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Windows 8

fred rosenberger
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  16

Has anyone installed Windows 8 yet? What do you think?


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Bert Bates
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    5
Full disclosure, I haven't, and I won't unless under extreme duress.

That said, the quote I heard that sounds about right:

"Windows 8 is great for people who want to be good at using an OS."

As an analogy, some people want to be great at using their camera, others want to take great pictures - there's a crucial difference. Some tool makers are all about their tool, but the great ones are all about what their tool enables their users to do. It might seem like a meaningless distinction, but the difference in POV shows up in the end result in huge ways.


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Paul Clapham
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Joined: Oct 14, 2005
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    8

Nope. I read the instructions on how to upgrade -- if that's the right word -- and they seemed like way too much work. I have much more interesting things to do.
Bear Bibeault
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  65

Disclaimer: hearsay evidence follows.

I participate in a community forum elsewhere that's composed almost entirely of highly tech-savvy people. There's a a good mix of Mac, Windows and Linux users. Whenever something new comes along, there are always multiple topics with hundreds to thousands of replies. Recently, this includes Windows 8 and the Surface tablets.

The Mac and Linux people, naturally, aren't all that intrigued, though many, like myself, keep abreast of what's going on for all OSes.

What's more interesting is the reaction of the Windows folks. What I'm seeing there is a fairly across-the-board reaction from a few "I love it", all the way through the spectrum to "I'll be sticking with Windows 7 until they pry it from my dead fingers", to "I think it's time to consider a Mac".

Most seem to be perplexed by Microsoft's decision to mix metaphors and emphasize the touch-centric "no longer called Metro" interface on the desktop.

When the time comes that it's supported in virtual machines for the Mac, I'll be installing it for testing sites in IE on that platform. I'll be able to give my own perspective on it at that time.


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Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
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    5

disclaimer: I use OS-X and prefer to use Linux when I have a choice. I have not used Windows 7 regularly. I sure haven't tried Win 8.

I see this as a bet the company effort by Microsoft. Win 8 looks like a tablet/phone OS that they are also using on the desktop. It appears to be a huge change from prior Windows versions.

This may be a great thing, as mobile is there all the action in the industry is happening for consumers. We are evolving to giant server farms in the cloud, and small mobile things for consumers to interact with the cloud. Windows didn't/doesn't fit well into either of these. So Win8 may be just the answer.

It may be a terrible thing if the hundreds of millions of Windows users don't like the change.

I applaud Microsoft for making the change. They had to.

BTW: I've seen nothing about the kernel under the new UI. Is it still NT-based? or have they changed that as well?
Rameshwar Soni
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Joined: Feb 03, 2011
Posts: 247
fred rosenberger wrote:Has anyone installed Windows 8 yet? What do you think?


No i haven't installed Windows 8 but just had a VERY SMALL feeling of Windows 8 on my Windows XP and i liked it.

I just installed WinMetro and there was post related to that here
J. Kevin Robbins
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Joined: Dec 16, 2010
Posts: 914
    
  13

I predict that Windows 8 will be a giant flop. Corporate users are still migrating from XP to Windows 7 where they will stay for years to come, and the Surface tablet will never take more than a tiny share of the tablet market away from Apple and Google.

Once again MS is a day late and a dollar short. Steve Ballmer should have been fired years ago and maybe MS would still be a contender. As it is, they are a relic of computing days gone by. Their glory days of being an industry leader are over. If it wasn't for Office, they would have closed the doors a long time ago.


"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." -- Ted Nelson
Steve Luke
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  21

Jk Robbins wrote:I predict that Windows 8 will be a giant flop. Corporate users are still migrating from XP to Windows 7 where they will stay for years to come


I disagree. Other than an obviously different UI for the Start menu, Win 8 is not much different than Win 7. It costs less to do the upgrade than previous upgrades. Some of the filing, automatic deployment, and security features make it compelling to test the upgrade from a corporate perspective. Some of the social and personalization features (and the new UI) will draw personal upgrades. Because it isn't a large back-end change the upgrade should be less risky as well.

I have played with Win 8 a little bit, but didn't really use the new stuff, because I didn't have a lot of time on it. I bought a copy for personal use (haven't installed it yet) and have some licenses waiting for me at work. Next week I should have some experience with it.


Steve
dennis deems
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Posts: 808
Bert Bates wrote:Full disclosure, I haven't, and I won't unless under extreme duress.

That said, the quote I heard that sounds about right:

"Windows 8 is great for people who want to be good at using an OS."

As an analogy, some people want to be great at using their camera, others want to take great pictures - there's a crucial difference. Some tool makers are all about their tool, but the great ones are all about what their tool enables their users to do. It might seem like a meaningless distinction, but the difference in POV shows up in the end result in huge ways.


