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Windows 8 Desktop 'Just Another App'?

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the let's-talk-now-about-bundling dept.

GUI 375

CWmike writes "Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division, said this week that Windows 8 will let users treat the traditional desktop as 'just another app' that loads only on command. When it unveiled Windows 8's UI in June, Microsoft said it would feature a 'touch-first' interface to compete in the fast-growing tablet market. Underneath that, however, would be a traditional Windows-style desktop. 'Having both of [the] user interfaces [work] together harmoniously is an important part of Windows 8,' Sinofsky said in a blog post on Wednesday. The Metro-style UI — the one inspired by Windows Phone 7's tile-based design — will be the first to show up when a user boots a device. At that point, users reach a crossroads. 'If you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop — we won't even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there,' Sinofsky said. 'If you don't want to do ... 'PC' things, then you don't have to and you're not paying for them in memory, battery life or hardware requirements.' If using a conventional PC with keyboard and mouse, Windows 8 users will run an 'app' to load the desktop, he said. 'Essentially, you can think of the Windows desktop as just another app.'"

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But (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37277074)

This is the version of Windows that you skip, right? Every other version is the good version?

Re:But (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 3 years ago | (#37277100)


s/good/less shitty/

FTFY.

Re:But (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 3 years ago | (#37277202)

depends on how you count it (there was nothing wrong with windows 2000, nor was windows 95 or windows 98 the "skipable" release), but if you didn't know this was a version to skip just based on what's been revealed so far... you'll find out soon enough once you "upgrade" to it.

Also, side note, Isn't this just disabling the auto-load of explorer.exe???

Re:But (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 3 years ago | (#37277272)

Well, 95 you went with OSR2. 2k you waited for SP2.. So maybe that's what they mean?

Re:But (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 3 years ago | (#37277504)

Don't forget Windows 98 SE....

Re:But (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37277278)

depends on how you count it (there was nothing wrong with windows 2000, nor was windows 95 or windows 98 the "skipable" release)

You forgot Win95 OSR2. Aka 'you have to buy a new PC if you want USB support'.

Re:But (1)

armanox (826486) | about 3 years ago | (#37277516)

NT SP4, 95 OSR2, 98 SE, XP SP2, shall we continue?

Re:But (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 3 years ago | (#37277668)

I wasn't counting the non-named releases (although I ran them).

If anything, the original win95 was the "it sucks" release compared to osr2. vanilla win95 is very much the "vista" to osr2's "win7". The thing is, even in all it's buggy crashy laggy form, The UI on vanilla win95 was a breath of fresh air compared to the suck that was windows 3.1 (and 3.11), so it doesn't fall in to the "it sucks worse than its predecessor" behavior that ME and Vista exhibit, only the "it sucks worse than its successor" behavior, which I think is probably completely normal and expected.

Honestly I can't remember the major differences between windows 98 and 98se. I don't remember having a single problem with 98 that didn't also exist in 98se, but it has been a decade since I last used it so I may have forgotton.

Sinofsky, Ballmer - am I sensing a pattern here? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277398)

Myhrvold, Ballmer, Sinofsky - anybody get a sense that a certain, ah, "Tribe" has succeeded in pushing out the shkotzim founders of M$FT and is now flexing their muscles and claiming M$FT as their own turf?

Patterns like this do not form by accident...

Re:Sinofsky, Ballmer - am I sensing a pattern here (2)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#37277490)

Wow. I had to look up the word 'shkotzim' - is there any subject, no matter how mundane (OS loading, for example) that can't be turned to anti-jewish sentiment?

In answer to your question : yes, this UI customisation issue IS the inevitable result of millennia of Jewish culture! It's what they've been planning ALL ALONG!

Re:Sinofsky, Ballmer - am I sensing a pattern here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277734)

Well apparently [wiktionary.org] , the general consensus seems to be that it's a Jewish anti-non-Jewish word.

