Is it not time to ditch the pig. (Windows 8.x)

Dear Microsoft,


 After many years, enjoying a career in IT working with DOS, Windows Executive, Windows 3, Windows 3.11 WFW, NT 3.51, Windows 98, Windows ME (!), NT 4, Windows 2000, XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, I find I must post something to show my discontent with you current OS. Windows 8 and I now find 8.1 are not worthy of yourselves. Everything that thousands of man hours have learnt to make Windows 7 what it was seems to have been thrown away. Interestingly in the name of trying to harmonise the Desktop OS with Tablets and Phones. However, they are inherently different platforms and cannot be successfully merged. Anyone who believes they can is in grave error.


 But, as you seem to lack this insight within Microsoft, let me clarify. Touch based devices are GREAT for touch interfaces, casual use and full screen apps. Perfect. Production Desktop OS's, where things are created, edited and written do not benefit AT ALL from a touch style interface. When creating document, spreadsheets and media, a touch interface is of limited if not NO use at all. You need the certainty of a mouse pointer and ease of use of a keyboard. Trying to use a touch interface with a Mouse and Keyboard doesn't really cut it. Did you even look at Windows 8 on a large screen (27")? The whole point of Windows, was the 'Windows' bit, but here we find full screen apps, where they don't really belong. However, if Microsoft just want's to support the playing of Angry Birds on all platforms, so be it, though even that isn't so great with a mouse...


 It's is interesting that there are those who say it's OK and you have to get used to it, but they all have the latest of everything and don't really use any of it. And I really believe there are fundamental issues here, it's not a familiarity issue. For the rest of us who actually need to get some work done, please provide the tools, it's what you're supposed to be good at after all.


 Also, whichever team or person came up with this unified idea, please sack them for damaging the desktop environment in such a lacklustre way. With apparent disregard for the user base. The PC market is shrinking, but it would have stabilised, it was just natural adjustment with all of these smartphones and tablets replacing some casual use/browser devices. No need to go running in a mad panic to an un-useable platform....


I guess I'm going to have to go back to Windows 7 again. But be careful, as there are so many issues with Windows 8, that people don't start looking elsewhere.


 This isn't intended as a flame post, it's the facts as I see them. I don't want anyone to reply, there would apparently be no point.


 Anyway, I wish you the best of luck...


James

However, they are inherently different platforms and cannot be successfully merged. Anyone who believes they can is in grave error. {Snip}

 Also, whichever team or person came up with this unified idea, please sack them for damaging the desktop environment in such a lacklustre way.

{Snip}

I guess I'm going to have to go back to Windows 7 again. But be careful, as there are so many issues with Windows 8, that people don't start looking elsewhere.


 This isn't intended as a flame post, it's the facts as I see them. I don't want anyone to reply, there would apparently be no point.


I'm going to anyway simply because all I can say is yes, yes, a thousand times YES!!

I don't think you were anywhere near a flame post. I thought that you were extremely charitable and diplomatic in your assessment of Win 8.

Me? I don't think I can manage it because I'm thiiiiis close to wanting to hurl a brick at my screen.

Here are my reasons for looking to ditch the pig...

Why Windows 8 Blows

Crippling functionality like Skydrive unless you bow to the "offer you can't really refuse"  to use an MS account to log in. "Oh, but we still give you the choice", MS says. "Go ahead and use a local account. Just don't expect functionality that you relied on in Win 7 to be there. This is all for your safety and security, trust us."

 

I was prepared to give the Metro tiles a go. I have. They blow. They blow like a howling wind from Antarctica blows in winter. The active tiles, for example, are a joke. Same news story for hours if not days (even when connected), no option to customise your preference of providers, subjects of interest, frequency of updates and so on. Oh, and best of all, when you open the news app you often can't find the story that the tile referred to. The finance tile; Dow down arrow, FTSE up 100, Nikkei down 225. Very informative. When did this happen exactly? Today? Yesterday? Last week?

 

Then there's the all-customise-all-the-time page design. Click on a tile and move your mouse a little and you're suddenly dragging it somewhere else and rearranging your probably carefully planned out interface. Clearly, nobody learnt anything from the Office 2003 toolbars. The only problem with that interface is that you couldn't lock it, resulting in clueless users dragging toolbars all over the place and pleading with their help desk for assistance. Instead of that one improvement, a toolbar lock, we got the Ribbon, a counter-intuitive waste of space that was largely uncustomisable and trashed all of your custom shortcuts. The Metro tiles are just the Ribbon write large.

 

Program Tiles. If you use about four programs it's easy to pin them to your Metro startup screen.  If you use 30 or 40 you have to find your way to the Apps group below the main tiles page. (The main page which, naturally, you have to drag up from the MIDDLE of the page. Dragging from the BOTTOM (where you know from bitter experience (certainly not from any navigation hints on the main Metro page) that the Applications live) only gets you a "Customize" command. How's that for intuitive?) Then you can hunt through the hundreds of icons to find the utilities that you want. Yes, that's SO much simpler than having customisable folders on a Start menu, I'm surprised nobody thought of it before. Of course you can always just start typing the name of the application or utility, if you can recall its name if it's one that you might use every couple of months. No wonder www.classicshell.net is getting so much traffic. Everything that they say about the newer menus vs the classic menus is on target like a laser-guided munition.

 

Skydrive. Changing it from having the files stored on each device to having to download from the cloud by default was a stupid idea. It supposedly saves bandwidth. On a mobile phone where you would probably only access some of your smaller files it probably does. But as everyone except Microsoft seems to understand, computers are not mobile phones. If you have say a 30 meg reference document which rarely changes you have to download it from the cloud not once, but every time you open it. Stupid design, utterly stupid design. Also opening some files in Skydrive (eg from some .Net code) no longer works unless you have work offline enabled anyway. Which it should be by default, given that most notebooks will not have 24/7 connection to the Internet.

 

The charms. I don't actually mind that they come in when you swoosh in from the right side. I could live with them appearing when you have the mouse cursor right over at the side and move it across. However I mind greatly when you touch the right edge of your notebook's touchpad and even if the cursor is in the middle of the screen, boink, there are your charms. From there it's only a short slip back to the accursed tiles, followed by swearing and a return to the desktop.

 

Full screen apps. I've said it before, I'll say it again. A PC is not a mobile phone. Stop treating it as one. The whole reason for WINDOWS is to allow you to move quickly between applications by selecting their WINDOW.

 

MS's insistence that your name be plastered for all to see over all parts of the interface. The tiles screen, Skydrive, Outlook... "Oh, but that personalises it", they say. "What's violation of your privacy compared to that?"

 

There are more, but this is long enough as it is.

 

Why it doesn't:

Bing Weather and Bing Finance (excluding the active tiles) are not badly done. (Tentative assessment only.)


I don't think that touch screen support is an intrinsically bad idea. For "macro" movements like shifting a window from one place to another it can be quite quick and intuitive. But Windows needs to have ONE desktop, ONE user interface, not two. And the one that needs to go is the Metro tiles one. At the same time as a real Start menu is returned to us.






 
 

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Last updated March 7, 2018 Views 166 Applies to: