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A Serious Proposal To Fix Windows 8 578

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the wget-ubuntu-desktop.iso-and-install dept.
GMGruman writes "Windows 8 is simply not selling, and everyone but Microsoft knows it's a mess of an OS. And the Windows 8.1 'Blue' that Microsoft revealed some details of late last week doesn't address the fundamental flaws. So a team at InfoWorld worked up a serious proposal to rework Windows 8 for both PCs and tablets that fixes those flaws and lets Microsoft's true innovations break free of today's Windows 8, complete with mockups of the proposed Windows 'Red.'"
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A Serious Proposal To Fix Windows 8

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  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @07:30AM (#43903459)

    You're got to look at it from a business perspective. Microsoft is a 'traditional' software company: They make a product and sell it. They have no model for continuing to make money from their product post-sale, so they are highly dependent upon keeping customers continually upgrading. An increasingly difficult task - Windows XP remained popular for many years after MS intended it to die. Compare to Apple or Google: They don't just make products, but make an ecosystem around it - iTunes, , the app stores, tie-ins to other services, advertising. Every iPhone and Android device is a revenue stream to Apple or Google well after the initial sale.

    Microsoft wants to copy that. It's a great business idea. Not always good for end-users though - the factor that enables the ecosystem business model is device usage restrictions. Apple couldn't make money off the iPhones if people were able to install just anything from anywhere, without the App Store taking a cut.

  • Re:No, it's not. (Score:5, Informative)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @07:50AM (#43903613) Homepage

    It's done. If you want a Start menu, pay $5 to Stardock.

    Why pay anybody anything? Classic Shell [classicshell.net] is free.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @07:50AM (#43903619)

    Why would you expect a Slashdot summary to be objective? (Or remotely accurate? Or free of typos? Or not a Slashvertisement?)

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @08:09AM (#43903771)

    > - OSX - anybody who tells you that this is somehow a better working environment than ms windows honestly is just lying.

    Quit trolling. Do you even _use_ OSX on a daily basis?

    I've been using computers since the early 80s and have used a ton of OSes: Apple DOS 3.3, Apple ProDos, DOS 2.x - 6.x, Win3.1 .. Win8 (inclusive), Irix, BeOS. For the past 2 years I've been using OSX as part of my day job.

    My thoughts based on _experience_: As a power user OSX is pretty darn good. You can Alt-Tab into & out-of games all day long without _any_ hiccups. On Windows alt-tabbing back INTO the game almost always forces a 1 or 2 second hiccup. The way Windows manages devices & scheduler in Windows is wonky.

    + The UI is good. Clean and (mostly) well designed (although Apple appears to be making more and more bone-headed decisions lately.) The 4 hot-corners of the desktop (Expose) is fantastic. Borders are only 1 pixel thick in OSX in contrast to the fugly 8 pixel width on Win 8. OS also has the advantage that MS Office shows the menu bar ALONG with the stupid ribbon.

    + On the MBP the trackpad blows away any Windows laptop I've tried.

    + BSD under the hood which makes porting to Linux helluva a lot easier for command line apps. XCode is a decent IDE.

    - OSX Virtual Memory still stinks (I've been able to completely hard-lock OSX once about every 6 months) on 10.6 and 10.7.

    - GPUs have always sucked on the MacBook. TF2 with everything turned down and barely able to get 20+ fps on a 3 yr old 17" MBP.

    = When needed the majority run Windows in a VM (Parallels) and we have a few dedicated Windows boxes. A lot of developers (~20) also run Linus inside a VM (VMWare or VirtualBox) (no Plus nor Neg, equal = tie)

    We have an office of ~70 people who use OSX on a daily basis and would also basically agree you are completely talking out of your ass. So yes, OSX is _good_ enough for daily use.

    Besides, Linux _already_ won on the mobile space.
    http://techland.time.com/2013/04/16/ios-vs-android/ [time.com]

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @08:27AM (#43903945)

    Apple couldn't make money off the iPhones if people were able to install just anything from anywhere, without the App Store taking a cut.

    Apple makes as much or more revenue off iPhone hardware sales ($22B) alone than all of MS according to their quarterly financials [apple.com]. While Apple makes money off of apps and content ($4B before they take their cut), it not as much as what they make on iOS hardware ($30B).

  • Re:Works for tablets (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @08:46AM (#43904123)

    I'm a Linux fan. I've been one for over a decade. And my wife hates it.

