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Windows 8 Metro: The Good Kind of Market Segmentation?

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the keyboards-with-giant-letters dept.

GUI 389

nk497 writes "A UX designer working at Microsoft has taken to Reddit to explain why Windows 8's Metro screen isn't designed for power users — but is still good news for them. Jacob Miller, posting as 'pwnies,' said Metro is the 'antithesis of a [power user's desktop],' and designed for 'your computer illiterate little sister,' not for content creators or power users. By splitting Windows into Metro and the desktop, Microsoft has created space for casual users as well as power users." Update: 02/18 18:14 GMT by S : Further explanations from Miller are available now.

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Really?!?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276427)

And this would explain why they use the Metro interface on Server 2012? So my illiterate little sister can mange servers in the data center?

Re:Really?!?! (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46276463)

Have you met most IIS developers?


Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 8 months ago | (#46276803)

"AND I'M WORKING HARD, to keep you little sister ILLITERATE!"

Re:Really?!?! (4, Insightful)

x0n (120596) | about 8 months ago | (#46276465)

Not a bad attempt at trolling, but in a data center, server 2012 would likely be a headless server-core instance with no GUI at all. To address your question, I would imagine that developers who choose to develop on a server SKU may want to target Metro/Modern apps so it is available, if required.

Re:Really?!?! (4, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46276495)

Sorry to dig in like this, but judging from your site, you're a primary powershell user, and most Microsoft sysadmins... aren't. You're projecting your own usage onto others.

Re:Really?!?! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276949)

If you're a real Windows sysadmin today and you're not using powershell you won't remain an admin for long.

Re:Really?!?! (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 8 months ago | (#46276565)

Server core won't work for many applications that require GUI access for configuration or management on the server itself.

Re:Really?!?! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276617)

You, sir, must be a Linux user. I spend a lot of my day on Windows servers debugging issues and doing deployment tasks. RDP is the standard way to interface with a Windows server, and fucking Metro on 2012 is really annoying.

Re:Really?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276867)


Re:Really?!?! (2)

brainstem (519778) | about 8 months ago | (#46276663)

Try installing SharePoint on Server 2012 core. The OS components required aren't there unless you install the full GUI (even for a scripted install). Yes, you can temporarily add, then remove them afterwards, but it's still a hack.

Re:Really?!?! (2)

fsck-beta (3539217) | about 8 months ago | (#46276775)

Hi, as someone with ~6000 Server 2012 boxes in his department, I assure you they are not *likely* server-core in a datacenter setting.

Re:Really?!?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276871)

High UID, has time to sit around Slashdot and make multiple posts per day but you admin "~6000 Server 2012 boxes"?
Sounds like pure BS to me.
I wonder who these wunderkind are that have hours and hours to sit around Slashdot and run their mouths as they claim that they've been everywhere, done everything and are an expert on anything you bounce off them. My my my.... I always wondered where these 8 year old prodigies ended up after they stopped making headlines, I guess they all migrated to Slashdot.

Re:Really?!?! (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#46277165)

High UID, has time to sit around Slashdot and make multiple posts per day but you admin "~6000 Server 2012 boxes"?

Where did he say he was the only one? Single handedly doing it by himself? I didn't see that.

Re:Really?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46277007)

Headless, yes.

UI-less? No.

Data centers mostly run Windows Server in VMs now unless it needs access to specific hardware. Admins access via Remote Desktop, or the hypervisor. Thus they get a garbage UI that is not appropriate on a server.

DBAs don't need to see what their BFF is doing on Xbox Live on their fucking server.

Re:Really?!?! (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 8 months ago | (#46277017)

Not a bad attempt at trolling,


but in a data center, server 2012 would likely be a headless server-core instance with no GUI at all.

Having connected to many hundreds of windows servers throughout the world not a single one was ever running "server core"

To address your question, I would imagine that developers who choose to develop on a server SKU may want to target Metro/Modern apps so it is available, if required.

I'm sure this happened...once... in the history of mankind.

99% are NOT headless (4, Interesting)

daboochmeister (914039) | about 8 months ago | (#46277261)

I don't know what data centers you spend time in, but 99% of the Windows servers I encounter in data centers (maybe more) are explicitly NOT headless. And with the MS certification programs for admins emphasizing the "GUI way" of doing things way too much, there's no reason to expect that to change with Windows Server 2012 adoption.

In fact, if you accept Azure as the best reference profile for Windows servers, I'm not even sure there's a way to get a headless Windows server on Azure (try searching " headless" if you don't believe me).

Re:Really?!?! (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 8 months ago | (#46276511)

No, that's because nobody gives a shit about the UI on a server, so why bother creating a different UI? The Metro interface is good enough to get done what needs to be done while logged in to the server.

Re:Really?!?! (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 8 months ago | (#46276599)

No, that's because nobody gives a shit about the UI on a server, so why bother creating a different UI? The Metro interface is good enough to get done what needs to be done while logged in to the server.

