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Windows 8: a 'Christmas Gift For Someone You Hate'

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the not-keeping-it-all-bottled-up-inside dept.

Microsoft 740

zacharye writes "Microsoft is no stranger to criticism these days, and the company's new Windows 8 platform is once again the target of a scathing review from a high-profile user. Well-known Internet entrepreneur and MIT professor Philip Greenspun handed Windows 8 one of its most damning reviews yet earlier this week, calling the new operating system a 'Christmas gift for someone you hate.' Greenspun panned almost every aspect of Microsoft's new software, noting that Microsoft had four years to study Android and more than five to examine iOS, but still couldn't build a usable tablet experience..."

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How about a direct link to the original article (5, Insightful)

MpVpRb (1423381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204163)

Not some blog that quotes the article

Re:How about a direct link to the original article (5, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204183)

Re:How about a direct link to the original article (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204841)

Yay, another article telling us a microsoft product is going to murder your children, drive us off the fiscal cliff, bomb Iran, and infect everyone else with AIDS... because it doesn't have a button where you'd want it. The horror.

Re:How about a direct link to the original article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204867)

No just another article telling us the obvious: Windows 8 sucks, and so do you.

Re:How about a direct link to the original article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204889)

Came to the comments to post this. Way to go, slashdot.

link to the article (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204177)

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2012/12/05/christmas-gift-for-someone-you-hate-windows-8/

lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204189)

not as bad as ubuntu £inux

Re:lol (0)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204781)

In Ubuntu i can chose any of a dozen desktop environments, and not have to switch between them to simple thing like shutdown.

but isn't that a somewhat expensive (5, Funny)

HPHatecraft (2748003) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204191)

way of expressing said sentiment?

I've always found Dog Crap in a Box(TM) to be both economical AND effective at communicate feelings of loathing and hatred. It's really easy to get book rates on the postage, too.

Re:but isn't that a somewhat expensive (4, Funny)

virgnarus (1949790) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204237)

I think the Windows 8 approach reminds me more of a tribe in Africa that praises killing their enemies by first 'fattening them with friendship'. With Windows 8, they will think the gift was an act of good will and will continue to use it under that impression, never realizing that they're slowly dying in the process.

Re:but isn't that a somewhat expensive (2)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204285)

nah, the 'crap' is instantly informative and likewise instantly thrown away.

The stench of Win 8 will linger for literally years...

Re:but isn't that a somewhat expensive (2)

bobstreo (1320787) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204861)

nah, the 'crap' is instantly informative and likewise instantly thrown away.

The stench of Win 8 will linger for literally years...

Nah Windows 9 will be better, Windows 10, thats the one that will replace Windows ME as worst MS OS evah.

It's about magnitude (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204363)

It's about expressing the amount of hate you feel for the person. It's like expressing love only different.

For instance if you buy your love a bar of chocolate for an anniversary, it will express affection in an underwhelming way, perhaps leading them to believe your affection is as underwhelming as the effort that went into the gift.

Now on the other hand if you go all out and treat them to weekly massage for a year at the local spa so they eventually elope with the sexy massage therapist, then that's a whole other level of showing affection.

Re:but isn't that a somewhat expensive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204411)

I've always found Dog Crap in a Box(TM) to be both economical AND effective at communicate feelings of loathing and hatred. It's really easy to get book rates on the postage, too.

I use these guys [poopsenders.com] for my poop related deliveries.

Re:but isn't that a somewhat expensive (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204529)

It's really easy to get book rates on the postage, too.

Handy Holiday Tip: Use Business size envelope and smoosh flat.

Re:but isn't that a somewhat expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204803)

I prefer mine sous-vide'd to lock in that fresh flavor.

Re:but isn't that a somewhat expensive (3, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204685)

Dog Crap can be composted to yield useful manure. A Windows8 DVD, on the other hand....

The man is right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204199)

It may be worded a bit harsh, but in essence the man is right. Of course, hordes of marketeers will dispute this; But IT wasn't build on marketing, and if it was then it shouldn't.

Re:The man is right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204247)

You've obviously never worked with Apple or an Apple shop.

Apple is about marketing, and compelling products (1, Troll)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204597)

You've obviously never worked with Apple or an Apple shop.

That is unfortunately not true. Whatever you think of Jobs showmanship, or the manipulative way me said "magical" every 5 damn seconds. They do have a massive distortion filter...and the whole media industry bent on lying on there behalf. The reality is though that device that Jobs finally held aloft, was a compelling device, and in three cases the first mass market one of its kind [note not the first, best features].

Apples shares are taking a massive dip right now [The value of dell wiped off their cap in a day!!], and its simply due to Apple only having the "distortion field in effect" not the compelling products. In context of this article Microsoft never had them.

Re:The man is right! (5, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204319)

RE: IT wasn't build on marketing

I used to say this years ago.

MS proved that you could sway IT decisions by wining and dining executives of organizations regardless of technical merits of the products.

Soon after, MS products were sold on the lemming effect, alone.

Expertise does not translate (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204203)

“Suppose that you are an expert user of Windows NT/XP/Vista/7, an expert user of an iPad, and an expert user of an Android phone you will have no idea how to use Windows 8,” Greenspun wrote.

 

“Suppose that you are an expert user of Windows NT/XP/Vista/7, an expert user of Windows 8, and an expert user of an Android phone you will have no idea how to use an iPad,” Greenspun wrote.

Seriouslt, playing around with settings,etc is frustratingly hard in iPhones atleast. The basic stuff is on the surface, the rest is 5 km below the surface

Re:Expertise does not translate (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204305)

I think you hit one of the key issues with that article on the head. Of those listed, I found the iOS the be the hardest to work with, and even it was fairly simple.

Windows 8 has some good ideas from the tablet perspective, but they do some idiotic things (the UI context switching the author mentioned, as well as the 'auto-hide' stuff that works better with a mouse than a touch interface). Are they as bad as the author was saying? No, but sensationalization gets clicks!

Not saying I recommend Windows 8 (even with the difficulties, I'll take an iPhone over Windows 8 RT, and all the non-RT tablet hardware looks to suck). Fortunately, there's Android about.

Re:Expertise does not translate (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204897)

What exactly about iOS is hard to use?

Re:Expertise does not translate (2, Interesting)

mcspoo (933106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204429)

I think there is also an expectation that Microsoft will fix the Windows 8 flaws... because they have shown in the past the ability to react to negative feedback (i.e. Vista = BAD, Win 7 = GOOD, now Win 8 = CRAP, therefore... Win 9 = teh aw3s0me)

Windows 8, even in release mode, smells like beta testing. The general reaction has been very "ME/Vista"-like. So we expect them to improve it. Will they? That's the real question...

Re:Expertise does not translate (3, Informative)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204599)

Vista = BAD was largely a result of bad marketing, poor drivers, and large internal changes at the last minute.
Win7 = Vista + SP2.

Re:Expertise does not translate (2)

mcspoo (933106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204729)

That's the point. Will they recognize it and make the appropriate changes to Windows 8? Cause Windows 8 is going the same way as Vista right now...

Why should it improve? Its not the software (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204797)

I think there is also an expectation that Microsoft will fix the Windows 8 flaws... because they have shown in the past the ability to react to negative feedback (i.e. Vista = BAD, Win 7 = GOOD, now Win 8 = CRAP, therefore... Win 9 = teh aw3s0me)

Windows 8, even in release mode, smells like beta testing. The general reaction has been very "ME/Vista"-like. So we expect them to improve it. Will they? That's the real question...

Its not the real question. I barely care but to put Windows 7 in context its Vista released on time; covering up its worse excesses; on hardware that could cope with it better. It still does not look 10 years better than XP [or at least SP2]. Microsoft cannot do that with Windows 8 because the problem is "Metro" on a tablet designed with "Office" in mind, that is a strategy, which you cannot fix with software.

That bad? (1)

aissixtir (2752321) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204213)

I havent tried it yet and I will not try it since just yesterday I moved into suse 12.2. But is it really that bad?

Re:That bad? (5, Informative)

Xacid (560407) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204333)

I really wanted to like it and bought into their promo deal to put it onto my laptop (like $40 for a legit copy of Win 8 Upgrade).

But I've run into the same gripes as him regarding the interface. If you were just in the Modern UI 100% of the time on the tablet it wouldn't be a terrible experience. However, it tries to switch back and forth from that interface to the traditional desktop interface and does so very, very poorly. Even on a tablet this transition is godawful. It's worse on a non-touchscreen laptop.

The new "start menu" just adds more work for me and adds very little value to the experience. This isn't a bad format for a tablet, but when you're on a laptop and not in the Modern UI - forcing the use of that new start menu is just absurd.

Now, it does seem to be a bit more responsive than Windows 7 and has a couple of neat features - for example the taskbar now extends across multiple screens and you can set its behavior to a couple of different methods. It seems to integrate nicely w/ the xbox environment but I'm waiting to see what its full potential will be for that.

Overall there are just a lot of things like "are you friggin serious?". In the land of UI the amount of mouse movement, clicks, and typing is how we define "work" and yet for some reason MS has been wanting to add more work to a lot of the user's tasks. This is something I still don't quite understand. (Look at the office ribbon - despite some of its nice features there are quite a few places where it just managed to add more work for the user to accomplish a task).

So yeah, it's that bad. I don't outright hate it but it's because I've modified a lot of it so far to fit what I'm after. I would absolutely recommend against it for a non geek to upgrade to.

Re:That bad? (-1, Troll)

carnaby_fudge (2789633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204669)

The new "start menu" just adds more work for me and adds very little value to the experience. This isn't a bad format for a tablet, but when you're on a laptop and not in the Modern UI - forcing the use of that new start menu is just absurd.

