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Microsoft Windows Christmas Cheer Technology

Windows 8: a 'Christmas Gift For Someone You Hate' 740

zacharye writes "Microsoft is no stranger to criticism these days, and the company's new Windows 8 platform is once again the target of a scathing review from a high-profile user. Well-known Internet entrepreneur and MIT professor Philip Greenspun handed Windows 8 one of its most damning reviews yet earlier this week, calling the new operating system a 'Christmas gift for someone you hate.' Greenspun panned almost every aspect of Microsoft's new software, noting that Microsoft had four years to study Android and more than five to examine iOS, but still couldn't build a usable tablet experience..."
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Windows 8: a 'Christmas Gift For Someone You Hate'

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  • by MpVpRb ( 1423381 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @11:50AM (#42204163)
    Not some blog that quotes the article
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @11:53AM (#42204203)

    “Suppose that you are an expert user of Windows NT/XP/Vista/7, an expert user of an iPad, and an expert user of an Android phone you will have no idea how to use Windows 8,” Greenspun wrote.


    “Suppose that you are an expert user of Windows NT/XP/Vista/7, an expert user of Windows 8, and an expert user of an Android phone you will have no idea how to use an iPad,” Greenspun wrote.

    Seriouslt, playing around with settings,etc is frustratingly hard in iPhones atleast. The basic stuff is on the surface, the rest is 5 km below the surface

  • by PhxBlue ( 562201 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @11:57AM (#42204243) Homepage Journal

    We do not even pretend to be impartial now?

    Has /. ever pretended to be impartial? Besides, impartiality is overrated.

  • by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:02PM (#42204305) Journal

    I think you hit one of the key issues with that article on the head. Of those listed, I found the iOS the be the hardest to work with, and even it was fairly simple.

    Windows 8 has some good ideas from the tablet perspective, but they do some idiotic things (the UI context switching the author mentioned, as well as the 'auto-hide' stuff that works better with a mouse than a touch interface). Are they as bad as the author was saying? No, but sensationalization gets clicks!

    Not saying I recommend Windows 8 (even with the difficulties, I'll take an iPhone over Windows 8 RT, and all the non-RT tablet hardware looks to suck). Fortunately, there's Android about.

  • by Beyond_GoodandEvil ( 769135 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:03PM (#42204309) Homepage
    I've been using an Android tablet after I switched away from the iPad. It was TERRIBLE. Android is definitely the worst of all tablet UIs.
    Stop using the 79 dollar chinese made resistive screen tablet you bought a Walgreens last Christmas and try a real android tablet or install Cyanogen Mod on an HP Touchpad. Then get back to me.
  • by denis-The-menace ( 471988 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:04PM (#42204319)

    RE: IT wasn't build on marketing

    I used to say this years ago.

    MS proved that you could sway IT decisions by wining and dining executives of organizations regardless of technical merits of the products.

    Soon after, MS products were sold on the lemming effect, alone.

  • by concealment ( 2447304 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:05PM (#42204335) Homepage Journal

    What use would it be to invent something that duplicates iOS or Android?

    People would just keep using the original and deny the copy.

    It's smart to take features from these systems, but useless to repeat them. Technology is forged by people who find new ways to do useful things. That doesn't mean imitation, it means re-invention.

    Microsoft also has a long legacy of Windows products and users to uphold, and has to merge these two.

    I realize that liking Windows around here is about as favorably looked upon as non-ironically liking Bruce Springsteen at a hipster party, but demonization for not being a clone is undeserved here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:08PM (#42204361)

    Reality has an anti-Microsoft bias.

  • by Mattsson ( 105422 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:12PM (#42204395) Journal

    I converted my main workstation at work to windows 8 a week ago, mostly in order to learn and get used to it.
    While there indeed is a bit of a hassle to change some of the habits from xp, vista and 7 to fit 8, and I really dislike the start panel that has replaced the start menu, it's not really a big deal.
    I've put my 20 or so most used applications in the taskbar and pinned my most used folders and files into the respective taskbar icons and changed my "click start menu and open the file or folder"-habit into a "right click the taskbar icon and open the file or folder"-habit.
    Also, I've installed regular windows applications as replacements for all the standard windows 8 applications, like vlc instead of the full screen windows 8 movie player, acrobat reader instead of the full screen windows 8 pdf-viewer, etc.
    To be honest, I haven't used the start panel at all this entire week, except for going to the desktop after logging in.

