Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 16th Jun 2012 17:52 UTC
Windows Adrian Kingsley-Hughes pens a rant on Windows 8, calling it 'awful': "I'm now ready to sum up my Windows 8 experience with a single word: awful. I could have chosen a number of other words - terrible, horrible, painful and execrable all spring to mind - but it doesn't matter, the sentiment is the same." I've been using Windows 8 Release Preview on both my ZenBook and my regular desktop since its release, and here's my short review: "I like it." Issues a-plenty, but for what is essentially a 1.0 release - not bad. It's a hell of a lot better than other releases which were similar in scope (Mac OS X 10.0, KDE 4.0).
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Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

- Custom tailored snap view states which take full advantage of screen real estate


Multiple moveable and resizable windows allow full use of screen real estate. Being restricted to one full screen app, with another compacted into a sidebar, is so crippled and restrictive that it's a joke in comparison.

On a larger monitor, controlled by a keyboard and mouse, Metro is a massive waster of screen space. That's not surprising considering that it's designed for little touchscreen tablets.

- Fast application switching with simple gestures. Swiping in from the side either with the mouse or a finger is easier than Alt+Tabing through a list.


Compared with alt-tab this is a slow way of switching between multiple applications, especially if a large number are open. It's another thing that works on a tablet, but is pretty worthless on a desktop PC.

The fastest and most efficient way of working with multiple applications is to arrange them all on screen. That way a quick glance between them updates you on their status, and switching between them simply means moving the mouse from one window to another.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Multiple moveable and resizable windows allow full use of screen real estate. Being restricted to one full screen app, with another compacted into a sidebar, is so crippled and restrictive that it's a joke in comparison.


I'm not often doing 10 things at the VERY SAME time to necessitate having them all on screen at once.

I'm often doing "sets" of multitasking. Eg. writing an email based off of something I opened in a browser.

Metro does this very well. From the browser I can directly hit the share charm which allows me to select which app to continue my work flow with. I can chose the email app or any other app which implements the Share contract.

Same thing with saving files. I can save files to my file system, to SkyDrive or _any_ other app which implements the appropriate contract.

These kind of work flows are what is enabled richly by Metro, and it's a lot smarter than just throwing a bunch of Windows on a screen.

Windows 8 tries to understand you work flow, Windows 7 and below simply offload that responsibility to you, which isnt good UX design.

Users shouldn't really have to worry about managing Windows, and it quickly gets unwieldly with any large amount of windows open.


On a larger monitor, controlled by a keyboard and mouse, Metro is a massive waster of screen space. That's not surprising considering that it's designed for little touchscreen tablets.


I don't think so, well written Metro apps can take advantage of the added screen real estate. We're in Metro's infancy, it'll take a while for designers to grasp the power they have.

Though, I echo MollyC's sentiment that a 50/50 split option for higher resolutions would be awesome.


Compared with alt-tab this is a slow way of switching between multiple applications, especially if a large number are open. It's another thing that works on a tablet, but is pretty worthless on a desktop PC.


I've found the exact opposite to be true. In fact, WinKey+Tab also brings up the Metro App switcher, and it can be cycled through just like Alt+Tab can..but I repeatedly just hit WinKey+Tab to cycle through my my open Metro apps instead of WinKey+Tab and Tab Tab Tab.

Plus Metro App Switcher is more adherent to Fitts Law by using hot corners. Its simply easier to bring up , no matter how you slice it.


The fastest and most efficient way of working with multiple applications is to arrange them all on screen. That way a quick glance between them updates you on their status, and switching between them simply means moving the mouse from one window to another.


Moving the mouse across a "larger monitor" is not what you'd call "efficient" actually. Its very inefficient.

Speaking of "at a glance", the Metro Start Screen surfaces more glanceable information about your apps than Windows ever did.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

I'm not often doing 10 things at the VERY SAME time to necessitate having them all on screen at once.


I'm not either, but I do often work with 2-5 different applications/windows, for example multiple sources used in the production of a DTP document. None of them need to take up the whole screen, and none of them are typically suitable to be displayed in a sidebar.

Having them all on screen is much more efficient than repeatedly switching between full screen apps.

I don't think so, well written Metro apps can take advantage of the added screen real estate.


The amount of screen real estate required by an application depends on the content it's displaying. It doesn't matter how well written an app is, if its content doesn't fill the screen then running it full screen is wasting space.

Though, I echo MollyC's sentiment that a 50/50 split option for higher resolutions would be awesome.


You can call it awesome, I'd call it moderately less crippled and restrictive, but still vastly inferior to flexible window management.

Plus Metro App Switcher is more adherent to Fitts Law by using hot corners. Its simply easier to bring up , no matter how you slice it.


Fitts Law doesn't really apply when my hands are on the keyboard. I could begin alt-tabbing before I've even moved my hand back to the mouse.

But I agree that there's nothing particularly wrong with Metro's app switching. It's swiping from the side (the specific gesture that you listed as an advantage of Metro) that I consider to be inferior to alt-tabbing, especially when using a mouse rather than a touch screen.

Moving the mouse across a "larger monitor" is not what you'd call "efficient" actually. Its very inefficient.


You're making no sense whatsoever here. If you're using a large monitor then you'll inevitably be moving the mouse across it as you interact with applications. That's true whether those applications are full screen or windowed.

If an application window is visible on screen then it cuts out the app switching process. I can directly click on whatever I want to interact with, rather than having to first use the app switcher to select the relevant application, before moving the mouse to its content.

You mentioned Fitts Law earlier. An application window on screen is a much larger target than an icon in a task switcher. Even with hot corners, clicking on a window is much faster than displaying the task switcher and selecting a specific app within it.

Of course it isn't necessary to interact with the UI at all if I just want to look at the content of different on screen windows. That's as quick and easy as moving my eyes, while in Metro I'd have to waste time switching backwards and forwards between them. Surely even you can see how much less efficient that is?

Reply Parent Score: 1