New Windows chief explains why Microsoft redesigned Windows

By on December 14, 2012, 4:00 PM

Taking over after Sinofsky's departure, Julie Larson-Green now heads Microsoft's Windows product development team. In an interview with MIT Technology Review, Larson-Green discusses some of the changes made to Windows and why with the company's latest operating system.

We already know that Windows' neo-classical Start menu fell prey to telemetry data -- the often steely-cold serial murderer of withering features and prognosticator of otherwise seemingly arbitrary changes. But Larson-Green explains the true value of the Metro Start Screen is seeing everything you care about in a quick glance.

But with Windows 8, all the different things that you might want to do are there at a glance with the Live Tiles. Instead of having to find many little rocks to look underneath, you see a kind of dashboard of everything that’s going on and everything you care about all at once. It puts you closer to what you’re trying to get done.

Source: technologyreview.com, Julie Larson-Green

While TechSpot staffers seem to mostly agree the loud, vitriolic contempt for the Metro Start screen has been largely over-blown, its controversy isn't without reasonable merit.

One point of contention with Windows 8's Start menu-replacement is its lack of "cohesiveness" with the Windows desktop. Larson-Green admits their differences, but indicates the Metro Start Screen provides a way for users to have their cake and eat it too. "It was a very definite choice to have both environments." she told the interviewer, "We didn’t want you to have to make a choice." She goes on to say that some people found it jarring at first, but those individuals have since grown accustomed to it.

When asked about Windows 8's ostensible focus on touch, Larson-Green seems to firmly believe touch is the future. Touch is the most direct and natural way to interact with computers, indicates the Windows executive. She envisions a future where virtually all devices (including PCs) are touch-enabled. 

I feel obligated here to mention what an ergonomic nightmare touch-enabled PCs represent, but I won't deny that having the option isn't appealing (or even the future of everything). The thought of relying solely on touch though, well, that's a difficult future to swallow from an at-your-desk usability perspective. Larson-Green does acknowledge that a finger will never be as precise as a mouse and that an on-screen keyboard will never beat a real one -- but she does believe people will get used to working with their fingers instead.

Microsoft has been watching groups of people over a series of months using Windows 8 under a program called "Living with Windows". When asked how people are reacting, Larson-Green responded, "So far we’re seeing very encouraging things." She added, "Over 90 percent of customers, from our data, use the charms and find the start screen all in the first session. Even if you’re a desktop user, over time there’s a cutover point around six weeks where you start using the new things more than the things you’re familiar with."

Read the entire interview here.




User Comments: 103

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mevans336 mevans336 said:

The main problem is the jarring experience when an app kicks you out to Metro or out of Metro back to the desktop. There is nothing that can be done about this until there are Metro apps for everything you need to do ... which I just don't see happening for years and years.

On a personal note, I honestly gave Metro a shot. I like new, different things. I used it for much longer than the 6 weeks she mentions but my frustration kept mounting. I eventually paid Stardock $4.99 for Start8 which brings the start button back but more importantly, boots me straight to the desktop and keeps me in desktop mode.

5 people like this | ikesmasher said:

"We didnt want you to have to make a choice." there you go folks, the Windows team thinks you are all complete ******.

4 people like this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I like the live tiles... On a touch interface. I have an issue with her comment about not wanting users to have to choose between the interfaces - that should read "but we didn't want to LET users choose." Otherwise, you wouldn't be forced to use the Metro interface since there is no Start button. Sure, it's great to see a bunch of stuff updating on the screen and giving you a "status at a glance" functionality that, quite frankly, is unparalleled at this point. It's just so messy and chaotic at times, trying to hunt through those big honkin tiles and looking for your program. You'll notice that Microsoft NEVER demos a computer with a realistic number of applications, that looks like something a user has been using for a while (6 months to a year). Metro looks mighty sexy and simple when you only have the default applications and a few of your programs on it. When I tried it on my desktop, I ended up with page after page of tiles to wade through to find what I needed to run.

