Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Austinian
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Sean Nelson, 6 months ago

Sean Nelson wrote:

Austinian wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

Austinian wrote:

As far as I could tell when I first tried Win 8, Microsoft didn't give me any reason at all to use the Metro apps; without touch, they didn't do anything for me that couldn't be done as well or better by my existing desktop programs.

Using 8.1 with Classic Shell now, I still can't see any role for Metro apps on my machine; am I overlooking something useful?

Just because you haven't found any useful Metro apps yet doesn't mean they won't appear. If Microsoft has their 'druthers Metro apps will be the way of the future, although I doubt that developers of feature-rich content creation apps will abandon the desktop UI.

Maybe they're here already, and I just never heard about them. But if they don't run well on the desktop, using them may be more trouble than it's worth.

Yes, that's exactly the point I was making upthread. Desktop integration is essential for the success of Metro apps on desktop computers. There are a lot of desktop computers, so that's a key factor whether users are going to accept Metro apps, which in turn is a key factor in how many developers will be willing to write them.

I think that before Metro apps can be widely successful on the desktop, they will have to a) integrate on the desktop, as you say, and b) be better than the existing desktop apps; otherwise, why bother with Metro when many good desktop solutions already exist?

Microsoft can fix a), but they're going to need the major software companies to write most of the type b) applications. Given the enormous number of very refined Windows desktop applications already available, I think THAT is going to be the hard part. The very hard part.

Do Metro apps have any fundamental functional advantage over standard desktop programs? If not, I wonder whether Metro can succeed on non-touch desktops.

I find it absolutely astounding that Microsoft didn't figure this out from the get-go.

There's a lot about the Windows 8 UI that I found astounding. To put it kindly. 

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Sean Nelson
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Austinian, 6 months ago

Austinian wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

Austinian wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

Austinian wrote:

As far as I could tell when I first tried Win 8, Microsoft didn't give me any reason at all to use the Metro apps; without touch, they didn't do anything for me that couldn't be done as well or better by my existing desktop programs.

Using 8.1 with Classic Shell now, I still can't see any role for Metro apps on my machine; am I overlooking something useful?

Just because you haven't found any useful Metro apps yet doesn't mean they won't appear. If Microsoft has their 'druthers Metro apps will be the way of the future, although I doubt that developers of feature-rich content creation apps will abandon the desktop UI.

Maybe they're here already, and I just never heard about them. But if they don't run well on the desktop, using them may be more trouble than it's worth.

Yes, that's exactly the point I was making upthread. Desktop integration is essential for the success of Metro apps on desktop computers. There are a lot of desktop computers, so that's a key factor whether users are going to accept Metro apps, which in turn is a key factor in how many developers will be willing to write them.

I think that before Metro apps can be widely successful on the desktop, they will have to a) integrate on the desktop, as you say, and b) be better than the existing desktop apps; otherwise, why bother with Metro when many good desktop solutions already exist?

Microsoft can fix a), but they're going to need the major software companies to write most of the type b) applications. Given the enormous number of very refined Windows desktop applications already available, I think THAT is going to be the hard part. The very hard part.

I agree for existing apps. But there's always new stuff coming down the pike - the camera control apps for WiFi enabled cameras that I mentioned upthread are a perfect example of this. There simply aren't any existing desktop apps for this kind of function.   So a touch version of these apps would have no competition.

It depends a lot on the style of application, because even when integrated on the desktop the touch UI used with a mouse is still more restrictive than the very feature-rich classic Windows GUI. It's been said that the desktop UI is ideal for content creation and the touch UI is best suited to content consumption, and I pretty much agree with that. But don't underestimate the quantity and impact of brand new applications that are coming our way. I expect that we'll see a lot more Metro applications if an integrated-desktop version of Windows takes hold.

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Austinian
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Sean Nelson, 6 months ago

Sean Nelson wrote:

I agree for existing apps. But there's always new stuff coming down the pike - the camera control apps for WiFi enabled cameras that I mentioned upthread are a perfect example of this. There simply aren't any existing desktop apps for this kind of function. So a touch version of these apps would have no competition.

You mentioned you're using an Android phone for this; will people give up iOS and Android on devices they already have? I'm just having a hard time seeing a significant role for Metro in the current OS ecosystem.

It depends a lot on the style of application, because even when integrated on the desktop the touch UI used with a mouse is still more restrictive than the very feature-rich classic Windows GUI. It's been said that the desktop UI is ideal for content creation and the touch UI is best suited to content consumption, and I pretty much agree with that. But don't underestimate the quantity and impact of brand new applications that are coming our way. I expect that we'll see a lot more Metro applications if an integrated-desktop version of Windows takes hold.

I really don't know; so far the number of users moving to Windows 8/8.1 seems pretty small. Until there's a large Metro installed base, will many developers put effort into writing Metro apps rather than desktop programs?

