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30 Days Is Too Long: Animated Rant About Windows 8 1110

Posted by timothy
from the devil's-advocate dept.
First time accepted submitter Funksaw writes "Back in 2007, I wrote three articles on Ubuntu 6, Mac OS X 10.4, and Windows Vista, which were all featured on Slashdot. Now, with the release of Windows 8, I took a different tactic and produced an animated video. Those expecting me to bust out the performance tests and in-depth use of the OS are going to be disappointed. While that was my intention coming into the project, I couldn't even use Windows 8 long enough to get to the in-depth technical tests. In my opinion, Windows 8 is so horribly broken that it should be recalled."
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30 Days Is Too Long: Animated Rant About Windows 8

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  • by Threni (635302) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @07:42PM (#42353873)

    Yes, once you've seen what was called Metro before Microsoft discovered that they were going to have to give it another name, and you've googled for `uh..how do I do stuff on my computer like..uh..get the control panel up...shut it down...exit full screen mode on that ugly application` you'll find the Windows key, which allows you entry into a whole new front end, which is a little like Windows 7 only the stuff at the bottom of the screen is missing. You have to move the mouse around in the corners and the edges of the screen and usually the same stuff will appear that appeared last time you sort of moved your mouse around that part of the screen.

  • This guy is an idiot (Score:1, Informative)

    by jdastrup (1075795) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @07:42PM (#42353883)
    I've been using it just. I put up with the NewUI instead of the Start Menu when I have to, but other than that, I spend 99.9% of the time on the desktop and it works just like Windows 7. I haven't used the NewUI/Metro Tiles/Apps or Store since the first day I installed it, and I have no plans to either.
  • Really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @07:43PM (#42353889) Homepage
    I just finished building a budget pc to replace a dinosaur. I put the XP SP3 on and did a clean 'upgrade' to 8 Pro. After three days, I have to say I quite like it. I mostly use the desktop but flipflop to the metro stuff now and then too. Still a bit put off by lack of start button but I've not really gone too deep into the whole Win8 thing to find out all the short cuts and other features (I've not had to). BTW, my other OS on the machine is FreeBSD so hardly a rah rah MSFT guy. But I do think much of the hyperobole against it is misplaced.
  • by ios and web coder (2552484) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @07:45PM (#42353915) Journal
    It seems a bit over the top for the context, but it is well-done.
  • Re:Not again... (Score:4, Informative)

    by LiquidHAL (801263) <`LiquidHAL' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:01PM (#42354063)
    I've been using it. I don't like the metro UI, so I installed a tiny program I found on ninite.com called Classic Start, self-explanatory. It works, I don't interact with metro, everything behaves as expected. Before that I classified it as a minor annoyance. They made some poor design decisions, but I don't understand the tantrums and hyperbole, I do all my work in the browser or in programs and there's no change there. And the desktop is virtually identical to windows 7. MMC, powershell, command line, control panel are the same. It might be because I've always used keyboard shortcuts to navigate windows, I just don't understand the vitriol.
  • by Rossman (593924) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:07PM (#42354103) Homepage

    He's not real bright.

    You can pretty much use Windows 8 just like Windows 7, just the "start menu" is now fullscreen. Press the windows key, start typing what you want, bingo.

  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:07PM (#42354107) Homepage Journal
    Tens of millions of licenses have been sold because there's no choice. One buys a PC with an operating system to view and edit files, and a lot of industries have standardized on file formats exclusive to applications that are in turn exclusive to Windows. Windows 8 is the only thing that sort of reliably runs these applications that Microsoft still sells for bundling with a new PC. If Windows 7 were still widely available, tens of millions of Windows 7 licenses would be sold instead. If application publishers made a point of supporting Wine, at least millions (if not tens of millions) of Xubuntu licenses would be sold instead.
  • by ios and web coder (2552484) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:08PM (#42354121) Journal
    Unfortunately, he mispeld "Nielsen." [nngroup.com]

    Those guys get upset when we don't spell write.

    As someone who has done plenty of criticizing (and received it), I can say that we need to get our facts straight when we do it.

    That said, I'm a HUGE proponent of usability. I think tecchies, as a species, tend to really suck at it (I include myself, there). I am constantly amazed at how "stupid" my users are.

    Except...they can be doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, teachers, etc. Real smart folks.

    When a whole bunch of real smart folks make the same mistake, over and over again, then it's probably a real good idea to examine the usability of the interface.