    She works with incredible monster complex Excel stuff that LibreOffice can even handle, and she wanted a Windows machine, so I bought her a cheap Acer tablet with W8 on it. If she wants to work, places it on its dock station, and for reading, email, facebook, etc. the tablet mode meet her requiremetns.

    After playing around some time with W8, all I can tell is that it feels good, it's easy, and well desgined. I would recommend it to almost any common end user.

    Just my two cents.

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @08:55AM (#43904215)
    Remember, Microsoft has always been reactionary rather than inventive. They wait to see where the market is going and then jump in, pretending to be the guys who invented. This worked well for years. Also, they have so much money that they can (unfortunately) afford to fail big and shrug it off. Vista was a disaster for sure, but it's just a historical footnote now. When you don't have to be right and have the money to just restart from the ground floor, you can gamble. So Windows 8 is the result of Microsoft incorrectly reading the marketplace, specifically in believing that nobody wants to buy PCs and that 100% of the world wants tablets and almost nobody on earth will ever buy or use a true PC again. Never in the past have they been held accountable and lost market share for being disastrously wrong, so I can't really fault them for expecting that to continue. I don't remember his name, but one tech writer wrote recently that Microsoft will continue to misread the market place and try to extract more and more revenue from the segments where in the past they had a stranglehold but are actually dying now (ie. Windows and Office). The Xbox thing is them being reactionary ("Kids use Tivo and we need to get us some of that money!") and trying to hold onto cash by making it unfriendly to play used games on. I don't claim to be a gamer or understand or know that market, so we'll see what happens. But their Windows and Office strategy is flawed because the push for more money out of Office is already driving people to cheaper alternatives and making Windows unfriendly to the businesses who need it to work reasonably well on true PCs is going to be a failure too.
  • Re:No, it's not. (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @09:02AM (#43904263)

    OSX isn't used by anybody except the fanboys that love anything with an Apple logo

    Hmm, then how is Apple the #1 laptop vendor? And the #1 tablet vendor? And most tech conferences, the attendees all have MacBooks.

    OS X doesn't need a start menu. Put the Applications folder in the dock. Install new apps, shows up in folder. One click access to EVERY application. No stupid separate Start Menu folder which may or may not contain an alias to some apps.

  • Re:No problem here (Score:5, Informative)

    by CarsonChittom (2025388) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @09:04AM (#43904279) Homepage

    Have you actually used Windows 8? I've used it exclusively at home since January. It's fine if you just use it without stressing that oh-my-god-it's-different. It's definitely not perfect, but it's fine. The Metro apps are hit and miss; some are okay on a desktop—Mail, Calendar—though probably a majority of the others would clearly be better on a tablet—People, Music, app store, Weather, Skype. But nothing at all stops you from using desktop apps (like Windows Live Mail, Windows Media Player, Skype for Desktop, etc) instead. When I upgraded from 7 to 8, I used them all for a while, just to see. More recently, though, my main use of Windows 8 has been as a launcher for Emacs.

    My only actual gripe about UI/UX is that there are no visual clues (like there are on Windows Phone) for settings.

    On the other hand, I do have some substantive complaints about Windows 8:

    1. Spooling print jobs from Office 2013 sometimes just hangs. And by "sometimes" I mean "nearly always." I had to downgrade to Office 2010.
    2. About once every other day, the whole OS just hangs. I can't even get the Task Manager to come up; sometimes I can't even get Ctrl-Alt-Delete to work. I just have to hold the power button down and reboot. To be fair, this is probably caused by the beta driver for a USB wireless adapter (Netgear's only released the beta for Win8).
    3. Many apps take noticeably longer to load than on 7. It's not crazy, but I can tell the difference between instantly and a five-second delay.
    4. The Metro Mail app supports Exchange servers. Windows Live Mail does not. (My job uses Exchange.)

    I'm sure if I set my mind to it I could think up a few more. But then, I could probably do that about OS X, Windows 7, Windows XP, Debian GNU/Linux, openSUSE, and OpenBSD too. (Those are all the OSs I've used in the last year or so.)

  • Re:No, it's not. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @09:27AM (#43904533)

    What kind of crappy employer do you have that has already switched to Win8? Just about every larger company out there has passed it up.

  • Re:No, it's not. (Score:3, Informative)

    by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @09:31AM (#43904591)

    "OSX isn't used by anybody except the fanboys"

    Hmm, I just walked across my design company's open-plan office floor and saw a Mac Pro under every desk and not a single fanboi was found.

    "Linux users use Windows exactly because our lives depend on it."

