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Microsoft Co-founder Dings Windows 8 As 'Puzzling, Confusing' 343

Posted by Soulskill
from the solid-color-rectangles dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has called Windows 8 'puzzling' and 'confusing initially,' but assured users that they would eventually learn to like the new OS. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, left the company in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. In a post to his personal blog on Tuesday, Allen said he has been running Windows 8 Release Preview — the public sneak peak Microsoft shipped May 31 — on both a traditional desktop as well as on a Samsung 700T tablet, designed for Windows 7. 'I did encounter some puzzling aspects of Windows 8,' Allen wrote, and said the dual, and dueling user interfaces (UIs), were confusing. 'The bimodal user experience can introduce confusion, especially when two versions of the same application — such as Internet Explorer — can be opened and run simultaneously,' Allen said."
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Microsoft Co-founder Dings Windows 8 As 'Puzzling, Confusing'

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Or we'll fucking kill you!!

    • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@hotmail.cOPENBSDom minus bsd> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:20AM (#41534973) Journal

      Almost.

      They'll hold your hard work hostage in the guise of proprietary application and data formats instead.

      • by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:44AM (#41535061)
        Considering that there are standard data formats readable today that date back to the 1960s - they are so old that they have EBCDIC headers instead of ASCII - Microsoft really have no excuse for their hidden, shifting then obsolete data formats. When you can't even open a file with the newer version of the software it was written on that is a bit bit of a kick in the nuts of your previous customers.
      • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:56AM (#41536199) Journal

        Like they did with Vista? Oh wait, nobody bought it so they had to go back to the drawing board and give the people what they wanted with Windows 7.

        This is actually an advantage that proprietary has over FOSS, if you don't like Win 8? Don't buy it and if enough agree with you and don't buy it they'll have to go back to the drawing board or watch the company go down the shitter. Don't like Gnome Shell or Unity? Tough fucking shit, they don't owe you a damned thing and don't give a shit WHAT you think. its their personal playtoy and if you don't like it you can go piss off.

        So if you hate Win 8 join us that aren't gonna buy it, or machines running it, we'll see Win 7 rushed out by the OEMs who'll just drop a Win 8 DVD nobody will use in the bottom of the box to give Ballmer some bullshit numbers and everything will go back to normal. Hopefully the board gets tired of Bill's little buddy and punts his ass like a 30 yard field return and the next guy actually listens to the customers, that's how it works. All you can do in FOSS is play the distro shuffle and hope the part you have a problem with isn't a core component everyone uses because again, they don't owe you a damned thing, its free, like it or lump it.

        Personally I'll stick with the OS where I can skip 2 major releases (XP and Vista) and still be supported with updates until I decide they put out a product I liked with Win 7. You could go straight from 2K to 7 if you wanted and been under patch support the entire time, you just can't do that in FOSS land unless you have the money for a major support contract.

        • by ifrag (984323) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @07:07AM (#41536591)

          Like they did with Vista? Oh wait, nobody bought it so they had to go back to the drawing board and give the people what they wanted with Windows 7.

          Back to the drawing board? Hardly... Windows 7 is as close an OS to Vista as XP was to W2K. Some minor UI tweaks, less offensive UAC, and most importantly the fact that by the time Windows 7 rolled out there were actually working drivers for most hardware due to Vista development.

          If anything, people thinking that Windows 7 was some kind of major remake of the OS means that Microsoft marketing really did their job in providing damage control. It could have been deployed as a Vista Service Pack, but likely would not have been able to get the buy-in from consumers that somehow Windows 7 did. So Microsoft Marketing gave people what they "wanted", which was simply the perception that they were not getting Vista.

    • Or we'll fucking kill you!!

      Ha! I'll just switch to Ubuntu and Unity - oh wait... Damn. (sigh)

    • by cvtan (752695)
      With an attitude like that, you'll never be allowed to access the "charms" bar!
  • by Mska (2742945) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:17AM (#41534965)
    Users will like it in the end. Just like people like Ribbon now, even if they were confused first.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We will be forced to like it as manufacturers will set it as your only option. Reports so have not been good so far.There have been some user that have liked but not many.

