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.

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Start button: Gone.

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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…
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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 3)
on Feb 29, 2012

Huh. I'm planning on installing the preview on my mother's new computer to test it until her job gets a copy of Windows 7 to her. I wonder if it'll be good enough to use as a stopgap until then? 

So, when is Stardock going to port their stuff to Mac and Linux?

 

on Feb 29, 2012

Is there any possibility of running Metro on one monitor and the Desktop on the other? Other than using Multiplicity and/or Synergy, at least. 

on Feb 29, 2012

It reminds me of the monitor on the cash register at Mimi's Cafe.  Or almost any other restaurant these days.

on Feb 29, 2012

I made a video outlining what I'm talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efqpryu5SRI

Keep in mind, this is on a fresh install. This is the ideal environment. Wait until you throw in a mix of Metro and desktop apps together. I don't know about you guys but I have a lot of things installed.

on Feb 29, 2012

For me, Win 8 is a flop at best and not something I will invest in unless radical changes are made to it.  Meaning, unless the classic desktop can be used without ever having to go into Metro, there is no way I would consider upgrading to it... or should that be downgrading?  I read that security in Win 8 has improved upon Win 7, and that it will natively manage ISO files, so no need for 3rd party apps, but this improvement/addition would not be enough to entice me if one cannot escape having to use Metro.

I didn't even download the developer preview to check it out, the screen caps were enough to turn me off, not to mention the considered opinions of various members here who I did try it out.  That nauseating green background was more than enough to put me off {MS could never get GUI colouring right], and with Metro being the default UI it was too great a hurdle for me.  Sure, the nauseating green is gone, but Metro has endured and therefore Win 8 is a dead set flop in my book.

on Feb 29, 2012

It's well known by now that this is Microsoft's business strategy for windows. Bad, Good, Bad, Good, Bad so that you can sell Good again.

Win 95: Good

Win 98: Bad

Win 98 SE: Good

Win ME: N/A

Windows 2000: Bad

Windows XP: Good

Windows Vista: Bad

Windows 7: Good

Windows 8: Bad

Windows 9: Good

Etc...

And we will always shut up and always use what they put out.

on Feb 29, 2012

Like we have a choice? (if you need certain software for work).

And I agree starkers--that interface is bug-ugly.

on Feb 29, 2012

Sinperium
Like we have a choice? (if you need certain software for work).

And I agree starkers--that interface is bug-ugly.

Increasingly, we have choices.   

People can stick with Windows 7 and either Microsoft will make Windows 8+ a better user experience or they'll move to other OSes.

A lot of developers are in the position right now of having to choose between WinRT and iOS development. 

on Feb 29, 2012

adamsolo
Windows 2000: Bad

I skipped ME for 2000 and it was fantastic.  Started at SP2 iirc so can't say how it was before that.

Had some DRM issues with EA games but other than that I loved it.

on Feb 29, 2012

I skipped ME for 2000 and it was fantastic.

Ditto...[ish]... other than people claiming 2000 was 'rock solid' and I BSOD'd about twice a day.... so much so I SKINNED the BSOD screen too....

on Feb 29, 2012

Win 2000 sucked. I 86'd it and rolled back to 98SE. Much better.

on Feb 29, 2012

Frogboy
A lot of developers are in the position right now of having to choose between WinRT and iOS development.

That simply shouldn't be!  WinRT for desktops and laptops, iOS for phones and tablets.  It should be as simple as that.  Now if MS wants to confuse matters by trying to marry/port one standard to or from the other, then it will cook the goose that lays the golden eggs.  There needs to be one defined standard for each platform and that's that, otherwise developers don't know where they stand.  Moreover, if they have to migrate from the standard they have used for several years to another, and/or cater to both, then software prices will rise

on Feb 29, 2012


Quoting Savyg, reply 39I skipped ME for 2000 and it was fantastic.

Ditto...[ish]... other than people claiming 2000 was 'rock solid' and I BSOD'd about twice a day.... so much so I SKINNED the BSOD screen too....

I went straight from 98SE to XP... didn't bother with those in between, but then I was a late starter [didn't touch a PC until 2004] and had no need to try ME or 2000.  My first computer was a -486 with 98SE and, hehe, I remember dressing it up with Desktop Architect to brighten up its drab appearance... which was still streets ahead of that Fisher Price look of XP.   Hmmm, I wonder if MS will ever produce an OS with a half tolerable UI that doesn't near poke yer eye out with its gaudiness or plain drab, butt ugly look?

Hey, I can answer that!  Probably not.

on Feb 29, 2012

Quoting Savyg, reply 39I skipped ME for 2000 and it was fantastic.

Ditto...[ish]... other than people claiming 2000 was 'rock solid' and I BSOD'd about twice a day.... so much so I SKINNED the BSOD screen too....
Seriously?

on Feb 29, 2012

It just occured to me that most of the Windows release people seem to consider bad are transitional releases.  ME/2000 were both kind of a transition point for XP.

The good thing is now even the 'bad' releases are good, just different and need some work throughout the environment (MS, driver devs, program devs, etc.)

I could pretend Vista was awful like the rest of the MS haters, but after about eight months it was a great OS.  All the stupidity with OEMs contributed to its downfall (Acer defaulting their laptops to Power Saver mode for example, ugh.  So retarded.  Not to mention all the unnecessary crapware they and everyone else installed.)

So I expect this pattern to continue unabated, as if all MS did was spiffy up the same product they'd be shut out of a lot of markets (as has happened in mobile/tablets.)

Anyway, things to do people to see I should have it downloaded by morning.  Should be using it as my main OS before next week.