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Windows 8 Previewed At D9

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the somebody-got-their-tablet-in-my-pc dept.

Microsoft 330

theodp writes "Mum's still the word on a shipping date for its new OS for laptops, desktops, and tablets ('touch slates' in MS-speak), but Microsoft on Wednesday gave the world a first look at the touch-friendly 'Windows 8' user interface, which sports a live tile-based Start screen reminiscent of the company's Windows Phone 7 interface. Also prominent in the demo was a large 'Store' tile, suggesting that Microsoft plans to offer Windows apps through a marketplace. A Microsoft video offers an overview of the interface, showcasing Win 8's multi-tasking capabilities and some other interesting features, including a virtual keyboard that can be switched from full-screen to a more ergonomic split-screen thumbs layout."

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I lost count... (2, Interesting)

Fishead (658061) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318350)

I lost count, are we supposed to hate this one?

It will be interesting to see how this is to use on a desktop computer with a proper mouse. I object to being told that desktop computers are going out of style, and I personally despise majour interface changes (Office ribbon, I'm looking at you!)

Will the "store" be locked in place like it is on my vendor locked cell phone? Kuz that'd be sweet.

Re:I lost count... (1, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318394)

According to an update in TFA, that WP7-like tile interface is non-optional.

So I think we should rejoice, because if it continues to be non-optional, it will effectively kill Windows on the Desktop in favour of systems that actually allow their users to, you know, *do* stuff with their computer.

Re:I lost count... (4, Informative)

uncanny (954868) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318444)

According to an update in TFA, that WP7-like tile interface is non-optional.

So I think we should rejoice, because if it continues to be non-optional, it will effectively kill Windows on the Desktop in favour of systems that actually allow their users to, you know, *do* stuff with their computer.

keep reading

. As shown in the Microsoft video below, users will be able to switch to a more traditional Windows desktop,

Re:I lost count... (2)

mastermind7373 (1932626) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318502)

Yes, you can switch...after every bootup, because this is the default interface at bootup. Not to mention switching applications without using the taskbar will bring back this...hideous contraption. What would posses them to use such a garish color scheme. That is FAR too minimalistic, kinda like modern art...unsettling...

Re:I lost count... (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318598)

I hate having this as the default UI, but there are a lot of people who like the Metro look.

On the Zune it had darker colors, but this is pretty close to what you see on Windows Mobile 7 right now.

Re:I lost count... (4, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318914)

there are a lot of people who like the Metro look.

If people like it, why aren't the devices featuring it selling?

Re:I lost count... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318930)

Metro-sexual Windows...

It's just about as gay as Metrosexuals. I guess they got that right.

Re:I lost count... (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318708)

And these defaults are in no way changeable through some kind of settings menue?

Re:I lost count... (3, Insightful)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318836)

The circumvention method will probably amount to another registry hack-a-thon that treats the new UI as a speedbump to be swerved around, published online and ready for use well before the blighted thing's release. Everything old is new again - I'm so tired of fighting Microsoft's sad attempts to commune with the zeitgeist upon every new OS release. If it weren't for Netflix and video games I'd never run Windows outside a VM again.

Re:I lost count... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318766)

No it's not, that's the default interface at bootup for a TABLET. On a desktop or laptop, you'll get the standard interface unless you configure the OS otherwise. It's just like using Windows Media Center on Windows 7.

Re:I lost count... (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319278)

Yes, you can switch...after every bootup, because this is the default interface at bootup. Not to mention switching applications without using the taskbar will bring back this...hideous contraption. What would posses them to use such a garish color scheme. That is FAR too minimalistic, kinda like modern art...unsettling...

Default doesn't mean you can't configure it. I would be very surprised if you weren't able to switch it on or off. It may even be that if you flip to a desktop view it just remembers that state the next time you start.

Re:I lost count... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36319018)

aside from the TFA, microsoft has said there will be a few interfaces for Windows 8. Remember Microsoft has the enterprise to deal with. Everyone will get their standard desktop.

Re:I lost count... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318458)

I use Omnimo for Rainmeter, a clone of WP7. And I love it. So I think I would be one to embrace this change.

Re:I lost count... (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318690)

I ran Omnimo on my Win7 tablet for a while. Ditched it for a number of reasons, but it sure looked exactly like what I want my Windows tablet UI to look like. So I definitely like the look of Windows 8 so far, at least in a tablet context. For desktop use, I'll withhold judgement.

Re:I lost count... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318676)

>So I think we should rejoice, because if it continues to be non-optional, it will effectively kill Windows on the Desktop in favour of systems that actually allow their users to, you know, *do* stuff with their computer.

Just how much of a tool are you?

Re:I lost count... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318738)

I guess this leaves Mac because RedHat's interface is stuck in some stone age like Windows 3.1 with crutches, and Ubuntu is now sporting some kind of equally dreadful thing. Gnome is now broken. KDE is still broken from when they broke if before.

Re:I lost count... (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318996)

RedHat's interface is stuck in some stone age like Windows 3.1 with crutches, and Ubuntu is now sporting some kind of equally dreadful thing.

Due to the fact that you are even know this much about Linux, you probably also know the ease with which you can just install and run any of dozens of other desktop environments or window managers. Since you seem to prefer a more traditional style desktop, I'd suggest Ubuntu with the LXDE environment. Not only does it give you that Windows 2k warm and fuzzy, it's blazing fast. There is also XFCE for gnome 2.x lovers. I'm just merrily going along with Gnome 2.32 on Ubuntu 11.04 with no problems at all despite

Gnome is now broken.

Re:I lost count... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36319490)

In other words, spend a lot more time making it usable??

Yeah, good solution.

Re:I lost count... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36319124)

Yes, because the three Windows computers I have at home and the one I use at work are all expensive paperweights because I can't *do* anything with them.

Re:I lost count... (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318410)

Well... it kinda feels like the new Gnome and Unity interfaces, which everybody hates... I feel pretty confident pre-hating this one before it's released.

FWIW, the way files are managed looks really easy... if you have a few dozen neatly organized files. In practice I think this particular part of the interface will be a total mess.

Re:I lost count... (1)

shadowthunder (1921564) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318448)

Yo, the Ribbon's fantastic!

Re:I lost count... (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318470)

I don't think it really is supposed to be used on a desktop with a mouse. You still have the standard Windows 7 style desktop that you can switch to, and I'm assuming that will be what you're primarily be using when there's no touch screen available.

The reason I like this concept is that it will most likely usher in an era of Asus Transformer type devices. You can buy the base tablet and use it as a tablet, or buy the add optional keyboard dock (complete with battery inside) and use it as your regular work computer/desktop. For people who really like the idea of a tablet but can't justify giving up their laptop for productivity, this could be a really nice compromise. I know I'd love a device like that for business trips. If Microsoft keeps their Windows Media Player interface intact as well, you're talking about a pretty powerful little device.

Re:I lost count... (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319084)

I don't think it really is supposed to be used on a desktop with a mouse. You still have the standard Windows 7 style desktop that you can switch to, and I'm assuming that will be what you're primarily be using when there's no touch screen available.

If Microsoft keeps their Windows Media Player interface intact as well, you're talking about a pretty powerful little device.

What do you do when none of your favorite third party applications are designed for touch? Microsoft has been beating the Windows tablet drum for more than a decade and nothing has happened.

Re:I lost count... (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319430)

The difference is that they never had a touch interface before. Now they have one....and tablets are actually popular now.

Re:I lost count... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318880)

I lost count, are we supposed to hate this one?

How about you make your own decision and not just accept the opinions of others as your own. As for myself, I don't give a shit how popular the iPhone and Google's offerings are. If I wanted a cell-phone OS on my desktop, I'd just install Android and call it a day. MS is really jumping the shark by creating the Frankenstein WP7-inspired monstrosity. Sure, you'll be able to use the "classic" desktop but what happens when applications are written assuming the new shiny paradigm? Where MS leads, third party developers follow.

Re:I lost count... (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318978)

While I'm a OpenOffice user whenever I can, I'm actually quite pleased with MS Office 2010 Ribbon. When I tried the one in 2007 I felt that everything was hard to find, dumbed down and non intuitive. In the case of 2010 (which I think must be different from the 2007 version) I think that it's a great compromise between the quick access and nice design of the ribbon plus the less used capabilities of the old menubar. It seemed customizable too.

I haven't used really used much MS Office 2010 but it's interface didn't feel wrong when compared to 2003 (which I used for a really long time).

And ribbon like interfaces will keep appearing because they come in handy. Latest Autocad and I assume other autodesk software have this kind of interface. Besides, if you can customize it to feel like previous versions, it's good.

By the way, I'm really pleased with the aesthetics of Ubuntu 11.04 as well. It's easier to market it to average users if it's cool.

What I want to know is ... (0)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318352)

... will this be released before, or after, Ballmer "resigns".

Re:What I want to know is ... (1)

koolfy (1213316) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318556)

Ithink this is supposed to be the reason why he will "resign", so we'll have to wait until this one utterly fails.

Pre-comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318356)

Can't say if I like it or if it will fit into my daily routine (the touch things aren't so handy for programming or any kind of heavy typing really). But I must admit it looks cool and I wouldn't immediately bash it because it's from a company we all love to say good things about. What's interesting is the ability to rapidly switch between the two "modes" of usage and even combine the two a bit. Can't wait to hear from people who've actually used this for some time (at least a month).

Re:Pre-comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318382)

Agreed - we'll have to see. Maybe it will grow on me. But my first reaction is, "that kinda sucks". You take a UI from a device nobody buys (Zune), move it to a phone nobody buys (Windows Phone 7), move it to a PC - and it is supposed to be good?

Re:Pre-comment (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318480)

I am very intrigued by it, as well. It will be interesting to compare this to Mac OS X Lion.

Re:Pre-comment (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318648)

I think Microsoft have already done a lot of "comparing" with OS X Lion.

Re:Pre-comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36319184)

Can't say if I like it or if it will fit into my daily routine (the touch things aren't so handy for programming or any kind of heavy typing really). But I must admit it looks cool and I wouldn't immediately bash it because it's from a company we all love to say good things about. What's interesting is the ability to rapidly switch between the two "modes" of usage and even combine the two a bit. Can't wait to hear from people who've actually used this for some time (at least a month).

It doesn't matter how good the touch interface for the OS is if the third party apps are written assuming a mouse and keyboard. That's why Windows tablets have never hit mainstream use and the iPad is walking all over it. It's the ecosystem, man. People have had much more than a month to use Windows on touch screens. It sucks. Period. Again for the slow...IT'S THE APPS, STUPID

Full circle (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318366)

...and we're back to the Windows 1.0 tiled window interface. Touch sensitivity corresponds to ye good ol' light pen interface.

