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Microsoft Windows Technology

Windows 8 Previewed At D9 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the somebody-got-their-tablet-in-my-pc dept.
theodp writes "Mum's still the word on a shipping date for its new OS for laptops, desktops, and tablets ('touch slates' in MS-speak), but Microsoft on Wednesday gave the world a first look at the touch-friendly 'Windows 8' user interface, which sports a live tile-based Start screen reminiscent of the company's Windows Phone 7 interface. Also prominent in the demo was a large 'Store' tile, suggesting that Microsoft plans to offer Windows apps through a marketplace. A Microsoft video offers an overview of the interface, showcasing Win 8's multi-tasking capabilities and some other interesting features, including a virtual keyboard that can be switched from full-screen to a more ergonomic split-screen thumbs layout."

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Windows 8 Previewed At D9

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  • I lost count... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Fishead (658061)

    I lost count, are we supposed to hate this one?

    It will be interesting to see how this is to use on a desktop computer with a proper mouse. I object to being told that desktop computers are going out of style, and I personally despise majour interface changes (Office ribbon, I'm looking at you!)

    Will the "store" be locked in place like it is on my vendor locked cell phone? Kuz that'd be sweet.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      According to an update in TFA, that WP7-like tile interface is non-optional.

      So I think we should rejoice, because if it continues to be non-optional, it will effectively kill Windows on the Desktop in favour of systems that actually allow their users to, you know, *do* stuff with their computer.

      • Re:I lost count... (Score:5, Informative)

        by uncanny (954868) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:34AM (#36318444)

        According to an update in TFA, that WP7-like tile interface is non-optional.

        So I think we should rejoice, because if it continues to be non-optional, it will effectively kill Windows on the Desktop in favour of systems that actually allow their users to, you know, *do* stuff with their computer.

        keep reading

        . As shown in the Microsoft video below, users will be able to switch to a more traditional Windows desktop,

        • Yes, you can switch...after every bootup, because this is the default interface at bootup. Not to mention switching applications without using the taskbar will bring back this...hideous contraption. What would posses them to use such a garish color scheme. That is FAR too minimalistic, kinda like modern art...unsettling...
          • I hate having this as the default UI, but there are a lot of people who like the Metro look.

            On the Zune it had darker colors, but this is pretty close to what you see on Windows Mobile 7 right now.

            • Re:I lost count... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by oakgrove (845019) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @09:18AM (#36318914)

              there are a lot of people who like the Metro look.

              If people like it, why aren't the devices featuring it selling?

              • Xbox features the metro UI. That said I don't think the reason Zune never took off was because of the UI. Lack of marketing, US only markplace, limited international availability, competition with the most popular MP3 player on the planet, and a shift away from MP3 players toward phones all contributed more heavily. I know it's selection bias to say everyone who owns a Zune loves it, but iPod users I've shown my Zune to had 0 complaints about the UI and were very impressed by it.

                As for Windows Phone 7, it t

                • Xbox features the metro UI. That said I don't think the reason Zune never took off was because of the UI. Lack of marketing, US only markplace, limited international availability, competition with the most popular MP3 player on the planet, and a shift away from MP3 players toward phones all contributed more heavily

                  The 10 Windows Phone ads that I see on my TV every day as well as an advertising intro to seemingly every single Flash video player on the internet would disagree with your assessment that Windows Phones aren't being marketed. Apple advertises a ton as always (though more often for iPads these days), but the Windows Phone ad budget seems to dwarf the combined Android marketing of all the carriers and handset makers.

                • by the_B0fh (208483)

                  Why are you apologizing for Microsoft?

                  When Android was 7 months old, it was 7 months old from *GROUND UP*

                  When Windows Phone 7 was 7 months old - this is the *SEVENTH* version of Windows Phone - how can you compare it this way?

                  So, Microsoft gets to go pass Go and collect $200 every time they bump a version number? They get to reset everything and all the sins of the past gets washed away?

                  Hogwash.