Which contradicts the whole point about this behind some kind of segmentation, if it were then the workstation/server market would use the traditional desktop. Clearly we shall all use Metro whether we like it or not. Oh well, still 5+ years until my Windows 7 support ends...

Re:Really?!?! (4, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 8 months ago | (#46276909)

I don't care about the UI because I just want to get in and do what I want to do. Since metro thoroughly prevents that, suddenly I care about the UI.

Re:Really?!?! (0)

jellomizer (103300) | about 8 months ago | (#46276707)

Microsoft is trying to hold the old view of the Desktop Computer and OS. Being Mobile, a PC, or a Server they should all follow the same look and feel.

Now their big mistake is the fact that the PC is becoming less of a PC and more of a work station.

PC Users need less user friendly happy touchy feely stuff, and more serious workstation stuff. Home users will be using tablets and their phone for the basic personal computing.

Now it Windows 8 Interface isn't as bad as Slashdot makes it out... However it isn't good for working as Work Station type of work. The full screen tiles distracts you from your job, and apps frames are not so useful as you cannot really control them too well.

Windows and Server should really be more workstation level friendly and less cutisy.

Re:Really?!?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276849)

And this would explain why they use the Metro interface on Server 2012? So my illiterate little sister can mange servers in the data center?

It actually works quite well if you RDP into your server with a Surface Pro. That was probably the use case that Microsoft designed for.

Sexism (-1)

sjbe (173966) | about 8 months ago | (#46276469)

...designed for 'your computer illiterate little sister'...

Little bit sexist too apparently.

Re:Sexism (0)

Viol8 (599362) | about 8 months ago | (#46276815)

And if he'd said illiterate little brother it wouldn't have been? Why? Do you think boys are naturally more stupid than girls or are you just angling for some right-on brownie points? Which it looks like you didn't get btw.

Re:Sexism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46277001)

yeah i was kinda wondering if he didnt get pounced for saying it like that.

and the same statement could have been made without putting down a specific gender or age group or size of person. but he managed to roll it all up into one big insult and walked away unscathed.

Well, look at the bright side (2, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 8 months ago | (#46276471)

At least this one admits to working for MS.

I swear, I have seen more shills flood the internet advocating Windows8 than for any other product in history.

Re:Well, look at the bright side (4, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#46276585)

I'm surprised they admit to being a 'UX designer'. They're so widely hated after the Gnome 3 and Metro debacles that, pretty soon, they'll have to claim they were playing piano in a brothel for those years to make their resume look more reputable.

Re:Well, look at the bright side (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#46276631)

At least this one admits to working for MS.

I swear, I have seen more shills flood the internet advocating Windows8 than for any other product in history.

They're probably paying him extra for this little speech.

Or blackmailing him.

I'm confused (0)

x0n (120596) | about 8 months ago | (#46276475)

This doesn't appear to denigrate Microsoft enough for me to make a meaningful contribution, sorry.

Re:I'm confused (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46276593)

Because Microsoft is making themselves look bad there. Ideally a UI will have good discoverability. That is, things that you want to do often are easy to do, and things that you want to do infrequently are possible to discover, or figure out.

A good example of this are hot keys. Most apps have them, but you don't need them to use the app. They are easy to figure out because they are listed next to every menu item, so if you forget how to past, you can look at 'paste' from the menu and see it's cntrl-V.

The joke here is that Win8 is not discoverable, the gestures are rather hidden. Furthermore creating two different UIs for the same computer is pretty near the opposite of good design. You will inevitably run into the same types of problems you have with 'mobile' websites, which are not good for anybody.

Re:I'm confused (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 8 months ago | (#46276621)

No need to denigrate MS anymore. Now that Nadella is in charge their next OS will be named "Windows Mavericks"

full denigration (3, Interesting)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#46276813)

doesn't appear to denigrate Microsoft enough for me

I don't know what would be enough **for you** but TFA is shameful admission

Shameful if you are in the design part of the tech industry.

This is M$ fully admitting that Metro (and many of their design decisions) was nothing more than **DUMBING DOWN THE INTERFACE**

I know coders don't get this as easily b/c you dont think of the user...but look...

Metro's awfulness is an expression of what M$ thinks of its users. Its 'easy' version of the OS is so mind-numbingly stilted that in attempting to be usable by the stupidest person on earth, it has instead been rendered useless to *everyone*

This article is proof that Microsoft really does act as if it **hates its users**

mod options (5, Insightful)

HybridST (894157) | about 8 months ago | (#46276479)

Where do I mod this article -1 Flamebait? I'd really like to know.

Re:mod options (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 8 months ago | (#46277175)

I would mod up your post if I had mod points. We really should be able to mod up and down the original post. Since they are overhauling anyway, I think now would be a good time to introduce this feature. Sure the owners/managers/admins might not always like the results, but it should give them a useful metric about what works, what doesn't and what the community finds useful for starting discussion.