I hope you are working on a new book because this writing is full of AWESOME
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11231
    
  16

Bert Bates wrote:As an analogy, some people want to be great at using their camera, others want to take great pictures - there's a crucial difference. Some tool makers are all about their tool, but the great ones are all about what their tool enables their users to do. It might seem like a meaningless distinction, but the difference in POV shows up in the end result in huge ways.

This reminded me of an analogy my friend gave about Unix, and the Hole Hawg drill.
Bert Bates
author
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8813
    
    5
Hey Dennis,

Thanks, and I'll tell Kathy

This is one of the discussions in Kathy's new book - I was just paraphrasing.
J. Kevin Robbins
Bartender

Joined: Dec 16, 2010
Posts: 914
    
  13

Speak of the devil... Windows 8 rejected

I've been in the corporate world a long time. They hate change. Many, many companies are still running XP and are just now starting to roll out Windows 7. I work for a Fortune 100 company that is just now evaluating our first Windows 7 images for the desktops. It will be many years before they even consider changing to anything else (Windows 9? 10? 15?)

I stand by my prediction that Windows 8 will be even less popular than Vista.

Only time will tell...
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
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    5

Jk Robbins wrote:Speak of the devil... Windows 8 rejected


Interesting quote in the article:
Microsoft Windows chief Steven Sinofsky has described Windows 8 as “a generational change” the likes of which hasn’t been made since Windows 95."


I wonder if folks at Microsoft remember any of their own history. While Win95 was a big change, from the pure 16-bit world of Win 3.x to a split world of part-16 and part 32-bit, it still rested on the design philosophy of Windows 3.0 and earlier versions. The mass market didn't move to a clean, 32-bit NT based system until XP in the early 2000s.

XP is a decade old, and its age has been showing for years.
J. Kevin Robbins
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  13

And if you remember, the corporate world didn't really begin to embrace XP until SP2 was released. Prior to that, they stuck to Win2k. I agree that XP is long past it's prime, but look at it from an IT Director point of view. XP is stable, most of the serious problems have been patched by now, and users are comfortable with it. There is just no compelling reason to upgrade that justifies the cost. Now you have Win8 with an entirely new interface that will require retraining everyone from end-users to support staff. I just don't see it happening, at least not for several years.

I've long said that MS should take the same route as Apple. Turn Windows into an X-Windows system that runs on a linux kernel. Some would call that heresy, I say it would be a smart business decision, but Ballmer and Gates keep forgetting to call me and ask for my opinion.
Steve Luke
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Posts: 4176
    
  21

Jk Robbins wrote:Speak of the devil... Windows 8 rejected


I still don't see those numbers saying the corporate world rejects Windows 8. Here are the numbers:

Plan To Skip Windows 8 altogether: 23.8%
No Current Plans, but will consider in the future: 49.9%
Plan to Deploy Windows 8 after SP1: 4.6%
Plan to Deploy Windows 8 in next 12 Months: 10.7%
Plan to Deploy Windows 8 with no time frame: 11.0%

That is 23.8% who say they will skip, and 26.3% who say they will deploy it on some time scale. That looks like more who plan TO move to Windows 8 than those that plan not to. Additionally, the vast majority of companies are withholding judgement, have no plans, or are not sharing those plans. That does not mean that they reject the OS, but that there is a wait and see attitude. That is much different than a 'Rejected' statement.

Anecdote time:
My company is owned by a very large company with their hands in many different businesses. The central company makes deployment decisions, and they have told us they have no current plans for Windows 8 (they fit in the 49.9%), but at the same time has been delivering Windows 8 licenses for testing for the last couple weeks, and for the last year they encouraged our programmers to test software compatibility and optimization for Windows 8. To tell how different this is than previous deployments: We had Windows XP as our standard until last year - we had to standardize on Internet Explorer 6 until the same time. The Windows 7 deployment basically just finished. They had no interest in Windows Vista, and never encouraged developers to program for Windows 7.

So whereas my company seems to follow you expectations of hating change and taking forever to move to something new, and even though they haven't made any deployment decisions they are obviously taking a different approach with Windows 8 and being pro-active with it - which suggests they are more confident in it then they were in Vista or 7 (since they only left XP kicking and screaming).
Martin Vajsar
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Joined: Aug 22, 2010
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  60

I came to contact with several bigger companies. Most of them skipped Windows Vista. Some of them moved from XPs to Windows 7 only last year.

Big companies can have tens of specialized desktop apps (even in this age). Moving to another OS means testing all of these and sometimes having the software vendor providing an upgrade. Training for help desk and employees was already mentioned. In all, lots of work, for not much benefit (if there was a substantial administration benefit on Windows 7, they would probably move sooner). Companies would be happy to stay on the same OS for at least several years. And those who finished transition to Windows 7 only recently probably won't be that eager.