And, let's be honest... The "touch is the future" mantra has been touted for quite a while now, and there is a reason it's only truly ever gained traction in the smartphone through tablet form factor ranges. If you want to totally rely on touch, you are going to have to redesign about 90% of all business desks and computer terminals, then figure out how to accommodate the extra fatigue resulting from operators constantly having to move their hands away from data entry and far away to the screen, then back. Or eliminate all discrete entry completely, and then enjoy the loss in productivity resulting from poor touch mechanics and accuracy. It will take quite a revolution, and massive reconstruction of the typical efficiency and ergonomics methods of today.

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't care how much you explain why. If you can't make it look better, you will never sell it to me. Here I am once again stating function is not always everything. If it wasn't so hideous looking to me, I might would give it a try. And please don't tell me I can use a third party app, I'm already using more third party apps than I should have need to for what I'm paying in an OS. This is where I am drawing a line. If Microsoft can not keep me happy with even the most basic of functionality, then I see no reason to keep sending them my money.

We've spent the last twenty years making graphics cards, monitors, printers, and scanners capable of handling more than a 8-bit color palette. Why would I want the majority of my screen to look as if my PC is not capable of more than 8-bit color. Why don't we go back to playing games without 3D as well?

6 people like this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

""We didn't want you to have to make a choice.""

"Even if you're a desktop user, over time there's a cutover point around six weeks where you start using the new things..." Oh really? So we have to wait six weeks to be able to efficiently manage our computer activities over what we've done previously for years, eh.

That is some serious, off-the-charts arrogance there. Why didn't she just say, "we're right, the consumers are wrong and they'll take this cake, eat it and love the hell out of it because we say so."

News alert to MS: Computers and software are all about having choices. That's what makes them so important to our daily lives and why we want to use them.

I've used Windows 8 and have helped out friends who have bought Windows 8 devices (not because they wanted it, but because they had no option as it came with the hardware), and I can't stand it. Even with an old-school shell it's annoying as hell because as mevans366 pointed out, it's the whole snapping back and forth between desktop and Metro that makes you want to scream. I've never seen a program that has so much "one step forward, two steps backward" built into it.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

"We didn?t want you to have to make a choice." Keep that attitude up Microsoft. If I wanted a company to tell me how to use my PC I would have bought an apple. And they do a better job of treating people like saps then you. All you had to do was give the options of installing a start button, in order to keep the casual and power user hapy.

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

That "editorial" in June was nothing but a whining baby saying, "well *I* like it so if you don't you're a big poo-poo head!" Every point it made was arrogant, deceptive and flat-out wrong. The Cult of the New constantly pushes change for change's sake despite common sense and practical reality. But thanks for dredging up that ridiculous bit of irrational propaganda - we need to be reminded that most journalists and bloggers live in the same elitist bubble as tech executives.

2 people like this | EEatGDL said:

I'm on the boat of all those complaining about the "didn't want to let you choose" philosophy. That's exactly what I've been thinking for months now, everything was right to me with Windows 8 until they removed the start button in the CP, in the Developer it convinced me more than how it turned out.

I mean, for years you've been able to choose a classic Windows GUI or the new ones brought by XP, Vista and 7; but you could choose. Now they want to force you and I'm sorry, I tried using the retail version of 8 for a whole month without getting any happier:

*Watching a video on Youtube and want to open something that's not at hand and need to access the metro screen... and hey! Lost all visibility of the video you were watching!! Very useful.

*Someone borrowed you an USB memory and you want to quickly check it for virus before opening it... there's no option for scanning on the contextual menu of the drive!! Good job with the Windows Defender, because you can't install Security Essentials!! [Yes, I've been using MS SE for more than a year now and I'm sticking with it]

*You logged in your user and after you have turned off Windows 8 you access Messenger from another system and it says your session is opened, you have to log off a session from an already turned off system!!

In what world using a whole screen just to do an specific task (search something, open a program, etc.) is useful.

Guest said:

You folks talking about moving between Metro and the Desktop being "jarring" and making you want to "scream"; all I can say is that you are in trouble. When you actually move out of mom and dads house and into the real world; the real world where there is change happening constantly... Sad to say but you folks are in for a major awakening.

Jarring and screaming are things that most people simply do not experience or perform while at a computer. You all should get out more, really...

1 person liked this | spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Having your cake and eating it too would have been leaving the Start menu in place and adding Modern UI.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Here we go again. But watch this though:

Man: "Windows 8 is a disaster."

Woman: "Really? I like it."

Man: "How can you like that garbage? M$ is retarded for giving us a touch interface on a DESKTOP. A DESKTOP?!"

He continued. "Why, tell me, why would anyone use Windows 8 over 7? Everything is a cluttered mess. No to mention, not even being able to resize those pathetic Metro apps goes against the very philosophy of Windows!"

Woman: "Well, it's still Windows. If you can't seem to change you--"

Man: "No! I'm not willing to relearn Windows. And there's no reason for me to upgrade."

Woman: "Well, I read it's faster and more efficient. I've also read--"

Man:"No it's not. The whole OS is garbage that's designed for tablets not desktops. It's garbage. Garbage! It might boot up faster but it is the same garbage; just now with a Screen made for kids!"

Woman: "Ok."

Man: "Don't "OK" me. There's no reason to be hindered by that disgusting Start Screen. I have no use for it, and so will millions and millions of dissatisfied customers."

Woman: "Well, you know you can always use StartisBack. It's this nice little program that brings the Start Menu back. You can even boot directly to your desktop. You still have the option to see some of Metro, if you'd like to test the waters or you can avoid it entirely."

Man: "Wow, really? Then Windows 8 is awesome!"

True story.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

I'm on the boat of all those complaining about the "didn't want to let you choose" philosophy. That's exactly what I've been thinking for months now, everything was right to me with Windows 8 until they removed the start button in the CP

Right.

Personally, I think a clearly defined, user-electable choice between a "touchscreen" experience and a "normal" experience would have been the best way to go, especially at this stage.

The amalgamation of the two seems confused.

It's weird to use an up/down scroll wheel to move left/right in the Metro Start Screen.. it's weird that the fonts are all smoothed differently than desktop applications... it's weird that right clicking either doesn't apply or just works differently (I.e. inefficiently for mouse users) in the Start replacement...

There are many things like this which essentially break that cohesiveness others talk about. It's like using two different operating systems, which is certainly not a good thing.

I'm not a fan, but when it comes to opening programs though, the Metro Start Screen works well enough, as the "propaganda piece" we did explains.

tekman42 said:

I've been dual-booting win7 pro x64 and windows 8 consumer preview since it was first released for consumers.

During that time...I've used the desktop almost exclusively and one of the FIRST things I did was bring back the start button with vistart. http://lee-soft.com/vistart/

It's one hundred percent "FREE" and I mean free. This brings back start menu functionality, control panel, my computer, All programs, documents, network and such into the windows 7 format and all are functional as shortcuts as well as allowing one to place a shortcut on the desktop to "MY COMPUTER".

No cost, very lightweight, starts with windows when configured to do so, and I have NO issues using windows 8 without seeing METRO GUI unless I choose to!

So this choice you folks are complaining about doesn't make sense to me...I choose the desktop tile upon start and do not look back....nothing has forced me to use the tiles in the metro gui...yes sometimes things open with the metro interface...but once that happens...I just right click and choose the "Open With" menu to change the default to whatever I want it to be!

Otherwise this O/S IS quicker than windows 7, restarts quicker, resumes from sleep "immensely quicker", and is all around better at recovering ram from the closing of used programs. The O/S is also better at security, and performs with a "snappier" response time on menus and such.

It's just windows 7 with excellent Value Features added and a tweaked, streamlined system that feels great. I have a hard time going back to Win 7 Pro because I end up becoming impatient when resuming from sleep, or clicking and then waiting for a response or waiting for menus to open! That seems ridiculous but it's true...there IS a measureable and "FELT" response time differential that gets wider and wider as one uses W8 vs W7. All my O/Ses have been 64 bit since vista and the Pro version of xp and win 7.

