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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the you-had-one-job-ONE-JOB dept.
stmuk writes:

"BGR reflects on recent comments by a Metro designer. 'Metro is a content consumption space,' Microsoft UX designer Jacob Miller explains, 'It is designed for casual users who only want to check Facebook, view some photos, and maybe post a selfie to Instagram. It's designed for your computer illiterate little sister, for grandpas who don't know how to use that computer dofangle thingy, and for mom who just wants to look up apple pie recipes. It's simple, clear, and does one thing (and only one thing) relatively easily. That is what Metro is. It is the antithesis of a power user.'"

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State of the Site: 02/23/2014 108 comments
Well, we've survived our first week as a functional website, and have yet to go belly up because of it. The speed and growth of our community is staggering to say the least, and we are working hard to get this site fully operational. I'm pleased to announce that a development VM is now available for public consumption, and if you're interested in site development, one should join us in #dev on irc.soylentnews.org. Beyond that though, I've got a few points to address on and updated statistics to share ...
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Lagg on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:33AM

    by Lagg (105) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:33AM (#2241) Homepage Journal
    From what I've seen this is not an intuitive interface by any definition of the word. The target users he describes are the types that know how to use the classical WIMP stuff. This is kind of like a bizarre twist of the tile versus floating window manager argument. Familiarity is what the archetypal Aunt Tilly user goes by and something tells me that the apparent echo chamber filled with designers at MS aren't keeping that in mind. Also, this guy seems like someone who should know this given the way he speaks of his own setup and workflow (sshing from Windows into his linux machine, using vim as an editor, etc.).
    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    • (Score: 1) by similar_name on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:39AM

      by similar_name (71) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:39AM (#2244)

      My grandpa doesn't like metro, he prefers the desktop

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by TonyWilk on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:42AM

      by TonyWilk (213) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:42AM (#2248)

      Not buying it either: a designer of utter bollocks writes utter bollocks.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dilbert on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:17PM

      by dilbert (444) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:17PM (#2414)
      If this design principle were true, why did they put the metro interface into Server 2012? How many computer illiterate grandpas and little sisters are administering AD?
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by pjbgravely on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:04PM

        by pjbgravely (1681) <{pjbgravely} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:04PM (#2502) Homepage

        A server with a GUI?

        • (Score: 1) by maxwell demon on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:01PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:01PM (#2852) Journal

          Yes, I think it is immensely practical to have those little graphics known as letters, and an user interface which graphically arranges those letters on the screen in a grid of lines and columns. Also very useful is this motion-sensor-less hundred-something button mouse commonly known as keyboard.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:31AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:31AM (#3225)

          Red Hat is developing a server administration GUI. Windows - not just for Microsoft anymore.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by microtodd on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:22PM

        by microtodd (1866) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:22PM (#2563) Homepage Journal

        Heck yeah! I feel stupid, like I don't even know where the shutdown button is!

      • (Score: 1) by hb253 on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:22PM

        by hb253 (745) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:22PM (#2691)

        You'd be surprised.

        --
        The firings and offshore outsourcing will not stop until morale improves.
      • (Score: 1) by neagix on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:47PM

        by neagix (25) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:47PM (#2775)

        ..don't make me think about this. Whenever I start a remote session of Windows 2012 Server I have the clear sensation of somebody playing a prank on me by having installed some toy shell.

        But then I realize Microsoft did it.

    • (Score: 1) by sfm on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:34PM

      by sfm (675) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:34PM (#2479)

      Win-8 provides a flashy interface designed to get the attention of the "now" generation. Grandma could care less about floating windows and skins for apps. Consistency is king for the older generation. Win-8 breaks that, and offers no way to get it back.

      I second the bullshit call.

    • (Score: 1) by Rune of Doom on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:13PM

      by Rune of Doom (1392) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:13PM (#2553)

      Not buying it either. My niece is three and computer literate enough to do exactly what she wants on an Android tablet. Her grandfather has been using computers since they came on punch cards, likes functional GUIs, and prefers his Win7 look as much like XP as possible. And Mom gets everything she wants just fine from her iPad. Even if this claim was true (and I don't think for a moment it is) they user base they claim to be targeting doesn't exist.

    • (Score: 1) by dgoodmaniii on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:16PM

      by dgoodmaniii (919) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:16PM (#2620) Homepage

      Well, that's what they were *trying* to do. Dorsn't mean they did a good job of it.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by evilviper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:41AM

    by evilviper (1760) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:41AM (#2247) Homepage Journal

    I don't buy this idiotic justification for a second. "Casual" users need to be able to get to the dammed calculator, too. Casual users aren't notably good at finding a single unlabeled tiny icon in a list of a million barely distinguishable icons.

    The miserably poor sales indicates FAR more than just power-users HATE it. And finally, Android works GREAT for casual users, and yet it doesn't piss-off damn-near everyone who uses it.

    --
    Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by acid andy on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:56AM

      by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:56AM (#2261) Homepage Journal

      It's not even just about finding tiny icons. How will they know that if they move their mouse (yeah who's going to want a touchscreen setup on a desktop computer?) to a certain magic corner of the screen it will make the "charms" appear or what the fuck the "charms" are anyway? That doesn't make an OS easier to use or more intuitive, unless they're intentionally hiding things they think those people will never want to see.

      For a long while as I've observed with each iteration of Windows software and OSes how the location of buttons, functions and pull down menu items (remember them?) seemed to be shuffled around almost randomly, that unless the designers in Micro$oft are being pressured to make change for it's own sake (and they probably are) that the prime purpose of this insanity is to make lots and lots of money from people sending business users on their expensive training courses - over and over again.

      --
      Consumerism is poison.
      • (Score: 5, Funny) by tftp on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:33AM

        by tftp (806) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:33AM (#2276) Homepage

        Charms are essential. That's where they have the "Search" button that, once pressed, tells you that the search on the desktop does not work (pray tell, why?) They also have the sharing button there that doesn't do a thing. You can't live without those invaluable controls.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:01PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:01PM (#2546)

          I also laughed my ass off the first time somebody told me the Charms bar could be opened with Windows+C. And how the hell would I know that this thing is called the Charms bar? Does it even say "charms" on the bar? And I need to know it's there in the first place, let alone what it's named.

          Oh, but there's a one-time tutorial the first time you log in. Well okay, I guess everything's fine then.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Jaruzel on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:28PM

            by Jaruzel (812) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:28PM (#2754) Homepage Journal

            Oh, but there's a one-time tutorial the first time you log in. Well okay, I guess everything's fine then.