                  • >When Android was 7 months old, it was 7 months old from *GROUND UP*

                    Isn't Android based on Linux and other OSS software? Doesn't really seem GROUND UP.

                    There is a world of difference between WP7 and WM6.5. Read up, you will be surprised.

                    Spoken like a typical ignorant Slashdot dumbass who knows nothing except to accusing people of being M$ shills and apologists.

                  • Re:I lost count... (Score:4, Insightful)

                    by Aqualung812 (959532) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @11:40AM (#36321042)

                    Windows 7 shares no code with 6.5, which was a constant evolution of Windows CE.
                    Frankly, they should have called it something completely different. It isn't a version bump, it is a totally different OS. Nothing from 6.5 can run on 7.

              • by AmiMoJo (196126)

                Maybe because once they get past the looks and realise there are few apps, few games and few good phones they decided to get an Android device.

                I think Microsoft should have come out with a tablet first, rather than a phone. That market is already divided up by Google and Apple, but there is still a real opportunity to provide a full desktop OS on a tablet instead of a beefed up mobile OS.

          • by uncanny (954868)
            And these defaults are in no way changeable through some kind of settings menue?
            • Re:I lost count... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by FreonTrip (694097) <freontrip AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 02, 2011 @09:12AM (#36318836)
              The circumvention method will probably amount to another registry hack-a-thon that treats the new UI as a speedbump to be swerved around, published online and ready for use well before the blighted thing's release. Everything old is new again - I'm so tired of fighting Microsoft's sad attempts to commune with the zeitgeist upon every new OS release. If it weren't for Netflix and video games I'd never run Windows outside a VM again.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            No it's not, that's the default interface at bootup for a TABLET. On a desktop or laptop, you'll get the standard interface unless you configure the OS otherwise. It's just like using Windows Media Center on Windows 7.

          • by DrXym (126579)

            Yes, you can switch...after every bootup, because this is the default interface at bootup. Not to mention switching applications without using the taskbar will bring back this...hideous contraption. What would posses them to use such a garish color scheme. That is FAR too minimalistic, kinda like modern art...unsettling...

            Default doesn't mean you can't configure it. I would be very surprised if you weren't able to switch it on or off. It may even be that if you flip to a desktop view it just remembers that state the next time you start.

      • by Omestes (471991)

        I have an odd feeling that the '10s will be considered the dark days of interface design. Between Ubiquity, Gnome 3, Windows 8, and OS X Lion, I have very little hope for the GUI. Have we really reached the time when KDE is the best GUI out there? It seems to be the only one not ripping out features in order to bring the bad parts of Tablet computing to the standard, traditional desktop.

        My 24" non-touch monitor is not good for a tablet interface. Gestures, and other tablet conventions, don't translate w

        • by Foofoobar (318279)
          In all seriousness, between lockin and the inability to own my media I purchased, I'm debating going completely back to a Linux laptop and just VM'ing the others I need. Apple hates Java, Windows hates everything that wasn't created (or owned) by Microsoft and everyone is trying to do venor lockin now... even UBUNTU!!! I'm just going to install Debian and tell everyone else to get bent. This is beginning to piss me off.
    • Re:I lost count... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:30AM (#36318410) Homepage

      Well... it kinda feels like the new Gnome and Unity interfaces, which everybody hates... I feel pretty confident pre-hating this one before it's released.

      FWIW, the way files are managed looks really easy... if you have a few dozen neatly organized files. In practice I think this particular part of the interface will be a total mess.

      • I have a lot more neatly organized fles and as it stands don't like the "Library" setup in vista/win7... that said, win7 is my current fav OS, ubuntu and osx have been in the past though.
      • by GauteL (29207)

        "Well... it kinda feels like the new Gnome and Unity interfaces, which everybody hates.."

        Not true. As for GNOME Shell, there are some vocal dissident and there are a fair number of quiet approvals. Up until now, I've belonged in the quiet approval part, but I find it hard to just sit around and accept people writing that "everybody hates" it.