I disagree. I found the new start menu to be very helpful, much better than the old start button. Hitting the windows key is really not that challenging, the start menu uses the whole screen, search by typing is cool, and the uncluttered desktop is great. Far as I can tell, it's just windows 7 with a cool UI. Yeah, it's new, so lazy users with an axe to grind against MS and Windows will hate it, DUH. The whole two hour learning curve has really got these old dogs stressed out. They won't even give it a chance, so why bother reading their reviews.

(Look at the office ribbon - despite some of its nice features there are quite a few places where it just managed to add more work for the user to accomplish a task

I disagree entirely. I much prefer the ribbon to the old pull-down interface. Heck, even Matlab switched to a ribbon over the old drop down menus. Once again, it's that steep 30 minute learning curve throwing folks off, they just want to do it the old, lame way.

Re:That bad? (1, Interesting)

SirKveldulv (1073650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204775)

RE: Start menu Do you know you can type the name of the program, or area of the settings you're after? Geeks should love this, since it's much easier to operate with the keyboard than previous versions of windows. Searching by typing a few letters vs hunting through menus is easier, period. Win-Q for Apps Win-W for settings > metro I'm not a huge fan, so I don't use metro apps. I have played around with a few from the app store, and the potential for great software is there. IF you don't like metro, don't use it. Personally I think windows 8 is fantastic. Yes some things have changed, get with the program. The huge performance improvements and streamlining of the OS make up for any discomfort. Like someone else has said, it's a shame the underlying improvements are lost in all noise from people whinging about some GUI changes.

Re:That bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204805)

I use win 8 on a secondary box and honestly if I could find a 19 inch 4:3 touch screen (wide screen monitors don't fit my 4 screen mounting setup) I would really like it.

It has the same problems a first version of a new UI has..
heck I remember people BITCHING about the minor UI changes from win 98 to XP and the changes from XP to Win 7 (there was no vista it did not exist).

So there will be growing pains. but it is not as bad as all that

I will say if you are an old school keyboard cowboy it is MUCH better than you think a there seem to be more keyboard shortcuts to things than previous versions of windows, so much so that without a touch screen these shortcuts are a MUST to learn. and honestly I think it makes me faster than having to switch to a mouse constantly.

Re:That bad? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204413)

I installed it on my ancient Inspiron 640m laptop (bought it in 2006). This is a laptop with no touch screen and no multitouch gestures. Personally, I really don't see why people are so up in arms over Windows 8. A simple Windows+D keystroke takes you into desktop mode and you can choose to remain there as long as you wish. I do hate the removal of the windows launcher in Desktop mode, but there are alternative options out there to get back that functionality.

What I do like is going into the Metro interface when I'm not looking to do intensive work on my laptop. Things are quite snappy, and some of the metro specific apps are quite nice. It isn't a game changer, but I don't get what the hate is about. If my laptop had a touchscreen, I'd probably appreciate the metro component of it a lot more. I also like the limited multiwindow (only 2 really), multitasking in Metro (for a tablet OS...IOS is hopeless, and Android doesn't allow side by side apps either unless you have some heavy duty manufacturer customization a la the Galaxy Note), and the gestures and charms bar, and pretty much all of it works reasonably well even with a mouse (though I can see it being much snappier and more fun with a touch screen).

I agree with the sentiment of many people that it doesn't feel like one cohesive OS...and frankly, I don't think it can or should ever be that. It seems like a great OS for laptops/tablets with touch screens where you can use it like a tablet with the Metro UI and also be very productive on it in your traditional desktop mode. The OS itself is reasonably lightweight (by Windows standards) and seems to run quite well on my ancient laptop.

I do see Win 8 as being very appealing for HTPCs and I am considering installing it on mine. The tiles really lend themselves to HTPC use, and with the introduction of Windows 8, you now have dedicated streaming apps like that from Netflix that are easier to use on an HTPC in comparison to having to resort to a browser and the Netflix website to stream movies/tv shows. So imho, Win 8 seems great for newer touch screen laptops, HTPCs and tablet-laptop hybrid devices. For traditional desktops, there seems to be very limited value in upgrading to Windows 8.

Re:That bad? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204845)

I got it during the promo ($40) for my desktop to have a legit operating system and I completely agree. It's not that difficult to use and I rarely even look at the metro interface and I haven't even bothered installing a start button replacement. You don't even need WinD since the desktop button is quite prominent in the metro interface. I really don't understand the massive amounts of hate and the complaint that it's hard to get used to. Yes the metro apps could use close buttons in the worst sort of way for those who don't know about alt f4 and the metro interface isn't necessary with desktop, but it's not enough to say you must hate someone if you buy it for them.

I think you so see. (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204869)

I really don't see why people are so up in arms over Windows 8. A simple Windows+D keystroke takes you into desktop mode...I do hate the removal of the windows launcher in Desktop mode

I've cut out the rest of your post, I think you do see what is so awful about Windows 8 on the desktop. This Article is about how awful it is on a tablet...ironically its for this, is why everybody is complaining about it on the Desktop.

Re:That bad? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204681)

No. It isn't even that bad on a non-touch screen device.

I installed win8 pre-release on a cheap laptop. Is it annoying on a non-touch screen device? Yes. But, on the whole, I found it to be decent.

As far as I can tell this is just some MS hate from someone who is upset Win8 tablets are exactly like Apple and Android tablets.

Re:That bad? (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204791)

I was expecting it to be horrible. I underestimated the sheer clusterfuckitude that is Win8.

Enhance...Enhance I Say! (1)

h2okies (1203490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204217)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiqkclCJsZs [youtube.com]

Seems this is what MS spends their time doing these days :(

Or should I post the "brace yourself you haven't spent enough time with the OS meme"

Seriously the underlying OS changes are rock solid and great for the user and are sadly lost in the discussion over a GUI that should rightfully be reserved for tablets or convertible laptops.

come on with anti-Windows bias (5, Informative)

mapkinase (958129) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204219)

We do not even pretend to be impartial now?

The title obviously should be

> Greenspun: Windows 8: a 'Christmas Gift For Someone You Hate'

Re:come on with anti-Windows bias (3, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204243)

We do not even pretend to be impartial now?

Has /. ever pretended to be impartial? Besides, impartiality is overrated.

Re:come on with anti-Windows bias (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204399)

Re:come on with anti-Windows bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204325)

Seriously? You must be new here.

Re:come on with anti-Windows bias (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204361)

Reality has an anti-Microsoft bias.

Re:come on with anti-Windows bias (2)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204561)

/. has an anti-Microsoft bias.

Don't confuse /. with reality :P

Android is NOT a useable tablet experience (1, Interesting)

elabs (2539572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204227)

I've been using an Android tablet after I switched away from the iPad. It was TERRIBLE. Android is definitely the worst of all tablet UIs. Windows 8 is far superior on the tablet than Android or iOS. It's so much more usable. I think this Prof has an issue with Win8's discoverability, which could be improved. I do admit that Windows 8 on a mouse-only desktop isn't as useable as on a touch-device.

Re:Android is NOT a useable tablet experience (5, Insightful)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204309)

I've been using an Android tablet after I switched away from the iPad. It was TERRIBLE. Android is definitely the worst of all tablet UIs.
Stop using the 79 dollar chinese made resistive screen tablet you bought a Walgreens last Christmas and try a real android tablet or install Cyanogen Mod on an HP Touchpad. Then get back to me.

Re:Android is NOT a useable tablet experience (0)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204489)

Yea. And I have a Asus Transformer Infinity and it is the equal or better of the ipad in almost every way.

Re:Android is NOT a useable tablet experience (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204851)

I also have one, and Android 4 is a lot better than previous versions. It's quite useable. There are still some things that were easier in WebOS (e.g. application switching, searching), but overall it's a pretty nice system. There are a few minor nits, but nothing that would make me claim it was completely unusable, and I'm pretty pedantic about poor user interfaces.

Re:Android is NOT a useable tablet experience (1)

tatman (1076111) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204369)

I haven't had any issues with Android tablet interface. In fact I like its flexibility such as widgets over the iPad. My biggest complaint about my droid tablet is the keyboard doesn't function well in all applications and the chrome browser. Even firefox on the droid has some problems too.

Re:Android is NOT a useable tablet experience (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204595)

Android is definitely the worst of all tablet UIs. Windows 8 is far superior on the tablet than Android or iOS.

Too many posts to be a shill, so I'll bite. You've obviously not tried the Nexus 7 - that thing is sweeeeeeeeeet!

Re:Android is NOT a useable tablet experience (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204913)

Just because they post a lot doesn't mean they can't shill.

Maybe they forgot to log out. Maybe they legitimately believe the propaganda.

Re:Android is NOT a useable tablet experience (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204603)

Android is definitely the worst of all tablet UIs.

Interesting. I just got a Nexus 7 and love it. One man's pearls and all that.

Re:Android is NOT a useable tablet experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204677)

Compare an iPad to a Nexus 10 running Android 4.2. In my opinion I'd take the Nexus 10 any day. It's such a slick and beautiful experience that feels much more fluid to me.

Re:Android is NOT a useable tablet experience (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204785)

Well I think all tablets suck including your precious iPad. Anything outside of that wonderful OS called Emacs is beyond usable.

The guys is wrong (4, Interesting)

tatman (1076111) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204239)

While Im not an advocate of Windows 8, miss information makes me mad too. In the article it said "Some functions, such as ‘start an application’ or ‘restart the computer’ are available only from the tablet interface". I took this to mean the Metro tiles, which if that's what he meant, he is completely wrong. The command prompt is still there. The standard desktop is still there. "Old style" shortcuts still exist. Of course, he complained about that too.

Re:The guys is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204485)

" The command prompt is still there."

