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]: What a weird article Thom
by avgalen on Fri 28th Aug 2015 13:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What a weird article Thom"
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

If you think that Metro is about rewriting the UI of an application while keeping the inside the same you would be wrong. That would be like saying iOS applications are OSX Applications with a rewritten UI or Android Apps are Linux Applications with a rewritten UI.
I don't know if it is possible to write "mega-applications" like PhotoShop in a Universal App. So far I haven't found anything like that and I don't know of any developer that is trying to do that. Store-Apps seem to be all about "Make a nice looking, easy to use program that solves 80% of the problems of 80% of the users". And just like on most new platforms there is a lot of UI-experimentation going on. It takes time for good UI ideas to surface and become common and for bad ideas to disappear (20 years later the web still looks inconsistent)

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.


There is no confusion. Microsoft themselves marketed heavily that Universal Apps (that's Metro, you know) was the main new feature of Windows 10. Your apps will run everywhere - on your phone, tablet, desktop, xbox and that headset device. It is how the future of the OS is meant to look and function.

Clearly Universal Apps are a big thing to Microsoft, but it is not the main new feauture for them. Have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows or http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/features and you will see that "being familiar" and "being a better Windows 7 than Windows 7" are actually the main points: "Familiar and better than ever. Windows 10 is familiar and easy to use, with lots of similarities to Windows 7 including the Start menu. It starts up and resumes fast, has more built-in security to help keep you safe, and is designed to work with software and hardware you already have." You see? No mention of Universal Apps at all in there.

they couldn't even finish their new control panel! If Microsoft themselves can't get their Metro apps working properly, why should any 3rd party developer pay any attention to it?

Because Microsoft doesn't get the development tools much before others anymore. They might be a couple of months ahead, but you and I basically have the same tools at our disposal as the developers at Microsoft. And the new control panel looks finished to me. In the 8.1 era I hardly used it because control panel was clearly the place to go. In Windows 10 I was surprised to see myself using the new "System Settings" instead of Control Panel. Control Panel is still there, just like IE11 is still there for people that really need it...I just haven't really needed it.

Edited 2015-08-28 13:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

"...if it is possible to write "mega-applications" like PhotoShop in a Universal App..."

All the new Office Apps are universal apps.

Reply Parent Score: 2

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

None of those Office Apps are mega-apps. They are quite reduced functionally compared to the "normal" Office programs. Just compare the OneNote app (free) to the OneNote program (also free). The OneNote app is the best app that I have personally seen but it doesn't come near to a mega-app like Photoshop.
Like I wrote: I don't know if it is technically possible to write a mega-app, but nobody seems to try anyway

Reply Parent Score: 3

dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

If you think that Metro is about rewriting the UI of an application while keeping the inside the same you would be wrong. That would be like saying iOS applications are OSX Applications with a rewritten UI or Android Apps are Linux Applications with a rewritten UI.

I am saying that Microsoft never gave existing developers a reasonable way to move their applications to WinRT/Metro. Some of the large productivity tools have literally hundreds of dialogs written in everything from MFC to WinForms.

There is a reason why MS had to add a special exception to Office when they did Surface: not even a 800lb gorilla could perform this stunt. To my knowledge the Outlook 365 running on my Windows 10 is still not a WinRT/Metro app (please correct me if I am wrong). I don't think this will change until the Win32 bridge arrives. I am really looking forward to see how it works.

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.

I agree that the poor adoption of Windows 8 didn't exactly help. Still, I personally think just as much of the blame falls on just how much work Microsoft expects existing productivity app developers to do to target it.

Clearly Universal Apps are a big thing to Microsoft, but it is not the main new feauture for them.

Okay, maybe the sources I read focused too much on the Universal App thing. And I am not amongst the guys saying *everything* sucks about Windows 10 - I just think that Thom has a valid point in there are a lot of rushed lose ends in Windows 10, esp with their app strategy.

Because Microsoft doesn't get the development tools much before others anymore.

WinDiv doesn't get early access to what they write themselves? If that is really true, they should probably make some changes. ;) In any case I really think they should get their act together and port all their old dialogs. I recall Thom complaining years ago about that same control panel/system settings having the exact same problem on his Surface tablet.

Reply Parent Score: 2

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I think everyone agrees that Windows 10 was a rush job. I don't think July 29 should have been the targetdate. There are clearly lots of polishpoints left, however everything important seems to be in place so they decided to "release early, release often".

I do think they are going to add more and more polish and I was surprised by the sudden jumps in quality in the last month. Clearly everyone was working overtime and they had been holding out on some builds that they had internally. However I don't think Microsoft is very good at polishing UI elements so I wouldn't hold my breath for getting things supersleek. The current iconset already pleasantly surprised me, but I had set the bar quite low.

And I do believe "Windev" gets some tech earlier, but not much anymore. With public previews and many early releases and continuous delivery there is simply no reason for Microsoft to keep things private anymore

Reply Parent Score: 2