Only took 30+ yrs to dump all progress, or is that bloat? No, the bloat is still there.

Re:Full circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318534)

The bloat is gone.

...well, of course, some of it is still there, but it looks quite snappy. I like it.

Re:Full circle (1)

whyloginwhysubscribe (993688) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318890)

I thought the same when I saw it! Looks like wmii or xmonad with a touch interface and soft keyboard!

Re:Full circle (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319020)

...and we're back to the Windows 1.0 tiled window interface.

That was my first thought too. It is a merge of Window 1.0's tiled interface with Windows 95's Active Desktop doing weblets on the desktop.

I'm a tablet user, so some of those features do look nice, but for my standard desktop computers then I'm not convinced. There were quite a lot of gestures being used, but that suffers from one of my complaints about iOS - the interface is not obvious. How would you know to drag in from an edge and hover to achieve something?

I'm also not a fan of tiles that are always running. It's great that the weather is always being updated, but I only check it a couple of times a week so it really doesn't need to be connecting to the net constantly. A weather app is tiny, but there are plenty of other apps that are really bloated - how slow will a system become with a bunch of those running all the time? It works on the Windows Phone 7 because phone apps tend to be much smaller than desktop apps.

Those were just a couple of things that came to mind as I watched the video. The real test will be to use the OS - I may find that my concerns are completely unwarrented. Only time will tell.

Runs on everything (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318380)

You've got to love this quote from TFA:

“This is the new version of Windows. It’s going to run on laptops, it’s going to run on desktops, it’s going to run on PCs with mouse and keyboard, it’s going to run on everything,”

Which is basically saying:

“This is the new version of Windows. It’s going to run on PCs with trackpad and keyboard, it’s going to run on PCs with mouse and keyboard, it’s going to run on PCs with mouse and keyboard, it’s going to run on PCs with mouse and keyboard,”

I have no doubt it'll also run on mobiles, tablets, TV's and indeed pretty much everything, but they might have thought about that sentence a bit more.

Re:Runs on everything (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319344)

Well it may not be the exact same version as Windows 8 for ARM will likely have different code than Windows 8 for x86-64. At best, it will appear to function the same whether on tablet or desktop. I can't see how they are going to make all third party software will be the same.

As a long time Windows non-fan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318396)

I think this is actually looking pretty good. I am concerned about how it's going to work in the office, but for casual, home users it's definitely looking like a greatly simplified user experience.

And the Windows "snap" feature makes a lot more sense in this environment to me too.

I still won't use it though.

Re:As a long time Windows non-fan... (1)

mistiry (1845474) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319388)

The 'snap' feature is one of the few Windows features I like.

Open up two PuTTY windows, snap them side-by-side for easy code comparison, or having one tailing some logfile and working in the other.

Much easier than manually trying to resize my windows to what I think is half my screen.

Phone UIs everywhere (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318412)

I was interested to see that the Engadget story [engadget.com] is filled with pretty much the same complaints about this new Windows interface that the Linux world is making about GNOME 3 and Ubuntu Unity - that is, people (e.g. me [newstechnica.com] , I'll note) are annoyed at the prospect of the desktop as they know it being made into a big phone.

Re:Phone UIs everywhere (2)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318810)

With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft showed everyone that they finally get it. One UI doesn't work everywhere. If this UI is used for normal desktop PCs, I guess it will disprove that.

They haven't said so yet, but I'm going to bet this will be a completely optional shell. Similar to Windows Media Center, it will be there but won't be forced and probably not enabled by default on desktops.

As a tablet interface, I think this looks pretty slick. The ability to run non-tablet apps could prove useful for power users, too.

Re:Phone UIs everywhere (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318982)

As a Linux and Gnome user I noticed how MS seems to have borrowed by the Unity and Gnome Shell projects, which I don't appreciate, at least not on my relatively large display (I'll switch to xfce). However I'm also thinking about the trend of having smaller and smaller displays on notebooks. 13" widescreens (or reduced-height, which is what they really are) are becoming common on consumer laptops. Those screens will get a touch layer soon and the OS must be able to put it to use. Given those constraints (smaller screen and touch input) Win 8 may even be a good solution. Will it be a good one on 24" displays with no touch input? Probably not. I'm also looking forward to the culture shock of millions of office workers used to a daily routine made of Windows Explorer, Outlook, Word, Excel and the task bar (maybe somebody even ventures to ALT-TAB to switch between applications) and having to start living with this new interface. Their IT departments are starting to have nightmares right now.

Given all of that I wonder if MS will eventually release the OS with a double interface, small with touch and large without touch. If they don't they're taking a huge risk and all those hw manufacturers depending on them might not be thrilled. How many people will go to a store, look around and say "oh my, I'll buy a Mac. At least it's got an interface I can use"? Maybe 2012 will be the year of the KDE Linux desktop, if they don't start messing with it as Gnome did :-)

Re:Phone UIs everywhere (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319294)

I've used unity. I hate Unity.
I haven't wanted to throw an OS out the window this badly since Windows Vista first came out.

