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Are Windows XP/7 Users Smarter Than a 3-Year-Old?

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the smarter-than-an-honor-student dept.

Microsoft 537

theodp writes "Those sounding the alarm about the difficulty in making the transition to Windows 8, especially on traditional computers, should check out Adam Desrosiers' son Julian, a 3-year-old kid who uses Windows 8 like a champ. 'I read these tech pundits and journalists discussing how hard it's gonna be for the general public to learn the new UI of Windows 8,' says Desrosiers. 'Nonsense. The long and short of it is: If my 3 years old son can learn Windows 8 through very moderate usage, anybody with half a brain can do so too.' Bill Gates has already successfully made the transition to what he calls an 'unbelievably great' Microsoft Surface. On Friday, we'll start finding out if current Windows XP and Windows 7 users are also smarter than the average 3-year-old!"

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Anybody with more than half a brain (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739693)

won't be using windoze to begin with.

Why change the interface at all (5, Funny)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 years ago | (#41739695)

If it ain't broke, don't fix it! The problem is capitalism. Under socialism, production will be planned to meet human needs, not driven blindly by the whims of a market of idle parasitical bourgeois shareholders. CAPITALISM SUCKS, MICROSOFT SUCKS, FORWARD TO COMMUNISM, I DRanke coffee that I made with a coffeee makore thagt ish iu f,saoz-0-0-0-0- 0oiofdsalk fs;a;a a;;a the pain!

Re:Why change the interface at all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739839)

Yeh... so we can kill even more innocent people....

At least under capitalism you have choice...


Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41740039)

obama or romney some choice ROFL....bribed bought out number 1 , or bribed bought out number 2

no capitalism gives you no choice and it in fact suppresses you to have inequality.

Re:Why change the interface at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41740041)

Yeh... so we can kill even more innocent people....

At least under capitalism you have choice...

Dude... echo $GP > /dev/null 2>&1... it's not worth wasting the time to reply.

3 year olds don't do that much. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739697)

They can't concentrate long enough to do any work...

I guess that makes Windows 8 a toy system... and still not suitable for work.

Re:3 year olds don't do that much. (5, Insightful)

gtvr (1702650) | about 2 years ago | (#41739735)

Also the 3 year old doesn't have the years of working with Xp/7 to bog him down & set expectations of how the OS should work.

Re:3 year olds don't do that much. (5, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | about 2 years ago | (#41739809)

I was able to work my way through Windows 8 pretty easily. That's not the issue at hand, at all. this didn't stop me from hating its guts, because I needed to break free from my 15 years old habits and do it differently.
Habit change issues is exactly why we don't see cars with gaming controllers instead of the usual wheel-stick-and-pedals system. They might be great for the guy who never used anything before, but horrible for the long haul truck driver with 30 years of driving experience.

Re:3 year olds don't do that much. (3, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 2 years ago | (#41740081)

I always took the tack that Windows Surface was designed for a child, but if you need to do any work, the interface gets in the way. For common tasks, I think the home users will be fine for the most part, but if you need to dig into the OS to do any serious work you will end up fighting the UI.

I don't it's a matter of being 'smarter', but target audience.

Re:3 year olds don't do that much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739831)

pfff even monkey can learn to use windows 8.... hmm I will need more bananas for my pet!

Maybe my monkey is very smart :)

Re:3 year olds don't do that much. (5, Insightful)

devjoe (88696) | about 2 years ago | (#41739845)

Three-year-olds are likely to only focus on one program at a time, exactly the model Windows 8 presents, and the model which works well on a smartphone because of the limited screen space. Experienced adult computer users are likely to have email, multiple browser windows, a document they are writing or a game they are playing, and maybe other programs open at the same time. The comparison presented in the article is not a reasonable one.

Re:3 year olds don't do that much. (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41740079)

The error I am seeing on this thread time and time again is the assumption that 3-year-olds are stupid.

They aren't. They have a hyper-active ability to learn that leaves all adults in the dust. This is exactly when they are learning languages and most of the building blocks of knowledge that are incredibly important and we take for granted.

I doesn't matter if they are "focusing on one thing." They are learning sponges at that age. The fact they would have no problems with basic use of Windows 8 isn't surprising at all and it has nothing to do with multitasking.

Re:3 year olds don't do that much. (5, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#41739979)


Not to mention a 3 year old can use an easy bake oven. There's a reason they don't replace the cookware in a professional kitchen with easy bake ovens.

Re:3 year olds don't do that much. (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41740051)

By that definition there are a lot of 3 year olds that work in the same department as I do.

