Useless??"
RE[5]: Start Button Useless??
by M.Onty on Wed 26th Jun 2013 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Start Button Useless??"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

... most who understand the options would choose fullscreen.


Why, therefore, have most chosen not to go full screen, by complaining at Microsoft & not buying their new system? I suppose very few people must fully understand the options.

Reply Score: 8

v RE[6]: Start Button Useless??
by lustyd on Wed 26th Jun 2013 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Start Button Useless??"
RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by M.Onty on Wed 26th Jun 2013 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Well since you asked. Most nerds see the start menu as a heirarchical list of applications just like it was in 1995. They are unable to accept that for quite some time now this is not the primary function nor the most efficient way to use the menu.


Do you waste hours of your life "optimising" the start menu heirarchy so you can find your applications "faster"?

I'm happy to accept that the drawers/list method is not the most efficient. I think a combination of commonly used list on one side & a catagorised drawers list next to it is good, but no doubt others are better.

Ask yourself, are you the guy that still uses "run" under Windows 7/8 rather than just type the command in and press enter?

No.


Do you open Control Panel and browse to an applet?

The Control Panel is a horrible mess, unable to serve either yours or my argument in any meaningful way.

Do you (and I feel dirty just saying this) still use folders to sort and find office documents rather than metadata and search?

Do you, perhaps, see no reason why metadata is better and more flexible than folders? (hint, folders only let data be in one place!)

Do you launch Explorer and then use the search box?

I arrange things in directories, yes. It works well for me as it forces order, but more importantly I move data around on memory sticks almost constantly, so I don't much trust meta-data searches across Windows XP, 7 & Linux to give me an equally useful experience. Folders might make you feel dirty, but they are pretty universal.

However searching by meta-data is a very powerful way doing things. I use it for my e-mails as I only have one e-mail client, which allows me, as you imply, to do very granular & specific searches. Different strokes for different folks. It depends on the way you use the data & the machines you use it within.

If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you're in the minority, and should be using a Start replacement. Everyone else understands.

This comes back to the actual point I was making. If "everyone else understands" then how come sales have been poor? Its not a bunch of geeks that drive sales of Windows boxes; its people from all walks of life. I think you underestimate the conservatism of the average PC user. They seem to want their phones & tablets to do the exciting stuff, but their PCs to evolve gradually.

Reply Score: 12

RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by phoenix on Wed 26th Jun 2013 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Ask yourself, are you the guy that still uses "run" under Windows 7/8 rather than just type the command in and press enter?


For some things (like cmd), yes. For other things (like actual apps), no.

Do you launch Explorer and then use the search box?


Don't use Explorer except to explore folders. Don't even have a search box enabled in Windows Explorer anywhere. And never run Internet Explorer for any reason.

Do you waste hours of your life "optimising" the start menu heirarchy so you can find your applications "faster"?


Yes. I like things to be neat and orderly. Why bother with a search function if things are already organised and put where they need to be?

Do you open Control Panel and browse to an applet?


Yes. It's actually a lot simpler to find an icon that's always in the same space (muscle memory) and organised alphabetically than trying to read through a wall of text (default on 7) or trying to find the hidden search field (default on 7). Pictures are faster than words. And an organised list is better than a jumble.

Do you (and I feel dirty just saying this) still use folders to sort and find office documents rather than metadata and search?


Yes, because it's faster to find something if it's put away in its proper place. Organisational skills, and all that. The computer needs to get out of my way, and let me do things *MY* way. Afterall, the computer is *MY* tool.

Do you, perhaps, see no reason why metadata is better and more flexible than folders? (hint, folders only let data be in one place!)


And using both is somehow anathema? Do you really just leave your files all jumbled together in one single folder with no organisation of any kind?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you're in the minority, and should be using a Start replacement. Everyone else understands.


Actually, if you answered no to any of the above, you need to go back to elementary school for some lessons in cleanliness, organisation, alphabetising, and other non-language-based skills. In fact, if more people went back to elementary school and actually learned how to learn, the computer world would be a better place. All this stupid dumbing down of interfaces and removal of options would stop.

Reply Score: 13

RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by WereCatf on Thu 27th Jun 2013 01:08 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Well since you asked. Most nerds see the start menu as a heirarchical list of applications just like it was in 1995. They are unable to accept that for quite some time now this is not the primary function nor the most efficient way to use the menu.


Efficiency depends on the person using it.

Ask yourself, are you the guy that still uses "run" under Windows 7/8 rather than just type the command in and press enter?


Some things yes, because there are no menu entries for everything and for e.g. the command-line hitting Win+R and typing "cmd" is a much faster way of launching it than doing a search.

Do you launch Explorer and then use the search box?


If I have to locate a specific file under some specific file-hierarchy, yes.

Do you waste hours of your life "optimising" the start menu heirarchy so you can find your applications "faster"?


No.

Do you open Control Panel and browse to an applet?


Yes. Once you've learned where the applets are it's faster to just click your way there than doing a search.

Do you (and I feel dirty just saying this) still use folders to sort and find office documents rather than metadata and search?
Do you, perhaps, see no reason why metadata is better and more flexible than folders? (hint, folders only let data be in one place!)


Ah, here's the multi-million dollar question: I have plenty of other files than just office documents and not all files I have contain any meaningful metadata! If you only handle office documents then good for you, the rest of us have lots of other kinds of files to handle and searching for them is simply no workable replacement for a good hierarchy.

If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you're in the minority, and should be using a Start replacement. Everyone else understands.


Drop down from your high horse and break your neck. There is no "understanding," there are differing tastes and needs.

Reply Score: 9

RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by TemporalBeing on Thu 27th Jun 2013 17:52 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

"Why, therefore, have most chosen not to go full screen, by complaining at Microsoft & not buying their new system? I suppose very few people must fully understand the options.


Well since you asked. Most nerds see the start menu as a heirarchical list of applications just like it was in 1995. They are unable to accept that for quite some time now this is not the primary function nor the most efficient way to use the menu.
"

The "Start Menu" on Windows, may be. But KDE, GNOME, Mac, etc all have equivalents that do very well and in many cases are much better than what Microsoft has ever provided with Windows.