Are you kidding, or are you trying to tell us that Microsoft has wants us to go back to DOS, but now surrounded with a heavyweight graphics for eye-candy?

Fegh.

Re:The guys is wrong (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204631)

You can get a command prompt on Android too:

" The command prompt is still there."

Are you kidding, or are you trying to tell us that Google wants us to go back to shell interface, but now surrounded with a heavyweight graphics for eye-candy?

Fegh.

Makes just as much sense that way round.

Re:The guys is wrong (2)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204731)

O RLY?

"Are you kidding, or are you trying to tell us that Linus has wants us to go back to BASH, but now surrounded with a heavyweight graphics for eye-candy"?

Or have you forgotten that one STILL needs to go the command line to do things in every single Linux distro?

Re:The guys is wrong (0)

dmacleod808 (729707) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204589)

Miss Information makes me mad too. She is so snooty.

Re:The guys is wrong (2)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204853)

He is referring to needing to swipe from the corner of the screen in order to find the restart option. This definitely fits within the "tablet interface" definition for me. Restarting and shutting down seem to take people a while to find in Windows 8. If you don't know the shortcuts and you have only ever done it via the start menu, you won't find the option anywhere obvious.

As far as Windows 8 being a failed tablet experience -- I don't understand how he could have ended up at that conclusion. I don't have enough OSX/iOS experience to be able to compare to those with any authority, but compared to Android on my Nexus 7, the only thing I've found Windows 8 lacking for is apps. The UI looks better, is more intuitive, and doesn't need a quad core beast to run smoother than "butter".

I don't even think Windows 8 fails as a desktop experience, really. At first glance it comes close -- very close -- but after using it for a while I feel like the changes aren't the end of the world and in many cases are actually improvements. The apps -- okay, these are awkward at best and usually pretty useless with a keyboard and mouse. I don't use those -- I've got all my desktop apps still. The start screen is actually pretty nice, supporting all the features I cared about in the start menu like launching via typed search, but with the added benefit that I can have live tiles displaying information at a glance whenever I hit the windows key.

The OS has some improved APIs that I've been wanting for a while. I think the only major request I've got left is the ability to asynchronously open files, with asynchronous manual page faults being a distant "that'd be neat" second.

Re:The guys is wrong (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204865)

Restarting the computer without using the Metro interface? Ctrl+Alt+Del. Otherwise, Acer installed a "power button" on the desktop because there is no option other than going to the harm bar->settings->power->restart. Why the frak is restart a "setting"?

Clearly Phillip Greenspun didn't try very hard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204271)

"He continued, “Some functions, such as ‘start an application’ or ‘restart the computer’ are available only from the tablet interface."

*Start an application: Windows Key + X, R
Restart the computer: ALT-F4 from the desktop

*I can only assume that by "start an application" he means "run" because if he actually couldn't figure out how to click a shortcut from the desktop or taskbar......

Re:Clearly Phillip Greenspun didn't try very hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204423)

Restart the computer: ALT-F4 from the desktop

Alright, now how do I explain that to my non technical family so that they remember it as well as the bazillion other keyboard shortcuts ?

Re:Clearly Phillip Greenspun didn't try very hard (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204743)

How do you explain how to restart a Linux computer to your non technical family?

Re:Clearly Phillip Greenspun didn't try very hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204455)

And how exactly do you press the "Windows Key" on a tablet? Or Alt+F4?
I haven't seen an actual Tablet version yet, so maybe the on screen keyboard has it?

And why did they change the run to: Windows Key+X, R .... is Windows Key + R ; being used by something else? Is Find now, Windows Key+X, F ?

Re:Clearly Phillip Greenspun didn't try very hard (1)

SirKveldulv (1073650) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204799)

Win-R still works fine. Win-X is a shortcut menu for administrative tools.

Re:Clearly Phillip Greenspun didn't try very hard (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204671)

Restart the computer: ALT-F4 from the desktop

On a tablet, you'd just hold the power button, just like Android (and probably iPad too). On a desktop, you have ACPI, so just press the power button there too.

Re:Clearly Phillip Greenspun didn't try very hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204771)

Yes, and every new (or not so new) user knows they have to use this keycombo's to do this, because they are clearly displayed on the screen so everybody knows about it...

Oh wait...

Re:Clearly Phillip Greenspun didn't try very hard (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204911)

Umm Win Key + R for Run but seriously, key combinations are for intermediate/advanced users. Try getting someone over 40 to remember all these combinations? Ya right. Get someone who uses computers in procedural manner to do that? Even worse. Not everyone is a techie and those that aren't will be turned off.

He admits he's not using a tablet!!! (4, Informative)

elabs (2539572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204293)

At the end of his "review" he said he was using Windows 8 on a desktop, not a tablet. "This article is based on using Windows 8 on what may be the best current hardware: Dell XPS One 27 computer with a quad-core i7 CPU, 16 GB of RAM and a solid state hard drive accelerator ($2600). " Well there you go. We all knew there were usability issues on the desktop.

