Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 10th Jul 2013 15:03 UTC
Windows I have a Surface RT tablet. I bought it because I'm a Windows Phone user, and despite its major flaws, I still hate WP much less than I hate its competitors. As such, it made sense to me that I would like the Surface RT as well - I mean, my favourite UI on a tablet? Count me in! It should come as no surprise by now that Windows RT was a major disappointment, so now that the Windows 8.1 preview is here, did Microsoft address any of the major problems?
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Lag
by olejon on Wed 10th Jul 2013 16:18 UTC
olejon
Member since:
2012-08-12

Does it lag in animations or is it just slow? Metro is so simple graphical wise, so it shouldn't really lag during animations. People often say WP is smooth, and I agree, but that should be expected when all the GPU needs to render normally is flat single colored squares on a single colored background.

Reply Score: 3

Spot on
by ronaldst on Wed 10th Jul 2013 18:49 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

* Too gesture heavy UI. (Some are nice but the app selection panel on a tablet isn't very intuitive)
* Auto-hide panels. (Computer UI designers' sin)
* Horrible colour choices.
* Lifeless UI. (the log in screen also lacks visual feedback)
* Buggy Metro apps. (The stable one is MetroIE)
* Most people were expecting the default Xbox music app.
* DLNA doesn't work for the music/photo/video apps.
* Where's the Metro version of Halo 4? I see only web games like Oiseaux fâchés and other time wasters. Why limit Metro at smartphone games?
* Why couldn't Microsoft bring their WP7 email app to Windows 8? * All that time I wasted fixing Winmail (Vista) to get back access to ISP emails...

I figure most people at Microsoft never use Metro apps in their daily lives. Other than MetroIE.

Metro is awesome. The foundation is strong. It doesn't matter if no one is using it. So much functionality was sacrificed. It's sad. And all the blame rests upon the Windows team.

I believe that Windows 8 was shipped too early and needed another 3 months of polishing. Especially the Metro part.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Spot on
by jello on Wed 10th Jul 2013 19:30 UTC in reply to "Spot on"
jello Member since:
2006-08-08

I would say more like 3 years than 3 month.

An operating system is dead without proper apps that can show off all the cool things the UI/OS can do.
I don't have such a device, but it is my understanding that no such app exists.
Not even from Microsoft...

Microsoft should have changed the MS-Works app to be the show-off app. (and add it to the OS for free)
This way other developers would be able to grasp what the intention behind this new UI is and follow Microsoft's vision.

If Microsoft would have done it, they would have realized how hard such an UI conversion is (and still having a fully usable application).
And how many man hours are needed for that...

In my book Microsoft's mission was not accomplished and 2013 is already half through...

EDIT: typos...

Edited 2013-07-10 19:32 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Spot on
by wocowboy on Thu 11th Jul 2013 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Spot on"
wocowboy Member since:
2006-06-01

That's just it. The UI/OS don't do anything neat or cool to show off. Flat solid colors, squares, any $10 graphics card will suffice to render everything the Metro UI does, since there are no drop-shadows, animations, superimpositions, layering of windows, click-to-focus, anything that previous versions of Windows did that caused users to go "Oooooh" the first time they used it. Forcing this UI on desktop PC users in an effort to get them to "unify" their world with Windows Phone/XBox/Windows 8 just isn't working. I am someone who always has 7-8 windows of 5-6 applications open all the time, arranged both side-by-side and in layers where all it takes is a click to get the one I want on top at the right size I want it. The limited ability to do that on Windows 8 is a complete deal-killer for me. I went back to Windows 7 and will wait a while or maybe never install anything else. If Windows permanently loses the ability to use one's desktop like this, I will have to look at the Mac for my needs. It seems lots of other folks are already doing this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Spot on
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 11th Jul 2013 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Spot on"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

since there are no drop-shadows, animations, superimpositions, layering of windows, click-to-focus,


You really have no clue about Metro. Metro is far more '3D' than previous versions of Windows, and it's got about a million more animations than other systems too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Spot on
by Nelson on Thu 11th Jul 2013 11:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Spot on"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

A trend I see in most comments on this story. Perception is a funny thing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Spot on
by Yagami on Sat 13th Jul 2013 06:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Spot on"
Yagami Member since:
2006-07-15

really ... its a square with one color and in 2D.

just because you click on it and it "animates" doesnt make it "far more 3d than everything else".

afterstep in the 90's already swirled and animated the windows on maximize and minimize more than metro.

the 3d is on your mind ... on code probably is a <table> with blue background color <td>'s and some jquery animation on click ( i am improvising )

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Spot on
by Nelson on Sat 13th Jul 2013 11:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Spot on"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

What do you think 3D graphics are? An illusion. Have you done any graphics programming? Thjs is fucking ridiculous. The perspective transforms in Metro are definitely 3D transformations.