Noun
shegetz (plural shkotzim or shegetzes (rare)) (Judaism, offensive) A gentile, a non-Jewish male.

Re:But (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#37277220)

I hope so. 2000, ME, XP, Vista, 7, 8, Next Version That Doesn't Suck.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277300)

I hope so. 2000, ME, XP, Vista, 7, 8, Next Version That Doesn't Suck.

ME and Vista don't belong on the Doesn't Suck list.

Re:But (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277384)

He's talking about use (2000) skip (ME) use (XP) skip (Vista) use (7) skip (8) use (next version)

Re:But (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#37277474)

Exactly.

Re:But (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 3 years ago | (#37277632)

yes but he's stretching. Only if you're going on pure chronologically does the list work. Nobody who took the time to upgrade their computer to 2000 and get all their devices and software working with the NT-based kernal likely would have though of going to ME as any sort of 'upgrade' after that, even though it was technically released afterward.

2000 is the spiritual successor to 98/98se. ME was just kind of... there.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277588)

OTOH, 98 wasn't bad. IMHO, it was ME that sucked so bad you had to skip it, and started the whole pattern. I never used 2k. I tended to hold on longer even before the pattern set in, so I was lucky and missed the first skipit-release (ME). I also had the good fortune to not be dealing much with PCs during the 3.x era. I only had to deal with it in support near EOL, and from what I saw of support I was glad to never use it.

Re:But (1)

creat3d (1489345) | about 3 years ago | (#37277644)

I hope so. 2000, ME, XP, Vista, 7, 8, Next Version That Doesn't Suck.

Good news everyone, the Dunbal theorem has been proven!

Re:But (1)

jo42 (227475) | about 3 years ago | (#37277236)

I'm still running Windows XP you insensitive clod!

Re:But (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 3 years ago | (#37277356)

It looks like they're not changing much on that one, just the shell (hey, several graphical shells that you can pick and choose ! that's Innovation ! oh, wait..), and a handful of drivers. I've given up hope on ReadyBoost for SSDs. So, MS might manage to not screw too badly up that mild update. Might not even be worth upgrading on the desktop. Stay tuned, though.

Re:But (1)

dabadab (126782) | about 3 years ago | (#37277366)

No, this is the version they never ship (like Cairo and Longhorn). What they ship instead is what you skip.

Re:But (1)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#37277480)

Some of us aren't superstitious about numbers, thanks.

Re:But (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 3 years ago | (#37277552)

You're thinking of Star Trek movies.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277766)

Just like Borland, all of their even number versions SUCK. Bye Bye Windows 8, hello Windows 9.

Finally (3, Informative)

Mensa Babe (675349) | about 3 years ago | (#37277076)

Before anyone jumps on the band wagon and says that we all have perfectly usable [x.org] user space desktop apps for 28 years in the UNIX world, let me say that it is actually very important that now even Microsoft starts to understand that modularity is the way to go while designing complex systems. Moving various operating system components to the user space is just a logical conclusion of the research done during the last four decades. Look at the direction of modern OSii development, from MINIX [minix3.org] to GNU [gnu.org] . Started by GNOSIS [upenn.edu] , KeyKOS [upenn.edu] , EROS [eros-os.org] and Coyotos [coyotos.org] this trend seems to suggest that it is much more natural and reliable to design a secure capability [cap-lore.com] -based system when all of the services are separated from each other. Now when even Microsoft is going in that direction - and it is not a trivial change for them, trust me - we can expect Apple and other OS vendors to follow which is a Good Thing. After all, even if people like you and me are using secure operating systems we still don't want to get spammed and dossed by all of the legacy machines out there. It turns out that the rumors that Microsoft is starting to take the latest research in operating systems seriously turned out to be true. This is good news for everyone.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277138)

Everyone wih an uid like yours should have Karma: Excellent.

Therefore I suggest you to change your sig to:

Karma: Positive (probably because I'm a dumb troll)

Re:Finally (1)

Vegemeister (1259976) | about 3 years ago | (#37277410)

But she's got one wrong digit and another missing!