        My opinion is that it isn't perfect but it is a bloody good platform to build from. IMO the first truly exciting, design-driven, user interface changes in a free deskto

    • by ProppaT (557551)

      I don't think it really is supposed to be used on a desktop with a mouse. You still have the standard Windows 7 style desktop that you can switch to, and I'm assuming that will be what you're primarily be using when there's no touch screen available.

      The reason I like this concept is that it will most likely usher in an era of Asus Transformer type devices. You can buy the base tablet and use it as a tablet, or buy the add optional keyboard dock (complete with battery inside) and use it as your regular wor

      • by oakgrove (845019)

        I don't think it really is supposed to be used on a desktop with a mouse. You still have the standard Windows 7 style desktop that you can switch to, and I'm assuming that will be what you're primarily be using when there's no touch screen available.

        If Microsoft keeps their Windows Media Player interface intact as well, you're talking about a pretty powerful little device.

        What do you do when none of your favorite third party applications are designed for touch? Microsoft has been beating the Windows tablet drum for more than a decade and nothing has happened.

        • by ProppaT (557551)

          The difference is that they never had a touch interface before. Now they have one....and tablets are actually popular now.

          • by oakgrove (845019)

            The difference is that they never had a touch interface before.

            What difference does it make if the third party stuff is written for mouse and keyboard? There are tons of older programs that people use that will never be rewritten at all be it for touch, Windows ARM or what have you. For the stuff still being developed, e.g., Photoshop, Quicken, etc., Windows tablets are going to have to actually, you know, sell before efforts are made to adapt the UI of those applications for it. The questions remains though, how will Windows tablets sell if it's no fun running appl

            • While I share your general sentiments, this may not be all that relevant anymore. Instead of a monolithic 'application', like Word, Excel or Photoshop you will have a core API and various UIs that pop up depending on your hardware. If you're running Photoshop in a small tablet, you will get a small subset of uncoordinated mess that is the underlying Photoshop code. You might be able to select pictures, tag them (actually that's Bridge, but the concept is the same), change a few things but not necessarily
      • by lymond01 (314120)

        I'm waiting for the Microsoft Office Tablet Edition ($80) to be installed next to Microsoft Office Desktop Edition Professional ($230) -- one using a touch interface in App format, the other the more traditional GUI.

        Should be fun and expensive.

    • While I'm a OpenOffice user whenever I can, I'm actually quite pleased with MS Office 2010 Ribbon. When I tried the one in 2007 I felt that everything was hard to find, dumbed down and non intuitive. In the case of 2010 (which I think must be different from the 2007 version) I think that it's a great compromise between the quick access and nice design of the ribbon plus the less used capabilities of the old menubar. It seemed customizable too.

      I haven't used really used much MS Office 2010 but it's interf

      • by jbengt (874751)
        I've been using MS Office 2010 now for about a month, and the ribbon is somewhat annoying, but no big deal either way.
        First, I disagree that the ribbon provides quick access. Compared to the toolbars I had in MS Office 2003 it seems I often have to click twice or three times now where I clicked once or twice before
        You can customize the ribbon somewhat, but not as much as I'd like.
        You can add and remove buttons to the quick access toolbar, but the only way you can make the icons a recognizable size is to
    • by gman003 (1693318)
      Well, it's an even-numbered release. Those are usually the good ones, right?
  • Full circle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:24AM (#36318366)

    ...and we're back to the Windows 1.0 tiled window interface. Touch sensitivity corresponds to ye good ol' light pen interface.

    Only took 30+ yrs to dump all progress, or is that bloat? No, the bloat is still there.

    • I thought the same when I saw it! Looks like wmii or xmonad with a touch interface and soft keyboard!
    • ...and we're back to the Windows 1.0 tiled window interface.

      That was my first thought too. It is a merge of Window 1.0's tiled interface with Windows 95's Active Desktop doing weblets on the desktop.

