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Microsoft Bug GUI Graphics Operating Systems Upgrades

Windows 10 RTM In 6 Weeks 290

Billly Gates writes: Ars Technica has the scoop on a new build with less flat icons and a confirmation of a mid July release date. While Microsoft is in a hurry to fix the damage done by the Windows 8 versions of its operating system, the next question is, is ready for prime time? On Neowin there's a list of problems already mentioned by MS and its users with this latest release, including Wi-Fi and sound not working without a reboot, and users complaining about tiles and apps not working in the new start menu.
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Windows 10 RTM In 6 Weeks

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    The beta should go on for at least another year.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 31, 2015 @04:10PM (#49810437)

      That's why it'll be free to upgrade to for a year.

      • by Rob Y. ( 110975 ) on Sunday May 31, 2015 @06:36PM (#49811123)

        It's free to upgrade for a year, because they need it to become the new 'standard' - fast. They need people writing apps that'll run nicely on the mobile version. And, if the rumors are true, they're planning to make up for all those free upgrades with a hefty OEM price for new computers (isn't it nice to be able to extract Monopoly rates when you need it). $109 OEM for the home version, $149 for Pro. Makes Chromebooks look better and better - not to mention Linux loaded on your old PC.

        Not to say that'll keep people from buying laptops with Win10. Unless somebody sells the same hardware with Ubuntu for $100 less...

        • It's not free if you only have XP or want to build/buy a new computer.

          And at 109$USD for an OS alone, it's really expensive.

          • Pricing OSes is hard to do. There simply aren't very many commercial OSes out there to get a price on.

            AmigaOS 4 had a price drop from 125 euro to 30 euro not long ago. Solaris is about $1000. I can't easily find the price for AIX, but several years ago it was up in Solaris territory. Apple doesn't sell OSX on its own (the price is baked into the hardware.) eComStation is $290.

            Operating system prices seem to be either 'free' or 'who the hell knows'.

        • by Teckla ( 630646 )

          $109 OEM for the home version, $149 for Pro. Makes Chromebooks look better and better - not to mention Linux loaded on your old PC.

          Yikes, that's expensive. If all the Pro features were available in the base version, then maybe... but, sheesh.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          $109 OEM for the home version, $149 for Pro

          Those have been the standard prices for years. Larger OEMs get big discounts, and I doubt that will change.

          What will be interesting to see is if they keep the free version for small devices. Currently Windows 8 is free for most devices with a screen less than 13". There are a lot of cheap but fairly reasonable spec tablets making use of that now.

      • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        I understand MS wants to make Windows 10 a subscription model.
        I wonder if that means this free upgrade will be suddenly start asking for subscription money (i.e. turn ransomware) in a year.

    • The beta should go on for at least another year.

      I don't know about another year, but I do think that as of now, it's still not ready. Some apps crash a lot in my tablet, and some refuse to even start - notably Skype. Steam also crashes quite a bit. Also, in improving the desktop experience, the tablet experience has gone bad - sometimes, apps just disappear and one has to do a swipe to get the task screens. They do need to debug some of their back-ends.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 31, 2015 @03:11PM (#49810193)

    This synopsis is in error. The article linked does NOT confirm the release date, only still says it's a rumor.

  • Windows Me Part 2 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Great Big Bird ( 1751616 ) on Sunday May 31, 2015 @03:18PM (#49810219)
    If this prerelease set goes "to market" within the next six months, it will be Windows Me all over again. A performance worst than Windows 8, they might just go down a little more.
  • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Sunday May 31, 2015 @03:20PM (#49810223) Homepage Journal
    Tiles and Apps don't work? Well, that is at least some good news. Hopefully applications and the start menu work, though.
  • MS Paint (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Sunday May 31, 2015 @03:26PM (#49810257) Journal

    I hadn't seen them laid out so clearly before, but now that I have [arstechnica.net], all I can say about the original Windows 10 icons (middle row) is oh my god.

    Seriously, what happened here? When did we go completely off the rails and let pea-brained designers start throwing this kind of bullshit around, calling it "modern" and "clean". No shit it's clean -- that recycle bin probably took all of 30 seconds to draw with the Line tool. No, faster probably, since they were just pulled out of the Windows 1.0 archives.

    I look at those three rows of icons and truly cannot fathom why someone would ever choose (especially) the second or third rows. They're low contrast, simpleton drivel that doesn't even do a good job of representing the objects they're trying to depict. Whoever created them should be fired, along with the manager that approved them.

    In fact, Microsoft would be well-served by firing the whole damned "UX" group and replacing this new-age cargo-cult mentality of user interface design with a scientific approach of usability studies and research. You know, that thing they used to do. Let Google and Apple waste their time with that hipster crap if they want to -- normal people and business just want to get shit done and you don't get off on the right foot to do that by making all your icons indistinguishable pale pastel blobs.

    • Seriously, what happened here?

      What happened is that Microsoft decided to design icons which would be visible at a variety of resolutions.

      • Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Sunday May 31, 2015 @03:48PM (#49810341)

        Not exactly. Microsoft's "theme" now is flat UI. A lot of people think that means it just looks clean and simple (like what Google has been doing since...forever,) which is wrong. Flat meaning there's no sense of depth. So no shadows, no overlapping, no gradients, no sense of 3d whatsoever. The only differentiation between UI objects is a solid color change.

        Having a flat UI is easy to scale. But IMO it is very uninspired.

        GP says it's a hipster design that Google and Apple have been doing. Apple yes, Google no. Apple did copy Microsoft, however that was after Microsoft really badly learned from (but did not copy) Google. Microsoft dropped the skeumorphs Google doesn't use flat UI's. For example, open up chrome, and notice a gradient over the button bar, notice how the tab corners overlap, etc.

        Google's new Material Design specifically includes both overlapping objects and shadows. Simple in appearance? Yes. Flat? No. But it still scales to different resolutions just as easily as a flat UI.

        • Oops made an editing mistake in that second paragraph. Oh well.

        • Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Informative)

          by Bite The Pillow ( 3087109 ) on Sunday May 31, 2015 @04:27PM (#49810537)

          Yes, exactly. They want the same UI everywhere, from a phone to a 4K display. Which is stupid, but exactly their stated plan.

          If it seems uninspired to you well, that was not part of the plan.

          Adding shadows and other indicators becomes tricky when scaling, given different potential backgrounds and contexts, so they went to the lowest common denominator. Obviously Google and Microsoft chose different paths, but yes exactly planning for a unified interfac is what caused Microsoft to fuck things up starting with Windows 8 and aalmost anything 2012 or later.

    • What you describe is skuemorphic design which objects mimic real world objects which is the old way of doing things.

      Look at the candy buttons and leather in the address bar to see why the art professors decided not to go this route anymore.

      With flat the design possibilities are endless as you can make the gui in a way you want and the user can focus on content-consumption and work. Not glass and depicting what a tiny pic of something like a skuemorphic button means. Think of Stop signs? They are simple colo

      • Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Sunday May 31, 2015 @04:32PM (#49810547)

        art blogs

        Uh huh.

        Art blogs.

        Pretty much do exactly the opposite of anything advocated on art blogs and you're going the right direction.

        Google ... started

        The latest Android has icons are so abstract they are effectively meaningless. The clock looks like a pie chart; they can't even suffer the hour tick marks that might assist in conveying "clock." The "text" app is a huge left double quote — so out-of-context that it has no association with the concept of "communication." The Google Drive icon is a three color triangle that bears zero resemblance to any sort of storage concept. Basically you must read the label of every icon and slowly try to associate these pictorial abstractions to their actual purpose. In reality users are just memorizing the locations of these meaningless icons, and if you were to rearrange their locations they'd be totally lost.

        It sucks. It's stupid. And I'm 100% certain there is a cabal of "art" fucks behind it.

        Think of Stop signs

        No. Don't think of Stop signs. Stop signs aren't trying to convey an association to anything. You can't buy and eat a box of "stops." Many, many road signs use useful pictographs to convey things; a vehicle skidding due to ice; immigrants hand-in-hand running across a road, the silhouette of a bounding buck.... GUI icons need to convey association; storage, trash, communication, people, news, dates and times, etc.

        Trying to boil all these things down to abstract vector art is idiot.

      • Microsoft's Metro interface design predates Google's Holo interface design by several years. Holo was probably greatly inspired by Metro.

        With that said I don't think you can blame flat user interfaces on any one particular company. It's just a fad. Microsoft's flat UI looked ugly when Microsoft unleashed it back in the 00's. Give it five more years and it will look ugly again, ugly and dated.

      • Re:MS Paint (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Sunday May 31, 2015 @05:05PM (#49810667) Journal

        What you describe is skuemorphic design which objects mimic real world objects which is the old way of doing things.

        Yes and no, I think. I don't think icons generally get classified as skeuomorphic since they just represent targets or classes of entities. Another poster mentioned the Android clock icon -- I don't think the Windows 7 date/time icon [imgur.com] was made to resemble another material or object -- it's just a pictogram that clearly presents the idea of a calendar or clock. Compare that to the Android clock icon [imgur.com]. I suppose that sort of looks like a clock if you already knew what it was, but it's certainly not clear. In my view that icon has failed at expressing any clear idea and is therefor a failure. Which one do you think a new user would more quickly identify as the way to bring up a date/time widget?

        Compare this to one of Apple's absurd interfaces [imgur.com]. This day calendar program is clearly trying to emulate a physical day calendar, complete with leather stitching and yellow lined legal paper. This is what the current trend has pushed back against, and that's probably not entirely a bad thing. You can take emulation like this too far, and Apple almost certainly did with their suite of apps.

        But I don't think the current "UX" trend has as much to do with a severe over-correction to skeuomorphs as it has to do with flat, near monochromatic designs being a lot simpler to scale and make look uniform on a wide variety of screen sizes and pixel densities (as others said). It might be easy but it looks like shit and is about as usable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sevalecan ( 1070490 )

      Perhaps normal people and businesses in general just want to get shit done... But it seems like the hipsters always end up running the show. Somehow companies like Microsoft see that as innovation. After all, trying to enforce Metro on 8 was pretty much a hipster move. Not very good for usability or familiarity in my experience. Then masses of people trying to get shit done had to inform the hipsters at Microsoft that this was a really dumb idea. It's different so it must be good!!!!!!!