    On one hand, I've not really seen any of the horrible downsides with windows 8 that everyone talks about. On the other hand, I haven't seen many improvements over windows 7 yet. The new task manager and the new file-copy graph windows are awesome though.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:31PM (#42204653) Homepage

    What use would it be to invent something that duplicates iOS or Android?

    Let's see ... copy what people have done successfully and make a useable product, or create something which is getting panned by reviewers as a bad hodge-podge of features that don't work together. I see which choice Microsoft made.

    Technology is forged by people who find new ways to do useful things. That doesn't mean imitation, it means re-invention.

    Only if you do it right, otherwise you've made the "dogs breakfast" the reviewer mentioned.

    Microsoft also has a long legacy of Windows products and users to uphold, and has to merge these two.

    How? By pissing off both desktop and tablet users?

    Yes, slavishly copying how other people do stuff isn't innovation. Producing something which is unusable is just incompetence, and it sounds like they'd have been better off just ripping everybody else off.

    Sometimes, Microsoft just misses the mark by such an extraordinary amount that you have to conclude that either they're out of touch with the rest of the market, or live so much in their own echo chamber that they actually believe they've made something totally awesome.

    When a company as big as Microsoft comes to market 5 years too late, with a product offering people can't make sense of, you have to assume there's some real problems going on.

    Sucking at both target markets is a lousy strategy. And, to be honest, I'm hard pressed to think of anything which Microsoft has innovated recently -- even things like the Kinect they bought.

    I am not sure I could name even 2-3 products which Microsoft created first, and that everybody went "wow, I need one" and that everybody else later copied. In fact, I'm having a hard time coming up with one (though I'm sure there has to be some examples).

  • by Aphrika ( 756248 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:48PM (#42204921)
    First time I saw Windows 8, I was horrified. It looked utterly awful and I couldn't imagine myself using it on a day to day basis.

    However, due to a drive failure, I installed it and thought I'd give it a shot. Once you get past the Start Screen/Page/Menu thing - which is what 99% of the fuss is about - it's not all that bad at all. It is a dogs breakfast though, and does need some refinement. However I haven't had as much fun finding out new stuff in an OS since I got my first OSX box in 2002.

    Firstly, I'm currently using it for development on a multi-monitor setup - 3x 24" monitors with one in portrait mode. Windows 8 handles multiple monitors in desktop mode much better than 7, no question about it. The ability to have the Taskbar setup to display programs running on that monitor is a great change.

    Secondly, The desktop environment is much cleaner and I'm glad the huge hive of junk that was the Start Menu has gone. The number of times I aimlessly trawled through it to find some obscure program I needed wasted way too much time... Now, I can just pull up the search and find whatever app, then either run it or pin it to the Start Menu/page, or the Taskbar.

    Performance is better too. Simple stuff is a lot faster than 7, and running the whole OS from a new 256GB SSD means I can boot in around 12 seconds. Even spindle to spindle file transfers are a lot faster.

    You might notice I haven't really mentioned Metro, well that's because I hardly use it. In my view, it feels like a 'fun layer' that you can almost shut out completely when using the desktop for serious stuff. Today I've used it precisely once as I pin all my apps to the Taskbar in pretty much the same way I use the OSX dock. That said, the live tiles are very nice and some of the news and informational apps are good. Overall though, the ecosystem is lacking in content and I really can't see any point when I'd use a Metro app alongside the desktop.

    As far as shutdown goes? Simple, I just map the power button to shutdown and don't have to fiddle around in Metro for it.