Furthermore, they've removed airspace issues between pure DX surfaces and UI surfaces to let them naturally interop (using DirectComposition which takes bitmaps from various APIs). So in other words you're talking nonsense.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Spot on
by Yagami on Sat 13th Jul 2013 14:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Spot on"
Yagami Member since:
2006-07-15

What do you think 3D graphics are? An illusion. Have you done any graphics programming? Thjs is fucking ridiculous. The perspective transforms in Metro are definitely 3D transformations.

Furthermore, they've removed airspace issues between pure DX surfaces and UI surfaces to let them naturally interop (using DirectComposition which takes bitmaps from various APIs). So in other words you're talking nonsense.


So basicly you start saying all 3D is an illusion, but then the perspective transformations in Metro are definitely 3D transformations ? You really think they are 3D or not based on an animation "perspective" ? Where in the metro desktop or the classic desktop is the Z axis ? There isnt ... everything else is an animation ... an illusion.

Have YOU done any 3D graphics programming ?

No, i am not talking nonsense ... you just want to believe that everything has to be blank one colour squares to be true 3D and everything else is an illusion.

So ... Metro's swirl is reall 3D and others are an illusion ?!?!? fanboy's , geez....

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Spot on
by Nelson on Sat 13th Jul 2013 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Spot on"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

So basicly you start saying all 3D is an illusion, but then the perspective transformations in Metro are definitely 3D transformations ?


Yes, and still just points translated into 2D space. There is no actual 3D object in your monitor, as I'm sure you're aware.


You really think they are 3D or not based on an animation "perspective" ? Where in the metro desktop or the classic desktop is the Z axis ? There isnt ... everything else is an animation ... an illusion.


There is a concept of a Z axis in Metro applications, you can set a transform to animate the Z axis. An animation is an interpolation of a value over time, so there is no difference between setting a state to a value and animating a value.


So ... Metro's swirl is reall 3D and others are an illusion ?!?!? fanboy's , geez....


No. They're both illusions at a high level, quite obviously. But for what we're talking about, they're both "3D".

What annoys me is that people like you, who haven't done a day of programming with WinRT can sit here and make these wildly off base statements.


XAML composed with DirectComposition to enable interleaving with DirectX content (with no airspace or Z-order issues)
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/bg182880.aspx#...

XAML UI supporting 3D projections (In fact, many Theme Transitions use projections to animate independently of the UI thread)
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/windows.ui.xam...

XAML FrameworkElement projections in practice
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh700359.aspx

Applying a 3D Matrix transformation to a FrameworkElement in XAML
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/windows.ui.xam...

Do stop talking out of your ass.

Edited 2013-07-13 17:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by stabbyjones
by stabbyjones on Wed 10th Jul 2013 20:23 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

Windows 8 pro start search time = instant
Windows 8.1 pro start search time = 3-4s


That's on a machine with 16gb ram and with Bing integration turned off.

Reply Score: 3

Ugh
by peteo on Wed 10th Jul 2013 20:34 UTC
peteo
Member since:
2011-10-05

"I still believe Metro is by far the most innovative and distinctive interface "

You just say that to feel better about a silly purchase. Metro is outright idiotic for many reasons, and will go away soon enough.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ugh
by Nelson on Thu 11th Jul 2013 11:17 UTC in reply to "Ugh"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Just for future reference, when do you think Metro is going away?

Reply Score: 3

v windows
by andih on Wed 10th Jul 2013 23:23 UTC
RE: windows
by moondevil on Thu 11th Jul 2013 08:55 UTC in reply to "windows"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Ok, go play with your GNU/Linux toys.

Reply Score: 2

RE: windows
by Ultimatebadass on Fri 12th Jul 2013 13:11 UTC in reply to "windows"
Ultimatebadass Member since:
2006-01-08

I'm curious, what do you consider a "restriction free" OS?

