Paul Allen Calls Windows 8 "Puzzling" and "Confusing Initially"
October 3, 2012 8:00 AM
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Allen says people will get used to the changes
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen left the company in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. He has recently made comments about Windows 8 and believes that people will eventually learn to like the OS. However, he recently stated that Windows 8 was "puzzling" and "confusing initially." Allen made comments on a post this week made on his personal blog.
Allen says that he has been running Windows 8 Release Preview, which shipped back in May, on his desktop and on a Samsung 700T. That is the tablet that Microsoft is been handing out to developers, analysts, and some members of the press to get them to try out Windows 8.
"The bimodal user experience can introduce confusion, especially when two versions of the same application -- such as Internet Explorer -- can be opened and run simultaneously," Allen said.
The two user interfaces that Allen is talking about are the Windows 8 style, previously called Metro, offering a minimalist look and the classic view that looks like a slightly modified Windows 7 desktop. Allen also criticized some of the changes to the operating system that have been voiced by other users as well.
"Strangely, there is no way to set the desktop as your default view (there should be)," Allen wrote. "This is one of the single biggest changes in Windows 8: the lack of the familiar Start menu."
"I found myself wishing that a Power tile was available on the Start screen to make these commands more accessible," Allen continued.
Ultimately, Allen says that even with the quirks of the new operating system that Windows 8 would be manageable by users. He also believes that Microsoft will address any issues with its next release. Some of the issues Allen mentions are reasons beleived to be contributing to the
of early versions of Windows 8.
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RE: I Quickly Got Over It
10/3/2012 12:21:09 PM
Windows 8 is the first step of merging desktop and touch interfaces for Microsoft. History will tell if they, or Apple, made the correct decision to merge interfaces or keep them separate. The likelihood is that both interfaces will survive and thrive since there are good arguments to be made for merging them and keeping them separate. If this tanks for Microsoft, maybe Linux becomes more widely adopted. More choice is generally better than less.
Personally, after using Windows 8 for a couple of months at home, I generally like it. It's lighter than Windows 7 and runs fast. I'm now waiting to see if a decent convertible tablet w/ laptop dock can be produced. This is something I've tried with Android, but the laptop docks have not been very good and Android has many limitations when used in this way. (What I REALLY want is a phone with laptop dock where the phone OS is touch then I can put it into a laptop dock for the full Windows desktop. I'm pretty sure this is the direction Microsoft is taking eventually as phone hardware becomes more powerful.
RE: I Quickly Got Over It
10/3/2012 1:14:33 PM
I too think hybrids are going to become the main type of computing device going forward, and in the future the phone will get hybridized also. Haswell and beyond make powerful computing fit into small packages, and there's no reason to not want the ability to run all your software on a mobile platform unless cloud computing really takes off (and I doubt it given wireless bandwidth concerns of everyone going that route).
I also think the stylus is going to take off. The main reason it hasn't is that it's a bit inconvenient switching between a keyboard and stylus vs. keyboard and trackpad/trackpoint, but if we're not using a keyboard much with tablet computing, it starts to make a lot more sense, and is much better for more powerful programs than fingers, especially when you add buttons to it.
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