Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Feb 2014 00:03 UTC
Windows

The reason this happened is that while Sinofsky had the maniacal power and force of will of a Steve Jobs, he lacked Jobs' best gift: An innate understanding of good design. Windows 8 is not well-designed. It's a mess. But Windows 8 is a bigger problem than that. Windows 8 is a disaster in every sense of the word.

This is not open to debate, is not part of some cute imaginary world where everyone's opinion is equally valid or whatever. Windows 8 is a disaster. Period.

Paul Thurrott shares some of his inside information, and it's pretty damning. According to him, Sinofsky's team - even up to his major supporter, Steve Ballmer - were removed from the company after it became clear just much of a disaster Windows 8 was.

I agree with his conclusion: razor-sharp focus on productivity, Windows' number one use. The desktop side of Windows 8.x is pretty good as it is, and has been progressively getting better with every update. I would go one step further than Thurrott. Windows 9 (desktops/laptops) and Windows Metro (tablets/smartphones). These two can still be one product (e.g., connect a keyboard/mouse/monitor to your x86 smartphone and it opens the desktop), but they should be entirely separate environments.

Order by: Score:
Disaster? Depends on your perspective
by WorknMan on Mon 10th Feb 2014 00:15 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Whether or not you consider it a disaster or not depends on your perspective. If you were actually hoping for Metro to fail, then I'd say it was a rousing success ;) Plus, as you say, the desktop side of it is pretty good. Ignore all the Metro crap (Win8.1 lets you disable the hot corners and stuff) and it really is a better OS than Win7. I personally had no issues adjusting to the start screen, but I'd still install classic shell if I had to and use it instead of Win7. Why?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windows_8

Edited 2014-02-10 00:16 UTC

Reply Score: 5

charlieg Member since:
2005-07-25

If you don't want to 'adjust' to the start screen then just in stall Classic Shell:

http://www.classicshell.net/

Open source to the rescue! ;)

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

If you don't want to 'adjust' to the start screen


I already have. It took me about a day to get used to it.

Reply Score: 2

metalf8801 Member since:
2010-03-22

If you don't want to 'adjust' to the start screen then just in stall Classic Shell:

http://www.classicshell.net/

Open source to the rescue! ;)


"Starting with version 3.9.0, Classic Shell is no longer open-source."
http://www.classicshell.net/faq/#general_oss

Reply Score: 4

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

On one hand that is horrible, and on the other, you can see why he'd be pissed that everyone else got paid big $$$ for the Start Menu gold rush, and he got next to zip for it.

It's very much his right to fork his own code private, so now I must thank him for his public service up until that point.

Reply Score: 2

pcunite Member since:
2008-08-26

I personally had no issues adjusting to the start screen, but I'd still install classic shell if I had to and use it instead of Win7. Why?


I installed CS too. How do you feel about search? I had to use FileSearchEX to get any work done.

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I installed CS too. How do you feel about search? I had to use FileSearchEX to get any work done.


Search has been broken since at least Win7, and probably Vista as well. I use an app called Ultrasearch - returns results instantly. There are several apps like this.

Reply Score: 2

Dr-ROX Member since:
2006-01-03

I'm still missing the Glass window decorations from Win7. Plain ones on Win8 look boring and low end.

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I'm still missing the Glass window decorations from Win7. Plain ones on Win8 look boring and low end.


I'll take Win32 'classic' over both of those ;) Unfortunately, they got rid of that theme in Win8, so I just stuck with the default.

Reply Score: 2

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

It is actually REALLY easy to explain what went wrong and frankly its a problem that has been at MSFT since gates was in charge....Windows fixation.

By that I mean for some reason its damned near impossible for them to put out any kind of OS that isn't "Windows branded" and this branding usually fucks things up. Do you see apple calling iOS OSX-LT and making a teeny tiny OSX desktop on the iPhone? Nope but that is what MSFT did for the better part of a decade with WinCE, and what was the W part of WinCE? Why Windows of course!

If they would have simply made TWO Operating Systems, Modern OS for tablets and phones and Windows for traditional desktops and laptops? Nobody would be having this conversation, Windows 8 would have been Win 7 with more speed ups and Modern could focus on the tablet/phone without jamming in another stupid desktop...but no, because then they couldn't stay "on brand"!

What MSFT needs to accept if they are gonna go any direction but down is that Windows is NOT a brand, its simply a kernel to steal a bit from the Linux faction. Nobody gives a rat's butt what kind of Windows they have, hell many don't even know, all they care about is their WINDOWS PROGRAMS so the name "Windows" should NEVER EVER be used on a platform where Win32 programs don't run, ever!

But instead we'll get Win 9 which I bet will still have Modern crudely bolted on like a dying elephant on its back, WinPhone and WinTab will stay dead last and have high returns because again folks see Windows and think "Alright my Windows programs will run!" and get pissed when they don't, when all they would have to do is copy Apple and Google and have 2 OSes.

Reply Score: 6

phobox Member since:
2011-12-07

I think you are partly correct. Microsoft made a number of mistakes with Windows 8, but the Modern UI and the philosophies behind it arent the issue, its how they are implemented is the biggest problem followed closely behind by a severe lack of quality apps. A simple way to make Win8 much more palatable for normal desktop and laptop users would have been to present the standard desktop by default on traditional hardware and the Start Screen by default on touch-based hardware. The transition between the two interfaces then needs to be a lot smoother than it currently is. The *idea* of how Modern apps work and how they are usable by anyone that owns a Windows device is actually a very good one, just implemented badly. If Windows is to succeed in the current market, they need a number of things. 1. Much closer parity with Windows Phones, apps should be easily portable between Windows tablets running Win8 and Windows Phone. 2. Drastically improve the Modern UI transition and implementation for traditional desktops and laptops. 3. Rename Windows RT... its a terrible and confusing name that means nothing to its potential consumers. 4. Improve the quality of the apps in the store, incentivise high quality apps and promote them heavily in the Store. Currently the Store promotes largely junk apps that only serve to damage an already suffering experience.

Now putting aside the end user experiences (Which is what this entire debate is currently focused on), if you look at the Modern stuff from a technical perspective its actually very good and follows along the same lines as Apple and Google's work with their platforms. In short I think Microsoft have the right idea here, in fact I think they always have good ideas but they suffer when it comes the implementing those ideas... almost all their products suffer in that regard to some extent.

To be honest I really hope the executive reshuffle at Microsoft improves matters, not just with Windows but with the company as a whole. Traditionally the different groups/divisions at Microsoft have worked independently of each other and this way of working has hurt them massively going forward. The markets have changed, peoples expectations have changed, but Microsoft has always had trouble keeping up with that. There needs to be an alignment within Microsoft, a renewed focus from every team on creating great products that work together as opposed to against each other. If they can get that right, Windows not only has a chance to succeed but maybe even excel against mounting competition in all markets.

Reply Score: 2

this is what is happening:
by sergio on Mon 10th Feb 2014 00:17 UTC
sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

NOTHING.

Like in any other desktop OS, the real innovation is over, desktops are a dead technology. All the creativity forces are centred in mobile OS like Android or iOS.

The only difference with Microsoft is that they have to keep doing big "changes" to their desktop OS to justify the migration to the their new versions... Windows is one of the more important profit sources for the company (just incredible cause OS are a commodity now).

Microsoft should keep their desktop OS alone (and do small incremental changes like Apple do with OSX) and create a separated OS for the mobile devices where focus their innovation forces. If not, they will lose both markets.

Reply Score: 4

RE: this is what is happening:
by ssokolow on Mon 10th Feb 2014 01:10 UTC in reply to "this is what is happening:"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

NOTHING.

Like in any other desktop OS, the real innovation is over, desktops are a dead technology. All the creativity forces are centred in mobile OS like Android or iOS.

The only difference with Microsoft is that they have to keep doing big "changes" to their desktop OS to justify the migration to the their new versions... Windows is one of the more important profit sources for the company (just incredible cause OS are a commodity now).

Microsoft should keep their desktop OS alone (and do small incremental changes like Apple do with OSX) and create a separated OS for the mobile devices where focus their innovation forces. If not, they will lose both markets.


So are car UIs (steering wheel, pedals, gear shift, etc.) and refrigerators dead technology too?

Please use honest terminology. The desktop paradigm is finally reaching true maturity. It's only "dead" if your business depends on planned obsolescence.

Edited 2014-02-10 01:11 UTC

Reply Score: 18

RE[2]: this is what is happening:
by WereCatf on Mon 10th Feb 2014 01:27 UTC in reply to "RE: this is what is happening:"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

So are car UIs (steering wheel, pedals, gear shift, etc.) and refrigerators dead technology too?