Re:He admits he's not using a tablet!!! (2)

ak3ldama (554026) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204343)

But, remember the articles after thanksgiving of everyone buying the cheap laptops? Imagine some kid getting a Gateway Pentium $300 Windows 8 laptop: the initial excitement grows as the laptop sized box turns into a laptop, only to be dashed when he realizes it was a black friday special that can't play any of his favorite games acceptably and runs the new OS for Squares.

Re:He admits he's not using a tablet!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204435)

"OS for Squares" is brilliant.

That is all.

Re:He admits he's not using a tablet!!! (2)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204691)

new OS for Squares

Not just squares, rectangles too!

Re:He admits he's not using a tablet!!! (5, Interesting)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204447)

It's a big honkin 27" all-in-one touch-screen desktop computer... so pretty much a big tablet. If you can't get the full Windows 8 experience on that, you'll never get it on a dinky little tablet.

Re:He admits he's not using a tablet!!! (1)

chispito (1870390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204619)

It's a big honkin 27" all-in-one touch-screen desktop computer... so pretty much a big tablet. If you can't get the full Windows 8 experience on that, you'll never get it on a dinky little tablet.

Is it at all comfortable to reach out and touch your desktop screen? I wouldn't want to use a giant iPad floating a couple feet in front of my face.

Re:He admits he's not using a tablet!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204563)

This dell machine sucks. That's his problem. Dell touchscreen-on-an-imac-wannabe designs are crap.

W

Re:He admits he's not using a tablet!!! (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204765)

Actually, the usability issues for desktops disappear if one uses a touch screen monitor.

The point is not to clone iOS and Android (4, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204335)

What use would it be to invent something that duplicates iOS or Android?

People would just keep using the original and deny the copy.

It's smart to take features from these systems, but useless to repeat them. Technology is forged by people who find new ways to do useful things. That doesn't mean imitation, it means re-invention.

Microsoft also has a long legacy of Windows products and users to uphold, and has to merge these two.

I realize that liking Windows around here is about as favorably looked upon as non-ironically liking Bruce Springsteen at a hipster party, but demonization for not being a clone is undeserved here.

Re:The point is not to clone iOS and Android (0)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204439)

What use would it be to invent something that duplicates iOS or Android?

Three words: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

Re:The point is not to clone iOS and Android (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204705)

What use would it be to invent something that duplicates iOS or Android?

Three words: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

You forgot the fourth step: Excrete huge wads of cash in EU antitrust settlements.

Re:The point is not to clone iOS and Android (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204653)

What use would it be to invent something that duplicates iOS or Android?

Let's see ... copy what people have done successfully and make a useable product, or create something which is getting panned by reviewers as a bad hodge-podge of features that don't work together. I see which choice Microsoft made.

Technology is forged by people who find new ways to do useful things. That doesn't mean imitation, it means re-invention.

Only if you do it right, otherwise you've made the "dogs breakfast" the reviewer mentioned.

Microsoft also has a long legacy of Windows products and users to uphold, and has to merge these two.

How? By pissing off both desktop and tablet users?

Yes, slavishly copying how other people do stuff isn't innovation. Producing something which is unusable is just incompetence, and it sounds like they'd have been better off just ripping everybody else off.

Sometimes, Microsoft just misses the mark by such an extraordinary amount that you have to conclude that either they're out of touch with the rest of the market, or live so much in their own echo chamber that they actually believe they've made something totally awesome.

When a company as big as Microsoft comes to market 5 years too late, with a product offering people can't make sense of, you have to assume there's some real problems going on.

Sucking at both target markets is a lousy strategy. And, to be honest, I'm hard pressed to think of anything which Microsoft has innovated recently -- even things like the Kinect they bought.

I am not sure I could name even 2-3 products which Microsoft created first, and that everybody went "wow, I need one" and that everybody else later copied. In fact, I'm having a hard time coming up with one (though I'm sure there has to be some examples).

Re:The point is not to clone iOS and Android (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204689)

I agree, Microsoft gets trashed when they are innovative, and when they steal. Nevertheless, you can't make people ike your product. I anticipate buying a new ultrabook in the next month, it'll come with windows 7, but it'll be running Linux Mint a few hours after I get my hands on it. I have no plans to run Windows 8 right now, or ever. Only way that will change is if I'm forced to.

Non-screen touch surface? (1)

bobwoodard (92257) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204349)

This might be out there, but I haven’t seen it yet, so some help would be appreciated.

Is there a touchpad/mousepad I can lay on my desk to act as the touch proxy for the screen? I’ve seen the Surface and the screen looked great, well... until it started being used, that is. It got all mucked up after a little bit of use and there’s _no_ way I can use that on my work machine.

So. is there some way I can use something like a mouse pad as the interface (pinch, zoom, swipe, etc, etc) without having to touch the screen?

