Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Mar 2012 22:48 UTC
Windows "Microsoft will finish work on Windows 8 this summer, setting the stage for personal computers and tablets with the operating system to go on sale around October, according to people with knowledge of the schedule." Judging by the community preview, they've got a lot of work yet to do, like, you know, actually making it usable on non-touch devices. What I'm tying to say - pretty aggressive release schedule.
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Another "not usable on desktop" complaint?
by RRockMan on Mon 19th Mar 2012 23:17 UTC
RRockMan
Member since:
2008-11-30

I don't know what to say... I can only repeat: usability depends on how much accustomed you are to an interface. The fact that ALL modern operating systems are featuring the same paradigm over and over in the last years is probably the only obstacle to Windows 8 usability.
Then of course there are types of applications that simply require classical UIs, but do I really have to remind that Windows 8 also has classic UI? Why does nobody acknowledge this? And if it's about "having to switch constantly from Start Screen to classic because there's no start menu", I don't think you used to do much when you had your start menu open, besides... Well... navigating the menu and clicking what you had to. Well it's the same here, what's the difference? I'll tell you what it is: not being accustomed to it.
When you'll have the same years of experience with Metro, we'll be making fair comparisons.

Note: also research all the key and mouse bindings associated with the Metro interface, you're up to some surprises.

Edited 2012-03-19 23:22 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29


Note: also research all the key and mouse bindings associated with the Metro interface, you're up to some surprises.


I've been running the CP on my laptop from the day it was released, thank you very much. I'm very well aware of all the mouse and key bindings. The problem is simply that there is WAY TOO MUCH highly volatile mousing/keyboarding to be done. Even something as simple as switching tabs requires twice as many clicks as before - this starts to add up. Worse yet, though, is how the UI has to be accessed using very volatile mouse movements that fail quite often (esp. on touchpads).

I have so much experience with different kinds of operating systems and UIs it's not funny anymore. This has nothing to do with getting used to things - it's just been badly designed. This is a touch interface - not a mouse and keyboard interface.

Reply Parent Score: 9

RRockMan Member since:
2008-11-30

IMO, these are exactly the kind of small issues that get corrected in the final version, if enough people gives the right feedback. I hope you will!

Reply Parent Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The big difference is the absolute, utter, and complete lack of discoverability!

There's no intuitiveness to anything in Windows 8.

For instance, you power on, boot, and see a pretty picture on the screen with the time and weather. That's it. No login button. No indication that you need to click'n drag to move this lock screen out of the way. No indication that pressing a key on the keyboard will move this screen. Just a pretty picture and a clock.

So you move that out of the way and login. What are you presented with? A screen full of various-sized, multi-coloured boxes with tiny text inside describing the name of the app. No indication that you can start typing to search. No indication that you can scroll the screen horizontally by scrolling vertically with the mouse. No indication that the corners of the screen do special things. No hints of any kind about anything. And no real organisation to anything either.

By some fluke you move the mouse to the right side of the screen and this wierd strip of icons (aka charms) appear. One of them is settings. But it's not settings like a Control Panel that groups all the settings for everything together in one spot. No, it's only settings for the app currently running. So how the hell do you get to the control panel to configure things like networking?

So, you click on a tile in the start screen and an app starts full screen. Okay, so how you interact with the damned thing? How do you get back to the start screen? How do you resize the thing to not be fullscreen? How do you move it around the screen? Again, there's no indication anywhere onscreen for these things. No title bar, no window borders, no maximise/restore button. In fact, no window management at all.

So, how is this "intuitive" or "easy"? It's just different for the sake of different, and doesn't work with a mouse worth beans.

Reply Parent Score: 20

RRockMan Member since:
2008-11-30

This instead is exactly what I mean when I say it requires experience. Likewise, though, I hope you'll write this feedback to Microsoft other than on forums. Because it's very trivial to solve these issues, they just need people to be vocal with them, and not with the rest of the (underground) internet.

Reply Parent Score: -1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

It's simple: Microsoft thought that since we all have tablets now (I know, we really don't) that a touch interface would somehow work on a device with that archaic, last century mouse. I really don't think Metro is ready for daily use on a desktop. A laptop is somewhat of a better fit, but only if it has a large multi-touch trackpad, and not every laptop does.

I think Microsoft deserves an "attaboy" for trying to push the envelope while Apple cranked out the same old interface once again for Lion, but they just went too far with this. I think it would be a lot better if we didn't have the fullscreen Metro apps, and if the Metro springboard were superimposed on the regular desktop Apple-Dashboard-style instead of being full screen. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is to keep the Windows 7 start menu with an icon for launching Metro, which is one click too many.

Now that I've gotten used to Gnome 3, I feel like Microsoft would have a lot to learn from that project. It's still not my favorite interface (long in the tooth as they all are, my top picks are OS X, QNX Photon, BeOS, and Xfce) but I think the Gnome team is on to something good. If they would tweak some font and widget sizes, fix the annoying toast notifications, and clean up some of the useless blank space, they would have a great interface that other projects could learn from.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

For instance, you power on, boot, and see a pretty picture on the screen with the time and weather. That's it. No login button. No indication that you need to click'n drag to move this lock screen out of the way. No indication that pressing a key on the keyboard will move this screen. Just a pretty picture and a clock.