Re:Finally (2)

kbrannen (581293) | about 3 years ago | (#37277208)

It would be really nice for them to acknowledge that their OS is mostly mature and they're really only changing the GUI between releases. Of course, they can't completely act like that because it would kill one of their cash cows, but I could dream of no more MS-Windows installs, and just service pack releases to fix/change the GUI (and therefore ignore them when I don't like a release).

Re:Finally (3, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 3 years ago | (#37277352)

Why would it kill their cash cow? Let's take for example Windows XP which is considered mature by now. Don't give me the "security" aspects, as I know it is perfectly possible with modern applications to run XP in Limited User. Software doesn't spoil. Set up a small maintenance team for XP to roll out security patches. Sell XP for 35€ per license and from 2014 on (when the official support stops), charge a 5€/year subscription to fund the maintenance team.

This would be an instant success, especially in the corporate world. Given the fact that end-user computing power needs have attained a plateau, a simple machine running XP with 2GB RAM is enough. So, I'm pretty sure such a plan would work perfectly well. Heck, if I would still be running Windows, I would have gone for a 5€/year subscription to have support indefinitely.

Re:Finally (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277218)

Funny how someone claiming to have a "superiour" intellect spelled superior wrong.

Re:Finally (0)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#37277328)

Funny how someone claiming to have a "superiour" intellect spelled superior wrong.

Mensa member : says it all really...

Re:Finally (0)

0racle (667029) | about 3 years ago | (#37277746)

It's a chick. We're not talking about a delicious turkey dinner here, so of course she's out in left field and making all sorts of mistakes. That's what happens when you talk outside your area of expertise.

Re:Finally (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277420)

And is a Mensa member. That can't be a good sign. It's like a person who calls themself a badass but pays a monthly membership to the International Club of Tough Guys where they give you tests to reassure your status as a Tough Guy as ordained by the self-proclaimed Tough Guy Council.

A real badass (or smart person) doesn't give a fuck what people think about their toughness/intelligence, because they know they are badass/smart, can back that up, and would not waste money on such a thing, because it's better spent on leather jackets and cigarettes/geek stuff.

Re:Finally (1)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#37277542)

Hahaha : excellent analogy!

Also; how do I register with this 'Tough Guy Council' that you mention?

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277234)

we still don't want to get spammed and dossed by all of the legacy machines out there.

Don't worry, Android will quickly pick up the slack so that our spam levels remain high and DDOS threats survive.

Re:Finally (5, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | about 3 years ago | (#37277444)

...even Microsoft starts to understand that modularity is the way to go while designing complex systems. Moving various operating system components to the user space is just a logical conclusion of the research done during the last four decades.

MS has understood that longer than you think; in fact, Windows is rather better in that regard than Linux is. Vista in particular was a big turning point with the introduction of the usermode driver framework (UMDF), which put a lot drivers in userspace. (I'm not sure of the details, e.g. whether the UMDF is the only option if you're writing such a driver.) Heck, the first version of NT back in 1990-whatever even put the graphics driver in usermode: if your graphics driver crashed, the system would just restart it. (Graphics drivers were moved into the kernel for performance reasons and remain there now.)

As for explorer, I don't think it's ever run in kernel mode. It's always been "just another app" from the system's perspective. You can even replace explorer with another desktop environment if you'd like; I remember running Litestep back in Windows 98.

What this article is about is the user's perspective. The standard desktop is no longer going to be the first thing you see when you turn on or log onto your computer, and you'll have to explicitly start it.

(And their new "tile" thing will continue to run in userspace.)

Re:Finally (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 3 years ago | (#37277556)

OK, looks like I may have been wrong about my comparison with Linux; it seems its support for user-mode drivers is better than I thought. Still, it's not new to Windows either.