See, it's not that Unity is too much like Android or Mac OS. It's the fact that I have to go to the command line in order to open up two instances of the same program. Unlike Mac OS which has tools that let you get around it, Unity forces one app at a time on you.

From the look of it, Windows 8 doesn't have that problem.

Re:Phone UIs everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36319450)

You can middle-click on something to spawn a new instance. Granted, that doesn't help laptop users very much.

Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318416)

I think the UI is actually quite an improvement compared to MS previous tablet attempts, and *may* be competitive with other tablet offerings. But I think they ruined it for me when, about 3/4th of the video, the guy opened excel, and then the UI reverted to the standard Windows 7'ish UI - I know, it's just a preview and all that, but it killed all the excitement I was having at it.

Re:Nice (2)

imamac (1083405) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318454)

I think that's supposed to be a selling point--that traditional applications work just like people are used to.

Re:Nice (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319098)

Yes. It would be quite hard to convert all of Office to a pure touch interface and it will ruin all the suite. You should try any office-like app on a touch screen, either and iPad or a 4" phone. Word processing is not so bad (but it is bad) and you start looking for a mouse as soon as you have to edit the text you wrote. You also start looking for a keyboard very quickly if you're working with a spreadsheet. Entering formulas without mouse and keyboard is a real pain. You end up going back to your computer to do the job.

Re:Nice (1)

shadowthunder (1921564) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318790)

I think the thing to remember there is that this is designed to run on both tablets and full computers. Seeing as the Win7 interface isn't streamlined for touch and the tiles aren't streamlined for mouse + keyboard, they have to keep both. What about splitting them apart? Like with Windows Phone, they're coming from (way) behind in the tablet market, so keeping them together means they can leverage their existing Windows 7 user base.

I think the best thing would be to allow the user to "dock" their tablet with a monitor/mouse/keyboard. Imagine having the Win7 interface spring up on the screen where you can use your mouse and keyboard, and keeping the widget-y tiles on the tablet (where you could still interact with them).

Windows blah blah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318428)

Who gives a fuck? Ditto all the iCrap ads.

Re:Windows blah blah... (1)

mistiry (1845474) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319444)

Who gives a fuck?

Um, well, Home users, IT personnel, web designers, programmers, teachers, students, chemists, astronomers, doctors, physicists, etc, etc...

You know, the 99% of the population that is affected in some way by the decisions of the big tech companies like Microsoft and Apple...

Very good for computer novices. (3, Interesting)

master_p (608214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318442)

I think that this kind of interface is very good for computer novices. I've seen many computer-illiterate people to struggle with the WIMP interface; this interface feels a lot more natural to them.

I hope they have a button to take the glitz away though, since Windows is also heavily used by professionals.

Re:Very good for computer novices. (1)

Houndofhell (1480889) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318506)

According to the link you can switch back and the video even shows that functionality. Not sure what i think of this new interface, i liked the ribbons once i'd worked out where everything was, but this looks a bit to touch-orientated to be running as your standard desktop interface. I'll give it a try and possibly just disable it if i don't like it

Re:Very good for computer novices. (5, Insightful)

Ziran (1931202) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318798)

I think that this kind of interface is very good for computer novices. I've seen many computer-illiterate people to struggle with the WIMP interface; this interface feels a lot more natural to them.

I don't see this as very good for novices. I'd hate to have to give phone support for people using this UI.

Windows Chimera... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318478)

Would be a fitting name for it.

It looks too messy for me. It looks great for a tablet, but what am I going to use it for my desktop for?

The idea that it can be used for everything is incredibly silly. Every device has its characteristics and its requirements. The giant tiles will look silly on my computer, and I can hit an icon quite effectivly with a mouse, I don't need a target range.

If they offered different 'views' (like KDE Desktop/Netbook) it might be ok, but as it is its a horrible mess.

Re:Windows Chimera... (3, Insightful)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318504)

On the other hand, the version of Office he showed isn't going to work on a small screen. Some consistency would be nice.

Re:Windows Chimera... (1)

markxz (669696) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319282)

I think they showed Office running as an example of how "traditional" windows programmes would work with the new OS.

Obviously they would not be able to choose any non-Microsoft software to demonstrate with.

Re:Windows Chimera... (1)

revscat (35618) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318562)

Yeah, that's my thought as well. It looks like they took OS X's Dashboard and put it front-and-center. After Dashboard's initial novelty wore off, I found I didn't use it at all. I don't see how this is particularly different.

Re:Windows Chimera... (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318934)

Why do you think that making UI design choices which can be kept consistent across devices is silly? IMHO that's actually a step forward in terms of user friendliness. Learn once, use everywhere. With a phone interface as a (necessary) lowest common denominator it's what programming languages running on a VM are for UI.

Re:Windows Chimera... (1)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319236)

In theory is sounds nice, but in practice it doesn't seem very feasible. You end up with something like No-Child-Left-Behind, where teachers teach to the lowest common denominator and the best and brightest are held back, bored, and done a disservice.

Maybe we're just experiencing the initial stage of the new paradigm which is why everything is so awful. In a few future iterations the OS will be more intelligent on what sort of device it is installed on and choose a suitable default UI to best take advantage of the hardware configuration. The key will be the ability to extensively customize the UI to suit your needs.