            And you didn't even get that until the Windows 8.1 'Bugfix' :D

            -Jar

            --
            This is my opinion, there are many others, but this one is mine.
            • (Score: 1) by tangomargarine on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:06PM

              by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:06PM (#2793)

              So when Windows 8 first came out, we were just left with this [youtube.com]?

              Winning!

              --
              "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 1) by jonh on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:19PM

            by jonh (733) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:19PM (#2875) Homepage

            Windows 8 is super-intuitive! To shut down your PC from the keyboard all you need to do is this:

            • Win+C, Down, Down, Enter, End, Up, Left, Enter, Down, Down, Enter.

            I wish I was joking... (And if there is a quicker way, please put me out of my misery and tell me how... :)

            • (Score: 2, Informative) by ridley4 on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:24AM

              by ridley4 (2025) on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:24AM (#3004)

              Win+R for the run box, then 'shutdown /s /t 0' should still work, or '/r /t 0' if you want a reboot. For some reason the shutdown command defaults to 30s, so /t 0 will make it skip that. There's probably some sort of reason behind that, because it's not the usual way to shut down a windows box.

              • (Score: 1) by tangomargarine on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:35PM

                by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:35PM (#3558)

                Especially hilarious that it's pretty much faster to do it on Windows with a command line, considering that with (X)Ubuntu, it's all of 2 clicks with a taskbar widget.

                --
                "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by TheLink on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:48PM

        by TheLink (332) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:48PM (#2538) Journal
        Discoverability is at an all time low. In old versions of Windows a noob^H^H^H^H^H casual user would be able to _find_ and do almost everything a casual user would want to do by just left clicking stuff, from the "start" button to the usual menus.

        Now Microsoft changes lots of stuff in ways that helps neither the noobs nor "pros" who'd take the trouble to learn shortcuts.

        For example: to logoff (a common task in many enterprises) you have to right click on where the start button used to be (in 8.0 or the start button in 8.1). How ridiculous is that? Which UI expert expects such users to keep track of whether it is right or left click? And how the heck are users supposed to figure out such things? Randomly left and right click on everything?

        It's so ridiculous that I've noticed that many users actually find it faster to use google to figure out how to do common tasks in Windows 8, than to try to discover it via the UI.

        It's not easier for the noobs nor faster for the pros. For example, shutting down in Windows XP for the noobs - left click start, select turn off computer. Shutting down in XP for the pros: winkey, u, u (the advantage is you even do this without a mouse and the monitor off). And no, pushing the power button doesn't always do a shutdown on all PCs.
        • (Score: 1) by Yog-Yogguth on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:09PM

          by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:09PM (#2683) Journal

          "Randomly left and right click on everything?"

          You make lots of good points and I'm not really arguing against you but like many others I used to teach a course on doing this, it wasn't cheap but it included keyboard-mashing :P

          Currently I would possibly have been teaching the replacement "Jazz Hands 101" which includes poking/stabbing, pinching, and rude gestures.

          This might all sound strange but computer-illiteracy is nothing but a specific combination of shyness and risk aversion common in adults (or it's just plain disinterest because they don't really need to know or use any of it).

          Likewise a big reason many people fear the CLI is the enormous amount of possible permutations: doing it like a million monkeys would isn't really a practical option (and how many permille would read any manual?) so they just stay away.

          All that said I try to avoid both Windows and Android (and Apple for other reasons).

          --
          Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by FatPhil on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:24AM

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:24AM (#2312) Homepage

      > "Casual" users need to be able to get to the dammed calculator, too.

      The proof-of-concept exploits will launch that for them.

      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mojo chan on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:22PM

      by mojo chan (266) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:22PM (#2366)

      They clearly massively underestimated the "casual user". He uses the example of the computer illiterate little sister, but I'd be surprised if I met a child in the western world that wasn't capable of operating a PC.

      --
      const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by monster on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:28PM

        by monster (1260) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:28PM (#2525) Journal

        Not only that. The "grandpas" of today are increasingly quite adept with technology and gizmos, since many of them already used computers in their jobs.

        If that explanation is true, they are designing their UXs for less people than they believe.

    • (Score: 1) by Jtmach on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:53PM

      by Jtmach (1481) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:53PM (#2599)

      Casual users aren't notably good at finding a single unlabeled tiny icon in a list of a million barely distinguishable icons.

      I'm not so sure. The casual users that I know are the ones with a million icons on their desktop. They just somehow know that the one they want is the third from the left and two rows down.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Snotnose on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:21PM

      by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:21PM (#2808)

      I have a friend who is an Interior Designer. Last month her company gave everyone a surface tablet. Metro is universally hated by all.

      These are a bunch of 40+ people, mostly computer illiterate.

      I have yet to hear of anyone who actually likes Metro. Best anyone has said is "Meh, it's ok".

      --
      In this month in 1958 Project Snot was started. This has upset many people and is widely considered a bad idea.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Dopefish on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:44AM

    by Dopefish (12) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:44AM (#2249)

    I install Classic Shell [classicshell.net] in order to restore honest-to-goodness Start Menu as well as apply other more traditional desktop tweaks. Problem solved. :)

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by crutchy on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:48AM

      by crutchy (179) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:48AM (#2253) Homepage Journal

      i just use debian... with gnome fallback.
      just can't bear to let go of panels and desktop icons yet

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:22PM (#2367)

        Use XFCE, or MATE, or KDE. All of those have no plans to stop being desktop all-out.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Moru on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:13PM

      by Moru (1248) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:13PM (#2362)

      I installed windows 7 and problem was solved :-)

      • (Score: 1) by dgoodmaniii on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:23PM

        by dgoodmaniii (919) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:23PM (#2626) Homepage

        I installed Linux and the problem was solved. But wait; these things aren't *solving* the problem; they're *avoiding* it. A good thing, but a different thing.

      • (Score: 1) by GungnirSniper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:03PM

        by GungnirSniper (1671) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:03PM (#2853) Journal

        Except it will End-of-Life sooner than Windows 8 will. Considering Microsoft's prices are up and hardware is down, I'd rather pay MS as little as possible.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by MrGuy on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:03PM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:03PM (#2403)

      It doesn't annoy me anymore either. I switched to a Macbook Pro, with Windows 7 running in a virtual machine for the rare times I really need something that doesn't have a Mac version. Problem solved!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bobintetley on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:45AM

    by bobintetley (1273) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:45AM (#2250)

    What nonsense, this is a poor attempt at a unified interface for different classes of devices. It's a desperate bid for Microsoft to stay relevant in a world of diminishing PC sales.