Nice challange... (2)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 2 years ago | (#41739699)

...but I think I will pass this round, thanks anyway. Marketing department appealing to peoples egos to make a sale, now?

So what? (5, Insightful)

Simulant (528590) | about 2 years ago | (#41739701)

No doubt anyone can learn it. Doesn't mean we want or need to.

Re:So what? (1)

ssarasin (672353) | about 2 years ago | (#41739751)

Agreed. I don't think it is really a matter of not being able to learn it. It is more along the lines that we don't really want to, or need to. Windows 7 works great for my needs. I'll be sticking with it until it becomes necessary to move to Windows 8. (Or an alternative OS... I have a couple machines running OSX, and a few Linux boxes as well...)

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41740015)

...Or an alternative OS... I have a couple machines running OSX, and a few Linux boxes as well...

bullshit...if this were true, you'd be using them instead.

(cue the predictable bs replies about how he *has* to use windows...proprietary software issues, blah, blah, blah...(but notice how he's *threatening* to move away from windows, so, no...))

Just make the switch, or stop pretending.

Re:So what? (4, Informative)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about 2 years ago | (#41739829)

Ageed. I moved away from Ubuntu to Mint Linux because while Unity might be a fine interface for a tablet, it's a crappy interface for a desktop, requiring huge amounts of moust travel to do the same thing that you could do with minimal movement/time in the regular menu system.

I'm staying with Windows 7 for the same reason. I don't want a shitty tablet interface on my 30" desktop screen.

Re:So what? (2)

kil3r (819571) | about 2 years ago | (#41739865)

How is that boy dealing with pivot tables then?

Re:So what? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41739921)

No doubt anyone can learn it. Doesn't mean we want or need to.

Right. I learned to use xfig, but that doesn't mean its UI isn't crap.

There's a difference between "possible to learn" and "good".

Re:So what? (1)

sasparillascott (1267058) | about 2 years ago | (#41740097)

Yes, just because Microsoft wants to sell more Tablets and Phones - many folks won't want to spend the time or effort to learn that touch based UI on their mouse keyboard PC, nor should they.

You have to be kidding. (4, Insightful)

Cwix (1671282) | about 2 years ago | (#41739705)


So because a 3 year old can use the playskool interface the rest of us should suck it up? Dear Adam, no one gives a flying shit about you or your kid.

Re:You have to be kidding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739769)

...Same as all the parents who brag to me that their three-year-old is so clever that he/she can use the iPad. Amazing!

Re:You have to be kidding. (5, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#41739777)

I will very much believe his son can handle Windows 8. But all he's doing is opening up a movie or a game. He's not using the computer in the same way people do at the office juggling all sorts of stuff simultaneously.

So the question is not: Can people use Win8.

It is: Can people be productive with Win8.

Re:You have to be kidding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41740003)

Let's see how long it takes the 3 year old to set up a static IP address in Windows 8. Then we'll know how easy it is!

Re:You have to be kidding. (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about 2 years ago | (#41740047)

Pretty much my first thought too. Any chump can pick up the basics of a new UI, which is just as well for the manufacturers of all these touch-enabled phone, tablets and other devices, otherwise we'd still be stuck prodding at menus with a fiddly little stylus that is far too small to be comfortable. This kind of thing completely misses the point about why people are reluctant to embrace change in new software deployment.

IT staff tend to dislike upgrades/new versions because they often have to figure out how to push an install out to hundreds of users or more, all the while trying to keep downtime to a minimum, ensuring that all the legacy applications still work and that there are no policy or network share breakages. IT users in general, including the IT staff, tend to dislike it because they will have to relearn how to do things that they could previously do without thinking; a very useful ability when you are under pressure. Even simple little things, like the switch from "Shift-DEL / Shift-INS" to "Ctrl-X / Ctrl-V" for cut and paste, can become a major pain until you get used to them and retrain the muscle memories. Neither of those issues are addressed by a three year old, or any-other-year old for that matter, being able to pick up the fundamentals of a new UI in a matter of hours.

Now, if the three year old had managed to figured out a solution to even some of the problems behind people's reluctance to upgrade, even accidentally, then I'd be genuinely interested in Windows 8, not to mention that it would probably also become the biggest hit Microsoft has ever had.

Re:You have to be kidding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739863)

Adam is surely enjoying his 15 minutes of proud parenthood. Reminds me of all of the coworkers out there who always insist on telling you their kid is the smartest kid in their class. Sure they are. I'm glad it makes up for your own inadequacies.

-- someone who keeps their child's performance to himself

Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739707)

Finally a great tutorial!