    Can't decide whether to go with "Drama Queen" or "Pathetic 1st World Problem". I use Linux, OS X and Windows pretty much every day and couldn't care less. Ok, made up my mind, I've going with "Grow Up".

  • Re:sales figures? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Voyager529 (1363959) <voyager529 AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @09:56AM (#43904851)

    People said the same thing when File Manager was removed.

    Except that File Manager was still available in Windows 95 if you wanted it.

      People said

    the same thing when the "gummy" themed buttons in Windows XP showed up (oh, its not professional!).

    Except that classic mode was available in XP if you wanted it.

    They said the same thing when Vista added UAC.

    Except that UAC could be disabled if you wanted to.

    And they're saying the same thing now.

    Except that now we're stuck using third party utilities to undo Microsoft's changes.

    Turns out, for Microsoft, people "saying the same thing" works out very well financially.

    And it is this line of thinking that may get Microsoft into trouble in the none-too-distant future. In the Windows 3.x/95/XP days you speak of, "computing" and "desktop computing" were synonymous for home users. If you wanted to get online, you used a desktop/laptop. Now though, many people's needs can be adequately met by iPads, Transformer-like tablets, and Chromebooks. Even Linux Mint has all but gotten the Linux Desktop situation sorted out (though I personally was a fan of Xandros in its day). Microsoft's response has been the polar opposite of what it's been in the past: instead of including classic modes, Microsoft has actively worked to remove such functionality. The first public beta had a start menu that could be enabled by group policy, presumably more people were enabling it than Microsoft was happy about and as a result it was forcibly removed. How this will impact Microsoft over the next five years is anyone's guess.

  • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @10:08AM (#43904985)

    I've recently been made to switch from a Win8 machine to a brand new OSX machine. The Win8 machine has three monitors, 256ssd, 16bg ram, i7. The OSX machine is a Macbook Pro Retina i7 256ssd, 16bg ram with two external monitors. There are some cool things about OSX but there are many stupid things about OSX. And they're not stupid like "this is different" stupid, they're stupid like "this shit is stupid". Because I'm feeling verbose I'll list the really stupid low hanging fruit. And at the end I'll list what I really enjoy about it.

    OSX

    • * I have to sign up for iTunes to keep my computer updated!?
    • * I HAVE TO GIVE ITUNES MY CC# TO KEEP MY COMPUTER UPDATED!?
    • * I have to restart my computer to keep it updated? I thought this was Unix?

    Keyboard (external mac? keyboard)

    • * Why is the keyboard all fucked up? Two keys labeled delete? Is there some aversion to calling a backspace key a backspace key?
    • * Where the fuck did insert go!? You know some people actually use insert!
    • * For that matter where is num lock and scroll lock? Again, I use those keys!
    • * Why redesign the num pad into a Apple(TM) num pad and move all the keys around?
    • * The behavior of the home and end key is stupid! They jump to the end and beginging of the document instead of the end and begining of the line! What gives them the right?!
    • * They remove essential keys like insert but I have F1-F19!? And an eject key on a system that doesn't even have an optical drive? (not that they knew that about my system, so a small pass there.)
    • * Seriously? No Alt key? WTF, I thought this was UNIX! How the fuck am I supposed to use EMACS!?

    OSX Windows

    • * WIndows present resize mouse cursors on some windows edges that cannot be resized! Inexcusable! I should be able to resize the window from any edge. And for god sakes, if I can't resize it from that edge don't show me a fucking resize cursor and make me think I'm losing my mind.
    • * What the hell is up with this full screen arrow. Useless shit. It removes all the windows from my other screens and throws up a lame gray background. Lame.
    • * Is this green control box maximize or what!? It seems like sometimes it wants to maximize height and width, and other times it will only maximize height. Be consistant. No, actually, always maximize both!

    • * I would be so happy if when I resize the top edge of the window to the top of the screen if the bottom would snap to the bottom of the screen like win7/8. I'm not saying this makes all the difference in the world, but when you make it difficult to resize (my first point on windows) this is even more important.
    • * More customization of color and style would be nice, but I'm not going to cry about too long about that.
    • OSX Finder

      • * Seriously? This is the worst piece of shit file manager I've ever seen. Apple has a lot of talented people, money and has had plenty of time to make something wonderful and they made this? As quickly as I could I replaced it, I'm using nuCommander now. Get your shit together Apple.
      • * I can't remove this POS from my dock without doing some serous surgery to the OS. Even if I do get it removed, it'll come back and stick there until I restart if I open it somehow. Grow up finder, not everyone should be forced to use you. But then, this is Apple, home of "we force you to use shit" so I shouldn't be surprised.
      • * I can't type a path in here? Fuck that! That alone makes this program trash. Really, a lot of the "finder replacements" are trash for the same reason. Are people afraid to have a path bar you can type in?

