Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Aug 2015 23:18 UTC
Windows This hit the news yesterday.

Microsoft released Windows 10 four weeks ago today, and now the company is providing a fresh update on its upgrade figures. 14 million machines had been upgraded to Windows 10 within 24 hours of the operating system release last month, and that figure has now risen to more than 75 million in just four weeks.

As somebody who uses Windows every day, and who upgraded to Windows 10 a few weeks before it was released, let me make a statement about all the positive Windows 10 reviews that not everyone is going to like. There are only two reasons Windows 10 is getting positive reviews. First, because it's free. This one's a given. Second, and more importantly: Windows 10 is getting positive reviews because none of the reviewers have forced themselves to use nothing but Metro applications.

Here's the cold and harsh truth as I see it: despite all the promises, Metro applications are still complete and utter garbage. Let me explain why.

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RE[4]: Against the grain
by avgalen on Fri 28th Aug 2015 10:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Against the grain"
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

No difference between 7 and 10 except for some moderate performance tweaks? You must be either trolling or you have only used Windows 7 the last few years. If you remove your focus from Metro to the Desktop you would have noticed lots of major and minor tweaks, conveniences and improvements. Some of these are for powerusers only, others just make life easier for everyone

* Notification Center
* Multiple Desktops
* Snapping in quadrants
* Much better multi-screen and high-dpi support
* Much better touch support
* HyperV
* TaskSwitcher (CTRL+TAB in addition to ALT+TAB)
* ISO-mounting
* Copy pasting in command-prompt (FINALLY ctrl+c, ctrl+v works)
* The ribbon in Explorer that allows you to "copy path"
* Have you even compared the Task Manager?
* Much improved file-management with Explorer
* Major improvements on behind the scene, enterprisey support for things like deployments (just do dism /? on win7 and win10)
* Winkey+X
* Much better support for lots of new technologies, from UEFI/GPT/Advanced-Format-HD, SSD, USB3 to 3D Printing
* Almost everything can now be changed, configured, installed, uninstalled, reset without requiring a reboot or even having to logout
* Much faster startups, reboots, standby, powermanagement
* and maybe most importantly, no 250 updates after an install (for now) ;)

I could honestly continue this list with 50 more things that improve my way of working with Windows and that I would miss if I ever had to work on that ancient OS that is now 4 versions and 6 years old.

I completely agree that Metro is an unfullfilled promise. Not because there is anything wrong with it technically, but simply because app-developers didn't develop apps for it. Why didn't they? Because you develop apps for users and only a small percentage of users can run Store-Apps while everyone can run Desktop-Apps. What will fix Metro is not the next version but having hundreds of millions of potential users to attract dev-love. Currently devs have to choose between "local apps" that are very powerful but people keep using old versions and "web apps" that are much harder to develop but people will always use that 1 centralized version. Store apps nicely provide the best of both worlds but just haven't caught enough attraction on any pc-platform

I also completely agree that Edge is an unfinished browser that needs a lot of fixing up. I think the rendering engine is extremely solid and they made a lot of good choices but for now it just doesn't handle well. Luckily this thing is an app so it will continuously get improved (no "next version" that is going to fix everything, but "it gets better every month and maybe in October it is mostly usable, in January it can replace IE and next year it is awesome)

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[5]: Against the grain
by shotsman on Fri 28th Aug 2015 10:34 in reply to "RE[4]: Against the grain"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

The ribbon in Explorer is a positive? Really?
All it does is take up scarce vertical resolution.

I really do beg to differ here.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[6]: Against the grain
by avgalen on Fri 28th Aug 2015 11:55 in reply to "RE[5]: Against the grain"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I have enough vertical resolution to enable the ribbon by default, but if you want to use those pixels for something else you can just CTRL+F1 to hide/show it whenever you would benefit from it. It is called choice and it is a good thing ;)

I don't use explorer often (Total Commander ftw) but having "Copy path" or "show/hide hidden items" or "System Properties" available with half the keystrokes/mouse-clicks it took in Windows 7 is a good thing

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Against the grain
by galvanash on Sat 29th Aug 2015 04:01 in reply to "RE[5]: Against the grain"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

The ribbon in Explorer is a positive? Really?
All it does is take up scarce vertical resolution.