Buy Windows 8 if you have half a brain (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | about 2 years ago | (#41739709)

Gee, this really makes me want to upgrade right away.

Usual stuff (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739711)

"Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no"

Call their bluff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739715)

Seriously, is the entire point of this story to somehow manipulate me to prove that I am smarter than a 3 year old by familiarizing myself with Windows 8?


They Can but shouldnt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739717)

Can windows XP and windows 7 users transition to the Win 8 UI?
Yes, probably
Should they have to, to further Microsofts device ambitions?
No absolutely not!
Is it a good idea from a usability perspective
No absolutely not!

use cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739719)

ask your 3 year old to do anything more trivial than starting a game app... (e.g. say change screen resolution, find out what IP address machine has, change said IP address to static, FTP a file from another computer, FTP a file to another computer, SSH into another computer, run a certain program for all files in a folder---or simply create a Word document explaining how he'd do all these things).

The comparison is not fair (1)

byrtolet (1353359) | about 2 years ago | (#41739725)

It might be not that hard to learn the new UI. It is probably hard to unlearn the old one. And with years it gets harder and harder to learn new things and to change the old habits.

Yeah! (5, Insightful)

ratnerstar (609443) | about 2 years ago | (#41739727)

Millions of children in China learn Chinese every year, without even really trying! And you think it's so difficult ... it must be because Chinese is incredibly easy to learn and you're just stupider than a baby.

Re:Yeah! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41739749)

In the specific case of natural languages, most of us are...

Re:Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739989)

Exactly. "We took one organism which is a veritable learning machine (a child) and compared it unfairly to organisms where the learning part is only a small portion of total neurological effort expended."

Re:Yeah! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41740035)

no body learns Chinese, that's not a language.

Very old three year old? (1)

bjackson1 (953136) | about 2 years ago | (#41739729)

I don't think the complaint is that the Windows 8 interface is hard to learn, it seems pretty simplistic. The argument that the user experience of Windows has been more-or-less consistent since Windows 95. Unlearning 15+ years of an interface is difficult for anyone, but giving a three year old something that is new for him at a time in his life when learning isn't an exception it's the absolute norm is not a valid test for the hypothesis concerning the general public adoption of Windows 8.

Re:Very old three year old? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41739899)

The other issue with the "give it to a 3 year old for 10 minutes" test, in addition to the 'unlearning' piece, is that it only measures the slope of the first tiny bit of the learning curve. What people who actually use computers(or who have to do actual work with them) really care about is whether the interface makes them more powerful and efficient in exchange for a modicum of skill.

Re:Very old three year old? (1)

richg74 (650636) | about 2 years ago | (#41739907)

Exactly. The potential problem is not that people can't learn the interface formerly known as Metro, it's that they won't. Moving to a new OS version is almost certain to involve some difficulties, and getting around these is not made any easier by having a user mutiny at the same time. From the user's point of view, forcing a change amounts to taking away something that works (yes, it may have its quirks, but they have learned them), and putting in its place something else that is at least somewhat puzzling, without offering any significant initial advantage.

Stupid stupid stupid (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41739731)

It departments here it all the time: "why can't you just upgrade to Windows 8, my 12-year old kid did that to our laptop". Did the 12-year old kid have to cope with ensuring all applications are in support, the money for the database upgrade has been deferred a year, and the Finance department are using an ancient app that needs a replacement researched? Whould their kid e fired for saying "dad the PCs not working after the upgrade"? I hate articles like this

Three year old prodigy? (1)

NorthWestFLNative (973147) | about 2 years ago | (#41739733)

Sounds like the 3 year old in question is either a prodigy, or someone is exaggerating. Most 3 year old children don't know how to read to be able to use a computer. The child is either a prodigy who can read by the age of 3, or they are associating pictures they're used to seeing on a tablet to get to their games. They don't use a computer like an adult for all the same purposes. He or she simply wants to get to a game to play.

Re:Three year old prodigy? (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about 2 years ago | (#41740077)

Hate to tell you but you're wrong there. Plus, with the tiles in Windows 8 it would be even easier as the kids have visual clues.

For example, my son is two and a half years old. Give him an iPad, iPhone, or Android device and he will be working it in no time. My wife has an older Fascinate, I had a Galaxy S gt-i9000 (which I gave to him to play games on), I now have a Galaxy S III gt-i9300, and also an iPad.

Each of them have a different way of unlocking them. The wife had set hers up with the puzzle piece so our son wouldn't mess with her phone. That took him all of about 10 seconds to figure out the first time he got his hands on it after she had set that up. The other devices he unlocks and gets on just as easy. Even if they're powered down he knows how to power them up.