Astruturf? (0)

Joce640k (829181) | about 8 months ago | (#46276481)

My guess: Microsoft have prepared a little "astroturf" speech for him and are paying him to say this.

Re:Astruturf? (4, Insightful)

pwnies (1034518) | about 8 months ago | (#46276633)

If I had been astroturfing, I wouldn't have been using the term Metro. Nor would I have been stating that Apple has better mobile hardware. Nor would I have used that account - have you seen my post history? []

Re:Astruturf? (1)

depressedrobot (1067078) | about 8 months ago | (#46276883)

How much grief are you getting? I see your still on Lync which is encouraging.

Re:Astruturf? (1, Funny)

fsck-beta (3539217) | about 8 months ago | (#46277003)

lol Reddit user, UX designer at MS, heck looking at your Reddit post history: you are really going for the biggest loser trophy this year.

Without the bad Windows 8 fine (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276485)

The Windows 8 metro ui drove me mad for months, but because it's still Windows I kept searching for a way to kill them off. Of course I installed Classic shell right away, but finding that way: this: really fixed Windows 8 for me.

Multiple Desktops on a Single screen. (1, Insightful)

Haven (34895) | about 8 months ago | (#46276497)

The fact that windows does not have this in 2014 is shameful.

good thing it's discoverable (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46276499)

Because only a 'power' user would find some of the important gestures to figure out how to use that thing.

Re:good thing it's discoverable (2)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 8 months ago | (#46277167)

What, move your mouse to the right edge until a huge gutter of icons appears, then clicking "Settings" in order to find a button to shut down / restart isn't your idea of intuitive?

Remember: this is the company that gave us "start > shut down" - you have to start before you can stop!

Bullshit (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276509)

Windows 8 is dumbed down in more ways than just this Metro/Desktop schizophrenia.

A lot of power features are not "hidden". They are GONE.

If you down want to show them to the causual user that's ok with me..

But make them optional AND ALLOW TO MAKE THEM DEFAULT for those of us who need to get real work done.

(Sorry about the shouting, I just spend several hours fighting the usability nightmare that is a 2012 server box.)

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46277211)

My favorite vanished years ago....

In Windows XP, hold control and start clicking on taskbar entries. They stay stuck down until you are done then you can right click and close selected.

I would leave my box up for weeks at work then have about 200 windows when it was time to reboot. I can then start clicking the things I want to close while holding control. Then I clean up stuff that needs saving like stale notepad windows with useful notes.

After XP that feature vanished. Holding control does nothing when clicking on the taskbar. They want to force you into using grouping to close more than one thing at a time. When I used to be able to hold control and select 5 firefox windows, 20 notepad windows, 30 outlook message windows and right click to close them all.

Now I have to manual close each thing. It's a joke. Power user squelched.

Non sequitur. Your facts are uncoordinated. (2)

NyteGeek (1085779) | about 8 months ago | (#46276521)

My experience providing support has been to the contrary. Casual users and less technically inclined users seem to hate metro. I am frequently asked to implement replacements for metro for these folks.

Re:Non sequitur. Your facts are uncoordinated. (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#46276547)

Ditto. Casual users are used to the XP interface, and they really don't want to be forced to use some crappy shiny thing designed for three year olds.

Re:Non sequitur. Your facts are uncoordinated. (4, Interesting)

michrech (468134) | about 8 months ago | (#46276693)

My experience mirrors yours. I've had gift cards, thank you cards, and other notes shoved under my office door for pointing people to StartMenu8 ever since Windows 8 became available. Some people like the UI, but MANY seem to loathe it (as I do)...

Whoosh. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276525)

This "UX designer" has completely missed the complaint everyone has lodged against Windows 8 and its interface. Nobody cares that there's a new interface added to the system, or even that it's the default. But power users do care that there's no way to bypass it.

Give us a way to shut it off and restore the original functionality in a control panel somewhere.

And shut your dumbass mouth, Jacob Miller. We didn't miss the point. You did.

Re: Whoosh. (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 8 months ago | (#46276847)

Dammit, your post is such a mixed bag I want to mod it with a complex number.

Computer illiterate little sister? (0)

Peter Dowdy (3542479) | about 8 months ago | (#46276537)

It's 2014, and "computer illiterate female relative" is still an archetype? Seriously?

Re:Computer illiterate little sister? (4, Informative)

pwnies (1034518) | about 8 months ago | (#46276753)

The quote is out of context, and was part of a larger list of users. On its own it does seem negative - here's my full quote: Metro is a content consumption space. It is designed for casual users who only want to check facebook, view some photos, and maybe post a selfie to instagram. It's designed for your computer illiterate little sister, for grandpas who don't know how to use that computer dofangle thingy, and for mom who just wants to look up apple pie recipes. It's simple, clear, and does one thing (and only one thing) relatively easily.

Re:Computer illiterate little sister? (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 8 months ago | (#46276797)

My grampa was not retarded, so he wouldn't have liked it.