    So, while not a 'fan' of the extreme changes in Windows 8, I am glad I can shut them out to a degree, and can benefit from the underlying changes made to the desktop. It's by no means a Vista though. While I may not like Metro, the underlying OS is solid and works better than Windows 7.
  • Re:That bad? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:57PM (#42205057)

    A simple Windows+D keystroke takes you into desktop mode and you can choose to remain there as long as you wish. I do hate the removal of the windows launcher in Desktop mode, but there are alternative options out there to get back that functionality.

    This is what's really bugging me about everything I read that has to do with Windows 8, people are constantly making excuses for it.

    Seriously, it became ok to remove a feature that seemed to be essential to the system because we can download a third party module that will fix it? Honestly, If there is such a demand for a feature that people have to download an extension to get the feature back, is that maybe something that shouldn't have been removed in the first place? and it's ok that it starts up in "tablet" mode a.k.a "Metro" on a laptop or PC because all you have to do to start getting work done is press Win+D?

    To me this all sounds like utter intolerable insanity. Because people keep making excuses it makes me seriously think there's something else going on there and any positive message concerning Win8 needs to be taken with a mountain of salt.

    My bet is the first change they'll tote in Windows 9 is the convenient new start menu where applications can be launched without having to use the metro interface. The next thing will be that it starts up in Desktop mode on Laptops and PCs by default and Metro on tables and phones.

  • by Zaphod The 42nd ( 1205578 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:02PM (#42205149)

    While Im not an advocate of Windows 8, miss information makes me mad too. In the article it said "Some functions, such as ‘start an application’ or ‘restart the computer’ are available only from the tablet interface". I took this to mean the Metro tiles, which if that's what he meant, he is completely wrong. The command prompt is still there. The standard desktop is still there. "Old style" shortcuts still exist. Of course, he complained about that too.


    The old desktop IS still there. HOWEVER, many of the things which used to be on the desktop ARE NO LONGER.


    The review is absolutely correct, and you're completely misinformed. Just because you have a command prompt doesn't mean that everything else from your desktop still works or is still there.

    I have to switch from metro to desktop to use half my apps, but I have to switch from desktop to metro to use system properties? Worst design ever.

    You don't seem to understand his complaints. Its not that shorcuts work. Its that metro shortcuts kick you to the desktop, and the desktop kicks you to metro. Why can't you just use one? Why can't everything be done in both? Its a clusterfuck.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan ( 730745 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:03PM (#42205153)

    Microsoft just made the first FULL desktop OS capable of running on all devices including touch based tablets, and you find that to be a bad move?

    APPLE is ALREADY fucking trying to figure out how to do with OSX. Will you bitch and moan next year when Apple does it? Or will you credit Microsoft for being the first to head in the direction where we ALL want to go.

    An Ipad is a toy. When an Ipad can run full photoshop with pressure/tilt sensitive pen... everyone will say "this is brilliant"

    mean while that is exactly what MS has just delivered to everyone this year. Apple will do it next year.

  • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:07PM (#42205203) Homepage Journal

    What exactly about iOS is hard to use?

    You mean aside from requiring reasonably up-to-date Mac or Windows machine to run iTunes on? (note that's two problems there, not one)

    Every time I touch iTunes I end up wanting to MURDERDEATHKILL every single developer involved.

  • I like it (Score:1, Insightful)

    by justthinkit ( 954982 ) <> on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:15PM (#42205295) Homepage Journal
    I've never gone out of my way to praise Microsoft anything (except Word4DOS [], a pretty unlikely product to boost).

    Anyway, Windows 8 is clearly better than Windows 7 to me, on the 3 brand new, nearly identical machines I have running 7 or 8 -- the first two are on 7, the third was a pre-Black Friday deal $50 lower than the best deal I could get on the other two, so I figured install Start Shell" and I can always downgrade to 7 if vomiting continues.

    Well, none of that ever happened. For those familiar with Start Shell, it brings a truly large number of features to the Start menu and numerous other parts of Windows, including the dreaded Start Tiles via a shifted-click option.

    To me this is ideal as I can work on a machine for someone in the way I want to -- old start menu, cmd prompt, etc., set people up with their key apps pinned to the Start menu, and then mention that if they shift-click the start "shell" they can check out the newest interface.

