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Microsoft Windows Technology

Another Windows 8 Pre-Beta Surfaces 534

angry tapir writes "While Microsoft has not announced the release date of its follow-up to Windows 7, an early pre-beta version of Windows 8 (although its official name has not been confirmed) has surfaced on the Internet, the second version to appear within a month. It is the second milestone release that has showed up on the Internet this month. Users of this Windows 8 software have said it features a Ribbon-based user-interface, similar to the one used in recent editions of Microsoft Office. This specific milestone build also has software for a Webcam, a new task manager, a PDF reader and an immersive browser." "Surfacings" like this tell me that Microsoft sees the value in crowdsourced opinion gathering far more than they're sometimes given credit for.
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Another Windows 8 Pre-Beta Surfaces

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  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @10:05PM (#35949022)

    new user-interface is a bad idea and may slow down users moving to windows 8.

    Some places are still stuck on XP and are moving to 7 now and now 8 is on the way with a new GUI?

    also what software / hardware that works in XP / 7 will windows 8 not work with?

    • Ribbons? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @11:00PM (#35949336)

      Ribbons? RIBBONS?

      The most useless POS interface ever.

    • by no-body ( 127863 )
      File search feature in W7 does not work well on network drives, if at all. Workaround is to use virtual XP under W7 to get some work done.

      Then - how often does one undo the automatic (by default) snap/all screen window hog feature in W7? Ridiculous!

      Not sure who has those ideas? Maybe trying to cut into Apple's pie.

      Just bought a WXP SP2 for Eur 15.-
      • Then - how often does one undo the automatic (by default) snap/all screen window hog feature in W7? Ridiculous!

        Aero snap is one of my favorite features in Windows 7; I use it constantly. When I use XP, I'm constantly dragging my windows to the edge of the screen to no avail.

        If you want to turn it off, just search for "snap." The first result should be "Turn off automatic window rearrangement," Just select it and click the check box.

        • by no-body ( 127863 )
          I have a 3200 x 1200 dual screen using multi-language new installs on different test environments (Job) and W7 Aero snap not just plain sucks, it interferes - bang! spreadsheet with one line snapped full screen and one has to fiddle to get it undone - I sure know how to turn it off and have done it x-times up to nausea in all kinds of languages. Every new install does it by default. I use virtual dimension with 20 desktops under W7 with multiple remote connections and Aero turned to nil. One runs XP to do
    • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

      new user-interface is a bad idea and may slow down users moving to windows 8.

      Just what they'll move towards?

    • You're missing the point. By introducing the ribbon UI to the Windows Explorer shell, it makes the UI more touch friendly, ala TABLETS. MS has had a tablet debacle on its hands for years now, and this iPad thing is shifting the market and killing a cash cow. They have to get into the tablet market, but they can't do it with a different OS.

      That's why Windows Professional on ARM is so exciting to some (for app compat reasons) but the user experience with using a stylus on a Windows tablet still sucks bal

  • Shit gets shittier (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <.rodrigogirao. .at.> on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @10:06PM (#35949032) Homepage

    Users of this Windows 8 software have said it features a Ribbon-based user-interface, similar to the one used in recent editions of Microsoft Office.

    Overheard at Microsoft: "Hey guys, you know that ribbon interface that everybody hated? How about we put it everywhere in the system?"

    What's next, will they bring back Bob and Clippy as well?

    • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @10:09PM (#35949056) Homepage

      Microsoft has a history of shoving features down users throats no matter how much they complain. People loathed Clippy, so what did Microsoft do? They added an animated dog to Windows XP.

      • It's not just Microsoft. Apple's pretty famous for it, and with the Latest Ubuntu release, it's looking like Canonical may be heading down that road too. Sometimes it's the right decision, and sometime's it's not. It's great when the gamble pays off, but it can be really expensive for a company when it doesn't.
        • I'm not saying Apple never added features some people didn't like, but I can't really think of any as things that were "shoved down the users throats" to near-universal dislike.

          What features did you have in mind?

      • People loathed Clippy, so what did Microsoft do? They added an animated dog to Windows XP.