      I'm a tablet user, so some of those features do look nice, but for my standard desktop computers then I'm not convinced. There were quite a lot of gestures being used, but that suffers from one of my complaints about iOS - the interface is not obvious. How would you know to drag in from an edge and hover to achieve something?

      I'm also not a fan of tiles that are always r

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Not sure about the bloat. That interface looks like something your average smart phone can render rather than needing a beefed up DX10 capable video card to render a 2D screen smoothly.

      Bloat wise it may actually be a step in the right direction.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      I can't believe this kind of shit gets modded up. Have you looked at any phone or tablet interfaces recently? They all use grids of icons, large enough to hit with a finger even on a small phone screen. Android even supports larger live widgets that update like these ones do. Or how about thumbnails of images in a folder?

      Your comparison to actual windows makes no sense either, because although these tiles can display live information they are not application windows. They load the application when clicked,

      • by Viol8 (599362)

        "Have you looked at any phone or tablet interfaces recently"

        You ever looked at how people use PCs in offices? Hint - they don't prod at the screen with their fingers. This is supposed to be a general purpose OS , not one purely designed for the Oooh Shiny! trendy crowd with their $1000 tablets and skinny lattes.

    • This interface might be great for tablets designed purely for consuming media , but for a general purpose PC this is one giant leap backwards. God help us if they go with this and frankly I think if they do it may kill Windows in the coporate arena where people need to multitask with half a dozen or more apps at the same time.

  • Runs on everything (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:26AM (#36318380) Homepage

    You've got to love this quote from TFA:

    “This is the new version of Windows. It’s going to run on laptops, it’s going to run on desktops, it’s going to run on PCs with mouse and keyboard, it’s going to run on everything,”

    Which is basically saying:

    “This is the new version of Windows. It’s going to run on PCs with trackpad and keyboard, it’s going to run on PCs with mouse and keyboard, it’s going to run on PCs with mouse and keyboard, it’s going to run on PCs with mouse and keyboard,”

    I have no doubt it'll also run on mobiles, tablets, TV's and indeed pretty much everything, but they might have thought about that sentence a bit more.

    • Well it may not be the exact same version as Windows 8 for ARM will likely have different code than Windows 8 for x86-64. At best, it will appear to function the same whether on tablet or desktop. I can't see how they are going to make all third party software will be the same.
  • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@NospAm.davidgerard.co.uk> on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:31AM (#36318412) Homepage

    I was interested to see that the Engadget story [engadget.com] is filled with pretty much the same complaints about this new Windows interface that the Linux world is making about GNOME 3 and Ubuntu Unity - that is, people (e.g. me [newstechnica.com], I'll note) are annoyed at the prospect of the desktop as they know it being made into a big phone.

    • With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft showed everyone that they finally get it. One UI doesn't work everywhere. If this UI is used for normal desktop PCs, I guess it will disprove that.

      They haven't said so yet, but I'm going to bet this will be a completely optional shell. Similar to Windows Media Center, it will be there but won't be forced and probably not enabled by default on desktops.

      As a tablet interface, I think this looks pretty slick. The ability to run non-tablet apps could prove useful for power us

    • by pmontra (738736)

      As a Linux and Gnome user I noticed how MS seems to have borrowed by the Unity and Gnome Shell projects, which I don't appreciate, at least not on my relatively large display (I'll switch to xfce). However I'm also thinking about the trend of having smaller and smaller displays on notebooks. 13" widescreens (or reduced-height, which is what they really are) are becoming common on consumer laptops. Those screens will get a touch layer soon and the OS must be able to put it to use. Given those constraints (sm

      • I used to really like Ubuntu Netbook Remix around 9.10. I'm actually amazed Unity on 11.04 sucks as much as it does, and wonder where it all went horribly wrong.

        • by pmontra (738736)
          I'm also using UNR on my netbook. It's perfect on that screen size but it's bad on my notebook. Maybe it's ok on a 13" screen and Unity might be good on that display too. "One size fits all" can't work well on every device. I hope Canonical will realize it in a year or two. Meanwhile I'm perfectly happy with my customized Gnome 2 desktop.
    • by cshark (673578)

      I've used unity. I hate Unity.
      I haven't wanted to throw an OS out the window this badly since Windows Vista first came out.

      See, it's not that Unity is too much like Android or Mac OS. It's the fact that I have to go to the command line in order to open up two instances of the same program. Unlike Mac OS which has tools that let you get around it, Unity forces one app at a time on you.

      From the look of it, Windows 8 doesn't have that problem.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Do you honestly think they will take away the classic desktop? People use Windows in business for word processing, CAD, accounts etc. They are not going to screw them over. Windows 7 still supports the "classic" Windows 95 style desktop/window dressing if you want it.

  • by master_p (608214) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:33AM (#36318442)

    I think that this kind of interface is very good for computer novices. I've seen many computer-illiterate people to struggle with the WIMP interface; this interface feels a lot more natural to them.

    I hope they have a button to take the glitz away though, since Windows is also heavily used by professionals.

    • by Ziran (1931202) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @09:10AM (#36318798)

      I think that this kind of interface is very good for computer novices. I've seen many computer-illiterate people to struggle with the WIMP interface; this interface feels a lot more natural to them.

      I don't see this as very good for novices. I'd hate to have to give phone support for people using this UI.

      • I don't see this as very good for novices. I'd hate to have to give phone support for people using this UI.

        "Just reboot your computer. If that doesn't work, reinstall the operating system(s)."

        Same as it ever was.

  • Would be a fitting name for it.

    It looks too messy for me. It looks great for a tablet, but what am I going to use it for my desktop for?

    The idea that it can be used for everything is incredibly silly. Every device has its characteristics and its requirements. The giant tiles will look silly on my computer, and I can hit an icon quite effectivly with a mouse, I don't need a target range.

    If they offered different 'views' (like KDE Desktop/Netbook) it might be ok, but as it is its a horrible mess.

    • by Arlet (29997) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:40AM (#36318504)

      On the other hand, the version of Office he showed isn't going to work on a small screen. Some consistency would be nice.

    • by revscat (35618)

      Yeah, that's my thought as well. It looks like they took OS X's Dashboard and put it front-and-center. After Dashboard's initial novelty wore off, I found I didn't use it at all. I don't see how this is particularly different.

    • by tenco (773732)
      Why do you think that making UI design choices which can be kept consistent across devices is silly? IMHO that's actually a step forward in terms of user friendliness. Learn once, use everywhere. With a phone interface as a (necessary) lowest common denominator it's what programming languages running on a VM are for UI.
      • In theory is sounds nice, but in practice it doesn't seem very feasible. You end up with something like No-Child-Left-Behind, where teachers teach to the lowest common denominator and the best and brightest are held back, bored, and done a disservice.

        Maybe we're just experiencing the initial stage of the new paradigm which is why everything is so awful. In a few future iterations the OS will be more intelligent on what sort of device it is installed on and choose a suitable default UI to best take advantage

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:37AM (#36318482)

    "Adding comments has been disabled for this video."
    "Ratings have been disabled for this video."

    ...pussies

  • Deja Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lennier1 (264730) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:43AM (#36318548)

    So, we're back to the Vista days where the old version will retain a huge market share because the new one is such a piece of shit?

  • I noticed he didn't use Excel or Word. He just scrolled about a bit and swapped windows via 20 different methods.
    The problem with touch screen is 100% of the time your own fat hands are in the way when you go close to poke something. Sure they can make the buttons huge but that doesn't work for complex things. I still don't think touch screen is of much use for productivity with an button UI. Better tools and gestures need to be made.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      When I've got both hands on the keyboard sometimes I just want to reach up and jab at the screen instead of using the mouse. I don't, because I don't have a touch overlay. Every so often I price them, and then shake my head.

      • by pmontra (738736)
        Me too. Touching the screen to change the tab in the browser would be quite natural. Furthermore our phones are training us to touch so it will become even more natural.
        • by gtall (79522)

          Yes, it would be natural until you find yourself continually cleaning the screen to get the oily residue off. I have a policy in my office, you can point at the screen but if you touch it, I will break one of your fingers, you get to decide which one.