Re:Finally (1)

nomel (244635) | about 3 years ago | (#37277670)

I remember running Half Life 1 as my desktop back with windows 95. It would, how should I put it,
"If you don't want to do ... 'PC' things, then you don't have to and you're not paying for them in memory, battery life or hardware requirements."

Re:Finally (1)

smelch (1988698) | about 3 years ago | (#37277560)

Maybe I'm wrong, but explorer.exe has been user space for a while now. This sounds like they're just not loading explorer.exe on startup but instead loading metro.exe. I guess there would be some drivers and such that they may not load, but those wouldn't be user-space either way. You've been able to change the shell in windows for a long time. Even more than that, when the shell crashes, the machine and all the applications stay alive - you just need to restart explorer.exe through the task manager.

Honestly, this sounds like they're just giving a dumbed down explanation of what it means to ship with two shells, and not some kind of shift in the OS architecture, nor anything new to Microsoft's dev team.

Re:Finally (2)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#37277564)

You're making a big deal out of something trivial and, in my opinion, dumping a bunch of links for karma. You've always been able to change the shell in Windows. Some computer vendors even shipped their own shells for Windows 3.1, replacing Program Manager.

Windows 8 simply doesn't load the resources for the desktop process if you don't use it, which is logical since this is intended to run on tablets.

Re:Finally (1)

Misagon (1135) | about 3 years ago | (#37277694)

Apple seem to be ahead of Microsoft already using capability-based security in the way that apps can be sandboxed in Mac OS X 10.7 ("Lion").
In a sandboxed app, the app does not have complete access to the file system. The file-requester is part of the system and hands the app access to only those files that the user has selected.
This reminds me a bit of how access to files was handled in "capdesk".

sort of like? (1)

v1 (525388) | about 3 years ago | (#37277114)

quitting the Finder on a Mac, since Finder runs as a (rather persistent) application.

Re:sort of like? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 years ago | (#37277160)

Fun fact: So does Windows Explorer, which is responsible for generating the desktop, all "My Computer" windows (which are just Explorer windows without the sidebar), and the task bar.

But that being said, I think this is a little less like quitting Explorer and a bit closer to quitting one's entire window manager.

Re:sort of like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277364)

So does Windows Explorer, .......... and the task bar.

I don't know, does it? ;) I'm pretty sure you forgot to actually ask the question there.

Re:sort of like? (2)

smelch (1988698) | about 3 years ago | (#37277648)

Maybe I'm wrong, but when explorer.exe is closed, you don't see ANY windows until it is restarted. When it is restarted, everything is back in its rightful place though, so I'm not sure how far away explorer.exe is from the actual window manager since windows is... weird... about the distinction between a window manager, the shell and the window system.

Re:sort of like? (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 3 years ago | (#37277714)

Maybe I'm wrong, but when explorer.exe is closed, you don't see ANY windows until it is restarted.

You're wrong.

All your windows stay open (and accessible through, e.g., alt-tab).

Re:sort of like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277728)

You're not entirely correct. Not all windows require explorer.exe.

Re:sort of like? (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | about 3 years ago | (#37277730)

No, the desktop disappears but your windows are fine if Explorer dies, unless they're Explorer windows that piggybacked on the original Explorer process. If you minimize a window it has nowhere to go and just disappears (alt-tab still works though). When Explorer starts back up it restores the desktop and repopulates the taskbar, but not without its glitches (clicking on the taskbar button to minimize is glitched, and the icons in the system tray don't always come back).

Rolling back to olden days. (2)

tverbeek (457094) | about 3 years ago | (#37277688)

Explorer.exe is almost exactly analogous to Finder on a Mac: just an app that provides the familiar UI environment.

What's ironic is that this is pretty much doing Win98/IE4 in reverse. That was when Microsoft decided that not only did you have to load the standard UI at boot time, you had to load their web browser too, so they combined the browser and the UI into a single program. Unbundling the UI from the OS... hell, that's almost like rolling back to before Win95! First boot the OS, then (if you want) load the GUI. :)

While I can see plenty of good reasons for doing this, it's going to be very confusing to the users, who have no conception of the distinction between the OS and the UI. If you load Windows, and there's no Start button, no (My) Computer, no task bar, etc.... to most people that's not Windows. They don't care if the drivers and kernel and whatnot are all the same; it will be (for their perspective) an entirely different operating system.

