Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Oct 2012 22:21 UTC
Windows Paul Allen, one of Microsoft's co-founders who left the company long ago, has posted on his blog about his experiences with Windows 8. He (surprise) likes it, but he does note a number of shortcomings and oddities - all of which are spot-on. However, he fails to address the core issue with Windows 8: it's forcing users to drill a small hole in the wall with a belt sander.
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Musings about Metro
by WorknMan on Wed 3rd Oct 2012 23:34 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

The thing about Metro is that it's rather pointless for power users/geeks to criticize it, because the fact of the matter is that it's simply not made for us, and thus we're not the ones who are going to decide its fate. The REAL test for Metro is when the millions of tech tards get their hands on it. If they like it, it it wll be a success as far as MS is concerned. If not, MS is going to be in a world of hurt.

Of course, I can't imagine anybody liking Metro, whether they're computer literate or not. (I'm still advocating violence against the f--ktard who decided that horizontal scrolling was a good idea). But if there's one thing that the Wii and iPad have taught us is that techies don't know shit about what non-techies will or won't like. Do you remember when the iPad came out? Geeks around the world turned their noses up at it. 'Oh, this isn't OSX... it's just a big iPod Touch. It'll never sell.' Shows you how much we know, eh? So we'll just have to wait and see how well metro fares when the masses get a hold of it.

'BUT ... BUT ...', I hear you scream.... 'what about the rest of us?' Well, remember that Windows 7 is really nothing more than a natural evolution of Windows 1.0. So in regard to Metro, IF it is a hit with the masses, it's going to get better. Eventually it should mature to the point that MS can port full-blown versions of Visual Studio and MS Office to it, and then we can get some real apps on it. Perhaps by Windows 10? Who knows. But the point is that you're not going to install Windows 9 and find the desktop gone with Metro as it is now. MS may make dumb decisions sometimes, but they're not THAT stupid. If they were going to go this route, they would have done it in Windows 8.

So basically, the point of this post is to say don't worry about Metro. And stop bitching about it too - at least on sites like this. When you post a rant about Metro on a tech site, you're just preaching to the choir.

As it is, 95% of Metro can be avoided on Windows 8 if you want. And if having Metro act as a start menu offends you that much, either get a start menu replacement, or just stick with Windows 7. If you want to stick with a slower booting, slower running, less memory efficient OS just to have a popup start menu, more power to you. As for me? I'm taking the plunge. Native USB 3.0 support, taskbars on multiple monitors, native ISO mounting, hyper-V virtualization built in, a much improved task manger, etc. is worth the $40 upgrade price, IMO.

Edited 2012-10-03 23:43 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE: Musings about Metro
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 3rd Oct 2012 23:39 in reply to "Musings about Metro"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

. 'Oh, this isn't OSX... it's just a big iPod Touch. It'll never sell.' Shows you how much we know, eh?


While your point is valid, I actually predicted it would sell like hotcakes ;) .

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Musings about Metro
by kaiwai on Thu 4th Oct 2012 02:20 in reply to "Musings about Metro"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd call myself a geek/power user and I personally don't see anything negative about Metro although I am confused when Metro is geared towards tablets and consumers but then Office 365 goal is to get everyone using Office - from the fortune 500 company to Jane Home Maker. With that being said I guess Microsoft wishes to offer many options for the many different ways things can be done on Windows rather than the 'this is the way you do it and if you don't like it tough' approach that Apple seems to take when making decisions.

I've loaded Windows 8 Enterprise trial on my ThinkPad X1 Carbon recently and the worse case scenario for many people it is the status quo with some minor tweaks. The biggest beneficiaries of Windows 8 will be tablet and phone users which in the case of me as soon as the Nokia Lumia 920 arrives in New Zealand. Apple was able to gain market share because the competition was so badly disorganised but with Microsoft finally got everything lined up coupled with success in the Android market what we'll see isn't a decline of Apple but a slowing down to maybe second or third place when it comes to high end smart phones (maybe we'll see their tablet market share decline - hard to turn down a similarly priced Windows RT tablet loaded with Office 2013 when compared to iPad which has none of that).

Side note: I'm signed up for Microsoft's exchange service and for NZ$6.11 per month I get my domain email hosted and sorted out along with ActiveSync and Outlook Exchange support. Always up and working each and everytime so I wouldn't be surprised if the services devision sees and uptick in subscriptions especially by those organisations that wish to have only but the bare minimum sitting inside their organisation with email and other hosting handled by a service company.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Musings about Metro
by wojtek on Thu 4th Oct 2012 05:29 in reply to "Musings about Metro"
wojtek Member since:
2010-01-24

The thing about Metro is that it's rather pointless for power users/geeks to criticize it, because the fact of the matter is that it's simply not made for us, and thus we're not the ones who are going to decide its fate.


*THIS*

A long time ago I setup a computer for my (quite comp illiterate parents)... When to think about it it was quite 'metro style' - I made desktop icons as big as possible (setting dpi do 150%, putting a few 'games icons', one icon subtitled 'internet' that launched browser ;) ), hide away all not nececery to use. Most of the time they use 'internet', so in the browser they have only back/stop and star page with huge tiles to favourite websites. they don't use browser tabs, just read and go back. I'm aware it's plain dumb, but it's easy, works for them and they don't anything more (and I don't need to explain). Bottomline - win8 could work quite well for them even with a pointer and 22" display.