      • Manufacturers are forced to put a license sticker for it on there. Enterprise will immediately image the hardware after unwrapping it with whatever OS they're standardized on, because they have downgrade rights in their enterprise agreements.

        My particular company gets version N-2 rights. Meaning, once Windows 8 ships, we cannot put Windows XP on a device with a Windows 8 sticker. Thus, our project to migrate to Windows 7 that started a year ago.

        We're good until Windows 10, at which point we'll move to a

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Or they will keep bashing it and refuse to have anything to do with it... Kind of like Vista. If it's anything like Vista, Windows 9 will be a much more refined OS based on Windows 8 and everybody will like it.

    • Re:Like he said (Score:5, Informative)

      by Panoptes (1041206) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:40AM (#41535051)
      "Just like people like Ribbon now" Personal opinion presented as a fact doesn't really contribute much to the discussion.
    • Re:Like he said (Score:5, Interesting)

      by santax (1541065) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:41AM (#41535055)
      Let me get one thing straight. I do not like Ribbon... I really really hate Ribbon. Before Ribbon on my windows system I would use MS Office and on my linux system Open (libre) Office, These days I run Libre on both and make damn sure that anything I program, does not contain ribbons. Too many damn clicks to get to what you want. That's not what automation is about.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sortius_nod (1080919)

        As someone who runs the IT for an office that uses Office 2010, the biggest complaint is the Ribbon. Everyone hates it, they ask why they can't use the old system, blah blah blah. It drives me nuts.

        Those that I've shown Windows 8 laugh at me & say "I just got used to the start menu, Microsoft can get fucked if they think I'll use this".

        I'm not sure who committed to this interface, but they need to be publicly flogged. Some streaming would be good too during said flogging.

        • by Beardydog (716221)
          Sane: Our metrics told us that no one was using the Start menu. Interesting.

          Fussy: Our metrics told us that no one was using the Start menu, so we removed it completely!

          Absolutely Insane: Our metrics told us that no one was using the Start menu, so we removed EVERYTHING BUT THE START MENU AND THEN CHANGED THE WAY IT WORKS TO MAKE IT UNRECOGNIZABLE ANYWAY BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
      • Re:Like he said (Score:5, Informative)

        by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:34AM (#41536079)

        I hated the Ribbon in Office 2007 for a few reasons.

        1. I had to re-learn where everything was.
        2. Microsoft's rule that an option could not appear on multiple ribbons meant that some things on the home ribbon were isolated from their related options on other ribbons.
        3. It failed the telephone test because it became harder to talk someone through an unfamiliar operation to them.
        4. The important ribbon that had the file open and save functions was hidden behind what just looked like a logo. They did fix this with Office 2010.

        But having watched the staff at my company use Office 2003, I came to realise that the ribbon was an excellent invention for them. Most of them refused to use menus, instead prefering the toolbar for absolutely everything. Even when I stood next to them and told them which menu to choose, they would slowly hover over every single button on the toolbars trying to find the function they wanted. I used to find this extremely frustrating. But now they have got used to the new layout, the ribbon makes it much easier for them to navigate having to go near a menu.

        Oh, and as a tablet user of Windows from way back, I can see the advantage of the ribbon when controlling the OS with a pen or your finger. It wasn't until I realised that this new system wasn't just replacing the menus, it was replacing the menus and dialog boxes. So while some things may take more clicks, other take much fewer. I now find myself less tolerant of large portions of the screen changing with a popup windows. Having most options available on the ribbon is a much more serene experience.

        Which is why I hate Windows 8. Changing the start menu into a full screen popup is a completely jarring experience. And if I hated the ribbon that was hidden behind what looked like a decoration, you can image how much I hate having to click in the space where the start button used to be to access the horrible metro interface. How intuitive is that? Not very. It is as Paul Allen said: puzzling and confusing.

        • Re:Like he said (Score:4, Insightful)

          by StuartHankins (1020819) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:23AM (#41538715)
          The Ribbon compared to a traditional menu system is much like comparing a McDonald's register to a regular cash register: A significantly simplified interface with pictures / icons instead of textual menus.