I haven't really found a LOT to complain about at all....admittedly...drivers ARE slowly getting there, but sometimes video is a bit washed out or grey scale isn't all that accurate...I'm on a laptop "Dell Vostro 1520" and the screen res is 1200X800 so some things like swipe and gestures doesn't work for me but that's alright too!

From an IT point...all this really doesn't matter all that much because most big business...read...corporate...is still using Windows NT or 2000 or XP. I see XP at sonic, banks, ALL grocery stores, Walmart, and so on...the cost of upgrading to new Software for the O/S is prohibitive due to licensing and required personnel training!

So it's gonna take time for the mainstream Industrial and commercial fields to move forward significantly on the O/S upgrading required and the associated required training curve that is inevitably coming...this of course ALWAYS means all associated costs will be passed on to...wait for it...the consumer...sigh...is there any other way?

So, with global markets becoming reality, the competition being so high for pricing...the upgrading and training will take a long time to catch up with what mainstream consumers already are using now...since XP no longer will have ANY support after 2014, expect our economy to get hit big time from needed infrastructure upgrades and training!

JMHOP!

Respectfully,

1 person liked this | SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

...

It's weird to use an up/down scroll wheel to move left/right in the Metro Start Screen....

This is what I've been bitching about since the CP (the first 8 I used). It didn't get fixed in the RTM either. What they should have done here is make a left mouse button press work as if you touched the screen with your finger. That way you can click and swipe just like you would on a tablet and move the screen that way. The current way is absolutely horrible to use, try to use the scroll wheel to go to the other pages in the Weather app.. once that first screen gets about half way off the screen, your cursor is likely in a spot where there is a vertical scrolling pane, so suddenly, rolling the mouse wheel quits moving the screen to the left. It currently is such a horrible implementation, and it could be fixed so simply by letting a left click act just like a finger pushing on the screen.

4 people like this | ikesmasher said:

What you people dont seem to realize is that many people (like me) dont like having other apps running constantly in the background. the ONLY application I have running in the background EVER is steam. I shouldnt HAVE to use any other party software. I dont WANT to.

My biggest complaint is that the change was UNNECESSARY. You can argue that it DOESN'T make things worse, but it doesn't do ANYTHING that it couldn't do before. It only SLOWS you down while you have to relearn.

CHANGE FOR THE SAKE OF CHANGE IS STUPIDITY.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So this choice you folks are complaining about doesn't make sense to me...I choose the desktop tile upon start and do not look back....nothing has forced me to use the tiles in the metro gui...yes sometimes things open with the metro interface...but once that happens...I just right click and choose the "Open With" menu to change the default to whatever I want it to be!
Doesn't make since to you!! Let me ask a question. Why am I paying for a Windows License, if I'm disabling or ignoring just about every aspect of the OS? Why should I pay the full amount when I am compelled to use alternative solutions. I never have used Explorer, and just recently stopped using Internet Explorer, never have really cared for Windows Media Player, Disk Management is hardly worth using. Now I'm being asked to find something else to load my applications with if I'm not happy with the start screen. Why am I paying for all this BS, if I'm not willing to use it? I was happy when MSSE came out, give me a sense of getting some of my money back. I don't know about you but I'm tired of paying some incompetent programmer to create applications I never use, just so I can have an OS that will remain updated.

Guest said:

Anyone still remember MS redesigned Windows back in mid-90's(Windows 3.X to 95)?