Ask yourself, are you the guy that still uses "run" under Windows 7/8 rather than just type the command in and press enter?


Run is accessible with Win+R, and doing the same in the Vista/7/8 start-menu often leads to unpredictable results. So yes, I find the "run" command to be a better feature.

Do you launch Explorer and then use the search box?


No. I always disable the File Indexing on drives in Windows for performance reasons. I might use the search (F3) to find documents; or I might use grep (or GrepWin) in targeted searches (e.g. on specific locations). Windows Search has always been poor.

Do you waste hours of your life "optimising" the start menu heirarchy so you can find your applications "faster"?


No. I simply right click on the Start Menu and select "Sort by name". Everything is then where I expect it and quickly findable. Vista/7/8 make me take more steps than what Win95/98/Me/2k did; XP is half-way in between.

Do you open Control Panel and browse to an applet?


Control Panel since Vista is a horrid disaster. I always revert to the "Classic Control Panel" where I can actually find stuff. But it all depends, I might right-click on the "Computer" and select "Manage" depending on what I want to do - or on "Network" and select "Properties". Alas, they've made even though harder to get to with Vista/7/8 - you can re-add them to the desktop though.

Do you (and I feel dirty just saying this) still use folders to sort and find office documents rather than metadata and search?


Windows MetaData Search Sucks, and the File Indexing is a performance inhibitor. Yes, I allow KDE4 to do Meta Data searches.

However, most of the time I can still more quickly find what I am looking for by using a folder heirachy that categorizes them properly (and to my thinking) than I can with meta-data searches.

In either case, you have to way a long time for Windows to do something as it takes a long time just to load Windows Explorer to see drives and folders and such, or to get the search done. So there is zero savings either way.

Do you, perhaps, see no reason why metadata is better and more flexible than folders? (hint, folders only let data be in one place!)


Obviously you haven't heard of NTFS Junctions, where you mount folders and drives into numerous places on an NTFS file system. (Hint: Microsoft uses it in all those SXS folders since Vista.) Yes, NTFS does actually support true Hard Links and Software Link (Symlinks) too; it's just that no many know about it and you have to know the tools (e.g mklink as MS doesn't provide something graphical to do it).

If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you're in the minority, and should be using a Start replacement. Everyone else understands.


I deliver systems to people that typically know how to do only basic functions of computers and don't want to know more. So when I delivered a Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition to them, I had to put Classic Shell on so they had the Start Menu just like they were use to with Windows 7 (as WS2012 is more akin to Win8). They don't want to (nor should they need to) relearn the stuff - they just want to use the software we provide to do their job with as few hassles as possible. They're smart guys, but they're not computer people by any stretch.

So get over it. Win8 interface sucks. People don't like it and don't like the new Start Screen. It's not a matter of technical prowess. Only the Microsoft Fanboys tend to like it, and if you are one then you really need to go get a vaccine - the world has moved on, and Microsoft is being left behind.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by galvanash on Thu 27th Jun 2013 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Well since you asked. Most nerds see the start menu as a heirarchical list of applications just like it was in 1995. They are unable to accept that for quite some time now this is not the primary function nor the most efficient way to use the menu.


True, but the fact that it isn't the primary function doesn't negate the need for the function entirely...

Ask yourself, are you the guy that still uses "run" under Windows 7/8 rather than just type the command in and press enter?


That feature is on the Windows 7 start menu.

Do you launch Explorer and then use the search box?


Why would I need to do that. The search box is on the Windows 7 start menu.

Do you waste hours of your life "optimising" the start menu heirarchy so you can find your applications "faster"?


The start menu organizes my apps for me for the most part (something the Windows 8 homescreen doesn't do), I will occasionally pin something but thats about it.

Do you open Control Panel and browse to an applet?


What does that have to do with the start menu?

Do you (and I feel dirty just saying this) still use folders to sort and find office documents rather than metadata and search?


Search is entirely orthogonal to the current discussion... Whether you use the start menu in Windows 7 or the Home screen in Windows 8, search basically works exactly the same way.

Do you, perhaps, see no reason why metadata is better and more flexible than folders? (hint, folders only let data be in one place!)


Um... I don't follow. Windows 8 stores application shortcuts the same way as Windows 7 did for desktop apps - it is in folders in your profile. You can search on metadata in either OS more or less the same way. What does this have to do with anything?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you're in the minority, and should be using a Start replacement. Everyone else understands.


No - not a single thing you mentioned represents any significant functionality difference between the Windows 7 start menu and the Windows 8 home screen...

If I am primarily a desktop user and don't use many (or any) Metro apps, I do not lose context when I use the Windows 7 start menu. It doesn't cover the entire screen. I can still see a portion of my desktop, running apps, and the task bar - and the relative amount of space the start menu occupies drops with screen resolution. I can drag things onto and off of it (admittedly, not that big of a deal, but it is occasionally useful). I can reorganize it if Im OCD or whatever. Those are actual differences - things you are not acknowledging at all.

How about this? Name a must have feature that the Windows 8 Home Screen introduces that is not already in the existing Windows 7 Start Menu. Now, from that list remove anything related to touchscreens (something desktop application users don't care about and never will) and running/interacting with Metro apps (something most desktop users will only do infrequently if ever).

Whats left? I'm not saying there is nothing left (live tiles?), but that list is rather uncompelling imo. The point is if you don't like Metro apps and don't care about touchscreen support then the Home screen is just a big middle finger from Redmond pointed at you every time to have to resort to using it. It serves no useful function for this class of user, it is nothing more than a hindrance.

For tablets? Sure, its great. Touchscreen laptops? Im kind of on the fence on that one - maybe, maybe not. For 27" single/dual monitor setups running 1440p, i.e. gaming rigs or professional workstations? Are you kidding? Its a total train wreck. What is it for in that scenario? Its simply too f*cking big to be useful.