    I'm not sure how that guy can keep a straight face while saying it's for "casual users" when it basically completely changes the interface the casual users were previously used to. Casual users abhor change and they do not want to invest the time in learning a new desktop. Worse, it takes all the visual cues off the screen, so you have to know about hot corners and the super key, etc.

    That said, I stopped using their shitty products 15 years ago, so I'm enjoying this.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by mhajicek on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:13PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:13PM (#2361)

      Unfortunately many people have to use windows only software for their jobs. Mastercam has kept me on windows for 18 years with no change in sight.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by SMI on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:10PM

        by SMI (333) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:10PM (#2460)

        I would strongly recommend trying a dual-boot setup with Windows available in a virtual machine. Nothing to lose, much to gain.

        • (Score: 1) by mhajicek on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:55PM

          by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:55PM (#2494)

          What would I gain if I spend my whole day operating in the windows environment anyway? I'm not having any operability issues that need solving. Also imagine what Mastercam's tech support would say when ever I report a bug.

          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
          • (Score: 1) by SMI on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:23PM

            by SMI (333) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:23PM (#2519)

            If you spent your whole day operating in the Windows environment anyway (without issues), doing everything else one might also use a computer for, you would not gain anything.

            I imagine Mastercam's tech support would ask you if the issue you were having was occuring in both the Windows VM as well as the Windows side of the dual-boot setup. If so, the VM is irrelevant (to them). If not, it would be a question that should be addressed to people who are experienced with VMs, not to Mastercam's tech support.

            • (Score: 1) by mhajicek on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:33PM

              by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:33PM (#2576)

              So yes, I would not gain anything and it would require more time and effort for bug reporting.

              --
              The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 1) by linsane on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:45PM

      by linsane (633) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:45PM (#2533)

      I have never quite got why, when it is the MS excuse for Metro that it was a 'unifying' operating system, there is a separate one for mobile phones. Anyone care to shed light on this logic?

      I'm sure the internet has answered this before somewhere but I'm feeling lazy today...

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Jaruzel on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:34PM

        by Jaruzel (812) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:34PM (#2763) Homepage Journal

        I'm just as lazy, so can't be bothered to go find any URLs... but MS have said that they plan to collapse the whole thing to one OS... eventually. I think right now, Win RT is dead, and they are working on merging Win8.x (including Surface Pro) and Winphone 8 to a common stack once the hardware (intel/x86 based?) of mobile phones catches up. They'd like you to believe that just like when they launched XP and everyone initially hated it, that they are looking forward 10 years, and have the long game in mind.

        -Jar

        --
        This is my opinion, there are many others, but this one is mine.
    • (Score: 1) by Drew617 on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:23PM

      by Drew617 (1876) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:23PM (#2693)

      I haven't had to touch Win8 - like you I stopped using MS as a desktop OS a long time ago. I do administer some Server 2012 boxes though and what is absolutely maddening to me is the application of the same awful GUI (or close enough, I dunno) to the server OS.

      Bad enough having to find the magic cluster of pixels that turns up the "charms," try it in a RDP client that doesn't capture your mouse in the corner of the screen!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Boxzy on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:48AM

    by Boxzy (742) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:48AM (#2252) Journal

    "intuitive" that's why half the OS features are hidden in corners or accessed via mysterious screen swipes?

    --
    Go green, Go Soylent.
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by LookIntoTheFuture on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:06AM

      by LookIntoTheFuture (462) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:06AM (#2303)

      This. If Microsoft had their way women would be without nipples. "For the milk to come out, you need to move the breast like you're shifting into first gear. Ugh, these babies just aren't getting it."

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by chown on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:12PM

        by chown (1227) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:12PM (#2867)

        Holy crap, an analogy with both cars and breasts? I must've died and gone to heaven....

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by MachineShedFred on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:49PM

      by MachineShedFred (1656) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:49PM (#2442)

      There is nothing "intuitive" about what they've done. If their UI was intuitive, then you wouldn't have to pick up another device to use Google to figure out how to do what it is you're trying to do. There is nothing intuitive about moving your mouse all the way to the right edge of the display, clicking on a gear icon that appears out of nowhere for reasons that aren't apparent at first, and only then are you presented with the option to TURN OFF THE COMPUTER.

      I guess, in someone's mind, the power state is a "setting" but it's just stupid to everyone else.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Hyper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:52AM

    by Hyper (1525) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:52AM (#2255) Journal

    I thought that was the whole point about The Mac. Clean simple interface that anyone can use. Information at the user's fingertips. Make it quick simple and easy.

    None of which applies to Metro in my experience.

    I can see how something like Metro would work on a tablet or mobile device where you may only want to do one thing at a time. On a PC? There is no excuse or reason.

    If I was to gripe I would complain about not being able to see or feel navigation. Metro screens do not offer any way out or indication of where you are. I got stuck in PC Settings for a short time until I found the Windows key + E always works. Same for the start screen. I look at it and wonder where all of my programs are.

    Has anyone ever given a decent justification for using Metro on a desktop or laptop computer?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by everdred on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:21AM

      by everdred (110) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:21AM (#2272) Journal

      >Has anyone ever given a decent justification for using Metro on a desktop or laptop computer?

      I suppose that depends on your definition of "decent."

      It's easy to see why a unified UI across phones, tablets and PCs could be appealing if you go all-in.

      You must:

      • devote yourself to using Metro on all of your devices
      • throw out 30 years of expectations of legacy GUI functionality, and
      • don't expect too much from any one of your devices

      Unfortunately for Microsoft almost nobody, from either end of the expertise spectrum, seems willing to do all three.

      • (Score: 1) by bobintetley on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:42AM

        by bobintetley (1273) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:42AM (#2282)

        Most insightful comment I've read on the subject. Thanks.

        • (Score: 1) by everdred on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:16AM

          by everdred (110) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:16AM (#2309) Journal

          Glad you enjoyed it. I just posted another such screed further down the page.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Hyper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:28AM

        by Hyper (1525) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:28AM (#2314) Journal

        This.

        3 decades of trial, error, learning and advancements in gui theory, practical application and technology thrown out the window for something perhaps suitable for small children.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by FatPhil on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:21AM

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:21AM (#2333) Homepage

          So it's just a cubist version of MS Bob?