Also, he's VERY good at knowing which icons are games and which are not. I'm talking scary good. He also knows when you're sitting at an option screen what the "Okay", "Next", text says even though he can't read yet, and also knows what a right arrow means vs a left arrow at those options screens.

This is stuff he's been doing since before he was 2. Heck, he was playing around in Alice 3 making things grow and shrink (that involved a little help from me but not much at all).

The funniest story I have is I left him at his grandparents (my mother-in-law's place) with the iPad. When I dropped him off I jokingly told him "you should call daddy today while he's at work". I shit you not, he fired up ooVoo and video dialed me (I'm the only contact on the iPad but still the fact he figured that all out). It confused the shit out of the mother-in-law as she was sitting near him watching TV and keeping an eye on him and the next thing you know I show up on the iPad.

Anyhow, I think you need to give kids a bit more credit. Just because they may not yet be able to do something (read) doesn't mean they can't figure out another way of accomplishing the same task (visual recognition, etc).

I know sure as hell that my son can and does.. hell he taught me something I never knew. I first played clowns on the C64 when I was around 8 or so (I don't really recall the exact age), and always followed the instructions on the screen.. Press F1 for 1 player or F3 for 2, and press F1 to start. Hell, he gets on there, flips the C64 on, presses F1 maybe ONCE as he figured out if you press the orange button on the paddle it will ALSO put it into single player, and press again to start the game. I *NEVER* knew that.

Microsofts new marketing campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739739)

You are outdone by a 3 year old kid unless you have windows 8. This isn't even news more like corporate propaganda.

Don't know what the fuss is about (2)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 2 years ago | (#41739741)

There are 3yr olds who are adept at linux/apple/andriod. Also MS appear to have finally trimmed some of the fat for a change as W8 has a much smaller footprint than its recent predecessors and is considerably faster its just the cludgy replacement for the start menu that's got everyone pissing!

Re:Don't know what the fuss is about (2)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 2 years ago | (#41739851)

The OS itself is a HUGE upgrade. Its this stupid Metro shit thats got everyone bitching.

Re:Don't know what the fuss is about (1)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41739923)

There are 3yr olds who are adept at linux/apple/andriod. Also MS appear to have finally trimmed some of the fat for a change as W8 has a much smaller footprint than its recent predecessors and is considerably faster its just the cludgy replacement for the start menu that's got everyone pissing!

Its anti-Microsoft hate on Slashdot and bloggers looking for eyeballs. Most people haven't seen or used it yet, and it seems half the people griping about it who claimed to have used it are really just repeating things they saw on a video, and haven't actually gotten hands on it. The funniest are the people who are complaining about the UI being too touch or mouse centric, when the number of hotkeys available to do things in Win8 is far higher than Win7. Its a much easier OS to use from just a keyboard.

Ideal benchmark (2)

beebware (149208) | about 2 years ago | (#41739745)

A kid is exactly the benchmark we should be using for this. After all, a 3 year old is exactly the target market: they are the people using computers all day long in banks, call centers, offices etc where you don't need to worry about getting the software to do what you want in the manner you need it to: i.e. make your job easier.

Re:Ideal benchmark (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41739957)

A kid is exactly the benchmark we should be using for this. After all, a 3 year old is exactly the target market: they are the people using computers all day long in banks, call centers, offices etc where you don't need to worry about getting the software to do what you want in the manner you need it to: i.e. make your job easier.

We'll just turn all that stuff over to the three year olds, and the rest of us can retire.

It's not that it's hard to learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739759)

It's breaking from old habits and getting new.
The reason people don't move away from Windows, a mediocre and unsafe operating system, to something better, either Linux or OSX, is that they don't want to waste time learning new tricks. They put up, with the crashes, the fact that they have to allocate part of the resources to run an anti-virus, for the comfort of familiarity. If Microsoft changes that they might discover that people when forced to change old habits, they might change to a better OS.

Lost count of the number of people I easily convinced to move to open source office suites when Microsoft changed the interface of Office to that obnoxious thing they have now, just because they weren't willing to waste time looking for stuff that the open source kept in familiar places.

Ribbon (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739763)

I still don't know anyone who knows how to use the ribbon.

flexibility to learn vs. IQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739771)

actually, I don't think it's about intelligence here - it's more about patterns that you are already used to. Young kids are still very flexible and learn everything very fast. The older you get, the less flexible you are. You stay within your known patterns. Windows 8 breaks with that and calling people that are used to something and have difficulties in changing their way of thinking (just be cause they are old) dumb doesn't really help. I once had a colleague that said something along the line "You won't teach flying to an old eagle" (translated from German) but I fear it's true.