I was a fan of Metro too (still am in fact), but only for what I envisioned as its intended use - which was a UI simplification for less sophisticated users and for its touchscreen support. I don't want to get rid of it, I just want to be able to decide when I see it - because for me (on a 1440p desktop) most of the time I get nothing of value from it at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Start Button Useless??
by WereCatf on Wed 26th Jun 2013 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Start Button Useless??"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

What is it that you use the rest of the screen for after clicking start other than search or start menu links?


To see the rest of the screen, obviously.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[6]: Start Button Useless??
by lustyd on Wed 26th Jun 2013 19:41 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Start Button Useless??"
RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by galvanash on Thu 27th Jun 2013 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

No, it's not obvious at all. If you want to see the screen don't press start.


We are talking about an operating system called Windows and you arguing that we should all just pretend it ain't so and be happy about being forced to work with a fullscreen modal interface from 1985.

Again, I don't have a tablet on top of my desk... Modal interfaces have there place, but it isn't everywhere. I did not buy a 1440p monitor so I could only look at one thing at a time...

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Start Button Useless??
by Nelson on Thu 27th Jun 2013 11:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Start Button Useless??"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I realize its your preference, but wouldn't you rather be able to see more results on screen?

You can also pin the actual folder that the "All Programs" reside in from the Start Menu directly to your Taskbar. Then getting a traditional view of your Start Menu's apps is a tap away.

I think that these are very niche scenarios (as Microsoft's usage stats indicate) but nonetheless, anyone who wants to certainly can retain a lot of the old functionality.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by WereCatf on Thu 27th Jun 2013 11:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I realize its your preference, but wouldn't you rather be able to see more results on screen?


Considering the fact that the tiles consume enormous amounts of space I don't really think it would be more results. And as I've explained before in the past, I find it horribly jarring that the Start Screen takes over the whole display, completely removing me from whatever it was that I was doing; depending on my mood and the day such a jarring transition can completely kill my productivity.

Also, about the tiles: they do not provide me with any information that I would find worth it. I launch the applications themselves if I want to see something and thus the tiles just do not offer me anything that regular old icons don't, except that they take more space on the screen.

This is all in addition to the fact that I do not use any Metro-apps except for Netflix.

Simply put, I do not like Start Screen. I could get my stuff done with it, but as long as I have a choice I choose to avoid it because the old method suits my style and needs better.

You can also pin the actual folder that the "All Programs" reside in from the Start Menu directly to your Taskbar. Then getting a traditional view of your Start Menu's apps is a tap away.


I don't think that would work for shortcuts that reside in the system-wide folder, it would probably only show shortcuts specific to the user. Alas, I don't need to try that, anyways, as I am running Start8 on my laptop.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by phoenix on Thu 27th Jun 2013 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I realize its your preference, but wouldn't you rather be able to see more results on screen?


Which shows more on a 20" screen:
- 2"x2" tiles per application (or even 0.5"x0.5"), or
- 12 pt font in an organised list

Even if the start menu only takes up about 3" of horizontal space, you get a lot more text onscreen than using huge graphical tiles. Especially when there's full-colour icons next to each text entry in the start menu to help differentiate entries, while there's only 2-toned (usually just white) icons inside the tiles.

On a small device like a phone or a tablet where you use your fat fingers as pointing devices, the tiled start screen with large touch targets makes sense.

On a large device like a 15" or larger screen, where you have to move your mouse completely across your mouse pad to move across the screen, the tiled start screen is stupid. At least with a start menu, you can see and focus on the entire thing without moving your eyes, and you can reach anything in the menu with just a tiny movement of the mouse.

You can also pin the actual folder that the "All Programs" reside in from the Start Menu directly to your Taskbar. Then getting a traditional view of your Start Menu's apps is a tap away.


Which makes you wonder, why even bother with creating the start screen in the first place?

I think that these are very niche scenarios (as Microsoft's usage stats


Self-selected stats by those too ignorant to disable it are useless.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Start Button Useless??
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 27th Jun 2013 20:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Start Button Useless??"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

What is it that you use the rest of the screen for after clicking start other than search or start menu links? If you click elsewhere then it disapears so it may as well be full screen to make it more useful.


While you can't interact with the rest of the screen while the start menu is open, you can still see the rest of the screen. Nine times out of ten, when I open the start menu it's for something related to one of the windows/applications that are currently open & I find it helps to be able to see/refer to them.

Not a fact, but most who understand the options would choose fullscreen.


For heavy multi-tasking, at least, I beg to differ.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Start Button Useless??
by Nelson on Thu 27th Jun 2013 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Start Button Useless??"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Windows 8 apps were only optionally full screen - from day one you've had the option of having two apps side by side. This is pretty much the opposite of full screen.

With Windows 8.1 the snapping of apps side by side is variable, and the amount of apps snappable side by side has increased depending on resolution/display size.

With 8.1, a lot of the Windows 7 work flows are now possible with modern apps.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by ricegf on Fri 28th Jun 2013 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Windows 8 apps were only optionally full screen - from day one you've had the option of having two apps side by side. This is pretty much the opposite of full screen.


I would argue that the option of having a maximum of two apps side by side is right over there next to having a maximum of one app full screen.

The opposite of both is a windowing operating system that allows the user to arrange applications in the most useful configuration - which on a desktop with a mouse and keyboard, is the productive system IMHO.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Start Button Useless??
by M.Onty on Wed 26th Jun 2013 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Start Button Useless??"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

... They won't back down on the full screen start menu because they are right about full screen being better (and the reason they are right is because I think the same thing, ergo they are right).

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Start Button Useless??
by lustyd on Wed 26th Jun 2013 19:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Start Button Useless??"
lustyd Member since:
2008-06-19

"(and the reason they are right is because I think the same thing, ergo they are right). "
No, the reason they are right is because the majority agree. They know the majority agree because they asked people and because they used the telemetry (customer experience program) to see how people use the product. You are not the target demographic. You find people who agree with your opinion because you're on a website full of people just like you. Microsoft speak to more people every day than you will in a lifetime, and they listen more than you do. The fact that they put the button back and did almost nothing with the menu is a testament to this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Start Button Useless??
by M.Onty on Wed 26th Jun 2013 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Start Button Useless??"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

"(and the reason they are right is because I think the same thing, ergo they are right). "
No, the reason they are right is because the majority agree. They know the majority agree because they asked people and because they used the telemetry (customer experience program) to see how people use the product. You are not the target demographic. You find people who agree with your opinion because you're on a website full of people just like you. Microsoft speak to more people every day than you will in a lifetime, and they listen more than you do. The fact that they put the button back and did almost nothing with the menu is a testament to this.