A major problem with Unity is that they removed a lot of choice and customization, so you are pretty much stuck with their UI, even if you are using a desktop PC with a large monitor. It is too early to tell how customizable Windows 8 will be, but if they hope to keep their corporate/enterprise business, they will need a solid traditional desktop UI option and not a desktop-as-a-big-mobile-device UI.

As long as there is a way to mix-and-match widgets, customize widgets, move widgets, and so forth then I think a unified UI would be ore palatable. The key is not making one UI that works for everything, but perhaps one OS that works for many different types of devices and different UI configurations to handle each type.

Adding Comments... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318482)

"Adding comments has been disabled for this video."
"Ratings have been disabled for this video."

...pussies

Deja Moo (4, Insightful)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318548)

So, we're back to the Vista days where the old version will retain a huge market share because the new one is such a piece of shit?

D9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318554)

OK where is D9? I know when I was at high school that was the maths room (in places outside the USA mathematics is plural)

Excel (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318564)

I noticed he didn't use Excel or Word. He just scrolled about a bit and swapped windows via 20 different methods.
The problem with touch screen is 100% of the time your own fat hands are in the way when you go close to poke something. Sure they can make the buttons huge but that doesn't work for complex things. I still don't think touch screen is of much use for productivity with an button UI. Better tools and gestures need to be made.

Re:Excel (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318668)

When I've got both hands on the keyboard sometimes I just want to reach up and jab at the screen instead of using the mouse. I don't, because I don't have a touch overlay. Every so often I price them, and then shake my head.

Re:Excel (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319146)

Me too. Touching the screen to change the tab in the browser would be quite natural. Furthermore our phones are training us to touch so it will become even more natural.

Re:Excel (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319276)

sometimes I just want to reach up and jab at the screen instead of using the mouse

I feel like that too when I'm using various Windows apps, but I'd like to use all 5 fingers, curled up tightly together.

Pretty but not productive (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318588)

I don't want to touch my monitor on my desktop and get fingerprints all over it. This is great for tablets and phones, but making this the default UI for your desktop is nothing short of asinine.

This is a pretty interface, but most real work will require skipping this whole Start grid and going to the desktop tile. Why force hundreds of millions of PC users to jump through extra hoops to perform the same tasks? Wait, Vista did that as well, and they refused to revert any of those usability regressions with Windows 7.

A pretty interface isn't necessarily a productive one.

And Windows 8 ARM might as well be dead on arrival given that it can't run x86 apps.

Actually, I'm impressed... (3, Interesting)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319306)

I don't want to touch my monitor on my desktop and get fingerprints all over it. This is great for tablets and phones, but making this the default UI for your desktop is nothing short of asinine.

I can't see any reason why the interface shouldn't work with a mouse or with gestures on a decent size (MacBook-style) trackpad. Its probably easier to take a touch-centric interface and map it on to mouse actions than it would be to make a mouse-centric interface usable with touch.

This is a pretty interface, but most real work will require skipping this whole Start grid and going to the desktop tile.

More likely, they'll go to the Word tile or the Excel tile - and by the time Win8 launches there will probably be an "Office 201x" suite that integrates properly with the tile-based interface, so you'll get a nice "preview" tile. My experience is that non-techie Windows users don't use the desktop much anyway, and live in full-screened Office apps (Unlike OS X, Windows' existing MDI structure promotes this style of working).

Also, its pretty clear that the focus of Win 8 is to win back ground from Apple and Google in the consumer PC/laptop/mobile market - the corporates will be using Win 7 (if not XP) for the forseeable future. MS may have come to the point where it is sensible to "fork" personal and corporate product lines to prevent the corporate demand for endless legacy support hindering their efforts in the consumer/mobile/small biz market while Apple and Google eat their lunch.

Both MS and Apple (with OS X Lion) seem to think this is the way the wind is blowing - if they're right then expect, 3-5 years down the line, to see the old-fangled desktop relegated to the same sort of "power users only" status as the current Command Line/Terminal.

And Windows 8 ARM might as well be dead on arrival given that it can't run x86 apps.

Windows 8 ARM will, initially, be for tablets, mobile devices and ultraportables only. Most tablets and mobiles already run on ARM and are doing quite nicely without being able to run x86 apps. For one thing, the issues moot because most "legacy" x86 apps were never designed for touch interfaces and small screens and would be unusably clunky. Win8 ARM should be able to run .NET bytecode apps and will almost certainly be accompanied by "official" versions of Word/Excel/Powerpoint/Outlook which would be seen by some buyers as an end-of-argument advantage over iOS/Android: MS's domination of office software is just as significant as its OS near-monopoly.

Basically, I want to hate this due to its lack of a fruity logo and MS being Teh Evils, but it actually looks rather interesting and, while its clearly taken some cues from iOS and Android there seems to be a lot of original thinking, too. The big question is what is the perfomance on tablets going to be like when every "icon" is actually an Android-style "widget" requiring continuous updates from its App, and will it still grind to a halt with a borked registry after a few months of use? If only this was running on top of a proper *nix system instead of a CP/M emulator written by VMS engineers I might be sold.

Windows Media Center (1)

Stormtrooper42 (1850242) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318594)

To me, it looks like Windows Media Center. For apps.
You've got this fullscreen interface, that might be useful on some devices (tablets, TVs...), but the traditional interface remains more usable for desktop use.

First Unity, now Windows... (5, Insightful)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318604)

The idiot generation seems to be the target of the new OS UIs.