Entirely misses the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739773)

Just because a three-year old finds it easy to poop into a plastic bowl doesn't mean we should all start pooping into plastic bowls.

I hope I am wrong (5, Informative)

dizzy8578 (106660) | about 2 years ago | (#41739775)

But I suspect win8 will continue the pattern of hiding useful menus and dialog boxes under more and more layers of what I consider obfuscated crap eye candy. My primary goal when using a computer is to get it back to functioning normally or at least how the client thinks is normally.

Each iteration of windows has placed more and more "purty" screens in front of the administrative tools and log files I usually need to fix something.

I will buy Win8 next week but mainly because I need to find where they have hidden the useful stuff before people start to bring the broken/mis-configured/AIO-printer install from hell, POS systems to me to fix or at least save their data/mail file from the only cost effective method of repair left open to the end user ie: (nuke it from orbit and reload)

Power users are the worst user (1, Insightful)

Tei (520358) | about 2 years ago | (#41739781)

Because have learned how something is done, but not why, and refuse to learn a different way that perhaps is better ( or just new ).

Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739783)

> Nonsense. The long and short of it is: If my 3 years old son can learn Windows 8 through very moderate usage, anybody with half a brain can do so too.

1. A three-year old doesn't do anything serious.

2. It's not whether I CAN learn to use it, the question is whether I WANT to use those cycles to learn a different way to do the same thing, when I could be productive instead.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739941)


Play is serious business. Look at the animal kingdom... it's how you gain skill.

Windows 8 is for toys (3, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#41739787)

for grown up men who wish to get serious work done, you know.... like coding, making things happen; Windows XP and Linux distros are the thing.

Balls to Ballmer... he can go play with his dolls.

Is that really the issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739789)

I thought the problem wasn't so much that the interface couldn't be learned, but that it was terrible to actually use.

So it may be true... (5, Funny)

Blinkin1200 (917437) | about 2 years ago | (#41739797)

Fisher - Price called, they want their UI back.

Re:So it may be true... (0)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41739943)

XP called and they want their U.I. jokes back.

was he productive? (1)

pesho (843750) | about 2 years ago | (#41739813)

Was his 3yr old doing something productive? What previously learned skills and software had his son to give up to make the transition from windows 2K/XP/7 to windows 8? Adam Desrosier is completely missing to central point of the windows 8 critiques, that is that an OS should stay out of the way and have a consistent user interface. Windows 8 break both of these with the introduction of radically new interface while keeping the "classic" view for the part of the software.

Your kid can use Windows 8? (1)

Voxarp (2758935) | about 2 years ago | (#41739823)

Well my dog can shit outside, doesn't mean I need to as well.

Great (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#41739827)

Now get him to go into the network device settings and disable TCP offloading. Or change the IP. Or remove a rogue program from the context menu when you right-click files.

Whoops. Maybe that analogy doesn't seem so close now, does it?

Sure a 3-year-old can "use" the OS to do everything a 3 year old might want to do. But how easy is it for a parent to configure so that that 3-year-old CAN'T do things (e.g. get on the Internet in any way, shape or form, but be on the wireless so he can print out his work?), or for someone to set it up so that even the most genius 3-year-old + parent helping can't modify the settings you don't want modified (so that the staff member who brings their kid into school and let's them "just play" on the laptop can't run off and mess up their computer?)

That's an ENTIRELY different question. And something a 3-year-old can't do, and probably never will be able to do, on a Windows 8 PC.

My complaint with Windows 8 is not the lack of ability for a newbie to do things. It's the exact opposite. A lack of ability for a SKILLED IT USER to do things, and also a lack of ability to STOP a newbie doing things that are hard to undo for them (A show of hands: How many network admin's usual policy is to just delete the network profile of a user having trouble when the hardware is working fine and let it recreate itself?)

It is not about being "easy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739833)

It is about having the functionality you want being hidden, removed, or made harder with the new UI. You can make a few function which are very easy for a 3 year old. B.F.D. the problem are the more advanced functions. Some things are not so "cool" with the finger interface.

Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739835)

Only proves that Windows 8 is made for 3 years old kids

Bill Gates.. (2)

Drathos (1092) | about 2 years ago | (#41739837)

.. says it's "unbelievably great?"

You, know what? He's right. I don't believe it.

Still a bad interface for desktops (4, Interesting)

wulfhere (94308) | about 2 years ago | (#41739847)

I don't think anybody is saying that Windows 8 is going to be completely unusable. This kid is obviously getting coaching from his parent. I'm sure anyone can be taught to use the OS. I'm also sure that they won't complain if they've never used anything different. That doesn't mean that Windows 8 contains any worthwhile changes.