Bad argument (1)

surfdaddy (930829) | about 8 months ago | (#46276563)

If Metro is for the non-power user, then why are so many of its capabilities not easily discoverable? Yes, I really expect grandma to figure out to swipe in from the side. That's just stupid.

Apologist fail (1)

ichthus (72442) | about 8 months ago | (#46276573)

Don't insult our intelligence. Even so-called "casual" users have been happy with the desktop for decades now. You can't admit that Metro was designed for "your computer illiterate little sister", and then present an upside to the interface. It sucks... end of story.

Link to Actual Reddit Thread (4, Informative)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 8 months ago | (#46276601)

Because neither Slashdot, nor Neowin, nor PC Pro can apparently do a little goddamn legwork, here's a link to the comment thread [] on Reddit.

Just like that net neutrality article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276605)

Splitting general purpose computing devices into "casual" and "power" user cases means edging out the power users entirely (or charging them more) as they are a natural minority. Making more sense to move entirely to Linux all the time.

HAHAHAHAHAAH THat's absurd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276609)

Microsoft has created a place where the novice users get so Freaking frustrated that they bug the power users into actually trying to figure out this CRAP.

I now know how to use it.... I've waded thru the undiscoverable bulls&*t that is Microsoft OS>

The onlything going for MS is that Google Maps is now a hunk of poo and Chrome still has grievous errors reported years ago, and is continuing to layer BS with that.

Windows 98 was the last operating system MS put out without major backtrackings. Windows XP is generally configurable to behave appropriately, and it's the last OS that MS made that works.

Vista is a Piece of Poo, Windows 7 has all these vaults and it's never clear where a file is being saved... and it takes 10 minutes to sort a folder by file name or size.... two of the most frequent operations.

windows 8? It's a moving bunch of goop.
Windows 8.1? Still doesn't have a start menu,
Classic Shell is something that can fix stuff.

My computer illiterate little sister... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 8 months ago | (#46276611)

... does not like the Metro interface. She finds it mostly unusable and not intuitive at all.

...Microsoft has created space for casual users as well as power users....

Not really. What Microsoft did was chase away a significant number of people who were looking for a PC. The sales numbers speak for themselves. If it were only the power users who were avoiding Windows 8, then the sales numbers would not be as bad as they are.

Re:My computer illiterate little sister... (4, Interesting)

Andrio (2580551) | about 8 months ago | (#46276785)

I posted this story a while back. Still relevant:

I tried changing the wallpaper on my brother-in-law's Windows 8 laptop the other day. So I downloaded a picture, and opened it after it finished downloading. The picture loaded in the OS' default image viewer. I saw the picture appear, full-screened, and with no interface. I tried right-clicking the picture. That didn't give me a menu, but an interface did fade into appearance. I promptly saw an option to "Set as."

I clicked it, thinking: "Surely this will let me set the image as the wallpaper", but I was given just two options: set as lockscreen (IT'S A LAPTOP!), and set as 'app tile'

I immediately closed the window since the option I wanted wasn't there--no wait, actually I didn't close it. There was no UI option to close this fullscreen picture. I alt-tabbed back to the desktop. I found the picture again, right clicked it, and went to the "open with" option. There were like 5 image viewers that came with Windows to choose from. I chose the old "Windows Photo Viewer" and set it as the default so this madness won't happen again.

This article is why everyone hates 'U/X' designers (2)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#46276655)

Asking if Metro was the good kind of market segmentation is sort of like asking if your wife cheating on you is the 'good' kind of having 'time to ourselves'

Metro was a bullshit, Clippy, Chicken McNugget version of the iOS design.

That's *all* it's ever been, and everyone knows this...posting pointless articles about the 'U/X' of Metro is silly. Metro and all Windows products tack on 'U/X' as an afterthought.

To try to understand good design principles from looking at M$ design process is like learning how to cook by watching a trucker take a shit.

Illiterate? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276673)

Whose little sister is computer illiterate in 2014? Both of my little sisters are established professionals who have been using computers since they were children, and anyone younger than them has been using computers since birth. This mythical audience doesn't exist except in the minds of "UX Designers".

Re:Illiterate? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#46276983)

This is the problem with all these new UIs designed by 'UX designers'. They're designed for people who've never used a computer before, and never seen someone use a computer before.

Which probably means a few dozen Amazon tribes who've never been contacted by the outside world. Not a big market, really.

He's not wrong, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276689)

Basically this type of segregation would only work if Metro was a CHOICE instead of forced down all users' throats. So, instead of having two happily coexisting ways to utilize the same operating system, Microsoft is forcibly alienating their traditional userbase for a hope and a prayer that they might gain new users who don't find Metro entirely repulsive. Also, Metro with a mouse is just a UX disaster; it's only tolerable on a touchscreen, and this is a tiny fraction desktop and legacy hardware.

