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Morning Tech Bits

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62. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 24, 2012, 09:28 nin
 
There's an easy toggle: Just don't use Metro apps.

Or just don't waste your time with Win8. It's not like they won't be selling 9 in a few more years...

 
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61. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 24, 2012, 09:28 Verno
 
nutshell42 wrote on Aug 24, 2012, 07:42:
I never used the start menu search for anything but apps and settings, but if you used some of the more advanced features it might be annoying. No idea.

I shouldn't have to sit here justifying my workflow but we use search regularly since our department interacts with large pools of documents (no SharePoint yet since IT says its an implementation nightmare). That's where my personal annoyance is derived but I'm sure there are many other usage scenarios that are affected as well. I don't know where this idea comes from that something has to be a massive interruption for it to be unnecessarily annoying or disruptive. Something as simple as moving contextual menus to the bottom of the screen can have a big impact. Metro doesn't shoot my dog or BSOD the computer but its usability issues with a keyboard and mouse make some common tasks take longer or are more cumbersome and in user interfaces all of those little things add up. I absolutely tried to spend the majority of my time in the desktop but ended up in Metro enough for it to make a negative impression.

1. You open the start menu to start a new program
2. Hence the program you used before opening the start menu and after are different (even if you later switch back to the first)
3. Compared to switching from one program to another the question whether you use a menu or a screen is a minor difference.

I read the article and agreed with her conclusions. I don't think it's as minor as you make it out to be, particularly when we're talking about the general public. It's not my area of expertise though so I don't really have anything to add to it.

I really don't like to sound like the Windows evangelist but I just don't get how the question of the size of the start menu can justify the vitriol that's heaped on Windows 8. There's so much legitimate stuff you could complain about. The store is Jobsian fascist wonderland

And many of us have done that, several times in this thread and others. I've written several large rants on the Microsoft Store, the restrictions they are going to place on WinRT apps and how they are treating desktop apps. My issues with Windows 8 in general range beyond just Metro although that's what has the most immediate impact on people so it's no surprise it receives the most attention.

This comment was edited on Aug 24, 2012, 09:41.
 
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60. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 24, 2012, 07:54 nutshell42
 
Dades wrote on Aug 24, 2012, 07:20:
Why can't I toggle metro if I don't want their phone interface?

There's an easy toggle: Just don't use Metro apps.


And there's no reason it should have different start menus. The current one doesn't really work like anything else in Windows either. A resizable split menu with inline scrolling.

Not to mention its bullshit inconsistency. Click "all programs" and the button turns into a back button. Search for someting then that button becomes an "open in explorer" button, while the back button is the little cross in the search bar. It's a fucking disaster.
 
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59. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 24, 2012, 07:42 nutshell42
 
Verno wrote on Aug 24, 2012, 06:49:
No one said the start menu in previous versions of Windows was more useful necessarily, that's a different argument.

But apart from it the only Metro fragment you're likely going to see with any regularity is the Wifi config (if you have a notebook and often switch wifi networks), how's that ramming Metro down our throats? =)

Correction, there's the search; I never used the start menu search for anything but apps and settings, but if you used some of the more advanced features it might be annoying. No idea.


I don't agree with your conclusion about context switching

Why? My rationale:

1. You open the start menu to start a new program
2. Hence the program you used before opening the start menu and after are different (even if you later switch back to the first)
3. Compared to switching from one program to another the question whether you use a menu or a screen is a minor difference.



I really don't like to sound like the Windows evangelist but I just don't get how the question of the size of the start menu can justify the vitriol that's heaped on Windows 8.
Hell, I'd understand if people complained that they didn't add enough stuff for desktop users since 7; but I guess ppl can't say that because it'd undermine the story of 7 being the embodiment of perfection and 8 the spawn of Satan.

Oh and my 2 favorite bullshit complaints:
1. "I searched for hours for the shutdown button" -- your PC's got a power button
2. "My grandma'll never find the start screen hot corner" -- Every keyboard has a windows key; most have 2.