In relation to this, non-electric/non-hybrid car engines are pretty much considered mature stuff and if we went by OP's claims they'd also be considered "dead technology." Yet, there's still every now and then some new improvement thrown in somewhere -- nothing flashy, not something that would immediately be visible to someone looking at the thing, but still inherently important, like e.g. eliminating piston rings ( http://www.motoring.com.au/news/2013/aussie-invention-eliminates-pi... ) could be.

Sweeping, large-scale flashy changes versus mature tech with precise refinements? I prefer the latter.

Reply Score: 6

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

How about flappy-paddle gearbox?

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Agree fully, WereCatf. Different paradigms should trace different routes. These paranoic "changes of UI's" obey to cattle control and corraling. Obey too to 'inversionist inflation'.

Edited 2014-02-10 15:36 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: this is what is happening:
by p13. on Mon 10th Feb 2014 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: this is what is happening:"
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

Or pneumatic valves for the mainstream, as koenigsegg (sp?) are now testing on a trusty old b203 (ecotec based) engine.

Edited 2014-02-10 20:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: this is what is happening:
by sergio on Mon 10th Feb 2014 01:32 UTC in reply to "RE: this is what is happening:"
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

Well call it as you want: mature, dead, commodity, ecc.

The truth is: nobody cares about desktop OSes, desktop PCs or anything related with them.

Mobile is where the things are happening. Like it or not.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: this is what is happening:
by shmerl on Mon 10th Feb 2014 02:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: this is what is happening:"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Nobody as in Apple and MS? They indeed seem to care way less about desktop these says. I think it's a great opportunity for desktop Linux to fill the gaps. With all this craze about mobile, the need for desktop systems didn't go anywhere (it just doesn't grow as fast as the mobile usage). They are still needed and will be needed. So projects like KDE have a lot of opportunity while their direct competitors are too distracted with the mobile rush.

Reply Score: 6

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I think it's a great opportunity for desktop Linux to fill the gaps. With all this craze about mobile, the need for desktop systems didn't go anywhere (it just doesn't grow as fast as the mobile usage). They are still needed and will be needed. So projects like KDE have a lot of opportunity while their direct competitors are too distracted with the mobile rush.


The sad thing is that, while Apple and MS are in a mad rush to dumb down the desktop experience in order to appease the iTards and other illiterates who have clung to mobile like stink on shit, Linux DE's might've been a refuge for power users, but it seems that they too are heading in the same direction as everybody else. Let's rip out as much functionality as we can in order to make it more of an 'elegant' user experience. I remember KDE being pretty awesome in the old days, even if it was rough around the edges; it had a lot of potential. Not so much anymore ;) Don't even get me started on Gnome.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: this is what is happening:
by shmerl on Mon 10th Feb 2014 02:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: this is what is happening:"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I moved from Gnome to KDE around the time when Gnome was moving to version 3 since I didn't like the direction it took (oversimplification as you pointed out). In KDE however I didn't notice anything the like up until now (4.11). Their mobile effort (Plasma Active) while sharing the codebase with desktop Plasma Workspaces, uses different design approach and they don't try to mix the two like Gnome does.

Reply Score: 5

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

'a la touch'
has nothing to do with Desktops...

Leave the touch for the 'kioskos'
and the drawing interfaces.

Touch is not good even for the cash machines.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: this is what is happening:
by Hiev on Mon 10th Feb 2014 02:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: this is what is happening:"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

If the users sopposely can't stand Windows 8.1 that is 95% like Windows 7, what makes you think they will accept KDE?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: this is what is happening:
by shmerl on Mon 10th Feb 2014 02:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: this is what is happening:"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Windows is nowhere near to KDE in flexibility. Nothing even to compare. So I'm not sure how relevant the relation between Windows 7 and 8.1 is in the context of Windows vs KDE. My point was, that while MS stopped focusing on desktop, basically neglecting any long term plans because of the mobile rush, KDE remains focused on it. So it gives them an advantage.

Edited 2014-02-10 02:49 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[6]: this is what is happening:
by Hiev on Mon 10th Feb 2014 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: this is what is happening:"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

But some users don't want flexibility, they just want to get their job done and be able to install the software they need to work, like office, photo shop, etc. macs are not flexible, yet, they are very popular, so I don't think that is what they are looking for, and what is that flexibility KDE offer? configure the shell is nice, but not really a killer, it is actually good to make a video an put it on youtube, that is why is so popular among teenagers, but other than that ain't nothing but a good slogan.

Edited 2014-02-10 02:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: this is what is happening:
by shmerl on Mon 10th Feb 2014 02:57 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: this is what is happening:"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

If the desktop environment stands in the way of their productivity, they naturally can look for alternatives. I've heard complaints from people about Metro and etc. which caused them so much frustration, up to prompting to try completely different operating systems for their everyday needs. So it's not an unreasonable assumption that usability setbacks in Windows benefit desktop Linux directly.

Edited 2014-02-10 02:57 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: this is what is happening:
by ddc_ on Mon 10th Feb 2014 04:01 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: this is what is happening:"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

But some users don't want flexibility, they just want to get their job done [...]

I just can't get why this statement is so popular. If people don't want flexibility, they may still use the flexible product without using its flexibility. And it is plain silly to say that people can't install Windows software on common linux distributions these days - everyone competent enough not to be scared away from PC by the idea that he needs to install office is equally able to do so under both Windows and linux distribution of choice without any major issues.

The real reason people are not migrating from Windows to Linux is that all this "Windows became so bad" whinning is about some pretty minor issues that are not worth time that would be spent on figuring out a workaround. People on large just enjoy complaining and are terrified about any opportunity to do so.

Reply Score: 11

DancingMoose17 Member since:
2014-02-10

Win 8.1 is certainly not 95% like Win 7. You are dreaming.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: this is what is happening:
by Hiev on Mon 10th Feb 2014 05:21 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: this is what is happening:"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Prove me wrong, let me read your arguments.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

KDE is a desktop, Windows......well, no one knows what Windows is any more. A desktop is still there but it wants so desperately for you to use this other thing and the two don't fit together.

Edited 2014-02-10 20:26 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: this is what is happening:
by Nelson on Mon 10th Feb 2014 02:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: this is what is happening:"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

There are serious questions being raised now around mobile. Namely that tablet sales seem to have peaked and mobile phones is starting to decelerate as the market matures.

The future growth lies in other categories.


In the long run, the key is to be on as many screens as possible in a hyper connected world, service vendors (and as a result software shops like MSFT) will rule the roost.

Perhaps not with explosive profits, but certainly with less volatility. Devices is a high risk, high reward game.

In the long run we're all dead though. 😉

Reply Score: 3

DancingMoose17 Member since:
2014-02-10

Nobody cares about desktop? Then Microsoft is just saying goodbye to the about 27% of all personal computer users that still use XP. (That info comes from Avast!)

I don't believe that any company, even one of the richest, can afford to kick about 360 million customers
in the head and say something like "effyu we don't want your business." That's what MS is doing, and it won't serve them well.

So, given that Nadella is all about Mobile & Cloud, I don't think he can last, because it looks like we are getting more of the same "MS hates its customers" -routine that we are rather tired of by now.

Even Abbott and Costello could run MS better.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: this is what is happening:
by Brendan on Mon 10th Feb 2014 09:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: this is what is happening:"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Nobody cares about desktop? Then Microsoft is just saying goodbye to the about 27% of all personal computer users that still use XP. (That info comes from Avast!)

I don't believe that any company, even one of the richest, can afford to kick about 360 million customers
in the head and say something like "effyu we don't want your business." That's what MS is doing, and it won't serve them well.


The normal problem with new OSs (e.g. where you can't just rely on backward compatibility) is that you don't get market share until there's good apps, and people don't write good apps until there's market share. It's a "catch 22" thing. For example, if Microsoft created a "mobile only" OS then it'd have no applications and probably die.Note: There are exceptions to this - e.g. if you're the first in a completely new market

By forcing metro onto their existing desktop users they break the "catch 22" problem - there's already market share for desktop, so developers are more likely to write metro apps, which help to get mobile/smartphone market share. They also annoy their desktop users, but this is irrelevant...

For years now, for a new version of Windows the biggest competition is previous versions of Windows. This means that Microsoft can completely screw up a version of Windows without actually losing much (any?) market share, because users that don't like the new version just keep using (and keep buying) the older version.

I don't think Microsoft made a mistake with Windows 8 at all. I think it was a deliberate strategy to use a monopoly in one market (desktop) to improve their chances in a different market (mobile/smartphone), that had a "low risk" theoretical disadvantage (e.g. less people upgrading to Win8 and more people continuing to buy Win7).