      Apple Magic Mouse

      • * RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON!!!! Oh my god! I can't click this right mouse button like 90% of the time. Oh there's a right mouse button, but when you try and click it, it produces a left mouse click. You have to remove y
  • by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @10:24AM (#43905167)

    The real problems are quite simply Meto is useless for App Development, Your are limited to the features you can do in JavaScript. It ok for simple games and widgets... But for an App the does real work, no. They should expand the Metro UI to fully use the computer that it is running on.

    You can also develop Windows 8 Metro style apps with C++ [msdn.com] .

  • Re:No, it's not. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @04:29PM (#43908591)

    But there's nothing in Metro you need or want. Skip it entirely. All built-in metro apps are buggy or poorly designed (though will likely be refreshed in 8.1), and you can't even get free third party apps without first signing up for an official Microsoft Account (unsure if there are alternate ways to get apps like you can on OS X without going through apple's equally stupid store). Most everything you can do in metro you can already do better in a web browser or with a desktop application.

  • by Fatal Darkness (18549) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @04:31PM (#43908615)

    * I have to sign up for iTunes to keep my computer updated!? * I HAVE TO GIVE ITUNES MY CC# TO KEEP MY COMPUTER UPDATED!? * I have to restart my computer to keep it updated? I thought this was Unix?

    As of Lion, you sign in with an Apple ID. That is not iTunes, but iTunes also uses this ID. You do not need a credit card number [apple.com] to update your OS. That is only required for purchases in the App Store. If the update involves a kernel, kernel extension, Aqua/Quartz or other core component modification then yes, you will need to reboot. You probably have to reboot for updates more often than in a modern Unix due to the GUI integration, but generally less so than in Windows.

    Keyboard (external mac? keyboard) * Why is the keyboard all fucked up? Two keys labeled delete? Is there some aversion to calling a backspace key a backspace key? * Where the fuck did insert go!? You know some people actually use insert! * For that matter where is num lock and scroll lock? Again, I use those keys! * Why redesign the num pad into a Apple(TM) num pad and move all the keys around? * The behavior of the home and end key is stupid! They jump to the end and beginging of the document instead of the end and begining of the line! What gives them the right?! * They remove essential keys like insert but I have F1-F19!? And an eject key on a system that doesn't even have an optical drive? (not that they knew that about my system, so a small pass there.) * Seriously? No Alt key? WTF, I thought this was UNIX! How the fuck am I supposed to use EMACS!?

    It sounds like you are using the mini bluetooth wireless keyboard. You would probably prefer the full-size keyboard [apple.com] which has many of the keys you are concerned about. The behavior of the home and end keys is the way they have historically always worked in computing. It was Microsoft that changed the behavior in Windows and got people used to the different behavior. It was also Microsoft that changed the behavior of the Control key from its original usage of sending actual control codes. Apple retains the original behavior and introduced the Command key which works like the Microsoft Control Key. To move to the Beginning / End of a line, use Command+Left or Right Arrow. As for Alt, this is actually more correctly referred to as the Meta key. The Option key on the Apple keyboard provides this functionality, and it's is conveniently in the exact same location as the Alt key on PC keyboards. Of course, if you hate the Apple keyboard so much, there's nothing stopping you from using any USB or Bluetooth keyboard with the Mac, they're all supported and OS X understands how to map PC-specific keys to their OS X equivalents.

    OSX Windows * WIndows present resize mouse cursors on some windows edges that cannot be resized! Inexcusable! I should be able to resize the window from any edge. And for god sakes, if I can't resize it from that edge don't show me a fucking resize cursor and make me think I'm losing my mind.

    As of Mountain Lion you can resize any resizable windows from any corner. If you're getting a resize cursor than you should be able to resize it. I'm not sure why you're having this experience but if you are indeed experiencing a bug related to this it might be worth bringing up to Apple Support so that they can be made aware of it.

    * What the hell is up with this full screen arrow. Useless shit. It removes all the windows from my other screens and throws up a lame gray background. Lame.

    When you full screen an application, a virtual desktop for that application window is created on the fly. Your other windows are still there on their original desktop. You can still Opt-Tab back to them or use Mission Control/Expose. I don't understand

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