      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        sometimes I just want to reach up and jab at the screen instead of using the mouse

        I feel like that too when I'm using various Windows apps, but I'd like to use all 5 fingers, curled up tightly together.

        • by lennier1 (264730)

          Exactly. With so many things to piss off users you definitely don't want to condition them to keep their hands near any expensive components.

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:47AM (#36318588) Homepage Journal

    I don't want to touch my monitor on my desktop and get fingerprints all over it. This is great for tablets and phones, but making this the default UI for your desktop is nothing short of asinine.

    This is a pretty interface, but most real work will require skipping this whole Start grid and going to the desktop tile. Why force hundreds of millions of PC users to jump through extra hoops to perform the same tasks? Wait, Vista did that as well, and they refused to revert any of those usability regressions with Windows 7.

    A pretty interface isn't necessarily a productive one.

    And Windows 8 ARM might as well be dead on arrival given that it can't run x86 apps.

    • by itsdapead (734413) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @09:43AM (#36319306)

      I don't want to touch my monitor on my desktop and get fingerprints all over it. This is great for tablets and phones, but making this the default UI for your desktop is nothing short of asinine.

      I can't see any reason why the interface shouldn't work with a mouse or with gestures on a decent size (MacBook-style) trackpad. Its probably easier to take a touch-centric interface and map it on to mouse actions than it would be to make a mouse-centric interface usable with touch.

      This is a pretty interface, but most real work will require skipping this whole Start grid and going to the desktop tile.

      More likely, they'll go to the Word tile or the Excel tile - and by the time Win8 launches there will probably be an "Office 201x" suite that integrates properly with the tile-based interface, so you'll get a nice "preview" tile. My experience is that non-techie Windows users don't use the desktop much anyway, and live in full-screened Office apps (Unlike OS X, Windows' existing MDI structure promotes this style of working).

      Also, its pretty clear that the focus of Win 8 is to win back ground from Apple and Google in the consumer PC/laptop/mobile market - the corporates will be using Win 7 (if not XP) for the forseeable future. MS may have come to the point where it is sensible to "fork" personal and corporate product lines to prevent the corporate demand for endless legacy support hindering their efforts in the consumer/mobile/small biz market while Apple and Google eat their lunch.

      Both MS and Apple (with OS X Lion) seem to think this is the way the wind is blowing - if they're right then expect, 3-5 years down the line, to see the old-fangled desktop relegated to the same sort of "power users only" status as the current Command Line/Terminal.

      And Windows 8 ARM might as well be dead on arrival given that it can't run x86 apps.

      Windows 8 ARM will, initially, be for tablets, mobile devices and ultraportables only. Most tablets and mobiles already run on ARM and are doing quite nicely without being able to run x86 apps. For one thing, the issues moot because most "legacy" x86 apps were never designed for touch interfaces and small screens and would be unusably clunky. Win8 ARM should be able to run .NET bytecode apps and will almost certainly be accompanied by "official" versions of Word/Excel/Powerpoint/Outlook which would be seen by some buyers as an end-of-argument advantage over iOS/Android: MS's domination of office software is just as significant as its OS near-monopoly.

      Basically, I want to hate this due to its lack of a fruity logo and MS being Teh Evils, but it actually looks rather interesting and, while its clearly taken some cues from iOS and Android there seems to be a lot of original thinking, too. The big question is what is the perfomance on tablets going to be like when every "icon" is actually an Android-style "widget" requiring continuous updates from its App, and will it still grind to a halt with a borked registry after a few months of use? If only this was running on top of a proper *nix system instead of a CP/M emulator written by VMS engineers I might be sold.

      • I can't see any reason why the interface shouldn't work with a mouse or with gestures on a decent size (MacBook-style) trackpad. Its probably easier to take a touch-centric interface and map it on to mouse actions than it would be to make a mouse-centric interface usable with touch.