If you're going to name some linux/*bsd don't bother - if I can't run the software I want on them they are "restricting" me too.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: windows
by judgen on Sat 13th Jul 2013 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE: windows"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

"If you're going to name some linux/*bsd don't bother - if I can't run the software I want on them they are "restricting" me too."

To be fair to the commenter above: What software do YOU run that is unrunnable and "no go" in GNU/Linux either through equivalents, virtualization, emulation or translation like wine?

Also have you tried any of those sollutions recently and have you been unsuccessful or are you just trolling?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: windows
by Ultimatebadass on Mon 15th Jul 2013 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: windows"
Ultimatebadass Member since:
2006-01-08

Not trolling, I just play a lot of PC games. I'm aware about wine/crossover but these are not a solution for most modern titles.

For everything else I do, linux works mostly fine.

Reply Score: 2

Surface RT Slowdown = storage?
by anduril on Wed 10th Jul 2013 23:34 UTC
anduril
Member since:
2005-11-11

I've honestly wondered since its launch if the the slow down/lag that the Surface RT experiences is due more to the fact that it uses just regular old http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/product/flash-... instead of an actual SSD. we've seen the slow down and lag issues on the Nexus 7 and other android devices do to bad controllers/wear/lack of TRIM.

Anyone know of a way to check to see how thats working?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Surface RT Slowdown = storage?
by Nelson on Wed 10th Jul 2013 23:55 UTC in reply to "Surface RT Slowdown = storage?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Like a lot of real world performance problems, its a lot of things combined which add up. Its plausible that this is a contributing factor.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Thu 11th Jul 2013 01:16 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

a computer that can't keep the state of multitasked applications isn't a multitasking computer for the user in question.

all these weak mobile devices have the same sort of problem, and I think it will go away with more memory capacity, but it is pretty sad until then.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Luminair
by Shane on Thu 11th Jul 2013 06:52 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
Shane Member since:
2005-07-06

a computer that can't keep the state of multitasked applications isn't a multitasking computer for the user in question.

all these weak mobile devices have the same sort of problem, and I think it will go away with more memory capacity, but it is pretty sad until then.


Windows 8, iOS and Android support app/fragment state preservation and restoration. The onus in often on the individual developers to do some leg work to make it happen.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by cdude on Fri 12th Jul 2013 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

What confirms Thom's argument that lots of the Metro apps are unpolished, done between there iOS and Android counterparts in just some minutes as "done that too" sideliners.

Quantity doesn't matter at the end. Nobody is going to install 100k apps anyways. But quality is it. We are now multiple years in and the Metro-ecosystem still suffers incredible hard on that front. Yet the told story, focus you know, is still about quantity. My oh my. Taken Microsoft's "success" outside of the past workstation-desktops into account (and that's where Metro counts since desktops have and are going to have win32) I have my doubts to see improvements anytime soon. It doesn't look healthy.

Edited 2013-07-12 14:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Luminair
by moondevil on Thu 11th Jul 2013 08:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

It is a question of how long you want your battery to last not memory.

The state can be preserved, if the developers take care to handle the OS events to save/restore state.

Edited 2013-07-11 08:58 UTC

Reply Score: 4

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

Right, how many Windows 8 applications have you written? You seem to be an expert on the multitasking capabilities of Metro apps. None? Oh.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Luminair
by judgen on Sat 13th Jul 2013 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Luminair"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

damnit i replied to the wrong comment, you can ignore this post.

Edited 2013-07-13 11:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Metro Apps Suck
by David on Thu 11th Jul 2013 03:08 UTC
David
Member since:
1997-10-01

I am an occasional Windows 8 user, with most of my time spent in the "old-style" desktop mode. Every time I try to use a Metro app, I'm newly shocked at how shoddy the whole experience is. Skype, for example, isn't even usable. And when I try to do something simple like open an image it konks me over the head with this fullscreen monstrosity of a UX. Ugh!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Metro Apps Suck
by Nelson on Thu 11th Jul 2013 11:20 UTC in reply to "Metro Apps Suck"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

This is an article about 8.1, have you used it?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Metro Apps Suck
by David on Thu 11th Jul 2013 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Metro Apps Suck"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I just installed 8.1 and the overall usability is a little better, but the Metro applications don't seem to be any better.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Metro Apps Suck
by Nelson on Fri 12th Jul 2013 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Metro Apps Suck"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I see, the reason I'm asking is because the full screen complaint you have is no longer true in 8.1 .