Well, fair enough, I was being somewhat bitchy.

Strictly speaking I am sort of within the target demographic though. Yes, I visit this website, & yes that makes me a member of the geek-sheeple hoard who are (its is said over & over again) not at all like the mythological Joe Sixpack. But Windows has 90% of the market & that includes the great majority of people with a modest-to-good knowledge of computing.

As to their market research, obviously they have done their homework much more thoroughly than the haters. But that doesn't mean they are necessarily right. The problem with asking people what they want is that when you give it to them, they'll suddenly tell you they actually want something else. Polls don't predict elections all that well, Ford's customers wanted a faster horse &c.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Start Button Useless??
by Nelson on Thu 27th Jun 2013 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Start Button Useless??"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

But Windows has 90% of the market & that includes the great majority of people with a modest-to-good knowledge of computing.


This is true, but Windows is looking for growth in a segment with a defined demographic that is more consumer oriented. The days of huge Desktop Towers are coming to an end, with rumors of even Samsung divesting their Desktop business.

Laptops are inherently mobile, will become thinner and lighter and be expected to have great battery life characteristics and predictable performance.

The issue is that the iPad, Android, and other mobile OSes do things quite a bit better than Windows. iOS's curated app store changed the game.

Prior to the tablet explosion Microsoft could afford to ignore it to an extent, but now with tablets cannibalizing PC sales, they need to meet it head on.

People are already hooked on predictable performance brought on by curated stores, they're used to fast and fluid experience, they're used to exceptional battery life.

This is why Windows needed a fundamental change. The whole story wasn't told with Windows 8, and still isn't told with Windows 8.1 -- but this is the point of an evolution.

I don't need to remind anyone here how curiously terrible Android was at version 1. Things do get better with time, as the ideas and the visions are iterated upon.

The biggest disruption in PC computing since the turn of the century is probably the realization that more isn't always better, that densely packing information into every pixel is bad, and giving users 20 knobs to turn is poor UX.

Windows has traditionally banked on being successful by virtue of being Windows. This meant they could afford piss poor UX designs, confusing and convoluted user interfaces, and poor reliability.

That said, the improvements in 8.1 certainly make things a tad more productive. The variable snapped states are even more than I expected, and a lot of the improvements in the UI are in responses to feed back.


As to their market research, obviously they have done their homework much more thoroughly than the haters. But that doesn't mean they are necessarily right. The problem with asking people what they want is that when you give it to them, they'll suddenly tell you they actually want something else. Polls don't predict elections all that well, Ford's customers wanted a faster horse &c.


I think this is also true, which is why they measured usage in their telemetry and considered feedback.

I think its hard to argue with the overwhelming amount of statistics and rationale they provided for why they changed things in Windows 8. Their blog posts are immense thickets of words that pretty transparently explain their thought process.

Edited 2013-06-27 00:01 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by Fergy on Thu 27th Jun 2013 06:08 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I think its hard to argue with the overwhelming amount of statistics and rationale they provided for why they changed things in Windows 8. Their blog posts are immense thickets of words that pretty transparently explain their thought process.

Can you show me the statistics where customers liked loosing a feature that they were actively using? And can you show me the statistics that show having the option between the startscreen and the startmenu is bad?

Think about this: what would have happened if you could download the old startmenu in MS appstore?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Start Button Useless??
by lucas_maximus on Wed 26th Jun 2013 18:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Start Button Useless??"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The thing the miffs me about those who don't like the new start screen, if you were using the start menu like it supposed to be used in Windows 8 (like a launcher and the menu as a backup).

The start menu works exactly the bloody same if you use it that way. I kinda use everything like google instant search ... so it doesn't matter much to me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Start Button Useless??
by No it isnt on Wed 26th Jun 2013 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Start Button Useless??"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

It's a bullshit reason for any screen over 10". I don't want a screen full of search results to search through, I just want the relevant ones, presented in a space that's easy for my eyes to scan. Spreading them out all over didn't work for Gnome 3, and it's just as shit in Windows.

Reply Score: 10

RE[4]: Start Button Useless??
by n4cer on Wed 26th Jun 2013 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Start Button Useless??"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

It's a bullshit reason for any screen over 10". I don't want a screen full of search results to search through, I just want the relevant ones, presented in a space that's easy for my eyes to scan. Spreading them out all over didn't work for Gnome 3, and it's just as shit in Windows.


This is available in Windows 8.1 via the search charm. It functions as a flyout from the right side of the screen without transitioning to the start screen.

http://www.neowin.net/news/windows-81-9374-shows-search-charm-wont-...

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Start Button Useless??
by Fergy on Thu 27th Jun 2013 06:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Start Button Useless??"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

This is available in Windows 8.1 via the search charm. It functions as a flyout from the right side of the screen without transitioning to the start screen.

http://www.neowin.net/news/windows-81-9374-shows-search-charm-wont-...

BTW you can access the charm-bar with: windows-key+C

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Start Button Useless??
by Morgan on Wed 26th Jun 2013 23:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Start Button Useless??"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

The whole point of it is more room for search results!


Not quite. The whole point is that Microsoft believes that touch is the future of general purpose computers. That day may come, but it's not today no matter how much they try to push it.

By completely forgetting about their corporate, government and small business customers, they are cutting off vital revenue streams moving forward. IT departments are already notoriously timid about change, and though Windows 7 is a stellar OS its adoption is only recently gaining ground.