        The reason everyone hated Clippy was that it intrusively popped up while you were working. On the other hand, the dog was only displayed if you elected to search for something. In fact, I would suggest that Clippy demonstrates that Microsoft will remove features that people do not like. After all, they did get rid of the stupid paperclip after everyone complained.

        • by bmo ( 77928 )

          Protip: Clippy and the Spot the dog are the same thing.

          They are descendants of Bob. Praise be.

          People hated Bob and its help agents, and help agents still keep being "reinvented" each time there is a new Microsoft OS release. Microsoft is the only OS vendor that has tools that actually talk down to the user. Frankly, it's insulting. For all the yelling that people do at Apple for "dumbing down the interface," Microsoft does a pretty good job of doing that all by itself.

          Ribbons in Explorer. Good lawd, I

          • Protip: Clippy and the Spot the dog are the same thing.

            Protip: Adding "Protip" doesn't make something true.

            Clippy and the dog were both animated characters that would offer help, but that is where the similarity ends. As I said, Clippy was so reviled because it got in the way. It forced itself in your face. Even worse, it spied on what you were doing and tried to "help" (which gave us the meme that people still use as a joke today []).

            It is really annoying when someone stands behind you doing reading what you type and interrupting with "helpful" comments, so it st

      • by Xtravar ( 725372 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @01:35AM (#35950154) Homepage Journal

        People are resistant to change. As a software developer, I'm sick of my boss saying "we can't make things better because it'll disrupt users". Fuck that. Let's disrupt some goddamn users so we aren't stuck with Win 3.1 interfaces everywhere. Software evolves. The first interface is not the best. People should evolve with it.

        • think of every shitty UI change you hate and loathe. Now imagine that they were the features your users wanted (they probably are. for them), now imagine changing your software to put those things in to 'make things better'.

          You see, change sometimes isn't better. Often slow evolution is the best way to change things. Little by little, people get used to the new bits, then another then another and over time they get all the changes you want, without the massive disruption you want to impose on them.

          Also don'

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by syockit ( 1480393 )
      I don't know who your 'everybody' refers to. Maybe it doesn't include me and the plethora of other satisfied MS Office 2007 users. Are we 'nobodies'?
      • No, your just people who choose to use a program that requires more keystrokes/clicks to accomplish the same task as Office 2003.

        • by Locutus ( 9039 )
          there are lots of people who are paid by the hour and love those kinds of "features" from Microsoft.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @10:14PM (#35949098) Journal
      I see that you are trying to write an anti-microsoft post. Would you like the Microsoft(r) Social Media Assistant, a Native feature of Genuine IE9, to help you with that?
    • Hey guys, you know that ribbon interface that everybody hated?

      Many people don't like change, are satisfied with an existing menu system, and don't see a useful purpose in evolving a GUI paradigm. Others are not as set in their ways.

      I have no problems with "ribbons". Yes, it took me some time to master the new Office menu GUI, but I don't "hate" it, and I don't know any open-minded "users" who do. Yes, I know people that "prefer" the old Office menus, but "hate"? No, not really.

      I think you are simply biased against Office. Fine, stick with OpenOffice (or whatever

      • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
        If your definition of not being "open-minded" is "hates the office ribbon interface", then you are correct that open-minded people don't hate it. I personally dislike it, but I don't get so emotional about my OS. I can certainly see how someone that doesn't enjoy trying new interfaces just for the sake of trying them, and just wants to get their job done, could "hate" a new interface that is noticeably worse than the old one.
    • Clippy IS back in a video teaching people how to use the new ribbon.
    • by blai ( 1380673 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @10:40PM (#35949230)
      I don't see why you hate the ribbon so much. It is collapsible (double click any tab), has all items visible in appropriately sized icons (bigger icons are more commonly used) to the user on a single click, and the user may customise locations of icons as well as the availability of shortcut keys, quick access bars and graphical tooltips, just in case you still don't know what clicking on a giant "paste" button does.

      Yes, we know some like menus, but as screen resolutions grow, ribbons are the definite way to go. If you don't have a large screen, you will notice collapsing your ribbon will save you about 10 vertical pixels, while the number of clicks to get somewhere remains the same (1~2).
    • Ribbon is garbage indeed.
      I damned well hate it and I've been on it for 7 or 8 months now, it's horrible. I will stick with 7 if they screw up Windows explorer that badly.