My perspective might be incomplete, but this is what I've seen.
dennis deems
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Joined: Mar 12, 2011
Posts: 808
Jk Robbins wrote:I agree that XP is long past it's prime

I still have XP installed on 3 machines at home, and I'm using it at work. At my previous workplace I had a dell Inspiron that started with XP, and then they forced us to go through Vista and Windows 7 upgrades. Of the three OS's, XP was by far the best-behaved. I don't agree at all that XP is past its prime. Microsoft just wants to kill it so they can sell people something new.
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
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Joined: Sep 23, 2000
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    7
I tried out Windows 8 for about an hour today. I tried not to use the touch screen because I wanted to see whether it would be a good idea for me to upgrade my machine.
For the first 15 minutes I was absolutely frustrated. The start screen had several apps and I found it extremely difficult to scroll the start screen. You have to move the mouse from one end of the screen to the other to switch the scroll from one side to the other. So if say you are looking of a particular app tile (like you flip through a book looking for a page, you go back and forth), it is painful. Takes too much time.

Closing an app is an absolute nightmare. You have to first move your mouse to extreme top middle part of the screen. The mouse pointer will turn to a hand sign. Now, right press (don't click, just press) and the hand will turn to a fist. Now, while the left button is still pressed, drag the mouse to extreme bottom of the screen. This is simply crazy on the touch pad. If you lose your press in the middle of the whole operation, the app goes back to the original size and position. Of course, you could also do Alt+F4 to close it. But that requires repositioning your hands from mouse to keyboard and vice versa. Not good.

UnPinning multiple apps from start screen is nightmare number 2. The problem is you have to right click on each tile to select it and while doing so with a touch pad, I accidentally clicked on an app tile. This brought up that app screen and when I went back to start screen all my selections were gone. This happened with me a several of times. First time I though it was my mistake that I accidentally did left click instead of right but then I realized that its not just me. When you try to select multiple tiles, you have to move your finger on the touch pad from one side to the other gradually, all the while doing the right clicks on each of the tiles. This causes your thumb position to slightly shift from one side to the other and the touch pad registers it as a left click instead of right. So you have to be extremely careful if you want to avoid doing the left click.

Navigating between the apps is nightmare number 3. I don't know about others but I find moving the mouse from one end of the screen to the other like an overnight flight from east coast to west coast. So when you are using one app, your mouse is usually in the middle of the screen and to navigate to another app, you have to move it all the way to the left and then do some other crazy maneuvers to see other open apps and then select the one you want. Too much effort.

Going to the "Desktop" using touch pad is a nightmare number 4. There is a quick way to go from Desktop to Start screen but nothing to go from Start to Desktop. I don't know if you can have a tile for Desktop. So if you use several legacy apps that have no tiles. I will be extremely difficult to switch back from the desktop env to Start screen env. Being able to use legacy apps is supposed to be a USP of Win8 but I feel that it requires substantially more efforts if you use apps in both the envs.

Overall, I don't think I will upgrade to Win8. Not only it doesn't add any value, it actually requires me to spend more efforts to do my activities. Primarily because I don't have a touch screen. I guess if there was an option to turn off the Start screen feature all together, it might have found it more useful.

If you have a touch screen, I imagine the life will be a little easier. But I will need to spend at least a couple of weeks to see if it really increases my productivity or not. So I guess it is on a case by case basis. It may be very useful for one person but not for another. Depends on what activities one does everyday.

HTH,
Paul.

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Gregg Bolinger
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    6

Paul Anilprem wrote:I guess if there was an option to turn off the Start screen feature all together, it might have found it more useful


Seems like a PITA, but its something...

http://www.techspot.com/guides/551-bypass-metro/


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Steve Luke
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  21

Okay, I spent most of this evening playing with Windows 8 (at home). Took about 45 minutes to install. It was painless, and all the apps I installed previously seem to work (including the one game I have).

But I don't like the separation between the 'Windows Store Applications' and normal windows applications. For example: Download something from IE using the IE icon on the Start menu and the file is downloaded to your 'Document' folder. Do the same thing from the IE icon on the desktop and the file goes to the Downloads folder. Login to a page using IE from the desktop then switch to the Start screen. This version of IE is not logged in and doesn't know about the login. Not just IE either - Chrome is the same way - there is some sort of dual-personality going on that makes it impossible to follow.

Download an app from a site you visited - and run it. The installer starts from the desktop hidden behind the Start screen so you can't see it. You have to know to switch over to the desktop to see the installer.

I haven't found the best way to shut down the computer yet.** I think you have to click on your account (top right corner) and choose logout from the list. Then click on the right side again to get the power icon. Then click the icon and choose shutdown. But there may be an 'easier' way I am not aware of.

