Windows 10 is a step forward and a step back. No longer are you forced into the old tablet-ized Start Screen with your desktop, and it will automatically detect which version of the OS the hardware will work best with (tablets will get a more Windows 8 styled experience)
Also, while Metro looks great, I'm finding it really cumbersome to use on a desktop PC. My first thought was that it needs a simple tweak to make the experience smoother; move left-right in metro screens by hovering the mouse for a short while, at either side of the screen. As it is, everything requires way to many clicks (e.g. closing apps), or wheel-scrolling...my wrists and fingers are already hating me.
Disclosure: I work for MS, but hang out on the forums on personal time for personal reasons.
The CP does do what you're describing, though the Dev Preview didn't. I think it's really slick. You can also close modern apps based on the invisible Start button - mouse over, slide up, and middle-click to close (just like taskbar items).
Of course I may have been Doing Something Wrong, but that has been my greatest frustration with 8 so far. I loved most of the improvements made to the traditional desktop. The metro stuff I could totally do without and still like what I have.
But excited to get my hands on it. Really looking forward to HTML app development
I am using the CP, but try as I might, it doesn't do this for me. To illustrate what I'm looking for, consider the following image:
What I meant was that I'd like metro screens, like the one I'm showing here, to scroll left/right when simply hovering the red areas for X ms. Is this what you're telling me is already in the CP? If so, I'd love to learn how to enable it, because it would make the experience that much more pleasant
As for the tip on how to close apps faster in the new interface, I didn't even think of that as I never use it in W7, thanks!
Things like the above where you can scroll the screen don't work for me, I have to use the scroll bar. I couldn't work out how to close apps and then discovered the win + tab brings up the list on the left and I could right click and close them that way which just felt like far too many clicks. Maybe there's an easier way (what is this middle click you speak of?)?
I have no idea how to change the weather from F to C.
I couldn't find the control panel without typing 'control' and clicking the icons.
I have no idea where any of the hotspots are.
Whilst I'm sure this works great with a touch device it's like I need a tutorial to use it with a kb + mouse. Are there mouse gestures? Can I hold down a button and scroll left and right with the mouse? Why can't I sign in to try the other things?
Messaging was another thing that seemed overly complicated. I click messaging, then I have to hover down the bottom, click 'new', this then brings up the list of contacts which you click on to start a conversation. How is that simpler than having Messenger running at the side and just double clicking a name? Why do I have to click so much to talk to someone?
On the plus side I like the email and calendar apps.
I feel like there's something really good here and that there's probably far simpler ways to do things but it's like I've been left to discover them on my own.
ETA: Aha, no wonder I'm not getting on with it. Those of us running this on VM will have problems getting the things at the side and the corners to appear.
The invisible hotspots are non-intuitive and REALLY awkward with a mouse. There's no intuitive way to close an app, like a Close button, which would make sense. To close an app, you have to go back to the Start screen, bring up the app Switch list on the left-hand side, hover over the app, right-click it, and select "Close". What the hell is that.
The Mail app is garbage- I synced it with my Gmail account and everything is huge and butt ugly. There are absolutely no customization options like, I dunno, decreasing the font size. It doesn't even do threading- every reply shows up as a new inbox item.
The Calendar app is the same, it pulls info from Google Calendar but cripples the functionality. I can't customize day, week, or month view. When I click on a date, it amazingly does not pull up a list of events and tasks on that date.
The Music app is also garbage. Again, no customization. By default, it pulls "My collection" from the "My Music" folder, and there is nowhere to change this setting. What if I want to pull my music collection from a different folder, or multiple folders? Also why the hell is there a Windows Media Player AND a Music Metro app AND a Video Metro app? That's just confusing. Do you want me to listen to music in WMP or the Music app? I guess I'll use WMP, since it actually has tweakable options and settings.
Ribbon interface for Windows Explorer? Gross.
It's not all bad. The Weather app is pretty sexy. SkyDrive seems useful. Remote Desktop and VPN seem like they'll be easier. Uhhhhh I like the fish?
I can see this being good on a tablet, with touch controls. But with KBAM? No way. Why the hell would I want a bunch of non-customizable apps when I was doing just fine with good old fashioned Programs?
What it really comes down to is: what's the point? Why do I need a Mail app? I have a link to Gmail on my Bookmarks Toolbar in Chrome. Why do I need a Music or Video app? I have WMP and VLC Player. Why do I need a Weather app? I have a weather widget on my desktop and access to weather.com. Why do I need a Maps app? It takes me 5 seconds to navigate to Google Maps. It all just seems like the sort of bloatware I would uninstall ASAP after getting a new machine.
Will continue to use it on my laptop. But so far not a huge fan.
Hopefully the several months left of development can fix these foibles.
If I can just turn off Metro and use the desktop it might be worth it if I can get it cheap (like use someone's student discount to acquire a copy).
I really wish they had spent their resources on improving the Windows 7 UI instead of reinventing it. I applaud the fact they are trying to do something new but Metro feels like a round peg in a square hole.
I have to agree with what they had to say in the article, these things aren't obvious, but once you figure them out you get them down very quickly.
I think the CP has some huge discovery issues and some notable usability misses (like the multi monitor stuff, or the fact that the Start button on Desktop disappears if you try to follow what Win7 trained to do and mouse over it).
I've been using it to drive a 22" monitor from a Samsung Series 7 slate. Start goes on the slate in the dock, and I set the taskbar to show only what's on each screen. I find I've been starting to use both the mouse and the slate a few inches away as controls, depending on what's fastest or most convenient. There's something mind-bogglingly awesome about flipping through the Finance app, swiping down, grabbing the mouse in the same motion, and hitting up a Desktop application. Once you have the corners down, most functions require less movement and the same or less clicks. Going to install on my completely non-touch desktop at home tonight.