      • Ribbon is garbage indeed. I damned well hate it and I've been on it for 7 or 8 months now, it's horrible. I will stick with 7 if they screw up Windows explorer that badly.

        we'll all stay off your lawn

    • The ribbon is a marked improvement over the old style file menus. People just didn't like it at first because it meant they needed to re-learn the locations of the commands they use. I'm having to relearn where to find certain things on the new Firefox GUI, but that doesn't make it bad.

      If someone had been brought up using the ribbon, and you showed them an old-style menu, they'd think it was designed by amateurs. Where do you change settings.... edit>preferences, or tools>options? Find is under ed

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @10:07PM (#35949036) Journal
    A built-in PDF reader, eh? Should I feel sorrier for Adobe's devs, so incompetent that Microsoft felt the need to step in and provide a PDF reader built by grown-ups, or for Microsoft's XPS team, who have so failed to set the world on fire with XPS that Microsoft felt the need to step in and provide a PDF reader?
    • Interesting because I never heard of the XPS thing until I read it here. I would hope that MS does a decent implementation of PDF because Adobe has had it's share of problems.
      • It shows up behind the scenes a fair bit, because it replaced GDI as Microsoft's native spooler format as of Vista, and "Vista certified" printers are required to work with that(not necessarily by replacing the Postscript RIP with an XPS one; but at least supporting it on the driver level); but I'm fairly sure that I've never seen one in the wild, outside of a few of the newer pages on Microsoft's own site. I can't comment on its technical merits, or lack thereof; but it seems to lag somewhere behind the in
    • by artor3 ( 1344997 )

      No one should pity the Adobe Reader devs, after the plague that they've unleashed upon the world. Thank God that Foxit and Sumatra have finally gotten good enough to free us from Adobe's clutches.

      Incidentally, that same fact tends to make a MS-supplied reader redundant. I wonder if they just repackaged Sumatra?

    • by Locutus ( 9039 )
      Adobe is possibly the only company left which has product which gets preloaded on close to 100% of Windows systems shipped. By Microsoft building their own PDF reader into the OS they remove one of the two Adobe products( Acrobat Reader ) needed to eliminate that threat.

      • Actually, I have to dispute that a bit. According to this survey [], only 73% even have Acrobat installed. Admittedly, that's a survey of PC gamers - a significantly more computer-savvy group than average. And it is in third place, after Flash and the program used to conduct the survey.

        Is Acrobat too common. Yes. While I will concede that it may be needed in situations where doing pixel-perfect PDF rendering, or where highly-scripted custom PDFs are heavily used, Foxit/Sumatra is MORE than enough for 99% of u
  • by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @10:15PM (#35949106)
    I'm actually interested in seeing how well the ARM version handles. Will it actually be able to run quickly on hardware usually much weaker than the average PC? Only one way to find out.
    • It won't be that simple. Microsoft is probably going to be targeting a specific hardware reference design with specific firmware. "ARM" is not a standardized computing platform like PC or CHRP or various others.
      • True. Although I do hope a standard ARM-PC platform evolves - something roughly equivalent to the IBM PC standard, although based on modern designs, of course. Something widely cloned and modified, but still close enough to the standard for interoperability.
        • I'm inclined to be pessimistic. The economics of interoperability(along with the fact that any stupid proprietary connector gimmicks with have $5 adapters on ebay within the week) seem to be winning, sharply reducing the number of genuinely non-interoperable oddities in the world; but the rise of relatively cheap cryptographic lockdown/DRM mechanisms seems to have replaced them in a number of their former applications. Obfuscation/pointless redesigns/stupid proprietary connectors were a waste of time and mo
        • by cptdondo ( 59460 )

          I really hope not. The strength of ARM is that there really is no standard, so everyone is free to build whatever they want. Look at the breadth of ARM hardware: watches, phones, embedded platforms, video players in airplanes.... How do you shoehorn that into a standard PC platform? I like the bazaar that is ARM. We have the PC cathedral, let the bazaar goers have the ARM.

  • "Surfacings" like this tell me that Microsoft sees the value in crowdsourced opinion gathering far more than they're sometimes given credit for.