Closing the Windows Store Applications (formerly known as Metro Applications) is a pain in the backside - definitely imitating touch interface in a way that just doesn't work if you have a mouse. Another annoying interface issue: the settings, switching between running Windows Store Apps, and getting to / from the Start window require mousing over corners (and sometimes making a gesture). There is no hint or indication as to what hides in the corners off-screen. You just gotta know. Sure it makes for a clean interface* - I loaded a special launcher on my phone to get the same effect - but on the desktop and without any hint at-all, it just doesn't translate well.

I think the OS wouldn't be bad if you could turn off the Start window, but alas I don't think you can. I also haven't had time to play with some of the new neat toys - like the storage pools. But at the moment I would have to say that my mind has been changed - I thought it would be okay and am very disappointed.

*if you didn't have to fill your desktop with shortcuts to your apps because you don't want to get confused about differences between launching in the start window or not...
**Found a better way to shutdown - on one of those hidden bars off the right side of the window. move mouse to top right corner, swipe down and click on gear. Then the power options show up

Rahul mir
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I installed it works fine.. Microsoft works lot on User Interface.. wish someone make more user friendly desktop interface for Linux. Gnome3 is good .. but..
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
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Joined: Sep 23, 2000
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    7
Steve Luke wrote:But I don't like the separation between the 'Windows Store Applications' and normal windows applications.

Not sure if I understand it correctly but it seems the Window 8 Start screen apps (aka Windos Store Apps) run in a sandboxed environment that is separate from the env that Local Desktop apps run in. So they don't share much. But I see that it does add value in terms of security and resource managment.

I think their idea is to make people move completely from the desktop env to the start screen env and so they've made it difficult to go from start screen to desktop but very easy to go from desktop to Start screen They could have made it less painful by making the start screen as user friendly as the desktop for non-touch screen users. As it is, the start screen is just a pain for non-touch screen users.


BTW, I noticed another issue with touch screen laptops and was wondering if anyone else noticed it. The position of the laptop screen is usually parallal (or slightly tilted outwards) to the user's torso. Further, the top of the screen is well below the person's shoulder. Now, for the gestures that require you to swipe from top to bottom (like for closing an app), you begin by touching the screen on the top and as you swipe it down, the tip of your fingernail gets in the way and starts scratching the surface (assuming that your fingernail protrudes a little bit farther from the fingertip). You can try swiping your figure from top to bottom on your regular laptop screen and you will know what I am talking about. This made me very uncomfortable while making this swipe down gesture. So basically, if you want to use such device, you better get a manicure

Steve Luke
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 4176
    
  21

Paul Anilprem wrote:
Steve Luke wrote:But I don't like the separation between the 'Windows Store Applications' and normal windows applications.

Not sure if I understand it correctly but it seems the Window 8 Start screen apps (aka Windos Store Apps) run in a sandboxed environment that is separate from the env that Local Desktop apps run in. So they don't share much. But I see that it does add value in terms of security and resource managment.

I think their idea is to make people move completely from the desktop env to the start screen env and so they've made it difficult to go from start screen to desktop but very easy to go from desktop to Start screen They could have made it less painful by making the start screen as user friendly as the desktop for non-touch screen users. As it is, the start screen is just a pain for non-touch screen users.

I think you are right, but it is a pain. If I configure IE or Chrome or Skype from the desktop, I have to re-configure it from the Start window from scratch because they aren't the same app and there doesn't seem to be any communication between them such that the settings you make in one place are kept in the other. What it makes me want to do is uninstall everything on the start window and create all icons on the desktop - since I know I will have to work from there at least sometime (Office for example, all the computer management applications as another, are all only Desktop apps). So if there is one part of the OS you theoretically could avoid it would be the start screen. The problem with that is the only way to make sure you stay away from the Start screen is to fill your desktop with all your shortcuts (a personal pet peeve of mine... if my desktop gets more than one column of shortcuts I start to feel dirty).


BTW, I noticed another issue with touch screen laptops and was wondering if anyone else noticed it. The position of the laptop screen is usually parallal (or slightly tilted outwards) to the user's torso. Further, the top of the screen is well below the person's shoulder. Now, for the gestures that require you to swipe from top to bottom (like for closing an app), you begin by touching the screen on the top and as you swipe it down, the tip of your fingernail gets in the way and starts scratching the surface (assuming that your fingernail protrudes a little bit farther from the fingertip). You can try swiping your figure from top to bottom on your regular laptop screen and you will know what I am talking about. This made me very uncomfortable while making this swipe down gesture. So basically, if you want to use such device, you better get a manicure



I had the same issue with the iPad when I was first using it, but quickly got into the habit of holding it at a bit of an angle, or when it is docked using the side of my finger.
 
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subject: Windows 8