You can test this out by opening a photo from within the Mail app. It will open a long side the current app at a default 50/50 split which can now be resized.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Metro Apps Suck
by David on Fri 12th Jul 2013 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Metro Apps Suck"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I'll have to take another look. I've only had 8.1 installed for a few days. Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by BBAP
by Bringbackanonposting on Thu 11th Jul 2013 03:52 UTC
Bringbackanonposting
Member since:
2005-11-16

Here is a new concept for MS (sarcasm alert): throw more memory and cpus at it to make it better. That'll fix it!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by BBAP
by Nelson on Thu 11th Jul 2013 11:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by BBAP"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Windows system requirements have remained consistent across what will now be three client releases.

Reply Score: 5

Good to know...
by Tuishimi on Thu 11th Jul 2013 16:28 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...that they are working on performance. It's really a shame that it went down like this. The RT tablets, the ARM platform, would have been quite an accomplishment and a huge seller if they did it right the first time and application support was all-inclusive of its Intel brethren.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Verenkeitin
by Verenkeitin on Thu 11th Jul 2013 17:20 UTC
Verenkeitin
Member since:
2007-07-01

Sounds like an abusive relationship:
Look, Windows lets me change background images and make tiles slightly smaller. I feel so empowered. Sure everything is buggy, slow, ugly and weird, but it's sooo innovative.

I'm hopeful that soon enough we'll have a boom of Linux tablets running Plasma Active, Unity, that Mozilla OS thing, Sailfish, and what ever Gnome has for tablets. Then there's a chance of running something usable and useful on a tablet.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by Verenkeitin
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 11th Jul 2013 19:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by Verenkeitin"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Have you used plasma active?

Its an awesome interface, with a few bugs here and there that occasionally require me to reinstall it ( like the keyboard not working in specific aps after update), possibly due to using it on an Nexus 7.

Reply Score: 2

What is Windows RT?
by WileyT on Fri 12th Jul 2013 16:28 UTC
WileyT
Member since:
2013-07-12

Ok, I don't even know what Windows RT is. Never heard of it. I'm surprised by the lack of reviews and feedback on this site of Windows 8 and 8.1.

I'm a Windows 7, Mac and Linux user and I prefer the Android phones over the Iphone. I'm actually surprised at the people that like the Iphone and as far as I'm concerned the Windows phones died a long time ago.

I'm not ever certain what Windows Surface is, I though it was a new hardware standard for laptops that utilized Windows 8.

Reply Score: 1

I wonder what Windows 8.1 Pro is like
by coreyography on Sat 13th Jul 2013 03:15 UTC
coreyography
Member since:
2009-03-06

I tried to download and install the Pro 8.1 preview for x86, and it failed (well, some things about Windows never change...). I've certainly been disappointed with Windows 8 Pro. Lags (on an i5 dual core), the abrupt and initially unexpected changes between Metro and classic desktop, no "recents" button nor any default way to kill a process that I can see other than putting a task manager tile on the desktop - even my Android devices do this tablet thing better. If 8.1 doesn't improve this situation, I'm going back to 7.

Reply Score: 1

Future of the RT?
by chithanh on Sat 13th Jul 2013 04:06 UTC
chithanh
Member since:
2006-06-18

In related news, Microsoft drops the price of the Surface RT by $150 effective tomorrow:
http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/31919-microsoft-plans-surface-rt-...

Apparently this is done to clear inventory. But the successor (featuring Snapdragon 800 + LTE) is only expected in Fall 2013. It looks like Microsoft expects sales to be slow even at the reduced price.

Reply Score: 1

My problem with MS as a developer...
by reduz on Sun 14th Jul 2013 05:53 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

My problem as developer can be easily resumed with these talks during GDC:

-- Microsoft --

-The OS and APIs seem nice, but DirectX on it sucks. Please add OpenGL ES 2.0 and i'll port all my games to Windows Phone and Windows RT
-But DirectX is the best API, everyone loves DirectX
-Not on mobile, also do you want more apps or not? it's just more expensive for me to rewrite everything ins DirectX.
-Expert developers always chose DirectX over OpenGL.
-Ok, bye, oh is that a Windows Phone 8 Pendrive?
-Yes you can have one, but you have to show you love Windows Phone.
-Here's my Lumia
-Ok, you may take one..
-Wait this is only a 1gb pendrive, shouldn't a WP8 pendrive be 8 gb?
-I guess.. well it's yours.