- Brendan

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: this is what is happening:
by Lorin on Mon 10th Feb 2014 05:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: this is what is happening:"
Lorin Member since:
2010-04-06

That is only true if you are a parasite sucking data without creating anything

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: this is what is happening:
by maxz on Mon 10th Feb 2014 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: this is what is happening:"
maxz Member since:
2012-06-30

The truth is: nobody cares about desktop OSes, desktop PCs or anything related with them.

Mobile is where the things are happening. Like it or not.

Bullshit! While *YOU* don't care about desktop OSes, desktop PCs or anything related with them, many people still do and even more people rely on them for everyday work. Some even without knowing they do, they are just an invisible part of our everyday life.

Nobody cares about your bed or apartment door either. Still, they are products you use, everyday, AND they evolve, albeit slowly since they matured long ago and big leaps in innovation comes further apart then.

"Where it is happening" is not only positive it is also synonymous with unstable, expensive TCO and unreliable.

You are not the first one to claim the desktop to be dead, nor will you be the last, but let me assure you, you are wrong. The desktop will live on for quite some time and development will continue. No matter what you nay-sayers claim. Like it or not.

Many people still do the bulk of their work at a dedicated workplace, not while sipping a latte at some coffee shop.

So stop trolling the forums. If you want to live in the illusion that mobile is the only thing that matters, good for you, I hope you live blissfully ignorant from hereon. The rest of us that know that desktops and mobile are not mutually exclusive technologies, but rather slightly overlapping complementary technologies come to OSnews for an enlightening discussion. Your fanatical opinions does not contribute to that.

Reply Score: 11

RE[3]: this is what is happening:
by Fergy on Mon 10th Feb 2014 10:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: this is what is happening:"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Well call it as you want: mature, dead, commodity, ecc.

The truth is: nobody cares about desktop OSes, desktop PCs or anything related with them.

Mobile is where the things are happening. Like it or not.

Could you support that with arguments and facts?

Just stating your opinion without that is useless.

Reply Score: 4

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Well call it as you want: mature, dead, commodity, ecc.


Yeah, because those are all interchangeable terms (facepalm).

The truth is: nobody cares about desktop OSes, desktop PCs or anything related with them.


"Nobody"... other than those of us who use them as tools to get work done, instead of dicking around on on Twitter & Facebook all day long.

Mobile is where the things are happening. Like it or not.


Translation: mobile is more compelling to hangers-on & wannabe-geeks who only care about the current hip, new flavour-of-the-month - and who view anything else is "old" and "boring." These are invariably people who lack the ability to properly understand what makes a technology interesting - so their only criteria for "interesting-ness" becomes "does it give me new, shiny toy to play with?"

Tell you what, son: come back when the userbase of all mobile OSes COMBINED has at least managed to surpass Windows XP (or when mobile OSes have finished playing catch-up to the capabilities & UI of Windows 95). Maybe THEN, people might actually take your "desktop is dead" claims seriously.

Reply Score: 9

allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"NOTHING.

Like in any other desktop OS, the real innovation is over, desktops are a dead technology. All the creativity forces are centred in mobile OS like Android or iOS.

The only difference with Microsoft is that they have to keep doing big "changes" to their desktop OS to justify the migration to the their new versions... Windows is one of the more important profit sources for the company (just incredible cause OS are a commodity now).

Microsoft should keep their desktop OS alone (and do small incremental changes like Apple do with OSX) and create a separated OS for the mobile devices where focus their innovation forces. If not, they will lose both markets.


So are car UIs (steering wheel, pedals, gear shift, etc.) and refrigerators dead technology too?

Please use honest terminology. The desktop paradigm is finally reaching true maturity. It's only "dead" if your business depends on planned obsolescence.
"
Windows 8 represents a new direction from Microsoft. App store and convergence at the cost of users' productivity.

Trends:
1. MS competitors offers desktop as a free download
(Windows still dominates the desktop, no worries)
2. Microsoft with Windows 8(along with their new vision) will sell you Windows desktop
(using traditional approach(keyword: Expensive))
3. Sell Windows mobile licenses to device manufacturers
4. MS Competitors release their Mobile OSes as free.
5. MS is still contemplating to follow trend #4.

Trend #3 did not work for Microsoft, and I don't think trend #2 will still work for Microsoft in the future. They need to focus more on their apps and services on top of a Windows desktop or server and develop strategic plans for mobile devices.

So I think the O.P. have a point. Even how great Windows 8 features will be, Microsoft's competitors are not sleeping. Windows is only good to be the "RIGHT" choice for businesses who have legacy applications and can't get away from Windows, yes in our lifetime. But for startup companies, there are better options than what Microsoft can offer.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: this is what is happening:
by bnolsen on Mon 10th Feb 2014 18:58 UTC in reply to "RE: this is what is happening:"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Cars and refrigerators aren't computer operating systems. People regulary drive cars 10+ years old and use refrigerators 10+ years old and typically don't replace them unless they wear out and break.

I guess you could argue that desktop computers are getting more like cars and refrigerators to the point that people use them until they break and don't upgrade them just for fun anymore.

Reply Score: 5

RE: this is what is happening:
by WereCatf on Mon 10th Feb 2014 01:19 UTC in reply to "this is what is happening:"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Like in any other desktop OS, the real innovation is over, desktops are a dead technology.


Don't be ridiculous. Just because there are no new totally-flashy features don't mean they're "dead." Desktop OSes are now considered mature and that means development related to them is mostly refinement of features as opposed to throwing in a heap of new features.

All the creativity forces are centred in mobile OS like Android or iOS.


Hardly. All I see is them following the same steps as desktop OSes did, with addition of heaps of stuff every major release just to see what sticks. Also, don't forget that touch-based smartphone OSes don't have all the decades of development behind them that the desktop OSes do; of course there's going to be much more stuff happening there since it's still so raw!

Reply Score: 9

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

In fact, Apple does allow us to run their OS on non-apple hardware.


Since when? I have not heard of Apple changing their stance on this.

Reply Score: 6

Colonel Panic Member since:
2005-07-28

Not "legally" of course but many do indeed run OS X on their PCs and it is very easy to do so, is extremely stable due to the fact that Apple's hardware is "mainstream" Intel stuff. I've personally used it for years on my custom built PC and it just keeps getting easier and better by the year.

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Of course I know you can run a Hackintosh, but the OP claimed Apple themselves somehow condone of this behaviour. Quite obviously they do not, they want people to run OSX on Apple-hardware.

Reply Score: 3

Colonel Panic Member since:
2005-07-28

Yes, that is a shame. I think they would do better to license it.

Reply Score: 2

allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"In fact, Apple does allow us to run their OS on non-apple hardware.


Since when? I have not heard of Apple changing their stance on this.
"

It's a typo error. It is unfortunate that the typo is not obvious.
Is that the reason why I'm downvoted?
The reason is that I've lost and composed my response three times.
I think its a Firefox bug. I accidentally make Firefox in offline mode and when I click the submit button, Firefox complains being in offline, and I lost all my typed texts.

Reply Score: 0

RE: this is what is happening:
by Morgan on Mon 10th Feb 2014 02:34 UTC in reply to "this is what is happening:"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Apple has committed to never pulling a "Windows 8" and merging iOS with OS X, and I agree completely with that line of thinking. It would be an unmitigated disaster; Macs are too important to artists, musicians, and other creative types to ever become a mobile-oriented touch based bastardization. While it's possible to be creative to a degree on an iPad or iPhone with the stripped down versions of iLife apps, the level of control and versatility offered by a traditional desktop, with traditional desktop apps, is impossible to match in a constrained mobile interface.

One of my favorite web comic artists, Jeph Jacques of questionablecontent.net, uses a 24" Cintiq 24HD device to draw his comics. He recently acquired a Windows 8 based Cintiq Companion tablet to be able to draw on the go, and he tested it for a week[1]. He was only able to even use it for drawing because it was a full Windows 8 machine, not RT; he was able to use the desktop version of Photoshop to draw his comics. A Metro-only device for content creation would have been utterly ludicrous.

If Microsoft could only understand what Apple already knows, we might not have the Jekyll-and-Hyde that is Windows 8, and would instead have a very solid desktop OS that Windows 7 users would flock to, and a decent tablet OS that Windows Phone users would feel at home on.


[1] http://jephjacques.com/post/75089366264/wacom-cintiq-companion-impr...

Reply Score: 8

RE: this is what is happening:
by Soulbender on Mon 10th Feb 2014 13:09 UTC in reply to "this is what is happening:"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

NOTHING.


The case seems to be that too much is happening.

All the creativity forces are centred in mobile OS like Android or iOS


Yeah, all those ripoff remakes of 80's games are sooooo innovative.