    This book [jnd.org] changed the way I view the world (Don Norman is Nielsen's buddy). Ever since I read it, I learned a new appreciation for human interface.

    Serving a constituency that tends to take personal frustration and embarrassment out in rather pithy fashion [youtube.com] helps to keep me focused on making UX accessible.
  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:19PM (#42354231)
    The tutorial plays the first time you log on to a new account. It tells you to move your mouse to any corner, and shows you the charms bar opening if you move the mouse to the top right. This gives you shortcuts for search, start, and settings. This accounts for everything the GP complained is hidden and confusing.
  • Dunno... (Score:5, Informative)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:20PM (#42354233) Journal

    There's inevitably going to be fans for any OS, even windows ME.

    Since we have a Windows 7 slate that I really wanted to upgrade (read: make usable, as 7 is pants on a slate) daughter and I went to an Office Despot that had Win8 running on a big touch screen monitor, and I tried to get it to do stuff. Never touched Win8 before, but had worked on most previous Windows operating systems, (starting with 3.1, 3.51, 95, 98 SE, NT 4, 2000, ME (shudder), XP (still using it) and 7, plus experience with server 2000 and 2008) how hard could it be?

    I massaged the screen for about ten minutes and couldn't get it to do anything useful. Oh, you can touch a tile and something happens, but it's easy to get into a mode where it's not at all obvious how to get out. GUIs, especially touch GUIs, should have visual cues on how to navigate, or at very least do things in consistent ways.

    After awhile, daughter pushed me aside, as she has experience with Windows 7, Android and iOS on touchscreen, she wanted to take a crack at it. She figured out how to get out from where I had gotten stuck, but not much else after another ten minutes of pawing at the thing. Like 7, there seems to be little cabalistic gestures one has to learn to perform certain actions in 8, and they don't seem to be similar to what you had to do in 7. We finally gave up.

    Mind you, I'm sure it's possible to learn Windows 8. The point is, it's not at all obvious how to use it.

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:21PM (#42354261)

    I can't really see the benefit of Windows 8 over 7 at the moment though so I'm considering going back.

    Why even bother going back? Just install a start menu replacement (one of dozens available), and you'll have a machine that looks and acts like Windows 7. You'll never even have to touch metro, as they disable hot corners and boot to desktop. Then you retain the performance, security, and new features in Windows 8, with all the benefits of Windows 7.

  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:24PM (#42354309) Homepage Journal

    [The tutorial in the out-of-box experience of Windows 8] is the first thing that appears when you boot the operating system.

    Is it displayed only when the PC's owner boots the operating system for the first time, or also when another user of the same computer boots the operating system for the first time?

  • by Nolas (942934) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:29PM (#42354359)
    no, he IS an idiot. he could not figure out how to close a metro app. you click and you drag it down to the bottom of the screen and let go. real super easy. He spent 30 minutes and could not figure this out. It took me about 8 seconds. He is an idiot.
  • Re:Not again... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:45PM (#42354513)

    You know why I say Fuck You? Because your links are like boasting how easy it is to bypass an AES128 encrypted file by watching a fucking youtube video that shows you the key. If you don't know something, I don't care how short a video is if I shouldn't have to watch it in the first place. So, fuck you.

  • by DrGamez (1134281) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:53PM (#42354593)
    Because you can move to the bottom right and do the same thing. Or press WIN+C. Or maybe because Microsoft isn't really great at UIs? Who knows.
  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:53PM (#42354603)
    Yes, a few:

    Start8: http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/ [stardock.com]
    ViStart: http://www.lee-soft.com/vistart/ [lee-soft.com]
    Classic Shell (has the benefit of being FOSS): http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
    Pokki: https://www.pokki.com/windows-8-start-menu [pokki.com]
  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @08:57PM (#42354637) Journal

    How are users who have been opening the Start menu with the mouse for a decade and a half expected to discover the Windows key?

    They're not. They're expected to move their mouse to the corner where they remember having it, and clicking there, which brings up the Start screen. Furthermore, when they first log into the OS, it plays a short video that urges them to do just that.

  • No shit (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:13PM (#42354813)

    I am not at all a fan of Metro, I think it is a stupid decision to try and force their tablet sales, and it isn't going to work. I dislike the start screen, and on my personal work desktop I replace it with a start menu (Start 8 is my choice).

