Brad' site where he mouths off about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

Got to play around with the February beta of Windows 8. It is terrible. It is beyond terrible. It is so bad that I’m a little panicked about the future of Windows. People won’t use this.

I could have teams of people working full time to develop products to fix it but we’re not in the business of making a terrible experience good. We’re in the business of making a good experience better.

No sane person, will consider the user experience of this beta acceptable. Even a die hard Windows advocate cannot be pleased. It’s that bad.

I’m all over adapting to new UI conventions if they’re as good or better. But that’s not the case here. This is just terrible.

I have confidence in Microsoft in delivering innovative technology (Windows Phone is excellent). But something went terribly wrong here.

image

Start button: Gone.

image

Everything is in a corner. Type in top right, move to far left.

image

This is the new “Start” menu.  Note: Fresh install. Luckily, no one installs anything right?

Click…
image

and…be taken here:
image

 

But someday, everything will be metro right?

That’ll be the world of:

image

The 2560x1440 weather widget. Microsoft Window 9 (we can dispense with “Windows”).

 

Everything requires lots of clickity click click and lots of mouse drag. Less of an issue on a mobile device but on a desktop? If they didn’t force you to live in-between worlds (you’re not allowed to live in just the desktop remember, you have to come back to the Metro-tablet like experience).

image

What’s really a bummer is that Windows 8’s desktop is really good. Better than Windows 7. But you’re not allowed to live here. They treat the desktop as a kind of DOS box equivalent even though, for desktop users, it’s a vastly more productive experience.

Update 1:

It's not just that they got rid of the Start button -- on the classic desktop. Navigating around is just a pain. Getting to your stuff is a pain. It's lots of clicks and drags to do anything, even basic stuff. 

Remember how annoying the UAC prompt can be when it darkens the screen interrupting your flow? Well going back and forth between Metro and classic is far worse and far more frequent.

Let me put it this way, this is bad enough that there will almost certainly be YouTube videos demonstrating some of the absurdities of use. We're not talking nit-picking type issues here, we're talking fundamental, baffling user experience choices. And that's without touching on performance (10 seconds to load up the mail program?).

Update 2:


You be the judge:

Bear in mind, this is on a clean system. Imagine how this system falls apart when you have dozens of programs installed -- some metro and some Win32.  I can't even imagine trying to explain how this works to a typical enterprise customer or worse..my mom.

Update 3:

Here’s a quick stop gap solution for the Start menu issue:

http://www.stardock.com/products/start8


Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 29, 2012

Well that puts my mind to rest, since I just upgraded to Windows 7 and was worried if it would get Vista-ed when 8 comes out.

on Feb 29, 2012

This has been my worry since I tried the developer preview. There trying to shoehorn in two totally different UI paradigms and then tell the user to constantly switch between them, even to use the start menu. It's impossible to live just in the traditional desktop; you have to indulge in its split personality.

on Feb 29, 2012

Now i know. Win7 works.

on Feb 29, 2012

Granted you are talking about a beta release but it does sound like Windows 8 needs more work before it's release date.  Just my observation from your OP.

on Feb 29, 2012

Microsofts attempt at adopting the iPhone/iPad user experience just doesn't work on a desktop/Laptop environment. These are very distinct & seperate platforms. This latest attempt at gene splicing on it's face has the appearance that Microsoft is trying to corner the market on the user experience at the expense of Apple. First indications are that it is a total fail. Greed can sometimes cloud one's creative inGenuity IMHO.     -- Ace --

on Feb 29, 2012

xp : good

vista : failure

Win7 : good

Win8 : a failure to come

Win9 : ... well, if we follow the pattern, it will be good...

 

Like Vista was somehow the beta of Win7, maybe Win8 is like a beta of a upcoming better OS...

 

on Feb 29, 2012

Could be Win 8 is a test bed with a faulty engine. A tune up seemed in order but the mechanic pronounced it stillborn.

on Feb 29, 2012

Well, they aren't going to scrap it now.

My best thought? Salvage all the improvements and issue them as a service pack to W7....for tablets as well. Put out some solid upgrades.

The metro thing? For the scrap heap. Lose the start button. Who needs it?

Revamp the task bar as an L shape to pin more stuff. Make the proggie icons on the task bar zoomy. Make parts of it detachable as docks.

Push Tiles. Bins could be super sweet in this scenario.

Get Gates back onboard.

on Feb 29, 2012

Time to migrate to Linux?

 

on Feb 29, 2012


I thought this was a foregone conclusion? Every other Windows OS since 98 has been terrible (ME, Vista, supposedly 8). I just hope they support 7 as long as XP so I can skip right next to the good OS.

on Feb 29, 2012

Thoumsin
xp : good

vista : failure

Win7 : good

Win8 : a failure to come

Win9 : ... well, if we follow the pattern, it will be good...

 

Like Vista was somehow the beta of Win7, maybe Win8 is like a beta of a upcoming better OS...

 

Don't worry.. after windows 8 flops they'll stop supporting windows 7 with the newest version of direct X forcing everyone to upgrade come windows 9 in order to play new games.

(you people act like you have a choice of upgrading, your just lucky windows 7 doesn't suck.. otherwise you would be stuck choosing between still using XP or playing new games that don't support direct x 9)

on Feb 29, 2012

I vote we stay with Windows 7 and boycott all other Windows flavors...lol.

on Feb 29, 2012

Just what we need, another Windows ME or Windows Vista! In its current state I hope Windows 8 fails miserably!

on Feb 29, 2012

Once people get past the initial shock and WinRT apps start popping up it'll make a lot more sense.

Speaking from the dev preview, once I learned it I loved it (aside from it very obviously being not ready.)

Sadly won't have my copy of the CP til pretty late so I'll let ya know when that happens, but I enjoyed what I used.

on Feb 29, 2012

Once people get past the initial shock and WinRT apps start popping up it'll make a lot more sense.

Speaking from the dev preview, once I learned it I loved it (aside from it very obviously being not ready.)

Sadly won't have my copy of the CP til pretty late so I'll let ya know when that happens, but I enjoyed what I used.

Really? You think we're going to see a Metro version of Office, Photoshop, or any of the other main apps that people use any time soon?

I don't mind Metro. I like it.  But it does not work well on the desktop and won't work well on the desktop any time soon. Being jerked back and forth between metro and the desktop is a terrible idea.

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