At my part time job this month, nearly four years after its release, I've finally been able to move all but one of our machines to Windows 7. That lone machine stays on XP because one of our software vendors requires it. Once that hurdle is passed, we'll be Windows 7 across the board...probably just in time to enter the extended support lifecycle.

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: Start Button Useless??
by Nelson on Thu 27th Jun 2013 00:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Start Button Useless??"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Not quite. The whole point is that Microsoft believes that touch is the future of general purpose computers. That day may come, but it's not today no matter how much they try to push it.


That day is fast approaching, and we're much closer than we were even when Windows 8 launched. Intel's Haswell push, as well as the cost of touch panels going down is going to have an extreme effect on the industry.

OEMs are starting to get a feel for the form factors that work and the ones that don't.


By completely forgetting about their corporate, government and small business customers, they are cutting off vital revenue streams moving forward. IT departments are already notoriously timid about change, and though Windows 7 is a stellar OS its adoption is only recently gaining ground.


They weren't going to upgrade to Windows 8 in droves anyway. Most of them had just rolled out Windows 7.

Microsoft has the enterprise pretty much in a choke hold. Not so much with small businesses because the Windows licensing for enterprise (particularly Windows RT and InTune licensing) sucks for small businesses.

For medium to large businesses InTune is making crazy inroads (Its $1B business already) so is subscription based Office 365, Windows Azure, Dynamics CRM, and their other enterprise offerings

Windows on a Tablet for enterprises is a no brainer. They can manage thin, light, fast+fluid tablets that employees desire by using familiar management tools. Its an enterprise wet dream.

InTune makes sure that if you're going the BYOD route, you're doing it using Microsoft's stack.

Furthermore, Microsoft is pivoting into a Services role, which allows it to extract revenue from even non-Windows devices.

Look at Yammer which has had explosive growth in the year since Microsoft acquired it for an example.

Given the heterogeneous future we're faced with I think its the right play.

But looking towards 8.1, there are more management features, more group policies, boot to Desktop, improvements to Metro UI + Platform, etc.

For Microsoft as a whole they announced a doubling down on their Startup Accelerator and funding programs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Start Button Useless??
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 26th Jun 2013 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Start Button Useless??"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

It's a button, yeah, but I would hardly call it a "Start button" when it doesn't even bring up the expected "Start menu." And except on phones, tablets and other small touchscreen-based systems, the "Start screen" is no replacement for a traditional mouse-driven menu on larger, high-resolution screens.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Start Button Useless??
by Nelson on Thu 27th Jun 2013 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Start Button Useless??"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

For doing a system-wide search for a specific app, there's a Search Pane which does *not* take up the entire screen.

For viewing an entire list of apps, there's a full screen overlay that you can filter in various ways (actually, in more ways than you could the traditional Start Menu)

They've taken the Start Menu's function and split it across two experiences. When you're searching you likely want to keep context with whatever you're currently doing.

When you're choosing an app from a list of apps on the system, the goal is to show all of your apps and context isn't as important.

You're searching for something you don't know you want yet, so the screen real estate is dedicated to that end.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Start Button Useless??
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 27th Jun 2013 02:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Start Button Useless??"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

For doing a system-wide search for a specific app, there's a Search Pane which does *not* take up the entire screen.

In a GUI, I am primarily visual with the way I interact with a computer. I "find" by actually looking at the screen and clicking. If I wanted to "search" by typing, then I would use the "Run..." command or open a terminal window...

For viewing an entire list of apps, there's a full screen overlay that you can filter in various ways (actually, in more ways than you could the traditional Start Menu)

Which, as I said, is a waste of space on all but phones and tablets...

They've taken the Start Menu's function and split it across two experiences. When you're searching you likely want to keep context with whatever you're currently doing.

Yes, and the problem is... they both suck. They don't solve anything that was a problem before. All they do is create problems for everything but computers that use tiny touchscreens as their primary input.

You're searching for something you don't know you want yet, so the screen real estate is dedicated to that end.

What? That would make more sense if you said "so the screen real estate is wasted to that end."

Edited 2013-06-27 02:56 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Start Button Useless??
by Nelson on Thu 27th Jun 2013 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Start Button Useless??"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


In a GUI, I am primarily visual with the way I interact with a computer. I "find" by actually looking at the screen and clicking. If I wanted to "search" by typing, then I would use the "Run..." command or open a terminal window...


Right, which is why I outlined multiple scenarios. Let's be clear though, I'm not here to cater to your usage needs or tell you how to use Windows -- or to even argue against whatever usage scenarios you can come up with.

Microsoft got a high level view of usage statistics in the aggregate and used that to make their determination -- your individual preferences aside, they optimized for core scenarios that suit the target demographic.

However, given that you mention that you prefer not to type ahead to find an app though, the new All Apps screen dedicates more of your pixels and more of your real estate (which with the Start Menu are doing precisely nothing of value) to showing more items on screen.

So Mr. Visual, with the All Apps screen you need to scroll less and you find information faster due to the faster sorting built into this screen.

How many results can you see in your Start Menu while searching for programs? Because I'll compare how many results you see on your large display to have many I can see on a 10 inch device. Surely with all that real estate you won't be bested in efficiency by such a small device?


Which, as I said, is a waste of space on all but phones and tablets...


Because having more space to show you more results in a more categorized fashion is a waste of space? You know what's a waste of space? The entire screen being unsuable while the Start Menu is open. I click anywhere but the Start Menu and it closes. How is this not wasted space?


Yes, and the problem is... they both suck. They don't solve anything that was a problem before. All they do is create problems for everything but computers that use tiny touchscreens as their primary input.


The Search results display more results, from more places, with more efficiency than the Windows 7 results in the Start Menu.

The problem they solved is that of scalability. Users on average use more apps than the Start Menu can show a once (iirc over 50 apps compared to the 20 or so apps a Start Menu can show without scrolling)


What? That would make more sense if you said "so the screen real estate is wasted to that end."


So much potential for a rational discussion, stymied by your baseless and incoherent dribble. You provided no supporting arguments, only repeating the same word over and over.

