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).

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 5)
on Mar 01, 2012

For a nice little article about W8 keyboard shortcuts which might make things easier -

http://www.neowin.net/news/tip-make-life-easier-with-windows-8-keyboard-shortcuts

on Mar 01, 2012

tjsnow76
they'd be better to hold off till it's as good as can be ..

Which will mean it's never released.

At last.... a glimmer of hope.....

on Mar 01, 2012

@Zubaz 

on Mar 01, 2012

So it would appear from the threads in the forum, if what we are being shown is representative of the actual release, most folks are calling Windows 8 D.O.A, (Dead On Arrivial). 

on Mar 01, 2012

tjsnow76
Would a good analogy be similar to Office 2007 ? Where some main apps such as Word & Excel had the new fancy Ribbon interface yet others still had the Office 2003 toolbar ???

 

I would have expected Microsoft to have learnt from previous years as to perfecting (as much as is possible) their new Windows release before sending it out full of bugs..... Rumours are circulating it will be released late Autumn... if there are still bugs and niggly problems, they'd be better to hold off till it's as good as can be ... why consumers continue to have to deal with buggy software on release baffles me... not just Microsoft but all developers seem to do the same thing... don't make a deadline that can't be changed... or STFU if it's not ready.... **rant over**  Carry on!

Not that analogy isn't the case here. This is much more like they're treating the Windows desktop like a DOS box of old.  Every time you try to run an existing Win32 program, you're shuttled off to the desktop which is isolated from everything else.

And you have to keep running back and forth between two completely different environments where the one they want you to migrate to is a pain to use if you're using Windows on a PC versus a tablet.

On YouTube, someone pointed out that to add a short cut to the desktop taskbar you have to go to Metro, right click on a tile and then add it to the desktop taskbar.  Seriously. That. Is. Insane.

Every Metro app is full screen. No matter how insane that is.  And all desktop apps are supposed to share one environment. I don't even want to touch on multi monitor.

on Mar 01, 2012

Just played with it on a virtual machine. Do I see it right hat You can't have 2 apps besides of each other  on the screen ??? Brad, is that what You meant ?

on Mar 01, 2012

i was under the impression that you don't have to use metro at all? is the start button gone from the "classic" or whatever it's called ui?

on Mar 01, 2012

The sad thing is unfortunately that no one at Microsoft that gives a damn even reads threads like this, on any site. 

on Mar 01, 2012

LightStar
The sad thing is unfortunately that no one at Microsoft that gives a damn even reads threads like this, on any site. 

Don't worry, they'll get the message when Windows 8 flops worse than Vista.

on Mar 01, 2012

Just posted this on the Windows 8 feedback forum:

 

"Just joined the site because I have to say this, Windows 8 (Metro UI) is great for a cellphone or a tablet, but it is absolutely useless as a desktop UI. I have been in IT since 1974 and have been a loyal Microsoft customer. I am a TechNet member and a Microsoft Partner, but I will never download nor use Windows 8 in its present state. You want to hear what a lot of people, people that know how to make a UI look good are saying about Windows 8? Have a look at this: http://forums.wincustomize.com/418854/page/1/#replies

Have a nice day, welcome to another Windows ME/Vista."

 

Head on over and give your opinion:  WindowsITPro Forum

on Mar 01, 2012

OEM's that want to ride the Windows 8 failtrain may find sales a bit slow.

on Mar 01, 2012

unless someone just comes up with a dirt cheap touch interface for the desktop and gets rid of the mice/keyboard...

on Mar 01, 2012

alaknebs
unless someone just comes up with a dirt cheap touch interface for the desktop and gets rid of the mice/keyboard...

well, my AIO box that I sold off had a touchscreen...beautiful screen too.

Of course, it being Win7 and having a mouse and kb I had no reason to use it.

on Mar 02, 2012

DrJBHL
For a nice little article about W8 keyboard shortcuts which might make things easier -

No one should have to use the keyboard (let alone shortcuts) to effectively use a mouse-driven GUI...period.  We passed that era about 30 years ago. 8P

on Mar 02, 2012

Ok, I've installed this new OS on a fresh computer. One positive to the whole windows metro thing is that it's unimonitor. The second, third, etc monitors are all on windows desktop instead. That means I can have the stupid windows weather app or other things on the left screen, while I use Chrome and desktop apps on the right one. As for the Start menu lack, I guess I'll just get Stardock's little toy, though I'll probably pin everything important to the bar like I do now with windows 7.

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