        I believe the Windows Mobile 7 interface requires multi-touch gestures in areas. And Windows 7 touch uses multi-touch gestures. Your mouse can't replicate multi-touch.

        More likely, they'll go to the Word tile or the Excel tile - and by the time Win8 launches there will probably be an "Office 201x" suite that integrates properly with the tile-based interface, so you'll get a nice "preview" tile. My experience is that non-techie Windows users don't use the desktop much anyway, and live in full-screened Office apps (Unlike OS X, Windows' existing MDI structure promotes this style of working).

        Don't be so sure. In 2003 they said all first party Microsoft apps would start using the Ribbon. It is 2011, and that still hasn't happened, though apparently that is still the goal. Apps like mspaint in Windows 7 did finally get the Ribbon, but not every app did.

        Also, different divisions in Microsoft not only don't talk to each other. They're

  • by Bloodwine77 (913355) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:50AM (#36318604)

    The idiot generation seems to be the target of the new OS UIs.

    I guess menus are hard.

    I am a cynical person, but even I didn't see the day where the desktop would be treated as oversized mobile devices with respect to interface and functionality.

    I think there is too much hype behind the desktop-is-dying phenomenon.

    It looks like they will provide optional toggle to switch to a more traditional desktop ... for now.

    I think Microsoft is seriously underestimating how this is going to hurt their upgrade sales in the corporate world. It is hard enough to get people off of XP to 7, I can't imagine what this will do for people resisting upgrading from Windows 7. Of course Microsoft will pull, "Latest version of X only works on Windows 8 or higher shenanigans", to try to force people to upgrade.

    • by FreonTrip (694097) <freontrip AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 02, 2011 @09:04AM (#36318734)

      The desktop isn't dying - the market's mature, but people are still replacing their desktops. Because the market's founded on a manic pace of consumption and disposal - remember the late '90s? - the fact that it isn't growing at the velocity of the lifestyle appliance / portable tablet and phone market sector means that people are panicking. I can picture a business strategy meeting where someone says, "People are buying smart phones and tablets. Because this is a growth market and they are computing devices, it therefore follows that usability paradigms applicable to those devices will be EVEN BETTER on other devices!" Unfortunately, this isn't so - not by any stretch of the imagination - and I think we're in for a bumpy ride as Gnome, Microsoft, and other people in The Biz* realize that "one interface for all" doesn't actually fit.

      * Yes, even the sainted Apple. Trying to converge iOS and OS X isn't going to go anywhere that's good for UI flexibility or getting under the hood, let me tell you.

    • by toppavak (943659)
      Menus are not hard, they're inefficient, particularly on a laptop where 90% of your interactions are with a trackpad rather than a mouse. It is significantly easier to simply hit super and start typing the name of the application you want and hit enter after 3-4 keystrokes (~250-500ms) on average than the navigate through menus nested 3-4 levels deep with a trackpad.
      • by jbengt (874751)
        Trackpads are not so inefficient once you get used to them. What doesn't work well is trying to use a mouse on the train, rather than the trackpad (I know since the left click button on my trackpad broke)
      • by rgviza (1303161)
        I hate menus this deep when using a mouse, with a trackpad they are impossible. That's why I have to carry a mouse with my laptop. Trackpads are unusable.
  • by PJ6 (1151747) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:52AM (#36318622)

    This is a reaction to the iPad. It's designed for my Mom.

    That's OK as long as they don't nerf up everything else.

  • For some tasks and devices could be better suited than Apple's User interface and Android 2.x one. But what about Android 3.x or Meego versus this?

    Also, for something that should be for all kind of devices, looks a bit too much touch centric, like keyboard taking a second stage on devices using it (and hiding everything when you need pointing device text input), and not very suited for several running windows showing information.