-- Blackbery --

-Cool, the new Z10 looks awesome, I want to develop games for it.
-Blackberry supports all the standard APIs, C++, OpenGL, Qt, Air, Etc.
-Sounds good, where do I get one?
-Here, take a free Z10.

-- NVidia --

-Shield looks great! how do I develop for it?
-Send me an email i'll send you one.

--

So, basically, everyone wants you to develop for their devices, except for microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

So a lack of OpenGL, no free device, and a USB flash drive are what's holding you back?

For free devices you can request a loaner from Microsoft, or I can even get you in contact with someone I know higher up if you're definitely interested and have a concrete idea. I've seen them give devices out on a case by case basis.

The problem is that with WP7 they gave devices out willy nilly and often didn't see much results. A bright spot is that the Lumia 510 is like $150 and is the most popular Windows Phone in the world, so if you want maximum reach, you should be optimizing for 512MB anyway. I think dropping some cash on a few of those is much more reasonable.

If you're startup oriented there are some Nokia sponsored accelerators with varying degrees of funding, plus there's the MS Startup funds which can probably seed devices and expertise.

The OpenGL thing is unfortunate and the more I think about it and hear concerns the more convinced I become that they need to support it.

Edited 2013-07-14 13:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

So a lack of OpenGL, no free device, and a USB flash drive are what's holding you back?


Actually, free device and usb flash drive I don't really care much about.. I purchased a Lumia while in the states with the hopes of porting my stuff (I develop an in-company 3D & 2D game engine that we use to make plenty of games for our clients, and occasionally license to other companies, and will hopefully be open sourced begining next year).

But writing a 3D renderer is a lot of work, each time I have to port the engine to a new platform that has a different rendering API (like 3DS, PS3, PSVita) It takes me a couple of weeks to get every little detail working, plus optimizing it. Anything else is rather easy to port.

I used to have a DirectX9 backend originally which was the main backend and worked nice, but when the mobile trend started and Macs started gaining more relevance, I just moved everything to OpenGL ES 2.0, which worked virtually everywhere.

So it really puzzles me Microsoft is not supporting this standard. They honestly don't have anything to gain by pushing DirectX at this point as an alternative and OpenGL ES is way too relevant to ignore now, and if they are adding WebGL support to IE11, it's just a bit more work to get there.

Reply Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I think you totally correct on this one. Microsoft needs to come around...

Seriously, every point you made is totally accurate. Their problem (imo) is they thought they would be able to leverage existing Windows game developers (PC and console) to fill their catalog, but the turnout hasn't been stellar.

In hindsight, what would have really helped them is having a good amount of application "parity", i.e. the large catalog of existing and new games being developed for Android and iOS... If they would have catered to that developer audience, they may have gotten at least a few of the bigger publishers to come on board by making it relatively painless for them.

Having exclusive game content is great, but you need the meat and potatoes stuff too. That is where their app catalog is severely lacking - the reality is that there are very few cross-platform developers bothering to even consider Windows Phone and RT as targets because it is the odd duck...

If they make it easy for them it becomes a different value proposition - they don't have to get stellar sales to make it worth their while because it wouldn't require a large amount of time and effort to target for Windows.

The way things are now, with no OpenGL ES, it just isn't worth the time for the established mobile game developers to bother with... Microsoft needs to realize that in this market they are not the 800 lbs gorilla and start acting like it. They spend alot of time and money convincing their own developers (who are already on the bandwagon) to target mobile - but they are not realizing that there are ALOT of developers who don't need convincing - what they need is an appropriate cross platform target.

OpenGL ES won. It has no competition and probably never will in mobile. Microsoft should realize this and get with the program.

Reply Score: 2

kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

It needs applications. And that's still where they are failing, and failing badly, and smaller tiles and a new split view do little to address this core problem.

The irony of this is that Microsoft has always placed a huge emphasis on the developer community.

Yet today, if you look at what developers at start-up's are using, it's almost exclusively Mac on the desktop and Linux on the server, and their all targeting iOS or Android on mobile.

I personally worked on Windows platforms for 15 years of my career but I cringe now at the idea of having to go back to implement Windows software. I mean, even the command line is awkward and I need to install Gow, MinGW or Cygwin to get a decent shell and toolset.

Reply Score: 2

bannor99
Member since:
2005-09-15

According to theverge.com, a 40% price cut for Surface RT tablets should be announced early next week.

Reply Score: 2