Microsoft should keep their desktop OS alone (and do small incremental changes like Apple do with OSX)


Oh, yeah mean like Apple's enormous changes between OS9 and OSX?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: this is what is happening:
by ezraz on Mon 10th Feb 2014 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE: this is what is happening:"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

"NOTHING.


The case seems to be that too much is happening.

All the creativity forces are centred in mobile OS like Android or iOS


Yeah, all those ripoff remakes of 80's games are sooooo innovative.

Microsoft should keep their desktop OS alone (and do small incremental changes like Apple do with OSX)


Oh, yeah mean like Apple's enormous changes between OS9 and OSX?
"


Too much of nothing is happening in the development of desktop OS's and apps. I agree that there's no excitement here - the only fun is watching MS lose it's 95% market share over the years. The hot-shot developers and the big development money is not on huge desktop apps - everything I know of is either mobile or web-based.

If you think the only thing happening in mobile is retro game ripoffs I suggest you spend some time browsing the apple app store. I can promise there are things mobile is doing that the desktop user could only dream of.

He's right that if MS just improved Windows a little bit every year and focused on the cubicle monkeys and the IT nerds, and avoided trying to out-cool Apple or out-hack android, they would maintain that monumental market share. Being safe, corporate, and just stable enough is Windows niche.

You needing to go back 15 years to Apple's transition from OS9 to OSX to make a point? Since shipping the first (incomplete) OSX client in 2001, Apple has done steady updates. None of them have been massive changes, they have all been incremental. Check this out (bigger updates):

08/31/97: Rhapsody dev preview
03/16/99: OSX Server 1
09/13/00: OSX public beta (includes OS9 classic layer)
03/24/01: OSX 10.0
09/25/01: OSX 10.1
08/24/02: OSX 10.2
10/24/03: OSX 10.3
04/29/05: OSX 10.4 (PPC and Intel CPU's - Intel drops OS9 classic)
10/26/07: OSX 10.5
06/09/08: OSX 10.6 (dropped PPC w/o Rosetta)
10/20/10: OSX 10.7
07/25/12: OSX 10.8
10/22/13: OSX 10.9

The things that people complain about in Win8 most is lack of consistency. Most of the obvious, daily stuff in Apple's OS's have been the same, in the same place, accessed the same way, since the early versions. Of course 10.9 can do much more than 10.1, but they do things in arguably the same way.

That old Steve-Jobs' Apple might be the best big company at massive conversions of technology -- they survived going to a whole new OS on a whole new kernel and moving their entire product family over to a different CPU architecture.

Reply Score: 2

RE: this is what is happening:
by grat on Mon 10th Feb 2014 19:12 UTC in reply to "this is what is happening:"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

No one wants innovation on the desktop. For years, every one immediately dialed back their GUI to "classic" mode, and the screams when Microsoft didn't offer a classic mode were heard for light-years in all directions.

For that matter, there's very little innovation on the mobile space, except for how to get more money from the customer.

I would argue iOS and Android aren't really that far removed from PalmOS 15 years ago-- Prettier, flashier, more capable, but the fundamentals are the same.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: this is what is happening:
by bassbeast on Tue 11th Feb 2014 16:12 UTC in reply to "RE: this is what is happening:"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I'd go one better and say the ONLY reason why anybody cares about mobile ATM is thanks to ARM's frankly shitty IPC (look up the numbers and you'll see ARM has less IPC than a Cedar Mill Pentium 4 from 2006) what we are seeing with mobile is just what we saw with X86 only on steroids, its another MHz war.

Remember how the MHz war ended? It ended because the MHz wars switched to core wars and X86 became so insanely powerful that Joe and Jane average can't even stress that C2D they bought in 2006, much less anything newer. heck is there even any games that won't run just fine on a first gen C2Q or Phenom X4?

I predict within 2 years, maybe even less, ARM wil reach the same place that X86 reached and become so overpowered that Joe and Jane again won't be able to stress it and mobile will be just like the desktop now, with "is this the end of the smartphone/tablet?" stories and pundits predicting its death. oh and PLEASE don't start bringing up Retina displays and the like because ya know what? if folks actually cared about insane-o resolutions DVDs wouldn't be outselling Bluray by such an insane margin and netflix would be out of business.

So enjoy it while it lasts mobile fans, because you'll soon be in the same boat as the PC. Heck we are already seeing nice dual core tablets in the $70 USD range and quads for $130, when that drops to $30 and $70? Same boat, mark my words.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: this is what is happening:
by zima on Wed 12th Feb 2014 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: this is what is happening:"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

So what will you sell next in your shop? ;)

Reply Score: 2

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

"The Networked Life" which is a fancy way of saying combining HTPCs and office boxes with Android devices and Wifi so that the person has instant access to their entertainment wherever they are in their home at the touch of a button.

That said I'm also working on a new album with my band so who knows, maybe I can finally quite working on tech completely. Then maybe I could get an EU tour, play rockstar and give Werecat and Thom backstage passes, that would be cool.

Reply Score: 2

v ...
by Hiev on Mon 10th Feb 2014 00:57 UTC
RE: ...
by segedunum on Mon 10th Feb 2014 20:28 UTC in reply to "..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm afraid people spinning the same record that there is nothing wrong have become the trolls.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: ...
by Hiev on Mon 10th Feb 2014 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Why?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by Anonymous Penguin on Mon 10th Feb 2014 22:55 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I couldn't agree more. I have that very problem in my forum.

Reply Score: 2

Paul Thurrott is wrong
by VistaUser on Mon 10th Feb 2014 02:20 UTC
VistaUser
Member since:
2008-03-08

Sinovsky was right in that Windows needed to change.

As far as I can see, he also saw that the first change wouldnt be ready, and no "corporate" version was planned.

In free desktop terms Windows 8 is like KDE 4.0 - or probably a better analogy, Gnome 3.0 - there is a shift going on and the whole system needs to adapt to it.

KDE 4.0 and Gnome 3.0 were both lambasted. The Latest KDE release is seen as pretty stable and useful by its users while the latest Gnome is also finally reaching its own vision in which it is comfortable (3.10 is pretty good and 3.12 should be quite good).

In the same way, windows 8 was the first step of a paradigm shift. It wasn't complete (8.1 converted a few more areas, but not all of them) and there will be a few more adjustments on the way (8.1 update 1 will allegedly return the desktop to greater prominence... like the extensions added to gnome in 3.8 for classical desktop).

I fully expect Windows to return to being fully useable again soon - it just sucks for the middle steps as its a full paid for product (which demands that it ought to be ready when it is sold) and not a free desktop product where you have choice.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Paul Thurrott is wrong
by DancingMoose17 on Mon 10th Feb 2014 05:05 UTC in reply to "Paul Thurrott is wrong"
DancingMoose17 Member since:
2014-02-10

Sorry, you are wrong. One does not use customers as punching balls. You also do not see that in this day and age, there are more and more "middle aged" computer users that want something that works.

(i agree that a 18 to 28 year old geek who does not care about anything else thinks it's cool and funny if stuff crashes, fumbles, bumbles, etc...)

But we, the older people, have gone through MSDOS and Win3.11 and Win95, and we have had our fill of stupid experiments that go nowhere, and want "SOMETHING THAT WORKS".

It may take you another 30 years to come to that same conclusion, but by then it's too late.

Reply Score: 8

Puppy Linux
by dionicio on Mon 10th Feb 2014 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Paul Thurrott is wrong"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

My motto for Puppy Linux
is "Finish your work".

Reply Score: 0

RE: Paul Thurrott is wrong
by Fergy on Mon 10th Feb 2014 10:37 UTC in reply to "Paul Thurrott is wrong"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

In the same way, windows 8 was the first step of a paradigm shift. It wasn't complete

Sounds like Windows 8 was used as a free usability test.

You use your desktop different from a phone and you use your phone different from a tablet. Desktop is best, tablet is worse, phone is the worst. The only place where phones and tablets are better is form factor. If you could use your phone the same way you use your desktop everybody would do that.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Paul Thurrott is wrong
by Soulbender on Mon 10th Feb 2014 13:18 UTC in reply to "Paul Thurrott is wrong"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Sinovsky was right in that Windows needed to change.


Indeed. The "Start" menu had to go. It really did.

As someone who only recently got to use Windows 8 (8.1 actually) I must say....I don't see what people are complaining about.
Sure, it's not an entirely smooth experience and the tile stuff is obviously better suited for mobile but come on, the sky isn't falling.
Underneath the tiles it's still the same Windows that we love (or in my case, don't love).
I've been more annoyed by how incredibly awkward it is to connect to Ad-hoc WiFi networks in 8.1 than I have been annoyed at the interface.
Then again, I like Ubuntu Unity so I'm obviously some kind of mutant.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Paul Thurrott is wrong
by p13. on Mon 10th Feb 2014 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Paul Thurrott is wrong"
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

I like unity too.

