Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Dec 2013 23:47 UTC

Mary Jo Foley has some information on the next wave of big Windows releases - scheduled for Spring 2015. This wave will supposedly bring the three Windowqs branches - Xbox, phone, PCs - more in line with each other.

The Xbox One OS, Windows 8.x OS and Windows Phone 8 OS already share a common Windows NT core. As we've heard before, Microsoft is working to deliver a single app store across its myriad Windows platforms. Company officials also are laboring to make the developer toolset for all three of these platforms more similar.

But Threshold will add another level of commonality across Microsoft's various Windows-based platforms, sources said. With the Threshold wave, Microsoft plans to support the same core set of "high value activities" across platforms. These high-value activities include expression/documents (Office, and the coming "Remix" digital storytelling app, I'd think); decision making/task completion (Bing, I'd assume); IT management (Intune and Workplace Join, perhaps?) and "serious fun."

The first bit seems like a no-brainer and should have been done already, but the second part seems like traditional Microsoft marketing nonsense. "High value activities"? Seriously? Could this be any more vague and meaningless?

Before Microsoft gets to Threshold, the company is on track to deliver an update to Windows 8.1 (known as Windows 8.1 Update 1) around the same time that it delivers Windows Phone "Blue" (Windows Phone 8.1). That's supposedly happening in the spring 2014/Q2 2014 timeframe, from what my sources have said.

With time frames like that it almost seems as if even Microsoft itself doesn't care.

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RE[7]: Not surprising..
by oiaohm on Wed 4th Dec 2013 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Not surprising.."
Member since:

WorknMan on Windows 1.0 open up a few programs and notice the buttons are rounded. The fact about round buttons and human focus was known when Windows 1.0 was made.

This is not a new issue. Microsoft has gone and stuffed up all the history of User Interface research.

Windows 1.0 is closer to a human compatible interface than what Windows 8 or 8.1 are.

Windows 8 or 8.1 with classic shell is better for your staff than leaving it default. Particularly when you are aware of the mental damage of desensitisation to dangerous objects you are causing by having your staff use Windows 8 or 8.1 in default.

None of the improvements in 8.1 address the core problem. Humans are designed mentally to interface with the world with a very particular set of visual responses. One of those is pay closer attention to sharp objects to reduce harm to self. This is exactly what windows 8 and later is under mining.

Exploiting humans auto response to dangerous objects to sell a product is not a good thing.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[8]: Not surprising..
by tylerdurden on Wed 4th Dec 2013 06:23 in reply to "RE[7]: Not surprising.."
tylerdurden Member since:

LOL What? Can you point to any actual research about what you're claiming?

The main issue with Metro ain't the "sharp" edges, I don't think anyone is retarded enough to think they can get their fingers cut by a tile on screen. I think , if anything, from a HID perspective Metro is a bit of a disaster mainly because the flat buttons everywhere induce a certain delay where the user has to guess whether that element is "pushable"(sic) or not. Also the terminology, gestures, and organization of the OS functionality are anything but intuitive.

But the sharp edges? That's a bit of a stretch.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Not surprising..
by oiaohm on Wed 4th Dec 2013 06:42 in reply to "RE[8]: Not surprising.."
oiaohm Member since:

I never said they would directly think that.

Human brain is pre-programmed to auto focus and inspect sharp edges.

The research on has been done many times. By default your eyes will inspect a sharp box outside before reading contents. When your brain gets desensitised. That sharp knife laying on the table you will not automatically alert to it.

The not marking active button locations annoys the hell out of you but does not risk harm.

Sharp edges in human brain equal possible danger. In real world sharp edges also equal possible danger. Windows 8 and 8.1 metro sharp edges equal something you should mostly ignore.

The interface designers of old were more than aware of this fact and design for it.

tylerdurden Metro HID is a complete disaster from a design point of view. Almost everything you can do wrong is in it.

Reply Parent Score: 3