We're undergoing another major change in 2013(Windows 7 to Windows 8)

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So this choice you folks are complaining about doesn't make sense to me...I choose the desktop tile upon start and do not look back....nothing has forced me to use the tiles in the metro gui...yes sometimes things open with the metro interface...but once that happens...I just right click and choose the "Open With" menu to change the default to whatever I want it to be!
Doesn't make since to you!! Let me ask a question. Why am I paying for a Windows License, if I'm disabling or ignoring just about every aspect of the OS? Why should I pay the full amount when I am compelled to use alternative solutions. I never have used Explorer, and just recently stopped using Internet Explorer, never have really cared for Windows Media Player, Disk Management is hardly worth using. Now I'm being asked to find something else to load my applications with if I'm not happy with the start screen. Why am I paying for all this BS, if I'm not willing to use it? I was happy when MSSE came out, give me a sense of getting some of my money back. I don't know about you but I'm tired of paying some incompetent programmer to create applications I never use, just so I can have an OS that will remain updated.

You mean aspects of the OS that you are purposely ignoring because you won't like them? Why, in such scenario, would you then complain you paid for features you knew you wouldn't like?

Ah, because you want the benefits of Windows 8.

People who hate Windows 8 hate Metro. Not the OS. And yet, they are still being offered an alternative, as opposed to previously rumored, so I still don't understand all the yapping.

Folks have the option to install the Start Menu back through third-parties and never even glance at anything Metro-related again. It's only logical to assume that if you choose this path (keeping in mind that, surprise, you <I>are</I> in the minority) you will have to manually associate certain file types to your legacy applications. You will do this, of course, because you want the benefits of Windows 8 without the idiosyncrasies of Metro.

P.S. StartisBack is completely <b>native</b>. It's not a program that boots up alongside your other programs. It's the Windows 7 Start Menu code brought back into Windows 8's Explorer. There's no excuse.

gamoniac said:

I have two copies of Windows 8 upgrade in front of me right now, and they have been sitting on my desk for two+ weeks. I got them for a good deal on Black Friday. I also have tried out W8 developer preview and consumer preview for months. In general, Windows 8 MetroUI is not a problem for me, it's the little things that make my computing experience inconvenient that are holding me back. For example, trying to hit the lower corner on the seam of dual-screens is cumbersome, and it takes several steps just to shut down/sleep. That is my experience -- Microsoft needs to improve some basic stuff, soon.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You mean aspects of the OS that you are purposely ignoring because you won't like them? Why, in such scenario, would you then complain you paid for features you knew you wouldn't like?

Ah, because you want the benefits of Windows 8.

You obviously didn't understand my comment. And for the record Microsoft couldn't get me to install their new OS if they give it to me. I've had several opportunities to try it for free and never felt a desire so why would I spend money on it now.

Guest said:

The real reason why they redesigned Windows (or replace start button with Metro-style) is to make their Windows ready for touchscreen-display.. with some changes of course.. :D

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

P.S. StartisBack is completely <b>native</b>. It's not a program that boots up alongside your other programs. It's the Windows 7 Start Menu code brought back into Windows 8's Explorer. There's no excuse.

Just curious, because I'm looking for a proper mod that works for me... Does StartisBack fix the absolutely horrendous multi-screen behavior of Window 8? Or do you know of any other method to get a true productive multi-screen setup out of Windows 8? That has been my single biggest issue - and why I find I really like W8 on a tablet (since I don't have to worry about multi-screen), but experience major disappointment on my desktop...

Guest said:

Just when I thought Windows took a step forward with Windows 7, Windows 8 puts them 3 steps back.

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

You mean aspects of the OS that you are purposely ignoring because you won't like them? Why, in such scenario, would you then complain you paid for features you knew you wouldn't like?

Ah, because you want the benefits of Windows 8.

People who hate Windows 8 hate Metro. Not the OS. And yet, they are still being offered an alternative, as opposed to previously rumored, so I still don't understand all the yapping.

Folks have the option to install the Start Menu back through third-parties and never even glance at anything Metro-related again. It's only logical to assume that if you choose this path (keeping in mind that, surprise, you <I>are</I> in the minority) you will have to manually associate certain file types to your legacy applications. You will do this, of course, because you want the benefits of Windows 8 without the idiosyncrasies of Metro.