Though I'm sure you have a vast amount of data you've collected from usage to support your claim?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Start Button Useless??
by Bobthearch on Thu 27th Jun 2013 03:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Start Button Useless??"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I don't use Windows, but that is what Microsoft said they were going to do. They "listened to the users" and added the Start Button, but there is no Start Menu. Clicking it just returns the user to the Windows 8 home screen.


According to this CNN article, "...many Windows users were upset about radical departure from the typical Windows interface, especially the lack of a Start button. The button is back, and now it leads to a list of all your applications."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/26/tech/gaming-gadgets/microsoft-keynote...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Start Button Useless??
by Fergy on Thu 27th Jun 2013 06:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Start Button Useless??"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

According to this CNN article, "...many Windows users were upset about radical departure from the typical Windows interface, especially the lack of a Start button. The button is back, and now it leads to a list of all your applications."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/26/tech/gaming-gadgets/microsoft-keynote...

We know what Microsoft thinks and you don't have to link to a press release from Microsoft.

Did you have anything to add to this conversation or do you like to be Captain Obvious?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Start Button Useless??
by Bobthearch on Thu 27th Jun 2013 13:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Start Button Useless??"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Bad day at work? Lighten up.

I was posting for hopefully a clarification from someone who actually used Windows 8.1. The CNN article says Start menu displays a list of installed programs; the poster I was replying to says it just goes to the Home screen. ???

Reply Score: 2

RE: Start Button Useless??
by Fusion on Wed 26th Jun 2013 22:21 UTC in reply to "Start Button Useless??"
Fusion Member since:
2005-07-18

To be more clear, I *like* Windows 8 for its overall performance and *some* of its UI-related optimizations. (Even feels snappier than Win 7 on the same hardware.)

My opinion related squarely to the 'Menu' situation... that was the point of my original 'lame sauce' gripe...

Win 8's full-screen ("start menu") feels more like a schizophrenic merging of a HUD (chock-full of *currently* mostly useless items) with the Win7/Vista (indexed-searchable) Start Menu. Full-screen overlays like this may make sense where screen real estate is severely lacking AND where *heavy duty* multi-tasking is less necessary---e.g., tablets and phones. My desktop, however, has a 27" display (which I bought) to show multiple apps/info simultaneously.

Press the Win 8 Start menu, and my current apps and desktop (EVERYTHING) disappears. I'm presented with several large, useless TILES that (mostly) link me to single-use (metro style) 'apps' that I will never use on a desktop. (At least not in their current iterations...). The net impact here is that I get to traverse the mouse (and my eyes) over 27 inches of useless crap, just to find something. If I type a string of text, hopefully I was just looking for an stand-alone application.....because if I was looking for an "app" buried inside the cluster F@*# known as Control Panel, then I get move my mouse (or tap a bunch of tabs/arrow keys/enter) to select "Settings" sub-search...or "Files" to find a file. Then I get to move my mouse (or tab/arrow/enter) over to the complete opposite side of the screen (along with tracking my eyes over there) to select what I was looking for. (Hopefully I didn't type my search term incorrectly, or I've got a couple more trips in store.)

Win 7 menu is less obtrusive and more to-the-point. My eyes and mouse remain fixed in a narrow (read: useable) area, while the rest of the desktop and apps are all visible in real-time at glance. Maybe I'm following directions from a webpage HowTo that involves several steps deep into the start menu.... maybe I'm keeping an eye on an activity output... maybe I'm just watching a movie. Type a string into the menu, and I get ALL results (applications, docs, control panel apps), and all is wonderful with the world.

Point is: if I'm *WORKING* in "desktop mode", that means I would like to remain there... until I specifically *CLOSE* desktop mode. Using the 'start menu' as a tactic to attempt pulling me out of my functional, multi-taskable desktop, into a flat-but-flashy arguably useless Metro UI works against what I am trying to do.

Don't get me wrong, I don't oppose a metro-style HUD of sorts. Apple's dashboard implementation, for example, gives a good balance of HUG elements that can be easily called upon for a quick "what's up" state of affairs. Also helps minimize clutter from desklets/applets.

Sigh.

Reply Score: 10

8.1 is still a botch job.
by tomchr on Wed 26th Jun 2013 18:26 UTC
tomchr
Member since:
2009-02-01

Windows 8.1 Preview *sigh*

I find the whole Windows 8 endeavour uninspiring and depressing. Sad we are stuck with this unpolished platform for years to come.

Reply Score: 5

RE: 8.1 is still a botch job.
by lucas_maximus on Wed 26th Jun 2013 19:00 UTC in reply to "8.1 is still a botch job."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Look dude, the front end you might not like. But the performance is soo much faster than Windows 7.

My home machine is a Core 2 Duo from 2006-2007 running 8 and my work machine is a Xeon beast from 2 years ago running 7 ... guess what feels faster? The older computer running 8 and they are mainly running the same software.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: 8.1 is still a botch job.
by benytocamela on Wed 26th Jun 2013 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE: 8.1 is still a botch job."
benytocamela Member since:
2013-05-16

the placebo effect makes the world go round...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: 8.1 is still a botch job.
by Nelson on Thu 27th Jun 2013 00:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 8.1 is still a botch job."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

There are genuine and tangible improvements in performance for Windows 8 over Windows 7.

With Windows 8.1, particularly inside of Metro Apps, the performance gains over Windows 8 are especially impressive after playing around with it.

Disk Space taken up by Windows 8.1 has also gone down pretty significantly.

Reply Score: 3

benytocamela Member since:
2013-05-16

Microsoft's improvements of their codebase may be tangible. But the Core2 Quad test machine I have running Windows 8 not only "feels" significantly slower than the i7 rig running Windows 7 right next to it, but bechmarks much poorer as well. And that's not only totally expected, but I would have seriously suspected Microsoft had managed to break some law of physics if the situation had been reversed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: 8.1 is still a botch job.
by MOS6510 on Thu 27th Jun 2013 05:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 8.1 is still a botch job."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I have a test machine at work, Core 2, and it ran XP rather slow. Windows 7 ran much better and Windows 8 almost flies.

