Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th Aug 2013 02:06 UTC
Windows

I know a lot of folks are eager to find out when they will be able to get Windows 8.1. I am excited to share that starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that's 4:00am October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18th by market. So mark your calendars!

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Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Thu 15th Aug 2013 04:31 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

I'm still playing around with Windows 8. There is a lot to like (and not to like).

When people promote Windows 8 or Windows Phone apparently the Live Tiles are often named the killer feature.

Personally I think they are overrated.

In Windows 8 you only see them on the Start screen. I.e. when your not using your computer for anything. When you do use your computer you don't see any live tiles.

I guess you can stop doing what you are doing and visit your live tiles. But then I have a living Facebook tile, I see a post from someone, but I only see part of it. So I click on it, the Facebook application launches and his post is nowhere to be seen. Not even by scrolling way down.

In fact a number of tiles provide partial information, useless information or both. I'm not even sure about some if I need to start the application first for it so show any or current information or not.

My WP7 phone is even worse as Live Tiles often don't update (correctly).

I'd rather have a Status screen than a Start screen. A screen containing pointers at all unread messages, the weather, todo, calendar, eBay stuff, application updates, etc... Just a screen with info, not a mix of live tiles (that are mostly useless) and dead tiles to make it more messy.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Janvl on Thu 15th Aug 2013 11:08 in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Janvl Member since:
2007-02-20

I use Linux as my main desktop but also Windows 8. Both are quite functional and very usable.
Just that metro and desktop is a double gui in Win8 no clear choice is made.

Considering that windows runs about 7 to 8 years it is not that expensive, especially bought with a new pc.

One chooses his OS based on the software one wants to run, not the other way around.
The only OS I find crippled is android (IOS probably too), not getting root-access as default is unprofessional.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Nelson on Thu 15th Aug 2013 13:03 in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


In Windows 8 you only see them on the Start screen. I.e. when your not using your computer for anything. When you do use your computer you don't see any live tiles.


The scenario is glanceable information which invites you back into the app, not an end all be all dashboard of information. That'd be cognitive overload. Its just enough to get the user to come back. It drives engagement.


I guess you can stop doing what you are doing and visit your live tiles. But then I have a living Facebook tile, I see a post from someone, but I only see part of it. So I click on it, the Facebook application launches and his post is nowhere to be seen. Not even by scrolling way down.


That's strange, using the Official WP Facebook app? Mine goes straight to my notifications and right to the post. It used to be hit or miss, but Facebook's since made it much more reliable.


In fact a number of tiles provide partial information, useless information or both. I'm not even sure about some if I need to start the application first for it so show any or current information or not.


Its at the discretion of the developer and the application must be run at least once for Live Tiles to become enabled as they need to set up a background task, push notification channel, or both.

The problem being that some developers go all out and use a Live Tile to complement their service. Meaning they actively push to the client.

Others do Live Tiles via periodic background tasks which poll a service or an RSS feed every 15 minutes.

Anther wrench in the mix is that battery saver stops all Live Tile/Toast notifications (If they're from a service the MSPN queues them up) to save battery life.

Then of course there could always be a bug in how the specific developer implements notifications.


My WP7 phone is even worse as Live Tiles often don't update (correctly).


Live Tile reliability on WP7 had issues at times. WP8 has greatly improved on this.

Windows 8 is generally excellent with Tile Reliability and developers have more options on when to update them (System Triggers like connectivity changes, session begin, session end, etc.)

Microsoft is also lowering barriers to entry by providing free Cloud Computing for developers and creating a strongly typed API over the Notifications (Which are just XML payloads) and scaling them out across the Azure Cloud (Notification Hubs).

WP8 also includes more templates for Live Tiles which makes it easier to integrate with the OS. Same with W8 and to a greater extent 8.1

Its a lot better than it used to be, but there's still room for improvement.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Thu 15th Aug 2013 14:25 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

It's the Windows 8 Facebook app.

If I see a message I expect to be taken to it when I click on it. Instead it launched the application and takes you right to the top and the latest posts.

I haven't checked if it's possible to change the info the title displays. Partial random posts aren't that interesting and they keep coming back. I'd rather have information about notifications, but I'm not sure if you are in a position to make that happen.

After an update another app, Code Writer, now displays the file you've got open on its live tile. I found that rather clever and convenient.

Reply Parent Score: 2