^5!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Paul Thurrott is wrong
by bassbeast on Tue 11th Feb 2014 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Paul Thurrott is wrong"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

No it "really" didn't. Sure most folks didn't use the start menu daily but when you needed to find something its logical layout was easy to follow, whereas Win 8.x is like a shotgun blasted the settings all over the place.

To use an analogy... lets say you are a candy company and sales are down because your product is mature and folks are watching their weight, so you decide to toss your "boring" candy line for liver and onions candies. Now you can say "liver and onions candy is good for you" all day long but if the folks don't want to actually buy liver and onions candy? Well then you are gonna end up out of business because you are gonna take down sales and kill what sales you had left!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Paul Thurrott is wrong
by blueX on Mon 10th Feb 2014 23:52 UTC in reply to "Paul Thurrott is wrong"
blueX Member since:
2014-02-10

You're right in how tech needs time to mature and that paradigm shifts/shifts in strategy is harder to see trough. When and how you execute the change (if viewed from the eyes of a business/organization) has a huge impact on the customers view of the product (and the organization).

For me, KDE (or KDE SC since that's important to some people) have proved to be a great DE with few bugs since I installed it at v4.0. When I was introduced to linux and had to choose, I tried both at different times (KDE3.x and Gnome 2.x somethingsomething i think), and simply found I wanted the choice. Nuff bout that.

When KDE decided to rebuild everything from scratch and start at 4.0 for their "betatesting'ish," people weren't happy. Maybe KDE made the wrong choice and all they got for not following naming conventions where 3.9-3,999 before it was production-quality left them with a reputation for unstable and buggy software. Maybe to some, this decision made sense, as they communicated that this was a "beta" release of sorts, and the distros didn't care but packed it anyway. For me? I read the statements/comments/blogs and saw people wanting to kill each other over the mess that I never comprehended. (To my defence I was running Gentoo, so I simply didn't use +semantic-desktop or what it was called, so I only hit a few bugs as far as I recall.)

What the state of GNOME 3.x is atm, IDK. However, both KDE and GNOME is OS/free etc. and Windows[TM] is not.

Microsoft and innovation is the key in all of this. I personally have only experienced W8 for about 10minutes, enough for the guy at the stand to tell me about the basic features and telling me how to fill in the user/impression feedback form so I could be competing for a win8 tablet. So, W8 for tablet wasn't bad, but I kept thinking, what were THEY thinking... Sure this is good on a tablet and my friends that have a nokia W8 loves it, but syncing upstream with desktops as well?

Innovation is more than just "developing product A". Sure, the traditional meaning goes like "Ford made the assembly line" and "Tesla (Edison) invented AC", but innovation is way more than that. Can it be called innovation to release small incremental updates to a products? Sure, the Iphone was an innovation, but can you call Iphone 2,3,4x,5x an innovation? Mabye, to some extent, but every company with a product need to look at their product(s) and better it before bettered by the competition.

In innovation, the business model is one of your basic tools, and in that process, you want to start by assessing your customer base. Who is our customers? What customer segments do we serve? Should we stop serving some part of our customer base? These are questions that _NEEDS_ to be asked, identifying your customers is probably the most neglected part of the business model process ever!

For MS/Win: The (main) customer segment for windows looks specifically to be Thom's "conclusion: razor-sharp focus on productivity", aka business segment and people using their PC for tasks related to work/productivity, shouldn't that be their main focus?

When hearing about building contracters about to reducing partners in their supply chain from 300 to 30 in order to focus on the partners supplying the goods and services they need that can also guarantee the goods and services be delivered at the time they promised, it's mind-boggling hearing about MS that announces a plan to introduce yet another "one-fits-all" OS...

They couldn't fit everyojne with one product even if they got it right, so why bother? Starting with the basics, get your market segment picking sorted out, and leave the rest to someone else (perhaps the Wphone team?) and focus your forces on YOUR customers. Need more profit? MS should rather ask "is the price right"? From a business perspective, if you offer a low price product to a customer that came walking into your store expecting (very) high prices, they won't tell you (atleast not until after their purchase). It's all about asking the right price for the right product. One product fits all would boil down to $99 for WPhone, WTablet and WDesk and WWorkstation (and by extention WServer and WCloud). You don't make the same product for desktop and server, sit down and think about WHY you are making the "same" product for mobile and desktop. Unity across products? R&D cost? R&D is justified if the products is differentiated and/or the "price is right" (depending on product).

I'm not saying that MS should ditch mobile, gamers, the people that just browse the web and watches youtube now and then, I'm just stating that MS should take a real look at where their money come from, and even though there is an emerging market (phone/tabs) that they desperately want to be a part of (trends is also ofc a important post in a business plan/business model), I'm just saying that from the article quoted, MS, despite their size and numbers of workers, have failed to assess their market(s) and neglecting all of them instead following the profitable choice of focusing on their main segment - productivity/professionals (maybe even going as far as saying neglected as far as metro is concerned).

I'm sorry about the wall of text, what was intended to be a shorter comment turned out to be something hard to walk away from half way trough... I'm just a student at a business school in Norway, so please don't judge my POV's and my language skills too hard ;) (though please write me a PM and point out where I failed in the art of grammar and that stuff ;) would be much appreciated).

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 10th Feb 2014 02:46 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

It is worth noting which team is actually enacting these changes: The Windows Phone team. They're in charge of Windows now. Terry Myerson is arguably (along with Elop who heads Devices) one of the most powerful people inside Microsoft now.

So where are we now? The creators of Metro making adjustments to Windows itself to improve the situation for traditional desktop users. This isn't some grand capitulation in my opinion. We'll know more at BUILD especially given that they're speaking on Windows 9.

My guess would be more seamlessly integrating Metro into the Desktop to form a more cohesive experience and also fleshing out WinRT and Metro.

While Sinofsky and co (imho reasonably) concluded that a universal input paradigm could suffice, its obvious that the new bosses feel otherwise. Sinofsky was process driven to a fault one might argue, but I still strongly believe that there's nothing inherently wrong with WinRT for complex applications.

The app model might be a little underdeveloped for such scenarios, but that's nothing that cannot be remedied.

I think PT is being a little dramatic here, but I suppose we'll see. I try not to gather too much from incomplete leaks.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Nelson
by DancingMoose17 on Mon 10th Feb 2014 05:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
DancingMoose17 Member since:
2014-02-10

If you are so smart, then tell the mysterious forces called: Terry Myerson and Elop, that

there are several target markets in PC software and devices :

1) Desktop and Laptop ( the 360 to 450 million 'dead technology users)

2) Business Users (they want stuff that works as intuitively as possible, cheap, and safe and secure, got it?)

3) Tablet and Pad users (I don't know what they want, but replace "egomaniacs" with "market research" and
you might find out, eh?)

4) Cellphone Smartphone users (Ask Iphone and Android
users what they like about Iphone and Android, and then go from there.

5) GAMERS, XBoX users (well, MS at least got that market pretty much figured out).

But once you realize that there are approximately 5 different key markets, then you could actually turn
MS around again. Isn't it miserable when great companies go bad simply because the top mgmt has gone bonkers? yes it is.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by segedunum on Mon 10th Feb 2014 20:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You can't integrate Metro into the desktop and Microsoft will either eventually learn that or ultimately die, because they're killing Windows.

They are two completely different ways of working. It's why OS X and iOS are separate and why Chromebooks won't get too far until Android has a desktop itself.

Microsoft are not going to foist a touch interface on people in order to bolster application support and give them a shoe into the mobile market. It just isn't going to happen but that's been Microsoft and Ballmer's broken record for over ten years now.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 11th Feb 2014 01:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I think that's a whole lot of "true because I say it is" and not enough factual information.

The fact that a thoughtful merger of the two environments hasn't happened doesn't mean that it will never happen, or that it is an end that Microsoft isn't perusing down its roadmap.

I don't think Windows has taken a hit in its share, and Windows 8 probably hasn't impacted the PC market negatively. Windows 7 was still available and the market was still in a tailspin, and Windows 8 can't explain that.

I think what we witnessed is that maturation of a market after a nice solid ten year run. Now its just going to level off.

The same will eventually happen to mobile as well, explosive growth wont continue forever.

In the long run there will just be screens. How much of the end to end stack you control will decide your fate. Microsoft owns the cloud datacenter, the language, the IDE, the OS, the services, and the hardware.

They will be present on each of the dominant ecosystem in a feature matrix of the above.