At home I have another test PC, it came with Vista and it was terrible. Windows 8 was terrible too, but upgrading the 1 GB RAM to 2 GB it runs fine now.

My personal experience so far is that Windows 7 runs faster than Windows XP on the same hardware and Windows 8 is even quicker, if it has enough RAM.

I think this is a reason PC sales aren't doing very well. People used to buy new ones because they became slower when you upgraded Windows, but now you can run Windows 7 and 8 fine on machines that are 5+ years old.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: 8.1 is still a botch job.
by phoenix on Thu 27th Jun 2013 17:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 8.1 is still a botch job."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Microsoft's improvements of their codebase may be tangible. But the Core2 Quad test machine I have running Windows 8 not only "feels" significantly slower than the i7 rig running Windows 7 right next to it


Wait. You're complaining that a now-ancient Core2 CPU (aka 2nd generation Core architecture) is slower than an i7 (aka 3rd or even 4th gen Core architecture), and that it's obviously the fault of the OS?

Maybe if you reversed the OS installs (7 on the Core2). Then you could complain that Windows 8 is horribly slow.

Or, maybe if you had 7 and 8 both installed on the same system. Then you could complain that Windows 8 is horribly slow.

Right now, you're comparing oranges and orangutangs!

Reply Score: 1

benytocamela Member since:
2013-05-16

rather than jumping to react so quickly, I recommend you try comprehend what I wrote and its context at least.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: 8.1 is still a botch job.
by shotsman on Thu 27th Jun 2013 07:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 8.1 is still a botch job."
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Ok so W8 is faster than W7. so what!

For most people speed isn't critical but usability is.

For me, W8 is a complete non starter. It just gets in the way far too much and W7 was bad enough.

I make a living Developing applications for Server 2008/12 not using MS tools (lots of Java and other stuff). Using them in a W8 desktop is pure living hell.
As a result I've installed Server 2008 on my laptop. At least it keeps out of the way most of the time. Server 2012 runs in VM's.
W8 is just unworkable/unusable and after 40+ years in development, it takes a really bad system for me to say that. Now, on a tablet with W8 then things may well be better but I don't have any experience with one to say (I use Android Tablets.)

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: 8.1 is still a botch job.
by M.Onty on Thu 27th Jun 2013 10:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 8.1 is still a botch job."
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Ok so W8 is faster than W7. so what!

For most people speed isn't critical but usability is.


Credit where credit's due, Microsoft could have continued to have added bloat to the x86 versions of Windows to artificially induce better sales, but have instead made Windows faster in two consecutive releases. I can't imagine its helping PC sales, as someone says above, but it is good for users & we do notice, especially after someone lets a couple of prime offenders like McAfee & Adobe loose on the hard drive. Here's hoping they try & get the install size down next.

Reply Score: 3

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Look dude, the front end you might not like. But the performance is soo much faster than Windows 7.

My home machine is a Core 2 Duo from 2006-2007 running 8 and my work machine is a Xeon beast from 2 years ago running 7 ... guess what feels faster? The older computer running 8 and they are mainly running the same software.


So an older Windows computer that has been rebuild to have the OS reinstalled is faster than a Windows computer that has been running for some time?

Try rebuilding the Win7 computer. It'll feel just as snappy.

Now, that's not to say that Win8 doesn't have slightly better performance - it does as it is Win7 with more optimizations and a new GUI.

I'm just saying that you're not comparing apples-to-apples.

If you really want to compare them, then reinstall both computers with freshly wiped hard drives.

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft's health care plan is the BEST!
by xminus1 on Wed 26th Jun 2013 18:50 UTC
xminus1
Member since:
2013-06-26

Apparently, they've given all the senior managers full frontal lobotomies, and those results must have looked so outstanding that they required the rest of their staff to have them, as well.

Well, at least it's good to know we'll have Windows 8 and 8-point-1 around; this way, if any of us run out of toilet paper, we'll always have Windows 8-point-whatever to wipe our . . . well, you get the idea, I hope.

Seriously, it looks like an operating system designed for six-year-olds--and, apparently, for six-year-olds who can read the system designers' minds to be able to find all these magical control interfaces.

Reply Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

NT -> 2000 -> XP -> Vista -> 7

All introduced changes and new ways of doing certain things, whether it was the control panel, start menu, task bar, toolbars on the task bar, active desktop, oh, and Explorer. God damn, Explorer changes a lot. Each required learning to find all the new "magical control interfaces."

That's what happens when stuff changes, when new features are added. There are never, ever, any new features that require ZERO learning. To think otherwise is naive at best, and completely idiotic at worst.

Reply Score: 2

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Drumhellar
completely idiotic

Yes

Edited 2013-06-27 06:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

So, and I know this is a radical concept so bear with me but...why not just avoid it and stick with what you like? Or if you're just tired of Windows, install another OS altogether? I realize that will also require relearning some things, but as was already pointed out to you above, that's the case with any major upgrade.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Wed 26th Jun 2013 19:02 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

I hope there are more improvements in Metro because some of the things I don't like it the weird screen split, but some of the applications work quite nicely when I bother to use them.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by lucas_maximus
by Nelson on Thu 27th Jun 2013 00:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by lucas_maximus"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

The performance improvements in the XAML stack alone are crazy.

They've brought some more complex WPF features while *improving performance*. You'll remember that WPF was a swiss army knife of UI toolkits, but had...erm...spotty performance.

With this iteration of the XAML stack, they got like 40% improvement in binding perf, double digit improvement in start up perf, lazy loading of UI elements and parsing of resources, better interop with DX, more built in controls, etc.

They've actually fixed the annoying Virtualizing UI bug which killed performance for Mouse+Keyboard users.

They've also fleshed out the WinRT API quite a bit (surprise to some of the naysayers here, an API isn't frozen in time, it has improved). Most radical are the VPN, Point of Service, and Devices API which are nice.