I guess menus are hard.

I am a cynical person, but even I didn't see the day where the desktop would be treated as oversized mobile devices with respect to interface and functionality.

I think there is too much hype behind the desktop-is-dying phenomenon.

It looks like they will provide optional toggle to switch to a more traditional desktop ... for now.

I think Microsoft is seriously underestimating how this is going to hurt their upgrade sales in the corporate world. It is hard enough to get people off of XP to 7, I can't imagine what this will do for people resisting upgrading from Windows 7. Of course Microsoft will pull, "Latest version of X only works on Windows 8 or higher shenanigans", to try to force people to upgrade.

Re:First Unity, now Windows... (5, Insightful)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318734)

The desktop isn't dying - the market's mature, but people are still replacing their desktops. Because the market's founded on a manic pace of consumption and disposal - remember the late '90s? - the fact that it isn't growing at the velocity of the lifestyle appliance / portable tablet and phone market sector means that people are panicking. I can picture a business strategy meeting where someone says, "People are buying smart phones and tablets. Because this is a growth market and they are computing devices, it therefore follows that usability paradigms applicable to those devices will be EVEN BETTER on other devices!" Unfortunately, this isn't so - not by any stretch of the imagination - and I think we're in for a bumpy ride as Gnome, Microsoft, and other people in The Biz* realize that "one interface for all" doesn't actually fit.

* Yes, even the sainted Apple. Trying to converge iOS and OS X isn't going to go anywhere that's good for UI flexibility or getting under the hood, let me tell you.

Re:First Unity, now Windows... (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319178)

Menus are not hard, they're inefficient, particularly on a laptop where 90% of your interactions are with a trackpad rather than a mouse. It is significantly easier to simply hit super and start typing the name of the application you want and hit enter after 3-4 keystrokes (~250-500ms) on average than the navigate through menus nested 3-4 levels deep with a trackpad.

Add annother layer of compatibilty (1)

Mojo66 (1131579) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318608)

Instead of taking the opportunity to break up with the past and start with something fresh, they add another layer of compatibility on an essentially 25 year old product. While this new layer contains some interesting concepts, those concepts are clearly targeted towards mainstream users, which might make it difficult to sell Windows 8 to businesses.

fluff (2)

PJ6 (1151747) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318622)

This is a reaction to the iPad. It's designed for my Mom.

That's OK as long as they don't nerf up everything else.

Rivals? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318634)

For some tasks and devices could be better suited than Apple's User interface and Android 2.x one. But what about Android 3.x or Meego versus this?

Also, for something that should be for all kind of devices, looks a bit too much touch centric, like keyboard taking a second stage on devices using it (and hiding everything when you need pointing device text input), and not very suited for several running windows showing information.

In the plus side, more touchscreen enabled devices will appear in the market, not just tablets or phones, but laptops, netbooks, and even desktop computers. And if they don't slip some restriction on kind of software running on them will be a big help for alternative OSs too.

Windows 8, codename... (2)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318640)

Windows 8, project codename "D.E.R.I.V.A.T.I.V.E.". I've been scanning the video, looking for something - anything - that they've actually invented. About the only thing I can see is the 'snapping' thing, which looks like an absolutely terrible way of having two windows next to each other. It also seems like it's a layer on top of Windows with the crufty Windows 7 desktop underneath. If this is to have any chance of success, they will need to ditch the traditional Windows GUI and have Old Windows programs run in a compatibility layer, otherwise this new UI will be ignored by the majority of developers and users, and it will become nothing more than a fullscreen Side Bar.

The Computer industry... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318650)

Is really moving in a lousy direction these days with screen interfaces for desktop systems. It could get to a point where Apple may actually look more like a normal PC when compared everyone else.

Re:The Computer industry... (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318874)

I've never been more thankful for the diversity of X11 window managers in my life.

Re:The Computer industry... (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319330)

I've never been more thankful for the diversity of X11 window managers in my life.

Amen. This could be a bigger opportunity for Linux on the desktop than Vista was. Hopefully it doesn't get blown again like it did last time.

Post-It ClusterFsck (1)

Arador Aristata (1973216) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318680)

Yeah, they drew more than a little inspiration from that horrible board in the back ground. In fact, it looks so similar and unusable that I almost didn't notice the screen between all that crap. I also see that Fisher-Price got the color selection contract again. It is an absolute headache to behold. The entire interface looks like a badly designed website.

like it or not, this may be the way of the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318710)

i think these kind of dual interface os's are the way of the future:

-use the touch interface while using your on go
-use keyboard/mouse when your tablet is plugged into a monitor on a desk

OOOMMGG!!!! Such a coooool thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318712)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5Gn8jt55LQ [youtube.com]
Just think about IT!

Windows 8 must be good (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318804)

Millions of usenet downloaders can't all be wrong!

The win here is for tablets/handhelds, not PCs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318820)

For desktop/laptop PCs, I'll use the "Classic" Windows 7 interface.
For handhelds and tablets, I get the power of a full OS and file system with the ease-of-use of WP7.
Plus as long as they're Atom-based, I can run my desktop apps on them.
Seems like a win-win for me.

Re:The win here is for tablets/handhelds, not PCs (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319378)

For handhelds and tablets, I get the power of a full OS and file system with the ease-of-use of WP7.