There's so much legitimate stuff you could complain about. The store is Jobsian fascist wonderland, the cloud integration everywhere is annoying and the uselessness of Metro with a mouse is completely unnecessary. A more elegant integration of Metro and Desktop would go a long way. The Office 2013 beta with the collapsible window chrome shows how it could've been done.

This comment was edited on Aug 24, 2012, 07:48.
 
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58. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 24, 2012, 07:20 Dades
 
Ozmodan wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 14:46:
Well the Windows 7 article forgot one big point. Windows 8 is going to be far cheaper than 7, hence I think 8 will be far more popular than he thinks.

Oh and to all of you whining about Windows 8, if you took some time to get used to it, you would realize it is far superior to 7.

The price doesn't really matter, most computer users won't buy their own copy of Win8, it will be preinstalled. That $40 price is a promotional deal that has an expiration date. Why can't I toggle metro if I don't want their phone interface? Just even how you interact with it doesn't make any sense for mouse use.

No one said the start menu in previous versions of Windows was more useful necessarily, that's a different argument

Its better at making MS money by driving people to the store LOL.

This comment was edited on Aug 24, 2012, 07:38.
 
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57. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 24, 2012, 06:49 Verno
 
To say that Win8 is anything but a slightly better version of 7 with a new start menu and upgraded widgets, that are just as useless as the old ones, is ridiculous.

No one said the start menu in previous versions of Windows was more useful necessarily, that's a different argument. I don't agree with your conclusion about context switching but I don't have a formal background in user interface design so I'm not going to argue it further.
 
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56. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 24, 2012, 05:40 nutshell42
 
Verno wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 22:27:
I was addressing the comment that Metro isn't forced on the user. You can't disable it without third party functionality that can't be counted on in the corporate space. Microsoft went out of its way to accomplish that. It is a second interface that users must now deal with, to what extent will depend on their workflow and whether people even adopt Windows 8.

Unless you go out of your way to use Metro apps (additional functionality), the charms (additional functionality) or the task switcher (additional functionality and why even use it without Metro apps), your only common interaction with Metro will be

1. the start screen
2. the Wifi configuration.

Both already don't conform to the design of the rest of windows, and both are better in Windows 8 than in 7.

You can of course contest the latter but it's ridiculous to say that the start screen is a massive disruption of your work flow. You use it to start shit, that means you're already in the process of a context switch. And the cases where you need both the start menu and whatever else you've got open at the same time are really not enough to throw the kind of tantrum the Win8 haters do.

To say that Win8 is anything but a slightly better version of 7 with a new start menu and upgraded widgets, that are just as useless as the old ones, is ridiculous.
 
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55. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 22:27 Verno
 
noman wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 21:26:
I answered this before as well. I don't know how many times you power on the PC every day, but clicking one tile to enter desktop mode is hardly something to get worked up on. From then on, you stay in desktop mode.

I was addressing the comment that Metro isn't forced on the user. You can't disable it without third party functionality that can't be counted on in the corporate space. Microsoft went out of its way to accomplish that. It is a second interface that users must now deal with, to what extent will depend on their workflow and whether people even adopt Windows 8. It is not exactly uncommon workflow to see activities driven from the start menu and desktop itself, particularly when you're dealing with users migrating from Windows XP.

As for the start-screen itself, I believe most users will end up finding it more useful than the old start menu.

The response I've observed has been overwhelmingly negative, I'm not sure whether that's just the odd juxtaposition of two interface designs or people weary of another OS upgrade so soon. I guess time will tell. I personally do not find it more useful, I get most of my "at a glance" information from my phone these days like most other users.
 
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54. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 21:28 noman
 
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53. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 21:26 noman
 
Verno wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 19:39:
And the metro interface isn't shoved in your face, if you don't want it.

Metro is the first thing you see when you boot up and Microsoft specifically disabled the functionality allowing the user to bypass it.

I answered this before as well. I don't know how many times you power on the PC every day, but clicking one tile to enter desktop mode is hardly something to get worked up on. From then on, you stay in desktop mode. And if it was a sleep/wake-up cycle, you won't even see the start-screen that one time. Normal use-cases like opening a notebook lid should not present a start-screen. Using multi-monitor setup, shutting down PC and other such tasks don't drop you out of desktop mode.