      Honestly I don't car

    • For the Atari ST.

      You're just not hipster enough for it.

    • Most, I hate the Sparta icon... it's white, with no contrast border... which makes everything that is assigned to it being the default program, show a white globe on a white background... it's like, "way to go, Microsoft!" followed by a slow clap.

      "clean" "modern" design... which will never work decently on all backgrounds... you know... like good logos, and designs...

    • Re:MS Paint (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Shados ( 741919 ) on Sunday May 31, 2015 @05:22PM (#49810753)

      The design and usability field in general is going to hell. Once upon a time, people actually sat down, did usability studies, thought about how humans deal with computers, how our eyes, ears, and hands work.

      There was strong science behind some of these user interfaces, how the icons were shaped, how things were worded... It wasn't perfect mind you, but people tried.

      Today, so called "usability specialists" are generally only interested in how shiny and pretty things look. It sucks.

      • Today, so called "usability specialists" are generally only interested in how shiny and pretty things look. It sucks.

        Haven't you heard? Shiny is out, flat is in. Shiny is so old school ugly skeuomorphism bro. The new flatness is like, clean and modern. Like some wise old designer dude said, "A design is good once you've taken everything away; it's perfect." So true man, like less is more and stuff!

    • by raind ( 174356 )
      They can be changed by the user yes? It would suck that you would have to though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 31, 2015 @03:43PM (#49810329)

    Win ME was awful. Win XP was generally considered serviceable. Vista was a disaster, even had to Microsoft execs complaining about it in public. Win 7 was OK (although no XP). Win 8 is, well, Win 8. The trend was becoming apparent and people expected Win 9 to be acceptable again. So Microsoft decided to skip Win 9 and jump to Win 10 and have a back-to-back disaster with Win 8.

    • Vista was a disaster, but Win7 is basically Vista matured.

      The reason Vista was a "bad" release had more to do with loopholes being plugged up (API calls that didn't care about missing security data structures suddenly needed them for example) and session separation breaking some apps that relied on multiple processes. The new signed driver architecture also made Vista seem horrible... but the same driver architecture worked fine with Windows 7, because by that time, manufacturers had caught up and were rele

      • by Shados ( 741919 )

        The vast majority of Vista's issues came from 3 fronts:

        1) Shitty hardware that never should have been sold with Vista

        2) the videocard drivers (there's stats about how nearly a majority of crashes and instability issues came from early Nvidia drivers)

        3) OEMs trying to quickly patch up/upgrade XP machines to Vista, but not doing it properly. For example, Dell would sell boxes with a ton of incompatible software and Vista slapped on top. That was a nightmare. ie: machines sold with versions of Nero that hosed

  • Most of the SSLVPN software still doesn't work. Cisco AnyConnect SSL, JunOS Pulse, Dell Mobile Connect. There are problems with the functions key on certain units. Windows 10 is as about as usable as Windows 8 at the beginning. A test period should include support for critical applications such as VPN software.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      To be fair, all of those VPN softwares are pieces of shit and barely work in a perfect setup.

  • by Irate Engineer ( 2814313 ) on Sunday May 31, 2015 @05:07PM (#49810677)
    Windows 7 EOLs in 2020. I really hope MS gets their head out of their ass by then and makes a sensible release that doesn't make the user base miserable. We just want the stable productivity back we had on XP/7 please. A lot of us are still working on desktops (and will be in 2020) and, guess what, it is work that we can't do on smartphones.
  • How do I XP it ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dargaud ( 518470 ) <slashdot2NO@SPAMgdargaud.net> on Sunday May 31, 2015 @05:39PM (#49810851) Homepage
    Genuine question here: I've been using Linux for most things for the past 15 years. For exactly 3 programs I still need Windows, so I run XP in a virtual machine. But I've been warned that the next versions of my progs won't support XP anymore, so I'll have to jump to Win10. Since I don't give a shit about any of the 'advancements' that have occured since then, how can I remove all the gimmicks and simplify the Windows user interface to make it like XP, simply ? Is there some Win10 to XP converter to keep me from trudging through endless options and shitty tweaking downloads ?
  • Sounds like they're damned near ready to release Windows 10.

    My Surface Pro 3 (so not random OEM PoS) often needs a reboot because its sensors crapped out when the thing woke up from sleep. Wi-Fi is a semi-stable solution that could use some serious polishing. The keyboard frequently gets a key logically stuck, which isn't fixable without a reboot and precludes any productivity (try doing *anything* with CTRL held down and you'll see what I mean).

    In all seriousness, I hope they decide to polish first, releas

  • My company has decided to skip Windows 8.x and go to Windows 10, but they want to start testing and rolling out a few months after the RTM lands. If it's still not pretty solid my life is going to become miserable.
    • Most companies I think would have done that. I haven't seen a single company that's moved to Windows 8.x.

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