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  (Source: flickr)
Windows 8 has some good ideas but not for the PC form factor, the report's author argues

The baby of now-departed Microsoft Corp. (MSFTWindows President Steven SinofskyWindows 8, was supposed to be a dynamite follow-up to Windows 7.  Instead the successor to the best-selling operating system in history is perhaps becoming best known for its deeply divisive impact on users.

Users tend to be split into two camps.  On one side are folks like Steven "Woz" Wozniak, Apple, Inc. (AAPL) co-founder, who takes the perspective that Windows 8 (and its mobile brethren Windows Phone) are wildly innovative.  "The Woz" commented in a recent interview, "I've seen more of the type of innovation (from Microsoft) where you see something: 'Whoa - they really changed things drastically. Whoa - they aren't even going the same direction as everyone else' - meaning the iPhone and Android operating systems."

But others, like typically pro-Windows blogger Paul Thurrott (who compared Win8 to Windows ME) and Valve’s Gabe Newell (who called the OS a "disaster") are decidedly unhappy with the radical shift.

Such sentiments have been compiled and perhaps most eloquently analyzed by Jakob Nielsen of UseIt / AlertBox, who compiled a rich, multi-page study on what he feels are the flaws of Windows 8.

Windows 8 boxes
Windows 8 boxes on diplay at Wal-Mart [Image Source: The Verge]

Among his major gripes:
  • Double desktop (Windows 8 UI vs. the traditional desktop)
    Why? creates interface slowness and cognitive dissonance
  • Switch to single windowing
    Why? Hard to remember what you have open for complex tasks
  • "Flat" look of Windows 8 UI tiles
    Why? Hard to tell where tile boundaries are, icons are more likely to be less distinctive
  • Photo/graphic heavy UI themes
    Why? While nice to look at they convey information at a lower density than "uglier" themes
  • Live Tiles
    Why? Third party developers show less sophistication than Microsoft, toss together confusing tiles that don't enhance usability or understanding.
  • Charms
    Why? Harder to use on traditional devices, are hidden (and thus forgotten), and don't work universally across Windows interface, so they confuse.
  • Gestures
    Why? Nielsen says the gestures are error prone and overly complex, such as the multi-step gesture to reveal running apps.
  • Tablet UI for Desktops
    Why? The above problems are less obvious on tablets, or in some cases not problems at all; he argues "One Windows" is a bad strategy for Microsoft
Windows 8 ugly live tiles
Mr. Nielsen gives these "Live Tiles" as examples of the UI tempting developers into sloppy, confusing design. [Image Source: AlertBox]

He tries to buck the inevitable hate train that's coming down the tracks in his direction, telling Microsoft fans (which he claims to himself be one of):

Because this column is very critical of Microsoft's main product, some people will no doubt accuse me of being an Apple fanboy or a Microsoft hater. I'm neither. I switched from Macintosh to Windows many years ago and have been very pleased with Windows 7.

I am a great fan of the dramatic "ribbon" redesign of Office (we later gave several awards to other applications that adapted this UI innovation), and I proclaimed the Kinect an "exciting advance in UI technology." I have many friends who work at Microsoft and know that it has many very talented usability researchers and UI designers on staff.

I have nothing against Microsoft. I happen to think that Windows 7 is a good product and that Windows 8 is a misguided one. I derived these conclusions from first principles of human–computer interaction theory and from watching users in our new research. One doesn't have to hate or love a company in order to analyze its UI designs.

I'll stay with Win7 the next few years and hope for better times with Windows 9. One great thing about Microsoft is that they do have a history of correcting their mistakes.

Of course there are plenty of counterarguments to his points.  For example, blaming Microsoft for poorly designed live tiles or uncreative overly similar flat tiles is perhaps unfair.  Many gestures have backup keyboard shortcuts for traditional PCs.  Mobile-heavy users have already gotten used to hidden multi-tasking so hiding windows isn't the end of the world.  Graphically rich themes may pack less information, but they encourage users to dig in and grab more information.  The double desktop only becomes a hindrance if you have to keep going back to the traditional desktop as a crutch.

As the above counter-arguments illustrate, there's two sides to nearly every argument regarding Windows 8.  Perhaps that's why it's proved so utterly divisive.

Our survey shows that roughly half of readers (45 percent) have made the upgrade to Windows 8, but a significant remaining portion (36 percent) have strongly negative opinions about it and no plans to upgrade, comparing it to such loathed releases as Windows ME or Windows Vista.

Source: UseIT / Jakob Nielsen

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All valid Criticisms
By Ammohunt on 11/21/2012 5:23:23 PM , Rating: 5
Many people including myself skipped Vista until Microsoft had time to get it right with windows 7. Windows 8 is no different my guess is Windows 9 or 10 will be the next worthwhile upgrade. It used to be wait until the first or second service pack now its wait for the next release of Windows. I only use Windows for online gaming once that well runs dry and an valid alternative appears(probably linux maybe a console) i won't use Windows anymore.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By Mitch101 on 11/21/2012 5:41:38 PM , Rating: 4
Vista was fine if you had the memory. Eliminate the dupe memory model and you nearly have Windows 7 and OS I think is easily better than XP was. Im onto Windows 8 now and Office 2013 the transition was smooth with a few times I said where is this but once I pinned all my usual apps I don't notice it any more. In Fact I find things in Windows 8 that are a nice step up like task manager and I use Windows Media Center inside Windows 8 works just like the previous version. The amazing part is Windows 8 found network devices on install like my Silicon Dust dual tuner. I still had to install the drivers but cool that it found items on my local subnet like my printer. Very cool Microsoft. I also like having the ribbon of options in file explorer. Oh and I love the built in ISO Mounting ability. Finally.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By bobsmith1492 on 11/21/2012 8:39:43 PM , Rating: 3
Agree, I use Vista at home and 7 at work. The only thing I miss on Vista is drag-and-drop to snap windows into fullscreen.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By Kurz on 11/22/2012 10:29:55 AM , Rating: 2
Just drag the window to the top of the screen for windows 7.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By RjBass on 11/25/2012 12:15:45 AM , Rating: 2
That's what he is saying. He loves it on his 7 machine at work and misses it on his Vista machine at home.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By lucyfek on 11/21/2012 10:59:08 PM , Rating: 4
You say windows media center works in 8. But can you have it on top of other windows (this did not work in preview)? Unless they fixed this feature my hdhr is more usable on 7 where i can browse and have small media center window running in the corner. I can tweak the rest (unencumbered by the Charms of Metro) but the way MS did it I can't even try it anymore (enterprise or pro trials don't come with mc, not activated copy won't let you add the feature, I'm not spending $ just to find out essential stuff does not work - I can use Linux for browsing Internet). Other little thing - MS removed "previous versions", sorry but true backup is not a substitute. And don't mention Windows Store - what a bunch of crap, as if I needed middle man to let me install software (they approve of).

RE: All valid Criticisms
By Mitch101 on 11/22/2012 2:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
Media Center works in 8 and can be on top of other windows unless im misinterpreting what your saying. Ive re-sized it small down to maybe 1x3 inches but generally I make it take up my third screen. I have seen networks in the windows market but haven't tried them yet. Recordings are excellent like before to me its the same as it was on Windows 7.

Ive also added windows essentials like movie maker and a few of the others but haven't tried them yet.

I rather like the store what I think we will get out of it is cheap and free apps instead of paying $20-$60.00 we will find a lot of free-cheap apps that are rated and easily updated much like steam provides. I think the App market place will cause better and more frequent bug fixes to otherwise shoddy apps especially when they can be rated.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By bug77 on 11/22/2012 6:56:39 AM , Rating: 3
Vista was fine if you had the memory.

The thing is, most people didn't. It cost a hefty amount to buy the amount needed back then. And then there was superfetch, indexing that took a while to tweak into something reasonable. The UAC was annoying as hell, too. Once all there were addressed, Vista was ok; it's was we call Win7 these days.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By Mitch101 on 11/22/2012 3:04:11 PM , Rating: 3
UAC didnt bother me I rather liked knowing what apps wanted to talk over the internet and being able to block them as a choice.

Its amazing people complain about UAC yet Android does the same thing about apps that want to access your information but no one is complaining about that.

Kind of an annoying double standard put on Microsoft but do it on Android and everyone's suddenly ok about it?

RE: All valid Criticisms
By erple2 on 11/25/2012 12:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
Its amazing people complain about UAC yet Android does the same thing about apps that want to access your information but no one is complaining about that.

I think that the difference is that Android asks once and Vista will typically ask every time, particularly for poorly implemented software.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By Wolfpup on 11/24/2012 1:40:46 PM , Rating: 3
Most people didn't have the RAM because most people run shoddy, low end, broke down systems, not because it was a big deal to have enough RAM for it at the time.

Superfetch is cool...worked well, and is still there in 7 and 8. UAC is a good idea, only caused issues because developers were developing things wrong for years. If they'd been following reasonable, even common sense guidlines it would have caused zero issues, and whenever Microsoft finally started enforcing that it was going to break poorly written programs. If Vista hadn't added it, then 7 would have been the era dealing with people whining about it. It's a no brainer idea that now causes basically zero issues, but provides protection.

In other words, Vista was fine. It was better than XP. 7 is better still (mostly some nice interface tweaks, although it is missing some handy programs built in to Vista, unfortunately).

RE: All valid Criticisms
By Paj on 11/22/2012 7:55:36 AM , Rating: 3
Completely agree. Have been using Vista on my lappy for a number of years and have had 0 problems with it. The UI and core programs are far more efficient and usable. UAC is easily disabled, so its a non-issue. Its far superior to XP in my view - I shudder whenever I have to use XP now.

I believe that the initial backlash against it was largely due to it being bundled with underpowered PCs, and poor driver support. Both of these ameliorated over time.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By tamalero on 11/22/2012 11:57:14 AM , Rating: 2
Incorrect, Vista had so many problems during launch...
they only made decent thanks these days due of patching with service packs and other updates.
Infact, it has a lot of windows 7 feel now.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By Mitch101 on 11/22/2012 3:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
Vista was not the problem. Vista was a memory hog and plagued by horrendous driver development. The original charts showed NVIDIA as one of the biggest offenders of the problem at launch. Hard to use your computer with buggy video drivers. This was also around the time of bumpgate and buggy motherboard chipset drivers from NVIDIA also.

If anything Microsoft should have worked closer with vendors like NVIDIA on driver development but eventually NVIDIA got it right as there was confusion surrounding how to develop for Vista properly.

The second problem was vendors not writing drivers for a lot of their recent and legacy product causing consumers to be agitated that their recent say scanner/video capture card wasn't supported. Wasn't Microsoft's fault there. The people who sold the scanner/video capture devices wanted to sell you a new scanner and in order to do that you had to buy their new device which supported vista. If they wrote you a driver you would have no incentive to buy another one of their products.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By Kaleid on 11/24/2012 11:34:30 AM , Rating: 2
No, it was still bad. After boot it keeps on using the harddrive for up to 10 minutes for no good reason. For people who have noisy harddrives that must have been anything but pleasant.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By inperfectdarkness on 11/22/2012 2:32:30 AM , Rating: 2
Since when HASN'T it been prudent to go with every-other iteration of windows released? 98...skip...XP...skip...7. That's how I've gone. When I heard the announcement for 8 back before 7 was even that widespread, I knew 8 would blow chunks. It doesn't take clairvoyance.

RE: All valid Criticisms
By Da W on 11/22/2012 11:14:23 AM , Rating: 2
These are all valid, yet Windows 8 as a tablet OS is vastly supperior to anything Apple or Google have to offer, yet nobody talk about it. Just the multitasking is handled WAY better than iOS. Every tablet OS uses a 1 app full screen paradigm, so why only complain about Windows 8? True, metro on the desktop is not necessarily a plus. I prefer explorer on the desktop, i run zune desktop instead of the xbox music app. Still, Every Windows 8 tablet are sold out on newegg since launch day.

Relatively easy to learn but for what benefits ?
By max_payne on 11/21/2012 7:03:21 PM , Rating: 5
It's funny that people who like W8 seems to think that the rest of us are idiots. No I am all for changes and learning new things too. I spent a few weeks getting use to W8 and see what it's all about. I learn it through and through. Still I cannot find in what way that this is progress over the previous iteration. It is just a bad design half way thought of which, beside minor tweaks easily ported to 7, is in no way a step forward for PC (non touch) users. The main reason I can see for MS pushing so hard head down, is the store. Don't be fool, this is where the money will come eventually, continuously, days after days for them. A new model different from the income of buying once the OS. You are all dupe.
So ask the dented apple guys where the money flow ?

By RU482 on 11/21/2012 9:46:52 PM , Rating: 2
someday maybe, right now, it's a bunch of crap in the store

RE: Relatively easy to learn but for what benefits ?
By nangryo on 11/21/2012 9:49:57 PM , Rating: 3
The true benefit is not for you, but for Microsoft.
Did anyone but me see this?

The true purpose of Win 8 GUI on desktop is to create the same ecosystem and experience between the mobile and desktop version, which in turn will increase win 8 ecosystem quickly, so people will get used to the same ecosystem for the mobile version, thus help Microsoft mobile market penetration.

It's all about future mobile strategy

By Chadder007 on 11/21/2012 10:16:23 PM , Rating: 5
Too bad it makes me want neither.

By mindless1 on 11/21/2012 11:36:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yes that was obvious, but they can only get away with it because of their monopoly on the desktop.

By cyberguyz on 11/22/2012 6:39:09 AM , Rating: 3
A lot of companies are working in that One OS direction - Apple, Google and now Microsoft.

I can see the attraction. Only one code base to worry about rather than 2 or more distinctly different.

The only reasons I am running Win8 is (in order of importance):

1. It cost me a whopping $40
2. I can use 3rd party utilities to get that metro crap out of my face.
3. I have hopes that some enterprising software developer will come up with a way of making the desktop theme look more like my beloved Aero themes (transparency with blur, rounded corners, non-flat 'blah' window graphics) in the near future.

If it were not for these I would have stayed with Win7. I have a PC that is more than capable of supporting a graphics-heavy windowing system. I want an OS that makes use of that capability.

By max_payne on 11/22/2012 9:59:01 AM , Rating: 3
"1. It cost me a whopping $40
2. I can use 3rd party utilities to get that metro crap out of my face.
3. I have hopes that some enterprising software developer will come up with a way of making the desktop theme look more like my beloved Aero themes (transparency with blur, rounded corners, non-flat 'blah' window graphics) in the near future."

1- your W7 was already paid for (btw you were not aware of the "Great Pirates W8 Gave Away program" ?)
2- no metro crap in W7.
3- W7 has aero right in !

If that's the only reasons you are running W8 then don't bother ;-)

By MrBungle123 on 11/22/2012 4:21:20 PM , Rating: 3
The only reasons I am running Win8 is (in order of importance):

1. It cost me a whopping $40
2. I can use 3rd party utilities to get that metro crap out of my face.
3. I have hopes that some enterprising software developer will come up with a way of making the desktop theme look more like my beloved Aero themes (transparency with blur, rounded corners, non-flat 'blah' window graphics) in the near future.

This is why I will not run Win 8... I have to go through all this agrivation of dealing with yet again relearning how to do what I alreay know how to do or buying 3rd party hacks to turn it into a usable OS. Whats the point? The only features I even care about are pausable file copies and possibly the new task manager... the rest of it is either something i care nothing about or something that is just going to get in my way and raise my blood pressure.

The fact is for desktop users or someone that does more than post status updates to facebook Win 95-7 are a superior designs. With Win 8 you bend over backwards to try and get your productivity back, you have to deal with Metro being in your face, or you have to modify the OS to get it to function more like a previous version.

Its not that Win 8 doesn't have much to offer its that Win 8 takes away key design elements that made the previous versions easy to use. It is change for the sake of the MS app store and nothing more. The sole reason for the existence of Metro and Win 8 to a greater degree is the app store and MS's dreams of being the new Apple. No one outside of the casual computing crowd or a few freaks that like to jerk off to microsoft product training manuals is getting anything approching their money's worth out of this thing. It is a downgrade through and through, they should be paying you to use it not the other way around.

By kattanna on 11/26/2012 11:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
possibly the new task manager.

I have never understood WHY MS has never directly implemented process explorer as the default task manager for windows, especially since they own it nowdays.

Whenever i build a new computer, or work on someone elses, its usually the first thing I install and setup.

Opinions are like asses...
By hankw on 11/21/12, Rating: 0
RE: Opinions are like asses...
By dark matter on 11/21/2012 6:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
I hear this tired excuse all the time.

Explain then why my children prefer Windows 7 to Windows 8. They are 5 and 7 years old.

I installed it on their machine, and let them fly, without putting any preconceptions in their heads.

No doubt they can't learn new things either.

RE: Opinions are like asses...
By hankw on 11/21/2012 6:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well then how about teaching them?
My 2 year old didn't know how to use the iPad either until I showed her how.

RE: Opinions are like asses...
By martyrant on 11/21/2012 8:40:43 PM , Rating: 1
lol...most 2-3 yr olds figure out the ipad on their own...just open a stupid simple game...they'll figure it out.

RE: Opinions are like asses...
By hankw on 11/21/2012 9:36:58 PM , Rating: 2
Uh there's more to an ipad than just playing "stupid simple games"....
Obvious if you play around long enough with something you'll eventually get it, but the point here is that if you want someone to know something right away it's a matter of show and tell.

RE: Opinions are like asses...
By Arsynic on 11/21/12, Rating: 0
RE: Opinions are like asses...
By WinstonSmith on 11/22/2012 10:29:26 AM , Rating: 2
"Most frustrations with Windows 8 can be chalked up to the initial loss of productivity which isn't unique to the OS."

However, unlike previous version of Windows which all (except, arguably, 98SE) actually provided upgrades in desktop usability, Win8 will be found to be a detriment by advanced desktop users even after the lack of familiarity is overcome, just as the reviewer and I have found.

There is zero added value for desktop users in this "upgrade." The claimed new security features will be compromised overnight via the bazillion bugs undoubtedly present and there's nothing new in terms of important things like the file system even remotely as significant as was the introduction of NTFS. The roadblocks to desktop usability are made obvious in every review I've seen or read, all of them mentioning "workarounds."

Just as one example, I use multiple windows all of the time which was the whole point behind a windowing OS for god's sake. But since 4" screens on smart phones can't use them, I don't have them on my 24" desktop monitor either. Complete BS.

This "upgrade" OS is nothing more than a strong arm attempt to force all Microsoft OS users into a common UI, even if that UI actually causes a downgrade in desktop system usability. I'll pass...

RE: Opinions are like asses...
By Ramstark on 11/22/2012 1:44:41 PM , Rating: 3
People really REALLY should use and CUSTOMIZE W8 before posting opinions on sites, or publishing them like "studies" please, opinions ARE NOT studies....

RE: Opinions are like asses...
By andre-bch on 11/21/2012 6:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yet there are children who can use 8 with no problem.

The point is, every new thing has a learning curve.

I consider myself a power-user, though not an expert, and have no issues with 8 on desktop.

Seeing that desktop still exists, and start is simply a screen and not a menu, I customized it and got this:

I get pretty much the same amount of clicks as 7 and because of bigger tiles, compared to small icons, can launch the desired program/folder faster.

IMO Mr. Nielsen is just nitpicking.

RE: Opinions are like asses...
By SlyNine on 11/22/2012 3:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
The real question is, Why bother. Is this somehow going to improve my experience? My answer is no; in no way does windows 8 improve my experience. In fact, windows 8 is slows me down because the most useful feature is the explore.

Now if only windows 8 explorer had a mini metro that would appear in the lower left hand corner, now that'd be useful.

RE: Opinions are like asses...
By hankw on 11/21/2012 6:18:42 PM , Rating: 3
Double desktop (Windows 8 UI vs. the traditional desktop)
Why? creates interface slowness and cognitive dissonance
Why? Because they serve two different purposes. I'm assuming that if you're creating content you'll probably be running more traditional apps in the desktop where as if you're just reading stuff or playing games you'll spend more time in the Modern UI. There's really not much to it.
Though I do think that it's pointless on the RT tablet, it isn't for traditional PCs.
Switch to single windowing
Why? Hard to remember what you have open for complex tasks
There's a task list on the left side. If you're performing "complex tasks" you're probably be using more traditional apps anyways. In which case you'd have the taskbar as usual. If he hates task switching in Win8 how does he feel about iOS and Android?
Photo/graphic heavy UI themes
Why? While nice to look at they convey information at a lower density than "uglier" themes
From the source it seems they are talking about the app's start or initial screen. There are plenty of content if you move to the right. It's not like it's slow to do that or anything and this doesn't even apply to all apps, so not sure how this complaint is valid.
Live Tiles
Why? Third party developers show less sophistication than Microsoft, toss together confusing tiles that don't enhance usability or understanding.

This isn't a Win8 issue. Once apps mature devs will find better use of live tiles than just putting anything there to have it.
"Flat" look of Windows 8 UI tiles
Why? Hard to tell where tile boundaries are, icons are more likely to be less distinctive

Why? Harder to use on traditional devices, are hidden (and thus forgotten), and don't work universally across Windows interface, so they confuse.

Why? Nielsen says the gestures are error prone and overly complex, such as the multi-step gesture to reveal running apps.

Like all new platforms you gotta learn it. You get used to it after a while. There are also a bunch of keyboard shortcuts to make your life easier as well.

RE: Opinions are like asses...
By The0ne on 11/24/2012 2:04:47 AM , Rating: 3
I am just LMAO at the negative comments here. While I don't think Windows 8 is perfect it is quite nice once you get over the Metro UI hate. In fact, it's quite nice if you have dual monitors and better yet if the 2nd is a touch screen. You can set your main screen on the desktop and never have to worry about switching again and have your second screen be metro and touch capable so you can be more productive :)

And I whole heartily agree with your confusion on the listed Why's. This guy wants us to think he's credible for saying all these crap about Windows 8? LMAO. If anything, this one made me laugh the hardest.

"Flat" look of Windows 8 UI tiles
Why? Hard to tell where tile boundaries are, icons are more likely to be less distinctive

I think he prefers to have half a tale of space between every tile. Seriously, that photo in the article has the four tiles WAY TOO CLOSE to each other. You can't tell which is which!!!

Can always depend on DT to make my day.

By StevoLincolnite on 11/21/2012 5:16:03 PM , Rating: 2
Vista was a great OS once it was patched and device manufacturers actually put out decent drivers that didn't crash the OS all the time.

Windows M.E. Never existed. Never.

Every other OS Microsoft has put out has been great.
Windows 8 is great on my Atom tablet, but it's not something I'm rushing out to install on my Desktop just yet.

RE: .
By nocturne on 11/21/2012 10:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
Amen.. Vista wasn't that bad.. Hell, after 8 years on XP, my only complaint is it wasn't XP, and that's as much of a pro as a con. From the first public dev release, I had absolutely no problems.. It was faster, the wizards while annoying did save time, and driver support was ridiculously good for all but the oldest devices (never expected to plug in a no-name korean ps2 controller adapter, and MS had their own driver available 6 months before the OS release). Besides the annoyance of Aero effects which were easily disabled, I was a solid adopter from the beginning.

Windows 8 is the same.. It's better, but just too damn different. The charm bar is useless, though it's nice to see the systray slowly evolving into something useful. And I'd like to change my wireless connection without opening up countless menus (vista had it right back then). MS took a good route with the start menu. Come on, it's been useless for years -- at least they are trying to make it less than redundant.

My biggest complaint -- lack of customization. I'm really missing that archaic yet helpful 'appearance' tab in the display properties that lets you tweak settings like icon size without delving into the registry and just guessing before a test reboot.

RE: .
By inteli722 on 12/8/2012 12:23:38 PM , Rating: 2
What is this " Windows M.E. " you speak of?

Windows 8
By Taxwiz125 on 11/21/2012 8:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
There's nothing wrong with Windows 8 that a reasonably priced touch screen monitor wouldn't fix. Until then I'll stick with Windows 7, thank you very much.

RE: Windows 8
By bobsmith1492 on 11/21/2012 8:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
Sure thing, Mr. Gorilla arms. :-)

RE: Windows 8
By maugrimtr on 11/22/2012 10:14:42 AM , Rating: 2
The number of people who want touchscreen monitors are miniscule. Hold your arm out straight in front of you for even one minute. Then imagine holding your arm out for hours at a time when using a PC. Laptops/Ultrabooks would also require unsupported arm reaching. Tablets, since they sit flat on a lap or can be manipulated with fingers when held in another hand, require far less effort and strain.

Never going to happen.

Can anybody explain it in authoritative mmanner?
By Ziggizag on 11/22/2012 8:55:16 AM , Rating: 2
I am a happy user of Windows 7. The interface has its drawbacks (like missing folder size information or crazy colums width behavior in the explorer) but these are minor problems IMHO. Having some feature enhancing software (like Actual Windows Manager for instance) the interface is becoming near perfect.

Then I hear Windows 8 is performing somewhat better in terms of system resources usage and overall stability. This is nice. I can have a script in Scheduler switching my workstation to classic desktop right after logon, so I can send Metro to hell. Very well - I do not Metro on my workstation at all - this is tablet-oriented UI after all.

But I cannot accept single window policy at all !!!

I use double monitor setup (I even think about enhancing it to three monitors) and I routinely work with graphic applications where I have reference images on one screen and 3D modeling application on another one as well as a few helper applications scattered around here and there for immediate availability. And nobody will tell me it is good to have only one window opened at given time. No - Microsoft will not teach me how to keep my workspace organized!

So - can you confirm that it is really impossible to have multiple application windows simulateously opened under Windows 8 even while using classic desktop??? I hardly believe it but if that's true then I can only comment there are dumb idiots working in Microsoft. Arghhh!

By bug77 on 11/22/2012 9:33:19 AM , Rating: 2
Fwiw, Sinofsky is not with Microsoft anymore...

By datdamonfoo on 11/24/2012 5:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's crazy that no one has replied to you, but yes, it is a LIE that you cannot have multiple windows opens at the same time. The obviously Apple-slanted author of this article completely leaves out that desktop mode in Windows 8 is the same as Windows 7. You can have as many programs open as your RAM can handle.

Win8 = Frustration.
By just4U on 11/21/2012 11:26:43 PM , Rating: 3
It's been years since I was frustrated by an OS. The computer I was building went up like a charm. The Operating system installed without a hitch. Then I logged on for the first time...

..and everything was ass backwards. Simple tasks became complicated procedures.. This is not progress and I cannot and will not recommend it for desktop computers.

Long Winded
By mindless1 on 11/21/2012 11:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
So many people feel the need to go to great lengths to explain why they don't like Win8.

How about leaving it at Do. Not. Want.

RE: Long Winded
By Makaveli on 11/22/2012 12:22:32 PM , Rating: 1
Tried it for 2 weeks hated it.

I still dual boot into it from time to time to play around its only useable for me with Start8.

And I learn things very fast but windows 8 = do not want!

By danjw1 on 11/21/2012 7:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, that isn't always true, but for my OS on my desktop, no way, no how. They should of shipped an OS that was usable on a desktop. Most people seem to think they didn't. I don't want to waste time with an OS that will slow me down. I will stick to Windows 7 for the foreseeable future.

By kmmatney on 11/21/2012 9:33:01 PM , Rating: 2
I bought Windows 8 the day it came out and am using it at home. I'm glad it not on my work computer. I bought it just because of the price - much cheaper than Windows 7. It's not bad once you install a start menu replacement and skip by the Modern UI. I've run into lots of problems. For example, installing Google Chrome and setting it my default browser made it always open up in full-screen UI mode. I had to set IE back as my default to make Google perform normally. Lots of little issues like that. I've been using it for a month but still don't like the Modern UI - sorry it just doesn't work well on a 24" non-touch monitor. I'm happy with Win8 only because I can skip the ModernUI and go straight to my desktop. I can see the frustration for those who don't know how to skip the Modern UI screen straight away. I don't use the start menu very often, but I do like it when I need it, and also use it to grab shortcuts that I place on my desktop.

By Johnmcl7 on 11/21/2012 10:32:50 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty obvious he didn't know how to use Windows 8 himself as there's some rather stupid mistakes, he complains about the gestures being too complex pointing out the thumbnail task manager view needs a complex l-shaped move otherwise it won't work. Which is nonsense, you simply swipe out and back in again. I guess you could say if the expert can't use the operating system then that highlights an issue but I think someone conducting a study should actually know what they are doing, a couple of minutes reading a quick start guide is all I needed and the gestures work fine.

