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Windows 8 has the potential to be the best OS on the market, but is held back by learning curve, legacy UIs

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has earned some fans with the ambitious operating system overhaul that is Windows 8.  But the touch-centric operating system has also earned condemnation from some critics -- even some of Microsoft's own fans.

The more I use Windows 8 the more I feel that my opinion lies somewhere in the middle.  It's full of good ideas, but I don't love it.  It has its shortcomings, but I don't hate it for them.  Ultimately, I feel that Windows 8 is a release similar to Windows Vista  (albeit for different reasons) -- an overstretch on Microsoft's part that's partially successful, but that will be forever loathed by some for its flaws.

With that in mind I wanted to offer up some insight into what Microsoft needs to fix (and how to fix it), while countering what I feel is some of the false criticism about Windows 8.  Here we go.

What to change:

1. Eliminate the Desktop Mode

The Desktop and Windows 8 GUIs feel like oil and vinegar -- they don't want to mix.  With Windows Blue we see Microsoft moving to fully port the control panel to a Windows 8 GUI style format.  It's my opinion that Microsoft should continue this process for all other desktop vestiges (administrative panels, file browsers).

With snap you can have an easy file browser than sits beside your running app(s).   A cloneable file browser Windows 8-style app with up to 4 "panes" each representing a different navigator, should be more than sufficient to replace the legacy file browser.  Few users are going to have more than 8 separate folders actively operated on at once.

Desktop Mode
[Image Source: TechNet]

A robust terminal app for Windows 8 should do the trick for power users, who are unlikely to rely on the noisy traditional file browser GUI, anyhow.

2. Tutorials

Windows 8 has some basic tutorial features, but what struck me was that when I installed the OS during my test of iBuyPower's Revolt system, that the new OS went live with nary a peep on how to use it.

Let's face it -- Windows 8 is a big box of unknown.  Gestures implement new and old functionality.  Items have been relocated into new metro menus.  There's new concepts like Live Tiles.

Revolt -- Windows 8
Windows 8 comes up for the first time with nary a tutorial.
Consumers know Windows, but most consumers don't know Windows 8.  Windows 8 is pretty intuitive once learned, but I think a major problem is that there's no built-in guidance forcing users to seek out on their own how to use the operating system or try to figure out is functionality via experimentation.  Either way a certain number of users will quit out of frustration.

Video game makers have long figured out that the key to getting a novice to learn a new GUI is a good tutorial.  Microsoft should borrow a page from the gaming world and teach users how to use its radically reinvented operating system, so that they can appreciate it better.

3. Multi-touch Pads

Touch is critical to Windows 8.  Thus every Windows 8-compatible keyboard or laptop should have to ship with a multi-touch pad.  

For desktops, that means a keyboard plus multi-touch pad combo device, such as this one from Logitech Int'l SA (LOGI).  For laptops, it means a multi-touch compatible trackpad.  
Logitech K400
Logitech K400 Multi-touch external keyboard

The Logitech K400 keyboard costs about $11 USD more than the similar model without touch (the K360).  If $11 USD represents, to some extent, the difference between Windows 8 being crippled versus fully usable, that's a pretty small price to pay.

System builder discs should be shipped bundled with a compatible external keyboard, such as the K400.

What to keep:

1. Touch

Touch is crucial in Android and iOS -- the world's two most used mobile operating systems.  Anyone who says touch has no place in a desktop is wrong and clearly has never used a multi-touch trackpad.  While it's true touch can be overdone on the desktop or put in the wrong place (e.g. a large screen that taxes arms during long periods of use), a small multi-touch pad is absolutely a very useful tool for the desktop user.
Windows gestures
[Image Source: Microsoft]

As Microsoft's OS evolves it will surely find ways -- just as Google Inc. (GOOG) and Apple, Inc. (AAPL) have -- to add new touch-based functions.

2. Metro UI

If you ever watch Chopped on the Food Network you'll recall that there's a presentation scoring criteria, where chefs are rated based on how their food looks. Sometimes a dish will look good, but one particular judge (or multiple judges) will cite a personal distaste for its style.  But at the end of the day it's clear the chef put effort into the presentation.

That's how I view Windows 8.  The criticism surrounding Metro/Windows 8 UI is mostly, I would argue, due to the usability issues (lack of touch in some systems, legacy desktop functions, etc.).  I think the graphical style itself is clean and good-looking.

Metro UI Windows 8
Metro UI is not the main problem with Windows 8. [Image Source: Microsoft]

It could certainly improve -- by the inclusion of smaller Live Tiles, for example (which is coming with Windows Blue -- but the problem is less with the general look and more with the aforementioned fixable usability issues.  If you hate the style, that's your own problem.  Microsoft can't please everyone -- maybe it can't please you.

Apple demonstrated that customers prepare a well marketed, clean/minimalist design.  I think Windows 8 meets that criteria (except maybe the well-marketed part).  Microsoft can't please everyone, but if it just made Windows 8 more usable, I think it would please most users.

3. Performance

Ironically Windows 8 excels in the area where the analogous Windows Vista release goes most awry -- performance.

Windows 8 keeps the process list, memory footprint, and CPU usage lean.  It's better than Windows 7, generally, in fact.  Critics can cherry-pick a handful of cases where it backslides, but in general Microsoft has delivered progress on the performance front.
Windows 7 memory usage Windows 8 memory usage
Windows 7 SP1 (left), Windows 8 test build (right). [Source: Microsoft]
Again, some critics get carried away and extend their usability criticism into a more general (and fallacious) attack on the operating system's general performance.  Windows 8 is not slow -- it is fast. 

What do YOU Think?

I think if Microsoft adopts those three former changes, while sticking with the latter three strengths, it will have the best desktop operating system on the market.  Don't agree?  Tell me what you think I missed -- what do you think Windows 8's strengths and weakness are, and how do you suggest fixing them?

I'll update this later to discuss the problems/strengths of Window RT, but for now let's keep the discussion to Windows 8 x86 (Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro).

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Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By Tal Greywolf on 3/27/2013 10:48:26 AM , Rating: 5
Speaking as someone who has been using Windows 8 now for a while, I've come to the opposite conclusions. The desktop, for example, not only needs to stay, it needs to be improved. The Start Screen needs to be dumped, or else Microsoft needs to create a version of Windows 8 that is STRICTLY for tablet and touchscreen devices. I will never use a touchpad/touchscreen on my desktop, and there's no rational reason why anyone would want to except in certain niche products.

Performance is the only area in which Windows 8 is better than Windows 7, but that's not enough to warrant the disaster that Windows 8 has turned into. (Me? I have nuked the Modern UI as best I can, and ONLY use the Desktop combined with ClassicShell to make a workable OS.)

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By Nutzo on 3/27/2013 11:02:21 AM , Rating: 5
The desktop, for example, not only needs to stay, it needs to be improved. The Start Screen needs to be dumped, or else Microsoft needs to create a version of Windows 8 that is STRICTLY for tablet and touchscreen devices. I will never use a touchpad/touchscreen on my desktop, and there's no rational reason why anyone would want to except in certain niche products.

Exactly. This is why Windows 7 will be the new XP, and most companies will still be running Windows 7 10 years from now.

Microsoft needs to go back to the drawing board and give people a choice instead of forcing thier touch UI on everything.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By odiHnaD on 3/27/2013 11:30:58 AM , Rating: 2
It's been 11 years and will be over 12 when it goes end of life.

It's time, just let XP pass in peace...

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By Souka on 3/27/2013 3:14:11 PM , Rating: 3
I work at a large hospital facility... we run XP... we have to.

So many of our heathcare apps are quite old.. one requires MS Word 2.0 and some registry hacks to work in XP. Others refuse to run if .NET 4.0 is loaded or require IE7

We've virtulized what we can, but many are tied to hardware attached to the PC... so we're stuck. XP Mode in Win7 was a bust also.


XP is going to be here at least another 2-4 years, and I'm sure we'll end up with a bunch of legacy-XP systems scattered around to support these old apps/hardware.

By Trisped on 3/27/2013 8:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
XP Mode in Win7 was a bust also.
How so? The only issues I have found are programs which implicitly prevent running on a VM (part of their DRM) and those with hardware requirements like a serial port.

While you can't do anything about the DRM (at least not that I know of) most hardware issues can be solved by buying a USB adapter and using the USB pass through to let the XP machine load the hardware.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By MScrip on 3/28/2013 12:07:03 AM , Rating: 4

I work at a large hospital facility... we run XP... we have to.

So many of our heathcare apps are quite old...

Whoever created the software you use... did they expect XP to run forever?

I mean... it can run forever... but eventually it would lose support from Microsoft. Those software engineers should have expected that.

It's just weird that they had the idea to create the software in the first place... but never thought to make an updated version for a future OS.

Seems kinda short-sighted.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By stevend on 3/28/2013 2:25:10 AM , Rating: 4
Seems kinda short-sighted.

XP is pushing on 14 right now, just because it's a teenager doesn't mean it's not older than most software out there.

And taking into consideration the comment about registry hacks i'm gonna go out on a limb and assume the software wan't made for XP originally anyway.

If there's someone at fault here it's the hospital for keeping the same old ass software just for the sake of saving a few bucks.

By Pavelyoung on 3/29/2013 11:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more. Sounds to me like whoever was in charge of the hospital paid someone they know or a member of their family to come up with some half assed software solution back in the windows 95 days.

They way overpaid whoever the brilliant idiot was for his 45 minutes worth of work and he/she walked away with their 10s-100s of thousands never even thinking about a possible upgrade path and probably not caring.

By ShieTar on 3/28/2013 4:27:41 AM , Rating: 2
Whoever created the software you use... did they expect XP to run forever?

No, they expected to be able to sell the hospital an updated version of their own software a few years later.

Still, a lot of scientific experiments still run with DOS-Software. Not a problem either, a good Control-PC does nothing but control, and does not even need to be connected to the network. So you can continue using DOS at least until Motherboards with a legacy-BIOS go away, and the same is true for Windows XP.

By tng on 3/28/2013 10:54:26 AM , Rating: 3
Seems kinda short-sighted.
No it may not be short sighted at all.

When you deal with healthcare, remember that there are extensive amounts of regulation and paperwork required by the FDA. It may be that they have to keep some equipment on XP simply because they can't change it.

