Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th May 2012 22:49 UTC
Windows For weeks - if not months - I've been trying to come up with a way to succinctly and accurately explain why, exactly, Windows 8 rubs me the wrong way, usability-wise. I think I finally got it.
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RE[6]: um
by freeweaver on Wed 16th May 2012 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: um"
freeweaver
Member since:
2012-05-16

Why? Is there some reason why you can't use Windows 7? Is the release of Windows 8 somehow forcing you to move to a new OS from your old one?

I personally will just continue using my Windows 7 as I have done until now and wait for 3rd parties to solve the issues I have with Windows 8.



As you've suggested elsewhere, Metro is a future path for microsoft. They won't just dump the paradigm after pushing it so forcefully on people, else they'd be a bit silly.

So when people say that they may as well move to Linux, or, Lignux as i'd like to call it, they are saying that they do not want to use the metro interface for the foreseeable future of desktop computing, which is going to be around far longer then just Windows 8.


Oh, I wish that was true. But well, just recently I upgraded the Ubuntu-installation I had running to the newest release. It started out fine, but then the installation seemed to stall. I waited for a while, then clicked on the small arrow that brings up the terminal-window and guess what? There it was, waiting for me to input stuff. Later on when the installation finished Ubuntu needed a restart, but not surprisingly things went wrong again: the system refused to boot, it would only hang there with unmountable root filesystem. Turns out there was a bunch of modules and other packages missing.

And this was all on a very standard Ubuntu installation, I hadn't even so much as installed any custom themes on it. The only things I had installed were compilers and their relevant dev libraries. No new kernels, no binary-only drivers, no nothing like that.

My point is that I *still* often have to resort to command-line to fix stuff that gets broken for no good reason.



I don't understand your point here? You are suggesting that the command line is still needed right? but then you go on to give an example where the broblem was a geeky one - upgrading the OS. As a geek myself, I have NEVER come across any "normal" users that upgrade their OSs, have you? Usually they just ask someone like you or me to do it, right? So I fail to see where your example has merit. Perhaps you could give another...



That would be true in a parallel dimension, possibly, but in this dimension there is nothing stopping Joe Blow from just sticking with Windows 7. And when he buys a new PC he will just learn to use Windows 8, complain about it for a while, and then do nothing about it in the end.

And why not just learn a different OS? after all, we can see from the unprecedented growth of all things free and open source, that Microsoft is struggling to keep the "competition at bay.

I, as a geek have converted many, many computers over to Linux. The "normal" users computers I converted have become second nature to them, just like you say will happen for windows 8 converts.

So considering all this, why would you not suggest its a good idea to switch OSs? because its nothing to do with "ease of use".

Edited 2012-05-16 12:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: um
by WereCatf on Wed 16th May 2012 15:34 in reply to "RE[6]: um"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I don't understand your point here? You are suggesting that the command line is still needed right? but then you go on to give an example where the broblem was a geeky one - upgrading the OS.


There is nothing geeky about it. Ubuntu asks clearly if you want to upgrade and all you need to do is click on a button and enter your password.

As a geek myself, I have NEVER come across any "normal" users that upgrade their OSs, have you?


Yes, multiple times. Not with Windows, no, but Ubuntu, yes.

And why not just learn a different OS?


Why are you asking me? I'm not telling them not to, I'm just saying that they won't. Two completely different things. Besides, Linux simply does not work for everyone, it's not a panacea to everything possible computer-related.

So considering all this, why would you not suggest its a good idea to switch OSs? because its nothing to do with "ease of use".


I didn't suggest such. I just said it won't happen.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: um
by Dave_K on Wed 16th May 2012 15:51 in reply to "RE[6]: um"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

I don't understand your point here? You are suggesting that the command line is still needed right? but then you go on to give an example where the broblem was a geeky one - upgrading the OS. As a geek myself, I have NEVER come across any "normal" users that upgrade their OSs, have you? Usually they just ask someone like you or me to do it, right?


Potential Linux users aren't necessarily going to have someone who'll do everything for them. I don't know anyone who could help me with my Linux problems, but pretty much everyone knows a Windows user able to install, upgrade and configure the OS. Even if there isn't anyone who'll sort it out for free, they can always take their PC to a local computer shop if it's running Windows.

I'm a pretty experienced computer user, but as more of a GUI fan than a CLI junkie I often still find using Linux a real challenge. I think I must have spent at least 50 hours trying to install and configure Linux on my Thinkpad, and I still haven't got it 100% working. At the moment I'm struggling with a kernel module dependency problem that's stopping me from using a particular configuration utility.

I've never managed to get Linux running properly on any system without at least a good few hours of research and tweaking. There are still lots of things accomplishable with a few mouse clicks in Windows that require the CLI and config file editing in Linux.

My point is that Linux's "ease of use" is a very thin veneer over a complex OS. Even "normal" users can be exposed to its complexity if they haven't got their own personal sysadmin on hand. People often struggle with Windows, despite easy to follow GUI based help to guide them through screenshot by screenshot. They aren't going to have much luck with a typical Linux howto, where a much higher level of knowledge is assumed, and use of the CLI is essental.

I might be wrong, but even if Windows 8 is hated I can't imagine large numbers of normal people moving to Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[8]: um
by Alfman on Wed 16th May 2012 16:52 in reply to "RE[7]: um"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Dave_K,

I agree with all your points.

When linux works out of the box, which it often does, it is great even for amateur users. But any time there are driver or configuration problems it can degenerate into a hopelessly complex nightmare due bewildering array of howtos, config files, lack of GUI tools. For example, the X11 stuff is so much more complex than it should be that I curse any time I have to make adjustments to it.

However I don't think it's fair to compare a windows system that was pre-built and pre-debugged at the factory against a linux system that was installed at home and you are the first to test it on your combination of hardware. Of course the pre-built windows system should just work, but then a pre-built linux system should too. Linux is held to a much higher expectation because it's expected to run out of the box on arbitrary hardware. Somestimes it falls short of that higher expectation (forcing users to fix things themselves at the command line), but this would happen far less often if linux were installed / supported by the vendors.

Reply Parent Score: 2