What applications can be written for this "full OS" that make sense on a tablet that can't be written for Android Honeycomb? Now that Honeycomb has USB host, what devices make sense for a tablet that can't run on Android? How is the file system more "full" on Windows than Android?

Version mayhem (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318844)

So Windows 7 is for desktops, Windows 2008 is for servers, Windows Phone 7 is for mobile phone devices and Windows 8 is for mobile non-phone devices?

Multi-monitor support (1)

Dusthead Jr. (937949) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318854)

I must say I find it interesting, but if it were possible to put that new interface on a second smaller touch screen that would be even better.

Should've used a mac (1)

Rabbidous (1844966) | more than 2 years ago | (#36318966)

Video production is not so great. Maybe they should've used final cut pro. (And a lapel mic)

Windows without "Windows" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36318990)

Notice that Windows is removing framed windows and moving [back] to a fullscreen or tiled desktop?

Of course you can still use your old windows applications... (I dare you to try to use the window menu or resize (on Windows or Ubuntu), on a tablet)

UI != OS (1)

roger_pasky (1429241) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319028)

I'm not aware about any OS improvement, but a squarified Window Manager.

It's lovely (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319180)

It's very good, can I have a dozen please? Does it deploy offline from a disk? Can I rebuild a development machine daily without having to register online every time?

Kinect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36319300)

This interface leads me to believe MSFT believes we'll have a Kinect-type device being on PC's by the time Windows 8 comes out.
   

layers and layers of crap (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319334)

The problem with Windows is that instead of getting rid of old stuff, Microsoft just piles up on top of it. So, next to the simple sleek interface, there is an old Windows 7 screen, and inside that are even older layers of Windows.

Can you imagine the mess it's going to be to talk someone through getting to the old Windows 95-style network configuration dialog box, which you doubtlessly will still need?

You find similar crap in the file system: there is the directory tree, then there is its localized variant of it, and then there is the rearranged tree that you get to see in the file manager.

No, Apple and Google have it right: create specialized versions of their operating systems for different form factors and clean out the crap. And Linux, of course, just got most of this right the first time around: the file system layout doesn't change haphazardly and window management is factored such that regular apps work fine in a tiling window manager as well as many other kinds of window management styles.

GoodBye Ballmer; Goodbye MS I won't miss you. (1)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319350)

Microsoft yet again has proven they don't get it. It is all Windows to them. This is a UI that could easily have been an app. Underneath it is still Microsoft Windows. Same bloat of legacy code. Same vulnerabilities that will make me want to puke when my friends and families and co-workers are infested with malware. Yes the same malware that already cripples MS Windows on a regular basis, for the average user. The same difficulties for the end user to maintain a system. I already dread the day when someone calls me about a tablet that cannot get online and they cannot understand how they have malware because they run Norton 360 on their tablet along with Windows AntiVirus 2011 that they just gave their credit card information to. Then there will be the licensing difficulties when people try to integrate a Windows 8 tablet with their Sharepoint implementation. Sample dialog below. Tech support: I cannot set up your Win8 personal tablet on our network. You are running Win8 tablet home supreme, and it needs to be Win 8 tablet professional enterprise edition with MDOP for that to work. All of the things that Microsoft could do to fix these issues. Create a new OS from the ground up and have Windows run as a VM till apps can be ported over appropriately. This challenges their economic viability, so they won't do it. The new hardware on a tablet form factor could run this as well. Quad Core Tegras are due out end of the 2011. If you wonder why I am focusing on tablets so much in my rant, it is that this UI demo is what Microsoft was selling in the Video. Six different versions of Win8 tablet UI to ensue. Microsoft knows they need to change and change radically. This Win 8 that was the most radical chance Microsoft was ever going to take is just a touch UI skin over their same product. Too Little Too Late. Now all they can do is hope to strong arm the supply chains and manufacturers who are already making products of their own.

Not a MS hater (0)

Yaur (1069446) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319366)

I'm not an MS hater, but its hard to imagine a desktop UI more full of fail than this.

Re:Not a MS hater (1)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319426)

Ubuntu Unity is still more fail than Windows 8.

Perhaps in time the issues with Unity will be addressed, like the ability to customize some aspects of the UI. However, Mark Shuttleworth has said that he dislikes choice, so I don't see very much in the way of Unity customization in the future.

Windows an ARM (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 2 years ago | (#36319494)

It's a bit of an odd situation really. Windows CE aka Windows Mobile had a lot of applications people use - I like Pleco and Opera for example. Not to mention all the bespoke stuff - e.g. delivery drivers often have Windows CE or Windows Mobile Devices.

Now Windows Phone 7 won't actually run any Win32/Arm applications - only C#/Silverlight or XNA ones. Also it's too dumbed down for most Windows Mobile users I suspect. Right now Windows sold 3.6 million smartphones in 1Q11. Unfortunately 2 million of those were Windows Mobile and only 1.6 million were Windows Phone 7. In the same time frame 36 million Android devices were sold, 27 million Symbian and 16 million iPhones. Even RIM sold 13 million.

http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1689814 [gartner.com]

Windows Mobile used to have 6.8% of the market in 1Q10. Now the combined share of Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 is only 3.6%. And of that Windows Phone 7 is only 1.6%. A huge number of people seem to have moved to Android - it's share has gone from 9.6% to 36%.