The rest of his analysis is fine, but that crucial point invalidates his basis. I actually agree in principle, but by forcing me to (potentially) use Metro Microsoft has permanently lost me as a future customer.

So it's the new Bob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276695)

At least, that's how they're spinning it, so that they can back off from it.

The real purpose of Modern was, of course, to lock everyone into an app store and skim that 30% off everything. They were hoping that everyone would want their desktop to look like their tablet, but RT is going over like the lead balloon it is, so that ain't gonna happen.

So now it's the "easy mode" interface, for those stupid girls. Then it can go away.

Even their desktop ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#46276705)

... is shite now. It appears to have need Metro-ized (if that's a term). I don't use Windows, but I hear quite a bit from friends who do and complain continually that the UI is devolving into big buttons like child's toys have. Menu functions are increasingly well hidden.

Huge Mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276739)

This idiot will go down in flames of epic proportions.

Defending Metro on Reddit is an even bigger mistake than Microsoft rolling it out in the first place.


user design? (4, Interesting)

Teunis (678244) | about 8 months ago | (#46276749)

Metro lacks the user friendliness of a pet rock.
Learning curve is high enough that an old windows user like me (since the early 90s) can't figure out how to open an application or find where anything I have installed is.
No menus, no help, no interface, no organization, no context, no structure and too many ads.
I can't help anyone running windows 8. I can't find applications, documents, programs or interface. I'm not sure what that great scrolling walls of ads is, but it doesn't seem to relate to anything resembling functionality - it's easier to find an installed app using "google play" than it is to use that.

And forget "power user". I DO know how to open a command shell, and replace the scrolling wall of stupidity with a terrible second-rate wannabe menu that injects ads everywhere. (which is to say, pretty much every start menu replacement)
I don't actually -need- the start menu - the folders of windows 3 were actually more or less ok.
If I were running a tablet with this stupidity, it'd probably be tossed across the room.

It managed to build an interface almost as terrible and in your face as Ubuntu's "Unity". Except that it takes 50-90% of your CPU to run windows 8 and Unity only prevents you from using it.

I'm not sure who designed either system, but they should be kicked out of user design and forced to go back to school, perhaps in something useful like sales.

Re:user design? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276819)

No menus, no help, no interface, no organization, no context, no structure and too many ads. It has been transformed to the google interface. Start typing, and it will filter what you see. a few letters and a quick scan and you can get your work done. next.

Re:user design? (4, Interesting)

green1 (322787) | about 8 months ago | (#46276991)

now try using it on a tablet without a keyboard... (you know, what it was ostensibly designed for) Work recently took away my XP laptop and replaced it with a windows 8 tablet... my productivity has halved... (and that's an optimistic estimate) our best guess is that some VP thought it would look cooler in front of customers if we were on tablets instead of laptops, never mind that we've lost most of our functionality.

Re:user design? (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 8 months ago | (#46276967)

"can't figure out how to open an application or find where anything I have installed is"


Metro is a typical Microsoft endeavor these days, they don't why they are doing anything, come up with some silly whim for 2 years then abandon it.

If they are strongly considering abandoning Windows Phone, what is the point of keeping the Metro interface in Windows 8?

Winkey+D (3, Funny)

darkestsoul (3010271) | about 8 months ago | (#46276777)

... and get off my lawn.

Had to be said (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 8 months ago | (#46276779)

Jacob Miller, posting as 'pwnies,'

First name: OMG

Completely missing the point (2)

Megane (129182) | about 8 months ago | (#46276791)

The problem isn't that The UI Formerly Named Metro is good for non-power users, it's that Metro is bad for power users and you can't avoid using it.

(Likewise, at least so far you can still say "no" to Slashdot Beta.)

I question the 'article' (1)

Morpeth (577066) | about 8 months ago | (#46276825)

If you look at the source that 'Bacon Bits' posted -- what I see if a pretty dubious, random post on Reddit, that PC Pro picked up. Nowhere do I see any actual evidence that anyone, other than a troll, or some kid just posted. This is about as useful an article as something 'my friend heard from his cousin's mom's next door neighbor's mother-in-law..."

Makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276841)

Now that everyone has used computers for more than a decade, let's add a beginner interface that is completely different!

A lot of doublespeak and nonsense (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 8 months ago | (#46276865)

"Before Windows 8 and Metro came along, power users and casual users - the content creators and the content consumers - had to share the same space," he added. "It was like a rented tuxedo coat - something that somewhat fit a wide variety of people."

There's a difference between a physical thing that cannot be changed easily like hardware and software which is more malleable. Also they don't have to share the same space. See Android vs Linux. See iOS vs OS X.

If that's the case, why not allow power users to turn off the settings they find annoying? "We needed casual users to learn this interface," Miller explained. "If there was an option to make all the new go away, many users would do it. It's the same reason why Facebook doesn't have an option to go back to old designs of Facebook. People hate change.