          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
          • (Score: 1) by Hyper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:58AM

            by Hyper (1525) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:58AM (#2351) Journal

            So it's just a cubist version of MS Bob?

            ROTFL

            It is possible that Microsoft Bob would be preferable over Metro.

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by combatserver on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:50AM

          by combatserver (38) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:50AM (#2347)

          "... perhaps suitable for small children."

          And they fucked that up by getting rid of "Clippy". Talk about ignoring your target audience-completely ruined the MS Office Suite for kids.

          --
          I hope I can change this later...
      • (Score: 1) by similar_name on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:39AM

        by similar_name (71) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:39AM (#2318)

        >It's easy to see why a unified UI across phones, tablets and PCs could be appealing if you go all-in.

        I understand it is appealing to some markets and not indicative of anything... Personally, I'd like all of my devices to have a different UI every time I rebooted. I'd pay extra money for that.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:04AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:04AM (#3104)

          Use Firefox then

          Every time I reboot my PC I get a new web browser...

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by microtodd on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:25PM

      by microtodd (1866) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:25PM (#2565) Homepage Journal

      Has anyone ever given a decent justification for using Metro on a desktop or laptop computer?

      Think like an MBA, or an ivory tower software program manager. Unified codebase. Results in more efficient QA, smaller dev teams (cost savings), smaller integration and CM footprint, etc.

      Of course if you lose all your customers then maybe it wasn't worth it, eh?

    • (Score: 1) by MachineShedFred on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:58PM

      by MachineShedFred (1656) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:58PM (#2849)

      Has anyone ever given a decent justification for using Metro on a desktop or laptop computer?

      Here's the only one: information kiosk.

      Between the Metro / Modern crap, and locking the ever living shit out of everything else with Group Policy, you can make an effective kiosk system.

      Other than that, it's a complete nightmare.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by engblom on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:52AM

    by engblom (556) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:52AM (#2256)

    I am working for a computer shop and I end up fixing customers computer. What I noticed is you need to know a bit more about computers to manage well with the Metro UI.

    It is far from obvious to switch task up in the left corner. I did not know about this for a long time. What I just used was the old Alt-tab in lack of other obvious means. Okay, kids probably know about Alt-tab for quickly hiding the browser window, but the rest do not know about it.

    It is also far from obvious how to close a program. As an old computer user I knew Alt-F4 would do it, so I got it done.

    Also, how do you shut down the computer? Well, for an experienced user it is not that difficult to hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and then shutdown the computer.

    The list just continues and all I can say is that they failed badly and you really have to be a bit above average to manage with Metro.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Hyper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:24AM

      by Hyper (1525) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:24AM (#2273) Journal

      Shutting down in Windows8 is easy. Just create a shortcut on the desktop with the following target:

      C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe /s /f /t 4

      or hold the computer power button for 10 seconds.

      • (Score: 1) by Landon on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:17PM

        by Landon (45) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:17PM (#2555) Journal

        It took me a while to find this one, but put your mouse in the top right corner, go down to Settings and then select the power option. (I did have the shutdown.exe shortcut on my desktop for a few months first though... :$ )

        • (Score: 1) by Jaruzel on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:04PM

          by Jaruzel (812) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:04PM (#2790) Homepage Journal

          Tsk. You N00bs. :)

          Bottom left corner, right click. A surprisingly useful menu appears full of lots of goodies. On it choose 'Shutdown or sign out >'.

          Right clicking on a corner with no visual indicator that there's something there must be REALLY obvious in MS land, or something... *mind boggles*

          -Jar

          --
          This is my opinion, there are many others, but this one is mine.
          • (Score: 1) by Hyper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:12PM

            by Hyper (1525) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:12PM (#2866) Journal

            Bottom left corner? Right click? D'uh! How could I possibly have missed that?

            Obviously my years in IT have been a complete waste. I should start again in a new field, wookworking perhaps :p

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:40PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:40PM (#2977)

            Of course, for that to be possible you need to be using a mouse rather than a touchscreen. So much for that unified interface...

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:48AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:48AM (#3091)

              Upgrade tablets to have mouse cursor and virtual right click button pad

              If SCUMM can do it then google can!

        • (Score: 1) by Hyper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:16PM

          by Hyper (1525) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:16PM (#2804) Journal

          This may be a case calling for a *whoosh* HOWEVER... I never found the shutdown command under Power. Only learnt about it while reading forums full of people complaining about the hidden parts of Windows 8.

          Pride would not let me search the internet for something so basic as shutting down windows so I spent the first few days trying to figure it out for myself. Oh well. Perhaps I would have accidentally found it one day.

      • (Score: 1) by meisterister on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:32PM

        by meisterister (949) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:32PM (#2971) Journal

        Nonononononono! That takes far to long! All you have to do is unplug the unholy abomination and then drive a stake through its hard drive!

        --
        (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
    • (Score: 1) by joshuajon on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:47PM

      by joshuajon (807) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:47PM (#2659)

      What is this "computer shop" you talk about? Is that some type of analog Newegg?

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by tastech on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:54AM

    by tastech (251) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:54AM (#2260)

    I installed some drivers for a photocopier the other day. Two machine side by side, Win7 and win8. I had the 7 machine sorted in 5 minutes. Meanwhile 8 is still at the trying to find drivers online stage. Something is fundamentally broken. Every time I have to touch a win8 machine i cringe. fucked if i can ever find what im looking for. I have to date removed win8 from more than 10 machines for customers who just cant get their heads around it.
    Personally I use a linux machine these days. Less malware/viruses and less grief with trying to understand the latest office etc. and best of all its all pretty much free.

     

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:14AM (#2329)

      A few things can help:

      Disable the charms and corner hotspots. It will drive people nuts.
      Show people the Windows key + X, Windows key + C, Windows key + E
      Show people that after hitting the Windows key they can type text to search for programs.
      Tell people that they don't have to signup for a Microsoft account.
      Show people how to get out of Metro screens using alt-tab and alt-F4

      If you can, install classic shell or an alternate file explorer.
      Disable or uninstall the default Metro apps.

      • (Score: 1) by tangomargarine on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:16PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:16PM (#2554)

        What's Windows+E for? Execrate? If I had a function to send angry letters to Microsoft from my desktop that I knew the head honchos were forced to read, I would totally do it.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bolek_b on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:01AM

    by bolek_b (1460) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:01AM (#2264)
    Is the field of UI design so hard that practically no one with common sense remains? There are plenty of cases: Windows 8, GMail, Flickr, Visual Studio, recently Foxit Reader (incl. all-caps menu!). Firefox's ugly "redesign" is approaching. And not to forget a certain Beta.