As for the start-screen itself, I believe most users will end up finding it more useful than the old start menu.

Finally, whether the current Metro apps are garbage or not is somewhat irrelevant to this discussion, since you don't have to use them. There are few Metro games that are quite good, and I can see the potential of some more than decent metro apps in the future. One in particular could be an alternative to WMC for LiveTV functionality with digital tuner support. News reader applications, Steam or Origin clients, video editor applications etc. can also use the metro style (the WinRT API) really well.

I just wish, MS had allowed other ways (outside Windows Store) to get WinRT (metro) apps.
 
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52. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 20:29 Julio
 
Time will tell if Win 8 is the great leap forward some claim it is. The fact that its cheap in price probably is because Microsoft is worried it won't sell otherwise. You get what you pay for.

I've done Win 3.1, 95, 98, XP, Vista and 7. There will be no Win 8 on my PCs ever.
 
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51. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 19:39 Verno
 
Has microsoft embraced the idea of free games & apps that have mini advertisements in them? My nieces have android tablets chock full of games that didn't cost a dime.

They will allow WinRT apps that have ads in them, yes. Some of their official apps appear to have ads too according to others judging by this thread but the native apps I tried were garbage and didn't even notice them as a result.

And the metro interface isn't shoved in your face, if you don't want it.

Metro is the first thing you see when you boot up and Microsoft specifically disabled the functionality allowing the user to bypass it. You have to omit pieces of functionality in the operating system to fully ignore Metro. Yes, you can spend the majority of your time in the desktop but you will spend some time in Metro itself or bouncing on the periphery whether you like it or not. There are some methods of accomplishing similar tasks in both interfaces but often times you are presented with the Metro equivalent first when the conditions are triggered.

For some people that will be fine, for other people that won't be acceptable. Windows 8 is a fine operating system but Metro is a really unfortunate user interface that is married to desktop users for reasons passing both understanding and an overwhelming amount of feedback. All of this is fixable with a simple toggle or set of options which isn't exactly unreasonable of people to ask for.

Anyways I've posted a bunch on this already so I'll just conclude with the fact that I've only had a chance to evaluate Windows 8 in a work environment but Metro came up enough in my day to day workflow to be disruptive to the experience.
 
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50. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 19:09 Ratty
 
jimnms wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 17:51:
Ratty wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 12:05:
The one annoyance I still have is when I highlight a filename by single clicking twice in Explorer Windows 7 never includes the extension anymore so I have to go through the extra hassle of selecting the entire filename.

Are you serious? That was probably the biggest improvement made in the Win7 explorer. That feature alone has probably saved a lot of time because I need to rename just the file name more than file and/or extension. In WinXP there was a lot of extra typing when renaming files when I didn't need to change the extension.

If you need to rename a file and the extension in Win7, just hit SHIFT+END or CTRL+A to select the whole file name. Also it's faster to hit F2 to rename a file than single clicking twice, and this prevents it from registering as a double click and opening the file if you click too fast by accident. You're going to be using the keyboard to type the file name anyway, so it's a lot faster to F2, CTRL-A and type than to click... click, select and drag file name with the mouse, then move hands to keyboard and type.
Ha, that's funny. I totally see your point. I guess I just very rarely rename files. I highlight the file because 99% of the time I want to copy the filename to the command line when running a program or paste it into a document. I have to do that about 50 times a day whereas I actually need to rename file a couple times a week at most.

That extra ctrl-A just pisses me off.
 
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49. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 18:10 noman
 
Dades wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 17:54:
I have never seen so much wasted space as I did when I played around with Win8/metro. A few of the apps I tried had ads in them, how fucking crass is that. I don't care if its $4, $40 or $400, I'm not paying for a tablet interface I didn't ask for to be shoved in my face all the time.

Not all free applications are ad-supported. Don't use the ones that are, if it's a big deal.

And the metro interface isn't shoved in your face, if you don't want it.
 