Casual users would not turn off the interface. Casual users would save files to the desktop because they can't be bothered to put them in folders. And another problem is that this new interface still has enough elements of the old interface to confuse both power users and casual users. It is bi-polar at times and more of a sign it really wasn't ready when launched. If history is correct it won't be before the 3rd version that MS gets Metro working acceptably.

He pointed out that power users shouldn't normally have to use the Metro Start screen once they've pinned their ten most used apps to the taskbar. Microsoft's research shows that this covers more than 90% of interactions, and the rest of the time it makes sense to search textually for that little-used app, rather than hunting around with your mouse. "That's why we default to keyboard navigation (search to launch/find) in this situation," he explained.

Most power users I know use more than 10 applications. Also searching pages and pages of unsorted tiles is much faster than using text. Oh, the solution is to manually organize the tiles for each and every program that the user may or may not use right away. Yes, that's much easier.

Indeed, Windows 8 isn't designed to be used with a mouse, he wrote. "It's designed for keyboard (power users) and touch (casual users) primarily," he said. "Time trials showed that these were far faster methods than mouse-based navigation on the old start menu, so we optimised for that."

So that makes sense for MS to put it on desktops where the primary input is keyboard and mouse? Also the interface isn't good for casual users either. UI experts like Jacob Nielsen has listed [] all the issues with Metro for power and novice users.

"In the short term you'll see less resources devoted to it until we get Metro figured out, but once that happens the desktop is very much a first world citizen," Miller wrote. "It will be equal with Metro. The desktop is not going away, we can't develop Windows in Metro."

So everyone is a guinea pig until version 3 then?

While admitting that Microsoft hasn't done a good job of marketing the changes and explaining how to use the new interface, Miller revealed that he's currently working on new first-run experience tutorials to address that.

While marketing is often an area of fail for MS, the problem is that MS would like to ignore that wasn't the only problem. The interface suffers from many other defects. Scores of beta testers including many loyal Windows fans told MS about issues before Win 8 was launched. Also if you have to teach someone how to use an interface, then the interface isn't intuitive. Not all interfaces should be but an interface for casual and novice users should be.

And he suggested that Windows 9 will help clean up many of the issues with Windows 8, admitting that Microsoft appears to be working on a "tick/tock" development cycle. "Windows 7 couldn't have existed without the lessons we learned from the mess that was Vista," he wrote. "XP couldn't have existed without 2000. Hopefully Windows 9 will be a solid refinement on all this."

Unlike Intel's "tick/tock" strategy, MS seems to be falling into "disaster/patch" cycle instead. 2000 was just as successful as XP; the two occupied different niches. Win 7 really was Vista heavily patched but full price.

Whatever. (4, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | about 8 months ago | (#46276881)

Doesn't matter if you're right if you can't sell it.

Re:Whatever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46277203)

I work with a lot of senior citizens, most of whom are computer illiterate. For the most part (all but one), they hate Windows 8. How does someone who is a novice know to move the mouse pointer all the way off the screen to bring up charms or the start button in the original Windows 8? How does the casual user know to click six different things to navigate to the Shutdown button? How does the computer illiterate person know to drag down from the top of a Metro app to close it? Two of those problems have been fixed somewhat by Windows 8.1, but they are still difficult compared to Windows 7. The schizophrenic UI is jarring, even after the improvements in 8.1. The goal of getting to a common codebase for the OS on PCs, tablets, and phones seems like a good thing for developing the OS. However, end users, casual and power alike, suffer. Even if the casual user did like Metro, why force this on everyone?

I agree. The market is proving who is right.

Wroooooong! Sorry but, WRONG! (5, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 8 months ago | (#46276893)

I run a computer shop and a lot of people stop in with questions about Windows 8. The #1 question is how the hell to do anything in the metro interface. Even I had to look up on Youtube how to simply close an app because there's no red X, escape does nothing, and alt-F4 works intermittently. I've had people repeatedly run out of operating memory due to too many apps open because they don't know to click and drag the title bar and sort of throw it to close it. It's the least "simple user" friendly interface ever made. Everything is hidden or unlabeled. It's absolutely the opposite of what he's saying.

Re:Wroooooong! Sorry but, WRONG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46277129)

"hidden or unlabeled" guess Microsoft is trying to be like Apple.

Re:Wroooooong! Sorry but, WRONG! (3)

Ed Johnson (2881561) | about 8 months ago | (#46277251)

EXACTLY - I have been an MS user (sometimes reluctantly, sometimes enthusiastically) since windows 3.0 running in real mode on a 286. I have at least tried every O/S since then. I have been a windows developer since windows 3.1. NEVER before windows 8 did I have to search Google (when Bing proved completely useless) to learn how to close an app, or do much of anything really. This is by a very WIDE margin the most unfriendly, un-intuitive O/S I have ever seen. As an experiment, since MS claims this is aimed at "my mother" I installed it on a laptop for my wife - a MAC user who can do basic things on a PC but prefers the MAC. She hates it. She can't do anything without help, even after switching to 8.1, and adding classic shell, and populating her desktop she hates it since it keeps throwing her into these crazy metro apps that she cant close and can't find a way to get out of. MS needs to abandon this horrid abortion and go back to the windows 7 desktop, if they want to keep metro on the phone - fine, even on a tablet most of my coworkers live in the desktop, this either needs a LOT of help form some poached Apple UI people, or it needs to be gone. MS has FAILED utterly to address either the casual user or the pro - this thing needs to die.