P.S. StartisBack is completely <b>native</b>. It's not a program that boots up alongside your other programs. It's the Windows 7 Start Menu code brought back into Windows 8's Explorer. There's no excuse.

No excuse to not install a <I>third party app</I> to make your OS functional? Did you hit your head or something? But then you also say that those who despise Metro are a minority despite all the facts proving otherwise, so keep on drinking that Kool-Aid, bro - nobody cared when Windows 8 debuted and nobody cares now.

bugejakurt said:

"Even if you?re a desktop user, over time there?s a cutover point around six weeks where you start using the new things more than the things you?re familiar with."

Unless they inject the same features of desktop version apps, metro apps are not worthy. Look at Skype for metro for example it is lacking many features from the desktop app.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Not only do I hope that Windows 8 fails miserably, but I hope the "Surface" tablet fails miserably as well.

The ads for the Surface are about as repugnant as you can get. So, wouldn't it be great to get rid of them both?

Nonetheless, first on my Christmas wish list, would be to be able to "unsee" Kanye West in his leather skirt.

Got ya,.....:eek:

(OTOH, if they could only get him to pitch a pink Surface tablet in the getup. Hm, maybe Dennis Rodman could dress up as his twin sister and slam dunk one).

Guest said:

I think the reason windows 8 is this way is for casual users, and people who use tablets and phones because latley they have been out selling laptops and deskstop pcs having this "user friendly" interface could help increase PC sales the only problem microsoft dont want to compromise and give us both. This feels simlar to the Kinect for xbox, just that they can say u can use your game handfree, they kinda limit them selfs to what it could do.

meetu said:

In other words typical MS. Late to the game but with billions to lose to get "competitive".

After Ballmer ridicules the whole touch thing and the market passes them by suddenly it's the "future".

Moneyball. That's what MS is really really good at.

Pan Wah said:

You mean aspects of the OS that you are purposely ignoring because you won't like them? Why, in such scenario, would you then complain you paid for features you knew you wouldn't like?

Ah, because you want the benefits of Windows 8.

I'm sure I'm not the only user who has paid for a license because they work in tech, and need to learn each OS that becomes popular (because the average non tech-savvy user buys the latest one on the assumption that it is best, and cool!). I couldn't find the benefits, despite months playing with the preview release, then the full one, when I downgraded sorry upgraded, so I reimaged my HDDs to Windows 7 and put Windows 8 in a Virtualbox, where it belongs (I still have it under observation, but it isn't fit to be let out yet ).

People who hate Windows 8 hate Metro. Not the OS.

As far as I can tell (working to the shaky assumption that I am sane and not in a simulation or anything tricky like that) I dislike Metro and the OS as aspects of one another. Probably.

Jim$ter said:

Forcing Metro on you is all about $$ from the Microsoft store. If they gave you a choice of Desktop or Metro most people wouldn't come back to metro on a desktop. I gave Metro a chance. I work on my PC not play. If I had time to play and didn't care about being productive Metro is fine. I live to work and get things done so I installed Start8 and it's like heaven. It's the way Windows 8 should of been. I can still go into metro side if I so desire but with 95% of my day being work and productivity I just stay in desktop mode and things work great! Metro will be cool on tablets and phones...but on a desktop if your doing work...It's just doesn't work. Maybe a few years of tweaking and maybe windows 9. But for now it blows on the desktop. People who think it's great the way it is more than likely aren't power users.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

"To all those complaining about Metro UI and the lack of Start button - you are holding it wrong."

sincerely yours

Julie Larson-Green

Guest said:

While all of you arguing about windows 8, MS itself is developing Windows 9, and they will even replace the DOS command prompt with 'metro style' :D

Guest said:

I don't use the metro ui and I don't use 3rd party apps to bring back the start menu so many seem to miss. There is no point for a start menu and the change had zero effect for my experience as the new menu that pops up when u right click in the very bottom left corner of your screen is all you will ever need.

Start menu is useless and you crybabies are funny

temporae said:

""We didn't want you to have to make a choice.""