    However it is not hard to use. It is different, and I feel a number of the things it does make for a less efficient workflow, but it is not hard. Inferior to what it replaced, but not hard.

    So if you truly can't figure it out you are either:

    1) Extremely technically inept. No shame there, but don't write for a technical publication.

    2) A moron, in which case please try and get your learn-on and don't be.

    3) Trolling/lying, in which case please stop.

    I get tired of the tech troll types trying to make Windows 8 out to be worse than it is. That is stupid and it weakens your real point (which is presumably that people shouldn't use 8). If you have to lie to make your point, it leads one to question how valid that point is. If you can't make your argument based on truth, then you need to reevaluate it.

    Windows 8 has a somewhat poor user interface, not a hard one. There's a difference. A command line is a hard user interface, though it can be very good for some things. Without training you will likely be able to do literally nothing with the system since there are no hints as to what to do. When one learns it, it can be very efficient, but it is hard to learn.

    8 is the opposite, it is actually quite easy to use and learn, but it is somewhat inefficient compared to what it replaced. That is a bad thing and MS shoudl be scorned for it, but don't try and claim it is hard.

  • Re:Not again... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:43PM (#42355065)

    I'm sorry, but if a video featuring a child moving pictures around the screen is the best counter-argument Microsoft can come up with, there has to be something seriously wrong with Windows 8.

    I recently had the opportunity to try Windows 8 for the first time. I'm a 40-something IT consultant with 20+ years experience, so I'm not your typical user by any stretch of the imagination. I've used DOS, Netware, AIX, SCO Unix, Linux and every Windows version from 3.0, but I've actually never used a tablet and I've never owned a smartphone. I was ready to give Windows 8 a try. I mean, how hard can it be?

    Pretty hard, as it turns out. I knew I was in trouble when after staring at the "start" screen for a few minutes, I had no idea how to access settings or navigate the file system to get to, say, my NAS unit or USB stick.

    In previous Windows versions, I can remember feeling annoyed over having to search through the system to find settings or applications that Microsoft had decided to move around. In Windows 8, I felt like I did that time my car broke down: I was stuck. There was nowhere to go, and nothing seemed familiar.

    I though most of his rant was spot on, and my customers seem to agree. I sold a few laptops with Windows 8 preinstalled, but ended up having to downgrade to Windows 7. I'll be doing that with every laptop from now on (but Microsoft still gets to count them as Windows 8 sales).

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:54PM (#42355169)
    Probably right. In this case however, it's your IT department that's supposed to train you on how to use your work-required technology, not MIcrosoft. Here is what you missed: http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/2/3214795/windows-8-tutorial-setup-guide [theverge.com]
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @11:16PM (#42355817)

    No, the interface is the same as it was before... plus touch based application support. Is an IOS interface designed for a 3 year old? Is android? Same thing. get over it.

  • Re:Not again... (Score:3, Informative)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Friday December 21, 2012 @03:21AM (#42357047)

    i love how fanboys can declare one OS trash because they've become religious about using 1 or 2 platforms.

    might as well stop reading after this.. You can't pass off a criticism with the assumption that the person making it is deficient or otherwise unqualified. The statement stands on its own or it doesn't.

    1. the 'compatibility crud' is still there. Basically, all that changed was the change from explorer.exe as the shell, and they disabled aero..sorta.

    2. There are all kinds of hotkeys for windows. Many of them are useful, but this one thing is not an excuse for other deficiencies.

    3. a search box is a crutch for a shitty and/or limited interface. It's ok on a tablet or a phone (even that's a stretch because the difference between picking from lists and typing is even larger), but on a desktop it's definitely faster to use the mouse on a gui. Having to click a menu, then hit 'search' then type 'recovery', then back again to click (as he mentioned in the video) is positively the WORST way to do this. With all the search boxes these days, I'd rather just have a full screen terminal again. It's more powerful and requires less guess work about what you're supposed to type!

    4. that's right.. trash is something that doesn't work. Windows 8 doesn't work for all but the simplest of tasks, the kinds of things that could be done with a tablet, media player, or a tracfone. Again, the video is right, the desktop is not about media consumption, it's about content creation. Consumption is a sideline use. Thus windows 8 is trash.