I don't agree with the swiping out of the screen being an issue either given that's standard on Android and IOS for the notification bar and I assume is used in Windows Phone as well none of which people seem to have any problem with.

As for the rest I don't think it's worth wasting the time responding to, there are some stupid parts on Windows 8 but having taken some time with the new OS I'm finding some of the new features and improvements useful and while it was odd to start with it generally works fine.

the almighty change
By superstition on 11/22/2012 1:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
Change for change's sake is not innovation.

If you re-invent the wheel and it comes out square, then you expect your customers to be suckers.

Bob and Woz
By superstition on 11/22/2012 1:06:39 AM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised that Woz wasn't really impressed with Microsoft Bob.

After all, it was so much different from what everyone else was doing.

By mycropht on 11/22/2012 3:38:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yesterday I installed my free Media Center on W8 Pro. I could not believe how unusable the user interface is. It was like a 1st gen. flat TV was their model. That thing will fly far far away from my PC the first time I will be able to stomach seeing it again. Also, I gave the Modern (?) start screen a chance and I think the creators deserve a nasty monologue from someone like Steve Jobs. The whole "modern" part is so unfinished on a desktop.

Whats the big deal
By bfr99 on 11/22/2012 8:50:18 AM , Rating: 2
First of all I agree completely that running every app full screen is simply crazy on a desktop with large multiple monitors. On my desktop I ignore the Metro UI and run exclusively in desktop mode. On my tablet I run exclusively in Metro mode. What I would like to see on the desktop of course is a resizable windows containing the Metro UI programs. Any 3rd party doing this?

By ZaethDekar on 11/25/2012 11:29:35 AM , Rating: 2
I use Windows Phone 8, and Windows 8 Pro, and just recently bought the Samsung Ativ Smart PC.

Also my girlfriend is now switched to Windows 8 & Windows Phone 8, as well as her dad is now on Windows 8 (who I do tech support for) but has Windows Phone 7.5.

Tech support is almost non existent as I showed each of them the tutorials on Microsoft's website, and they like Windows 8 more than I do as they can get around and its easy for them to look for games or programs to install as they don't have to search all over the internet. Actually the only thing that her dad had issue with is not being able to play pinball, but when I showed him the 'Store' live tile with the little number that shows app updates, and where to update.. he hasn't had an issue yet.

As for me, there are a few games that I haven't been able to get to work on Windows 8, but even on Windows 7 they had a hell of a time starting to run. However my 200+ games on Steam run better then they did on Windows 7, however that could just be my wishing they are faster.. I don't have hard numbers to back it up.. just playing experience such as some spots in games would always lag and now it doesn't (Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, Crysis 2)

There are some things I do faster on Windows 8 (even when racing my brothers when we had a LAN party) but then there are things that they can do quicker. However, it was still within a second or two between all of us regardless of how we did it so a moot point.

"Can I downgrade to Windows 7?"
By Integral9 on 11/26/2012 8:41:30 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like that will be the #1 question come Christmas morning. Replacing the long established and venerated, "Where's the batteries?"

Microsoft has a bigger plan
By UnarmedSquid on 11/26/2012 9:37:13 AM , Rating: 2
It seems that Microsoft has bigger plans than just replacing the start menu. This is a move to turn the PC into an appliance. They have been trying for years, but "competition" from tablets have made them try something a little more drastic.

The Windows 8 App approach is the beginning of a transition away from the free-for-all that came with the ability to run legacy programs. Microsoft is hoping to:

-Strictly sandbox all apps - apps have to follow very strict rules to limit the attack vector and make the user experience predictable

-Make software installations safer - no more gambling with miscellaneous web sites when you want to buy software. Software in MS's store is trusted, follows certain rules about installation on multiple PCs, and is trivially recoverable if the machine is lost.

-Increase software purchases and PC utilitization by giving people a central place to browse for software they might like. Software in stores is vanishing fast. How many iPhone or Android apps are bought after browsing for anything new?

-(optionally) Tie logins to an online user account - settings and apps are tied to the cloud, enabling simpler use on multiple computers. Skydrive integration helps with cross-machine file sync. WIndows 7's home networking is still a usability mess for non-techies and practically invites data loss.

-Phase out the old Windows environment - finally begin to end the years of long-term backward compatibility from times when an installer had free reign across the file system and registry.

Windows 7 works well for us geeks, but I genuinely feel sorry for home users who aren't enthusiasts. Keeping the machines clean and recovering from a failure are just not attainable for your average Joe.

Opinions Can Be Wrong!
By Arsynic on 11/21/2012 6:43:26 PM , Rating: 1
In my opinion, you have cancer. A more qualified person like a physician might have a much different opinion based on facts. Now let's see here...

Double desktop (Windows 8 UI vs. the traditional desktop)
Why? creates interface slowness and cognitive dissonance.

The start screen is about as much of a desktop as the Start Menu it replaces. Calling the Start Screen a "desktop" is like calling the Windows 3.1 Desktop a "Picture DOS Prompt".