Sorry took me all of 5 seconds to figure out ... I just started typing (which is exactly what you do on 7).

So you move that out of the way and login. What are you presented with? A screen full of various-sized, multi-coloured boxes with tiny text inside describing the name of the app. No indication that you can start typing to search. No indication that you can scroll the screen horizontally by scrolling vertically with the mouse. No indication that the corners of the screen do special things. No hints of any kind about anything. And no real organisation to anything either.


FFS, this really annoys me instead of a start menu which I have to really concentrate on, which is a small area on one of my screens. I get a whole screen ... easier for me to see.

Metro Start bar works exactly the same as Windows 7. Start typing and you it does a search.

By some fluke you move the mouse to the right side of the screen and this wierd strip of icons (aka charms) appear. One of them is settings. But it's not settings like a Control Panel that groups all the settings for everything together in one spot. No, it's only settings for the app currently running. So how the hell do you get to the control panel to configure things like networking?


I have to agree with this ... I am still a little confused to get to these things.


So, you click on a tile in the start screen and an app starts full screen. Okay, so how you interact with the damned thing? How do you get back to the start screen? How do you resize the thing to not be fullscreen? How do you move it around the screen? Again, there's no indication anywhere onscreen for these things. No title bar, no window borders, no maximise/restore button. In fact, no window management at all.


Comon, by now you must know that the Win Key always brings up "START".

So, how is this "intuitive" or "easy"? It's just different for the sake of different, and doesn't work with a mouse worth beans.


I don't have problems.

Most people that have been complaining are those that were complaining the moment they saw the start screen.

Also Restaurant Menus in real life happen to "go full screen" as well and nobody has any problems understanding those.

Reply Parent Score: 2

codewrangler Member since:
2010-01-28

Nice Post! I completely agree with your analysis....Windows 8 is looking like another Vista...but worse...

Reply Parent Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

And if it's about "having to switch constantly from Start Screen to classic


Well, assuming they release some decent applications under Metro (I'm sure they will eventually), it's more about having to switch between classic and metro apps. I haven't used the OS myself yet, but I assume there's a way to ALT+TAB/quick switch between a classic app and a metro app. If not, it's going to suck. And what if you need to have a metro and classic app on the screen at the same time? Is this even possible without dual monitors? This whole having two different desktops in the same OS seems like a clusterf**k of immense proportions. I mean, Linux distros may come with half a dozen desktop environments, but even those guys have enough common sense not to run more than one at the same time ;)

For the record, I don't hate Windows 8, esp since I haven't used it. And I'm even excited about it on tablets and (hopefully soon) phones. But I remain pessimistic about it on desktops ...

Edited 2012-03-20 00:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

And I'm even excited about it on tablets and (hopefully soon) phones.


It's truly a great thing on a phone, and to me it brings the device back to its roots as a simple but powerful communications tool, rather than trying to be a tiny computer. The phone software in particular is nothing short of amazing, and doesn't crash every other call like my last two Android phones. It still has the power to be that little computer too though, with RDP, a robust and perfectly integrated PIM suite, excellent productivity tools like Microsoft Office, and of course some really good games.

It's lacking in some areas, but I think the only three things I miss from Android are drag-and-drop file syncing, tethering and the Draw Something game. Now that I don't carry a laptop anymore, I don't miss the tethering so much, and a game isn't all that important. If Microsoft will break WP7 free from Zune (which from what I've read may happen soon) I'll be fully satisfied with my phone.

Reply Parent Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I haven't used the OS myself yet, but I assume there's a way to ALT+TAB/quick switch between a classic app and a metro app.


I haven't tested ALT+Tab, and the "in-depth" review over at anandtech doesn't mention it (or else I missed it), but they do mention that in the Metro "running apps" list, the "classic desktop" is a single app, no matter how many classic apps you have running.

So, if you have 5 classic apps running in the classic desktop, then switch to a Metro app, there's no way to get back a specific classic app (via the Metro GUI). You have to:
- bring up the running apps list
- click on the classic desktop app
- click on the taskbar icon to switch to the app

If not, it's going to suck. And what if you need to have a metro and classic app on the screen at the same time? Is this even possible without dual monitors?


No. It's either/or. You can only "snap" two Metro apps onscreen at once. Or you can view the classic desktop. But not both at the same time on the same monitor.

Reply Parent Score: 3

fran Member since:
2010-08-06


Then of course there are types of applications that simply require classical UIs


Yeah the tech journos seems to totally ignore the existence of the Windows 8 classical UI, except a few.

Reply Parent Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Note: also research all the key and mouse bindings associated with the Metro interface, you're up to some surprises.


And that's the problem with Metro right there: you have to research all the key and mouse bindings! There's no way to discover them easily while using Metro with a keyboard and a mouse.

This is also my biggest complaint about multi-touch gestures: there's no easy way to discover them.

Reply Parent Score: 2