Reply Score: 2

In the future...
by dionicio on Tue 11th Feb 2014 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

We will say:
"Chandler, would you like to play some chess?"
But evolution says that
future depends on a viable present.

Reply Score: 1

tomz
Member since:
2010-05-06

Someone brought up KDE/Gnome. The key is that it is an either-or. I can get most linux distros as either, or maybe even both with xfce, ldxe, and a few others, but it doesn't try to mix and match.

Google didn't reinvent Linux, they adopted and added a layer.

Windows ended up as a two-headed monster, in such a way that you needed both heads. Maybe requiring two monitors would have helped. Right now to use the old Dr Jekyll, the other UI must hide. (has no one thought of a Metro window?).

Another problem is on the developer side. Just as Apple is objective C, Microsoft is C#. It was their answer to Java (when they couldn't pollute it to be windows only). But that makes a walled garden. Much of as is a core which has the important and critical parts. That requires to be recoded thrice.

Blackberry might stage a comeback since they run apks.

Speaking of ecosystems, the XBOX is not WPhony is not PC (and the attempt at ARM whatevers the surface was supposed to be). Hawaii, the Galapaos Islands and New Zealand are not collectively an "ecosystem".

Reply Score: 4

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Blackberry might stage a comeback? In what universe? Android app support is a liability, not a benefit.

Reply Score: 3

benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

With MS struggling competitively with their OS, look for them to force more anti-competitive mechanisms on users to retain their marketshare. UEFI was just the start.

Reply Score: 3

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Most of the things that make Windows 8 suck are part of that scheme. Ballmer saw Jobs milk his users for 30% of every transaction through the App store, and decided this was the future. Metro is just an attempt to enable an app store for Windows applications. Thankfully, all Metro apps are shit on the desktop (and on laptops for that matter), so that part of the plan seems to have failed.

Reply Score: 3

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Most app stores don't really make that much money, especially relative to their infrastructure costs and transaction expenses / payouts, etc.

It certainly wasn't over 30% of a 1.99 app of which the majority are free.

Reply Score: 3

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Apple's makes a fair bit. If Microsoft managed to do 30% on every Windows app, they could retire the OS and live off the store alone.

Reply Score: 3

meh
by Moochman on Mon 10th Feb 2014 09:39 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'll have to agree to disagree with Thurott that MS should ignore consumers. I also don't agree that the new desktop-style minimize etc. buttons are a big problem. But I definitely agree that Sinofsky built a big mess and MS is going to have a lot of trouble digging themselves out...

IMHO MS is doing the best thing they can do right now, which is to allow Metro apps to be integrated into the desktop workflow and increase the desktop's usability from a touch perspective. What many people don't seem to understand is that Microsoft's vision for the future of interaction sees the mouse as legacy - and indeed, a combination of touch and stylus truly does suffice to make it so.

The challenge now is to get third-party developers on board with this vision, as well as all of Microsoft internally heading in this direction. Unfortunately up until now there was so much infighting and politicking inside MS that there was hardly any chance to deliver this vision cohesively, much less to convey it as a uniform message to developers.

If MS truly believes in a mouse-free world they need to deliver a Surface with an OS and Office suite to match that completely does away with the need for a touchpad or mouse input of any kind. Along with this they need to deliver solid developer UX guidelines and tools for achieving mouse-free capability in desktop-class apps. They sure would make things easier on themselves too if they were to open up WinRT to non-Store apps so that developers can rely on a single SDK regardless of their needs (instead of the current split personality disorder of three completely separate and different SDKs of MFC, WPF and WinRT).

Edited 2014-02-10 09:40 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: meh
by acobar on Mon 10th Feb 2014 18:03 UTC in reply to "meh"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

What many people don't seem to understand is that Microsoft's vision for the future of interaction sees the mouse as legacy - and indeed, a combination of touch and stylus truly does suffice to make it so.


And what many do not understand is that touch and keyboard/mouse, even if they have a lot of overlap, are also complementary. Most of us have huge monitors on our desk and keep our head and shoulders more then 60 cm from the monitor to heave a comfortable vision of the screen. It would be a bit pain prone to use our computers for long hours having only "touch" to interact on this condition.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: meh
by Moochman on Tue 11th Feb 2014 07:57 UTC in reply to "RE: meh"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Keyboard yes, mouse I don't think is necessary... Just because you are used to positioning the monitor right in front of your head doesn't mean a solution where it is tilted up towards you on the desk in front of you (a la Wacom Cintiq) isn't just as viable...

Edited 2014-02-11 07:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: meh
by WereCatf on Tue 11th Feb 2014 10:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: meh"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Keyboard yes, mouse I don't think is necessary... Just because you are used to positioning the monitor right in front of your head doesn't mean a solution where it is tilted up towards you on the desk in front of you (a la Wacom Cintiq) isn't just as viable...


With the display positioned standing up it takes a lot less space, meaning that you can use the desk for a lot of other things too. Many (most?) people have the tendency of keeping whatever papers or whatnot they're working on in front of the display for easy reference.

On the other hand, the Wacom Cintiq is generally placed as the fore-most item on the desk, even displacing the keyboard to the side. It's suitable for tasks where you only need to work with a stylus, but once you need to start working on data input with a keyboard the setup immediately becomes a whole lot less suitable. Also, as has been said and as should be immediately obvious, using the display with a stylus or touch requires you to keep waving your hand in the air and that's quite tiring.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: meh
by Moochman on Tue 11th Feb 2014 13:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: meh"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

...what's tiring IMHO is this "tiring" argument. You don't need to "wave" your hand around; we're not talking about freehand gestures here. It's not any more tiring than the kind of pen-and-paper-based interaction we've managed to get along with for hundreds of years, and touch, in particular multi-touch in combination with a stylus, has the potential to be much more intuitive and efficient than a mouse. Check out e.g. this demo from some folks at Microsoft Research and maybe you'll begin to be able to glimpse the potential:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sTgLYH8qWs

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: meh
by WereCatf on Tue 11th Feb 2014 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: meh"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

and touch, in particular multi-touch in combination with a stylus, has the potential to be much more intuitive and efficient than a mouse. Check out e.g. this demo from some folks at Microsoft Research and maybe you'll begin to be able to glimpse the potential:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sTgLYH8qWs


I see a lot of large movements of hands, also requiring the use of both hands for operation, whereas with a mouse you barely move your wrist and click a button -- both with only one hand. In other words, a lot more physical activity is required for the same tasks on the touch-screen, and you're losing the freedom to use your other hand simultaneously for something else. And as I mentioned earlier, there's no room in front of the display for any documents or anything, requiring all of that to be relegated to the sides.

Touch may be more intuitive, but in general a mouse is more efficient.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: meh
by Moochman on Wed 12th Feb 2014 05:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: meh"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06


I see a lot of large movements of hands, also requiring the use of both hands for operation, whereas with a mouse you barely move your wrist and click a button -- both with only one hand. In other words, a lot more physical activity is required for the same tasks on the touch-screen, and you're losing the freedom to use your other hand simultaneously for something else. And as I mentioned earlier, there's no room in front of the display for any documents or anything, requiring all of that to be relegated to the sides.

Touch may be more intuitive, but in general a mouse is more efficient.


I think your definition of "efficient" is a bit off. Using a mouse may require a smaller range of physical movement, but in terms of time needed to complete a task it is generally slower, as its single-click input modality tends to require a lot of mode switching - either via a toolbar, where buttons are significantly slower to target via mouse than when using touch, or via keyboard shortcuts, which while potentially approximately the same speed as multi-touch gestures are harder (take a longer time) to learn and in general are only employed by a minority of "expert" users.

As for the argument about having room for documents, that's a good point but within a few years probably more or less moot. More and more documents are moving to digital-only, and for the niche case where you absolutely must have hard copies near at hand you can just prop them up on a stand behind the touch surface. Admittedly most people don't have such document stands on their desks currently but then again neither did desks used to come with holes and guides for computer cords... as the need arises for a different kind of desk setup it shouldn't be too hard to adapt.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: meh
by MadRat on Wed 12th Feb 2014 05:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: meh"
MadRat Member since:
2006-02-17

Touch requires me to reposition my hands, often both. I had 300+ options with mouse and keyboard with minimal hand repositioning. Anybody that thinks touch is more efficient is being ignorant.

The tablet works okay with touch because of the low input demands when using a dumbed down GUI.

Reply Score: 3

GUI natural selection?
by theosib on Mon 10th Feb 2014 15:07 UTC
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

There have been many paradigm shifts in computing technology that many people erroneously thought were going to fail before they succeeded. And there have been many more that came as a surprise to most people because they required an entirely new way of thinking that most of us didn’t have.