For me? I don't see myself using only one app at a time taking all the screen(s?) therefore currently I'm not inclined to try win8, however optimizations to the core are tempting (faster boot, better memory handling, etc)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Musings about Metro
by Luminair on Thu 4th Oct 2012 06:44 in reply to "Musings about Metro"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

the thing about metro is it's a phone interface

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Musings about Metro
by tomcat on Thu 4th Oct 2012 17:39 in reply to "Musings about Metro"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I'm still advocating violence against the f--ktard who decided that horizontal scrolling was a good idea


Just out of curiosity, have you ever used the iPhone? Android? iPad? Windows Phone? Because ALL of them have horizontal scrolling UIs. Yeah, the Windows variants use slightly larger customizable "tiles" in lieu of grids of icons; but the concept is essentially identical. So, unless you're advocating violence against THE ENTIRE MOBILE INDUSTRY, I'm not sure what your point is.

Furthermore, do you understand what's happening in the industry today? What Microsoft is doing has nothing to do with power user versus n00b. Tablets are the fastest growing category of computers being sold today. Period. Desktop shipments are stagnating. Laptops are starting to lose ground to tablets. Microsoft has done a pretty damned good job of creating a competitive tablet OS. Now, there are legitimate questions about whether it should have created different SKUs for different hardware targets; meaning that the desktop doesn't get Metro, tablets do, servers don't, laptops do. But there is also a credible argument that the consistency of the user interface across targets is more valuable to users; if they hadn't done this, there would be a lot of power users complaining about how different the SKUs were. Which means: Complaining is universal. You're not going to make everyone happy all the time. But that doesn't mean Win8 won't be successful. It will be. The lure of a huge hardware ecosystem and a store to sell their stuff in will bring tons of developers back to their platform.

Edited 2012-10-04 17:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Musings about Metro
by tidux on Thu 4th Oct 2012 19:00 in reply to "RE: Musings about Metro"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

Horizontal scrolling is fine on a mobile device. It's infuriating and useless on a desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Musings about Metro
by WorknMan on Thu 4th Oct 2012 19:07 in reply to "RE: Musings about Metro"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Just out of curiosity, have you ever used the iPhone? Android? iPad? Windows Phone? Because ALL of them have horizontal scrolling UIs.


I have never seen a phone or tablet app that uses horizontal scrolling in an app, especially while you're reading. (See the Metro Wikipedia app as an example.) Again, somebody deserves to be beaten to death.

Furthermore, do you understand what's happening in the industry today?


Yeah, I understand exactly what's happening. Tablets are selling by the millions, so OS vendors are dumbing down the desktop experience in order to appeal to all those mouth breathers who think that iOS is the most advanced mobile OS on the planet.

Microsoft has done a pretty damned good job of creating a competitive tablet OS. Now, there are legitimate questions about whether it should have created different SKUs for different hardware targets; meaning that the desktop doesn't get Metro, tablets do, servers don't, laptops do. But there is also a credible argument that the consistency of the user interface across targets is more valuable to users; if they hadn't done this, there would be a lot of power users complaining about how different the SKUs were. Which means: Complaining is universal. You're not going to make everyone happy all the time.


I think MS could've made everybody happy by giving people the ability to disable Metro completely in Windows 8 and bring the Start menu back. That way, people who like Metro can have it, and people (like me) who don't can get rid of it.

If you want to make the same OS for tablet and desktop, that's okay. But at LEAST make it not suck so much ass on the desktop before you make it non-removable.

Look, I am not anti-Windows 8. In fact, I plan to upgrade to it myself. But to power users, there is absolutely no way you can defend that piece of shit known as Metro. If tech tards love it, fine. It is what it is. But I ain't loving it. At least not this release.

Edited 2012-10-04 19:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Musings about Metro
by Alfman on Thu 4th Oct 2012 19:34 in reply to "RE: Musings about Metro"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tomcat,

"Now, there are legitimate questions about whether it should have created different SKUs for different hardware targets; meaning that the desktop doesn't get Metro, tablets do, servers don't, laptops do. But there is also a credible argument that the consistency of the user interface across targets is more valuable to users; if they hadn't done this, there would be a lot of power users complaining about how different the SKUs were."


Your overlooking the obvious. The problem isn't that anyone wants a metro version and a non-metro version. The problem is that we want metro to be optional and configurable. In one win8 preview, the win7 desktop launcher could be restored by a simple registry tweak. Microsoft spent more engineering effort to remove the feature than was needed to just leave it there. Therein lies the fundamental problem, microsoft would rather cannibalize the desktop launcher and corral users into metro rather than letting users choose metro on it's own merits.

Regardless of anyone's opinion over metro's merits, it's still illustrative of how corporate monopolies are harmful to consumer choice.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Musings about Metro
by ze_jerkface on Thu 4th Oct 2012 20:54 in reply to "Musings about Metro"
ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

The thing about Metro is that it's rather pointless for power users/geeks to criticize it, because the fact of the matter is that it's simply not made for us, and thus we're not the ones who are going to decide its fate.