What a shocker... (1)

imanism (2478498) | about 8 months ago | (#46276903)

Who would have thought that this thread would turn into a flame war?


too late for that (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 8 months ago | (#46276905)

I recently special-ordered a desktop computer for my very-computer-illiterate mother (a retired musician) and somewhat-computer-illiterate father (a retired lawyer) to use, to avoid confusing them with Metro. Meanwhile my niece (I'm too old for my "little sister" to be relevant) has no trouble at all dealing with the traditional Windows Explorer desktop (though she prefers her Mac, which is mostly the same) because she grew up with it. In fact, it's the only interface she's ever known, which makes replacing it a bit problematic. It's way too late in the game to start worrying about a dumbed-down UI for computer illiterates.

That explains everything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276925)

That explains everything, including why so many of my customers that hate Windows 8 with the burning anger of 1000 burning suns are self described "computer illiterates"!

Wait.. No, it doesn't.

It's truly amazing to watch MS keep making the same mistakes over and over again, and then contort themselves trying to explain why, "No, really guys, this time we really are right, even if it doesn't make any sense at all..Stop looking at us like that!!!"

MS tried cramming XP onto touch devices, never gained traction. MS now tries cramming a touch interface onto the desktop, not gaining traction. MS seems intent to ignore the simple fact that people do not want the same UI for devices they use differently. People want a touch interface for touch devices, and a desktop UI for desktop devices. You don't use a hammer to cut a 2x4. This seems so simple that a 4 year old could figure it out. Why, 10+ years later, is MS still trying to cram a "one UI to rule them all" agenda down consumer's throats that have repeatedly rejected it?

Re:That explains everything... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46277057)

Take the proverbial computer illiterate: My dad. He's the anti-geek. The non-techie. The proverbial bureaucratic pencil pusher who started using computers when he noticed that "that electronic fad" won't go away.

He FINALLY got around to using Windows. Kinda-sorta. More or less. Confronted with Win8 he threw a fit. He finally got that crap down and now they change everything around.

He eventually bought an Apple laptop. Seems he can more easily deal with that change than with the transition from XP to 8.

Re:That explains everything... (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#46277163)

He eventually bought an Apple laptop. Seems he can more easily deal with that change than with the transition from XP to 8.

He's not the only one. I know a number of people who've moved from Windows to Mac, because the Mac is now more like Windows than Windows is.

no such thing as a windows power user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276941)

There's no such thing as a "Windows Power User", only people who know how to hack around its deficiencies.

Metro=Bob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276961)

So Metro is the new "Microsoft Bob"?

Segmentation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46276979)

Having two different interfaces might be a good thing if the user could actually CHOOSE between them. Today, both advanced and basic users are forced to learn and use both interfaces.

Re:Segmentation? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#46276989)

Having two different interfaces might be a good thing if the user could actually CHOOSE between them.

No, Metro would be pointless if the user could actually CHOOSE it, because no-one would choose it on a desktop PC.

Completely backwards (1)

BadDreamer (196188) | about 8 months ago | (#46276995)

But that is completely backwards! Metro requires the memorization of active corners, various slides with varying amount of fingers and all manner of arcane "commands", making it a power user shell to the OS. It does away with - and one might even say punishes - the intuitive, newbie approaches and rewards the power user who loves using the OS for the sake of using the OS and not just for starting applications.

The very people who generally loathe Metro are the ones it is designed for, and the ones it is claimed to be used for will find it alien and difficult to grasp, because it is not designed for them.

That a Microsoft UX designer fails to see this is symptomatic of the complete lack of focus at the Microsoft of the "business instinct genius" "the iPhone will never succeed" Ballmer. Even Microsoft do not know what their user interfaces reward and punish. And that is why Windows 8 is such a total failure.

Ubuntu and Windows 8 fail the newbie test (5, Insightful)

Kremmy (793693) | about 8 months ago | (#46277005)

Where do you get the idea that having a searchable list of all applications, not segmented into categories, is a good idea for the novice user? You've created an interface that outright requires previous computer knowledge and said it's for the people who aren't used to computers. Novice Ned isn't going to know what application to search for to do whatever task he's trying to accomplish, he's going to need a categorized list that lets him narrow down his options. What you've done with Unity and Metro is generate a list of executables and claimed it's user friendly. Idiots.

What a load of steaming BS (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 8 months ago | (#46277009)

In other words, he concluded, Microsoft is "making two meals now instead of one. That way we can provide steak for the grown men, and skim milk for the babies."

