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Yes, it can play Crysis, but it also does great things with Metro UI

Windows 8, Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) innovative and controversial new consumer operating system (OS) is set to hit store shelves and go live online on October 26.  

Available in three varieties (Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and the ARM-compatible Windows 8 RT), the new operating system seems like it would be a performance killer with demanding multi-touch (even on new desktop machines!) and the rich, colorful animated Metro user interface (UI).  But despite the demands of the new gloss, Microsoft has thus far showed a stubborn determination to not just meet Windows 7's already high performance bar, but to surpass it.

I. Improving Metro UI and Image Rendering

Microsoft in one of its Building Windows blogs highlights the TLC it has been giving to DirectX, its graphics API.

The company has focused on improving five metrics:
  1. Framerate (Microsoft's target is a steady 60 Hz or higher)
     
  2. Glitches (tearing, dropped frames, and other artifacting)
     
  3. Initialization Time (time to load graphics resources onto device from time app is clicked)
     
  4. Memory (Microsoft wants to try to cut system-side memory usage while preserving performance)
     
  5. CPU (Microsoft wants to load the CPU less)
With Windows 7, Microsoft's efforts focused on DirectX acceleration of Internet Explorer 9, Windows Live Mail, and Windows Messenger.  With Windows 8, it's now looking to accelerating all Metro apps.

It reports that text rendering has improved between 150 and 330 percent from Windows 7 -- critical because Metro UI uses a lot of rich word art to convey information. Metro UI also uses a lot of rich geometry, rendered as HTML5 Canvas and SVG standardized technologies.  Microsoft reports drawing lines nearly twice as fast and rectangles over 4 times as fast as in Windows 7.

Windows 8 geometry performance
A Metro UI app shows off Microsoft's rendering speed improvements. [Click to Enlarge]

SVG is a bit trickier than standard geometry, as SVG images can be irregular shapes -- such as the outline of an animated cartoon animal.  For SVG Microsoft has baked a new acceleration technology called Target Independent Rasterization, or TIR, into DirectX 11.1's Direct2D libraries.  Microsoft promises between 150 and 500 percent improvement over Windows 7 in rendering rates.

Direct2D also has received hardware acceleration for Direct2D Effects, which allow for certain pseudo-3D or noise based graphical flourishes.  These can help application developers make more attractive components and transitions within their user interfaces.

Microsoft has also improved rendering of JPEG, PNG, format conversion, image scaling and more.  A key to these improvements has been to leverage the fact that most compressed graphics formates (e.g. JPEG, PNG) use repetitive operations on data, hence are ideal candidates for Streaming SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) Extensions (SSE) on x86 (Intel Corp. (INTC) or Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)) processors.  The net result here is that viewing, zooming, and editing images in Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro will be much faster than in Windows 7, thanks to native API improvements.

II. Cutting Power Consumption in Mobile Devices, Improving Gaming

By reducing memory usage and CPU usage, Microsoft can preserve battery life on mobile devices.  To do this, it employs two new develops.  The first is reduced precision blending.  Microsoft observed that when blending multiple transparent layers, virtually no difference is observed when reducing the number of bits used from 32 bits to 10 bits.  As blending is a common task performed on hundreds of graphics every frame in many apps, reducing the precision can result in big savings.

A second strategy is to use so-called "tile-based rendering", an approach that loads a piece of the screen to be rendered into a high-speed memory cache, and then have the GPU perform repetitive operations on it.  The repetitive operations reduce the GPU's power draw; while the use of cached memory eliminates the need for an external memory buffer, further cutting power consumption.

Microsoft Surface
Microsoft's rendering improvements spare battery life on mobile Windows 8 computers.

Gaming-wise, Microsoft mentions that it has made it easier for developers to blend 2D and 3D effects, as DirectX 11.1 now uses a single rendering object, eliminating the need to switch between rendering modes.  This will allow for less expensive rendering of certain objects in games, such as 2D heads up displays (HUDs).

Microsoft doesn't otherwise delve very deeply into what kind of gaming improvements it is baking into DirectX 11.1, but as an innovator in this field, Microsoft will likely have some neat tricks.  The company works closely with graphics professionals like id Software founder John Carmack, individuals who are quite literally defining the state of the art in graphics rendering techniques.

Expect more details on the gaming improvements to pile on in the weeks to come.

Source: Windows Team Blog



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Because...
By geddarkstorm on 7/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: Because...
By JasonMick (blog) on 7/24/2012 12:35:40 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I'm sorry, I just find the article title hilarious in that way. Metro UI is by far the most simplistic UI out of all the current OSes. It's like jumping back to vga, but with a lot more hue saturation
Not necessarily.

Its basic geometric elements are simplistic, but rendering lots of complex word art involves a lot of aliasing/smoothing. That is inherently relatively intensive. And then there's Metro UI's built-in effects which offer pseudo-3D transformations of tiles and other elements.

In other words, Metro UI LOOKS deceptively simple, in that it's a sort pleasingly intuitive visual abstraction, but there's a lot of little complex flourishes hiding in that rich graphics mix.

Metro's rich graphics don't run on pixie dust or other forms of "magic", they require a lot of rendering work.

Additionally, even the truly "simple" elements, like the geometry are constantly rendered and hence in mobile devices are desirable to be rendered as efficiently as possible.

You can gripe about wasted effort all you want, but if Microsoft is able to deliver a few extra minutes of battery life, that could be the difference between getting that last email or presentation wrapped up, or having your device undesirably power off on an airplane flight or other long trip.


RE: Because...
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 1:43:24 PM , Rating: 5
That's great if I'm mobile. But most people hate the idea for the desktop.


RE: Because...
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 1:45:05 PM , Rating: 2
Let me clarify, not saving power. But just the over saturated metro look. I have my desktop mostly clear for a reason.


RE: Because...
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 2:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think you will find it to be not so saturated once all is said and done. Most of the tiles will be live tiles that will update with info relevant to the app. On my beta machine running Win8, I only have 4-5 small tiles that are that high contrast you are speaking of, and that is seen in many screenshots of Win8.

I did a darker green background (they added several new colors for the metro background from the early beta to the release preview) and most of the tiles I have are high quality graphics, and some are traditional looking Windows icons for desktop apps I have installed. Once you get it setup to your liking, it isn't a glaring screen of too bright tiles.


RE: Because...
By Belard on 7/25/2012 12:05:24 AM , Rating: 4
But since metro is pretty much nothing but a START screen to launch apps... Why should live tiles have any value if you are in desktop mode? Why are there different modes...

It's a mess. Metro should have been an app launcher on top f windows desktop, nothing more.


RE: Because...
By AstroCreep on 7/24/2012 2:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But most people are afraid of change.


Fixed that for ya. ;)


RE: Because...
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 3:03:04 PM , Rating: 3
Change that I don't think will benefit people, But instead send everyone off trying to learn all the little shortcut keys to do basic things.


RE: Because...
By augiem on 7/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: Because...
By augiem on 7/26/2012 4:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm so sick of this tired line of tripe (again).


RE: Because...
By phatboye on 7/24/2012 4:14:32 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But most people are afraid of change.

I am so sick of people saying this. Am I the only one who feels that going forward I shouldn't have to re-learn the desktop UI simply because MS decided they want to grab more mobile marketshare? Yes it is different I understand that but if I have absolutely nothing to gain from the change why the hell should I change?

No we are not afraid of change we dislike being forced to change when it doesn't have to be that way. MS could have easily allowed the user to modify their desktop experience so that they are allowed to keep the familiar start menu, instead MS purposely removed the code thereby blocking anyone from ever adding back the start menu. What purpose does that serve? Who benefits from that? Surely, not me the consumer, you don't either, only MS. The consumer is best served by allowing them the choice of using their product how they see fit. So yes I am pissed off at MS and if you have any sense you should be pissed too. Even if you like the new metro interface, MS shouldn't force you to use it if you don't want to. It's exactly why I dislike Apple's closed wall approach to mobile products; I don't want MS/Apple dictating to me how I should use the product that I paid for.

So let me correct that for you
quote:
But most people are afraid of forced change.


Clearly, if so many people are pissed at MS for the UI change they should listen to the user base. At least offer some kind of compromise. Instead MS is focused on the increased revenue they will receive once developers move to develop metro applications and MS gets a cut of the sales profits.

I always imagined that in the future, advanced UIs would evolve to the point where the device would effectively "learn" how to best interact with the user instead of forcing the user to learn how to interact with the device. Years ago I always imagined that UIs would be different depending on the user and how the user interacts with the device making it easier for everyone. That is what I call a truly "personal computer" not this one size fits all users/devices crap.


RE: Because...
By augiem on 7/24/2012 11:47:01 PM , Rating: 1
It doesn't matter how many times you or I or anyone else explains our positions to these people. They will only see their narrow minded point of view. You must consume anything and everything you're served with glee and thankfulness or you're labeled a retarded dinosaur. If you don't blindly follow the crowd (i.e. agree with THEIR point of view), something's wrong with you and you are to be dismissed out of hand. They don't go to the bother of explaining their position, instead just doing drive-bys slapping easy labels on anyone that disagrees with them. It's a waste. Ignore them.


RE: Because...
By augiem on 7/26/2012 4:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah, and they love drive by down rates too.


RE: Because...
By delphinus100 on 7/24/2012 6:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
Sometimes with reason. Not all change is good...


RE: Because...
By slap_ on 7/24/2012 7:12:22 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
But most people don't like poorly done change.


Fixed it for you.


RE: Because...
By Belard on 7/24/2012 11:55:43 PM , Rating: 2
That is the RIGHT correction.


RE: Because...
By augiem on 7/26/2012 4:25:29 PM , Rating: 2
You are afraid of people with their own opinions.


RE: Because...
By geddarkstorm on 7/24/2012 2:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how much of an argument can be made for saying rendering "complex" word art is intensive because of the aliasing/smoothing. Reading a word document, with a whole lot more aliasing/smoothing going on each page, sure isn't that intensive.

In fact, I don't see any aspect of Metro's interface that is "intensive" compared to a normal desktop environment with Aero. 3D windows transitions? Had those since Windows XP. Geometry of a tile certainly can't be said to be more complex than the geometry of a normal, resizable program window.

I'm also thinking of this in terms of a desktop, and desktop OSes. There you've got plenty of SVG icons, plenty of psuedo-3D text to smooth, plenty of interactive windows being minimized, maximized, resized and so forth. Transparency (now that's a tougher thing to render, and I don't see any of that in Metro), shadow effects (again, much harder to render than text, and also apparently absent from basic Metro UI; at least I haven't noticed such), all these spit and polish visual effects we're used to that are apparently cut from Metro, and all of which are more complex than any of the Metro UI things we have seen. Throw OSX and Gnome/KDE into the mix, and there you have the ability to graphically transition between desktop environments and all their rendering clutter. Through in Beryl for CompWiz, and now you can turn your entire desktop environment into a 3D, rotatable, interactive cube, where windows can stand in 3 dimensions on each other. And that sure runs smooth on modern hardware.

For really low power mobile devices, scaling back to the simplicity of Windows Phone 7 makes sense; but the UI certainly doesn't need to be "pumped up" from a desktop standpoint, since it's already a regression.

None the less, it's -always- a good thing to have these improvements brought to us. But that doesn't change how funny seeming to me the idea that we need to "pump up" the simplistic Metro UI is with a whole new DX version iteration.


RE: Because...
By Da W on 7/24/2012 2:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
If they could throw in a few regular desktop themes in the metro backgroud most people would shut up.


RE: Because...
By augiem on 7/24/2012 3:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
Really what this underscores deeply is that MS, like everyone else, has shifted their focus from desktops to mobile devices because that's where the new money is. This is painfully obvious with the new UI, but even more obvious with all the extra effort they're putting into making things run smoother on the lowest powered systems. It's kind of amazing to me that MS is FINALLY focusing its efforts on efficiency after 30 years of being the bloat-and-brute-force-it king. What a strange time!


RE: Because...
By TakinYourPoints on 7/25/2012 12:38:16 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is that it is still a crap UI for laptops. The OS X UI is incredibly efficient for laptops, I'd say even better than on the desktop, while still being great on desktops and multi-monitor setups.

Microsoft is praying that Win8 is a hit on tablets, which is fine except that they are completely compromising the desktop UI for that purpose. Ridiculous.


RE: Because...
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 4:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
I really dislike the OS X UI from when I've had to use it. Windows 8 feels a lot better to me because the large clickable UI elements do a great job making up for the inaccuracy of a touchpad. Then again I'd never voluntarily use an OS other than Win 8 on a laptop because four second boot time with an SSD. It's so unbelievably useful when you're on the go and want to check something. If I've got a seat it means I don't have to use my phone to check email.


RE: Because...
By zephyrprime on 7/24/2012 4:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are overstating it. Rendering fancy fonts, is just line drawing and alpha aliasing. SOOO much easier and less intensive than pixel shader work. Accelerated line drawing has been around since windows 3.1 days. The change here is that those old school abilities have been improved (they were already present) for drawing onto 3d surfaces for directx rendering. Performance of stuff like that is greatly neglected by graphics companies because it doesn't matter for games and the performance level has already been good enough for Windows. However, now that you have to run directx on a crummy phone GPU, suddenly you need a lot more efficiency for graphics primitives like line and polygon draw.


RE: Because...
By Belard on 7/25/2012 6:00:32 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not buying it. Metro runs smooth and slick on a 5+ year old AMD X2 computer. This is MS fluff promotional junk. Its like saying a video card is going to increase the smoothness of a DOS screen.

The whole point of moving to a new video API for vista/W7 was to get rid of the tears and other glitches. When MS says W8 has X amount of improvement over W7... with what? A core2 CPU with generic on-board video?


RE: Because...
By Targon on 7/25/2012 6:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
Not exactly. With Vista, Microsoft made it so the GPU would accelerate the rendering of the desktop. Microsoft is playing this again by encouraging people to get a new generation of video card to accelerate the new features in the UI, without making it a requirement.


RE: Because...
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 12:37:11 PM , Rating: 2
It is talking about the apps written for the new Windows Runtime. Not the metro interface itself. The metro based apps that can target DX11.1 will likely run much better than apps that target Android or iOS tablets.


RE: Because...
By geddarkstorm on 7/24/2012 2:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
Metro UI means Metro User Interface. So in the case of the headline, it is the interface itself being "pumped up". That is why it was amusing to me.


RE: Because...
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 2:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
Metro User Interface <> Start Screen

So I am not sure why you are amused, other than the fact that it must be something that is easily accomplished.


RE: Because...
By geddarkstorm on 7/24/2012 2:39:18 PM , Rating: 2
You are the one who claimed it wasn't about the interface, when indeed that's what UI even means. The headline implies the user interface is getting DX11.1 so it can be pumped up, when really the Metro user interface is more simplistic from the get go than most graphical desktop user interfaces--certainly more than covered with normal graphical technology. And the start menu is part of the Metro UI.

So, what are you trying to say again?


RE: Because...
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 5:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
My point is you are talking about the start screen, which is part of Metro, not not metro itself. Metro is the set of technologies that make up the Windows RunTime. A developer might make a 2D game that can now run using the advantages of DX11.1 and get way better performance than before.

The point I was trying to convey is that everyone just thinks "metro" is the start screen, and that is just not the case.


Nice!!!
By BigEdMan on 7/24/2012 11:59:09 AM , Rating: 3
Nice!!!
Should seriously kick @$$ on our phones, tablets, Xbox and next-generation televisions.
But sure as hell isn't going anywhere near my desktops or laptops.
No start button option - no sale! (hint, hint)

On a side note I look forward to having my phone upgraded to 7.8.
Unlike some people I LOVE my Windows 7.5 phone and I purchased it because IT WAS an upgrade over my previous phone. So if your upset about not getting a free upgrade - put your phone back in its box and go back to using your old phone.




RE: Nice!!!
By MindParadox on 7/24/2012 12:42:40 PM , Rating: 4
the start button is there, it's just the Metro UI part now

if ya want the experience of having the little menu pop up when you hit the start button, too bad, but the stat button is how you switch from desktop to Metro(which is basically the start menu) and back

if ya wanna search for something, in the metro UI just start typing, if yer on the desktop, hit start and start typing(same as before)

only thing that has changed is the look of the start menu, in any meaningful manner


RE: Nice!!!
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 1:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
So you're saying the start menu is full screen and constantly on?


RE: Nice!!!
By AstroCreep on 7/24/2012 2:18:47 PM , Rating: 5
The Start menu is full screen but it only comes up when activated. Win95 through Win7 did the same thing; Start menu only came up when activated, but was essentially "Minimized" when it wasn't. The only difference now is that it is full screen and "Hides" when it's not in use.


RE: Nice!!!
By foolsgambit11 on 7/24/2012 7:53:29 PM , Rating: 1
Great. Now tell me where the hell the Control Panel is.


RE: Nice!!!
By inighthawki on 7/24/2012 9:03:01 PM , Rating: 2
Where you would normally left click in win8 to pull up the start menu, right click instead and you get a power user context menu with about 10-15 of the most important and commonly used functions (control panel, disk management, command prompt (optionally with admin), run command, etc etc).


RE: Nice!!!
By MGSsancho on 7/25/2012 4:58:44 AM , Rating: 3
Same way since win98, Windows Key + R then type on the word "control" and press enter. These shortcuts are also handy http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192806

Honestly if you want to even become a poweruser you need to learn to use the decade old keyboard shortcuts and the newer powershell features.


RE: Nice!!!
By SlyNine on 7/25/2012 2:04:14 PM , Rating: 3
Clicking start and control panel is faster


RE: Nice!!!
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 3:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
Search is almost always faster than moving your hand to a mouse, clicking a region, then picking out a rather small box. That's a lot of why I'm so fond of the improvements they've made to search. It's a lot easier to be quick opening things in win 8 than in 7.


RE: Nice!!!
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 3:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
The start menu is terrible. There's no excuse for only taking about a sixth the available real estate for the task at hand on even a small screen and then being starved for space (witness the very small number of pinned objects on the start menu vs the start screen even though the start screen objects are larger and more visually distinctive). It's about time they fixed it. Using the corner instead of a button is pretty much functionally identical, since the corner stops all mouse movement past that point, that corner is pretty much all coordinates with negative x and y, which is far larger than the tiny amount added by the button.


Damn! That's smoooooth!
By jnemesh on 7/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: Damn! That's smoooooth!
By Arsynic on 7/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: Damn! That's smoooooth!
By Argon18 on 7/24/2012 12:01:55 PM , Rating: 1
For sure, this looks like something designed for a 3 year old, with big squares and bright colors. Is the default theme going to be SpongeBob?

I wish they put this much energy into the back-end, making a more stable OS that doesn't require a full reboot for every.single.patch. I don't want to shut down all my applications and reboot the whole machine every 2 days because some new security patch was issued. With Linux, you only need to reboot if the kernel or core libraries are updated. Everything else is patched live and online, only bouncing the affected service. Why can't Windows do this??


RE: Damn! That's smoooooth!
By andrewaggb on 7/24/2012 1:52:36 PM , Rating: 4
I know you're trolling...

But... windows security updates are generally issued on the second tuesday of the month. In practice there tends to be other patches as well. I have to reboot my windows servers no more than once a month. My desktops are similiar, though I think it's slightly more often. It's definitely more often than linux, but nowhere near the every 2nd day.

And metro will make this better actually. Besides tuning how and when it installs updates, metro apps are much more likely to maintain your application state between reboots/patches.

Metro has it's faults, as does windows 8, and undoubtedly windows 9 will be better and fix most of them, but windows 8 isn't bad by any stretch.


RE: Damn! That's smoooooth!
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 3:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
I love the reflexive hatred towards large (read: quickly distinguishable and clickable) and brightly colored (read: quickly distinguishable) UI elements. Talk about form over function. Personally, I'd much rather be able to pop open the start screen, locate the program I want and click it fast than feel all serious business while I search small pixel blobs for the one I want. Productivity is valuable, and visual ergonomics means making things distinguishable with the first glance.


On the plus side...
By TakinYourPoints on 7/25/2012 12:35:09 AM , Rating: 1
On the plus side, OS X 10.8 is out tomorrow with a real desktop UI (the best around), KDE also has improved desktop graphics performance without being a GD touchscreen UI, and I get to keep running Windows 7 on my PC.

See, it isn't all bad.




RE: On the plus side...
By spread on 7/25/2012 9:17:02 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
OS X 10.8 is out tomorrow with a real desktop UI (the best around)


If Windows 9 doesn't fix this metrosexual garbage, I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a Mac.

Metro is the most wasteful UI I have ever seen. Nice on a small screen on a tablet, but on a large high resolution desktop monitor, it looks like a fisher price operating system and behaves like it.


RE: On the plus side...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2012 11:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
Ugh no. It would be better to run Windows 7 for the next 20 years than buying a Mac.


RE: On the plus side...
By TakinYourPoints on 7/26/2012 2:38:13 AM , Rating: 2
Too bad. Windows is a great toy OS for running games but for getting actual work done it is still offers an inferior desktop environment.

Given a choice, work in OS X any day. Hell, KDE may end up being a better alternative if Microsoft's constant UI regression without fixing serious and existing UI issues doesn't stop.


Hello!
By 2bdetermine on 7/24/2012 4:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The company works closely with graphics professionals like id Software founder John Carmack, individuals who are quite literally defining the state of the art in graphics rendering techniques.


Rage for PC anyone!




RE: Hello!
By Reclaimer77 on 7/24/2012 4:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
lol yeah I think Carmack is just finished now. He'll never live down Rage, and the millions of angry alienated PC gamers he disenfranchised with Rage.


ok...
By dgingerich on 7/24/2012 12:13:37 PM , Rating: 2
This is the first intriguing thing I've seen about Windows 8. the new UI is a PITA, I know that much from working with the betas. I wasn't going to get it because of the new UI and a lack of anything else I found interesting. Now, there is one thing that is interesting. I don't know for sure you if I'm going to skip it or go for it.




By SAN-Man on 7/24/2012 12:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
MS has stepped in it this time.




Mixed feelings
By Fujikoma on 7/24/2012 1:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
I think this will be fine for phones, tablets, htpc's and people that just surf the internet or do simple stuff. I couldn't use this on my workstation. I might do this for an htpc build on the back of my t.v., but never for my workstation. It's just not designed to have multiple tasks showing at the same time, which is what I need for work and home projects. The only other thing that bugged the hell out of me was the increase in right-clicking that I had to start doing to get through stuff. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to play with it to see if there was some pattern to this. It ran as smooth as XP on a machine with an AMD 64X2, 1 Gig. of memory and on board graphics (re-imaging for my g.f.'s cousin). My g.f.'s reaction was more horrified than I thought it would be, considering she lives off of her tablet and phone. She didn't like all of the scrolling and tiles on the computer.




Incorrect use of frame-rate
By Freeseus on 7/24/2012 2:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
Frame-rate is not measured in hertz (hz). It's measured in frames per second (fps). High fps is needed in gaming and anything requiring animation (websites, ui etc).

Refresh rate is measured in hertz. Typical monitors have refresh rates of ~60hz. The average refresh rate of a computer monitor hasn't really changed since LCDs became mainstream. Not sure why this is relevant at all.

I'm guessing that's a typo on:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/07/23/hard...




accelerate
By gibb3h on 7/25/2012 4:31:32 AM , Rating: 2
I just wish they would "accelerate" the Zune Player, it consistently runs like a dog :|




dont care
By Bubbacub on 7/24/12, Rating: -1
RE: dont care
By xti on 7/24/2012 11:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
remember when win7 came out, and people were complaining that each instance of any program didnt have its own lil tab on the taskbar?

incoming deja-vu


RE: dont care
By Articuno on 7/24/2012 12:39:14 PM , Rating: 5
The difference is that in Windows 7 you can change it back to the way it was before.


RE: dont care
By WalksTheWalk on 7/24/2012 1:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
This is Microsoft's dilemma with Windows 8: backward compatibility versus pushing forward with a new desktop/tablet interface.

In every previous version of Windows, users have been able to revert to the Windows 95 style taskbar/start menu interface and this is the first time Microsoft is not giving users that option. This is the reason for most of the complaints, deserved or not.

With Windows 8, they've drawn a line in the sand saying "Metro is the new way for Windows" with no backward compatibility options like they have offered in the past. I don't think this is inherently bad, it's just different and quite jarring for new users to navigate unless you've had training on it.


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 1:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Its bad if windows is better at certain things, and it is. It's being force feed, when it could have been optional and I don't see how it's any better.


RE: dont care
By rudy on 7/26/2012 11:51:48 AM , Rating: 2
Its a tough choice, the windows and android OS are full of huge software issues that stem from lack of control. Basically if you dont force people to change they will now. Windows has supported DPI scaling since XP, yet most companies refuse to even make it work in their software. This is the problem with metro, if MS does not push it then all the companies will just leave their programs running in the windows 7 environment and never support metro.

On the negative side people who hate metro cant change that. So ya it sucks and it is a hard choice to deal with .


RE: dont care
By andrewaggb on 7/24/2012 1:56:17 PM , Rating: 2
I agree they are forcing the new start menu/metro on users. And I suspect it's just to increase developer/user interest in metro which will drive sales and apps in their app store and make their tablets/phones more appealing.

That said, in desktop mode windows 8 still has all the same compatibility windows has always had. existing applications still run, web plugins still work, etc, etc. It's not like they've abandoned backwards compatibility in general. Just for the start menu and a few other more obscure features.


RE: dont care
By Ramstark on 7/24/2012 12:10:37 PM , Rating: 3
for the love of God leave it alone...you have lost your precious "Start button" Guess what? Things change, technology evolves, get used to it or get left behind...Everyone should be praising the "software improvements" that help hardware, no need for a 500G RAM machine...but no, let's complain about the colors and the designs, such simplistic views of the world..


RE: dont care
By Argon18 on 7/24/12, Rating: -1
RE: dont care
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 12:35:25 PM , Rating: 3
What do you go into your start menu for in Windows 7?


RE: dont care
By JasonMick (blog) on 7/24/2012 12:42:20 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
What do you go into your start menu for in Windows 7?
Exactly.

At first I too, was a bit trouble by the start button disappearing, but the more I thought about it, the only thing I really ever go in there for is search. The foldered hierarchy in "All Programs" without customization/renaming is pretty useless, as most things are nustled in ambiguously named folders, so unless you remember which particular developer made game or tool X, you have to poke around through a variety of folders to find the desired app.

In Windows 7 I just gave up on such poking around and just search for whatever I want. So the sole thing I got to the start menu for is search.

I'll admit I initially went to it for the auto-generated most-used list of apps, but I realized after a while that this was much slower and less efficient than pinned icons. Anything I commonly use -- Photoshop, Paint, Powerpoint, Word, Pidgin, Chrome, Zune Player, Cygwin -- they're all pinned. So that eliminate my only "other" use for the Start Menu.

With Windows 8, I can just start typing and it automatically starts searching -- so the Start Menu's last worthwhile use to me has been made obsolete.

Feel free to disagree, but please give an example of why you are so attached to the start menu, rather than just some vague feeling of nostalgia for a certain familiar button.


RE: dont care
By HackSacken on 7/24/2012 12:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. It was a little rattling to know that I don't have start menu when approaching Win8. But I just got back from working at our colo space using a Win8 laptop for a solid 2hrs. I Never once had to touch the Metro/Start area to do what I needed nor did it hinder or interfere.

This is just one example, but it makes me so extremely curious as what do people really need it for these days, especially if they are already acclimated to Win7?


RE: dont care
By Pirks on 7/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: dont care
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 1:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
I think MS would appease a lot of the whiners by adding 2 features to Windows 8. Perhaps if they are not there at RTM, someone will figure out how to implement them.

1) Offer a boot to desktop option. It works just like it does now, except after login you get your desktop and not the start screen. I personally don't care, but this seems to be a horrible pain point for some people (even though the desktop is 1 click away, or a winkey+d away). This should only be an option on non ARM based versions, since the ARM ones will live mostly in metro.

2) Offer a desktop based (meaning you don't have to go into metro) indexed search.

I think that if those 2 things were baked in, there would be less resistance to the new paradigm.


RE: dont care
By twhittet on 7/24/2012 2:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
Two simple, useful ideas that would definitely help. Combined with about 5 more - it could go a long way to making Win 8 useful instead of just frustrating.


RE: dont care
By Azethoth on 7/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 1:35:45 PM , Rating: 2
Than you don't know how to pin things. If you want a MESS of things on your desktop so everything is one click away what was stopping you before??


RE: dont care
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 3:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
That's the point. Pinning and search are massively more useful than the start menu, so it's better to optimize the UI to use those features.


RE: dont care
By 3minence on 7/24/2012 2:59:21 PM , Rating: 2
If it was just the start menu then it wouldn’t be such a big issue. I like the start button, but it’s not the end all be all. My problem with Win8 is because of many different things.

I like a clean desktop. At work, my wallpaper is usually a picture of my family doing something fun. At home it’s a picture my daughter and I find on the Internet. I have only the recycle bin on the desktop. The half dozen or so apps I use 90% of the time are pinned to the taskbar. The rest are hidden away in the start menu. The Metro desktop is WAY too busy for me.

Switching between Metro based screen (start screen) and Explorer based screens (Control Panel) can be jarring and unpleasant.

It takes more mouse clicks to achieve the same thing. This wastes time.

Greater dependence on the keyboard. For something that’s supposed to be touch based, Win8 sure does require a lot of keystrokes. If I look at how I use a PC throughout the day, I’m primarily a mouse user. I very rarely put both hands on the keyboard. The only time I do serious keyboarding is writing email or documents (spreadsheets, reports, etc). Reading email, web browsing, documenting work in MS Visio, playing games, etc, are really mouse heavy tasks. Windows 8 forces me to take my hand off the mouse and use the keyboard more. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but this issue seems to be a recent overall trend for MS. The SysAdmin’s I work with were complaining the other day how the new version of Exchange requires them to now do at the command line what they use to do in the Exchange GUI.

No Aero. Ok, this has nothing to do with efficiency, but I like Aero. I understand why their removing it, it does use unnecessary CPU cycles and power which is important on a mobile device, but I like it on the desktop.

If it was just one or two things then I’d get over it pretty quickly. But it’s not one thing, it’s many. They are taking away too much and demanding too much change, and not giving me, a desktop user, enough in return. For tablets this makes great sense, for a desktop, not so much.


RE: dont care
By Belard on 7/25/2012 6:03:53 AM , Rating: 2
Yep... pretty much what you said.

When you are making change for improvements, fines. Metro and charms are not thought out. Who the hell needs charms on the DESKTOP?


RE: dont care
By Belard on 7/25/2012 7:08:23 AM , Rating: 1
Mick, its far beyond than the "hidden" start button. First, its hidden. WTF hide buttons, especially one that tends to be used to switch between desktop and metro?! Its still there, so there was no point to hide it. Won't it be a bit of a bitch to get to with your finger, even with a tablet or touch screen desktop.

And so far, the market isn't wetting their pants for touch-screen computers.

Second, it was bad enough how MS makes it a bit difficult to rename folders & files in the Vista/W7 start menu. In Win8, there is no renaming... your stuck if HP or whoever crap printer you install, makes 3-5 folders for their drivers and manuals. I do clean up my Startmenu. I stick ALL my internet items into "internet", Tools into tools, hardware and such in "maintence", games into... I dunno, GAMES.

With Metro.. too bad, live with it.

quote:
renaming is pretty useless,
Any folder or file in the W7~Win95 start menu can be renamed. I even rename the stupid "Microsoft Office 2003 Word" to "Word" Keeps the menu small.

quote:
I just gave up on such poking around and just search for whatever I want
So? That's you. For some people, its faster to go by mouse. I do use many ways depending on where my hands are. But for many people, they may NOT remember the name of the tool they are looking for. Maybe a settings tool for a printer. They'll just have to dig in to metro full screen instead.

And its quite jarring to go from a small area that word to a full-blown screen... to do the same thing.

Yep, in Windows 7, press the Windows key or point with your mouse the "star button" and start typing.. wow, works just like Metro. Can't do it on W8 desktop because a fracking idiot at MS thought it would be a good idea to take it out.

Some of us don't pin everything and some of us don't combine our tasks on the taskbar... because some programs likes to add additional tasks, and to tell which is which - you have to hover it or click on it - rather than reading it.

quote:
With Windows 8, I can just start typing and it automatically starts searching
You an do that in Win7 too. In win8, you can't start typing on desktop mode. Still got hunt the start button or press the Windows key.

So you see, Win8 metro adds NOTHING to the user experience. Its a big-ass launcher start-menu sucking up the screen, nothing more. If you are in desktop, then the live tiles are rather useless, eh? Since metro can't be seen from the desktop, its useless.

quote:
Feel free to disagree, but please give an example of why you are so attached to the

The task switch on Win8 desktop/metro is plain stupid. hover on the left side, wait for the charm to show up... if you are not in the right position, nothing happens. Its Frigging stupid. You know how Android ICS handles it? There is a BUTTON you can press with your FINGER!

The shutdown info is in settings? Wow, that makes sense... oh, and that's another stupid charm to hit right. There are some desktop apps that require charms, some don't.. which is it? Some metro apps that drop you back to desktop. You have to have a stupid MSN/whatever account to do much of anything in metro.

Loading things in metro is slow and crumble-some. The image and video players are sub-standard for a desktop experience.

There is the stupid combination of "simply learn these new keyboard short-cuts to get around"?! What? Is the whole team on crack? The whole point of METRO is the touch-interface for a desktop market that never asked for it. but you need a keyboard to move around... but a mouse is needed for other things, etc. You can do almost anything with a mouse in Win7 without ever touching a keyboard.

But because Win8 is such shit, the keyboard *IS* required to keep you from throwing the computer out the window.

Back to keyboard short-cuts. I've shown clients, over and over again - for years... CTRL-C,-V,-P,-B basic commands. They don't get it, most never will. That *IS* microsoft's customer base. Its why I will never buy a shitty MS keyboard because they made the Functions keys into MS-function keys, not the old standard that everyone else in the world uses. So on every power up, gotta press the F-lock key to make the F1-F12 normal. Yes, I press F2 to "RENAME". Makes pressing F8 a bloody adventure.

So for the desktop user, what is the point of the metro "start screen" if its not really needed then? Is it slick, kind of... sometimes its ugly too. Like when I use default Android icons on my Launcher7 interface.

Also, the whole Win8 desktop has turned into metro-crap. Bye bye Aero. Same buttons and all, just flat and boring like Microsoft.

Here is a little hint: MS has changed the look/function of Windows 5 times since the release of MacOS X. If a guy went into a coma in 2001, woke up in 2013, he'll be able to get around the latest MacOS X. The skin has changed, a few things added... but its recognizable as the same OS.

Win98>XP>Vista>Win7>Win8 are all different, with Win8 being the big one.

Android 4.x is not a flat-boring waste-land, it looks and moves slick. I may not put the metro-like interface on my next Android phone. Perhaps a cool-looking Launcher7 is in order?

Look, the change of Win8 is not the issue... its just done badly. If it was a launcher strip on the Win8 Desktop, it would be cool and usable. There are many people like me, my friends, my clients WHO own WindowsPCs, Android phones and iOS tablets and phones. We are getting along just fine, not freaking out.

Then there is the whole "no retail" Win8 and it looks like no more single-copy OEM Win8 either. So the small PC shops and DIY builders are going to have a GOOD time with that.
(end part 1 - I broke your posting thingy


RE: dont care
By Belard on 7/25/2012 7:30:26 AM , Rating: 2
(cue intro music / start of part 2: Windows 8's race to the bottom)

Windows8 seems to be designed without the customer in mind. I remember using the best Amiga wordprocessor and I called the company to let them know I WOULD NOT buy the $30 upgrade. Mind you, this wp is still more advanced than MS-Word 2010 IMHO because its real-time spell checker didn't just go off a list, but by phonetics - helpful for those with dyslexia. Why? The programmers though an "undo" function wasn't important in the upgrade. So if you accidentally deleted a whole page of text, oh well too bad.

I think most of us know WHY Microsoft is doing this: to create demand for their MS-branded phones and tablets which are both under 2% market share... to make money off of Apps. This is especially important since the WindowsOS ecosystem is on the verge of collapse.

What collapse? When I use my iPad and get things done - it shows me and others, "why do I need Windows for?". When one of my clients calls me up about getting a Mac server. I was like "waaaaaaaaaaht?" I looked into it and I have to admit, AppleServer is a simpler and better understood product than the MS Microsoft has. IE: Going over page after page on the MS website, I still didn't know which version of MS-Server and exchange would bloody work for the office. It was jut BS marketing hype. On the Apple site, it pretty much said what they can do, in ENGLISH. We ended up going office365, it was cheap. Whatever.

The AAA games are sometimes ported to PC from the consoles, so MS themselves is killing the PC gaming market... all that will be left maybe WOW and some old classics. Anything else works with a console or a browser. No MSWindows required.

Windows has become a support system for MS-Office, nothing much more. As long as your typical user has a browser, they can do ANYTHING. Have you seen some of these TVs nowadays? They have a browser, Skype, Youtube, etc built right in. Bought a $35 logitech wireless mouse & keyboard, plugged in the USB dongle... and in seconds, I can type the URL and use the mouse. No Windows required.

Metro is the eco-system to save microsoft's ass. Nothing more. The techie types will go to Linux. Steam is coming to Linux (in case you don't know), the novices will go Mac or Android or ChromeOS. Corp America will stay with MSOffice, but Europe will continue to go OpenOffice and Linux.

One of two things is going to happen:
A) Windows8 is loved by all, people will rush out and buy Windows8 tablets and phones to match their desktop systems. (because Windows users never buys iPhones, Androids or iPads) A few will complain, but will fade away to Win7 purgatory. OR...

B) Windows8 is HATED by most people. They run away from Win8 tablets and Win8 Phones. After-all, WP7 sales are through the roof! (not)
MS craps all over themselves... their partners get angry and cry in their pillows (Its vista but much worse). Perhaps they can continue to sell Win7 PCs or Linux or ChromeOS computers. Maybe MS will be pig-headed and say "metro metro metro!" or SP1 is released in months which restores the Win7 start button and menu as well as Aero.

Windows 8 will either unite 3 markets into a strong platform (which I think *IS* a good idea) or collapse Windows market share, since Microsoft can't actually grow.

I betting my money on the B-Path and installed Linux over my Win8 desktop test unit... first time I've touched Linux in 12 years... it far more comfortable than Win8... and the price is better.

I wouldn't install Win8 on my computers if MS gave me free copies. Windows8 will not be pirated, first ever for MS.


RE: dont care
By OmarF1 on 7/27/2012 4:28:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Feel free to disagree, but please give an example of why you are so attached to the start menu, rather than just some vague feeling of nostalgia for a certain familiar button.


I use start menu to reach the rarely used programs, I don't put everything on the desktop and I like it to stay as clean as possible.
Well, thanks MS for screwing our os and thank you really you just saved me $200.

As others said, I hope Windows 8 to fail like Vista did before.


RE: dont care
By Motoman on 7/24/2012 1:22:43 PM , Rating: 1
Everything.

There is no possible way to organize the multitudes of programs one may install on a PC than the start menu. It's mild evolution over time from 95 to Win7 has been fine...it's still pretty much the same thing - for good reason.

The Metrosexual UI is not an improvement for PCs. New? Sure. Better? Not a chance in hell. You can feel free to disagree, but you'll be wrong.


RE: dont care
By weskurtz0081 on 7/24/2012 2:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
I can see you have an open mind to new ideas/ways of doing things. I am sure you're right and anyone that has a different opinion is wrong.


RE: dont care
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 2:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
Great, thanks for letting us know your personal opinion is the only right one out there. Good information to have.

There is no possible way to organize programs one might install on a PC other than the start menu? Hmmm, Where is the start menu in OSX? Oh there isn't one? But there is no possible way to organize programs without it....

You clearly use your computer the way Windows 95 was intended to be used. The start menu is a holdover from the past 15 years of Windows evolution. Pinned taskbar items made the start menu obsolete for running your frequent programs. For the other programs I might run once per month, I will be happy to have those in the start screen, organized cleanly in their own groups I define.


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 3:16:28 PM , Rating: 1
Coming from a guy that rabbidly attacks people that don't want to learn how to do basic shit over again.


RE: dont care
By Motoman on 7/24/2012 3:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
Pinned taskbar items work for a handful of programs. As do pinned items on the Start menu itself.

For all the other dozens, or hundreds, of programs you may have installed on your PC, the regular Start menu is the only intelligent way to organize and present them. Even organize them "cleanly into their own groups I define" if you want. There's no way to organize more than a handful of programs onto the Metrosexual UI. Period.

You. Are. Wrong.


RE: dont care
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 5:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I can concede that if you actually have HUNDREDS of programs on your computer, that will certainly make it hard to keep things organized. Of course that has nothing to do with Windows 8. If you have 400 programs installed on Windows 7, that is going to be hard to keep track of as well. In either OS you can hit start and type what you are looking for, and find it. So not sure what the gripe is there really.

How can you say there is no way to organize programs in the start screen? You can drag tiles to order them however you want, you can make seperate groups, name the groups, and zoom all the way out and select the group you need.

If I keep all my Visual Studio and associated developer tools in a group in the start screen, I can do a zoom out, click on my "Dev Apps" group of programs, and then get to what I need from there. Or I can just type the name in and get it that way. Maybe you are not aware of the grouping, naming, and zooming you can do with the Win8 tiles, but perhaps that is what you are missing out on.

If you are trying to tell me sifting throught the mess of programs in the windows 7 start menu is easer, then I guess we just have different outlooks on what is easy and complicated. I don't think I have ever once gone into "All Programs" on my Win7 start screen. It is just a mess in there.


RE: dont care
By Reclaimer77 on 7/24/2012 5:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
WOW you REALLY don't get it lol. It's amazing...


RE: dont care
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 5:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
What don't I get? That the idiot who needs to use terms like "Metrosexual" is in fact an idiot? That people have used a beta of an OS for 5 minutes and claim that MS yanked out the rug from under them without even poking around and figuring out if maybe there is a MORE intuitive way to do things than they have been doing for the past 10 years. Sure I know change is scary, and I really don't expect everyone to like it and to adapt. Those people can stay on Win7, nothing stopping them.


RE: dont care
By xti on 7/24/2012 6:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
dont worry, you are on point.

its just funny the way that minority users insist that they are the majority. Lil Dog syndrome.

Win8 is gonna do well, just a matter of time.


RE: dont care
By Reclaimer77 on 7/24/2012 6:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, still don't get it.


RE: dont care
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 4:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
I've never used the hierarchy since vista, since if you can't find something with search, how the hell are you going to be able to find it in that hierarchy where you need to remember more, not fewer facts about what you're looking for or even remember that it's there to look for? Pinned items is better for the things you use regularly and search is better as a catchall. Give up, your usage model hasn't made sense since XP.


RE: dont care
By perspicacity on 7/25/2012 9:07:58 AM , Rating: 2
I actually use the start menu a lot. Access to control panel, administrative tools, etc. I don't mind having the Metro UI replace the start menu, as long as I can get at the same apps... but why did the start button have to disappear?

I dislike having to hunt around the screen to find a special "hotspot" to activate essential applications.


RE: dont care
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 4:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
How do you need to hunt around the screen for the corners? They're the easiest four locations on the screen to hit. It's actually much easier to hit the lower left corner than the entire rest of the start button. Try mousing over there quickly and see if you don't end up in the corner.


RE: dont care
By xti on 7/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: dont care
By Dribble on 7/24/2012 1:14:31 PM , Rating: 1
Have you actually tried to use windows 8?

It's a tablet os with mouse/keyboard/windows 7 support bolted on the side. On a tablet it's probably great, on a desktop it just doesn't work.

As for those who say start is only for search - try putting a windows 8 machine to sleep (something else on start!) - bet you can't do it without having too google how. Install 100 programmes then enjoy your game of where's wally as you search for one on the metro front page. Try getting to os programmes to fix stuff like msconfig, or regedit, or cmd....


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 1:38:14 PM , Rating: 1
That's what I hate worse, having to Google just to back out of a program, or make the computer sleep. I can only imagine how this OS is going to look to the average Joe.


RE: dont care
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 2:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
I know... it is just too damn annoying and incovenient to not know something about something new, and have to make the trip allll the way out to the internet to get a damn answer. What are they thinking! It is a good thing we have better companies like Apple who put a giant sticker on the iPhone and iPad that say "HOLD THIS BUTTON FOR A FEW SECONDS DOWN IF YOU WANT TO TURN THE DEVICE OFF"...

What's that? It doesn't have that on there? Oh, maybe because that is fucking stupid, and if you are going to bitch about having to look something up on the internet, then maybe you are too.

You can put the friggin thing to sleep from the desktop, never going into the start screen by doing WinKey+I, where you will get power options, including shutdown and sleep.

Or you can ctrl+alt+delete, and click the power button, and shutdown or sleep.

Or you can set the computers power button (or lid closing on a laptop) to put the computer to sleep.

Holy crap, was that difficult..


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 3:08:51 PM , Rating: 1
"I know... It is just too damn annoying and inconvenient to not know something about something new"

For basic shit, yes. Why should I have to relearn all the BASIC shit, and for WHAT exactly do I gain from all this change and having to relearn everything????

Turning the Itouch off was so intuitive I did it without even thinking about it. I didn't have to read anything or look up anything to use my smart phone.

Windows 8 is just not that intuitive and the average Joe will hate that.


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 3:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
Other than an Ad Hominem attack, your argument (if you want to call it that) is full of nothing but insults.


RE: dont care
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 5:07:56 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure I provided several solutions to your issue in between the insults.


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/25/2012 1:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
Solutions, but the point is that it is NO better then before. So again, WHY should I have to learn this. What's the benefit to all this change.


RE: dont care
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 2:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
winkey + r buddy.. winkey + r

Or you could just hit start and type any of those things

Or you could right click the bottom left corner of the desktop where the start screen menu is, and get a whole context menu of admin tools.


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/24/12, Rating: 0
RE: dont care
By kleinma on 7/24/2012 5:39:49 PM , Rating: 2
And amazingly still can. You just live in a world of denial.


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/25/2012 1:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't imply you couldn't... you're to dense.


RE: dont care
By MrBungle123 on 7/25/2012 4:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
Do any of you folks that keep preaching that we can do everything in Win 8 with some page and a half long list of keyboard shortcuts that we used to do with a couple clicks in Win 7 from the start menu even understand the point of a GUI?

The whole point of a GUI is to be able to see visual cues that you can interact with to do things so you don't have to remember 400 different commands!

Sure I can try and commit a bunch of Win + KeyX + KeyY or some other equally meaningless keyboard combination to memory to do everything but then I spend more time trying to learn how to get around the OS then doing what I want to do with the system. In fact I would go so far as saying that you can judge the effectiveness of a GUI by how much it requires, either by necessity or by being confusing, the user to memorize keyboard shortcuts. An effective well designed GUI will not require the user to touch the keyboard at all for navigation. The fact that you keep telling us to just memorize more keyboard shortcuts only serves to prove that the interface you keep defending is absolutely terrible, especially coming from a company that has had 20 years to get it right!


RE: dont care
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 4:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
Meanwhile I'd say the best way to judge a UI is how quickly you can do something, a category where win 8 is a huge winner, rather than how easy it makes it to do things in a non-optimal way for some cases. In under a week of use, I picked up the answer to all these questions everyone's asking relatively trivially, and done everything else in my usual computer use faster and more easily.


RE: dont care
By HackSacken on 7/24/2012 3:19:35 PM , Rating: 2
win + r = run command just like before. In addition, just type the command msconfig, ncpa.cpl, appwiz.cpl, control, cmd, or any of those run commands. They work in "search" for metro as well. If that's not good enough, pin it.

Anyone who needs this though should know this. Your average user doesn't know what to do with the Run program, so why present it to everyone? And being a punk about it... if you still click Start, then choose Run, you're just slow and behind times. I bet those are the people who choose "OK" as opposed to pressing enter too.


RE: dont care
By TakinYourPoints on 7/25/2012 12:41:21 AM , Rating: 2
The loss of the Start menu and the addition of the Metro screen didn't even bother me much when I ran the preview, probably because I was good and ready for disappointment.

No, what really pissed me off was the new Windows Explorer. Adding the ribbon to it, ugh. There are still numerous UI issues going back to Vista that haven't been addressed, and they add a ribbon to Explorer?

So dumb


RE: dont care
By HackSacken on 7/24/2012 12:41:02 PM , Rating: 2
What do you waste your time on when you don't have a start menu? I'm curious, especially as you are still given a start menu-like option?


RE: dont care
By JasonMick (blog) on 7/24/2012 12:48:35 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
What do you waste your time on when you don't have a start menu? I'm curious, especially as you are still given a start menu-like option?
In Windows 7 the only efficient use of the Start Button is search.

Perhaps people complaining are either clinging to inefficient artifacts (e.g. the "All Programs" list and auto-generated most-used programs short list), unfamiliar with the new features introduced in Windows 7 like taskbar pinning and jump lists.

And likely they don't realize that search -- the only truly necessary start menu utility in Windows 7 -- is built into the desktop in Windows 8, instantly active whenever you start typing.