Microsoft has correctly seen the need to support tablet devices. It’s a huge market. There’s also a market for “convertable” devices where you can remove or hide the keyboard. Apple took a bifurcated approach from the start, making it so that, basically, Apple will never produce a convertable. One of my colleagues would love to get an Apple that let him switch to pen mode, but instead he’s stuck using his Lenovo. Microsoft tried to do total convergence and made the mistake of putting a tablet OS on the desktop, and that has caused a lot of trouble. Total convergence under the hood is a good idea, but at the UI level, a touch interface on the desktop doesn’t work any better than any of the earlier products that put desktop Windows on a tablet.

It would be wonderful to have a unified platform that allowed us to use the same apps in both formfactors. This way, you can have a convertable device and feel comfortable in both modes. The solution to that would require usability genius that I don’t have. And there might be too many problems forcing app developers to support two paradigms. We all know how so many Windows apps break horribly when all you do is set accessibility to use large fonts. It’s just as bad when you switch look-and-feel for Java Swing apps. UI layout engines and developers just aren’t that flexible.

Anyone who solved that problem would either make billions or they would fail because nobody wants to take the risk of adopting yet another GUI toolkit.

Reply Score: 4

RE: GUI natural selection?
by dionicio on Mon 10th Feb 2014 16:57 UTC in reply to "GUI natural selection?"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Microsoft is right in Market Evaluation.
Microsoft is wrong in believing
that "dressing" his Desktop OS
will make it for all of the new Segments.

In reality,
biggest Microsoft mistake here
is trying to 'unify' the user experience.

This costly 'cattling experiment'
-in my view-
is going nowhere.

Edited 2014-02-10 17:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: GUI natural selection?
by ezraz on Mon 10th Feb 2014 18:10 UTC in reply to "GUI natural selection?"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20



It would be wonderful to have a unified platform that allowed us to use the same apps in both formfactors. This way, you can have a convertable device and feel comfortable in both modes. The solution to that would require usability genius that I don’t have. And there might be too many problems forcing app developers to support two paradigms. We all know how so many Windows apps break horribly when all you do is set accessibility to use large fonts. It’s just as bad when you switch look-and-feel for Java Swing apps. UI layout engines and developers just aren’t that flexible.

Anyone who solved that problem would either make billions or they would fail because nobody wants to take the risk of adopting yet another GUI toolkit.



You are right - it would be the best of both worlds. Apple could do this in one version upgrade, if they decided to. It's just corporate policy and design decisions getting in the way.

iOS is a subset of OSX. If Apple tells OSX to launch iOS Apps it would, and you could easily use the multi-touch inputs of OSX to control those apps.

I bet Macs inside Apple Inc. run iOS apps all the time. They keep this goody from us. I always thought the widgets would become iOS apps docked on your mac.

Plus couldn't any number of people make a desktop linux that runs android apps, either in a separate monitor or as a layer on top of the linux UI?

BTW - as a developer I say go for it! More coding needed means more employment for all. If you could write a touch and non-touch app as a single code base that would be solid.

Something close is the workgroup database FileMaker Pro 13 with FileMaker Go for iOS. You can develop your database and have windows clients, osx clients, iOS clients, and web clients seeing the same interfaces, or branch them however you choose.

Edited 2014-02-10 18:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: GUI natural selection?
by ichi on Mon 10th Feb 2014 18:49 UTC in reply to "GUI natural selection?"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

It would be wonderful to have a unified platform that allowed us to use the same apps in both formfactors.


I don't know how well that'll go, but Canonical seems to be trying with their Touch UI and Unity moving to Qt.

Reply Score: 3

UI Design
by cpuobsessed on Mon 10th Feb 2014 15:19 UTC
cpuobsessed
Member since:
2009-06-09

What MS should have done is leave the desktop and allow the "Modern/Metro" UI as an added feature that user can choose to install instead of forcing it on them but still have the WinRT installed by default so they can run Store Apps if they choose.

The start menu was a mess regardless, why are programs arranged in that messy way? Organize by function makes more sense.

Reply Score: 5

RE: UI Design
by Bobthearch on Thu 13th Feb 2014 14:50 UTC in reply to "UI Design"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

You can organize and rearrange the Start menu however you wish.

Reply Score: 2

The Modern PC.
by theTSF on Mon 10th Feb 2014 15:54 UTC
theTSF
Member since:
2005-09-27

The problem is Microsoft is not getting what the landscape for the Modern PC is. It isn't like the old days where everyone has and needs a PC, to do every little task out there. We have tablets for that now. The PC has grown up to be more serious of a device. Software Development, CAD, Crunching Numbers, Graphics Design, and still High End Games. For the most part the PC isn't needed for Grandma, or Liberal Arts majors to write a paper, or even browsing the web and playing simple games. The PC today is needed for professionals, and we need an OS Designed for professionals. Less cutesy stuff and more focus on performance. Better usage of multiple/larger displays. Being able to trim down to be a lean mean calculating machine, improved task management, and windows placements and resizing. Heck I am still want to re-size any window and give me an option to shrink the information so it fits in the smaller window.

Reply Score: 4

RE: The Modern PC.
by ezraz on Mon 10th Feb 2014 20:26 UTC in reply to "The Modern PC."
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

The problem is Microsoft is not getting what the landscape for the Modern PC is. It isn't like the old days where everyone has and needs a PC, to do every little task out there. We have tablets for that now. The PC has grown up to be more serious of a device. Software Development, CAD, Crunching Numbers, Graphics Design, and still High End Games. For the most part the PC isn't needed for Grandma, or Liberal Arts majors to write a paper, or even browsing the web and playing simple games. The PC today is needed for professionals, and we need an OS Designed for professionals. Less cutesy stuff and more focus on performance. Better usage of multiple/larger displays. Being able to trim down to be a lean mean calculating machine, improved task management, and windows placements and resizing. Heck I am still want to re-size any window and give me an option to shrink the information so it fits in the smaller window.


I totally agree with this. WIndows and OSX should be the future big screen OS's. The 90's are long gone. Everything has looked good on a laptop or a 21" monitor for years.

It still comes down to input method and screen view distance. The new Mac Pro desktop at least builds in multiple 4k and thunderbird2 outputs so you could really put together a monster system using LCDs or projection, and you can power it all quietly with a single fan.

I haven't upgraded to mavericks yet to see the new multimonitor features, but that, along with multitouch gestures on the desktop (either trackpad or sensor) is where the next 5 years of the desktop is. Monster workstations with all kinds of video and routing, as small and quiet as possible. Storage is probably external or SAN.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The Modern PC.
by ezraz on Mon 10th Feb 2014 20:28 UTC in reply to "The Modern PC."
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

The problem is Microsoft is not getting what the landscape for the Modern PC is. It isn't like the old days where everyone has and needs a PC, to do every little task out there. We have tablets for that now. The PC has grown up to be more serious of a device. Software Development, CAD, Crunching Numbers, Graphics Design, and still High End Games. For the most part the PC isn't needed for Grandma, or Liberal Arts majors to write a paper, or even browsing the web and playing simple games. The PC today is needed for professionals, and we need an OS Designed for professionals. Less cutesy stuff and more focus on performance. Better usage of multiple/larger displays. Being able to trim down to be a lean mean calculating machine, improved task management, and windows placements and resizing. Heck I am still want to re-size any window and give me an option to shrink the information so it fits in the smaller window.


I totally agree with this. WIndows and OSX should be the future big screen OS's. The 90's are long gone. Everything has looked good on a laptop or a 21" monitor for years.

It still comes down to input method and screen view distance. The new Mac Pro desktop at least builds in multiple 4k and thunderbird2 outputs so you could really put together a monster system using LCDs or projection, and you can power it all quietly with a single fan.

I haven't upgraded to mavericks yet to see the new multimonitor features, but that, along with multitouch gestures on the desktop (either trackpad or sensor) is where the next 5 years of the desktop is. Monster workstations with all kinds of video and routing, as small and quiet as possible. Storage is probably external or SAN.

Reply Score: 1

Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

What need was Microsoft addressing when it redesigned Windows 7 into Windows 8?

I cannot see what improvement Windows 8 brought to desktop users. What's way easier or much better in how Windows 8 does desktop stuff compared to Windows 7? Nothing.

How well does Windows 8 address the needs of tablet users in a touch UI environment? Not very well because of the desktop cruft that's bolted onto the touch environment. And in a market where Microsoft was a distant third behind two big incumbents who continue to evolve and innovate their products just being good is not good enough, you have to be way better in order to catch up and get traction in the market. Windows 8 touch wasn't even good.

The real question that Windows 8 answered wasn't a question that any consumer or customer has ever asked (and it shows) it was a question that Microsoft asked, which was how can we use our desktop OS dominance to leverage an advantage in tablets/touch and catch up with the incumbents.