The fundamental problem is that they are trying to shoehorn a single operating system into two very different user experiences. Touch-screen based systems tend to have small screens, and they NEED large icons/menus so your finger can accurately select what you are to get to. Mouse-based systems allow for very precise selection, and because of that, they should be maximizing the amount of information that you have access to while MINIMIZING the number of clicks it takes to get there.

Oh, and insulting me is surely not the best way to convince me that Windows 8 is great. I'm not going to buy an operating system based on a dare.

Straw man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739875)

I doubt the 3 y/o has a long history of using a prior Windows system, so he has no prior UI learning that must be unlearned to use Windows 8. Children also have a much higher neuroplasticity, making it easier to pick up new things than older people (age 20+)

Of course it's not impossible for anyone to learn Windows 8 -- but it is absurd to say that just because a child, coming at this tabula rasa, can do this, that somehow means that it will be just as easy for you to do it. (Both my 5 year old, and 3 year old can load movies into VLC media player on Ubuntu, use an android tablet, and play games on Ubuntu -- this means piss-all w/r/t teaching my mom how to use the same)

XCom: Enemy Unknown (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41739879)

XCom: Enemy Unknown has a 3D main interface where you can go to the seperate areas, with a fly animation zooming in on the sub sections of your base.

Nice the first time, meh the second, the 1000th time you scream and rage at your monitor and hurl the cat out the window.

Newbie friendly is a great market because you never run out of newbies but the moment a newbie has grown beyond the need for a newbie interface, you lost him forever.

There isn't much repeat business in the training wheel market.

W8 is MS Bob all over again. For older people like me, the desktop is like my toes, haven't seen it in decades. I startup the applications I need automatically and never even minimize them, the desktop could display my golden ticket to nirvana and I will never ever see it.

W8 to me adds just cruft I don't need or want and that increasingly seems to desire to get in the way. I don't use active desktop, widgets or gadgets (98, Vista and W7). The desktop has one use, to stop my applications from falling into the monitor.

I need a start menu to groups application, a taskbar to switch and that is it. End of fucking story.

And trying to sell me on something new because a 3yr old likes it... 3yr olds also like teletubbies, boogers and the word poop. poop... POOP! eheh POOP!!!

oldsters (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41739883)

At age 3 a child has an incredible ability to learn. It's half way/near the end of the prime time for learning languages.

Contrast that to an oldster that is losing the ability to learn by degrees. When you add the given amount of "old fart"iness, lack of patience, "...back in my day," or downright lack of care then you have a problem.

On top of it, it gains them *nothing*. This is a move that manipulates people into using their interface for a corporate advantage. It's classic Microsoft.

What ever happened to the Bill Borg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739891)

N/T :)

what the hell? (5, Interesting)

amoeba1911 (978485) | about 2 years ago | (#41739893)

The OS is just a platform to run your apps. Why are they making it seem like the OS is more than just a platform to run your apps? My software uses Windows, and I use my software, doesn't mean I use windows.

This whole idiotic notion of the OS being important started when Microsoft realized Windows was the most used desktop OS in the world, they figured people must love Windows. Nobody loves Windows! We all cope with it because it runs our god damn software. The only way Windows could be better is if it got out of the way and made our software run better and faster. Microsoft doesn't seem to understand that, they somehow think people care about the OS. I'm sure a huge majority of the users don't even know what an OS is.

Admit it, if you use Windows, it's only because it runs your software. The majority of my software runs only on Windows... but that's changing. Linux has lots of great software, and the moment when Linux has the majority of my software will be the moment when I ditch Windows for good and never look back, and I can see that date in the horizon already and there's nothing Microsoft can do to stop it. (except anti-competitiveness)

Saturday (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#41739905)

... a 3-year-old kid who uses Windows 8 like a champ

Hello Julian. What's happening? Um, I'm gonna need you go ahead and come in tomorrow. So if you could be here around nine, that would be great. (starts to walk away) Oh, oh, yeaI forgot. I'm gonna also need you to come in Sunday too. We, uh, lost some people this week and we need to sorta catch up. Thanks.

Enough said (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739909)'s_law_of_headlines

Intelligence is not age-related (1)

Madman (84403) | about 2 years ago | (#41739911)

Why do people relate intelligence with age? People do not get smarter the older they get, quite often the opposite as IQ tends to decrease with age. There are 3 year olds that are smarter then adults, and vice-versa. There are genius 3 year olds and stupid 3 year olds.

