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New Windows Phone update is also in store

Windows 8 sales have been mixed, with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) seeing strong OEM support and moving a lot of licenses, but struggling in sales -- particularly among enthusiasts.  At the root of the controversy is the rich graphical GUI formerly known as "Metro", which today is referred to as Windows 8 UI.  

There've been unconfirmed rumors that a Windows 8 update code-named Windows Blue was in store for later this year or early next year.  Now those rumors have seemingingly been confirmed, and Microsoft has dropped an indication that it make respond to criticism and tweak the UI.

In a job posting, first noted by Charon at, Microsoft seeks an experienced software engineer, writing:

We’re looking for an excellent, experienced SDET to join the Core Experience team in Windows Sustained Engineering (WinSE). The Core Experience features are the centerpiece of the new Windows UI, representing most of what customers touch and see in the OS, including: the start screen; application lifecycle; windowing; and personalization. Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide.

In a second post, Twitter user @h0x0d (Walking Cat on Twitter) notes a second post, pertaining to Windows Phone Blue:

Windows Phone Blue

Excel MX is expected to OneNote MX and Lynx MX as a touch-optimized offering available from the Windows Store.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley indicates Microsoft is gunning hard to try to deliver the UI and services overhaul by the end of this upcoming summer.  The refresh is expected to be the first cross platform push for Microsoft's new unified strategy; Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, Hotmail, and SkyDrive will all receive similar makeovers.

Windows 8 UI critics shouldn't get too excited -- the new UI isn't expected to bring back the "Start" button, a perpetual criticism of the Windows 8 UI.

A major focus of the Blue update is to improve APIs to make it easier to design an app that works with only a few modifications, on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Sources: Microsoft [1], [2 via Twitter]

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RE: I never used to think...
By Motoman on 2/19/2013 12:10:07 PM , Rating: -1
That is the dumbest f%cking thing anyone has ever said. First of it isn't. It's an interface designed by Fisher-Price to appeal to people who can only manage to do Facebook and Solitaire. seem to think having a "full screen start button" is somehow a good idea. It isn't. It's a catastrophe. Which is completely self-evident, and to my earlier point, insisting that it isn't does nothing but cast doubt on your own sanity.

RE: I never used to think...
By Fritzr on 2/19/2013 7:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
Are you referring to Metro only apps? If so then you are unaware of the fact that using Win7 programs puts you in a Win7 environment. Yes it is missing the Start Menu that is put back by installing Start8 (a FREE application)

There are paid menu replacements also that emulate the Win7 Start menu with a variety of added features.

In Desktop Mode Win8 is simply a much improved Win7. All the keyboard shortcuts of Win7 work (including type search item and cick to run) & all of the WinXP/Win95 shortcuts that Win7 supported are still learning curve for those.

Now if you were doing everything by Start Menu, then simply setup a folder group called Start and put in shortcuts to all your Start Menu items...You then have DIY Start Menu replacement (Win 7 also allows this :) )

Motoman, you are losing the debate by coming across as a spittle spraying fanatic. No I am not criticizing you, just criticizing the manner in which you have chosen to try to convince people that you are right. The manner in which you argue will definitely affect the manner in which people respond. Sound insane and people will assume your argument IS insane and incorrect regardless of actual correctness or sanity.

RE: I never used to think...
By tamalero on 2/20/2013 12:03:51 AM , Rating: 3
the point is.. why the hell people have to SEARCH and FIND this start8 program to get the machine useable?

tell that to people, who are used to work on windows environments and who dont know they could get such programs to fix metro's limitations!!

RE: I never used to think...
By timothyd97402 on 2/23/2013 3:44:05 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know how many posts that defend Windows 8 by saying just go do this and the other thing and then you'll have the functionality you are looking for, or just use this or that key combination and then you'll get to some option that kind of does what you want...

Why can't I just boot straight to the desktop and have a small start menu that is limited to my desktop apps if that is what I want? Why can't I have that option? Because MS wants to sell apps and for that they have to force us to use the Metro GUI. They also want to sell phones and tablets that use the Metro GUI and they need desktop users forcibly "familiarized with Metro to aid them on that front.

I mean everytime you turn around they have whisked you away from the desktop UI and back into the Metro UI. I have no use for the Metro UI. I have yet to meet one "app" that isn't superficial and next to useless. The very concept of two GUIs that one is constantly having to switch between is farcical on its face!

The best point of any GUI is that is INTUITIVE and Windows 8 simply isn't. In their zeal to make it thumb friendly and "clean" in appearance they removed all of the visual cues that make intuitive use possible. A user is forced to learn and memorize a lot in Windows 8. Visual clues jog those memories as well as give hints about where to look for the function you need.

I could go on and on, one last point, Windows 98, XP, Vista, and 7 pretty much worked out of the box with out a lot of user customization necessary. That just isn't the case with 8. How many mouse clicks to get to the desktop Notepad program now? "Oh, but you just pin it here or clip it there" you say...

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