"Even if you're a desktop user, over time there's a cutover point around six weeks where you start using the new things..." Oh really? So we have to wait six weeks to be able to efficiently manage our computer activities over what we've done previously for years, eh.

That is some serious, off-the-charts arrogance there. Why didn't she just say, "we're right, the consumers are wrong and they'll take this cake, eat it and love the hell out of it because we say so."

News alert to MS: Computers and software are all about having choices. That's what makes them so important to our daily lives and why we want to use them.

I've used Windows 8 and have helped out friends who have bought Windows 8 devices (not because they wanted it, but because they had no option as it came with the hardware), and I can't stand it. Even with an old-school shell it's annoying as hell because as mevans366 pointed out, it's the whole snapping back and forth between desktop and Metro that makes you want to scream. I've never seen a program that has so much "one step forward, two steps backward" built into it.

So true. For the past few months, ever since some issues on one of my pc's caused me to use a Linux-based boot CD, I have been entertaining the idea of switching to Ubuntu on it. Mind you, this from someone who's never even thought about using anything other than Windows (since 3.11). I actually loved that boot up disc (had Knoppix on it). I'll probably use it on that problematic pc and once stable, maybe switch over to dual-boot on my main's.

MS, you made a huge mistake with Win8. It is so sad your arrogance and presumptuousness won't let you see it.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This -> "Larson-Green does acknowledge that a finger will never be as precise as a mouse and that an on-screen keyboard will never beat a real one" is exactly while I will never use windows 8. Come on people, they admit themselves that touch will never replace a mouse and keyboard, yet they still try to force it down our throats... Touch UI belongs on hand held devices where it makes sense, not on a desktop I sit at which may I add does NOT have any touch functionality. Microsoft, just go away with your bs, I'm not buying it.

Puiu Puiu said:

1 word: fullscreen

it's windows on a desktop with only 1 window......

I also found the normal start menu to be more useful than metro (no history for opened files... wtf ms?).

at least they did 1 thing good, the task manager.

1 person liked this | killeriii said:

Forcing Metro on you is all about $$ from the Microsoft store. If they gave you a choice of Desktop or Metro most people wouldn't come back to metro on a desktop.

Agreed 100%!

I think it's sick how MS thinks they can bend customers to their will this way.

Like Capt' Crank, I want windows 8 to fail horribly. Then maybe MS will go back to the drawing board!

TJGeezer said:

Mint has taken Ubuntu's lead position in the Linux desktop, er, market precisely because Mint gives users a choice between the old-style UI and Ubuntu's Unity-style UI. It's about having the choice, being able to do something either way and settle on the way that suits you. It has been the PC's big advantage over Apple's products (other than much better bang for the buck) - that sense of having choices.

This Metro vs Start reminds me of a mouse vs keyboard squabble - give people the choice and they'll be happy, they'll join the squabble quite certain of their own superior position. Take away that choice and it's gonna piss people off. What, Microsoft didn't figure that out years ago?

I like Win 7 a lot but find myself spending more and more time in Mint simply because it is so clearly designed to give users all kinds of choices, and it's so much fun to play around in. Out of curiosity, I spent a week in Mint recently and found I could do almost everything in Mint that I can do in Windows 7.

So I seem to be shifting over to Mint simply because it's more fun and there are very few disadvantages. Switch to an OS that's less fun, more frustrating to use and less suited to the desktop? Not likely.

Microsoft is betting a lot on this change, though. I wonder if the betting sites have put any odds on Microsoft's success. Those sites are better than opinion polls at predicting disputed outcomes. Think I'll go check.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Windows is bad. That's why since beginning I'm using iOS (epic troll mode on, trying to provoke is in progress..)
There's no need for further provocation, your syntax is sufficiently annoying in and of itself....:eek:

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Windows 8 + Start8 = Awesome product.