When you start asking questions and addressing needs that are not those of your customers you have to be very careful because in such a situation it's very easy to end up doing something that just alienates customers. Which is precisely what Microsoft ended up doing.

The weight, heritage and strength of Windows, the legacy desktop OS, is irrelevant to touch based devices. Windows the desktop OS, in in the twisted weird guise of Windows 8, will never answer any questions or meet any needs of customers using touch based devices.

It looks increasingly likely that all Windows 8 did was blow any residual chance Microsoft had of gaining traction in the tablet market and at the same time it hastened the decline of the Windows desktop PC market. No wonder Sinofsky, Ballmer and co had to go.

Reply Score: 5

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Microsoft's need is to find a way to grow in a saturated market. So windows8 wasn't created for the benefit of the users, it was created for the benefit of microsoft, to try to make existing users upgrade and get them more money.

Obviously it hasn't worked out quite as well as they planned, but it doesn't seem like they've lost their foothold in the still somewhat lucrative desktop market.

Reply Score: 5

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

This is a very good analysis of the issues, problems and opportunities facing Microsoft.

http://stratechery.com/2014/microsofts-mobile-muddle/

Reply Score: 2

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Windows 8 Metro is nothing but an iPad clone-response. In case that is not was not clear for everyone yet.

Reply Score: 2

snowbender
Member since:
2006-05-04

I don't like Windows 8.1, but only because of the user interface.

I don't necessarily hate Metro, but they should have integrated it differently in the "desktop" version of Windows. The traditional desktop should have been the main interface, while leaving the Metro interface easily accessible. Instead of forcing it on people and making them feel completely disoriented. At least that is how I felt when I tested Windows 8. An OS (with desktop environment or shell) is typically something that should just work and let people do the things they wanna do... it should never ever get in the way. The goal is not to use an OS, the goal is to use programs for work or entertainment. By making it so different to use than the previous version of Windows, it does get in the way and a lot of people do not have the time, the energy, the will or the urge to re-learn how to use their OS efficiently.

I am personally not very fond of the new look of Windows 8.1. I think it's really way too plain. Still, I had a similar feeling with the default look of VS2012 and VS2013, compared to VS2010, and in the end, after a while, I ended up getting to like it.

But... I am really impressed with what Microsoft has done with Windows Server. Windows Server 2012R2 can be administrated completely through the command-line with PowerShell. I've been studying PowerShell a bit lately and I'm really impressed with it. I'm a developer, not an administrator, but I've always had an interest in system administration (mainly linux though).

So, even though I think that Windows 8 is a fail when it comes to the GUI, it might not be bad "under the hood". PowerShell on the clients can also be used for client administration and I think that from a sysadmin point of view, there can also be advantages with Windows 8. And for sure I'd rather work with the newer Server versions of Windows instead of with the older ones.

Edit: Oh.. one remark on Windows Server though... why oh why does the core install start an old-fashioned "dos prompt" instead of a nice modern PowerShell prompt upon login? Most likely, the admin will launch a PowerShell session anyway....

Edited 2014-02-10 21:14 UTC

Reply Score: 7

Turning point
by acobar on Mon 10th Feb 2014 21:23 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

Soon our mobile devices will be powerful enough (hardware wise) to be used as "good" desktops by the majority.

It means people will just "dock" them (probably just will place it on top of something with no need to wire connections) grab a keyboard with a touch pad on it, turn on the monitor (or tv) and do the things we do on desktops. It was already tried but the tech was not good enough then. I hope it will work like our current virtualized OS guests, where you can just start the proper interface (i.e., a two OS approach, well, actually three if you count the supervisor) and may even have extra processing power available on the dock.

This is probably the reason MS is so afraid. It has nothing to do with "Desktops" death, this will not happen, but with the fact that whoever control the mobile space will end up controlling also the desktop.

Reply Score: 4

Why complain now?
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 11th Feb 2014 00:38 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

I don't recall Paul complaining too much when Microsoft forced Metro crap (Start "screen", "Charms" bar, Metro-style notifications) upon desktop Windows users. So why all the rage now that the reverse is happening?

Microsoft adds "close" buttons to Metro apps and mouse-oriented context menus and he has a fit. Hey, if they would just give us the option to use the *real* Start menu NOW they wouldn't even have to touch the Start screen, and for some reason I get the idea that by adding a close button to Metro apps they're just getting them ready to run in windows on the desktop.

Maybe Microsoft thinks the Metro-style "apps" will look better/cleaner/whatever on the Windows desktop with their own integrated and Metro-themed close buttons, instead of using the standard desktop window manager's title bar. Who knows, but in either case I don't think it's that big of a deal, and as long as us desktop users have to deal with this Metro crap, these changes might actually be beneficial.

On the other hand... the taskbar in Metro and Metro apps... I agree with him 100% on that one. What the FUCK were they thinking?!? For the same reason it was a braindead idea to integrate such Metro-ifications as the above-mentioned Charms bar, Start screen and others into the desktop, it is equally retarded (if not more so) to try to tack the taskbar onto the Metro side. Just when you think Microsoft has peaked with their mind-blowingly retarded ideas, finally went on decline a bit in terms of pure stupidity, and seemed to have hit a plateau of semi-decency, here they are with yet another one. As usual.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why complain now?
by Luminair on Tue 11th Feb 2014 18:37 UTC in reply to "Why complain now?"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

He's complaining now because he installed the leaked 8.1 update a few days ago and sees how the new leadership is reversing everything that was done to make Windows bad.

Reply Score: 2

their overall vision is correct.
by graig on Tue 11th Feb 2014 06:15 UTC
graig
Member since:
2010-09-18

their biggest mistake was to visibly join both metro and windows immediately.

they should have got people to love metro FIRST, and then join it fully later.

i don't think that windows 8 is a mistake.

i think their vision of computing is the correct one.

i have a macbook pro right now. but i would love it if it was just a screen that i could stick into my backpack and either use bluetooth keyboards or an on screen keyboard. apple doesn't make a mac like that, only their tablet. microsofts surface is a very cool product. they just need to continue to focus on making it cooler. in a couple of years a surface tablet will have more power than you can get in a gaming console. heck you'll just take a computer like that with you.

Eventually people are going to want a more full featured computer/tablet. and that's where microsofts vision makes the most sense.

i think that laptops will become less popular, and tablets will become more popular. i use my iPad way more than my laptop now. the laptop is heavy. the only time i really use it now is when i need to do some real photo editing.

like it or not in 10 years hardly anyone is going to have desktop computers. children won't even know what a mouse is. Track pads and maybe even keyboards will be a thing of the past. Touch screens are the future of interfacing with computers. it happened to phones. it's now happening to laptops and desktops. This will eventually destroy everything that doesn't have a touch screen. I think apple will eventually see this and release a touchscreen tablet mac. The next computer i buy will have a touch screen.

Reply Score: 3

No Clear Winners
by MadRat on Tue 11th Feb 2014 07:06 UTC
MadRat
Member since:
2006-02-17

I really don't see iOS taking over the world any more than Surface or Android. Desktops are clearly still necessary for redundant storage no matter which tablet you choose. Cloud storage is going to die off as soon as one of the bigger players has a major cough and several million users lose their life investments of data.

Surface is pretty cool if you come from the Windows centered user base. It sucks if you are an apple user. Surface really is capability wise a huge step up from iPad. It's a little less step up from Android tablets, but still vastly better for the majority of desktop users. Microsoft clearly has a better position to move forward in my opinion.

iOS is easy to use. It's cute. It just works. It's crippled. I cannot do much power user stuff on one save for using terminal services to a real desktop, workstation, or server. It's storage limitation is the Achilles Heel. Why in 2014 does Apple still artificially kill external storage cards on iOS? Why in 2014 does Apple still make it painful to use office type applications on iOS devices? It's a real buzz kill.

Android is cute. It accepts external memory. It accepts real CLI. It's a good stab at Microsoft. But it's still lacking seamless printer support. It still lacks the feel of a power user OS. It's applications are more geared for phones than tablets. I still cannot grab a copy and install it over an old Windows install since it doesn't use the same file systems. It still lacks a desktop for using it with a mouse.

If someone really wanted to crush Microsoft they'd leach their traditional users. Support the old Win16 and Win32 aps in a seamless emulator that just works. Support a modest level of Win64 at least up to the XP64 or Vista eras. Create an install you can drop over an NTFS partitioned hard drive that can co-habitate with an old XP, Vista, or Win7 install. Wouldn't that be ironic it ran the Windows binaries to keep compatibility for applications? Life support for an old OS without reinventing everything.

Reply Score: 4