    I consider it almost a behavioral pattern.
    First, the responsible individual conceives a terrible design, which might suit his tastes, but is repulsive to almost anyone else. Removal of functions and other aspects (depowerment?) is common.
    Second, negative feedback is met with arrogant stance; "No, we know what is best and there will be no turning back. Leave if you don't like it!".
    Third, the affected product/service becomes marginalized and its owners puzzled, why do those ungrateful users leave.
    Fourth, NO profit (except for products/services that jumped in as a welcome replacement).

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by pmontra on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:43AM

      by pmontra (1175) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:43AM (#2283)

      Well, if MS's told their designers to design for casual users maybe Metro is not that bad. However I don't think MS understood who their users are. They don't have almost any causal user. They have only users that use Windows almost every day, a few power users and many unskilled (not casual!) users. So they should have asked their designers for another evolutive step of the Windows interface. That's it.

      Their users were flocking to iOS and Android and leaving their home PC behind not because those interfaces are more suited to casual users (they're not casual, they're using phones all the day) but because they come on devices which are more convenient to use where people spend most of their time (not in front of a desk) and where they want to spend it (again, not in front of a desk or with a heavy laptop on their legs in the couch).

      Apple and Google did well without the convergence of mobile and desktop interfaces. MS should have spent all their energies on their mobile OS and should have left alone the desktop one. MS bet a substantial part of the company on the wrong assumptions. It's not a surprise that it's not going well.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hyper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:51AM

      by Hyper (1525) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:51AM (#2290) Journal

      I blame MS Office. They came out with a brand new way of showing program functions being a bastardisation of the drop down menu system and graphics program gui with a total disregard for the interface hall of shame [soylentnews.org]. Now others are copying them.

      My feedback is that I only have so much memory space for program commands. For programs that use icons I can learn the place and meaning of icons mostly by their location. Photoshop will be etched into my brain forever. Moving icons? Hidden options? Not being able to see everything? No.

      One issue for me remains: I am capable of needing to use a function in a MS Office 2010 program and not being able to find it. I can spend a chunk of time searching for it and not find it. Even though in many cases it is right in front of me. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to teach newbies. Can you see it? "Click on this object, and this menu should appear, and there should now be an option here to do this".

      Has anyone looked at the productivity cost inflicted by MS Office? What happens when lots of software, starting with Foxit, copy them?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:59AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:59AM (#2324)

        Link test [interfacehallofshame.eu]

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Istaera on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:00AM

        by Istaera (113) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:00AM (#2325)

        Parent link doesn't work, try this:

        http://interfacehallofshame.eu/www.iarchitect.com/ shame.htm [interfacehallofshame.eu]

        --
        I believe there's somebody out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mhajicek on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:20PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:20PM (#2364)

      I think it's a matter of engineering by the marketing department.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by joekiser on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:35PM

      by joekiser (1837) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:35PM (#2480)

      It's not just the Windows world. Gnome 3, KDE 4, Firefox, and Amarok have suffered from UI regressions. I think its a case of designers trying to "anticipate" trends in the market as opposed to designing to/for their current audience. The problem is that trying to predict trends can result in making the wrong prediction, while also alienating your current user-base. Look at the damage done in the KDE camp; they totally re-wrote their framework to embrace desktop "widgets" when

      For example: KDE totally re-wrote their UI framework in anticipation of everybody using "Widgets" on the desktop. About the time that code became usable, Microsoft was getting rid of their Sidebar/Gadgets, Google Desktop was disappearing, and Konfabulator/Yahoo Widgets was abandoned. Meanwhile, KDE added the ability to "rotate" your widget on the desktop (because rotating an analog clock 30 degrees is a vital desktop feature) at the expense of stability. All the time the KDE team wasted in making their desktop widget-friendly alienated their user-base, while the "widget trend" moved to something else. To their credit. they have tried to backtrack the past few releases by saying its all about "Activities" now, which is some bastardized combination of virtual desktops and widgets.

      I won't even get into the mess that is Gnome 3 (touch-centric on devices that don't support touch), except to say that when it really matters, when real money is on the line, Red Hat Enterprise 7 is making the new Gnome Shell look exactly like Gnome 2.

      --
      Debt is the currency of slaves.
      • (Score: 1) by bolek_b on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:20PM

        by bolek_b (1460) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:20PM (#2560)

        Regarding Firefox... Up to now I had auto-update switched to "Announce only" due to some past negative experiences with stability, but after sandbox tests I have usually upgraded anyway. But now, with the prospects of that shiny metal, ehm, design of Firefox, codenamed Aurora, I have decided to disable auto-update functionality altogether.

        Unfortunately the downfall of Firefox has probably already started. For example, the so-called "Library" is so badly designed that certain obvious actions are not even present in pop-up menus of downloaded items. "Double click must be enough for you, we don't want any redundancy, you ingrate," thought the responsible designers (perhaps).

      • (Score: 1) by bobintetley on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:11PM

        by bobintetley (1273) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:11PM (#2617)

        I understand the hate for Gnome 3 and how they alienated a chunk of the user base who just wanted an incremental update.

        That said, Gnome 3 is NOT touch-centric at all, it's very much designed for a mouse and I find the workflow to be a huge improvement over Gnome 2 - I really would not want to go back to Gnome 2 at all. The beauty of free software is that those guys who hate it can stick with MATE or XFCE or whatever, but I really like the direction the Gnome guys have taken. Unfortunately I seem to be a lone voice in the wilderness :)

        I'm a free software developer of 20 years and not affiliated with the Gnome project in any way and have never worked on it. I have however been using it since Gnome 1.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tangomargarine on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:19PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:19PM (#2557)

      Firefox's next ugly "redesign" is approaching

      FTFY. I already have a list of settings to apply to unfuck my default Firefox install. If they finally hack out about:config, I'm gonna be pissed. (So far they seem to be the only sane ones that let you turn everything off.)