In some cases if you changed software on a tool or device without proper paperwork and clearance, then that device malfunctions and causes injury or death, people will go to jail.

By Pavelyoung on 3/29/2013 11:43:42 PM , Rating: 3
Sounds to me like the software is all lowest bidder junk.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By Nortel on 3/27/2013 3:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
Lets say you are a government/bank/finance/etc... organization with 5000+ desktop/laptops running XP. You expect every one of these to be refreshed and every person to have to reinstall their software? Licencing alone of installed software would be a huge issue. Many companies cannot use software once it has gone past its support period. If MS had any sense at all they would charge $10/year for every licence to have continued support for the next 20 years.

By Tal Greywolf on 3/28/2013 8:34:25 AM , Rating: 3
Let me state that at the company I work for, we have over 140,000 devices that are supposed to be upgraded to Windows 7. It has taken nearly 3 years just to get 2/3rds of them upgraded, and it'll be 1Q2014 before the remainder are migrated.

Now, add into that the cost of upgrading licenses, getting locally written applications working under Windows 7, unexpected expenses in upgrading networking and servers... and you can see why companies who are investing in Windows 7 have NO INTENTION of migrating to Windows 8. They want a platform that will be viable for a number of years that also doesn't require massive amounts of training (or retraining, as the case may be.)

Understand, I don't dislike Windows 8, I just prefer to be able to have it in a workable form that I find the most comfort in. Using the Modern UI is extremely painful, and with the rumblings coming from the next iteration of Windows, it's going to be even more painful than before.

By Flunk on 3/27/2013 12:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, they should have dumped XP support the day they released Windows 7.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By Dorkyman on 3/27/2013 11:19:26 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, but want to add that many companies will still be running XP ten years from now. XP is STILL the dominant OS in large organizations, by an overwhelming margin*.

You don't have to spend money to fix what ain't broken.


By quiksilvr on 3/27/2013 12:27:04 PM , Rating: 4
Except the problem IS that it is broken in this day and age. It's power inefficient, insecure and forces software developers to waste time supporting it.

By Guspaz on 3/27/2013 12:52:53 PM , Rating: 4
Based on the trend shown in that graph, XP usage should be far lower by the time it EOL's in 2014; it dropped by about 10% overall in the one year shown in that chart, the rate of decrease is linear (not slowing), and by the time it EOLs in April 2014, we should expect it to be at roughly 12%.

In fact, I think it will be even lower, because the migration away from XP will accelerate as it gets closer and closer to EOL. By the time it does EOL, the usage statistic will be low enough to be justified.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By Jammrock on 3/27/2013 1:21:53 PM , Rating: 5
No business will be running XP 10 years from now. Not in any significant numbers, at least. XP won't support the hardware, hardware makers won't be making drivers, and in ten years XP will have gone 9-years without a security update. It would be security suicide to be running XP three years from now, let alone ten.

By Tal Greywolf on 3/28/2013 8:40:24 AM , Rating: 2
Let me state an observation here:

Businesses will be running XP 10 years from now. I know personally of businesses still running Windows 98 today, as the applications that they rely on cannot be migrated to another OS. Even the computers on the International Space Station runs WindowsXP, and there are no plans to upgrade them to Windows 7 that I know of (we had a request from one of our groups for a specific version of the laptops that are used up there that hasn't been sold in the last 5 years, with XP for development and debugging requirements.)

There are companies still running Windows NT, mostly on automated manufacturing systems, but it's still NT.

By dgingerich on 3/27/2013 2:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
This just goes to show the immense stupidity and incompetence of corporate executives these days.

I had a friend who went to a company on a project for them to migrate from Windows 2000 (they had never gone to Windows XP) to Windows Vista, shortly after Windows 7 came out. Also, back just before Windows XP came out, I was contracted to fix some desktop systems at a marketing company, where the 12 people had nine 486DX2-66 machines, two Pentium 60 machines, and a Pentium 90 machine, all running Windows 95. They hadn't invested in computer upgrades in over 5 years. They wanted me to fix the fans on several of the DX2-66 machines and the power supply on one Pentium 60. I told them they were better off buying new systems. The owner was so offended that I offered such advice, she sent me back to my office and told them never to have me return again, and even advised they fire me for such "impudence and lack of respect for a business owner."

Corporate executives need to recognize that the workplace includes the computers the workers use and the software they run, and that the condition of the workplace directly influences the productivity. Just like you can't give people state of the art computers and software, with a single 2'X4' workspace and expect them to do well, they can't work their best at a state of the art campus with tons of perks with ancient, outdated systems and software. There are too many executives that are just too hardheaded and incompetent to understand this, and they need to be removed from those positions.

By Motoman on 3/27/2013 11:31:43 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft needs to go back to the drawing board and give people a choice instead of forcing thier touch UI on everything.

Screw the "choice" - they need to realize that the traditional desktop and start menu is the optimal form, and stop f*cking with it.

If there's morons who think the Fisher-Price design of the Metrosexual UI is a good idea, let them create an app for that that they can try to sell for $5 a pop. do you think those sales would compare to Start8?

[hint: badly]

By timothyd97402 on 3/28/2013 6:34:46 PM , Rating: 2

MS needs to stop trying to shove Metro down our throats with no option to boot straight to desktop, no option to have Classic and Aero desktop themes if we like, no option to use a traditional Start Menu if we prefer. MS needs to not to hijack us back to Metro when ever we click on an icon or link if we are currently in the desktop and there is a desktop program to handle the request.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By Motoman on 3/27/2013 12:40:01 PM , Rating: 2
The author is a nut.

The only thing I've seen that I like better in Windows 8 is the Task Manager.

Otherwise, the rest of it is, at best, a waste of time.

Utterly unusable without Start8 or something else. The Metrosexual UI has to die.

By Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer on 3/27/2013 12:52:13 PM , Rating: 5
By all means, eliminate the part of the OS that allows you to install whatever you want, and keep the part that only allows you to install software that Microsoft approves.


By maugrimtr on 3/28/2013 6:10:20 AM , Rating: 3
I'm just surprised that the author recommends a touch enabled keyboard. He did notice that the Logitech is a 66% length keyboard which replaces the number pad, arrow keys and other parts with a single touch pad? :( So we now need a butchered keyboard to enable 2.5 input devices instead of the usual two that have been efficient for most of us?

Personally, the Metro start is messed up. If you install a new PC youself, with minimal software, the damn thing shows every installer, uninstaller, setup, configuration and other executable instead of just the main executable per application. It's noisy and requires manual cleanup.

The other problem with Metro is that it become invisible. Once you get to your desktop, you want to stay there. You rarely go into Metro, so you rarely use a Windows 8 app unless it's absolutely required. When using a Metro app, you need to switch to the desktop to monitor ongoing tasks (which defeats the purpose of desktop status icons, progress bars, and multitasking).

By tamalero on 3/27/2013 11:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
I hate that you have to click 3 times more do to the same Windows 8 than on 7.

all because of that "preschool" metro interface.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By Belard on 3/28/2013 11:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
There are other good aspects of win that I like.... but the negs invalidate the improvements. file copy is much better. the UP arrow in explorer being put back is good. the rarely needed hybrid boot. In the preview version, aero was tweaked and looked slick... but then they metro ugly raped aero into an 80s basic ugly mess.

We need to hurt MS.... go Linux... buy ps3/4. not an Xbox. MS is killing PC gaming anyway, why reward them?

I've started going Linux because of win8. I use 3 computers, one has full time Linux on it... as I learn it, migrate my software, data and usage... I think in a few years, I will be free of Microsoft.

(typed from my Android phone.... see no MS required.

By FastEddieLB on 3/31/2013 1:53:50 AM , Rating: 2
I only use Windows 7 for 3 things

the games that don't run on Linux even with Wine
Microsoft OneNote (which currently has no good Linux alternatives)
ComicRack (because Wine doesn't support .net 4.0 currently)

I'm studying programming (python, and later C++ and Java) to solve the latter two problems. The game problem is being slowly resolved in large part thanks to Steam gaining Linux support. Yeah there will still be a few games that will never have Linux support, but nobody says I can't keep my dual boot setup with good old Win7.

By Operandi on 3/27/2013 2:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
Could not agree more. Microsoft needs to simply look at what Stardock is doing with Start8 and Modern Mix to fix the problems with Windows 8.

At some point Metro (Modern UI, whatever....) will get to point where it's advanced enough to replace the desktop but we need a transition phase and Micrsoft seems hell bent on give us what power users need. Luckily we have companies like Stardock and others that are stepping up to the plate.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/27/2013 5:37:15 PM , Rating: 5
I'm baffled how the author feels doubling-down on the worst aspect of Windows 8 is the way to "fix" it. We do NOT use our desktop PC's like multi-touch devices! And the vast majority either don't see the benefit in Metro (or "Modern" whatever the hell you call it) or outright hate it.

Touch is critical to Windows 8. Thus every Windows 8-compatible keyboard or laptop should have to ship with a multi-touch pad.

This doesn't even seem like a remotely possible scenario. For every OEM to design their products around Windows 8 and multi-touch? Don't see it happening. We don't use our computers this way because it's not optimal. Unless you're on a laptop, you would be crazy to use a touchpad instead of mouse/keyboard.

Windows 8 has fundamental flaws, bowing to them doesn't fix Windows 8 imo.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By Ramstark on 3/27/13, Rating: -1
By Reclaimer77 on 3/27/2013 8:21:03 PM , Rating: 2
I specifically mentioned laptops...sigh. Reading comp ftw.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By Ramstark on 3/27/13, Rating: -1
By Reclaimer77 on 3/27/2013 8:37:01 PM , Rating: 3
First off most desktops have monitors that are much larger than touch devices, so they are placed further away. It's impractical to use touch screen monitors for extended periods on a desktop PC. Your arms would wear out. And yeah I really want fingerprints all over my screen!

As far as keyboards with built in touch're joking right? Who even owns those? Can you even get quality ones? What about mechanical keyboards with touchpads? I have carpal tunnel, so is there a split-key design with touchpad? NOPE!

And every time you have to resort to the "troll" thing, I'm just assuming I've brought up points you don't like. Just fyi.