If that's the case, why not allow power users to turn off the settings they find annoying? "We needed casual users to learn this interface,"

What a load of crap. If it truly was setup with Metro for casual, desktop for power users, then you would be able to select one or the other. If by default, Metro was used, and they made it some normal "difficult" to get to setting that had to be edited under the system management areas, your "casual" users would have no clue how to make that change and would thus, be using Metro. We also wouldn't have Metro on the SERVER editions being used PRIMARILY BY CORPORATE PROFESSIONAL IT DEPARTMENTS!

This entire interview is just PR hogwash trying to put a good light on the horrible mistakes of Metro for desktop user interface. It works perfectly fine for a tablet, or phone, but it utterly useless and time wasting on a desktop or laptop that has a keyboard and mouse.

So you're saying... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46277019)

Windows 8 isn't for me. Ok. Got that. So gimme Win7. Huh? Why can't I get it?

So you make a system that's not for me, but you don't wanna sell me the system that was made for me?

Maybe you should have asked that consultant who told you that this was a good idea what that "I (heart) RMS" sticker on his laptop meant. Clue: He didn't want to express his love to your Rights Management Services [] .

I call bullshit (4, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | about 8 months ago | (#46277039)

To really understand metro, you have to watch the development videos at microsoft virtual academy website.

Somehow their UI designers came up with this ridicilous notion that your apps don't need any "distract" menus or system icons and it should only display content. Content is the king they say, none of those resizing bars or window icons or anything. This is the main reason why metro apps look like that.

It's like someone designed a car and said.. "you don't doors once you're in the car all you need is the road". To that I say "getting in and out a car shouldn't be an un-intuitive mess dumbass"

Horrible in so many ways... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46277049)

One of my biggest issues with Windows 8 and Metro is that even if you try to do everything without Metro you still get randomly forced back into it against your will. Want to install something like Freecell? Forced back into the Metro app store. Want to play music? By default you are forced back into the Xbox music player. Want to view photos? Forced into the Metro photo viewer (I don't even know the name of it). All of these defaults have to be changed in order to avoid Metro. I disabled the app store completely in the registry and it still randomly tries to use it only to then realize I disabled it.

I don't want any part of Metro. I don't want to use it. Allow me to get rid of that horrible abomination and use an interface that makes at least a marginal level of sense.

Tried before (1)

JWW (79176) | about 8 months ago | (#46277061)

They tried this "idiots interface" before, what makes them think Metro will end up faring better than that failed attempt? Hi Bob!

Also, so you train an entire GENERATION of people how to use the start menu and then you take it away to make the system EASIER to use.

Sorry For The Blunt Language... (2)

EXTomar (78739) | about 8 months ago | (#46277101)

But suggesting that Win 8 Metro is "designed to be the anti-thesis [of power user desktop]" seems like big time BS. All you need to do is look at the lock/login screen: Only a power user would have the inclination to start taping and pushing and dragging things around trying to figure out how to activate the login process. A less experience user would just click around aimlessly looking for a button missed or can't see wondering what the next step is.

The best interfaces seem to have simple expressions with simple feedback that extend into powerful combination. Win 8 Metro fails at this pretty badly because so many things are never explained or demonstrated or even suggested let alone expressed cleanly or completely. What does putting the pointer in the corner do? Why does click-drag direction-release count as a swipe only in the shell? Expecting a new or neophyte user to figure this out with the intuitive help of Windows 8 is kind of fanciful.

People Hate Change (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46277191)

I am so sick of hearing this and it is complete BS. If people hated change we would all be living like the Amish. Please hate meaningless change. The problem is that type A personalities rise to management level positions. They are convinced they are smarter than everyone else and know what is best for us all. In most cases they have never been in the trenches doing meaningful work. They are just great sales people that can look you in the eye and make you buy something. They see something new and shiny and believe it is the solution to a problem that probably doesn't exist and if it does they don't truly understand it.

I have been in endless HR meetings and personality evaluations with top managers, consultants, and coaches and they are all of this same personality type. They lack the ability to listen and hate details. It is always a big circle jerk. If you ever challenge one of their glorious changes as not a good idea then you are part of the problem, one of those annoying IT people that cannot accept change. They would love to replace you with an inexperienced kid who is on board with all the new stuff since he is clueless to anything else. I'm too old for this shit.

Explaining things (3, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | about 8 months ago | (#46277227)

You know how if you have to explain a joke, it isn't funny? Well, if you have to explain a decision you made like this, there's a solid chance it wasn't the right one. Especially when it comes to matters of personal taste, preferences, perception, etc. "No, see, you should like this, because..."

"De gustibus non est disputandum." []

(I'm not using Latin to make me look smarter, but to illustrate that this idea has been around for a long damn time.)

Interesting . . . (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 8 months ago | (#46277267)

But this does not explain why neither casual nor power users are interested in Windows 8 at all. Feels like they failed twice.
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