          Read into that what you will. For some of us, it's a tear-your-hair-out, dumbed-down experience. For someone else it's nirvana because they are clickers, not typers and reading that many words hurts their brain. As someone who's been using office software since it was created -- think GEM desktop and others -- and who has used many many systems, this change is unwelcome and feels wrong. It's slow to use and takes up too much room.

          If you want to have the same skills as everyone else, go clickie at the pictures. And now it's much harder for you to use any other system because your "hamburger" button isn't there.
          • That's an interesting analogy. I am curious as to how you think that it is dumbed-down. What features in Office got lost in the move from menus to the ribbon? Also, I think you are underplaying just how much text is on the ribbons [netdna-cdn.com]. It is not just pictures and icons.

            As I said previously, I was a passionate hater of the ribbon when I first used it, so I can identify with your feelings on the subject. But I can't agree with your final paragraph. I am not going to magically forget how to use other user interfac

  • Peak? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie.hotmail@com> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:23AM (#41534985) Homepage

    I see this mistake being made all the damn time and, well, it's STILL "sneak peek." A peak is e.g. the top of a mountain or a sudden, high jump in a graph whereas peek is about taking a quick look at something.

  • It's improductive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wainamoinen (891945) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:26AM (#41534999)

    For me it's quite simple Windows 8 interface doesn't make me more productive.

    Looking at my physical desktop, I don't have fancy clocks, tons of post-its, shinny gadgets... No, just a couple of books, some papers. I don't want distractions. I want to be focused on my work.

    I'll leave Windows, I'll return to GNU/Linux now that it's more matured, tons of great applications an a solid OS.

    • Re:It's improductive (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:48AM (#41535083)

      For me it's quite simple Windows 8 interface doesn't make me more productive.

      Unless you use a tablet; where its just fine. Or count the fact its genuinely snappier than Windows 7... both of which are positives for productivity.

      Looking at my physical desktop, I don't have fancy clocks, tons of post-its, shinny gadgets... No, just a couple of books, some papers. I don't want distractions. I want to be focused on my work.

      And when you launch 'desktop mode' its pretty much windows 7; but faster, and even fewer distractions. Sounds good to me.

      Really, I've been running windows 8 on one box for a couple months now. My biggest complaints are that there isn't a button on the task bar for the start menu -- its 'hot corners' and the shutdown command is a bit klutzier to get to. The former is an easy tweak to fix if i care enough; disable hotcorners, add a 'button'. The latter even easier.

      The new start menu is really no less efficient to use than the old one on a desktop. Its a bit more distracting that it goes full screen, but thats about it, and as a result I'm motivated to pin more apps so i use it pretty rarely.

      I expect we'll see some refinements over the next little bit, but really, on a desktop I never use the metro tile stuff, so its just not relevant. I cleaned up my start menu so there are no pinned tiles for shit i don't care about, same as i've always removed irrelevant default crap from my start menu. Overall the win8 desktop experience is fine with minimal tweaks.

      As a tablet/ultrabook OS its a big improvement over win7.

      WinRT (ARM)-- I'm not impressed or interested in it whatsoever, and hope it gets axed.

      • by Swampash (1131503) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:02AM (#41535127)

        Wait, you're saying it's "snappier"? Well shit, that's all my objections taken care of. Because we all know "snappierness" is the only objective metric that matters.

      • by humanrev (2606607) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:39AM (#41535791)

        Its a bit more distracting that it goes full screen, but thats about it, and as a result I'm motivated to pin more apps so i use it pretty rarely.

        Wouldn't that suggest that the new Start screen is a failure then? The fact you have to pin more apps than normal sounds very much like a workaround for deficiencies which didn't exist in Windows 7. Heck, I have about half of my Superbar in Windows 7 full pinned apps already - the rest I launch from the "recently launched" area of the Start menu (and the remainder via search of course). Does the Windows 8 Start screen have a recently launched area at least?

      • Re:It's improductive (Score:5, Informative)

        by MachineShedFred (621896) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @07:10AM (#41536611) Journal

        Where is it written that Microsoft must force users of one device category to use the same interface as a completely different device category, no matter how flawed it is for that device?