RE: dont care
By Reclaimer77 on 7/24/2012 1:23:12 PM , Rating: 1
Jason search is great if you know what you're searching for. But I still use my Start Button to browse my installed programs. Sure, there are other ways to do this. But don't say the ONLY use of Start Button is for using search.

Windows 8 on a desktop computer is just no good. Embrace that fact :)


RE: dont care
By Motoman on 7/24/2012 1:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
Using the Search to find an installed program is the worst possible solution.

The Start menu is listed alpabetically. Automatically, even, in Win7 - whereas you had to do that manually in XP, which was kind of stupid.

If you know the name of the program you want, it's infinitely faster to keep your right hand on your mouse and mouse to it in the program list than it is to take your hand off the mouse, move it to the keyboard, type in the name of the program, and then wait for the search to come up, then move your hand back to the mouse, and click on it.

Sorry - there's no possible justification for that.


RE: dont care
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 4:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
Wait, one hand movement to a large and easily located area (the right hand's keyboard location), and typing in a known string (win+first three or so letters of the program name+enter) is slower than mousing to the corner, clicking, clicking the program list, scrolling through the program list while searching for the 12pt text label of what you want, clicking the small text region, then likely clicking a subfolder then clicking the shortcut you want? I'd make a glib remark about some possible reason why that'd be the case but I cannot come up with a single reason for this to be the case, even some sort of wildly implausible physical limitation.


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 1:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could just clutter your desktop with icons. That's how phones do it.


RE: dont care
By Chriz on 7/24/2012 2:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
Normally I am for new OS advances and UI changes. I liked the new start menu in XP better than the 'classic' 98/2000 start menu when a lot of people did not. I also liked most of the UI changes in Vista and 7. The UI changes in Windows 8, however, are just counter-intuitive when using a desktop or laptop.

A lot of you are saying "Just use taskbar pinning or search". That's just dumb. Taskbar pinning is good as a faster way to access a frequently used program, but do you really want every program pinned to your taskbar? Also, if you don't have a start menu to begin with you would actually have to do a search for the program in order to pin it to your taskbar. Searching is also more time consuming than just launching the program from your start menu. In addition, you also have to know part of the exact file or folder name of the installed program. What if the program installed with a different folder name or exe name than you were expecting? Can you imagine a normal 'user' trying to access a newly installed program in Windows 8 if there is no desktop shortcut???


RE: dont care
By Belard on 7/25/2012 12:32:33 AM , Rating: 2
Mick, you and others keep talking about "just type it in" search... Guess what, it was already there in win7 without going to a whole different screen interface. Imagine the fun of troubleshooting a metro problem and the only fix is in a browser on the desktop? Instead of side by side, you are flipping screens.

Metro for the desktop is an idiotic fix to a problem that wasn't there.


RE: dont care
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 4:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
It's in but it works much better in 8. Rather than a list of multiple categories, it's just programs initially, and they're significantly larger and higher contrast on the display, all of which makes it much more responsive so you know when it's got what you want and you can tap enter. Visual ergonomics are important, especially when you're trying to get information from the UI as you're typing.


RE: dont care
By jimbojimbo on 7/24/2012 12:50:36 PM , Rating: 4
You do realize that the main UI is basically your start menu but you don't even have to click anything right?


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 1:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
My main UI isn't my startmenu. Its being able to resize windows and work on multiple things at once.

Now my computer will boot up with the start menu full screen. Yay...

If they wanted to add a predictive text box that automatically pops up when you start typing, they could do that in windows too.


RE: dont care
By xthetenth on 7/26/2012 4:22:48 PM , Rating: 2
What does the initial boot state have to do with the actual use of the computer? Hit desktop and go, 8 boots so much faster you'll still have saved a lot of time. It's like saying that a Saab's a terrible car because the center console key means you don't have your hand on the turn signals when you start the car.


RE: dont care
By Da W on 7/24/2012 2:30:03 PM , Rating: 1
Blah blah blah blah blah
then just stick with XP and shut up!


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/24/2012 3:20:31 PM , Rating: 2
Bla bla bla, if you don't want to hear peoples opinions then don't fking read them.


RE: dont care
By Belard on 7/25/2012 12:45:15 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... Good one. We should value people's opinions. Considering that windows is the dominate OS, this is kind of critical. Windows8 made me give LinuxMint a try. Since MS killed PC gaming, I'll buy the PS4, and migrate to Linux in a few years. There is only 3 windows programs I use... Photoshop is one of them. And NO, GIMP is not in the same class as photoshop... And like win 8, the interface s blah.

In a world in many of us have windows desktops, android phones and iPad tablets in a single household, the different interfaces is not an issue. Metro works GREAT on a phone, yet wp7 market share is pathetic at 1.8%, I thought ms would kick and rods butt 2 years ago. In the next week or so, it's another android phone for me... And I will throw on the metro interface I use today already.

Metro is ugly, bland and uninspired as the company that created it.


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/25/2012 1:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
MS certainly didn't do anything to help PC gaming. I wish Linux was the dominant platform. But PC gaming will never die.

All MS had to do is allow me to make the desktop the default. That's all. Why that is beyond them makes no sense. I do a lot of media encoding, some 3d rendering, gaming, and also my PC is a media server. Plus my computer is my favorite place to type things out or communicate via text chats. I just don't see Metro ever growing on me and I have tried it.

I have a Samsung Galaxy 3, while it is a great phone it doesn't come close to providing the interface and function of my computer. Not even in the same universe. So I'm not excited about this "smart phone experience" on my PC.


RE: dont care
By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2012 1:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
How can you even say that? 25+ years later, Linux isn't even CLOSE to matching Windows for PC gaming. Without Windows we wouldn't even have the PC gaming we do today.

Yeah I'm so sure game developers would love making 100 different versions of their games for all of those Linux distros. And I'm so sure PC gaming would thrive with people having to compile their own games they bought just to play them lol.


RE: dont care
By SlyNine on 7/25/2012 8:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
Because Linux is free. I know that windows is better. But they also have total control over it.


RE: dont care
By Targon on 7/25/2012 11:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
This is where having an official standard set of libraries with set version numbers is important. The problem with all the Linux distributions is how different the library versions are between them.


RE: dont care
By Belard on 7/28/2012 2:43:01 AM , Rating: 1
This is *TODAY*, not 25 years ago, not 10 years ago.

Name me a few AAA class PC exclusive games. I see PC gamers bitch about the port-quality of games from console to PC.

I see the developers point of view: Selling 10 million console games vs 20~30,000 PC games. Look at UT3, it bombs because it was a bit of a sucky game. But even when it was new and there were about 20+K users - the servers were empty.

Again, with Windows being nothing more than a launch platform for MS-Office pro... who needs Windows? PC Gaming today is not the same as it was back in 2002.

And no, the developers don't need to make 100 different versions of their games. 1 version will work. Look at the different Android launchers... yet the apps work, eh?

The problems with Linux gaming is the driver support by Nvidia and AMD. If they want to survive, they need to make solid Linux drivers. As PC gaming drys up - so do their hardware sales. Really, how many people really need a $500 card to play a few games?

Windows8 made me try out LinuxMint... its quite good. And its far less alien than Win8/metro.


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