By Motoman on 3/27/2013 11:28:19 PM , Rating: 3
If you look at a continuum from mice to touchscreens, the metaphor becomes more literal, and the user who prefers them becomes dumber. Because if you actually need the metaphor to be *that* freaking literal, you probably shouldn't be let out of your cage.

Mouse - normal person
Trackball - below average capability
Touchpad - fairly dimwitted
Touchscreen - drooling dipsh1t

Look around an office at what input device people prefer to use while sitting at their desk, and you'll see this to be true. The less proficient someone is, the more literal a metaphor they need on their input device...and a touchscreen is the most literal it can possibly get.

RE: Can I say that the suggestions are reversed?
By mechBgon on 3/28/2013 2:23:07 AM , Rating: 2
This. Except performance isn't the only area where Win8 is better. Although few people realize it, there was a serious overhaul to the underlying security of the kernel, not to mention more recognized security improvements like ELAM and Secure Boot, and support for Ivy Bridge's SMEP feature. Win8 would be a home run over Win7 if it had nothing but the Desktop UI, actually.

Big picture: it would've cost Microsoft nothing but their hubris to give us all the option to use just Desktop, just Metro, or both at once. They need to own their mistake and give that option back to the customer. Witness the popularity of third-party fixes and that pretty much says it all.

By mechBgon on 3/28/2013 2:26:05 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and I might add that my work system is a quad-monitor setup. Imagine THAT with a Metro-style UI. Wow, now I can read the PDF file from 50 feet away! How useful!

By Wolfpup on 3/29/2013 10:19:54 AM , Rating: 3
Absolutely. I can't believe someone capable of writing for a tech site, capable of accessing the Internet, would seriously call for the replacement of the real desktop and GUI with that Metro monstrosity. I mean Mac sales would soar through the roof if Microsoft actually destroyed Windows like that.

It's inferior even if you're some newbie who runs a single program at a time. It's STILL much worse even in that context...let alone for any power user, which frankly includes a hell of a lot of people these days.

Agreed (mostly)
By datdamonfoo on 3/27/2013 9:27:49 AM , Rating: 2
I love Windows 8. It's better than Windows 7, but honestly, not THAT much different. What I do agree with is that it needs tutorials for those who can't be bothered to take ten minutes to learn what IS different. The "tutorial" when installing is paltry, and tells you nothing. There should be an in depth, interactive tutorial to show people how easy it is to get around the OS.

What I don't agree with is getting rid of the desktop. At least not for another decade or so. That's something that needs to be eased into.

RE: Agreed (mostly)
By Flunk on 3/27/2013 9:30:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I agree. A slow phasing out (like what Apple did with Mac OS apps when they went to OS X) is the best plan.

RE: Agreed (mostly)
By othercents on 3/27/2013 10:28:09 AM , Rating: 2
A slow phasing out is the best plan.

Microsoft did this with Windows XP and allowed you to revert to the older Windows 98 start menu. I don't see why they couldn't have both UIs and allow you to choose which to run. At least at that point each UI by themselves would be more efficient than running two partial UIs at one time.

I do like the new UI and try to use it, but I can't do everything in it. However the biggest problem I have at this point is USB security that is causing my updates to android devices to fail. Works fine with my Windows 7 desktop, but fails every time with my Windows 8 laptop.

RE: Agreed (mostly)
By Flunk on 3/27/13, Rating: 0
RE: Agreed (mostly)
By sluze on 3/27/2013 1:37:47 PM , Rating: 4
Microsoft did this with Windows XP and allowed you to revert to the older Windows 98 start menu. I don't see why they couldn't have both UIs and allow you to choose which to run. At least at that point each UI by themselves would be more efficient than running two partial UIs at one time.

b/c microsoft is just smart enough to realize NO ONE would choose the new ui if they had the choice. if you want to phase in a new ui it has to actually have advantages over the old one, win8's ui doesn't have that and they know it.

RE: Agreed (mostly)
By Wolfpup on 4/1/2013 11:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
Try to use it for WHAT?

How is it useful for a desktop OS, and why would you use it? It's effectively more vista widgets, only harder to ignore, and less useful.

RE: Agreed (mostly)
By vortmax2 on 3/27/2013 10:46:42 AM , Rating: 2
I'd have to agree as well. Getting rid of the desktop completely would be a mistake. Very few business customers will migrate to W8 in fear of productivity loss...rightly so as the learning curve would take a significant amount of time for the employees. I think they should bring back the W7 desktop in its entirety so that user can choose. With the Metro UI being the 'default' still, they will slowly sway people towards it. I think most people (and companies) will just skip upgrading to W8 altogether because of the 'forced' use of Metro.

RE: Agreed (mostly)
By 91TTZ on 3/27/2013 12:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
What I do agree with is that it needs tutorials for those who can't be bothered to take ten minutes to learn what IS different.

I've been playing around with Windows 8 for almost a year now. I know how to use it, and I just don't like the changes. It's stuck in a no-man's land between a PC and a mobile operating operating system. I ended up installing Start8 on my Windows 8 PC at home and it greatly increased usability. I never use the full-screen apps that are built in. They're an illogical design decision that are discontinuous with the GUI style of the rest of the operating system. I know how to use them but it's a cognitive burden. From a UI perspective, there's a big price to pay when you context switch.

I think Microsoft didn't know how to reconcile their existing PC business with the growing mobile business. They tried combining both products and it isn't a good fit at all. They would have been better served making 2 completely different products like Apple did. In fact, Windows RT is a completely different product but they made it look like the same product. This is confusing for customers because they're left wondering how they can get their software on it when they were able to on their PC or Surface Pro which looks almost the same. Sadly, this isn't even a problem because not enough people are buying the Surface to have it become an issue.

Microsoft has 3 products used on 2 architectures which overlap and are incompatible- Windows 8 on Intel PCs and Surface Pro tablets, Windows RT on ARM tablets, and Windows Phone on ARM phones. People have trouble drawing the line between what's a mobile device and what's a PC.

Apple has 2 products used on 2 architectures- OSX on Apple's Intel PCs and iOS on ARM phones and tablets. People know they use PC stuff for PCs and mobile stuff for mobiles.

By wasteoid on 3/27/2013 10:26:35 AM , Rating: 5
Tablets and smartphones are touch-based consumption devices. Desktops are keyboard/mouse-based production devices. They are two separate use-cases which require two separate UIs.

You wouldn't use a hammer to drive in a screw, nor would you use a screwdriver to hammer in a nail. Use the right tool for the job. Forcing people to use only one tool is wrong and should not be supported. Windows 8 needs two versions: one for tablets and one for desktops.

By Nutzo on 3/27/2013 10:56:22 AM , Rating: 4
Or at least it should have 2 operating modes.
Tablet (touchscreen) or Desktop (no touch screen).

Anyone who is pushing touch screens or touch pads to make Windows 8 usable has never supported systems in an office environment. The last thing you want is for workers to have to keep taking thier hands off the keyboard to point at something on the screen. Higher costs, messy screens, lower productivity, and more disability claims just to support lousy user interface? Not going to happen.

As for Touch pads, most my users dislike touchpads and even take a mouse with them when they travel. Why would I want to force touchpads on my desktop users?

By Griffinhart on 3/27/2013 11:20:59 AM , Rating: 2
I'm one of those folks that can't stand using touchpads. I only use them when I really don't have room for a mouse. Even with my Surface Pro, I have a Bluetooth mouse sitting on my desk at work so I don't have to use the touch pad on the keyboard cover.

By Belard on 3/27/2013 7:01:26 PM , Rating: 3
Thing is... Windows8 sucks as a touch GUI too... My son was playing with a touch Win8 notebook and using the screen, he couldn't figure out HOW to exit an APP or get back to home. He kept pressing the area where the Start button is usually - and was pressing everywhere to try and get to the Start Page.

You know MS totally screwed up when they talk about HOW great their TOUCH OS is... and how especially easier it is to use with a Win8 keyboard with short-cuts built in or learn the new Win-Key combos.... Uh... a keyboard is not a touch interface.

By 91TTZ on 3/27/2013 12:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree.

I also think their relationship with Intel complicates the issue. While Intel's x86 is obviously the choice for desktops, what will they use for their mobile OS? Will they make it x86 compatible or ARM compatible? If they make one for both they'll confuse people because the programs aren't interchangeable.

You need touchscreens with a touch OS
By Da W on 3/27/2013 10:15:18 AM , Rating: 2
I have the same Logitech keyboard for my HTPC and i used to agree with you until i got my surface, and Windows 8 is just so much better with a touch screen. It's touchscreen that need to become ubiquitous. Fortunately most consumer (non-power user) desktop seem to move toward all-in-one with touchscreen. A standard 23'' 1080P touchscreen monitor is slowly getting to 300$, and people will gradually drop their laptop for a tablet or a convertible, so its gonna happen.

You need a background wallpaper in Metro (yes i still call it metro). The thing i hate the most about the new start screen is the unicolor background, after all these years of effort to make nice looking desktop themes.

More customisable tiles. Not just change the size, i want to fill my screen from top to bottom, leave gaps without tiles auto-ajusting, like i do with icons on the desktop.

Ribbon. It's the corner stone of office. If you want to get rid of the desktop you need to port the ribbon to metro. It doable (swipe down from top) but so far the top of the screen has not been used by Microsoft for apps menus.

The other features i needed, they appear to be in the winodws blue leak.

By johnsmith9875 on 3/27/2013 11:14:48 AM , Rating: 1
I pesonally fine the live tiles to be obscenely uninformative as to what they are. The whole idea of live anything is to communicate information, but a tile with a picture of a pickle or a laughing baby in it doesn't convey to me what the heck it will do when I click on it.

By Chadder007 on 3/27/2013 11:34:01 AM , Rating: 4
If you have ever had to sit at a desk job, you will NOT be wanting to reach up and swiping the screen all day. The premise of Windows 8 alienates the desktop worker.

By 91TTZ on 3/27/2013 12:25:03 PM , Rating: 3
A standard 23'' 1080P touchscreen monitor is slowly getting to 300$, and people will gradually drop their laptop for a tablet or a convertible, so its gonna happen.

Most workers are at their computers 8 hours a day doing work. Nobody is going to want to hold their arms up in the air for 8 hours a day when they can simply rest their arms on their desk and use a mouse and keyboard. Ergonomically it's a much more logical choice.

By hubb1e on 3/27/2013 1:46:47 PM , Rating: 2
Touchscreen on a desktop? Surely you're joking right? Somebody should take away your mouse and force you to hold your arm up in the air for a hard 10 hour workday. The only solution for a desktop is a touchpad and I won't give up the precision of a mouse for a crappy touchpad. Maybe if every touchpad was amazing, but the current crop of touchpads just doesn't cut it.

I use windows 8 and came to almost exactly the opposite conclusion as Jarred. Windows 8 is ugly, not productive, and difficult to use. Most specifically I hate the non persistent menus that take up the entire right side of my screen exactly where the scroll bars for every application is. Go too far to the right and that ridiculous menu appears. The only thing I like about it is the performance and the task manager. The only thing saving windows 8 is Start8 and other Apps like it. I didn't install a start button for 4 months thinking I would stick with what Microsoft thought was best. I tried to like windows 8 but once that start button was installed I NEVER want to go back.

RE: You need touchscreens with a touch OS
By Da W on 3/27/13, Rating: 0
By superflex on 3/29/2013 9:50:16 AM , Rating: 2
Dragon Naturally Speaking.
Did Granny buy that for you because you had trouble putting words to paper?
Keyboards are hard.

Don't care about Metro & touch
By rvd2008 on 3/27/2013 10:35:46 AM , Rating: 4
I want modern desktop OS to be lean and support easy backup. I want it to be less than 4GB installed (64 bit). I want it to stop tumor-like growing to 30GB with time. I want working parent control. I want it to come free of bloatware. I want it to apply updates without embarrassing multiple reboots. I want explorer to show real files and folders, not crappy shortcuts. I want build in dvd and bluray player.

Instead I got useless touch and Metro. Tens of thousands of bright MS developers are wasting time. Microsoft lost its way with Balmer and I do not think it's going to improve any time soon.

RE: Don't care about Metro & touch
By DeanSch on 3/27/2013 10:59:54 AM , Rating: 3

RE: Don't care about Metro & touch
By Flunk on 3/27/2013 12:08:10 PM , Rating: 3
Install Linux.

By Reclaimer77 on 3/27/2013 5:40:20 PM , Rating: 2
You think that's bloated, just wait until you have two versions of all your programs installed; one for Metro and one for Desktop. Oh joy!

RE: Don't care about Metro & touch
By Belard on 3/27/2013 6:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
Win8 is garbage... did you actually buy it?

Windows8 drove me to use Linux. I DL LinuxMint, put it in the notebook running Win8, I told it to do a clean install... in 15 minutes, Win8 was forever gone from the notebook and LinuxMint was ready to go.

Isn't the point of "windows" is the steep and difficult learning curve that other OSes (other than Mac) have? Yeah, Linux does thing differently too... but its still a desktop OS.

The problem with Windows 8....
By sluze on 3/27/13, Rating: 0
RE: The problem with Windows 8....
By max_payne on 3/27/2013 12:38:29 PM , Rating: 5
So for those who can't read very very long post, to summarize his; Windows 8 sucks.

RE: The problem with Windows 8....
By sluze on 3/27/2013 1:30:49 PM , Rating: 3

By theapparition on 3/27/2013 3:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
You know paragraphs are free.

RE: The problem with Windows 8....
By Belard on 3/27/2013 6:57:33 PM , Rating: 1
Sluze... save your post, fix it up a bit... make paragraphs. I agree with most of what you have to say... you touch on many of the problems, but not all... that would require a book.

open platform vs closed. how has android been soo successful in this endeavor - i can only assume they stole microsoft's playbook from the 80's and 90's given that microsoft has somehow forgotten.
You are incorrect on this. MS-Windows is a CLOSED system. Its Microsoft. Hence, Win95 was a hybrid DOS/GUI OS. For MS-DOS compatibility. Windows 3.x was never an OS, its a GUI shell. Again, POS MS-DOS compatibility... when Mac and Amigas were running GUI OS since the mid 80s.

If going by your open/closed logic - Linux is what an OPEN system look like. Its $0. Its far more full-featured than Win8. And Win8 is a SPAM OS... it shows you crap to buy before your own media files. WTF?!

And yes.. again... who the HELL needs a FULL 20~24" screen for a calculator app? Typically on my 24" desktop with Win7 - I run with about 15 tasks (4~5 of them are explorers) - my PC rarely is shut down... it does go to sleep.

My LinuxMint core2 1.8Ghz notebook w/5400RPM HD boots up almost as fast as my i5-3570K SSD Win7 setup... Linux is cleaner and less bull than Windows.

Thank you Microsoft for making me try Linux once and for all.

Does anyone actually like Modern UI ?
By hubb1e on 3/27/2013 2:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
Can we get a count of people who actually like it? So far out of all these comments there are like 3 commenters who actually like it and that includes the writer.

RE: Does anyone actually like Modern UI ?
By Ramstark on 3/27/13, Rating: 0
RE: Does anyone actually like Modern UI ?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/27/2013 8:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
I have a different opinion, therefore I'm a "troll".

Okay kid lol. I've backed up my point of view, I haven't trolled anything.

RE: Does anyone actually like Modern UI ?
By Ramstark on 3/27/13, Rating: 0
By Reclaimer77 on 3/27/2013 8:18:44 PM , Rating: 3
Yeeeah, no. Time to look up what a "troll" is. Using insults doesn't exclusively make someone a troll.

Anyway I have better things to do than talk about this. I'm gonna keep on being myself and doing my thing here, and by calling me out, you're only making things worst. You could have made your point without the whole "Reclaimer and other trolls" childish nonsense, but nope, YOU had to troll.

"In Internet slang, a troll (pron.: /'tro?l/, /'tr?l/) is someone who posts inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion "

Now when have I honestly done that here? Never. Reclaimer is many things, but he's ALWAYS on topic.

By superflex on 3/29/2013 9:56:11 AM , Rating: 3
Isn't calling someone a troll the same as calling them an idiot or dumb kid?
You must be liberal, because hypocrisy is a fundamental of that movement.

author never used win8 on a desktop
By bond007taz on 3/27/2013 10:16:53 AM , Rating: 5
really... the author is saying they should remove the desktop mode to make it pure touch screen? what a joke...

the author obviously has never used win8 on a desktop and had to spreadsheets and technical writing that required multiple windows to be open...

seriously, DailyTech is going down the drain

By dubldwn on 3/27/2013 11:44:28 AM , Rating: 2
I realize it says "Editorial," this article flame bait?

By Integral9 on 3/27/2013 3:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
I think Mick's getting a check from the Vole.

My thoughts on this (long)
By 91TTZ on 3/27/2013 11:52:51 AM , Rating: 5
I'm a realist and a practical person who likes efficiency and usability. The user interface of a device depends on what you're trying to control. The PC, controlled by a keyboard and mouse is efficient at its intended task and has its place at your home or your office while mobile devices, controlled by touch, have a place in your pocket.

Form should follow function. Windowed operating systems have been around for more than 30 years because their form follows the function of the work being done on the computer. The reason the Windows 95 style GUI lasted as long as it did is because it works for the purpose it's expected to perform. I remember human interface/usability experts saying how much sense the desktop model worked for PCs since it was so practical. Any change requires users to relearn how to do things which is an expense of time and effort. To justify change I need to see an actual improvement to the way I work. Change for the sake of change is irrational; it's is a lateral move and isn't true progress.

I think that Microsoft has veered off course and tried making computing more emotional than logical. They chose pretty over practical. The organization style seems to be a loose gathering of ideas rather than a structured order. This doesn't scale well (since disorganization leads to confusion) and they had to rely on search to allow users to find what they want. Part of this problem is due to the influence of mobile devices. The screens on mobile devices are usually too small to allow for a windowed operating system so the preferred GUI uses full-screen pages instead of windows. Microsoft tried pushing this in Windows 8 with their full screen apps and it's really a wasteful design decision on a desktop or laptop.

They also keep on miscalculating the direction of mobile. When it was coming Microsoft denied it was coming. When it was here Microsoft said that it wouldn't catch on. When it became popular and other manufacturers were already capitalizing on it, Microsoft invested a lot of money in horrible products (Kin) that were completely abandoned in less than a year. And when it became completely obvious what direction the mobile market was going, Microsoft enters the party too late with overpriced products that would have been also-rans 2 years in the past.

Part of the problem is due to human nature. When confronted with the choice between 2 good ideas it's natural to want them both. But trying to actually obtain them both is harder than you think. If you execute on this desire poorly you can put yourself in a situation where you actually get neither. Even worse, you might get the drawbacks of both but the benefits of neither. You can find yourself in no-man's land. If you can't decide between the city life of New York or San Francisco you don't split the decision and move to Kansas. Microsoft is finding itself in a similar situation with Windows 8 and its mobile initiative. Their intention was to draw upon its massive desktop userbase to make inroads into the growing mobile market. But they're alienating their desktop users and their mobile products aren't catching on. Instead of getting both they're getting neither. Windows 8 is a flop, people aren't buying their phones, and the new Surface is gunning for a market that existed 3 years ago. This was an immense misstep on Microsoft's part, not just because of the lost marketshare and R&D money they spent to earn this flop, but because this was sign of things to come regarding their entire mobile-centric initiative.

Here is what the future holds: The days of exciting new mobile devices which commanded a huge profit margin and quickly became obsolete are over. The mobile market grew very quickly and it's beginning to show signs of maturity. They're not becoming obsolete nearly as fast. While the original iPhone was quickly rendered obsolete by the 3G which had a much faster cellular connection and the 3G was rendered obsolete by the faster iPhone 4 with high-res screen, the iPhone 4 is still a usable phone 3 years on. I have the iPhone 4S and it's still perfectly usable- the data connection is fast, the camera works well, the screen is high-res, it has all the features most people commonly use... there's just not much to improve on. 3D phones didn't catch on, screen resolution is about as high as people can resolve with their eyes, cameras take pictures as good as point and shoot cameras, screen size is limited by the physical size of device people want, there isn't really anywhere new to go. Even dirt-cheap devices have many of the features and specs that expensive devices had just a year or two ago. Without the pressure of obsolescence to boost sales and profit margins we have a condition where price will become the primary factor and devices will remain usable until they break, just like the PCs manufacturers want us to move away from.

RE: My thoughts on this (long)
By DeanSch on 3/27/2013 12:03:21 PM , Rating: 2
Well said!!