    5. the task manager is improved? it's worthless. They've been dumbing it down since windows 2000. Now it's gotten to the point where the default screen shows nothing..literally nothing.. just a blank window. The rest of the tabs are seriously short on information.. The task manager is supposed to give you a top down view of ALL processes running on your computer. Deliberately hiding certain classes and details makes it worse than useless because it's deliberately bad at doing what it's supposed to do. the icing on the cake is that getting at what info is there requires even more clicks than before.

  • by Zephiris (788562) on Friday December 21, 2012 @06:56AM (#42357953)

    Well, what does it do that Windows 7 doesn't? Not counting the whole "app store" paradigm, or that live tiles work like Dashboard...
    Native USB3 and bluetooth stack as well as native mobile broadband support. Driver and application stacks can now lightly 'plug-in' on top, instead of having to replicate an entire stack themselves. This notably made both my USB3 and bluetooth drivers smaller and use drastically less CPU for the same functionality. They still offer features beyond the 'standard' support, but everything works out-of-the-box.
    Enhanced Protected Mode for those crazy enough to use Internet Explorer as their main browser (apparently quite a few people).

    WDDM 1.2 (for the video drivers) is more useful than people give it credit for. In addition to improving performance slightly (according to third parties anyway, I haven't noticed any difference) in a few isolated cases, it drastically improves GPU multitasking granularity as well as preventing legacy apps from needing to disable Aero for compatibility reasons. Everything that had to disable it before, "just works" now, and all the cases where Vista and Windows 7 would make the UI unresponsive under GPU load are now quite butter smooth. This has caused me to not notice a few times when I was running multiple windowed games at once because I forgot to shut something down. :P

    Does native Hyper-V support on the desktop version count? It doesn't even mess with your GPU performance, like the old versions used to.

    And generically superior power savings. I can't say how well it works for a laptop, but it can save an extra 0.5W on my desktop's CPU when idle (balanced, not power saving), when it was already under 2W.

    People complained about Windows 7's "improvements", in case such recent history was forgotten, including the annoying "libraries" support, people becoming confused with aero peek's sudden transparency if you put your cursor in the wrong place. Windows 7's main improvements were kernel/driver related, much as Windows 8's are.

    Some of the changes in applications or driver stuff (like networking) will primarily benefit those businesses (that I might consider strange) who are using Windows Server in production, such as being able to get far lower CPU utilization for the networking stack itself, but dependent on non-consumer-class networking hardware. This includes datacenters and financial stuff (for which there has been specific options put in) which need as few microseconds possible added latency.

    And don't get disingenuous on era gaps, please. 2K was the "reinvention" compared to Win9x and NT4. Vista was the overhaul (not quite as dramatic) compared to XP. Windows 7 was an iteration. Windows 8 is, by all conventional standards, another iteration. Most Microsoft devs would probably say it's nearly as big as XP to Vista, but I'd disagree.

    Microsoft provides the standard. They didn't actually remove the ability for third party software to override that. There are A GREAT MANY (over two dozen last I checked) start menu replacements that give you a functionally (if not aesthetically) identical start menu to Windows 7, boot you direct to desktop, and effectively disable any chance of 'accidentally' activating Metro.
    It's very disingenuous to say that is worse than Windows 7. Many people hated that Windows 7 completely and totally removed all traces of the Win2K "classic" menu. It got a lot of people to pay attention to the start menu replacement applications, which had previously been rather niche.

    Windows 8 is "forcing" nothing more compared to what Windows 7 "forced" on former Vista users. Just because it's a "tick" release instead of a "tock" release doesn't mean it's automatically horrible. Win2K was a "tick" release, but many people did like it and found it to be very stable for what it was. If you look at any of the threads (including Slashdot) mentioning ANY other windows release, the same year as the release, you see very similar complaints, flaming, and generally chicken-w

  • Re:Not again... (Score:4, Informative)

    by fredprado (2569351) on Friday December 21, 2012 @09:16AM (#42358625)
    Just RTFA, or in this case watch the video and you will see. Actually you may choose one from the dozens of videos about Windows 8 and you will see. Just to cite a few things:

    - it more than doubles the number of clicks and moves you have to do to perform normal operations,
    - applications (like the weather predictions) keep popping up when you least expect because you made a gesture with your mouse that the horrible horrible UI mistakes as another touch gesture that has nothing to do with what you want to do,
    - you simply cannot find configuration features without knowing the specific keywords, because there are no shortcuts that do not involve typing these specific keywords/ This is something they started with the advanced file search in Windows 7, which is much worse than XPs, but went viral on Windows 8

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