Re:Non-screen touch surface? (2)

Docasman (870959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204515)

Like the Magic Trackpad? (I've seen it on PCs, too)

Re:Non-screen touch surface? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204665)

Yes, Apple invented that. Google for Magic Trackpad. Now, does such a thing work with Windows, I don't know, but that's only a matter of someone writing the appropriate drivers and software.

Re:Non-screen touch surface? (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204709)

So. is there some way I can use something like a mouse pad as the interface (pinch, zoom, swipe, etc, etc) without having to touch the screen?

No, you can't - simply because you would not know where your touch would land. Mouse has a cursor for that purpose, and action buttons that you click after the cursor is positioned as necessary. The touch interface has no cursor, and it activates whatever it is at the point of touch. You'd have to have a screen underneath your touchpad... but then you can't see it well. Just forget the whole thing and use a mouse.

The start panel isn't such a big deal... (4, Insightful)

Mattsson (105422) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204395)

I converted my main workstation at work to windows 8 a week ago, mostly in order to learn and get used to it.
While there indeed is a bit of a hassle to change some of the habits from xp, vista and 7 to fit 8, and I really dislike the start panel that has replaced the start menu, it's not really a big deal.
I've put my 20 or so most used applications in the taskbar and pinned my most used folders and files into the respective taskbar icons and changed my "click start menu and open the file or folder"-habit into a "right click the taskbar icon and open the file or folder"-habit.
Also, I've installed regular windows applications as replacements for all the standard windows 8 applications, like vlc instead of the full screen windows 8 movie player, acrobat reader instead of the full screen windows 8 pdf-viewer, etc.
To be honest, I haven't used the start panel at all this entire week, except for going to the desktop after logging in.

On one hand, I've not really seen any of the horrible downsides with windows 8 that everyone talks about. On the other hand, I haven't seen many improvements over windows 7 yet. The new task manager and the new file-copy graph windows are awesome though.

Greenspun is not an MIT professor (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204437)

He's not a professor; far from it.
He's an "MIT affiliate" (search People on the MIT home page), which is the loosest form of connection to the Institute.
Note also that the blog he's posted on is at Harvard Law, which says:
"Weblogs at Harvard Law is provided by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University as a free service to the Harvard community. Anyone with an email address at harvard.edu, radcliffe.edu, or hbs.edu can sign up instantly and be blogging in minutes."
If you search his name in the directory at Harvard's home page, there are no hits.

In other words, he has no significant connection to MIT, doesn't show up at all on Harvard's staff list, and maybe for some reason has a Harvard email address.

The poster was just quoting the blog, which pointed to the original blog, but hey, is 30 seconds worth of fact checking too much to ask?

An Actual MIT Professor.

Not surprising and predictable (-1, Flamebait)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204441)

As soon as the first screenshots came out and I read the description of how 8 was supposed to work, I knew it would be crap. It's an abomination of the highest order designed by programmers who have no clue of what they're doing and violating the first rule of IT that should never be broken: Never let programmers design your applications.

This is just the continuation of the crap that is 7 and it's insistence on hiding things from the user, forcing them to take the longest, most convoluted path to accomplish the simplest of tasks and forcing "features" on people which do nothing but get in the way.

I have repeatedly told people, "Sorry, but I'm being forced to downgrade you to Windows 7."

The only reason people think 7 is so great is because it's the service pack for Vista. Similarly, the only people who will think 8 is so great are the same ones who bought a Zune.

Re:Not surprising and predictable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204723)

I like Windows 8 and I didn't buy a Zune. People keep calling me a shill, but I'm not. Just buy a copy of Start8, and 95% of the problems of Windows 8 just go away. You get all of the improvements with very little of the downsides.

Win 8 "sales": (1)

Hartree (191324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204459)

I ordered 3 wireless routers from NewEgg and got an offer that I could get a copy of Win 8 Pro sold to me with each, but with a %100 discount, i.e. free.

Now, since it was "sold" to me with a "discount", I'm sure my "purchase" was included in that inflated figure of Win 8 sales that was put out recently.

I might install one on a swappable drive just to try it, but they're currently collecting dust and two of them probably will continue to do so.

Metro Interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204513)

I remember doing the same thing in 1992 using a VGA monitor. MS-DOS and a serial mouse..

"a usable tablet experience.." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42204517)

He didn't test it on a tablet.

He also paid about $1500 too much for his Dell.

 

Is there any circumstance that makes it worth it? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204639)

Please be gentle, I'm not as big a nerd as I like to think, and more of a scientist than a computer person. The thing is, though, I have a really nice PC for gaming that I built (with help) from my older machine. I replaced almost everything but I kept the Hard Drives (added an SSD to the existing 1.5TB RAID0). It has 32GB RAM (it was on sale) and a core i5 and an nVidia 660 GTX on an ASUS Mobo.

I have on it Vista 64-bit home premium (so I can't use all 32GB RAM) and I want to upgrade. Everyone says that Vista was BAAAAAD, and I'd agree if I was a power user, prolly, there are a number of annoying things like being asked all the time if I really want to change some setting or other.