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 1) by Ghostgate on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:26AM

        by Ghostgate (1019) on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:26AM (#3078)
        If you are running Windows, I highly recommend Pale Moon [palemoon.org] if you are tired of the constant Firefox interface changes. I was even using the ESR versions of Firefox and still got tired of it. Pale Moon is a Windows-optimized version of Firefox that keeps more of the classic interface by default and strips out a lot of the bloat (like the social API garbage). It still includes all of the latest security updates, and all Firefox addons should work fine in Pale Moon as well. I switched to it in October and every addon that I've tried so far has worked perfectly.
        • (Score: 1) by tangomargarine on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:32PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:32PM (#3555)

          I'm not (Xubuntu), but thanks :)

          Do they have a Linux version of Fasterfox or Waterfox or something is the question then...

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 1) by microtodd on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:27PM

      by microtodd (1866) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:27PM (#2568) Homepage Journal

      Don't forget YahooMail. That one was funny [huffingtonpost.com].

    • (Score: 1) by Ghostgate on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:39AM

      by Ghostgate (1019) on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:39AM (#3086)

      What bothers me more than the ugly designs is the lack of choice. There would have been very little outrage over Metro if you could choose from several options when performing a clean install of Windows 8, such as: 1. classic desktop only (Metro is not loaded or even installed on the system), 2. hybrid mode - boot to desktop (Start Menu included of course), 3. hybrid mode - boot to Metro (this last one would be the default on the new Dells and such). But the general trend in computing right now seems to be taking options/choices/features away rather than giving you more. The reason many of us are on this site instead of Slashdot is another obvious example of that.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by cx on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:43AM

    by cx (239) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:43AM (#2285)

    Some of you might see my kid as problematic, even deficient in some ways, but it's a great kid. You just don't know, you.
    See, he's not like others. He might not stand out in your mundane tasks and standard tests and whatyouhave, boring stuff. But in his own world, on his own terms, he's amazing. And I thank God for that.

    • (Score: 1) by jimshatt on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:58AM

      by jimshatt (978) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:58AM (#2323) Journal

      I see what you did there. Unfortunately, the mods didn't :)

      • (Score: 1) by cx on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:24AM

        by cx (239) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:24AM (#2335)

        I am telling you, people just don't see! ;)

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by gargoyle on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:43AM

    by gargoyle (1791) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:43AM (#2286)

    I go swimming each day, this morning while getting changed after the swim I overheard a conversation between a middle aged woman and an older women.

    The older woman wanted to buy a new PC for home and the middle aged woman started to warn her not to go with Windows 8 and actually provided a fairly accurate laymens description of what is wrong with Win8. She was clearly not in an IT type job based on the terms she was using. I couldn't help but smile

    I suspect that both these women are exactly the sort of persion the article is trying to convince us that Win8 was designed for, and yet word of mouth about how bad the OS is has spread outside of technical groups of people and into the wider population.

    • (Score: 1) by Yog-Yogguth on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:20AM

      by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:20AM (#3075) Journal

      Uhmm you swim, you change in the female locker room (meaning you're either female yourself or the living physical embodiment of some raunchy somewhat comedic pubertal male-oriented Japanese anime), and you post on Slashdot^WSoylentNews. Your post involves two women discussing computers while changing into swimsuits and with a strong bias against Microsoft.

      *Yog-Yogguth's head asplodes from happiness and pleasure*

      There is still hope for this plane of existence, thank you thank you thank you gargoyle :)

      --
      Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by everdred on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:13AM

    by everdred (110) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:13AM (#2307) Journal

    ...we had things pretty good for a while, but Windows 8 is just another sign of the times.

    For decades, there were expectations of expertise built-into nearly all aspects of nearly all computing devices, because a greater proportion of the users were experts. While these expectations have been decreasing over time, the rate of change seems to have accelerated over the last few years; it's easy to see now when it's highlighted by its absence. It's happening in both hardware and software.

    We have less functional keyboard layouts because most people don't use "those" keys. We've got soldered-on RAM because most people don't upgrade theirs anyway. Many laptops, phones and tablets have built-in batteries because most people don't need a second one, or keep a device long enough to see serious drop-off in charging capacity. Perhaps worst of all, we get less functional software because many people struggle with the basics.

    To look at our stuff now and notice that we're lacking what seem like simple no-brainers is saddening if you're like many of us. If you're not one of us, the changes may not even register with you, or may seem like progress.

    On the software side, we still have some good choices, and it's usually still possible to replace the programs or operating systems that come with our devices with the ones we'd rather be using. That said, some that previously seemed like good choices have become less so. (Think Ubuntu with Unity, Gnome 3, Final Cut Pro.)

    But on the hardware side, things aren't looking so good.

    A reasonable person would suggest we vote with our wallets and buy only the good stuff, even if it means paying more. After all, we don't have the masses' purchases to help subsidize our stuff anymore, now that most of the stuff on the market was designed with one ridiculous design compromise or another (non-removable batteries, etc.).

    Paying more is reasonable, I guess. I, for one, am willing to pay a bit more for quality products that don't treat me like a jerk. But worst of all, the stuff that appeals to many of us is either disappearing or is already gone. Even the stuff that seemed sacrosanct is being, or has already been, turned stupid.

    Just look what they've done to our fucking ThinkPads.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by MrGuy on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:22PM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:22PM (#2365)

      Just pointing out that the rise of UEFI may well take away your options for installing alternative OS'es in the future. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Fi rmware_Interface [wikipedia.org]

      I for one welcome our new smart-tiled overlords.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by dilbert on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:24PM

        by dilbert (444) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:24PM (#2421)
        Let's not confuse UEFI and Secure Boot.

        UEFI by itself is not a problem.

        Secure Boot, which is a component of UEFI, can be used to limit what type of code can be run on the computer. As it *currently* stands, Microsoft has required OEM's to allow Secure Boot to be disabled on x86/x64 machines if they want to use the 'certified for Win8' sticker on their machines.

        Obviously Microsoft (or the government) could change that requirement at some point in the future.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:31PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:31PM (#2704)

          UEFI by itself is not a problem.

          Are you sure? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2aq5M3Q76U [youtube.com]

          To be fair the video is a bit old and maybe issues have been resolved. But it does seem fundamentally terrible.

      • (Score: 2) by everdred on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:18PM

        by everdred (110) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:18PM (#2469) Journal

        Mmhmm. SecureBoot had come to mind while writing this, but I'm not sure why it didn't make it into the post.

        Great point.

    • (Score: 1) by dilbert on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:21PM

      by dilbert (444) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:21PM (#2419)
      I've never heard it articulated quite this way, but I do believe you are correct.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by elf on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:01PM

    by elf (64) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:01PM (#2352)

    "Miller writes that Microsoft wanted to make the Metro UI mostly for more casual computer users who were flocking to iOS and Android devices because they offered simple and intuitive platforms for basic computing tasks."