There is a little up arrow on the right.
Click it.
Problem solved.

ps. It actually uses less vertical real estate than the old explorer did when run this way. The only cost you incur is having to click the file menus first in order to see the ribbons when you need them...

ps.ps. This is pretty much universal across all recent MS desktop apps that use a ribbon bar, but of course the little arrow is never in the same place.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Against the grain
by John_Smith on Fri 28th Aug 2015 10:43 in reply to "RE[4]: Against the grain"
John_Smith Member since:
2013-03-29

You Sir are extremely annoying... You wrote almost word for word what I was going to write. ;)

I would even add some other little things I've noticed since I use it and that were real blessings for me.

- On the fly resizable CMD and PS prompts. FINALLY
- Remote execution of GPO's (OK... Existed already with 8)
- Startup of application focused on the mouse position in multi-screen environment
- Huge improvement in centralized management for enterprises

The problem of Thom's analysis is that it takes as fact that W10 must be judged by the sole usage of "Metro Apps" and we are light-years from that. I think that the major focus in W10 was again to create a real desktop OS without losing its ability to work on phones/tablets.

The big error MS made with W8 was to force a phone UI over a production desktop. This was an utterly bad move that has only been barely worked around with W8.1

With W10 you REALLY have an easy way to switch between a desktop UI and a phone/tablet UI. This makes perfectly sense when put in relation to Surface3 Pro tablets.

There ARE some choices that still are awful in the interface (The worst I think is old+new control panel). But all in all W10 in an excellent OS with amazing changes under the hood. I don't think I'm too far from truth when I say that it's a progression similar to 7 from XP.

Edit: Forgot to mention support for REALLY old hardware. I tested the upgrade on an old Fujitsu Laptop (Core duo / 2GB of RAM / 32Bit Win7). It worked like a charm... All hardware, including the fingerprint sensor, works perfectly and even faster than before

Edited 2015-08-28 10:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Against the grain
by Lennie on Sat 29th Aug 2015 15:59 in reply to "RE[5]: Against the grain"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The problem of Thom's analysis is that it takes as fact that W10 must be judged by the sole usage of "Metro Apps" and we are light-years from that. I think that the major focus in W10 was again to create a real desktop OS without losing its ability to work on phones/tablets.

The big error MS made with W8 was to force a phone UI over a production desktop. This was an utterly bad move that has only been barely worked around with W8.1


Then tell me why is the Mail app still crap ? Because they are still forcing people to use a phone interface on a desktop machine.

I'm sure there are smart engineers at Microsoft doing lots of good stuff and incremental improvements where they are needed.

But my guess is, after Windows 8 UI fuck up they just fired all the UI people.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Against the grain
by ConceptJunkie on Mon 31st Aug 2015 17:48 in reply to "RE[5]: Against the grain"
ConceptJunkie Member since:
2012-05-18

The problem isn't the phone interface on a desktop OS. It's the fact that for even the desktop interface has been ruined. Everything is afflicted with this hideous "flat" UI, on which is much harder to distinguish controls in a window and between windows.

With the exception of Windows 7, every version of Windows since 2000 has been getting uglier and uglier, but at least until Windows 7 you could switch to the functional and clean and visually appealing "classic" Windows theme. Now you can't even do that any more.

Right now, the desktop UI is less configurable than Windows 2, and about as good-looking... and let's recall that Windows 2 was limited to 16 colors.

I really feel that through the 90s and early 2000s, Microsoft has UI right. They did a good job and make clean and consistent UI for their OS. The default XP theme was ugly, but you could turn it off. But now, there are no more standards and everything has this dumb, flat, bland, colorless look to it.

You used to be able to customize a lot of stuff, the fonts and colors and sizes of different Windows elements, now the best you can do is change the color.

