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Windows 8 Roundup 474

Posted by samzenpus
from the whole-lot-of-new-going-on dept.
There has been no shortage of Windows 8 news today. MrSeb writes: "Earlier this morning, at the Build Windows conference in Anaheim, California, Microsoft made it patently clear that 'To the cloud!' is not merely a throwaway phrase: it is the entire future of the company. Every single one of Microsoft's services, platforms, and form factors will now begin its hasty, leave-no-prisoners-behind transition to the always-on, internet-connected cloud." netbuzz pointed out that even the famous Blue Screen of Death will get a new look. Lastly mikejuk writes: "While everyone else is looking at the surface detail of Windows 8 there are some deep changes going on. Perhaps the biggest is that Metro now provides an alternative environment that doesn't use the age old Win32 API. This means no more overlapping windows — yes Metro really does take the windows out of Windows."
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Windows 8 Roundup

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  • This is cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:14PM (#37404744)

    It looks increasingly like Windows 7 will be the last version of Windows I ever have to use.

  • Re:This is cool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nbetcher (973062) <nbetcher.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:22PM (#37404824)
    That's what most people said about XP when Vista was on the horizon.
  • by vinn (4370) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:23PM (#37404832) Homepage Journal

    So here's what everyone is hearing in the Windows world about Win8: "We're changing Windows. A lot. It's gonna look completely different. It's gonna act completely different. A lot of the things you do today probably need to be thought about differently".

    Here's how IT management is interpreting that: "We might completely break Windows again. A lot. It's gonna confuse users. It's gonna make them less productive. Don't even think about using this product in a business environment without considering all of the extra support they're going to need."

    Guess what? Based on what I've already seen, there's no way I'm even bringing this product into our environment for even a test basis until it's been out for over a year. If we're gonna have to completely retrain users how to do something, we're going to consider other things. That new Motorola Bionic with it's full screen dock and keyboard is looking more and more like something I want to own.

  • Sanity Check? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:28PM (#37404880)

    Is anyone actually stopping to say - "hang on a minute, what do people actually use?"

    The hype of "the valley" would have us believe that everyone was sitting with a tablet with everything in the cloud.

    The reality I see around me everyday is that everyone is sitting with a desktop/monitor/keyboard and is using a wide variety of local software. Not only are they doing that because it is "what has been", but also they are doing it because it is "what is required".

    Is all this hype added to everything just to shift very large margin tablets and sell OSs? Was the netbook (a product that according to "the valley" is dead) so harmful that it's concept (low margins, fully functional, low requirements) had to be eliminated?

  • Retraining (Score:2, Insightful)

    by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:30PM (#37404896) Homepage Journal

    Funny how companies keep eating the retraining costs, while claiming those same training costs are the reason they don't deploy Linux desktops.

  • I can answer that! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:31PM (#37404904)

    Seriously... what's with all the idiotic hate on this?

    Microsoft is only changing the DEFAULT window manager to be more consumer / tablet friendly. Good for them.

    Because Microsoft is changing the default behaviour in the new product. And the new default behaviour will be LESS effective for the users of the traditional Windows systems (desktops and laptops).

    Here's an idea. Why not leave the DEFAULT behaviour as it is already and add a new OPTION to change it to the tablet-friendly format for those who want it that way?

  • Re:The cloud... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:43PM (#37404960)

    and I thought Microsoft was irrelevant before.

    Ah, the internet, where 90% market share means you just don't matter.

  • Re:Brilliant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Suiggy (1544213) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:44PM (#37404970)

    The problem is that cloud computing tantamount to slavery computing, turning users into slaves. It takes away all control and concentrates it in the hands of large corporations.

    I'm all for ubiqutous computing, but unless I own and control all of the devices I use, and the software running on them, what's the point?

    I'm tired of being a slave. A slave to the dollar, a slave to the government, a slave to the company I need to work at to survive in this pitiful existence. I don't want some big corporation to take away my personal computing experience.

    I don't see how people are so blind as to think cloud computing is an improvement.

  • Re:Oh my (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:48PM (#37404998) Journal

    I think it's a project by Microsoft to see if they can hype things out (like they did with Windows 7) and get massive results (like Windows 7)... sort of like emulating the Apple rumor mill, but instead of leaving the world to speculate, MSFT is trying to fuel the fire itself.

    OTOH, I think it will backfire, mostly because I think they mis-read the reason Windows 7 was moderately successful: Windows 7 didn't become popular by the hype machine; it became moderately successful because the last decent version of Windows (XP) was released 8 years prior, and both XP and Vista using Windows enthusiasts were gagging for something that was up to date but not broken.

    CNET (I know, I know) has been spewing out Windows 8 puff pieces every other day (sometimes every day), even for incredibly minor crap (e.g. Hyper-V, mounting .iso files, etc... minor bits that really don't mean much of anything to the end user individually.)

  • Two things (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:57PM (#37405074)

    I have two things:

    1 - Given Microsoft's track record for abject failure in the innovation department, does anyone really believe any of this hype?

    2 - Does anyone else think trying to be two things at once will just be one hot mess? Unlike Apple who does iOS very well, and OS X very well, this seems to be doomed to trying to be two things at once, while simply sucking at both. I think Apple dabbled with the concept with Lion but quickly realized that when I'm using a desktop, I want a desktop OS, not a 27" iPad.

  • Re:This is cool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by black3d (1648913) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @07:58PM (#37405084)

    Vux - I completely agree. It's more the point that it forces you to. If you hit F3 to search, you're taken to the Metro search interface. You're now forced to pick one of their search "targets" and to use their interface. You can't even see your application as you're now in a full-screen Metro interface, so it's going to take at least three clicks to get back to your program (one in the lower left corner to bring up the Start screen, then one on Desktop to open the desktop "gadget", then one on your application).

    If, heaven forbid, you use Internet Explorer (which sadly, many users still do as the default browser on their PCs), it's also now a full-screen metro "app". If in the above example, you followed search to a Wikipedia link, you're now in a full-screen IE session with your original application several clicks away (and several clicks to get back to your IE to make sure you read something correctly, etc).

    I understand it's for tablets. That's great. But forcing it on desktop users as at present is asinine. I hope to be shown in beta that we have the option to not use Metro at all. That hasn't been mentioned yet. What we've been told is that we're going to have to "change the way you do a lot of things" and that we need to "interact with the screen" more. That suggests they are going to force this Metro crapware on top of everything.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @08:01PM (#37405118)

    1) Because the people who would most benefit from the "new" Window manager are the ones that would be least likely to find the option to turn it on.

    2) Because the full classic desktop manager is simply a "full screen" application. In other words, its a tile in the new system.

    The user does not need to "switch" to classic, they just launch it, because its an application.

    Which is stupid. The moment Win8 detects a touchscreen it could immediately opt to make Metro the standard; the moment it detects no touch capabilities it could resort to using the old setup.

    This technology is already being used in Windows 7; the "demo mode" for example is only usable if Win7 runs on a laptop; on a desktop the option is disabled.

    So easy, and it would avoid so much problems...

  • by Omestes (471991) <{omestes} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday September 15, 2011 @02:35AM (#37407020) Homepage Journal

    Resisting change, did you even test it or try to see the good and bad points? You know, get a balanced view ...

    I've got a high UID, so I'm not crusty in my ways: I know what works for me, I've been working on my computer for 25 years, so I damn well know how I work. I know that EVERY single other PC OS or DE has window overlap as a default behavior for a damn good reason. I'm not sure what was broken about it. I'm not even convinced its easier for "normal" users, both my Mom and Dad have no problem with windows overlapping, and neither of them are at all close to being expert.

    Earlier today, using my computer for fun, I had over 6 windows open. I had a torrent client open, and squeezed down so I could just see the progress bar, I had iTunes open, I had Steam open, I had both a Firefox and two Chrome windows open, I had three explorer windows open as well. This is normal use. I'm sure Microsoft knows what best though, obviously I meant to buy a tablet and not a desktop. Yes, I have the option of not using a gimped interface, but why should I jump through hoops? When I'm actually working this will be infuriating, I don't need extra steps, I don't need Microsoft telling me how to do things, I just want to forget all about my OS and focus on the task at hand. Sometimes that task requires tons of extra windows arranged in such a way that suits my work flow, which might not be a way that MS approves of. I'm imagining this in a corporate environment, where using multiple windows is the norm, as is users of all abilities and experience levels.

    Hell, I don't understand why I can't have a start menu. Whats wrong with being able to quickly access another program without losing focus on whatever task your doing? I don't understand why a tablet interface makes any sense on a desktop, either. I have a large monitor, plenty of real estate, so I don't need to focus on one thing at a time. A tablet is a toy, I use a real computer. If I wanted the tablet experience, I'd be using a damn tablet. I have nothing against tablets, or OSs on tablets, but they don't work for me.

    I've noticed that the trend in OS design of late is to try to kill the idea of multi-tasking, and try to force the user to focus at single tasks. This is all well and fine, but it doesn't match many peoples actual work flows. Sure, I'm doing one task, but this generally leads to needing to have multiple other things working at the same time. I'm editing a file, thats my single task. For this I need an email program open to see what the customer/boss wants, I might need a chat window or Skype to actually communicate, I need a PDF viewer or browser to see documentation, I need some music to keep me sane, I need a text editor to scribble notes and documentation, I need multiple file browsers to keep track of other files and documents, etc... Rarely can I do my job with a single, or a few, windows.

    But marketing departments decided that ALL computers should now be toys made for mere media consumption, and not tools.

    I don't need to test it, just watching the videos and reading the reviews tell me that I get to skip a version of Windows.

    If it isn't broke, don't fix it.

  • by terjeber (856226) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @07:01AM (#37407952)

    According to Google, more than 90% of users do not know that they can use search functionality in Windows. The majority of Windows (computer) users are barely able to distinguish between a document, a website, an email and an application, it is all a blur to them. The typical computer user thinks that if he drags the small icon from the URL bar in IE/Firefox/Chrome to his desktop he has "saved" the webpage to his computer, he doesn't know the difference between a link, a shortcut and a document.

    Microsoft should attempt to make computers easier to use for these people, they are the vast majority of computer users. They need help. The fact that you get to click once more time than you would when starting Windows should not factor into that issue at all. As a power user you are able to make it work. It is optional after all.

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