        They did this before with Windows XP Tablet Edition - a mouse driven stack on touchscreen / pen input devices. It was horrible. Now they've flipped the coin and we have a touchscreen / pen input driven stack on keyboard / mouse devices. It's horrible, and people don't want it.

        Google and Apple have done this right - a different UI layer and API over a (mostly) common lower system. This way you can have a user experience that is tailored to the device you're using. Android does this. Chrome OS does this. iOS does this. Mac OS X does this.

        Windows does not.

        • Where is it written that Microsoft must force users of one device category to use the same interface as a completely different device category, no matter how flawed it is for that device?

          In their actual address.

          Microsoft Corporation
          One Microsoft Way
          Redmond, WA 98052-7329

          It's endemic, there is no way to get rid of The One Ring that is Microsoft without throwing the whole thing in magma.

  • Or else?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by composer777 (175489) * on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:26AM (#41535001)

    I find it pretty sad that even Allen is finding problems with it. I can't say I understand the necessity of making a workstation OS easy-to-use on a phone. They should have been focusing on making it work better on, you know, workstations. For example, I have 3960x1600 pixels of resolution on my current workstation, and windows is a complete dog in terms of window management. How exactly does Windows 8 address this? It doesn't, but gee, it works great on a cellphone/tablet, which maybe I'd care about if I actually ran Visual Studio on a fucking cell phone. As it stands, this UI is an inconsistent piece of garbage, whose sole purpose seems to be to force me to waste my time learning how to use their mobile UI, in the hopes that maybe I'll be more likely to buy one of their tablets.

    • If I were allowed to grant you 6 mod points, I would sir. It's not about the platfrom per-se. It's about how it's being used. Windows 8 and Ubuntu have followed the same track as to catering to those that would rather dick around and not produce anything. To people like me, that produces things, this is a drawback.

      It's ok that they go on this track for consumers of things; but for god sake, make something for the rest of us that are producers of things.

      • Re:Or else?? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bertok (226922) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:33AM (#41535249)

        It's ok that they go on this track for consumers of things; but for god sake, make something for the rest of us that are producers of things.

        The sad thing is that they actually have done that, but then layered the stupid mobile crap on top, hiding the productivity-enhancing goodness underneath!

        For example, PowerShell 3.0 is a pretty big step forward. I've been using the CTP and now the RTM build on Windows 7, and I love it.

        The guts of Windows Server 2012 are better than the previous versions, but it's all hidden behind the new Server Manager that has been re-authored to have the "formerly known as Metro style, but not a really a Metro app, because Metro can't actually be used to... do things." The result is a hideous application that doesn't look like anything else in the operating system, and has a terrible control layout that's both confusing and slow. For example, after you open a "menu", you see about three items. About two seconds later, more items appear in the menu. That's just about the worst GUI design failure I've seen since I've had the misfortune of having to use X11 applications, where some buttons perform their command when the mouse button is depressed, and some perform the command when the mouse button is released.

        The core: better than ever, better even than UNIX/Linux in many areas, including the command-line!

        The skin: worse than ever, worse even than the inconsistency than UNIX/Linux is sometimes bashed for, but all within one operating system that I assume follows some sort of "design guidelines".

        • Tell you what - try remote managing a Win7/8 machine purely via the command line (of course you'll have to install sshd since MS don't bother to ship one) then get back to me about how much "better" the windows one is.

          • To be fair, rdesktop does a good job of that. Also, telnet (Yeah living in the past, but it works.).
            • by Pieroxy (222434)

              To be fair, rdesktop does a good job of that. Also, telnet (Yeah living in the past, but it works.).

              You've never had to restart a server from an underground train while on an iPhone connected with Edge. I had. I could not have done it through rdesktop, and I did it fine with ssh.

              rdesktop is fine but is a bandwidth hog compared with ssh. Of course, it transmit a UI instead of data. The thing is, on a server, no GUI is really needed.

          • by CxDoo (918501)

            You are not really familiar with Windows younger than XP?

            Keywords:
            PowerShell
            WinRM
            WinRS

            Knock yourself out.