    Anyway, new features I strongly like in Windows 8 include much faster startup and shutdown. Geeks are often "all about the benchmarks" but the /. hasn't been blowing this horn much with Windows 8...guess it doesn't suit the "Let's jump on the hate" bandwagon. As the systems person of my tribe, I appreciate quick starts, stops and reboots which of course we all do plenty of as well.

    I also like how Windows 8 starts up -- on my Lenovo laptop anyway. It starts quickly, shows the Seattle skyline and the time, and when you click gives you a "new school" login prompt. Click that and away you go. Feels VERY responsive, and that is the only thing I care about when I am firing up Windows. Probably half of the "feels faster" is actual improvement, the other half is a new "spinner" and a more segmented startup so that something new happens more frequently, to distract us from the wait.

    Another thing I like a lot is that Win-X key combo gives choices that include not just a "shell" (i.e. cmd.exe session) but also a "command shell as administrator" as a separate option. I never run any other way, so this saves me right-clicking and waiting. Now I can Win-X, click...then wait for the still annoying, random time delay, never know if the screen will blank or what...Windows warning. And end up at the DOS prompt quicker than before.

    Finally, I like using the latest "shiny". What I mean is, by running Windows 8 on my laptop, I now know exactly how it operates (and how it can be tweaked/fixed/improved). This is a plus for someone who supports others. Surprised more slashers don't mention this.

    Anyway, I guess this is what a neck beard brings -- the wisdom to at least try something that is one 3,399,552 byte download away from brilliance.

    And why do I have the audacity of saying, on this forum of all places, that Windows 8 is brilliant? Because it will (a) promote the new phone interface to hundreds of millions of that when they are in the phone store they will for sure not be put off by, (b) it is a truly "innovative" version of Windows, with quite a number of features that I or someone I know will use (touch is one I won't, but more novice users will; faster start/stops are not easy to accomplish and it gets an "A" here, the new storage stuff is very future looking and I could go on), (c) I was never a fan of Aero and invariably turn it off on any system I have to use regularly. The "flat" interface beats Aero, at least for me. Microsoft had guts to ditch Aero, and that is smart. Finally, (d) Microsoft has guaranteed it will sell even more Windows 9, and continue laughing and banking.

    Maybe Windows 8 is XP, to Windows 7's 2000. Once I tried XP I never wanted, nor bought, a Windows 2000 system again. Now I'm never going to buy a 7 system.

  • At the end of his "review" he said he was using Windows 8 on a desktop, not a tablet.

    The guy is clearly a dumbass for reviewing Microsoft's latest desktop OS offering on a desktop.

    We all knew there were usability issues on the desktop.

    So you feel that should make it immune from bad reviews, even though it's the OS now shipping on consumer desktop machines?

  • by Zaphod The 42nd ( 1205578 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:23PM (#42205405)
    "Well, there you go! We all knew this OS was an absolutely terrible OS for desktops, but hey guys it works for tablets sorta so its not that bad"

    I'm lost.

    "We all knew there were usability issues on the desktop" sounds like conceding "This is a shitty operating system", or at least "This is a tablet only OS".
  • by selex ( 551564 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:24PM (#42205429)
    Why for god's sake is Metro UI on Server 2012? I will never install this onto a tablet, and you can't pass tablet gestures through RDP. What the hell were they thinking? Praying that 2012 R2 removes this crap.

  • Re:That bad? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:24PM (#42205431)

    Do you know you can type the name of the program, or area of the settings you're after? Geeks should love this, since it's much easier to operate with the keyboard than previous versions of windows. Searching by typing a few letters vs hunting through menus is easier, period.

    The exact same thing is available in Windows 7.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:29PM (#42205505)

    This is simply not true.

    Speaking of which...