    In the plus side, more touchscreen enabled devices will appear in the marke

  • by uglyduckling (103926) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:53AM (#36318640) Homepage
    Windows 8, project codename "D.E.R.I.V.A.T.I.V.E.". I've been scanning the video, looking for something - anything - that they've actually invented. About the only thing I can see is the 'snapping' thing, which looks like an absolutely terrible way of having two windows next to each other. It also seems like it's a layer on top of Windows with the crufty Windows 7 desktop underneath. If this is to have any chance of success, they will need to ditch the traditional Windows GUI and have Old Windows programs run in a compatibility layer, otherwise this new UI will be ignored by the majority of developers and users, and it will become nothing more than a fullscreen Side Bar.
  • Millions of usenet downloaders can't all be wrong!
  • So Windows 7 is for desktops, Windows 2008 is for servers, Windows Phone 7 is for mobile phone devices and Windows 8 is for mobile non-phone devices?

  • The problem with Windows is that instead of getting rid of old stuff, Microsoft just piles up on top of it. So, next to the simple sleek interface, there is an old Windows 7 screen, and inside that are even older layers of Windows.

    Can you imagine the mess it's going to be to talk someone through getting to the old Windows 95-style network configuration dialog box, which you doubtlessly will still need?

    You find similar crap in the file system: there is the directory tree, then there is its localized variant

  • Either global warming, or mobile phone causing cancer will kill me long before we get to see it.

    I mean Windows ME and Windows 2000 came out in the same year, followed by XP one year later, then windows 7 10 years later after a long beta period with a product named something like an activity enjoyed in some dodgy German porn....

    Extrapolating I expect windows 8 to be released in 2120

  • I like the Metro style MS has going on here, but there seems to be a lot of concern in the .NET community that they are tossing the "traditional" developers overboard to chase HTML5 over Js. We have been working with WPF/XAML/C# for the last year, and it's not even entirely baked yet, so I just don't understand why they feel the need to start bolting new shit onto it. They SERIOUSLY need to fix VS2010 before doing anything radical like this, or who the hell is going to develop for this thing... and with what? Right now, XAML is non-debuggable, takes twice as much time as forms did to develop with, is SLOW, doesn't deploy well, is incomplete (even after you add all the codeplex add-ons and toolkits), and WPF and Silverlight are nowhere near as "interchangable" as MS marketing wants everyone to believe. And javascript/HTML? Apparently we should all throw out VS2010 and start working with Eclipse?

    I guess Apple has them so scared that they are in danger of hopping on trends to try to catch up, and that's going to be a MAJOR PROBLEM if they screw all the .NET developers along the way.

    I mean, look, touch is cool and all, and we have been able to make some really cool interfaces on early windows tablets, but I have to agree with Enderandrew above that turning the OS into a giant phone is a bad idea. Sheesh, one would think that MS, one of the largest software shops IN THE WORLD, could do both at the same time, but it appears not ....

    Consequently... fingerprints are a huge problem for us (we make medical workstations where smudges can screw up diagnostic quality), so I wonder if anyone is out there working on a smudge-less touch interface? Maybe self-cleaning? Too much to hope for?...

  • MS wants one OS to cover everything from phones to Surface and it AIN'T GONNA FUCKING HAPPEN. Is there one type of vehicle that scales perfectly from single-person transport to the size of a bus? Is there one type of vehicle for land, sea, and air? Is there one type of building that scales perfectly from storage shed to multi-story office? No, no, and no. Different things have different needs. "When great thinkers think about problems, they start to see patterns." [joelonsoftware.com] Programmers always want to solve "the gener

  • http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/G/gorilla-arm.html [catb.org]

    gorilla arm: n.
    The side-effect that destroyed touch-screens as a mainstream input technology despite a promising start in the early 1980s. It seems the designers of all those spiffy touch-menu systems failed to notice that humans aren't designed to hold their arms in front of their faces making small motions. After more than a very few selections, the arm begins to feel sore, cramped, and oversized - the operator looks like a gorilla while using the touch screen and feels like one afterwards. This is now considered a classic cautionary tale to human-factors designers; "Remember the gorilla arm!" is shorthand for "How is this going to fly in real use?

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