    Yeah, they like to listen to what everyone has to say, then they listen to the most vocal, stupidest fucking idiots, and inocrporate their preferences into the final releases, with as many bugs as possible left in tact.

  • In the good old days you got rants like the holy fire of whatever god you think is the coolest rained down on the world.

    These are the most pathetic Microsoft bashes I've ever read.

    Not even an M$ so far. WTF?

    • by Tawnos ( 1030370 )

      It truly is "The End Of Days"

    • The sad truth is M$ has gotten better. Think about it, what is the most common attack vector on a windows box? Typically it's a trojan email or an Adobe exploit or something like that. Roll back to 2002, and no user intervention was needed. All you had to do was attach your Windows box to the internet, and BAM! 30 minutes later your PC was infected with some worm. Now they've added a firewall, some stack protection, and it's gotten a lot harder.

      Also, WinXP was really ugly (that is a personal opinion, if
      • by bmo ( 77928 )

        >Besides, M$ has been losing their evil edge. Ballmer hasn't thrown a chair in a while

        You haven't looked at the Microsoft vs Barnes&Noble lawsuit.

        Basically they're saying all of Linux infringes. The B&N response is available on PACER - filed yesterday. But since someone was generous, here it is on ompldr. []


  • is there some reason we can't just call it an Alpha?
    • Possibly it's pre-alpha and is just a hash of component parts in various dev builds. Who knows. Personally I'd call an alpha build the start of combining structures of the OS to aim for a workable beta build. For instance, any ARM stuff is probably kept completely out of the way for now and I'd hope eventually the ARM and x86 builds will combine into a single windows version (! one can hope - I hate the Basic/Premium/Business/Ult fragmentation as it is. Don't add an Arm variant to that too)
    • by armanox ( 826486 )

      I guess it should be called I development version. I don't think it's quite alpha yet.

  • Immersive (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @10:46PM (#35949264)
    IE 6 was also an 'immersive' browser. It made me want to drown myself.
  • by Anonymous Coward


    "Microsoft declined to verify the authenticity of the milestone release. "

    Dang! Genuine Advantage strikes again!

  • by r00t ( 33219 ) on Tuesday April 26, 2011 @10:54PM (#35949300) Journal

    Anybody else remember it?

    Your desktop background was a browser.

    You had a side panel with "channels".

    Web sites were supposed to continuously push feed to you, just like TV.

  • Your dog has been automated.

  • Guest post by Mary-Jo Enderle

    I have seen the future: Windows $NEXT_VERSION Milestone $MOCKUP [].

    I tried it on a low-end laptop with four Core 2 Duo chips and only 8 gig of memory, and trust me: $NEXT_VERSION is shaping up to be one heck of a product.

    WordPad and Paint have seen major overhauls to their user interfaces. Forget the freetards and their "distros" full of all sorts of useless shovelware like "FireFox" and "OpenOffice" and, haha, "GIMP"! — the bundled software with Windows $NEXT_VERSION is clear, simple, sparse and to-the-point. The much-loved Ribbon user interface from Office $HATED_VERSION is now part of WordPad and Paint!

    The controversial Digital Rights Management system in $CURRENT_VERSION has been worked over, with user-downloadable "tilt bits," which you can configure to your own liking. It'll require every user to supply a blood sample for DNA analysis, and the beta nearly took my finger off, but of course that's only if you want to play premium content. The Blu-Ray of Battlefield Earth was unbelievable on this operating system.

    A public beta should be released by the end of this year. There's just no way that Steve "Trains Run On Time" Ballmer will miss the Christmas deadline. The final release should leave the midnight queues on $CURRENT_VERSION release day — the street riots, the water cannons, the rubber bullets — in the shade.

    I am so excited about $NEXT_VERSION of Windows. It will go beyond just solving all of the problems with $CURRENT_VERSION, it will be an entirely new paradigm. Forget about security problems, those are all fixed in $NEXT_VERSION. And they're finally ridding themselves of $ANCIENT_LEGACY_STUFF.

    Also, there'll be $DATABASE_FILESYSTEM. It'll be awesome!

    I wonder how $NEXT_VERSION will compare to $NEXT_NEXT_VERSION.

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.