      For those who have long enough memories, there was an MS versus IBM world, with MSDOS versus IBM's DOS (Disk Operating System, not Denial Of Service). IBM held the corporate IT guys. MSDOS had no one but the masses to appeal to. The MSDOS was just as good and was nearly half the price. IBM with their hubris thought the masses would stick with IBM because they were IBM. The MSDOS got good reviews so the masses went for the much cheaper DOS.

    Microsoft won because Microsoft had a much better, faster and cheaper product. Sadly, that was then. This is now.

    Nonsense. MS DOS succeeded so well because MS negotiated per-CPU licenses rather than per-install. Ergo, anyone who installed PC DOS or DR DOS on their shipping units paid double for the privilege.

    That was then, and this is now.

  • Hate train. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:31PM (#42205525)

    I see the Windows 8 hate train is making daily stops here.

    I wonder how many have actually used the damn OS. I installed it well over a month ago on a 5+ year old Dell. My impression has been that it's a fabulous OS. It does away with a lot of the clutter and performs extremely well. I think gesture control has been implemented very well, not once have I felt like lacking a touchscreen has compromised my experience. I like the tile interface and don't find it cumbersome at all to switch between apps, it's certainly a lot better than Apple's attempts at full screen mode.

    For your average consumer who doesn't do much more than browse the web, check emails and maybe use Office it's going to offer a clean, intuitive experience. One of the biggest turn offs for Windows has always been that users feel like they're fighting the OS, that the inner workings rise to the surface far too often. It's been one of the appealing attributes of OSX and definitely iOS. So Windows 8 runs with that concept and offers great online integration. Even your average office worker who spends their entire day with Outlook or Office is going to get a better experience with this OS. And given that you can clear out the start screen of everything except the essentials, it will make things even easier for them.

    The nature of my work, however, demands that I work in a windowed environment. Being constrained to full screen mode is cumbersome. Windows 8 does offer desktop mode, and for anyone so repulsed by the tiles, you can use your start screen strictly as a glorified start bar, if at all. But I do agree that there's a bit of a disconnect between the two modes. Transitioning between the two isn't too bad, but there really should be a way for those metro apps to jump switch to windowed.

    I'm not suggesting anyone needs to like the new OS, but at least look being the Microsoft bias and appreciate what they're trying to do. The problems are there, but it's not the sort of thing that's going to be evident in a cursory review.

    While the integration is nice, it also turns things into a bit of a mess. I've ended up with a lot of duplicated contact info which I've yet to sort through. And the problem is that linking accounts is dangerous because it's far too aggressive in looking for similarities. Sometimes it will link accounts merely because two individuals have the same first name. And if you have a lot of contacts it gets overwhelming trying to fix it all. My Android phone did a lot better job with this.

    Messaging and Skype is a bit of a mess. I'm currently in a situation where the few Messenger I still have and I see each other as offline regardless of our actual status. And the rampant linking of accounts makes it difficult to sort things out, especially if you've got stuff like Facebook tied into it. You can link Skype to your account but once you've done so it's permanently link. To separate it from your Microsoft account you actually have to get in touch with customer support.

    Early on I had an issue where despite being logged into Xbox Live games weren't seeing this and wouldn't log in. The problem there is that instead of spitting back a message the games would just crash. Eventually it all just started working; I'm not sure what I did, if anything, to fix it.

    The way bookmarks are handled in the metro version of Explorer is a joke. It gives you this impractically long band of bookmarks you're supposed to sift through.

    If you're going to complain about Microsoft at least find a target that makes sense. I think from a fundamental UI standpoint Windows 8 is great. It's in the details and always have been in the details that Microsoft stumbles. My overall experience is great, but then I run into an issue, or some intuitive hiccup and there's this creeping sense that there's an insurmountable mess just hiding under the surface.

    But then, I fire up GIMP on my Mac and am reminded of how miserable an experience open source can be. And I'm running one of the more highly recommended packages. Sure,

  • by catchblue22 ( 1004569 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:32PM (#42205535) Homepage

    They seem to fail every other version.

    ME - awful.
    XP - usable.
    Vista - awful.
    7 - usable.
    8 - awful
    9 - usable?^c^c^c^c^c^c irrelevant?