            • by Viol8 (599362)

              Nice - except they're not installed by default.

              And feel free to explain how I'd remotely install software using the command line setup, or modify the registry, or format a disk or manage services.

              Knock yourself out...

          • You may be unaware of this, but Powershell supports remote operation, and can be used to completley administer a machine (recent versions of Windows Server ship without the graphics subsystem, relying on Powershell for full administration). People do what you derisively suggest that somebody "try" all the time.

            • by MeNeXT (200840)

              Can you upgrade to the next version of the OS remotely? Not saying that it's not getting better but it still has a ways to go. On most UNIX systems I can partition, format and copy an OS from a running system to a new system. Please provide how with windows and CLI/Powershell. Yes I know I can buy some software.....

              • by bertok (226922) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @06:33AM (#41536409)

                What rock have you been living under?

                Upgrades and installations have been doable as a 100% unattended task for over a decade now, with Microsoft tools only! Not only can you do it remotely, it's possible to power on a machine over the network, have it upgrade itself, and shut itself back down without any human intervention whatsoever.

                PXE boot, reliable network broadcasts, image-based installation, pre- and post- installation scripts, driver injection, update merging, various upgrade scenarios, backup and recovery of user data, etc... are all old hat. Most of those don't even require any additional licensed software such as SCCM, which just provides a GUI and a database for tracking progress.

                Tada: Windows Deployment Services [microsoft.com] and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit [microsoft.com]. Just because you aren't aware of it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

                On top of that, Group Policy shits all over the desktop fleet management systems available in Linux, because it's based on a hierarchical policy engine instead of flat text files, which have poor support for things like rollback.

                For example, I bet every Linux admin here can tell me a dozen ways they can set arbitrary values in configuration files across 10,000 machines, but not one of them can give me a good solution for undoing various random subsets of those settings years later! For example, you may want a site-specific setting to revert to defaults when the computer is moved out of the site, without undoing other settings in the same file that are relevant to all sites.

                Good luck implementing a general-case solution for that problem in Linux, because the text-file configuration paradigm just doesn't work that way! You'd have to convince the entire Linux community to switch to some other paradigm first, and that's just not going to happen.

              • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @07:28AM (#41536767) Journal

                I'll go one better.

                The company I work for is starting our mass rollout of Windows 7, upgrading from Windows XP. The team I work on has fully automated this process to the point where a site technical coordinator goes to a web page, clicks the assets he wants to migrate, selects "roles" for the machines (what application package sets they get for the user's responsibilities) and then clicks a button to execute. The XP machine then does the following:

                1. Check to see if there's enough free disk space to complete the migration
                2. Download a RAMdisk image of WinPE to boot from
                3. Swap out the bootloader for the Windows 7 version, which allows booting from the RAMdisk image
                4. Update the firmware on the device (BIOS / uEFI)
                5. Reboot to the RAMdisk image
                6. RAMdisk image detects if the device has an encrypted file system (laptop) and retrieves the unlock key from the encryption keystore server, and unlocks the filesystem
                7. Create a virtual hard drive file from the network that contains everything this system needs to remotely reimage, minus applications.
                8. Data is migrated out of user profiles to a temp folder
                9. Old OS and applications are moved to a backup folder
                10. New OS image of Win7 SP1 is dropped on the disk around the migration store and backup folder, from the VHD created before
                11. Drivers specific to the device are injected into the new Win7 install, from the VHD created before
                12. Reboot back to the hard disk
                13. Drivers are found and installed
                14. Applets and agents necessary for hardware (Laptop power management, Lenovo "craplets" necessary for hardware features, etc.) are installed, from the VHD created before
                15. Antivirus is installed and updated
                16. Encryption agent is reinstalled if it's a laptop (no mandate for desktops to be encrypted at this point)
                17. Reboot
                18. User data is migrated forward from the migration store temp folder
                19. Applications are delivered by our software deployment infrastructure
                20. User is presented with "Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to login".
                21. When they log in, they find all their stuff is still there, and all their applications are freshly installed. Total time on hardware that isn't an antique? 40 minutes.