No it is not pointless because if power users and enterprise hate it then they will have a huge hole in their financials. Shareholders will look back and see that the critics were not only correct but also responsible in speaking out against such a horrible idea.


Of course, I can't imagine anybody liking Metro,


Now that sounds like a winning product.


Do you remember when the iPad came out? Geeks around the world turned their noses up at it. 'Oh, this isn't OSX... it's just a big iPod Touch. It'll never sell.'
No actually I predicted that anything with a screen and i in front of it will be a safe sell due to Apple legions.


Shows you how much we know, eh? So we'll just have to wait and see how well metro fares when the masses get a hold of it.


Why should I assume the public reaction will be any different than this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4boTbv9_nU

The masses HATE learning a new interface and Windows 8 pisses all over what they know. Even worse is that Microsoft can't explain why they should bother because the real answer is that mouse and keyboard users are not the target. It's just some stupid plan to compete with the iPad and we'll have to let it fail before the world understands that Windows is being ran by a clueless Steve Jobs wannabe. Here is his debut video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1zxDa3t0fg

And stop bitching about it too - at least on sites like this.


I'll bitch all I goddamn want. Microsoft censors their development blogs over Windows 8 because there is so much hatred from MSDN holders like myself. Sinofsky would love it if all techies/power users stayed quiet. Hmmmmm Nah. Suggestion rejected.

As it is, 95% of Metro can be avoided on Windows 8 if you want.


No because you are assuming your workflow is like mine. I use the start menu to launch multiple instances of the same program on different servers with different parameters. With Windows 8 I get a giant flashy adware screen every time I hit the start menu button. Like Sinofsky you are assuming that everyone just uses 8-10 applications that can be pinned to the taskbar.


And if having Metro act as a start menu offends you that much, either get a start menu replacement, or just stick with Windows 7.


Yes I will stick with Windows 7 and I will be right about Windows 8. You will be wrong.

Edited 2012-10-04 20:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Musings about Metro
by redshift on Fri 5th Oct 2012 05:11 in reply to "Musings about Metro"
redshift Member since:
2006-05-06

Native USB 3.0 support, taskbars on multiple monitors, native ISO mounting, hyper-V virtualization built in, a much improved task manger, etc. is worth the $40 upgrade price, IMO.


Native ISO mounting... It is about time. What the hell took them so long? They should have done that a decade ago.

Edited 2012-10-05 05:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Musings about Metro
by moondevil on Fri 5th Oct 2012 06:58 in reply to "RE: Musings about Metro"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

It is not like there aren't a few available a download away.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Musings about Metro
by smkudelko on Sun 7th Oct 2012 00:32 in reply to "Musings about Metro"
smkudelko Member since:
2012-04-03

Rather than comparing the Metro part of Windows 8 to the iPad not running OS X, I think a better way to look at things would be the merging of iOS into OS X Lion and Mountain Lion. I personally think Launchpad is a useless feature, but it really isn't targeted towards me. I can bust stick to putting things in the Dock or opening my /Applications folder to see everything.

Yeah, Metro isn't for us, but unlike in OS X where the Launchpad was added but the other ways of launching applications remained, the Start screen completely replaced the old Start Menu, so we don't have the luxury of avoiding the areas of Windows 8 that aren't for us. We can use the "All Apps" screen that involves an extra click, can't be easily organized/rearranged, and still involves horizontal scrolling through an ugly Interface without folders, but that is it. Thats what we were given for "our way of doing things."

I am running the RTM release of Windows 8 Pro (from MSDN) and while it does perform very well compared to Windows 7 on the same hardware, and there are a lot of improvements to the "Desktop" UI that I love (and I hated Aero Glass), I really dread having to use the Start screen to launch apps I rarely use or have just installed, and I resent having to pin a bunch of apps to my taskbar just so I can easily launch them.

The Metro apps I have explored just arent compelling enough to deal with the abrasiveness of trying to make use of both environments.

If i could have a Start menu with EVERYTHING that shows up in Desktop mode and be able to pin select Desktop apps to the Metro Start screen (instead of the other way around), I would be happier.

If "Power" was another "charm" instead of a "Setting" I would be happier.

If I could pin a column of Live Tiles to the far right of my screen in Desktop mode (like a replacement for the Windows Gadgets) I might actually use them. As of now, they arent compelling to me because if I am in Metro at the Start screen, I want to find what im looking for and get the fuck out of that mess, not wait around watching Bing headlines scroll by one at a time just in case there is something interesting to read. I have a web browser that can give me a whole screen of headlines at the same time, show me my entire calendar at once, my entire inbox at once.

I am not anti-Microsoft or anti-Windows, but i AM against releasing half assed mediocrity that clearly still needs more work just to chase the iPad this holiday season so Ballmer can line his pockets at the expense of my unsuspecting clients who will buy a new machine and be burdened by all the extra work Windows 8 requires just to do the same things that worked fine in Windows 7.

Reply Parent Score: 1