  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @01:58PM (#42205763) Homepage

    Vista wasn't bad by design, only execution.

    Windows 8 is a bad design. It should never have made it out off the drawing board.

  • Re:That bad? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:02PM (#42205805) Journal

    . Its as if they dont even care that windows 8 is more efficient and faster than windows 7.

    Can't speak for the others, but I sure as hell don't. What's the point in squeaking out an extra 5% faster speed when idiotic UI design makes everything I do take 20% longer anyway.

    There's a reason people use PCs for actual work, and not tablets. Trying to make the PC act like a tablet was a bloody stupid decision when Ubuntu did it, and it's no more intelligent when Micky does it. Even less so, since they've actually got something to lose.

  • Re:That bad? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:18PM (#42205981) Homepage Journal

    ...says the guy who has literally never posted anything other than about how Windows 8, Surface, and IE10 are much better than the competition (and the older products they're replacing).

    Free tip to shills (and yes, I'm calling you a shill): mix it up a little. Talk about something funny at work. Mention a local restaurant. Make a car analogy. Just don't come in and make comment after predictable comment saying the exact same thing.

    And in the unlikely event that you're not a shill? Get a hobby. Seriously. There is more to life than the most recent software releases of any megacorporation. Explore your other interests a little. It's a big world!

  • Re:That bad? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rumpsummoner ( 1021011 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:23PM (#42206027) Homepage
    What exactly was taken away? The start button?

    Seriously. When you have a start button, you do the following:
    move your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen,
    click it,
    move your mouse to the app you want to open,
    click it.

    In Windows 8 it works like this:
    move your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen,
    click it,
    move your mouse to the app you want to open,
    click it.

    It's the exact same. I swear the people complaining about this stuff aren't actually using it. I always feel like I'm using a different product than the one people are reviewing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:45PM (#42206277)

    Windows 8 sucks in more ways than the mere absence of a Start button/menu.

    Please don't pretend that's not the case.

    Carry on your pro-Microsoft astroturfing/cheerleading... the poor sales numbers, the 'avoid like plague' reputation through word of mouth, and the damning indictments from various usability experts are more than eloquent defense against your propaganda.

  • by scubamage ( 727538 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:46PM (#42206283)
    Sadly nothing is going to change until the board gets rid of Ballmer. The guy is absolutely pathetic as a CEO, and has no sense of direction or vision. All he sees is what everyone else is doing and trying to keep up.
  • by scubamage ( 727538 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:52PM (#42206363)
    Having used it for a few weeks for development work, I have to say I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Now, I *was* using it in a VM, but still, absolutely pathetic as an OS. It felt half baked. The constant switching between interfaces was annoying and completely broke up the user experience. It was like the OS didn't know what it wanted to be.
  • Re:That bad? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @02:53PM (#42206379)

    But thats just it, it seems essential but its not!

    If it seems essential, millions of users are screaming "we need it" and third parties are writing extensions to put it back, it was essential. The start menu is a nicely organized hierarchical structure where it's easy to find applications I might not necessarily know the name of off the top of my head.

    The Metro interface looks like my daughter ate a box of crayons and barfed on several place mats. There are so many issues I could literally type a fifty page document on how not to do usability when designing an interface for human computer interaction.

    Not to mention from what I've read and seen demonstrated the Metro interface could possibly be used as advertising platform by constantly updating tiles to display new sales, promotions, etc... You know marketing firms will take full advantage of that. Who wants to read dozens of advertisements when you're trying to find an application to do work with?

    Please don't go around tell everyone out there the start menu isn't essential to them because you don't use it. I might as well go around saying cars don't need blinkers because my father-in-law doesn't use them.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:08PM (#42206583) Journal

    Yay, another article telling us a microsoft product is going to murder your children, drive us off the fiscal cliff, bomb Iran, and infect everyone else with AIDS... because it doesn't have a button where you'd want it. The horror.

    Arguably, having buttons where you want them, that do what you want them to do, is a UI's purpose in life. If it can't manage that, We Have A Problem.