RE: My thoughts on this (long)
By bond007taz on 3/27/2013 1:11:57 PM , Rating: 2
they just need to give users the ability to change the UI to classic mode like they have done in previous versions - this way it solves the problem for those that dont use touch on their desktop and those that want to use touch on the workstation...

All Devices Aren't Created Equal
By Arsynic on 3/27/2013 9:45:59 AM , Rating: 3
I don't agree with getting rid of the desktop. ModernUI is useless to me on anything other than a consumption only tablet. The desktop to me is the evolution of the command prompt--a visual representation of it as you will. Prior to Windows 98 the DOS prompt was an integral part of Windows and some people didn't like the transition and preferred to work out of it most of the time. Then MS transitioned away from it by making it a part of the OS instead of installing the OS on top of it.

The same is true with the Desktop. I use Windows 8 on my home desktop and 95% of the time I'm using a traditional desktop app. ModernUI with it's gestures seem pretty useless to me and is unwieldy with a KB/M. I work more efficiently in the traditional desktop with that form factor.

I'm planning on getting an XPS 12 convertible for work and that's where Windows 8 really shines. When I'm traveling with it or I have some down-time I have it in tablet mode where I'm in ModernUI at least 75% of the time watching Hulu or playing a touch game or even reading a book.

The people who criticize Windows 8 can't see the big picture. They only see their narrow use-case which is usually the desktop. Windows 8 was built for the next wave of devices like the Surface Pro, XPS 12, Yoga and Thinkpad Helix. If you're not using a convertible then stick with Windows 7.

By Hakuryu on 3/27/2013 12:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding the DOS prompt, I still use cmd.exe to do many things on my PC. After tagging the best pics in camera folders, I can simply copy *tag.*

Since I can use that today in Win7, why isn't the desktop supported in a similar way; there if you want it, in Win8?

You can get mods for Win8... why are these not part of the OS to begin with? To force us toward buying a Surface, or because MS has big deals with touchscreen manufacturers?

RE: All Devices Aren't Created Equal
By 91TTZ on 3/27/2013 9:07:30 PM , Rating: 3
The people who criticize Windows 8 can't see the big picture. They only see their narrow use-case which is usually the desktop. Windows 8 was built for the next wave of devices like the Surface Pro, XPS 12, Yoga and Thinkpad Helix.

Desktop users are not the ones that have a narrow use-case, it's the people who focus on mobile that have the narrow use-case. People who bring up mobile when referring to Windows 8 are just a very vocal minority- Microsoft has hardly any presence in that market at all.

For reference, keep in mind that Microsoft has about 92% market share in the global desktop OS market and only about 3% of the global mobile market.

By inteli722 on 3/27/2013 5:35:36 PM , Rating: 3
I find most of this article hard to swallow. After using Windows 8, I can safely say that, for me, it's unusable on a traditional PC without a program like Start8. The Start Screen isn't intuitive enough for a traditional keyboard and mouse for usage like that, and if you have 2 screens like I do, the corners aren't very helpful.

This OS was obviously designed to transition people from the traditional desktop environment that we're used to to Metro. Metro's fine and dandy, but I would only EVER consider it for use on a touchscreen that's near me. AiO might work, Tablet for certain, but never on my main computer. I don't want to sacrifice my nice monitor for a touchscreen.

I think that others here are right. To make this usable, there has to be a compromise of some sort to allow people who want to to use it as a normal Windows desktop with the performance benefits WITHOUT using a 3rd party program. The ability to choose upon install and at any time whether we want to use Metro and associated gestures should be in place would probably be a good choice, since Tablet users probably won't install it on their own, or possibly the OS enabling/disabling the gestures when it detects hardware that can utilize the gestures.

(in case people want to know why I don't just get a touchscreen monitor, it's simple: 16:10 + Matte screen finish. Show me a good capacitive touchscreen monitor with a matte finish and high-resolution (IE 1200p or above) in a 16:10 aspect ratio, and I may or may not get it.)

By Ramstark on 3/27/2013 7:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
You appear to have skipped the whole part of "pack a touch device to fully integrate Win8 usability".

I agree with you in the part of Windows 8 being a "transition" OS, and as the touch environment continues to grow and be adopted we will see more and more the advantages of the people who decided not to stay in 1990 with their mouse and keyboards...

By 91TTZ on 3/27/2013 9:15:03 PM , Rating: 1
I agree with you in the part of Windows 8 being a "transition" OS, and as the touch environment continues to grow and be adopted we will see more and more the advantages of the people who decided not to stay in 1990 with their mouse and keyboards...

You seem to be one of those people who think that new=better or new=the future. That's a perspective without experience. Most new things come and go as fads. In the end, practicality wins out.

The keyboard and mouse have stood the test of time because they're practical, not because they're new and exciting. Touch has its place on mobile devices but it just isn't practical on the desktop or laptop. People won't want to hold their arms up to use a touch interface when they can rest their arms on the table and use a keyboard and mouse which offer increased pointing precision and faster typing speed.

By snhoj on 4/1/2013 5:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you in the part of Windows 8 being a "transition" OS, and as the touch environment continues to grow and be adopted we will see more and more the advantages of the people who decided not to stay in 1990 with their mouse and keyboards...

Until Microsoft perfects their speech recognition the keyboard still has a place. Typing on glass isn't much fun.

By michal1980 on 3/27/2013 8:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
Just wanted to say. Very well thought out editorial.

I have no problems with win8. But it could be better.

especially the tutorial part, it would solve so many initial headaches.

RE: Agreed
By Flunk on 3/27/2013 9:28:08 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, I was expecting another "I hate all change ever" article.

My personal problem with Windows 8 new interface is being unable to split the screen between enough applications and poor multi-monitor support. If they get that fixed up (And it looks like it's going to happen) I'd be quite happy to trade the desktop for the new interface full time. I've experimented with using the full screen apps for messaging and email and I no longer find myself reaching for the desktop equivalents.

The other big issue is lack of 3rd party support and easy app sideloading. They really need to enable the ability to load "Windows Store" apps from anywhere like Android allows. Without that Windows is significantly less useful than Android or the old Windows interface.

There is also a lot of room for improvements under the hood, getting rid of left over parts of Win32 that underpin the WinRT framework and replacing them with better designed alternatives. But there is plenty of time for that in the future (maybe).

RE: Agreed
By The0ne on 3/27/2013 12:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't say a well thought out article myself but more of a hey lets get a topic going.

1. Need desktop until something worthwhile can replace it without losing too much productivity. Your mouse can do what gestures can at. The real problem is both the desktop and Metro environments are not cohesive enough. They feel like different entities.

2. Granted tutorials are fine but we're not talking about something that isn't drastically changing here. You have desktop which remains mostly the same but without a start menu. A Metro UI which is touch based. This is really no different than using your phone for the millions out there. What irks people is having to learn the little nuances that Windows 8 brought, and I mean little. The intro tutorial is like the tutorial of previous Windows versions telling you that this (start menu) is where you need to start. Here you have the corners.

3. I like the idea of having a touchpad on the keyboard but as someone already stated I am also that someone that hates the touchpad with a passion. I type, a lot, and it only hinders my productivity. Plus, a single/double touch might not be enough once apps starting using multi touches. I believe Paint does it now although I haven't used it with a touchscreen. Love the app though :)

Metro needs more customization, if not only on the PC side. These tiles are not easily re-sizable and running on much larger screens can prove annoying sometimes.

I wouldn't ever want to do away with Metro though. I love it on my second monitor. It displays info that I need and apps are quickly accessible as well as any other apps you pinned to it. Games are a joy because of my 30"s. Bing map is awesome because of it's fluidity :) and so on.

And finally as more users read and believe more reviewers that have now just coming around to see that Windows 8 does have some nice changes under the hood, it may gain more ground. Fluidity, security, performance, management...check them out!! Most of them are invisible to users that's why.

There are issues with Windows 8, no doubt. The admin right thing, compatible apps, the childish BSOD hehe, no gadgets! (can be fix btw) but overall I enjoy using it with dual screen setup.

By Argon18 on 3/27/2013 12:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
How does Windows 8 have the potential to be the "best OS on the market"? Even if we narrow that down to "best desktop peecee OS on the market", there is still Linux and OSX which are superior to anything from Redmond, both from a performance standpoint, and also from maturity & reliability standpoint.

Windows is the lowest common denominator of desktop OS's, it's the McDonalds Cheeseburger. You can find one anywhere, it's popular amongst the ignorant masses, but it's pretty damn far from being the "best" at anything.

RE: huh?
By Ramstark on 3/27/2013 7:51:21 PM , Rating: 2 about the best in market share? Or the best in user support? I can go on but, I know you and won't waste any more of my time...

RE: huh?
By Argon18 on 3/28/2013 11:30:23 AM , Rating: 2
Market share? That's the best argument for Windows? Lol. McDonalds is #1 in cheeseburger market share. You won't get me to eat that trash though. Like I said, lowest common denominator. Being #1 in a race to the bottom is no accolade.

By mattclary on 3/27/2013 3:09:06 PM , Rating: 4
Windows 8 is pretty intuitive once learned

That's a stupid remark, sorry, Jason. If something is truly intuitive, it will be intuitive from the beginning or based on past experience.

Due to prior experience, Vista and Win 7 were intuitive, because the paradigm is the same as it has been since NT 4. Win 8 is NOT intuitive because it changes the paradigm. You might say, "Windows 8 is easy to learn with a little instruction", but as a long time computer user who is comfortable in a DOS prompt, with Linux and Windows, Windows 8 is NOT intuitive.

RE: Seriously?
By Argon18 on 3/28/2013 11:32:20 AM , Rating: 2
It's true, rocket science and brain surgery are also intuitive once you've learned them.

Don't Eliminate the Desktop Mode
By tjcinnamon on 3/27/2013 9:31:38 AM , Rating: 5
How about for desktops eliminate metro and for tablets eliminate desktop mode? Or give the user a choice to have 1 or both. Metro is a big pain for me. Metro is not designed for a desktop and it shows in it's usability. I know the tips and tricks on how to use it and I simply do not like it.

Maybe they should remove Metro from the Enterprise licenses. Maybe then people will actually adopt it. Admittedly, It's a more solid operating system (especially with Start8). However, the GUI on a desktop or non-touch laptop is it's main draw back.