In a sense Microsoft have done what a lot of people on Slashdot have been suggesting for ages - drop back compatibility and do something radically new. And frankly it's a disaster. People with Windows Mobile are buying the few remaining Windows Mobile handsets - notably the excellent HD2 instead of the Windows Phone 7 ones. Or switching to Android. Not a lot of people are switching from Android or iPhone to Windows Phone 7. In fact the two competitor OSs are completely different. Android is very open but a bit of a mess like WinMo. iPhone is very closed but slick. The open one - Android - is growing really fast.

I personally got an HD2 rather than an HD7. I can flash custom Roms and it runs the old applications.

It's very unlikely that Pleco or Opera will ever run on Windows Phone 7. Pleco has ported to iPhone and is porting to Android - they have a system to run the same core code on both but have different UI layers. Opera Mobile runs on Android. The iPhone only has Opera Mini. But in general iPhone has lots of software - it's easily the most profitable platform to develop for.

If things stay the way they are my next phone will be Android - most of the applications I like will work there by the time I upgrade my HD2 and I can get an HTC handset which is not at all locked down.

So Microsoft have a problem - the ISVs have all decided that rewriting their C/C++ code which runs on Windows Mobile, desktop Windows, iPhone and Android in C# to run purely on Windows Phone 7 is not a viable idea. In fact I suspect even if they allowed native C internals but required a C# UI layer (Android is like this I think - the UI needs to be in Java but the core can be in native C) - it's by no means certain ISVs will support the platform if it sells less than Windows Mobile and looks like it will sink. Opera stopped doing Windows Mobile builds when Windows Phone 7's lack of back compatibility was announced. Similarly Pleco have claimed that the iPhone version of the software was outselling Windows Mobile version ten to one - their Windows Mobile version is still available but it will not be updated and they won't do a Windows Phone 7 port.

Now Windows 8 will run on both ARM and x86. It also runs the old Win32 applications - unlike Windows Phone 7. It's not like desktop ISVs will rush to port their ancient Win32/x86 applications to ARM. I'm very sceptical that any ARM chip will be fast enough to emulate x86 code as fast as a lowly Atom chip can run it natively.

So Windows on ARM at the moment is in desperate need of software. The stuff that used to run on Windows Mobile has the advantage of being designed to run on low CPU power devices too.

So just maybe Windows 8 on ARM will be the platform for people who want old applications to work will end up on. I predict Windows Phone 7 will sink just like Zune and Kin. It would be a shame if Microsoft completely killed off their Win32/ARM ISVs in the process. But to be honest that right now looks the most likely outcome of Windows Phone 7 unless they announce a smartphone version of Windows 8 which people support.

Now of course if you talk to Microsoft people they'll crow about how Windows Phone 7 has 11,000 applications. The thing to bear in mind is that Android and iPhone have orders of magnitude more. And there's a big difference between the kind of application you can write purely in C# and XNA and something like Opera or Pleco. Both of those are huge application which depend on libraries that are not going to be available in C# - they are C or C++ or even shipped as binaries. In fact even apps like Angry Birds need a physics library - most of those are in C too. A platform which is managed code only is a complete pain to port to. Especially if it has 1/20th the market share of Android and is based on a technology whose last two outings - Zune and Kin - ended up being killed off after failing to attract any real support.

Now it's rumoured that Microsoft got Adobe to port Flash to Windows Phone 7 by allowing them to use native code. Still Adobe haven't actually relased flash on WP7 and there is no sign they will. So maybe the model was to get people to pay extra to get access to native code. Still on platform which is dying why bother? Not even Apple were that evil toward their ISVs.

http://www.plecoforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=19990&sid=3abb06deb8ee6f926353e4f7dec0eaed#p19990 [plecoforums.com]

gato wrote:
Another question is whether managed .NET code is really sufficient for every kind of application. If it were, you would have thought that Microsoft itself would have used it for the built-in applications, but this seems not to be the case. In addition, Adobe has a special pass to develop Flash for Windows Phone 7 in native code.

The rumor is that other companies are also getting special privileges. The Spotify music service has been announced for Windows Phone 7, but it is hard to believe that the music will stop whenever the user switches task. One attendee told me that the Windows Phone 7 native code framework is called Iris, is based on what was used for the Zune music player, and is used by Microsoft as well as by Spotify. He added that major games developers will also be allowed to use native code.

Neither Apple nor Google have stooped as low as giving big developers the tools to make their apps significantly better / faster / more feature-rich than small developers'; if this is true, it's basically the mobile app equivalent of (not having) net neutrality, give the big guys everything they want and shut the little guys out. Microsoft might be able to make EA happy this way, but EA's iPhone games suck - if Microsoft wants to get the next Angry Birds or Flight Control or, for that matter, Pleco on WP7, they have to open up their native code APIs to everyone and not treat small companies like second-class citizens. Giving us access 6 months later isn't the same, either - if anybody gets to use a particular framework to develop shipping apps, then everybody should get access to that same framework; if it's not ready for prime time yet, release the beta version to everyone and only make it official once it is.

So your options for WP7 seem like this. Rewrite fucking everything C# getting rid of third party libraries. Or do a deal with Microsoft to get native code access. Or drop the platform like a hot potato and concentrate on iPhone and/or Android. It seems like all the ISVs who used to support Windows Mobile have ended up picking the last option.

Could Windows 8 on ARM save the day? Maybe, but most likely not.

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