Win8 vs Win7

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
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In reply to scorrpio, 10 months ago

scorrpio wrote:

I have seen the following scenario a lot of times at stores like Costco or Staples: a shopper comes up to the computers, tries to poke about those tiles with a consternated look, shakes head, and leaves.

Sure, pro-Win 8 crowd keeps telling us: you get used to it if you give it a few days, it can be customized, learn something new, you can remove Metro with a third-party software, etc.

Problem is, a potential shopper itching for a new toy will give the product at most half a minute. If it doesn't 'click', he will move on. Consider someone wanting a device on which he can browse websites, read email, and use various media: photo, video and music.

Just a few years ago, for these tasks, the only workable consumer alternative to a Windows-based PC (laptop or desktop) was a rather more expensive Mac, so MS knew that eventually this same customer would find himself looking at that same Windows device. Today, such customer just might decide to pick up an iPad or an Android tablet.

Now, first thing one does when coming up to a particular device at a store, is try and do things he is used to doing on this kind of device. Almost everyone these days has some track with technology, and used to doing things a certain way. Ideally, a device should present an interface that is immediately familiar, but looking more advanced, with new features that are there at your fingertips, but not getting in the way of the familiar stuff.

An iPhone 3 user picking up an iPhone 5 or an iPad will immediately feel at home. Someone who uses a Froyo or Gingerbread 'Droid will find a Jelly Bean phone or tablet very familiar. And there is a certain degree of similarity between iOS and Android. Now, a Win XP user, would find Win 7 interface quite familiar as well. But Win 8? Only Windows Phone users (both of them) would not be confused. Cause for all its customizability, Win 8 'out of the box' is a jumbled mess, that also looks like a throwback to the late 80's when 16-color EGA cards were the norm.

And the reason? MS trying to strongarm its customer base into using its apps market, so that its mobile offering, which abysmally lags behind iOS and Android, can get some traction. All they get is backlash. People shirk Win 8 devices. Corporations replace Win 8 with 7 or XP. Many of those who do get Win 8, dump Metro via Classic Shell or something similar - meaning they never get close to any of those apps MS is so anxious to sell.

And as for app developers... Remember Win 7 gadgets? People wrote lots of them, and uploaded to MS Live for others to use. There were some really nice ones. Guess what - one day the gadget gallery was just GONE. You clicked 'Gadgets' in desktop menu, clicked 'Get more gadgets online', and you got... THIS:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/gadgets

Now, if you were an author of some of them gadgets, would you be inclined to write apps for Win 8?

Now, if the design was up to me, Win 8 would offer a UI rather similar to Win 7, with Start Menu and all, including support for Win 7 gadgets, but incorporating app tiles directly on the desktop, similar to gadgets, but more powerful. App tiles, when clicked, would launch in windows, rather than full screen. The system could be switched - if desired - into tiled 'Metro' mode, similar to the Surface or Phone experience. Wouldn't that get far better acceptance, and actually get people into the apps more? As it stands, anyone running Win 8 with a Classic Shell is not using a single app.

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