Apple has OSX and iOS; why can't Microsoft have Windows and Windows Touch? Why does it need to be the same?

By astralsolace on 3/27/2013 9:37:56 AM , Rating: 5
Apparently you don't know what "intuitive" means.

My personal issues
By johnsmith9875 on 3/27/2013 9:39:17 AM , Rating: 3
1) 16 million color video cards, everybody has them but Microsoft decided on a 16 color motif. I feel like I've been whisked back in time to 1985 when I was typing on my Tandy Color Computer.

2) Horizontal scrolling tiles - Just not somthing you can get used to in a world of vertical scrolling. It may make sense if you're japanese or chinese, but the rest of the planet uses vertical scrolling

3) It should be All-Or-Nothing. Give us a Windows 8 WIMP interface or a full Tile interface and don't try to mix the 2 together. I can't think of any scenario where I would want BOTH on the same machine.

4) Legacy app support - Make it optional. If you want to break free of the past, give us a reason for it. Jettisoning legacy app support through add/remove saves resources that can be used for Metro apps.

5) Get rid of EDITIONS - If you want full adoption of your new breakthrough operating system, fire the idiots in marketing who decided to selectively disable features to hit artificial price points. Everybody should have Windows 8 enterprise and it should be inexpensive.

RE: My personal issues
By datdamonfoo on 3/27/2013 4:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
2. Horizontal scrolling is used in tons of applications in the world. Hell, pick up and iPad or an Android phone and scroll through the app screens. It's all horizontal. In fact, curiously enough, it's on Windows Phone that you see vertical scrolling.

3. I can. If you have a hybrid computer (something that can be a laptop and a tablet), then it would make sense to have the more touch friendly start screen when you use it as a tablet, and the classic desktop for when you use it as a laptop. You really couldn't think of that situation?

4. Please do a quick Bing search on "Windows RT". It's EXACTLY as you described.

5. Microsoft definitely pared down the "editions" for Windows 8. There's basically three, one for home use and one for work. Then there's enterprise which is really for IT. It's not that complicated.

It's fine for touch
By Griffinhart on 3/27/2013 11:16:21 AM , Rating: 5
The Metro UI is fine for portable, small screen touch devices and basic data consumption and basic work. Other than that it's a terrible choice for a UI.

The inability to window metro apps in any meaningful way really limits the UI. Even on a multi-Monitor system (Which I use both at home and work) doesn't allow me to have multiple Metro Apps across multiple monitors. The reality for me is, the Metro UI and Metro Apps are totally useless to me.

My biggest dislike about the metro UI is that I actually use the desktop the same way I use a real desk. Active projects and documents are on my desktop. When I am finished with them I file them away to folders, but anything I am actively working on is right on my desktop.

The day MS completely drops the desktop UI and goes to Metro only is the day I will no longer use new versions of Windows on a desktop PC.

I can understand the desire to unify the OS for Phones, Tablets and Desktops, but isn't it obvious by now that what works well on the desktop doesn't mean it works well on portable devices, and what works well on portable devices doesn't really work well on desktops?

Anybody use this for development?
By theaerokid on 3/27/2013 10:12:45 AM , Rating: 2
I'm into scientific/engineering software development at home and work. Does anybody use Win8+MSVS 2012 for this kind of application? I love my Win7 desktop and doing things like putting a PDF on one monitor for reference, IDE in another monitor and target app window in another. Is this kind of multi-monitor experience doable currently or is this what they're saying they're trying to improve.

I am naturally hesitant of anything new, and the Win7 interface works fine for my purposes, but the leaner Win8 performance and new timer features might be appealing to me.

What say you?

By The0ne on 3/27/2013 4:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
Windows work great as it appears you use it like I do. My setup is two 3007wfp monitors and my 67" TV. My main 30" is my desktop to be productive. My second 30" is where all my display info, apps, and what not goes into. Basically, it's for software and apps that I don't have to do much typing or navigating. My tv is for playing media since it's only know what I mean, low resolution in PC realm. This set up works wonderfully for me and I love it. If the integration between desktop and metro were more seamless, easier, flexible and coherent it would be perfect but it's not.

What I would like to have for my second is a 30" multi-touch screen with apps that make full use of touch. For example, I would like to have my 3D CAD model up and maybe be able to do basic tasks such as turning it every which way. I would love to have a 30" with gorilla glass type material that I can use a pen on, maybe even with pressure sensitive touch :) I would also like to just swipe a app across and it shows up on the next screen hehehe.

The options are unlimited but the tech is. This is where people need to realize. I mean think about having your login be all your 10 fingers or a combination.

Not quite good, not quite bad
By darkhawk1980 on 3/27/2013 12:41:52 PM , Rating: 2
Like Jason, I agree on some of the points, but disagree on others.

As an engineer that has 2 screens on every computer I use, and always has many multiple applications open, Windows 8 and the Metro UI can go to hell. It's a terrible way to force desktop users into a tablet interface that just does not work.

As others have said, give users the option of using either a Tablet/touchscreen based UI, and a desktop/start-menu based UI.
Why? Just see above! I have many applications open, most of which won't be updated with true Windows 8 support before the next version is out. Businesses and power users loathe Windows 8 for this entire reason. Consider the simple fact that there are companies that now make modifications to add the start menu back into Windows 8, why would someone want that if the new interface is so great? That's because on anything besides a tablet/phone, it's absolutely terrible. Even more so if the device doesn't have a touchscreen. My laptop runs Windows 8 very well, but I have the Metro UI disabled and a start menu application installed so I actually have decent functionality, because I don't have a touchscreen on it.

Another thing that really bothers me, is why they decided to go back to making everything look like it's from Windows 3.1? The Windows and buttons are so blocky and solid colored that it's actually an eye-sore. I realize that this helps it use less resources, but even a halfway looking UI shouldn't take that much. This is a minor problem, but why go from something that looks rather beautiful, to something that looks 20 years old? It was a huge step backwards.

It's apparent, Microsoft has lost touch with their user base. Yes, PC sales are slowing, and I still believe much of that has to do with the software being less than adequate (Windows 8), and that mobile hardware is reaching a point where most would rather have that (ie Android tablets or IOS tablets) than a full computer. Add a bluetooth keyboard, and you almost have a full featured PC. I know that outside of gaming, my laptop now sees much less use after getting a Nexus 7. And the UI actually is worthwhile using in that!

RE: Not quite good, not quite bad
By hubb1e on 3/27/2013 2:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
PC sales are slowing because the market is mature. A 6 year old computer is perfectly serviceable especially if you just add a bit more RAM.

By nafhan on 3/27/2013 2:29:01 PM , Rating: 4
The reason Metro is a problem and the Desktop is still needed is because productive users often have a multiple windows open.

MS needs to find a way to really fit a multi-window usage paradigm into Metro and the desktop won't be needed (snapping a single 1/3 width app to the side is not adequate either). Until then, desktop mode will be necessary. Icons vs. tiles? Start menu vs. screen? Who cares? It's the multiple windows that are important, in fact they're what makes Windows "windows" and not "window".

What else?
By bug77 on 3/27/2013 10:04:05 AM , Rating: 3
The criticism surrounding Metro/Windows 8 UI is mostly, I would argue, due to the usability issues

Is there any other way for a UI to fail other than through usability issues?
The fact that people will adapt to anything (limited and poorly designed UIs) is not an argument in favour of releasing half-assed products just because you want a new revenue stream.

By Luticus on 3/27/2013 11:18:00 AM , Rating: 3
What NOT to do:
1. Touch my desktop mode and I'm a Linux user for life! NO TOUCHY!

What to do:
1. When the user is in desktop mode and hold the win key, transparent numbers should appear over the taskbar icons that correspond with the numeric row of keys on the keyboard.

2. Option to lock the pinned items on the start screen. This way things can't be accidentally moved/unpinned.

3. All programs in the start screen should be sortable. Sort by name, type, date, etc. This is a no brainer!

4. Allow me to assign custom tile images to tiles so that tiles for apps that are only icons can be re-skinned to be pretty.

5. Put a clock on that start screen! All that space and no freaking clock!?

6. Metro apps should be usable in desktop mode. (how hard is that really?)

7. Metro apps should be available on more than one monitor (i think blue might cover this).

8. CUSTOM TOUCH GESTURES PLEASE! You got rid of flicks only to limit me more... AHHHH!

9. Bring back aero transparency so that high end machines can take advantage of it. I get that transparency might be too much for a tablet (it's not, I had a windows 7 tablet) but my desktop should be able to use it if I want!

10. Let me pin folders to the start screen. In fact I should be able to pin anything I want, be it program, folder, shortcut or file.

11. Let me see my taskbar while I'm in the start screen.

I'm sure there's more. I could go on and on for days, honestly. This is a very revised list but it's the ones I feel are most important.

I just can't like it!
By DeanSch on 3/27/2013 11:18:08 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry, I've been a Windows fan for many, many years but I just can't seem to get used to Windows 8. It is just too big of a change for me and the way I use my PC and I just can't bring myself to like it. I've used / owned many Android and iOS devices (both phones and tablets) and while they are intuitive and easy to use, they are just to "simple" to be able to use for anything serious (like photo editing, graphical design, video editing, etc...). They are great for surfing the web, Facebook, playing simple games, etc. But when I want to do some serious work (I am a photographer FYI) I use my PC... And I just can't take Windows 8 and "Metro" seriously... That is not how I use (or want to use) my PC. Just to be fair, I did try Windows 8 for an extended period of time (about 2 months) on my laptop and I sincerely tried to use it and get myself to like it... But I couldn't. I just couldn't get used to it and in my opinion (or at least the way I use my PC's) Windows 8 was actually harder to use than Windows 7 and that damn Metro UI got in my way more than it was helpful!! I just couldn't handle it anymore so I reinstalled Windows 7. If Microsoft wants to seriously continue down this path then I just can't see myself ever using any version of Windows past 7 and I will probably convert to Mac the next time it's time to upgrade... That is of course unless Apple tries to turn OSX into iOS too!

It costs too much!
By mjv.theory on 3/27/2013 11:50:07 AM , Rating: 3
Biggest two issues with Windows 8 is that it is not free and it is not open source.