So maybe it's time Microsoft changed the name?

How is this Windows? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277122)

Without the UI, you're looking at a kernel and apps.

Explorer.exe? (2, Insightful)

Crizzam (749336) | about 3 years ago | (#37277154)

I can't imagine they could do away with much more than explorer and maybe a hand full of DLL's. So, basically, we are given an extra step to load our desktops... probably while we are inundated with news feeds or advertisements. I wonder which HKey will turn this off.

Re:Explorer.exe? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277470)

It will probably be HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ with a DWORD named "IDontHaveAFuckingTablet" set to 1.

Re:Explorer.exe? (1)

bonch (38532) | about 3 years ago | (#37277580)

They're just making the desktop launch on demand, which is what they need to do to run on tablets. Your comment about news feeds and advertisements doesn't seem to actually be based on anything.

Re:Explorer.exe? (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about 3 years ago | (#37277590)

I'm sure they'll probably use the same key they're using now to set Explorer.exe as the default shell for Windows. You can change this now, if you want to set up a web kiosk, for example.

It already is (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277164)

Since the dawn of time, the Windows "Desktop" has always been an application. Before 95 it was progman. After, it was explorer. You've always been able to switch to a new shell with ini file or registry modifications.

Re:It already is (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 3 years ago | (#37277598)

I believe the new thing is that now it doesn't need to be running at all, only on-demand. If I just shut down explorer.exe in XP and try to go about launching applications and trying to get the OS to do various things, I think some things will fail since the shell isn't running. In fact, it's pretty hard to do anything at all in XP without the shell running.

Re:It already is (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | about 3 years ago | (#37277698)

If I just shut down explorer.exe in XP and try to go about launching applications and trying to get the OS to do various things, I think some things will fail since the shell isn't running.

Have you tried? Sure, launching things from the Task Manager is inconvenient, but nothing really breaks because Explorer isn't running.

Re:It already is (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 3 years ago | (#37277726)

you never gave litestep a spin? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiteStep [wikipedia.org]

and let me make a prediction about windows 8. the explorer will be there, underneath, running 100% of time. it's just that by default they'll launch you into the revamped windows media center big screen retarded ui, unless you at install time specify that fuck no.

you see, they don't have new ideas about driver architechture or stuff like that. so it's come to that, and windows 7 sold so well and osx is doing the fullscreen-let's-go-back-to-dos dance too so they're just running with that and bumping the number. incidentally there's no reason why you couldn't do "windows 8" on windows 7.

Old news (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#37277166)

Explorer has always been "just an app". You can edit system.ini and replace 'SHELL=explorer.exe' with any other application. e.g. LiteStep, a MAME front end, XBMC, etc.

Re:Old news (1)

gmueckl (950314) | about 3 years ago | (#37277338)

system.what? system.ini is gone for more than a decade now. I have not seen any viable shell replacement for Windows in the last couple of years, only half-baked unfinished solutions so far.

Pimp my desktop (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about 3 years ago | (#37277388)

The difference is making it easy for common users to switch desktops, or even understand such a thing is possible. Linux users are familiar with switching desktops and the numerous ways options available. Most of us have toyed with Gnome and KDE and XFCE, E17, Nextstep, ect....

If Windows users had an option drop down in their login screen I wonder how many would replace their desktop environment. How long will it be before the common windows user installs a OSX clone? (not just a theme, but a true work-alike desktop)

Re:Pimp my desktop (2)

LocalH (28506) | about 3 years ago | (#37277554)

Never, as Apple would likely sue.

