Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Sep 2012 20:16 UTC, submitted by Bob Stein
Windows ActiveWin.com has just posted their 45-page, 40-screenshot review of Microsoft Windows 8. The review covers many different aspects of the OS including performance, security, application compatibility, and more. "Is Windows 8 a hit or miss? It's a hit, it is clearly Microsoft's most bold development in years, it probably beats out the transition from Program Manager (Windows 3X) to Windows 95, the move from Windows 9x to the NT Kernel. The Windows 8 platform represents so many things: truly touch centric, support for modern processor architectures, fast and fluid as Microsoft puts it and also represents where the majority of the world is heading when it comes to computing, entirely mobile."
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Touch on a desktop machine just doesn't work
by saso on Wed 26th Sep 2012 21:34 UTC
saso
Member since:
2007-04-18

And before the smart boys come and proclaim that I only say so because I haven't tried it, let me state clearly, that I have. I sat in front of a Windows 8-equipped 27'' touch screen Dell machine and after a half hour of usage with my arms somewhat strained I concluded the absolutely frustrating experiment.

1) The sensation of swiping your finger across anything more than 2-3'' is f'ugly... There is a small amount of body grease underneath the finger on which the finger slides. However, after dragging for 4-5'' this is all gone and your finger essentially start stuttering, squeaking and heating up due to friction. Not a nice feeling.

2) Coherent text input is extremely clumsy. A narrow (about 10'') virtual keyboard appears on the bottom 1/4 of the screen and even doing something as simple as typing "osnews.com" into the address bar on a software keyboard at arm's length took me about 20-30 seconds. Not to speak of the fact that the software keyboard was about 15'' away from the field I was typing into, so I either could look at the keyboard, or at the input field (to see what I was actually typing), or continuously shift between the two nearly every other letter.

Also, to reach the screen one has to sit unnaturally close to it, which means that the screen stretches out of one's active field of view. As a result, I had to constantly move my eyes and head around to see various parts of it. This wasn't all that terrible, but the screen felt definitely too big for touch controls (also tried on an equivalent 24'' - a little better, but still too big).

3) In most apps, half of the gorgeous 27'' beyond-HD screen was taken up by inert colorful bars which did nothing but provide huge thick frames. Such a waste of pixels is near criminal.

4) The 70/30 apps split was nearly useless. Anything docked in the "30" part is unusably narrow. Sites in IE looked too crammed, and most other apps collapsed information to a few lines (on a display that is about a foot high...). Also, there's no method (at least I haven't found one) to put two tabs side-by-side in IE. Thus most fixed-width sites (like OSNews) look like a thin sliver in the center of the screen with huge white areas two each side.

5) Maximum number of tabs in Metro IE is 10. I kid you not. In 2012 on a machine with 8GB of RAM. Seriously Microsoft? In all Metro IE feels like taking the Android browser and blowing it up to 27'' screen sizes. It's like taking a cute little squirrel and blowing it up to the size of a truck. Functional? Sort of. But definitely not something you'd want to deal with on a daily basis.

6) To bring up the actions bar in e.g. Windows Store, or the address bar in IE (both of which sit at the bottom of the screen) you need to swipe in from the top edge of the screen. You heard right. Swiping in from the bottom does nothing.

Thus I conclude that this UI was clearly intended for tablets/smartphones, not desktops. It just doesn't scale.

Edited 2012-09-26 21:37 UTC

Reply Score: 10