                All kicked off from a web page. On an 11 year old Windows XP. Don't knock what you don't know, or haven't spent time to learn.

            • by Viol8 (599362)

              "and can be used to completley administer a machine "

              No it can't. Try doing any process/service control with it, or disk formatting or installation to name but a few.

        • "Buried under..." blah blah blah. So why isn't it on top instead of the bottom of all of the bullshit?!
    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Actually, Win8 helps on systems like yours a lot. For example, the multi-monitor support is vastly improved, with things like the taskbar spanning multiple monitors and showing the windows open on each monitor on that monitor's taskbar. I really don't get why people keep talking about the Metro experience on a desktop; it's neither required, nor important. There's plenty of non-Metro features, some of which are long-overdue improvements to the desktop. Almost nobody ever seems to talk about that, though...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chris Mattern (191822)

        I really don't get why people keep talking about the Metro experience on a desktop; it's neither required, nor important.

        But that's just it: It *is* required. You can't turn it off.

    • by cvtan (752695)
      You are an abnormal user that actually performs useful work on a PC. This is old-fashioned and accounts for 1% of the dumbed-down, 18-year-old cell phone Facebook market.
  • But at least Windows allows you to switch back to the old style interface...
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:31AM (#41535021) Journal

    Right now, the great majority of people don't have a choice. Corporations need Windows, and when MS says "jump", they fucking JUMP. But they're tired of it.

    Google, with a beefed-up ChromeOS, could truly disrupt the status quo - include WINE so that it can run a select few Win32 apps - notably MS Office -, make it manageable remotely, and a lot of desktops will migrate to ChromeOS.

    Not easy, but Google is the only who can pull it off. And should - since Win 8 is a walled garden environment, about to shut the others out.

    • by sapphire wyvern (1153271) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:16AM (#41535179)

      Hmm. Well, you might have a point, but I'm not sure this would be in character for Google. So far Google has offered two types of software upgrades:

      1. 1) Web apps, where you get the upgrade whether you want it or not. You don't usually have to pay for the upgrade, and you don't have to do any management at the client end, but opt-out might not be available. And roll-back is almost never available at your discretion. And there's always the risk that Google gets tired of a niche offering which is unprofitable and/or unstrategic and drops it entirely.
      2. 2) Android, where many users can't get the upgrades even when they want them, due to foot-dragging and cheapness on the part of the device manufacturers and carriers.

      I'm not sure that either option is unambiguously better than the MS treadmill (which applies to pretty much all proprietary packaged software, not just MS). Webapps have their advantages (especially from the developer's perspective), but at least with traditional packaged software, you can choose to stay put or even roll back to an earlier version if the new release doesn't meet your needs. And, since all the software runs on a standard PC hardware platform rather than the unique little snowflakes that ARM SoCs seem to be, your access to updates is less dependent on the willingness of your hardware vendor & ISP/telecoms carrier to spend money on software development & QA.

    • Apple is probably in a much better position to end Microsoft's reign over the desktop, if it decides to release a generic OSX for the white box market. Sure, Apple's Mac sales are going to take an irreversible hit. But if gadget-type computers are the way forward, then Apple could conceivably deliver the coup de grace that would effectively remove a competitor from the picture.

      The only problem would be the lack of a native office suite to replace MS Office, but if Apple can afford to release a half-baked ho

      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        Apple is probably in a much better position to end Microsoft's reign over the desktop, if it decides to release a generic OSX for the white box market.

        Then I guess Apple's in a worse position than anyone else to end Microsoft's reign over the desktop.

    • Actually both Microsoft and Google would really prefer corporates run MS Office in Terminal Server or the like. This gives the enterprise much more control and the client doesn't even need an x86 let alone Windows/WINE.

  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:03AM (#41535131)
    "a public sneak peak".

    Illiteracy still rules at Slashdot under new management.

  • by Rsriram (51832) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:06AM (#41535151)

    If a geek like Paul Allen finds it confusing, I can imagine the plight of the layman user who upgrades from Windows 7 to 8.