What is really being said is that people without preconceived notions of how computer interfaces work will get used to a completely new interface standard than people who have been using a completely different format for the past 15 years, which I would have considered completely obvious. It would be the same with people transitioning from QWERTY to Dvorak as opposed to those with no typing experience, those without experience would get used to Dvorak much faster.

I'm sure (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#41739913)

That the offices full of three year olds that run most companies will love it.

My 4 year old (2)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | about 2 years ago | (#41739929)

My 4 year old uses GNOME Shell, but she has her 6 year old brother help her launch MineCraft from the terminal.

No I'm not joking. Kids aren't stupid, so how about not giving them interfaces for idiots.

Expect a lot more microsoft astroturfing this week (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739933)

I actually like windows 8 for my own use, but I am also supporting a number of older users who are lost when faced with
windows 8. I see a train wreck coming for the general public.

My Boy + iPad then Playbook(!) (1)

burnttoy (754394) | about 2 years ago | (#41739937)

That looked incredibly fiddly. Invisible corners (I use 'em on my mac but only for multi-desktop). Tricky start "screen". Why do I want to stick things to the side of the screen? Why does the weather app need to take over the whole screen?! Anyway... I'm sure it will improve and I'll get it. Damn, I've changed UI so often another change means nothing to me - maybe I'm commonly using half a dozen UI's a day. Lemme count - WinXP, Gnome, Blackberry, Playbook, iPad, HTC One X, plain Android not to mention a variety of applications and there UIs... then there's the ones I create!

I think that the sort of $stuff being done there is much more suited to a touch screen.

However, my lad has been using his mummy's "Tap Tap" (iPad) for a few months. He's just turned 2 and accomplished those tasks being shown there in a fraction of the time - in large amount because the device is that easy and the touch screen allows for direct manipulation which little 'uns get much more than mice and gamepads (he hasn't figured out the Nintendo DS yet which annoys him as he loves Yoshi) . He knows what the home button does, knows about Youtube "cows, cows, cows", old Pingu and steam trains!. He tries to play Angry Birds, World of Goo, Bad Piggies but really he likes sit on daddy's lap and watch (that's me BTW). He gets to the pictures and scrolls them around etc. I put Geometry Wars on there... he tried to play it but that's HARDCORE!!! (and nothing beats 2 analogue sticks anyway).

I do wonder about what effect this will have on him but, TBH, as a parent I've learnt if it isn't one influence it's another and this one doesn't seem bad at all. He's been playing on it for about 5 months I suppose and pretty much has it nailed although he will stick all his fingers on the screen then be a bit baffled when the task manager appears.

He's learnt that whenever he gets lost or confused that he should go for the home button. My mama-bear pointed that out a few times - he understood.

He loved it till I got a Playbook - which has excellent speakers (compared to iPad). Now he wants "daddy tap tap" so we can listen and dance to Surfin' Bird!

Anyhoo... Gotta crack on with work so I can go home and play with my boy!!!

Any other geeky mum's and dad's got a story about tech and their little ones?

Sensationalist Bullshit (2)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#41739945)

Three year olds have very adaptable brains, and don't have set expectations or things to un-learn.

A sixty year old who has been using the computer the same way for over a decade is going to have a more difficult time adapting simply due to how the brain works. That doesn't reflect on their intelligence at all - it reflects on fundamental biology.

I'm pretty sure at one point Slashdot editors would have known that and not posted something this stupid, but I guess they need to bait people with "my 3 year old is smarter then you" BS to get pageviews.

I havent seen it at all (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about 2 years ago | (#41739947)

but why am I afraid its going to turn using my desktop into something that feels more like using an iPhone or a tablet or an ATM?

Bad example (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41739955)

The 3-year-old doesn't have 15+ years of muscle memory on doing things the old Windows desktop way.

People who start out using OSX seem to like it. I once had to troubleshoot a system using OSX and wanted to throw it through the window – everything was just wrong compared to what I was used to.

Yes, in time, you could learn to do things differently – but unless there's a good reason, why should I? And if Microsoft is going to throw everything topsy-turvy, take away the reasons why I use their OS, then why should my next OS choice be theirs? If I'm getting screwed up anyway, why wouldn't I take the chance to screw them back by jumping ship?

One flaw in this logic.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739965)

They haven't been conditioned on where say the control panel is, how to do this that or the other thing (a lot of the stuff from 95 is still carried over in 7.. and the stuff that's really moved or changed hasn't been moved or changed very far/much).