    They were flocking to iOs and Android but not Windows RT.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MrGuy on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:33PM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:33PM (#2373)

      "casual computer users who were flocking to iOS and Android devices because they offered simple and intuitive platforms for basic COMPUTING tasks."

      No. No they were not. They were flocking to devices that offered simple and intuitive platforms for SOME OF THE TASKS that until that point had REQUIRED a computer.

      And there's the mistake. There are many, many tasks that users want and expect a computer to do that they don't necessarily expect from a mobile, or that mobile is not good at. And it's THOSE things, not the casual things, that are the reason people still own computers in the first place.

      If you're designing an OS for larger, less mobile devices, guess what? You've already lost the battle for "the device someone's using to browse the web from on the train." And you didn't lose it on OS features. You lost it on portability.

      But people still own PC's and laptops. And they still use them. The right question to ask is "what do people who still have PC's/laptops have them for?" What are they trying to do that they CAN'T do as well from their mobile? THAT'S what you design a desktop OS to make easy.

      Hey, Microsoft, why would I want a laptop OS that only makes easy stuff I can already do on my phone?

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by nightsky30 on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:49PM

    by nightsky30 (1818) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:49PM (#2382)

    First off, if I had a little sister, she would most certainly not be computer illiterate, and most likely very computer savvy. Is he trying to say girls don't get technology? If I had a little sister, she'd say Windows 8 is poop. Secondly, this garbage is coming from a Metro UI designer who's been drinking the kool-aid. Of course he's going to defend that abomination! "Blame it on the power users!" BS. They aren't listening to users at all.

    • (Score: 1) by dilbert on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:26PM

      by dilbert (444) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:26PM (#2423)
      My little sister is unfortunately of the "OMG Ponies!" personality.

      My daughter, however, prefers LinuxMint and OSX to Win8.

    • (Score: 1) by monster on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:47PM

      by monster (1260) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:47PM (#2536) Journal

      My little sister has two laptops: A 7 years old netbook (10", Atom, 1GB RAM, XP) and a new notebook (15", Core 2 duo, 4GB RAM, W8). Guess which one uses daily and which one is used only when the Adobe Suite is required?

      People at Microsoft sure have some justification of W8, but it didn't work as intended. By not accepting it they are digging themselves in a deeper hole.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by number6 on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:54PM

    by number6 (1831) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:54PM (#2447) Journal

    If application or system software was designed correctly then userland would never have to argue about choice of graphic user interface or which 'Window Manager' is the best.

    How do you make EXPLORER.EXE in Windows NT6 look and act EXACTLY like the one seen in NT5 XP ??? ....YOU CAN'T.
    How do you make THE DESKTOP(+Taskbar+StartMenu) in Windows NT6 look and act EXACTLY like the one seen in NT5 XP ??? ....YOU CAN'T.

    BUT .... if graphic user interfaces were totally modular and hot-swappable like plugins; if every single GUI element was a selectable component officially allowing you to 'ShowIt | HideIt | RemoveIt | EnableIt | DisableIt | AddtoIt | SubtractFromIt | EnhanceIt | ReplaceItWithOtherModulesOfSameClass | ReplaceItsOwnObjects | CustomizeItsOwnObjects | etc', then this level of customization would be possible. It requires insightful planning, engineering and design from the host software manufacturer right from the get-go. At the moment, Microsoft do not have such an 'insightfully designed' operating system.

    IMHO, the Windows audio player 'foobar2000' is an example of an 'insightfully designed' application software----it allows userland to be the UX Designer !

    If the Microsoft Windows design team could take the design paradigm of foobar2000 and apply it to an operating system then userland would NEVER AGAIN have to argue about their visual preferences.

    I think what I am saying is especially relevant in today's world, where we have multiple graphical paradigms, with mobile phones and tablets appearing on the scene.....

    Now throw into that mix the conservative business user who does not want to change his Windows XP GUI one little bit....so he buys a newer NT6 Windows 8 machine and skins it to look and act EXACTLY like NT5 Windows XP......BUT THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE AS WE SPEAK, because Microsoft has not created an 'insightfully designed' operating system.

    • (Score: 1) by joshuajon on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:53PM

      by joshuajon (807) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:53PM (#2667)
      You keep using that phrase [wikipedia.org], but I don't think it means what you think it means.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:20PM (#2690)

        Please explain, what are you inferring? What has that Wikipedia article got to do with what he is saying?

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by animal on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:01PM

    by animal (202) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:01PM (#2455)

    That is what Microsoft thinks of its users. At every new version of windows, Microsoft thinks the users get more dumb than they used to be!
    Dumb design by a dumb designer

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by phenonadhominem on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:31PM

    by phenonadhominem (1841) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:31PM (#2476)

    I think there is more to it.

    By simplifying the interface whether slashdot or the guardian (beta) comments section or windows metro with huge padding and 1980's resolutions and less is more style buttons every few lines it prevents cognition and parsing and I guess the elites hope we swallow any propaganda garbage they cook up.

    Exactly the same thing happened to Washington Post comments a while back.

    They will not be happy until the computer is a webstore and a video player (and recorder for NSA) - a simplistic appliance.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:35PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:35PM (#2529) Journal

    I have used Linux exclusively for 15 years. The early years were painful. The last 10 have been a dream. Everything works, no viruses, no spyware. Updates are as simple as "apt-get upgrade." So it has been curious to watch so many struggle so long with this thing called Microsoft, or wrap themselves in the velvet straitjacket called Apple. I have the freedom I want. Canonical, for example, can do whatever they want to with their distro, I can veto any part of it any time I want to on my system. If any distro gets too heavy-handed, the community forks a liberated version and everyone continues on their merry way. I can't imagine computing in any other fashion--the computer is a tool that serves me, not the other way around. So it's curious to watch MS and Apple users struggle with what the respective monopoles want to do with them. Why don't they opt out? Don't they want to free? It's reminiscent of the old Cold War, when we Americans just could not understand why Soviets didn't want to be free; living under a slave system was that unimaginable.