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48. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 17:55 noman
 
The underlying API for Metro games uses DirectX on desktop. They adjust to your screen resolution, and in general look and sound very well. It's not like you are playing a scaled-up pixelated application. There are bunch of free or demo applications in Windows Store already. The navigation there needed some work, at least for the store I can access through release preview.

Also, the games control fine with mouse and keyboard. Some of the games like Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope, Flow etc actually work better with mouse, compared to the touch interface.

This comment was edited on Aug 23, 2012, 18:06.
 
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47. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 17:54 Dades
 
I have never seen so much wasted space as I did when I played around with Win8/metro. A few of the apps I tried had ads in them, how fucking crass is that. I don't care if its $4, $40 or $400, I'm not paying for a tablet interface I didn't ask for to be shoved in my face all the time.  
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46. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 17:51 jimnms
 
Ratty wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 12:05:
The one annoyance I still have is when I highlight a filename by single clicking twice in Explorer Windows 7 never includes the extension anymore so I have to go through the extra hassle of selecting the entire filename.

Are you serious? That was probably the biggest improvement made in the Win7 explorer. That feature alone has probably saved a lot of time because I need to rename just the file name more than file and/or extension. In WinXP there was a lot of extra typing when renaming files when I didn't need to change the extension.

If you need to rename a file and the extension in Win7, just hit SHIFT+END or CTRL+A to select the whole file name. Also it's faster to hit F2 to rename a file than single clicking twice, and this prevents it from registering as a double click and opening the file if you click too fast by accident. You're going to be using the keyboard to type the file name anyway, so it's a lot faster to F2, CTRL-A and type than to click... click, select and drag file name with the mouse, then move hands to keyboard and type.
 
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45. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 17:31 Beamer
 
DangerDog wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 17:22:
I would assume that the controls might be geared more for touch than mouse and keyboard for some games, maybe not for something like Plants vs Zombies though. In some cases the desktop version of a game would have more options and perhaps better graphics.

The games for Surface are mostly going to be ports of games from ipad and android, nothing in that library interests me much. They're fun, casual time wasters for when your fiddling with a tablet but not something I need on my PC, metro or otherwise.

Has microsoft embraced the idea of free games & apps that have mini advertisements in them? My nieces have android tablets chock full of games that didn't cost a dime.

Well, assuming there would be a "desktop version." The whole point is that there won't be. Why bother? The surface can handle these kinds of games just fine. We're not talking Doom 45 (starring Billy Dee Williams?), we're talking Plants v. Zombies, Angry Birds, Spelunky, etc. Yes, they're simple, casual games, but sometimes those are fun. I've spent a fair amount of time on the PC with Puzzle Quest, Peggle, etc., and would certainly have played Words With Friends, Draw Something, and those types of games.
The benefit for developers is that they don't need to do any work (or much work) to port from one to the other. Yeah, you're right, input won't be optimal, but it doesn't need to be for these kinds of games. Something like Angry Birds or Puzzle Quest or Words With Friends really just use a finger as a mouse, so going back won't change anything.
 
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44. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 17:22 DangerDog
 
I would assume that the controls might be geared more for touch than mouse and keyboard for some games, maybe not for something like Plants vs Zombies though. In some cases the desktop version of a game would have more options and perhaps better graphics.

The games for Surface are mostly going to be ports of games from ipad and android, nothing in that library interests me much. They're fun, casual time wasters for when your fiddling with a tablet but not something I need on my PC, metro or otherwise.

Has microsoft embraced the idea of free games & apps that have mini advertisements in them? My nieces have android tablets chock full of games that didn't cost a dime.
 
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43. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 17:04 Beamer
 
DangerDog wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 16:56:
Beamer wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 16:52:
So if you buy Plants vs. Zombies for your phone/tablet you wouldn't like to also be able to play it on your PC?

Not the metro version, no.

Why? What will be different?
From what I understand the iOS version actually has more features than the PC version right now. Assuming Metro got the full-fledged version, all you lose is the ability to run it in a window (which is stupid, but I can't think of a single game I run windowed.)

I'd love to be able to play some of the battery-draining tower defense games on the PC when I get really into a level. I would have done stupid crap like Angry Birds on it, too, had I had the chance.
 
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