So the question is this, should I upgrade to Win 8 Pro (and get start8 or whatever it is that give back the regular start menu) or Win 7 ultimate? Given that the promotion is for Win 8 only, I'd like to be able to take advantage of the reduced cost.

To note: I really only use the machine to play games bought on Steam, MUD, and use the net. Is win 8 that bad that even someone who's generally smart, but only uses the computer for a few things, should avoid it?

The most common complaints (5, Interesting)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204667)

It seems like the number one complaint so far is "It's different, and I don't like to think". That's just lazy, and I tend to discount it immediately.

There are two fairly valid criticisms, however. The first is that by moving functions into various gestures and hidden panels, the discoverability is quite poor. I'm constantly forgetting that the search feature is buried in that "charms" bar, and instinctively look for a search field on the screen somewhere. I'm sure the Microsoft knee-jerk approach to "fixing" this will be to print tips and reminders on the display bezel, which of course won't make any sense when the screen is rotated some other way. Going back to the drawing board and completely re-engineering a concept doesn't seem to be their thing.

Second, the weird desktop/tablet UI dichotomy is baffling. Functions that were previously confined to a small number of places - chiefly the Start menu and Control Panel - are now spread across two "control panels", a hidden "charms" bar, a "Settings" button in that charms bar, and many of these functions bounce back and forth between the tablet or desktop UI, or even duplicate features of one another. Key functionality has also been removed entirely. Where does one view, edit, and reorder the entire list of saved wireless connections? Nowhere, unless you want to use the netsh command!

So while I can appreciate making finger-friendly design considerations, the way they've done it is disjointed and nonsensical. If I had to fix it, I'd allow "Metro" apps to run windowed instead of only full-screen, make it easier to scale up UI elements of "desktop" apps for touch use, get the Control Panel consolidated into a single point of access, and put some of the most common features of the old Start menu directly on the new one, without hiding them off-screen or in menus (Control Panel, Devices and Printers, Run, Computer, Documents, etc). If you change the window manager to act more like the Metro mode when a window is maximized, then you've got a reasonably successful marrying of the two concepts.

For traditional desktop use, it's not at all horrible for an advanced user, and does have some nice performance and usability improvements here and there. For casual home users, it will probably be overly confusing, and leave them shopping for iPads even more than they are already.

This guy... (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204783)

This coming from a guy who couldn't figure out how to play a video on the playbook (http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2012/12/05/christmas-gift-for-someone-you-hate-windows-8/).

Take what he says with a grain of salt.

Bullshit. Windows 8 is a better windows 7. (-1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204909)

Windows 8 is a more efficient windows 7. Boo fucking hoo, you cant figure out that the new start screen. Aww poor fucking baby.

Itunes 11 on the other hand is a slow pile of shit that can barely scroll through a song list.

Windows 8 isn't all that bad (2, Insightful)

Aphrika (756248) | about a year and a half ago | (#42204921)

First time I saw Windows 8, I was horrified. It looked utterly awful and I couldn't imagine myself using it on a day to day basis.

However, due to a drive failure, I installed it and thought I'd give it a shot. Once you get past the Start Screen/Page/Menu thing - which is what 99% of the fuss is about - it's not all that bad at all. It is a dogs breakfast though, and does need some refinement. However I haven't had as much fun finding out new stuff in an OS since I got my first OSX box in 2002.

Firstly, I'm currently using it for development on a multi-monitor setup - 3x 24" monitors with one in portrait mode. Windows 8 handles multiple monitors in desktop mode much better than 7, no question about it. The ability to have the Taskbar setup to display programs running on that monitor is a great change.

Secondly, The desktop environment is much cleaner and I'm glad the huge hive of junk that was the Start Menu has gone. The number of times I aimlessly trawled through it to find some obscure program I needed wasted way too much time... Now, I can just pull up the search and find whatever app, then either run it or pin it to the Start Menu/page, or the Taskbar.

Performance is better too. Simple stuff is a lot faster than 7, and running the whole OS from a new 256GB SSD means I can boot in around 12 seconds. Even spindle to spindle file transfers are a lot faster.

You might notice I haven't really mentioned Metro, well that's because I hardly use it. In my view, it feels like a 'fun layer' that you can almost shut out completely when using the desktop for serious stuff. Today I've used it precisely once as I pin all my apps to the Taskbar in pretty much the same way I use the OSX dock. That said, the live tiles are very nice and some of the news and informational apps are good. Overall though, the ecosystem is lacking in content and I really can't see any point when I'd use a Metro app alongside the desktop.

As far as shutdown goes? Simple, I just map the power button to shutdown and don't have to fiddle around in Metro for it.

So, while not a 'fan' of the extreme changes in Windows 8, I am glad I can shut them out to a degree, and can benefit from the underlying changes made to the desktop. It's by no means a Vista though. While I may not like Metro, the underlying OS is solid and works better than Windows 7.
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