If $11 USD represents, to some extent, the difference between Windows 8 being crippled versus fully usable, that's a pretty small price to pay.

"A pretty small price to pay", really?. Of course if you haven't got $11 to spare, then $11 is a kidney too much.

The only two reasons M$ is still relevent, is Office and DirectX.

OpenGL/ES is now the dominant graphics API thanks to iOS and Android.
99.999% of "computer" users can get by perfectly well with other cheaper or completely free office apps.

How to make best use of touch input? : Use iOS, Android, Ubuntu, ???.

How to fix Windows 8? : Erase it from history.

About fixing Windows 8...
By MTEK on 3/27/2013 3:10:42 PM , Rating: 3
If the touchy-feely content consumption interface works for your use-case scenario, awesome.

But for many of us with multi-monitor workstations who value our time and productivity, the UI changes are an unnecessary distraction. You didn't do us any favors, Microsoft.

At least let me go into "Turn Windows features on or off", and disable it like all the other stuff that isn't needed.

my take
By Jammrock on 3/27/2013 4:42:46 PM , Rating: 1
Under full disclosure I do work at Microsoft, but not in any product development group and I have no special knowledge of anything that isn't already public. They keep the OS updates under lock and key these days. I support the operating systems for enterprises and governments. That said, I have been using Windows 8 for longer than most and have a slightly unique take on it.

I have a Surface RT and run Windows 8 on four different systems, Server 2012 on two and Windows 7 on two laptops. I run dozens of VMs, many of which are Linux-based. I also have an Android phone and a Kindle Fire in the house, so mine is not a MS exclusive household.

That said, let's break Win8 down to two basic components: the operating system (OS) and the UI.


The modern UI is awesome on the Surface RT where I have touch. I generally ignore it on anything that uses a traditional mouse and keyboard. The tablet experience with Win8 is great. I absolutely love it. I rarely use desktop and I think, once Office get a modern make-over, the desktop may go away on Windows for ARM. Or at least be less prominent/needed.

I missed the start button for the first month or two with Win8 on a PC. Now I don't miss it at all.

I use the Start screen as a giant start button. I organize my apps in groups and when I need to launch one I use the Win key on the keyboard. Which is what I did on Win7. Programs I use often I pin to the taskbar. My kids use Win8 on their desktop and have asked me exactly two questions on how to use Win8. They are all under the age of 10. Ultimately it's not hard to use once you figure out the corners, or remember the Win key.

Not that it's perfect, which it isn't. Dropping the Desktop would be a very bad idea. You can't use multi-monitors with modern. That will probably change, but I don't know when. Regardless, Modern UI is great for simple tasks. The Desktop is great for productivity, which for me means four monitors (which works great on Win8, btw). Win8/2012 over RDP is annoying without the Start button. That's the only time I miss it...I'm getting better at using the RDP carrot.

I do think the settings all need to be consolidated. I think that would help a lot with the bipolar nature of the OS.

I was honestly a little shocked that there were no tutorials out of the box. I agree 100% that those should be added. Not in an annoying XP way, but something more subtle, like slow glow corners with pop-ups that say "move your mouse here to access the start screen," and then go away once you've done the task three times.


Under the hood Win8/2012 is awesome. Lower memory footprint, less resource intensive, fast, responsive, and feature-rich. Now that driver issues are getting sorted out and the initial kinks have been hammered out, it truly is a great OS (not taking UI into account).

I get 90MB/s file transfers out-of-the-box, and 110MB/s with a couple of tweaks, using my ASUS RT-N56U as a switch. I use Hyper-V to setup test VMs and school VMs to keep all the junk off my host system. Game performance is as good in 8 as it was when I ran 7.

My kids desktop uses an ancient Athlon dual-core proc that is about 8 years old with a 5 year old (?) AMD 4830 GPU, and they can run all their apps and game no issue. Granted, they haven't gotten into any hardcore games ... yet.

All-in all I would rate Win8 between XP/7 and Vista/Me. It's not Vista/Me launch bad, it's not 7/XP good.

But then those of us with a long memory remember that XP and 7 had lot of issues early on. It wasn't until 7 SP1 and XP SP2 that those two OSs, which every Windows user lauds as the best ever made, got super stable and exceptionally well liked. As I recall MS had to push SP1 out in record time to fix a number of performance and stability issues, and XP as we know it was missing a huge chunk of the feature set until SP2 came out.

And no smack talk from you Linux users either. Ubuntu 12 had four build updates before Canonical certified it for 5-year Long Term Support. And let's not forget the stink(s) over Unity, shall we ;)

RE: my take
By Ramstark on 3/27/2013 7:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
I hate that you say you work for MS and the downvote immediately comes in.
You make very good points and one can see that you are not a MS fanboy (like a lot of people here would think). I agree with you in almost every point, except this:
ll-in all I would rate Win8 between XP/7 and Vista/Me. It's not Vista/Me launch bad, it's not 7/XP good

I think it is a better implementation (NOT LAUNCH) than XP / 7 mainly because it is a LEAP FORWARD, a lot of people here would say that progress for the sake of progress is not good, but I say that in an industry where innovation is dying, some bold moves are welcome, even if they will cost your huge company a few millions. Kinect is the perfect example of this, they launched to the market an EXPERIMENT and it succeed, not all experiments will be like that, but I, for one, welcome the intentions.

Money comes first
By thebeastie on 3/27/2013 9:25:27 AM , Rating: 2
Getting rid of desktop mode altogether would upset way to many users, having both at least for the next few years will keep the majority of people happy.

I think the main vision beyond anything else for the metro interface for desktop users was was to jolt users into buying a MS windows tablet as well as their normal desktop style PC, by jamming the metro style interface by default forces this idea into people's minds and helps MS double OS sales which is of the utmost important goal above anything else and is quiet visible when you align MS stock price history with its OS and office release date history.

An old cynic
By bfr99 on 3/27/2013 10:02:25 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps it a hangover from following politics too closely but to this old cynic the article seems like it was planted by marketing research at Microsoft to gauge reactions to a Windows 8 update. Just like Windows 7 (essentially a minor tweak) saved the Vista disaster, Microsoft is hoping (praying?) a tweak will rescue Windows 8.

K400 is terrible
By CZroe on 3/27/2013 10:19:30 AM , Rating: 2
I've been using the K400 on some of my lesser systems for years and I just want to point out how terrible it is.

For example, on my mother's system I had to disable multitouch pinch/unpinch zoom gestures because Chrome was constantly resizing on her computer when attempting to do a two-finger scroll. There was no adjustment to fix this. It constantly broke the formatting of Google Docs and my clueless mother had no idea what was going on (words disappearing/appearing on completely different lines than the cursor). Like most non-technical users, she was frustrated and unwilling to learn keyboard shortcuts to fix it. It would "break" again moment after I fixed it with CTRL + 0 and would continue happening several times an hour. Applications need to be multi-touch aware. Instead of just sending a "zoom" signal, they need to see your finger positions and interpret them. The drivers should at least have options like "Hold CTRL and pinch/unpinch to zoom."

But it gets worse.

This particular keyboard is used in a living room without a desk. This means that the touch pad is often used with only one finger and the buttons are ignored in lieu of tap to click. The problem is that when you tap to click, it doesn't register until you lift your finger or move it (when dragging). This causes a delayed click when dragging that causes constant problems, like clicking a close button instead of a sizing handle. Seriously. Try to grab a sizing handle on the side of a window without using the mouse buttons. If you don't pointlessly drag along the side of the window's frame before dragging perpendicular to it, the pointer will just move away and THEN click, often bringing another window to the front and covering the window you were trying to resize. I know that it's part of some algorithm that's trying to figure out if you are making a multitouch gesture or something, but you can disable everything and the delayed click when dragging is always there (no options to fix).

As a matter of principle
By mustaka on 3/27/2013 10:23:48 AM , Rating: 2
I won't do the job of MS. It should fix its OS to the way most people used to have. The most horrible part being locking of apps to a marketplace solely controlled by MS. Introducing new ideas is great. Enforcing these upon masses is a disaster. All people should say "no" until these are fixed.

Microsoft is wrong
By Ammohunt on 3/27/2013 10:24:37 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft wants to accelerate the death of the Desktop and I for one am not ready to give it up I don't want a touch interface on anything other than a portable device. The only thing they need to do to "fix" Windows 8 is to bring back legacy UI support so desktop users(especially corporate users) can either transition slowly to "metro" or not at all. Honestly who cares as long as the OS sells?

I'm not touch feely about my PC
By mike66 on 3/27/2013 10:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
I've gone to the trouble of learning win8 but I'm not happy with the idea of using touch to navigate around my OS. On a tablet that's fine but on a desktop gaming / work horse forget it. Replacing my monitor or keyboard to get touch is just BS, with every OS upgrade more RAM I'm used too and even a new processor. I use a 16/10 monitor and haven't seen any touch screens at that ratio ( looks better when stretching 5/4 video then on a 16/9 monitor ). I don't want to have to look through fingerprints anyway.

please fix
By wallijonn on 3/27/2013 11:06:32 AM , Rating: 2
Apple demonstrated that customers prepare a well marketed, clean/minimalist design.

Apple demonstrated that customers prefer a well marketed, clean/minimalist design.

------------------------------------------------- ------------

Touch is critical to Windows 8.

Why not just include a camera and implement XBox360 Kinect instead? Asking the consumer to pay for a touch screen monitor when their old one is still serviceable is ludicrous. Asking them to pay for a new keyboard is questionable since they are usually a preference item, according to how the keys "feel:" how they "sound", how wide apart the keys are, how much pressure it takes to get consistent presses, whether the keys light up, key locations, numeric pad location and key placement, etc. Yes, pressure sensitive controls will probably be in the control panel, but how many users even know that they can change their mouse settings?

Its a beta!
By danjw1 on 3/27/2013 11:42:35 AM , Rating: 2
I think you are too generous. Microsoft did exactly what they did with Windows Vista, release a beta as a for sale product. I built a system since the release of Windows 8; I went with Windows 7 for it. I am just plain not interested in being a beta tester for Microsoft. I am not interested in having a beta operating system on my personal computers.

When Microsoft gets this new version of Windows into a release state, then I will consider switching. Until then, I am sticking with Windows 7. I sat out Vista, I will sit out future releases until Microsoft gets their act together. I think most consumers should do so as well. No user should go into Windows 8, thinking it is a finished operating system, because it isn't.