    It's especially problematic because of the relative lack of useful under-the-hood-upgrades. Selling "Windows 7 Compulsory Tablet UI Edition" on devices that don't even have touchscreens is just a bad joke.

  • by WheezyJoe ( 1168567 ) <{fegg} {at} {}> on Thursday December 06, 2012 @04:35PM (#42207931)

    What is pathetic is that every one of us who did the testing on the DP and CP told MSFT repeatedly this was a BAD move, and if you'd have asked any of us retailers we'd have been happy to point out why.

    So what focus groups were they listening to? And do they listen or do they just make up whatever conclusion they want to hear?

    What is most irritating is if you like Windows 7, but have noticed little bugs, UI inconsistencies, or other irritants, well, Windows 8 means you're out of luck. No more Service Packs, no more Desktop Gadgets, Aero, or other Windows 7-type stuff, no more non-critical bug fixes, security updates only, end-of-life has been scheduled.

    They did the same thing to XP with Vista. Granted XP was 10 years old, but by SP4 it did what it did really really well. Vista came out and wasn't close to being a reasonable replacement, but with a stranglehold on OEM's and massive PR, Microsoft was set to steamroll over XP. Once again, the focus groups all loved Vista, and you will too! Everybody upgrades, massive profits.

    Didn't quite go as planned.

    With Windows 7, you would think they learned their lesson. Decent OS, still in its infancy but an honest improvement over XP, seemed to have a decent future up to about a year ago. Imagine regular incremental upgrades for the next 5-7 years, re-establish a solid hold on desktops and laptops (particularly in the work space). But Microsoft is cutting it off to... what? Push developers to create tablet apps? for a late-entry tablet in a market already covered by iOS and Android? How is that a reason to upgrade, except that Windows 7 is now a dead platform just like XP?

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @06:04PM (#42209277) Homepage


    The monopoly OS continues to sell when PCs are sold.

    This is merely the extension of the MS-DOS monopoly that first got Microsoft in trouble with the US DOJ (way before that bit with Internet Exploder).

    It's not a product that anyone goes out of their way to buy and sometimes they even go out of their way to avoid it. Vista was like this. Win8 sounds like the new Vista.

  • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @06:29PM (#42209619)

    Just read the damn thing instead of a knee jerk defense of a broken product.

    What is funny I think is that so many responses to the original article essentially say things like "you'll get used to it after bit" or "here's how to do what you wanted to do", etc. This is analogous to telling someone "oh grow up, prison isn't that bad, you'll get used it it, here let me show you how to make a shiv." In other words so many of those responses are from people that appear hardwired to defend a bad design instead of just coming out and admitting that MS screwed up.

    In many articles I've read I've never seen a response that says "I know it's bad and it sucks, but I have figured out how to work around it." Instead they all seem to put some bogus positive slant on it, like "Here's show you're supposed to do it." That's like telling people that they're holding the iPhone wrong.

    How can people actually defend the schizoid nature of Windows 8? Does anyone really think that it's better to have the desktop and metro swap places so often? Do they really think that a missing menu bar on the desktop is a positive improvement because they get a half inch of task bar freed up?

    The ultimate problem is that Windows 8 is two products mindsets in a single product. It has a smartphone/tablet style designed for passive consumers of media, which is distinct and separate from the desktop intended for active producers and workers. The Metro part is for people who just want to touch things with one finger and think that's enough to do everything they'd ever want to do in life, they'll read documents and scroll through them but that's the closest they'll ever got to working. Metro is for the sorts of drooling people who think an app store full of wannabe programs written by interns is a great idea. Windows 8 metro is every bit the TOY that a smart phone is a TOY. The desktop part is for people to actually do stuff; write documents instead of just reading thing, swap back and forth between different tasks that must work together, interface with other systems, etc. This is fine to have two separate products for two completely separate types of users. But Microsoft screwed it up by crippling those two products when they were forced together; metro without desktop is crippled (at least without some unreleased fixes and apps), and desktop without metro is crippled (at least w/o lots of extra utilities).

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll