Brad Wardell's views 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.

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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:

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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).

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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 2)
on Feb 29, 2012

This doesn't surprise me. I have hated everything about Win8 that i have read and seen. They have just got Win7 working fine, why screw around with a new direction that, to me, always looked liked it was going to be a PITA to navigate around.

But, that being said, iv'e no intention of ever using it. I'm more than happy with Win7 and will stay with it till after WIn9 is released, at the minimum...

on Feb 29, 2012

Frogboy
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.
I agree whole heartedly. Windows 8 in this skinner's opinion, sucks at best.

Contrary to some , I use the start menu a lot. I will sorely miss it.

Ribbons are best saved for office.

Seriously, colored rectangles....what a challenge!

I would much apreciate a choice of start panel or metro.

Being forced to constantly switch between desktop mode and metro does suck. It would be counter productive and just plain tiresome.

on Feb 29, 2012

Frogboy

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?

No I don't, and mainly because noone is going to make a Windows 8 only program meant for hundreds of thousands of people.  That would be a mite silly...like a game requiring a GTX580 or 7970 or sommat.

I don't expect high end apps to embrace it at all, really.  That said, I seem to recall the normal Windows shortcuts still working in the desktop, and you could still put shortcuts in the desktop and use it just like Tiles.

That said, since you can launch said apps from the Metro interface as I recall, they won't need to embrace it at all.

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...

 

 

It goes way back....

windows 95 : good

Windows 98 / me : bad

Windows XP : good

 

 Edit slash me outputs DrAtomic1 lol

 

on Feb 29, 2012

you're kidding right?  95 was buggy as shit.  98 was ok but still buggy.  98SE was great.  then ME came out and people were like 'what just happened?'

on Feb 29, 2012

Anyway, I know Frogboy had issues with IE9 that I didn't also so...make of that what you will.  I will have more to actually say when I have the download.  (Apparently both my wireless bridges are crap, so I need to get a card.  Whee)

on Feb 29, 2012

Damn it Thoumsin I was gonna say that!  Get Win 7. Its great!

on Feb 29, 2012

I don't know what you guys are saying. Windows 3.1 was awesome and everything since then has sucked.

on Feb 29, 2012

Actually Amiga OS was awesome, came a long time before MS and even (I think) Apple, had a graphical user interface and great games and software... shame about the poor marketing though...

on Feb 29, 2012


Quoting Frogboy, reply 15
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?


No I don't, and mainly because noone is going to make a Windows 8 only program meant for hundreds of thousands of people.  That would be a mite silly...like a game requiring a GTX580 or 7970 or sommat.

I don't expect high end apps to embrace it at all, really.  That said, I seem to recall the normal Windows shortcuts still working in the desktop, and you could still put shortcuts in the desktop and use it just like Tiles.

That said, since you can launch said apps from the Metro interface as I recall, they won't need to embrace it at all.

I think you may want to try using it.  I'm not discussing theorycraft here.

Adding even one extra step to launch an app would be annoying. Windows 8 is requiring a user to switch to the Metro environment, find the app, launch it, then it will switch you back to the Windows desktop environment.  This is a good thing?

on Feb 29, 2012

Anyway, I know Frogboy had issues with IE9 that I didn't also so...make of that what you will.  I will have more to actually say when I have the download.  (Apparently both my wireless bridges are crap, so I need to get a card.  Whee)

Yea, I did think IE 9 was bloated.

How's IE 9 been working out?

Market share of IE:

 

on Feb 29, 2012

Yeah that's fantastic, when you make it only show Vista and 7 users.

Since XP users need not apply it was guaranteed that IEs marketshare would drop.

I don't use IE9 because of the speed not the interface.

on Feb 29, 2012

Frogboy

Quoting Savyg, reply 14Once 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.

 

Question: is this going to impact Stardock in terms of causing you to diversify into other OS's?  I don't think it will, but if GalCiv III ran on Macs , I would actually consider getting one.

 

I really don't think Win8 is going to do all that well on desktops/laptops.

 

on Feb 29, 2012

It's the idea that we don't need a computer anymore--just an oversized desktop smartphone--that's the problem.

on Feb 29, 2012

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.

Wow.

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