Windows 8, Usability disaster

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Sam Posten, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    You know, as much as I've railed against Win8, this really hasn't been my fundamental belief. Do you guys agree with it?
    http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/041713-microsoft-may-backtrack-on-start-268802.html

    I don't think Microsoft went touch first to try to fuel their app store sales. Given the small size of it to start and the poor reception I don't think they are that dumb.

    I think they are so wowwed that they could do it that they never considered if they should. Different kind of stupid I guess. But built on passion rather than forced sales.
     
  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Windows 8 is fantastic!

    The Surface Pro still isn't available in my country, but three weeks ago, my wife and I visited San Diego just before boarding a cruise ship through the Panama Canal.

    I couldn't help it - I knew there was a (rather new, I guess) Microsoft store in a mall over there. We visited the mall and I "tasted" the Surface Pro. I decided to buy one (128GB solid state memory) right away, although I was aware of the risk. Microsoft Benelux will probably not honour the warranty. (I'm not really ashamed to admit we chose the extensive visit to the mall before the San Diego Zoo - although we've also been in the Balboa Park.)

    I'm happy to say that it worked fine and indeed, I had to learn both, the Surface and its touch-screen as well as Windows 8 and its Metro UI.
    AND I didn't have easy internet connectivity next to it (slow and expensive anyway).

    I can only say: it works like a charm. Window users will not experience to much of a problem (after a short panicky period :D ). I remember Sam writing here that you need to find out how to access the Control Panel: well I can say it's extremely easy. First, there is something called the "Charms" coming up if you swipe from the right: it contains the Control Panel. Second: there's an easy list of programs (now called "apps", huh, huh) to choose from:

    Screenshot (2).png
    (part of the "apps" list).

    Third, you can pin it to the Start-screen (which is the Metro screen) and use it even more readily:

    Screenshot (1).png

    Starting other programs is almost as easy, and I have been able to install several programs I want to have on this tablet (including Photoshop 6!) without any problem at all.

    My wife Josephine is a Nook addict - it's really very handy to be able to take say 115 books with you on a vacation if they are inside an e-reader - and I was pleasantly surprised to find an easy Nook-connection (Microsoft must be working with Barnes and Noble together for this functionality), so I immediately had 118 books to read also! Of which I've made great use.

    I also bought the new Office 365 version with this Surface Pro, and I have been able to handle my e-mail quite well - only to be hindered by the lack of speed (and the cost of the internet minutes) while on the ship!

    (My wife now wants a Surface Pro as well!!)


    Recommended (both).


    Cees
     
    DaveF likes this.
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Cees, thanks for your thoughts on the Surface Pro. Our arguments are not about whether Win8 sucks as a touch interface. By all accounts it is fine in those respects. And that the Surface Pro is an interesting but overpriced device. Glad you are enjoying yours! I certainly wouldn't mind putting one through its paces but I'm going to wait for prices to come down a bit.

    The problem is in bolting that interface on to a keyboard/mouse only environment which is about how 99.999999 (six sigmas baby!) of the world is going to use it.

    In those instances it remains a colossal usability disaster.

    Try that and let us know what you think.
     
  4. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Sam,

    Technically I'm thread-farthing (praising W 8) :) , so I'll keep this concise.

    The Start page (the Metro-page) is basically the "Programs" pop-up of earlier Windows versions. I never liked touch-screens very much and I use it sparsely. Main reasons: the dirty glass and the fact that lot of places are simply to tiny to be touched confidently (e.g. the rows of file names in a detail look of Windows File Explorer). The Surface has a touch-pen - a very remarkable and nice one - for that.

    That's why I bought a Touch Keyboard right away, and I always carry a tiny USB-mouse with me on vacations (previously used with my notebook).
    So I started with a keyboard-and-mouse environment (next to the purely touch-screen one) right away.

    Of course you will need to learn a few new things (gestures, way to end programs that don't have the right-upper-X button), but if you're able and willing to do that, it's easy.
    I'm still not totally familiar with all aspects of Windows 8 - but that doesn't mean it's extremely difficult, although, yes, it's a change.