Customizable (3, Insightful)

milbournosphere (1273186) | about 3 years ago | (#37277198)

The Metro-style UI — the one inspired by Windows Phone 7's tile-based design — will be the first to show up when a user boots a device.

I sure hope it'll be easy to turn that off. It makes sense on a consumer box with a touchscreen, but for my work station, I have no intention of using the Metro UI.

Re:Customizable (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37277298)

Did you not read the summary? Yes, you will have a choice.

Re:Customizable (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | about 3 years ago | (#37277756)

Doh! No, guess that serves me right for quickly glancing at TFS while trying to get work done.

Re:Customizable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277326)

I'm guessing they'll let you set it up to go to the traditional desktop by default.

You can still run a "Classic" desktop - i.e. Windows 95 with a few minor enhancements - in 7. Backwards-compatibility in interfaces has always been a feature. I don't see them abandoning that principle now.

Re:Customizable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277468)

I suspect the net will be lousy with "here's how to make Windows 8 act the way you want it to" tips well before it ships.

I've watched the videos and read all the online stuff about Win8, and I have no freaking idea how MS convinced themselves that this is a good idea. Treating tablets and laptops/desktops the same way is beyond stupid.

I've long said that Vista was the reincarnation of Win98 ME. I'm now convinced that Win8 will be the equivalent of MS Bob, but all the more horrible for being the main OS and not an add-on package.

Trollish headline is full of ignorance and (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277232)

shortsightedness.

Fags.

Choose GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277248)

Personally, I think a more elegant approach would be to allow the user to choose the GUI style via a menu/toggle on the login screen a la the Unix world.

Re:Choose GUI (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 3 years ago | (#37277370)

Perhaps you should use unix!

Hum....how can I do this already? (1)

bigredradio (631970) | about 3 years ago | (#37277252)

This is an interesting idea that should not be too difficult to implement in a Linux Distro. How often do I boot up my laptop just to check email or look up something on google? Having an option to login quickly in a kiosk-mode with only a limited number of apps or full desktop might come in handy. Anyone set something like this up already? Pros - Cons? Probably just have something like TWM as well as my trusty XFCE-4 as an option at login.

Re:Hum....how can I do this already? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37277336)

Having an option to login quickly in a kiosk-mode with only a limited number of apps or full desktop might come in handy.

Considering that Gnome 2 takes about five seconds to log in since I uninstalled all that zeitgeist crap and deleted the thumbnails directory on shutdown, I'm not sure how much faster you could make it.

Oh, but yeah, I guess Gnome 3 is going to take as long as KDE to load all its crap before I can do anything useful.

Re:Hum....how can I do this already? (1)

armanox (826486) | about 3 years ago | (#37277620)

I did that for a while on my old laptop, and found myself creating a script to switch to full desktop (I did FVWM -> KDE3) if I decided I wanted more...eye candy? Anyway, it was great for fast startup. (I also for a while had it auto-login to my fvwm setup).

I smell failure... (1)

TheBrutalTruth (890948) | about 3 years ago | (#37277254)

No, I have no love for M$ - but I understand the importance of it (software) in the business and consumer market. But the 1st thing that comes to mind in the Enterprise is:

1. Business will not deploy it

2. Only tablet or touch screen use in the consumer market

Why? Business will lockout the "Metro" interface, and just load the "desktop app" - at processor & memory cost - which in an Enterprise = lotsa $$

The consumer who still thinks of a PC a a traditional Windows desktop w/ traditional menus and apps will be turned off, because their new shiny toy will get crap performance w/o TONs of memory and horsepower. Because they'll want a desktop.

Dedicated OS's for dedicated devices guys - it just works better. less code = more harmony.

Re:I smell failure... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37277340)

Business might not deploy it, but so what? If there aren't loading the code a all, then it's fine.

" less code = more harmony."
well, since you boiled your 'argument' down to a simple statement it must be true.

"Fewer code bases to track = more harmony."

Just an app? Fantastic! (0)

geekmux (1040042) | about 3 years ago | (#37277260)

"'Essentially, you can think of the Windows desktop as just another app.'"