It's easy to learn something when you're young as your brain is more apt at learning. Also, it helps a TON when you don't have set prior ways/habits/etc to compete with.

Now this may be taking it to an extreme, but I look at it this way. My son has Type II Fibular hemimelia/paraxial fibular hemimelia/longitudinal fibular deficiency (which means his Fibula is completely missing in his right leg). This caused that leg to be shorter from the knee down and for his foot to point downward and he had to learn to walk by walking on his tippy-toes (his only option). He did that just fine and actually was walking early.

The condition he had required amputation. They cut most of his foot off (basically just saving the heel to act as a cushion for his ankle area. He needed to have a cast on for 2 months, which was bend at his knee some so it was less likely to fall off. He again learned to walk and stand with in this situation. Then after 2 months, the removed the cast and the pin that was in place holding the heel pad to the bottom of his leg (the pin went up into the tibia bone), and a prosthesis made. Again, it took him a matter of hours to get use to it and walking. He drives his power wheels pick-up truck by using his left leg (this was when his cast was on as well as when it was taken off and he had his prosthesis). He hangs his right leg over the center console.

Now for ME to try to drive like that.. I don't know that I could or how long it would take me to get use to that. Or an even simpler example, my grand father is retired from the Air Force.. flew B-17's in WWII and moved up to Colonel. From all his experience, he drives a car like he did a plane.. left foot for the brake pedal and right foot for the gas.

Again, I've tried that. I eat the steering wheel any time I go to brake. Not to mention the cars I drive are manuals, so I'd most likely either end up trying to stop with the clutch, or go to shift and lock up the tires.

XP is almost 4 times older than a 3 year old... (1)

wompa (656355) | about 2 years ago | (#41739967)

...and I've been using it that long. No kidding it might take me longer to adapt than a 3 year old. I've been using vi for decades too. Does that mean I'm not that bright if it takes a little longer for me to get used to emacs than someone who's brand new. The premise of this argument is more than flawed. It's asinine.

Betteridge's law of headlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739985)


Ok, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41739991)

leave Windows 8 to children.
Back to work with somer *real* OS guys!

Nice try geekwire (1)

StankAsPoe (2713223) | about 2 years ago | (#41739997)

Almost gave you views.

Look everyone! (1)

fellip_nectar (777092) | about 2 years ago | (#41740009)

"But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

No touch. No fun. (1)

kiehlster (844523) | about 2 years ago | (#41740013)

And probably no 3-year-old. I don't have a touch screen and fat chance will you see me buying a touch-screen IPS monitor for the sole purpose of smudging my workspace. Sorry, Microsoft, but my love for you is on its death bed. It was a long ride, but you made a fatal mistake believing touch would unseat they keyboard and mouse. I might have a little wine in celebration of your life.

Newsflash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41740017)

Child presses box, application opens. Film at 11.

Not a true test (1)

anasciiman (528060) | about 2 years ago | (#41740023)

Everyone knows that children younger than five are adept at learning nearly anything you wish to teach them. So this isn't a true test of how easy Win8 is to use. To make a legitimate test, you'd have to select a person (or group of people) whose age is well beyond the toddler stage and, most likely, a senior citizen who's never used a computer before. THEN you might have the basis for a legitimate test. Of course, the test will have to be more than just opening a video or picture album. You'd have to prove usability in several common areas such as email, web, video chat and the like.

co34 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41740031)

and that the fllor numbers continue purposes *BSD is that has 6rown up One or the other fly...don't fear diseases. The OF AMERICA) today, influence, the

Logical fallacy, straw man (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41740053)

This is an entire article trolling on the basis of the logical fallacy called the straw man. The argument was never that we couldn't learn to use Windows 8. The argument is that the existing interface is better for mouse users than the new one, with less pointer motion and just as much use of muscle memory. Trolling article is trolling. So is slashdot, by repeating it. Nothing to see here, please move along.

The most productive UI is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41740075)

...always the one I've been using for the past nn years. I already know EXACTLY how to do all the tasks required to be productive in my job. Any change, no matter how well intentioned, requires me to stop focusing on my work and focus on figuring out how to use my new tool. Why MS keeps changing the Office interface every release is a total mystery to me. They should have one preference button I can click on to set the menus back to 2003. Doesn't anyone designing that software recognize that the installed base completely dwarfs the first time users?

And exactly why is this a bad thing? (1)

DiscountBorg(TM) (1262102) | about 2 years ago | (#41740093)

Don't we want intuitively-designed GUIs? If anyone can use it, it's a sign of success, not failure.

Its a trick question........ (1)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#41740095)

They want to know if they are dumb'in down the users nough.

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