I have used Windows 8 since the early preview days and I spent heaps of time trying to get use to the new start menu. In the end I did find it painfully inefficient and turned to a third party app, in my case Start8. Other than the start menu I really like the OS, its super snappy and with old style menu back great to use.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I really like the OS, its super snappy and with old style menu back great to use.
As long as you're not using an SSD while at the same time giving all the credit to Windows 8 for the vastly improved boot and load times. There does seem to be an awful lot of that going around these days.

Pan Wah said:

Larson-Green does acknowledge that a finger will never be as precise as a mouse

This is arrant nonsense - how come concert pianists always seem to use their fingers, if a mouse is so precise?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

As long as you're not using an SSD while at the same time giving all the credit to Windows 8 for the vastly improved boot and load times. There does seem to be an awful lot of that going around these days.

Honestly could not careless about boot times because I never turn my PC off. The OS is much snappier, much much snappier to use.

This is arrant nonsense - how come concert pianists always seem to use their fingers, if a mouse is so precise?

Having not read into what you guys are talking about I would imagine hitting a single pixel with a fingertip might be hard. Also trying to aim in a first person shooter such as Call of Duty might also be hard. Again not sure if I am off base here, just food for thought

crabbos crabbos said:

I still think the whole motivation behind the change for Microsoft was the app store. They saw how well itunes/ios/android apps were selling and thought it would be a good way to rake in extra revenue - right from the Metro desktop...

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ok the enterprise I work in (Education) has over 200 applications that are grouped in the start menu by faculty and delivered via App-V. We run Windows 7. If we put Windows 8 out instead you end up with 200 icons littering page after page of metro start screen. We can't group by faculty unless you think that we could have a page for each faculty.. its ridiculous.

Right now there is zero chance we will go with Windows 8 for that reason alone. Where the students can currently browse a list of applications for their particular faculty under a section in the start menu, they would have to scroll through page after page of metro start screen or search for the application which requires them knowing the name of the application in the first place. You can't put titles on individual metro start screen pages (we could name each page by a faculty) and organizing the different icons for each page and making them stay there is a management nightmare.

Screw the metro UI for business. They just haven't thought it through. You should be able to make the choice and rollback. Certainly I will be checking out the functionality of the free start menu utilities but I am quite loathed to roll out an operating system upgrade over thousands of computers relying on a third party utility that may or may not be supported in the future.

Microsoft have got metro UI marketplace dollar signs clouding their judgement here. For business, Windows 8 is the new Window ME/Windows Vista. Just waiting for Windows 9 now.

1 person liked this | fimbles fimbles said:

Quote:

"This is arrant nonsense - how come concert pianists always seem to use their fingers, if a mouse is so precise?"

Pianists use a keyboard, An analogue keyboard at that.

ikesmasher said:

It takes less time to move your hand 2 inches than it does to move your hand 7 inches across the screen.

Food for thought.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

"Larson-Green seems to firmly believe touch is the future."

Ummm, your a little late to the game darling. I've been touching my keyboard and mouse for the past 20 years. The got here future 20 years ago. The only thing Microsoft have changed is that now they expect you to channel "almost" every thought and user-interaction through a single finger versus ten fingers that I have been using on my keyboard for the past 2 decades.

So you want me to do everything I did with 20 fingers most of my life and restrict it to 1 finger? Okay, I got one finger for you Microsoft. Guess which one it is?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

So you want me to do everything I did with 20 fingers most of my life and restrict it to 1 finger? Okay, I got one finger for you Microsoft. Guess which one it is?
You're being ironic, right? 'Cause the rest of us only have 8 fingers and two thumbs.

I'll play along though. I've got two fingers for you M$, one one each hand.....:p

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is arrant nonsense - how come concert pianists always seem to use their fingers, if a mouse is so precise?
How come your phone is not as big as a piano?

Edit: Let me expand.

Imagine shrinking the pianos keys down to where they all fit on a tablets screen and then see how precise your fingers are. A piano was designed for fingers not smaller pointing devices.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

"...and find the start screen all in the first session"

I didn't realise OS design was a "Where's Wally" challenge?

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