I guess recreating the "classic" window theme of Windows 2000 is too hard to do now.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Against the grain
by RobG on Fri 28th Aug 2015 14:27 in reply to "RE[4]: Against the grain"
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

"Why didn't they? Because you develop apps for users and only a small percentage of users can run Store-Apps while everyone can run Desktop-Apps."

I disagree, the reason I, as a Windows developer with over 20 years experience, decided not to develop ModernUI/Universal Apps is twofold:

1. Sandboxing. This makes sense on a phone, but much less on a desktop. It makes it quite hard to access some O/S services and makes the wrong trade-offs in my opinion.

2. The Store. I may be going against the grain (in a different way), but I dislike the Store model. I blame Apple for introducing it, but the other big tech companies seem to have swallowed it whole.

To me its a freedom issue. I should be able to write whatever software I want, run whatever software I want, and distribute it how I want. I cannot even freaking distribute an "Universal" app unless I go through the freaking store. I don't want Microsoft (or Apple or whomever) acting as the censor deciding what is OK for me to run or view on my computer. I hate the whole walled garden idea, and think Steve Jobs should be crucified for introducing it (if he wasn't already dead).

[End Rant]

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[6]: Against the grain
by avgalen on Fri 28th Aug 2015 15:40 in reply to "RE[5]: Against the grain"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

1. Sandboxing is difficult for developers, but good for users. After decades of security issues introduced by developers (like you and me) it is time that users get apps that don't break when something outside that app changes and if security is compromised the system as a whole is still safe.

2. Store model. This cannot be the reason that developers don't develop for Windows because it seems to attract plenty of developers for IOS and Android. And of course you can side-load (powerusers/developers) or bypass the Windows Store entirely (Enterprise)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Against the grain
by ple_mono on Sat 29th Aug 2015 14:39 in reply to "RE[5]: Against the grain"
ple_mono Member since:
2005-07-26

To me its a freedom issue. I should be able to write whatever software I want, run whatever software I want, and distribute it how I want. I cannot even freaking distribute an "Universal" app unless I go through the freaking store.

You'll be pleased to know that with windows 10 you have the option of allowing sideloading of universal apps in the control panel then...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Against the grain
by Lennie on Sat 29th Aug 2015 16:03 in reply to "RE[5]: Against the grain"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

To me its a freedom issue. I should be able to write whatever software I want, run whatever software I want, and distribute it how I want. I cannot even freaking distribute an "Universal" app unless I go through the freaking store. I don't want Microsoft (or Apple or whomever) acting as the censor deciding what is OK for me to run or view on my computer.


Forget about the store, they can block normal apps too:

http://www.pcauthority.com.au/News/407894,microsoft-can-disable-you...

If you want freedom, Windows, especially 10, is not where you can get it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Against the grain
by Lennie on Sat 29th Aug 2015 15:54 in reply to "RE[4]: Against the grain"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I completely agree that Metro is an unfullfilled promise. Not because there is anything wrong with it technically, but simply because app-developers didn't develop apps for it. Why didn't they? Because you develop apps for users and only a small percentage of users can run Store-Apps while everyone can run Desktop-Apps.


I think the point is: Thom only talked about the apps Microsoft developed for Metro/Modern/whatever.

And what sucks about those apps.

If Microsoft can't even fulfill this promise on their own platform then how you can expect other developers to get it right ?

This shows there probably is a structural problem.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Against the grain
by avgalen on Sat 29th Aug 2015 19:31 in reply to "RE[5]: Against the grain"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

There are clearly two teams inside Microsoft that makes these apps. One is the "old Windows" team and one is the "Windows Phone" team. The Windows Phone team is actually building quite nice apps that are very usable because they have a couple of years experience with these technologies and understand the user feedback.

The "old Windows" team just started building apps without learning from the Windows Phone team, making lots of mistakes and "rediscovering the wheel".
Now that there is "One Windows" the quality of apps should improve simply because of better "lessons learned" and experience. And mostly because a lot more people will be using them and will be commenting how awful they are. Things will get better, the question is "how soon and how much better"
Until then, just use your current desktop programs. They still work just fine

Reply Parent Score: 2