In a nutshell, Metro apps will be faster and more feature filled. It will eventually get to the point where functionally they can do what Windows applications for the Desktop do, without the reliability issues.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by lucas_maximus
by lucas_maximus on Thu 27th Jun 2013 07:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by lucas_maximus"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I suspect the WinRT API will evolve like the .NET API did. Solid well understood base that is build around.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 26th Jun 2013 21:02 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Okay, so I installed it. It took about an hour (and two reboots), which seems a step back considering how quickly 8 can upgrade from 7.

A few thoughts/observations:

After installation, it asked to verify my account with two-factor authentication. Yes, I have my account linked to my Live account, and I'm not sure what happens if you click the "Do this later" button.

My mouse settings disappeared, which is horrible because my Logitech mouse has the most insanely shitty defaults I could imagine. They are really, really bad.

For the included artwork for the start screen backgrounds, you can now change the background color and the foreground color separately.

Hot Corners can be disabled.

The Start Button cannot be removed. This is lame, as I've grown accustomed to it not being there, and now it takes up space on the task bar I'd it didn't, and the icon I have in the bottom left is no longer in the bottom left.

Start Screen scroll performance seems to have taken a step back.

Far more settings are adjustable from within the Metro settings panel, but certain advanced settings are not. For example, I can change the amount of time it takes to turn off my screen when my computer is, depending on whether I'm plugged in or not, as well as standby time, but not hard-drive spin-down speed, nor is there a place to change which plan I'm using and changing.

EDIT: Settings for hot-corners are available in taskbar settings.
Also, that is one place to find the option to boot to desktop rather than the start screen, and show the all-apps list instead of start screen tiles, as well as how those are sorted.

Edited 2013-06-26 21:10 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Nelson on Thu 27th Jun 2013 00:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I don't understand how they haven't standardized an interface for Mouse/Trackpad gestures yet. Its killing Windows 8.

I go to Best Buy and one trackpad on a laptop scrolls vertically if I swipe it vertically. The laptop right next to it scrolls horizontally if I swipe it horizontally. The laptop next to that scrolls in some apps and not in others.

Its a freaking mess.

Reply Score: 2

Classic Shell and Start8 do it better
by cmost on Thu 27th Jun 2013 00:33 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

Frankly, Stardock's Start8 and the free tool Classic Shell do a much better job of recreating the Windows 7 style (or even XP's if one chooses) and bypassing Metro than Microsoft's half-hearted effort. I hope there's a way to disable Microsoft's start menu in favor of one of the aforementioned better alternatives. Stardock is even trialling a beta version of Windowblinds and Object desktop that brings back Windows Aero. Does anyone else think Windows 8's flat boring window borders are a step backward?

Reply Score: 3

judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

Flat is in right now, trends will shift and it will be out again soon enough. But i agree it is not as pleasing as any of the previous iterations from 3.0 onwards to me.

Reply Score: 2

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Flat is in right now, trends will shift and it will be out again soon enough. But i agree it is not as pleasing as any of the previous iterations from 3.0 onwards to me.


Only a trend for Microsoft. Android certainly isn't following it, and IMHO, Android (2.3 and 4.x) both look a lot better than Win8's flat style does.

The problem MS had was that all their neat graphical stuff they did for Aero didn't work well for performance in the mobile space. So rather than fix their performance functions (which KDE4 on similar devices seems easily able to accomplish) they just gutted it all out and said "flat is the new trend", trying to jump start a Fashion wave because they want to be like Steve Jobs, only they aren't.

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Android is certainly flat, have you looked at Holo? Maybe not extremely flat like Windows Phone, but it is flat.

iOS7 also incorporates many of the guiding principals of minimalist flat design. So does OSX to an extent.

Then there are the endless applications (a lot of them on iOS too) which utilize flat design very well.

Microsoft certainly isn't the only one.

Reply Score: 3

benytocamela Member since:
2013-05-16

I personally prefer the new flat look, and the desktop experience with 3rd party add ons (I like Pokki) is alright.

Frankly the desktop now looks much better than under previous iterations of Windows, which tended to clash with my own personal sense of aesthetics. However, I think the flat look does not lend itself well to the touch experience.

Reply Score: 2

First impressions of RT 8.1
by Lion on Thu 27th Jun 2013 01:41 UTC
Lion
Member since:
2007-03-22

So far I prefer the new start screen, I definitely enjoy the additional tile sizes, and having the tiles come up over a slightly darkened version of the desktop wallpaper is FAR less jarring. Nice.
I wish I could turn off the start button. It does serve a useful purpose on my Surface RT (long press on it gives me the win+x menu - previously unavailable by touch UI) but with the start bar on the side of the screen it sits at the top - I just don't want it there.
Aside from that, I haven't really encountered any of the other changes yet.

Reply Score: 3

Comment
by pandronic on Thu 27th Jun 2013 06:44 UTC
pandronic
Member since:
2006-05-18

Do they allow Metro apps to run in the background like normal apps on non-battery powered devices at least?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment
by Nelson on Thu 27th Jun 2013 11:19 UTC in reply to "Comment"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

They can run in the background under more scenarios with 8.1, for example there are additional OS level events which can trigger an app to start processing in the background.

As far as unfettered access to system resources, the answer is no.

Where on Windows Phone it may be a little more missed, the multitasking capabilities on Windows 8 and 8.1 are vastly more comprehensive.

It is unfortunate that not all scenarios are supported, but it is expanding and doing so in a thoughtful way. In fact, way more than I miss expansive (and often wasteful) multitasking, I miss dynamic code execution and JITs even more. We need dynamic code execution for the Windows Runtime. I'm disappointed they did not add it in this release.

Reply Score: 3

Just ask the NSA for help...
by UltraZelda64 on Sat 29th Jun 2013 00:09 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

They might have access to a backdoor to remove the lock.

Reply Score: 1

& on the desktop?
by quackalist on Sun 30th Jun 2013 15:42 UTC
quackalist
Member since:
2007-08-27

So lots of stuff have changed with the Start Menu, but I only see it when I'm bored so has anything of note happened on the desktop?

I've just installed it on a VM but I've yet to notice anything of worth....the Start Button is kinda lame...wtf!

Reply Score: 2