Installation wasn't too challenging - the CP can boot from an image mounted on a USB drive without having to change any BIOS options. Install took me all of 15-20 minutes at most.
I haven't seen what happens when the preview is up, but it will probably go into a limited use mode or stop working. The download site likely explains.
That will allow you to select which operating system you wish to use on startup, with a much nicer looking selector than previous versions of Windows gave you.
Once you want to get rid of it, you just boot into Windows 7, run msconfig, under "Boot" you delete the Windows 8 boot entry, and then go back to Disk Management and delete the Windows 8 partition and extend your original one again.
That would explain things. Oh well, guess I'll restore my Win7 image until this is fixed, because the user experience as it is just doesn't do it for me. I like playing around with something new and shiny, but I need 2 monitors hooked up.
Ah, my mistake. Still, for a music player, it seems like a huge step down from WMP... which also conveniently comes with Windows 8, so I can't image why in the hell I would use the less-functional Music app.
My opinion so far is that this is absolutely terrible as a desktop OS. There is nothing about this, beyond some basic niceties like ISO mounting that makes me go "Yes, this is a step up as a desktop operating system". In fact, in nearly every way, I feel it's a major step backwards. When I first booted up Windows 7, it was immediately obvious why Windows 7 was such a huge step up. I get absolutely no such feeling from Windows 8, who's desktop experience is obtuse at best, and flat out bad design at worst. Even more worrisome, I don't think Microsoft has the time, energy or desire to actually make Windows 8 a good desktop OS...they are so focused on this slate market, I wonder if the project managers at MS even realize PC's still exist.
If Microsoft thought the push back against Vista was bad, wait until those people get a hold of this. We're going to have a Windows 9 faster than any one thinks if some major things don't change before the Windows 8 release, because desktop users are going to rebel.
I'll keep plugging away with the preview, with as open a mind as I can keep...but I feel pretty disheartened at this point. After the glorious concentrated awesome that was Windows 7, this is turning out to be a major disappointment as a desktop user.
(Full disclosure: I have no idea how it runs on a slate, I don't own one...it may be absolutely awesome with that form factor).
It makes no sense why Microsoft would go so far out of their way for a market which is STILL quite small in tablets.
I'll install it next week... I love the app concepts and such but I am disappointed to hear that they've stripped the essence from Windows 7 and replaced it with junk
I also hate the fact that I almost always have to go into the task manager to kill any apps. Please just let me close them when I want to.
That's just nonsense. Why the hell would you design it that way?
Seriously, I read part of an article recently (I think on Ars, it might even be the one posted above) about how since apparently there is no such thing as an intuitive UI(and everything has to be learned always), there is no reason to need visible cues for stuff.
The whole time I was reading that I just kept wanting to scream at my computer that there is a difference between a UI that you have to be taught, and a UI that teaches itself. Invisible hotspots do not freaking teach themselves. Things that look like buttons and have a mouse-over action (such as raising the button) teach themselves to most users. And I say this as an IT admin that fully understands what it means to call someone a "user".
Place me in the camp of people that loaded up 7 for the first time and literally sighed in relief, and then loaded up 8 for the first time and went "wait, what?".
I haven’t run into the issue of not being able to find a way to shut down, since I’m RD in the main session just sits at the lock screen and when it needs to be shut down, I just go to it and hit shut down on the lock screen. I did run into an issue that even after shutting down and restarting, the PC still says it’s “resuming” to windows, which is not good when you’re trying to access the BIOS boot menu.
So, let’s talk about bad design decisions.
The desktop as a second class citizen. I can understand the reason to have the desktop as an app. It let’s you do something like this:
however, it also lets you do:
which works because the desktop is an app, but it doesn’t make any sense. Who would use the desktop at 1/3 screen? There’s no purpose to it. It displays the issues with the “desktop as an app” concept. The desktop doesn’t function as an app, it’s a container. Have a look at this screenshot:
In the classic task bar located at the desktop they have Paint and Chrome open. But now there’s a new way of managing the open apps located on the left of the screen, with weather open. It’s needlessly duplication of functionality. Now I have to consider which bar to use when I want to activate an application. There are some choice phrases to apply here: “keep it simple stupid”, “don’t reinvent the wheel”, “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”.
And this needless duplication is found throughout the system. Metro applications and a desktop applications with the same purpose, but no connection to one another. For example, look at Internet Explorer. You can set up bookmarks, open a few tabs in the desktop IE, but when you open the metro IE, you lose all of that, it has no connection to the desktop version. There should be a connection between the metro and desktop version of these applications. Implement someway to quickly switch between version, but maintain the same state. Look at Settings Page and Control Panel. Why aren’t these functionalities combined into one application accessible on both metro and desktop.
To wrap up, I think Windows 8 will be useable. You can get things done in it, which is kind of the main purpose of an Operating System. I’ll probably get it if I can find it on the cheap and wait until someone reimplements the start menu and turns Metro into something similar to Mac’s Dashboard. There are serious design issues, but they’re just design issues. And while it is unfortunate to see one of the world’s largest software manufactures make such fundamentally bad design decisions, it shouldn’t get in the way of usability.
Don't assume bad intentions over neglect and misunderstanding.
I code UI's for a living, and if I design a bad UI, it effects every thing my users do.
Simply being able to "get things done" is not usability. I can "get things done" with a DOS prompt, that does not make it a fundamentally good usability experience for most tasks.