I Almost agree
By Gurthang on 3/27/2013 12:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
I agree there needs to be a tutorial. (Preferibly a "smart" one which enumerates the HID devices attached and their capibilities on the system and shows the user the basics on how to take advantage of them)

But I know most folks just want to use their system when they get it and tutorials even good ones often get ignored because of that.

I would suggest the best way to sneak the core concepts into the user's heads and help them take advantage of the new features would be to combine the tutorial with a set-up this user account assistant/wizard. And walk them through the basics while they do things like set-up a live account, add e-mail accounts to mail, add social networks etc. Cover the basics, introduce why they might want to do it and tip them off on things like sharing, searching, buying, enabling saftey features like the parental controls on their kids accounts etc.

The rest of the suggestions, it depends.. I am not for the death of the desktop, I'd rather see a merging with the ability to pin live tiles (ala widgets) to the desktop and have open desktop windows (and maybe even browser tabs) clipped and maybe shrunk into live tiles on the start screen. With perhaps the ability to shrink the existing "groups" of tiles into just the group's name.

Too Simple for Business Users
By techyguy on 3/27/2013 1:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
What do I tell my accountant clients?
- You need to buy your number pad and mouse separately now.

My senior citizen users can't use a 1 touch track pad, how is multitouch going to be better for them?

title should change
By bond007taz on 3/27/2013 1:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
the title should change: "How to fix Windows 8 - allow users to change to "classic mode"" - problem solved.

I hate to say it...
By dgingerich on 3/27/2013 2:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to say it, but Marketing is MS's best bet to correct the market problems with Windows 8. They need to directly address the criticisms of the various critics and show that they're wrong, just like they did with Windows Phone. They need to show people how the start menu isn't gone, it's just changed. They need to show how their old apps still work and the new apps have a good look to them. They need to show that you can run multiple apps on a Win8 tablet system, and easily switch between them. Many of the criticisms I've seen of Win8 are from people who simply haven't really tried it out.

Plus, they need to stop these horrible, horrible dancing commercials that show absolutely nothing about the product other than the detaching keyboard. Those are just stupid marketing, by incompetent marketing people, that just make for an annoying 30 seconds.

Personally, I hate marketing. I hate having things shoved in my face saying "BUY BUY BUY!" However, some marketing is actually done properly. They show the advantages of products and services without overwhelming the viewer or reader. Mastercard ads are a perfect example of marketing done well.

By crimsonson on 3/27/2013 4:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
What makes this special and tagged as "Editorial" where all your other writings almost always contains editorial or obvious bias and angles?

You really don't know what a journalist is do you? It is a like boy wearing daddy's uniform.

I'm the crazy one it seems
By xenol on 3/27/2013 4:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
I can use Windows 8 just fine, with a regular keyboard and mouse. All of the features I enjoyed in the Start Menu are retained in the Start Screen, with some minor annoyances. In fact, Vista destroyed Start Menu's original purpose by including the search bar. That is, I'm not clicking through my repository of programs, I just have to type up a few letters and it pops up.

Even if you took away that repository of programs, I'd just have the search index somewhere else.

The only thing I didn't agree was to kill the Desktop Mode.

By KOOLTIME on 3/27/2013 6:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
Basically boils down to
Touch sceen users
Mouse users

Windows 8 Gui for mouse user is poorly implemented and why most folks dont like it on their desktop type systems, its cumbersome for ease of navigation for quick access, like a typical win 7 desktop is.

win 7 - Start menu, then select app and go. oR desktop short cut click n go no added menu.

Win 8 - slide mouse to right side screen, wait for bar pop-up, select windows 8 app page, wait for app page to load, search for app wanted then click to launch. Alot more cumbersome for mouse users on a desktop.

If have touch screen its more sense due to, the lack of a mouse, so the navigation for that helps.

Windows Smart TV Edition
By mycropht on 3/28/2013 2:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
If Microsoft would indeed make changes like the article suggest, maybe it would be a great OS for a smart TV. I would not mind but only if they also release an edition for professionals whichs boot into desktop. I have a parallel installation of Windows 8 as the Windows Phone 8 SDK requires it and I feel limited by the Modern UI whenever I have to use it. Maybe it will grow into something but for now, I will use W8 only if it is sevenized :) beyond recognition.

Windows 8 bad for multiligual people
By Phoque on 3/29/2013 10:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
I thought the News app was interesting. I thought so until I realized it is not possible to stream news in different languages.

My other gripe with these apps is that you can't scroll them by clicking in the middle of the screen, you have to use the toolbar at the bottom. For a touch oriented OS, that has got to be a stupid idea.

By Fidget on 3/29/2013 11:57:05 AM , Rating: 2
Stopped reading at "1. Eliminate the Desktop Mode"

By mshimohi on 3/30/2013 9:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
Or at least remove new features added in Windows 8.

Look but don't touch...
By Unspoken Thought on 3/27/13, Rating: 0
I can't believe it won't work on older Pentiums
By johnsmith9875 on 3/27/13, Rating: -1
By Denigrate on 3/27/2013 9:38:26 AM , Rating: 3
Really? This is your complaint? If you are still rolling on a P4, you really should look at an upgrade simply because you are probably spending enough over time on electricity usage to pay for a new desktop that supports Win8.

RE: I can't believe it won't work on older Pentiums
By Spuke on 3/27/2013 10:03:43 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft locks down its Operating System needlessly by tying it to a specific intel hardware feature.
Except it works on AMD's CPU's too. MS is pretty good at dragging along old stuff but don't expect them to do this forever. That's just asinine. P4's are ancient and it's about time they get sliced off. I would prefer a secure OS to one with holes just to support ancient hardware. Be glad they supported you this long.

By Mitch101 on 3/27/2013 10:58:26 AM , Rating: 2
If hes complaining about Windows 8 resource requirements I wonder how he felt about Vista?

Pentium 4 I would replace just because of the heat and fan noise.

By johnsmith9875 on 3/27/2013 11:10:09 AM , Rating: 2
Its a 2.8Ghz Northwood and runs extremely cool. The Athlon 64 I also have runs fairly cool.
The real space heaters were the Prescotts, they were as bad or worse than the Athlon XP's.

By hubb1e on 3/27/2013 2:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, the # of people attempting to install windows 8 on a P4 is extremely small. Most people don't ever install a new OS on an older computer, let alone a P4 2.8ghz.

By Mitch101 on 3/27/2013 5:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
Ok I know where your at then. Your caught in Intel marketing that re-used up poor chip names like the Celeron. The initial Pentiums and Celerons were duds but later generations were just remarked previous generation chips but branded with names that were initially duds.

Sorry man sell it off on e-bay and cut your losses or make it a media PC. Linux XBMC or Windows XP with XMBC.

By crispbp04 on 3/27/2013 11:00:24 AM , Rating: 3
NX/EDB is a security necessity. Microsoft isn't forcing you into anything. Stop being ignorant. Microsoft doesn't owe it to you to support legacy hardware that nobody in their right mind would be using. Just stick to what the hardware was intended to run on.

There is not a huge user base that has pre-Prescott P4, and that market is not the type to upgrade their OS, and there really is no justifiable case for it.

By johnsmith9875 on 3/27/2013 11:40:54 AM , Rating: 1
I guess I'm just a big dummy, i've only used computers since 1980 and have been a network administrator for 20 years.

Big dummy I am.

RE: I can't believe it won't work on older Pentiums
By Belard on 3/28/2013 11:23:02 AM , Rating: 2
You said it. being a user for 30+ years doesn't make you a god. if you were good at knowing hardware, you would have never have bought the POS Pentium 4 to begin with.

By fteoath64 on 4/1/2013 9:00:37 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, my Athlon64 and Opteron64 processors were a cracker during their days. Other people's P4 were heating up like crazy even having a cpu fan screaming like a banshee!.

Booted away Windows 4 years ago for the home machines. All doing Ubuntu and now at 12.10 and 12.04 versions running the latest 3.8.5 kernels. Nothing could be sweeter than this OS. Even Mac OS cannot compare. So we heard that Ubuntu Touch is coming to tablets soon, so choice is out there. It is for the people in the know ...

By DeanSch on 3/27/2013 11:46:51 AM , Rating: 2
Ironically (and kind of off topic) at my old job I still had an old Pentium 4 Willamette core (c. 2000) with 512MB of RDRAM (that's RamBus RAM) that we would dust off once in a while to use... It still ran great with Windows XP... Not sure I'd try to install anything else on it though. ;)

By Argon18 on 3/27/2013 12:35:48 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is indeed forcing the consumer to buy new hardware, if their existing hardware isn't new enough. How can you possibly claim otherwise?

The latest and greatest Linux distributions install on everything going back to P6. Yeah, a socket 8 Pentium Pro will run the latest and greatest stuff. If you have a modern chip, the Linux kernel will of course use the modern features of it, but it doesn't force you to replace your hardware like Microsoft does. Then again, it isn't all bloated and slow like Windows is, so it actually runs well on older hardware.

By Gurthang on 3/27/2013 12:37:33 PM , Rating: 1
Lets look at this another way shall we. First off we all know MS does not exclude systems from running Windows on a whim they make money by selling Windows licenses not Pentiums. And you know this is a security feature that got put in the final builds of Win8 which obviously they felt was fairly important otherwise it would have been left out or optional. But lets think a second about why Microsoft might have chosen to make it maditory. I see two possibilities right off my head.

(1) It would have cost too much or created issues to make it optional functionality for what they considered a small group of legacy hardware devices.
(2) Having the ability to disable a core security feature becasue it is optional could allow malicious code to disable that checking and thus get further into a system than would be possible otherwise.

Personally I think it is a little bit of both of these. And while I think it can be fun to mess with old hardware and sometimes try throwing newer things on them just for fun I don't fault Microsoft or whoever when something of their's refuses to run on an old box.

By Belard on 3/27/2013 6:28:22 PM , Rating: 1
As much as I don't like MS at this moment and hate Windows 8 and have already started my migration to Linux...

The P4s were always crappy CPUs. All of them. They are very old, well over 8... they run WinXP slower than anything.

So what if MS removed P4 code... As long as they are Core2 tech or newer, they are fine to have that reasonable requirement.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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