    Cees


    PS I'm not making a point of the fact that everything runs pretty fast on my new Surface Pro. Newly installed OSes always run fast, so I cannot say yet whether this is a feature of the new W8 system.
    C.
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    The SSD helps in that regard for sure.

    And I don't consider it thread farting at all. If anyone has good experiences with Win8/Surface I am more than glad to hear about them and how they are overcoming the serious challenges I see with it wrt non touch devices especially. Given your description of the file system stuff on Surface I think you continue to misunderstand my main point: Win 8 on Surface is a vastly different beast than on a commodity desktop or laptop. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on using Win8 on such a machine!
     
  6. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  8. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    I have a tendency to leapfrog Windows operating systems. I ran XP Pro for years, then upgraded to 7 when the time was right (I did have two desktops running Vista premiuim and Vista basic, which was a feckin' nightmare and a resource hog). My daughter's brand spankin' new laptop has Windows 8, but it also has 8 GB of RAM and an i5 processor, so no biggie there. If I'm still using Windows in 5 years, I'll leapfrog to 9.
     
  9. Sam Posten

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  10. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Finally got my first taste of Windows H8 and it tastes like total ass. If I could live with the Start screen getting in my way, but the lack of the Start button and menus in desktop mode is just batshit crazy. What kind of dumb-ass f*ckery is this?

    If you total up all the lost productivity from from this monumentally failed amalgam of tablet and desktop, you will approach Bernie Madoff levels of financial ruin. Sarnofsky should go to jail.

    Let me state that any positive reviews of this OS are from touchscreen users. Okay, fine. But most people don't have touchscreens. And for those people, whom I shall refer to as "almost everyone", this thing is a piece of shit from the deepest dankest orifice imaginable.
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Your ideas are intriguing and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter!
     
  12. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    The decision to remove the Start menu and the ability to boot into desktop mode is a clear indication that they wanted to condition their clients like they were trained animals. I don't think they thought it was so brilliant, but rather they decided to use a stick to make users purchase touch screens and tablets. It showed a shocking lack of judgement and a total lack of respect for their customer base. This is the kind of draconian "my way or the highway" approach that may work for Apple but does not fly in the enterprise.
     
  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  14. mattCR

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  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  16. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    I upgraded my HTPC from 7 to 8 and have had nothing but problem free use. With 7 and earlier OSs
    I would run into way too many blue screens of death and desktop freezes with program compatibility
    issues, etc. I have had none of those with 8 and my PC runs smoother than ever. I love the
    background updates without all the unnecessary pop ups telling me I have to reboot and I am sure
    it is my own spin on it but my programs all tend to run a lot smoother.

    As a Microsoft program, IMO, it is one of their best with a lot less crash and burn than my experience with previous versions. If MS would drop the price of their tablets to the $249 mark they would be able to blow Amazon and Nook out of the water (again just my opinion as I own all the others systems but won't even think about spending the kind of money M$ wants for their tablet) as I have used all of them and the tablet is very smooth and as Apple likes to say "just works". They could also become a serious contender to both Apple and Android. With the current pricing structure they are going to be lucky to maintain any of the tablet market.
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I met a neighbor this weekend, who's a Microsoftie. He gave me a quick look at his wife's WinRT tablet, which is nice. His convertible laptop touchscreen was cool. But what struck me most was his daughters crowded on the couch, laughing as they poked and played on the touchscreen 17" Win8 laptop.Later, I need to have him explain SharePoint to me :)
     
  18. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Sharepoint? The only way to be sure is to nuke it from orbit, Dave.
     
  19. sean1976

    sean1976 Stunt Coordinator

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    Just thought I'd chime in... overall I'm happy with windows 8. I've learned to like the metro screen ( I have it jump past the log in screen on boot ) - and kind of like seeing my live weather and mail tiles all at once. The obligatory metro backrounds kind of suck, I have no idea why they forced users to use them, but I hear this will be fixed in 8.1. I'm not a big fan of having to use keyboard shortcuts, windows c / windows x etc... kind of feels like going back 20 years in the world of windows. I've always liked having a menu with all my options show up on right click, and am hoping maybe that will be addressed in 8.1. Other then that I've had 0 program compatibility issues surprisingly enough, and I did get the upgrade for only 40 bucks.. So I say bring on 8.1!
     

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