Wow, that's great news! So, when does the app hit the iTunes store?

(Don't lie, you know damn well this is how the average uneducated user is going to respond to this notion.)

welcome to 1988 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277262)

Can I have an o/s that boots to a command line?
And then run metro.com (the small client) or win.com (the big client)?

Re:welcome to 1988 (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 3 years ago | (#37277402)

Ubuntu+wine?

Re:welcome to 1988 (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 3 years ago | (#37277524)

Can I have an o/s that boots to a command line?

Well sure, it just ain't going to be windows.

back to the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277312)

Sounds like the very first Windows. Just think where Microsoft might be right now if they had maintained clear architectural boundaries between the operating system kernel and the UI. The browser is part of the operating system?! Really?! Well, at least they're starting to figure things out. Maybe someday they'll decide to maintain a clean separation between the rest of their products as well. But I doubt it.

Re:back to the future (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 3 years ago | (#37277732)

Just think where you might be if you had any intelligence.

Considering the trend of boxing in (2)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | about 3 years ago | (#37277346)

this sounds like a good choice. Granted, people like me may be up in rage because of the unfamilar feeling, but the fewer calls I get because people totally screwed up their own rig is a good thing in my book. As the first major desktop/notebook/netbook/whatever OS to embrace this idea (as in it's not a phone or PDA), it could verywell lead how it's really supposed to be done. Just please tell me I don't have to jailbreak my own computer...

Move Along (3, Funny)

sehlat (180760) | about 3 years ago | (#37277350)

That's not the Droid I was looking for.

Oh gawd (0)

jasmusic (786052) | about 3 years ago | (#37277416)

Sinofsky is a fucking dipshit and he's overreaching. You couldn't get away with this on Linux because they would just jettison your dumb Metro window manager like used toilet paper. When Metro grows dated (almost there already) they're hardcoded and fucked. XAML & C++, eh? Can anyone see the obvious retardation? If you guessed that C++ doesn't have reflection and XAML is based entirely on reflection, you are correct. IThis, IThat, death-by-COM, surely that was what we were all clamoring for instead of an optimized WPF right?

Slashvertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277432)

I've been noticing a drumbeat on Slashdot. A daily Windows 8 post that looks interesting and/or controversial in the summary, but doesn't really tell me much I didn't already know, or turns out to be some MS rep. blogging about irrelevancies, in TFA.

Could we please stop posting about a new Windows 8 "feature" every day? This really isn't news until it ships, and we can assess the product as a whole. This is beginning to feel like a daily ad. At the very least, editors, I think you're being had here and should do something about it.

Re:Slashvertising (3, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about 3 years ago | (#37277614)

This really isn't news until it ships, and we can assess the product as a whole.

This is not a slashvertisement, it is information for people who are interested in what the next MS OS will be. This being a website that is frequented by people who develop software and people who administer software, they need to know what is coming down the pipe before it happens.

Besides this gives us more ammo to talk crap about MS when they drop features they have talked about.

Wait... (0)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | about 3 years ago | (#37277446)

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277608)

*yawn*

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277650)

No, they designed the Ribbon.

Good old times (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277538)

It was like this 15 years ago. If I would use the desktop interface:
C:\>cd windows
C:\windows>win.com

cutomized desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277582)

Would be awesome if there really was an open api for Customized desktop apps.
A little competition could go a long way.

Sounds like Windows 3.x (2, Funny)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 3 years ago | (#37277594)

Sounds like Windows 3.x. You booted into DOS and Windows installed and ran as an application on top of it. Of course, at the time my favorite DOS command was deltree, and my favorite folder to use it on was the root Windows 3.x folder.

Command line only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277602)

Can we dispense with the GUI altogether?

It already was (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 years ago | (#37277612)

The Windows desktop was already an app. It was called "Explorer.exe".