    • Actually, I think the laymen will have fewer problems. Look at all the desktops and UIs designed for the "average" user: Android, Gnome3, Unity, iOS...they all make a good figure if you put the stupid people in front of it...but all the others, who know what they are doing and especially know that they want...well...

  • As Win8 puts emphasis on the Modern UI apps, I have been pondering something. This summer when I dug into the world of creating graphical applications (Qt, GTK), I found out that the price for all the boilerplate code and abstractions was huge. That made me think that maybe HTML5/JS could actually be the nicer way to create complex UIs. Am I right or am I wrong? I have played with the idea of creating an e-mail application myself and, started to think about the option of actually creating the UI using HTML
    • I'll validate that.
    • As Win8 puts emphasis on the Modern UI apps,

      Windows Store Apps, you mean. That's the official name chosen by Microsoft.

    • I believe that about 2/3 of all stock apps in Win8 (stuff like e.g. Mail) is actually written in HTML5/JS.

      So, yes, you can certainly do that. Personally, I still find HTML itself to be a hassle for UI-related stuff, and JS to be a very underwhelming and quirky language even just for glue. And I don't see portability as buying you much, to be honest - if you want it to look good you still need to blend with other apps on any given OS, which means following the corresponding design guidelines - and those are

  • One hears the argument that a main reason for not switching to linux from Windows is the cost of retraining, especially when it comes to applications. The argument has often puzzled me. I hear tell that some companies are still using Windows XP because of the cost of conversion to other systems. The cost of conversion to Windows 8 will be pretty high, I would suspect. On the other hand, one of the nifty things about linux is that once you get it a you like, it can stay that way for a long time.

    Although

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:58AM (#41535337)

    . . . like mold.

    "Learn to like" was a poor choice of words, considering the industry prefers phrases like, "Will bedazzle your balls off!" and "This new UI will make you cream in your jeans so often, that you won't need porn any more!" and "Our stuff sucks, use Nokia Maps instead!"

    Microsoft is striving to be more like Apple now, with producing hardware, and all. So why don't they also do what Apple did, and bring back the original founder? He's tanned, rested, and ready for a new fight.

  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:05AM (#41535363) Journal

    I mean there are some people that actually like it and have written so but you wouldn't know it coming here. That is unless we're only interested in hearing bad news.....oh right....

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lightknight (213164)

      Nonsense. /. is about what IT people tend to think. If anything, it's refreshing to read what has been so painfully hidden on every other news / discussion site. It's almost like someone threatened them with an immediate removal of ad dollars if they didn't taught the cheeriest of interviews, while their chief technical contributors are fighting for a chance to use the defibrillator machine in the back after they thought about how badly Windows 8 is going to crash their stock portfolios. Put bluntly, the GU

  • by Gumbercules!! (1158841) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:18AM (#41535401)
    I was going to write I actually have come to like it but my fingers borked at it and I realised it's not true. I've been using it for weeks now at work and have come to peace with the UI. I have learned how to work my way around its nuisances without circumventing it entirely (I made a concious effort to work within the Windows 8 framework rather than just avoid it altogether as I figured I need to at least know how to use it).

    In short, I hate not having a start menu and I hate note being able to just start typing an application name to find it and run it (I know I can press windows+f in Win 8 but it's no where near as easy).

    However, I will say this. Windows 8 and more importantly Server 8 is fucking brilliant -under the hood-. The ability to natively team NICs, ReFS, the *enormous* improvement that is SMB3, better clustering, better management of machines from one location, storage spaces, the improvements in Hyper-V etc leave me stunned - compared to Server 2008 it's like comparing Windows 2000 and Windows 98. The underlying tech is miles in front of the old architecture. It's just such a pity they put this bloody interface on at the same time and made it compulsory because a lot of people are going to skip on Win8 and never notice how damn good the underneath tech actually is, this time around.
    • by Waccoon (1186667)

      In short, I hate not having a start menu and I hate note being able to just start typing an application name to find it and run it

      It's nice that you're yet another server guy that loves to type, but... am I the only one in the universe that sorely misses Quick Launch? If there was one feature of XP that needed to be killed off, that wasn't it.