Switch to single windowing
Why? Hard to remember what you have open for complex tasks

I'm using Windows 8 right now with multiple Windows on my deskotp PC. But that would be unwieldy on a slate or tablet PC. Horay or choice?

"Flat" look of Windows 8 UI tiles
Why? Hard to tell where tile boundaries are, icons are more likely to be less distinctive

Did someone with cataracts write this. Seriously. This isn't even correct. If he said it was ugly then that's subjective, but that statement was complete bullshit.

Photo/graphic heavy UI themes
Why? While nice to look at they convey information at a lower density than "uglier" themes


Live Tiles
Why? Third party developers show less sophistication than Microsoft, toss together confusing tiles that don't enhance usability or understanding.

So some third party apps suck and that's Microsoft's fault, how?

Why? Harder to use on traditional devices, are hidden (and thus forgotten), and don't work universally across Windows interface, so they confuse.

So the fact that something's not readily visible doesn't mean that people won't know it's there? Yeah, stupid people. But there have always been stupid people using computers. BTW, this could be an argument for any new thing like Windows 7, the wheel and fire.

Why? Nielsen says the gestures are error prone and overly complex, such as the multi-step gesture to reveal running apps.

Then don't use them. It's not like you have to. There's that choice thing again...

Tablet UI for Desktops
Why? The above problems are less obvious on tablets, or in some...

Or is it a desktop UI for tablets? Most desktop users will live on the classic Desktop. If you hate the Start Screen then at most you'll just have to click ONE tile, the Desktop and you'll be on your way.

Need to stop clinging to the past...
By EricMartello on 11/21/12, Rating: -1
By Tony Swash on 11/21/2012 7:04:29 PM , Rating: 1
And for those who find the transition to Windows 8 a tad trying there is even a spiffy new built in help system.

Apparently if you flick with one finger to the top right corner whilst tapping the bottom left corner with two fingers and simultaneously touch the center of the screen with your nose Mr Clippy pops up to help you!

How awesome is that!

RE: Need to stop clinging to the past...
By Scrogneugneu on 11/21/2012 9:43:44 PM , Rating: 2
The reason you can only tab through the running apps from right to left is synonymous with pressing the "back" button on your web browser. Similarly, if you press and hold the "back" button in your browser you'll see a list of all the sites you visited and can pick one to revisit without having to tab through each of them.

MS basic paradigm here is based around abstracting a web browser - which is probably the most universally familiar way of interacting with a computer for most people. Even granny can work a browser.

I did not read your whole post, but I did get up to that section.

I find your analogy perfect. However, you forgot to mention the best part : browsers have tabs, allowing fast switching between different web pages. If MS really did create the paradigm based on a web browser, it was thinking about a stone-age browser.

By Fritzr on 11/21/2012 10:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
Tabs & Tiled panels to allow looking at App A while entering data in App B are essential and will likely appear in future iterations.

For an example that does not work without multitasking or a multiformat program: I am using Sigil to create an ePub with Adobe Reader displaying the source text that I am using.

The complaints remind me of the reaction to a one page review of the Amiga in a PC centric magazine circa 1986. The Amiga has multi-tasking? There is no use for that. Priority levels for various running programs? There is no use for that. Multiple windows displaying the output of different programs? You only use one program at a time so that is not needed.

The nasty comments in the letters to the editor that followed were almost all in this vein. Of course each of these became wonderful ideas once Microsoft added them to the business OS :P Many of the features of Amiga were missing from Windows until Vista/7 and even now there are things The 1980's OS could do that have no Windows equivalent today.

On the downside of course, AmigaOS was a single user, minimal security OS which is deadly in the internet age. V4 of the OS was supposed to add security, but that project fell apart.

With Win8 MS is once again changing the way the computer is used. Once more there will be complaints along the lines of "This ain't the way gran'pappy did it!". Give it time and the next few revisions will have users wondering how they ever managed to get anything done with that 'old-style' OS that just didn't do what was needed :P

By EricMartello on 11/22/2012 3:17:26 AM , Rating: 2
I find your analogy perfect. However, you forgot to mention the best part : browsers have tabs, allowing fast switching between different web pages. If MS really did create the paradigm based on a web browser, it was thinking about a stone-age browser.

Abstracting a web browser's basic functionality does not mean duplicating it exactly - Google tried and failed to do this with ChromeOS. Remember that? They basically made a linux distro with the chrome browser as the UI and it never really caught on. MS sort of built on this idea and improved upon it.

The tabs you claim are missing happen to be represented by both live tiles and the customizable charms.

Traditionally there was a requirement to open up several programs to accomplish a single task...metro UI reduces this with live tiles and charms. The remaining necessity for apps are to do a specific task like word processing or media editing.

Using the windows key, which is on most standard keyboards, you can perform simple key presses to bring up the metro version of the task bar, the "start menu", etc. No need to click.

"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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