I actually rather like the Metro UI thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277634)

I'd love it even more if it was designed to be as accessible as possible from using a mouse rather than tablet.
I know it probably won't be and we will be stuck with fiddling around with the mouse position until we get it right where we want, but I can dream...
I, too, am in the camp that hates desktop OSes being turned in to "huge phones".
But with this, it really could be designed to be as accessible as possible using mice and keyboard.

Most applications on computers can be done very easily in the way they are implemented in this.
With plugins that have a little more access to hardware resources, things that require them can access them. (such as needing more speed, or requiring GPU or whatever)
Additionally, having the ability to run lite and full versions of programs is a very handy for being tiled in grids to display like this. Admittedly some programs wouldn't really work through this, but most can be run through this method.

There are a few tiling window managers out there already, some very impressive ones from what I have seen.
They should look at some of those and take some notes.

Am I going to get it? Depends what else they butcher with Ribbon. Ribbon, the awful freak-child between tablet OS functionality and desktop OS functionality. Ribbon, the thing that takes up a massive chunk of your screen, then has to be defended by removing yet another huge chunk of the screen (super huge statusbar) they added for GOD knows what reason and say "oh hey look it shows more files now!".
I skipped Vista and 7 because of many things, particularly that sad excuse of a security system UAC, the annoyingly over-sized window elements and generally wasteful on resources. (particularly Aero, just because I have a nice beefy GPU doesn't mean I want it running all the time! Don't bring up disabling it, please, that isn't the point.)
While I will certainly still be keeping this install active even if I DID get Win8, I'd rather get it so I can get some more RAM and slightly better hardware support for some things. (mainly for gaming)

Interesting (2)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 3 years ago | (#37277640)

This is an interesting idea that has shown up elsewhere... In OS X, there is the "full screen" mode, and many windows also have an oblong button in the top right which is used to show/hide extra toolbars, and many apps also use this to switch between "Simple" and "complex" modes, including the Finder.

The merit would be to force developers to include different interfaces for the same underlying program, and to consider this type of workflow during development. This definitely sounds like a good thing, because many desktop programs are very robust but lack similar tools in the burgeoning touch interface market.

Tablets are already very powerful and capable of handling these applications, but quickly porting them over would be clunky. Many of these apps would be perfectly usable with a touch interface, but are not available for those platforms despite the practicality. Audacity could work great with a touch interface for example, but we don't want to create an entirely new application when the same one could be used with a slightly different interface.

I think that positioning the interface choice so predominantly on the desktop will spur the maturation of touch interface on already existing applications, and it will be good for users because they will already be familiar, and will be able to switch back if they can't find a certain option. They'll be able to learn at their own pace without having the rug pulled out from under them. It will also help developers design more modular programs, and slowly build up the touch interface portion instead of having to design two separate applications and make either/or trade-offs for both of them.

It would be great to re-use all of our code and be able to switch from a touch interface to a mouse/keyboard interface at will. Dock your tablet and it becomes a desktop... for real this time. Take the screen off your desktop and you can walk around with it. Maybe future monitors will have lower-powered hardware built in so we can do this, and snap the monitor back on when we need more horsepower or different input options.

Windows 8 Desktop 'Just Another MS Blunder' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277646)

Fixed that for you.

Who uses a desktop anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277652)

I certainly don't. All my apps are pinned to taskbar and i use windows+tab to switch. Anything else is in the start menu and i can use the run bar. Or i use my dock.

Afraid of change much guys?

Trust Microsoft (1)

RandomMonkey (908328) | about 3 years ago | (#37277748)

But...with such a long and varied history of monopoly power, deception and downright dirty tricks, why would anyone trust Microsoft again when there are so many good free alternatives that have open communities and standards. Don't these guys get it? Focus on the XBox. There is still a market for a closed (and even evil) system here.

(Granted, I am a grizzled old Unix advocate that would have said this 20 years ago as well. :-D)

1992 Called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37277762)

1992 called; it wants DOS and Windows 3.1 back.

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