      No typing, no Start Menu, no specific input device needed. Just one selection and that's it. What was so wrong with that?

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:28AM (#41535439)
    Surely its no coincidence that after Ubuntu switched to Unity Microsoft is releasing a confusing UI that nobody wants and saying "you will like it, really you will"!
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:43AM (#41535517) Homepage
    You will grow to like it: not a prediction, a directive.
  • by BrendaEM (871664) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:24AM (#41535713) Homepage

    Almost everything MS has done to Windows since 2000 has been a mistake.
    First the exceptions: 48Bit HD Addressing, 64 Bit Computing, and Cleartype.

    Just off of the top of my head, here are a few things that went wrong with XP and W7.
    XP's Melted plastic interface.
    XP's and forward has different sized windows controls.
    Visa/7's has huge memory footprint, too large for a phone, and delayed services.
    W7's Computer logs are slow as molasses on my 3.4 2600k, with 16GB ram. It takes a minute to open and check the hardware log. Some logs cannot be cleared by the user through the UI.
    The W7 small start button orb is too large for the rest of the bar, but otherwise the bar is good, that's why they will be changing it in W8.
    Personal menus were a waste of user time. Menus are faster to use if they don't change.
    In W7 many file properties like filesize are more tedious to retrieve.
    Vista and W7 take a long time to boot.
    Briefcases were a nice idea, but they crashed and were never fixed.
    Too much indexing going on in the background. I cannot belief that W7 defaults to reading through every file you have.
    Windows update should have never been done in a web browser. What were they training people for?
    W7 needlessly removes all but 2 power schemes.
    W7 audio is abyssal, with huge lag and delay recording anything with preview.
    System restore takes up too much space on large drives. 10% of 3TB is too much. I patch windows to fix it.
    Windows 7 updater is so stupid it won't even take the service pack first.
    Desktop gadgets failed and died.
    The idea that you would separate 32 and 64 bit programs into 2 folders was just plain messy.
    Local, Roaming, LocalLow gave too many places to look for stuff.
    W7 backpadaled meaning we still have the word "My" in front of everything.
    W7 networking is slow out of the box.
    In W7 deleting or copying files is slower than XP or 2000.
    W7 hangs all the time in odd places, such as when opening "My computer"
    They removed Regclean for the sake of registry cleaning companies.
    They made the defrag less informative and stopped freespace optimization for the sake of defrag companies.

    Anyway, from what I have seen of W8 is W7+W7phone. Windows 8 looks like quite the pigeon-rat. It's too large to be a phone OS and too limited to be a desktop system. I feel bad that I have an expensive CAD program as well as Photoshop, and have only this crap of Apple's walled in garden of weak hardware to choose from. Maybe they will fix Gnome 3, and add the dual pane back into Nautilus. Perhaps they will bring back the minimize button.

    I am very disappointed with Microsoft, Apple, Android, Ubuntu, and Gnome, and there is no where else to turn : (
    I would think that if Gnome got rid of hot corners, un-dumbed Nautilus, and brought back multi-pane windows, it would be the best of the above.

    I am not chattin, texting, and facebooking all day. I write books, whole 110,000 word books, and sometimes, I actually have more than open at once! I edit large photoshops documents, once again, more than one open at once.

    The thing of it is: we need to work on these computers!

  • by spirit_fingers (777604) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:33AM (#41536073)

    Given Microsoft's dismal history with mobile platforms, the prospects for Surface's success seem questionable. It's entirely possible that a year or two from now the only significant installed base of Microsoft's tablet interface will be found on PCs, not tablets.

  • by jandersen (462034) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @06:36AM (#41536437)

    Once upon a time there was this great, new concept for an OS called OS/2 Warp 3 - it was object oriented and really cool; and it completely failed to win the customers over. Because it was initially very confusing until you figured out that you had to do everything, more or less, by copying template objects, IIRC. And of course, Microsoft offered something people felt more familiar with.

    I just wonder - isn't this going to be the new Warp 3?

  • by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc,paradise&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:54AM (#41539103) Homepage Journal

    Seriously? You're linking to a computerworld blog post that discusses the actual blog post [paulallen.com] ?

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

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