    And I suspect that is what is really behind user rebellion against Win8. Sure it changes functionality and the interface and all those nitty-gritty things, but most of all it has completely broken with the culture MS spent 30 years building up and which the user base had grown so accustomed to they barely noticed it was there anymore. I suspect Apple would run into the same rebellion if they ever pulled a similar move. Society has at long last begun to internalize computers and information technology, so it has moved beyond the realm of the details of functionality and UI and hardware when considering what next to do with our software or hardware products. Now we must consider the technology-using culture of our users in a way that goes beyond mere UI.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by joshuajon on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:55PM

      by joshuajon (807) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:55PM (#2674)

      > I suspect Apple would run into the same rebellion if they ever pulled a similar move.

      They did, in OSX. It was pretty well received if I understand the history of the situation correctly.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by chown on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:16PM

    by chown (1227) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:16PM (#2872)

    You know you've been successful in getting all the /. users over when a merry MS-bashing party is well on its way. Good job! :)

  • (Score: 1) by wjwlsn on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:51PM

    by wjwlsn (171) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:51PM (#2983) Homepage Journal

    I actually like the Metro UI ... on my tablet. The swiping gestures may not be intuitively obvious at first, but once you learn them (easy), interaction becomes extremely fluid. The Start screen is very flexible; you can have as many tiles as you want, change tile sizes, move things around, group things as you see fit, turn live tiles on/off, etc. Getting to the rest of your apps is easy, and finding what you want isn't that difficult at all. Running apps full-screen is pretty standard on tablets, but Metro gives you the flexibility to split your screen easily and run them side-by-side (useful!).

    Then, on top of all that, or rather behind it, you have a traditional desktop interface available. It's definitely not optimal for smaller touchscreens, but it works and it gives you a lot of flexibility and power if you're willing to make it work for you. Hell, I run a desktop R/C plane flight simulator on mine; I plug the controller into the USB port and have some fun crashing gliders, quadcopters, and powered planes into the various landscapes.

    Now, I am not the target audience described by the article. I'm a command line junkie that ran a two-line BBS under Desqview, first installed Linux from floppies (MCC distribution), programmed on a Cray and a Connection Machine, administered two OpenVMS Alpha workstations in the control room of a nuclear power plant, and have used nearly every major version of M$ Windows since 3.0. I specifically chose a Windows 8.1 tablet because of its interface and its flexibility.

    Mind you, I run desktop-only on my Windows 8 laptop. I say use what makes sense for the device and how you intend to use it.

    --
    I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
  • (Score: 1) by sibiday fabis on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:27AM

    by sibiday fabis (2160) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:27AM (#3162)

    It's designed for your computer illiterate little sister, for grandpas who don't know how to use that computer dofangle thingy, and for mom who just wants to look up apple pie recipes. It's simple, clear, and does one thing (and only one thing) relatively easily.

    Yeah. That "one thing" it does effortlessly is frustrate every user. I have to support this for my clients who bought new computers without consulting me. Every user has problems with W8, especially the "illiterate" ones. Even with Classic Shell installed, somehow they wind up in Metro hell. A completely unintuitive mess.
    Aside from that, wireless networking is messed up, theme syncing is a joke, file history to an external drive crashes randomly, search is still awful, et cetera ad nauseam.
    More accurately, a completely unintuitive and randomly broken mess.

    • (Score: 1) by wjwlsn on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:46PM

      by wjwlsn (171) on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:46PM (#3463) Homepage Journal

      This is not an attack against your argument, but your post made me think of it...

      Why is it that a bunch of tech-savvy nerds are arguing so vehemently against an user interface that isn't immediately and intuitively obvious in its operation? At the same time, why do so many of us call the same interface "dumbed-down", "brain dead", and "pandering to the lowest common denominator"?

      Aren't we the crowd that loves the command line for its power and efficiency, even though there's nothing intuitive about it? Aren't we also the people that believe that users should understand a little bit about what their machines are doing, even if that means leaving some of the underlying complexity exposed?

      Obviously, I hold a minority opinion here ... I am a tech-savvy nerd that likes Windows 8 for its flexibility and ability to present the user interface I need for the device I'm using at the moment. I use and enjoy Metro on my tablet, and use the traditional interface (almost exclusively) on my laptop. One interface is highly optimized for touch and smaller screens, the other for keyboard/mouse and larger screens.

      I understand that Microsoft has made many missteps here and could have done a better job integrating the OS as a whole. At the same time, we all knew that Microsoft's first release of a vastly revised user interface was going to be problematic... didn't we? It's almost cliché at this point: 3.1 good, 95 bad, 98 good, Me bad, XP good, Vista bad, 7 good, 8 bad. (And before I get flamed for saying MS was good at anything, I meant "good by Microsoft standards")

      We all knew Windows 8 was for early adopters expecting to deal with problems, so why all the uproar?

      --
      I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
      • (Score: 1) by sibiday fabis on Saturday February 22 2014, @03:14PM

        by sibiday fabis (2160) on Saturday February 22 2014, @03:14PM (#4834)

        Why is it that a bunch of tech-savvy nerds are arguing so vehemently against an user interface that isn't immediately and intuitively obvious in its operation? At the same time, why do so many of us call the same interface "dumbed-down", "brain dead", and "pandering to the lowest common denominator"?

        Because it is all of the above. It's very poor UI design, period. Between that and the other broken or weird stuff it's just not fun to play with, much less try to support.

        I am a tech-savvy nerd that likes Windows 8 for its flexibility and ability to present the user interface I need for the device I'm using at the moment.

        So why force the touch interface on non-touch devices? It's entirely inflexible in that very common user case, unless you third party tools.

        We all knew Windows 8 was for early adopters expecting to deal with problems, so why all the uproar?

        In my experience average users go to a big box store, where they are told that Windows 8 is their only choice. They aren't traditional early adopters, but they are in essence forced into it as they don't know how to get a new computer with Windows 7.

        They spend little or no time looking at the new interface before purchase. They trust that it will be navigable in the same way as every previous Windows computer. They don't want to have to figure it out, they just want to use it. It's a rude awakening.

        Then, when they ask someone to teach them how to use this non-intuitive mess, they quickly discover that it's not "something they are doing wrong", it's the fundamental brokenness in the UI. I've had clients return W8 computers to the store. I've had others ask me to install W7. Both scenarios never happened for me with previous Windows OS offerings, even Vista and ME.

        • (Score: 2) by wjwlsn on Saturday February 22 2014, @04:07PM

          by wjwlsn (171) on Saturday February 22 2014, @04:07PM (#4857) Homepage Journal

          Fair arguments. I concede your point.

          --
          I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.