And without superior Metro apps, there's little reason for most people to go away from familiar, highly usable Windows 7. I did, but I like new tech toys just because they're new.

Perhaps with time, as old computers get replaced, we'll see more Windows 8+ upgrades and what you foresee will come to pass.

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Sean Nelson
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Austinian, 6 months ago

Austinian wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

I agree for existing apps. But there's always new stuff coming down the pike - the camera control apps for WiFi enabled cameras that I mentioned upthread are a perfect example of this. There simply aren't any existing desktop apps for this kind of function. So a touch version of these apps would have no competition.

You mentioned you're using an Android phone for this; will people give up iOS and Android on devices they already have? I'm just having a hard time seeing a significant role for Metro in the current OS ecosystem.

When I said that those kinds of apps would no competition, I mean they would have no competition from Windows desktop apps. There is, of course, very stiff competition indeed from iOS and Android versions of these same apps.

I think Microsoft has missed the boat on the mobile marketplace. Loosing a year on a botched Windows 8 rollout (one that desktop users have shied away from because of the Metro issues) hasn't helped that one iota, although I think it may have been too late for them even without that. At this point it would take something pretty monumental to dislodge iOS/Android from phones and tablets, and Microsoft isn't showing any signs that it's capable of doing that.

It's been said that the desktop UI is ideal for content creation and the touch UI is best suited to content consumption, and I pretty much agree with that. But don't underestimate the quantity and impact of brand new applications that are coming our way. I expect that we'll see a lot more Metro applications if an integrated-desktop version of Windows takes hold.

I really don't know; so far the number of users moving to Windows 8/8.1 seems pretty small. Until there's a large Metro installed base, will many developers put effort into writing Metro apps rather than desktop programs?

No, they won't - that's why I said "if ... Windows takes hold". I think Windows 8 will get a lot more popular with a fully integrated desktop, but it's going to take time.

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malch
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Sean Nelson, 6 months ago

Sean Nelson wrote:

I think Microsoft has missed the boat on the mobile marketplace. Loosing a year on a botched Windows 8 rollout (one that desktop users have shied away from because of the Metro issues) hasn't helped that one iota, although I think it may have been too late for them even without that. At this point it would take something pretty monumental to dislodge iOS/Android from phones and tablets, and Microsoft isn't showing any signs that it's capable of doing that.

We've been saying that for a year but I'm pretty sure it's a done deal now. Windows is pretty much DOA in the mobile marketplace.

I think the real question now is... are Microsoft going to beef up serious development work on the desktop OS? It's not clear they are doing so yet but without that effort I think OSX and Linux could start to nibble away at Windows in the desktop market.

Real desktop users want to see some serious developments like a much improved file system. More dicking around with the Start button is a joke and not going to cut it.

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Austinian
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Sean Nelson, 6 months ago

Sean Nelson wrote:

I think Microsoft has missed the boat on the mobile marketplace. Loosing a year on a botched Windows 8 rollout (one that desktop users have shied away from because of the Metro issues) hasn't helped that one iota, although I think it may have been too late for them even without that. At this point it would take something pretty monumental to dislodge iOS/Android from phones and tablets, and Microsoft isn't showing any signs that it's capable of doing that.

I agree. They're way too late, and IMO their attempt to unify Windows for PC's, phones, and tablets was misguided from the beginning.

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Austinian
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to malch, 6 months ago

malch wrote:

I think the real question now is... are Microsoft going to beef up serious development work on the desktop OS? It's not clear they are doing so yet but without that effort I think OSX and Linux could start to nibble away at Windows in the desktop market.

Real desktop users want to see some serious developments like a much improved file system. More dicking around with the Start button is a joke and not going to cut it.

I want much more UI configurability, not less. It seems like every new iteration of Windows in recent years has taken steps backward in this respect.

A better file system would be excellent, as would more isolation of drivers and services. I'd like a Windows where errant drivers couldn't dramatically slow down or crash the entire system.

Since I'm dreaming, how about a Windows without a registry? All config files easily editable and app config files in the same directory as the app they control.

Or a WINE/Mono so perfected that I could run even the most specialized .NET Windows programs flawlessly in the Linux distro of my choice?

Strange madness, I know. 

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Sean Nelson
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Austinian, 6 months ago

Austinian wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

I think Microsoft has missed the boat on the mobile marketplace.

I agree. They're way too late, and IMO their attempt to unify Windows for PC's, phones, and tablets was misguided from the beginning.

I appreciate the idea of unifying them.   If they had properly integrated the mobile environment into the desktop and if the apps I need were available then I might have bought a Windows phone instead of Android one.  I have a long investment in programs, scripts and utilities I've both purchased and written for Windows, and it would have been nice to have been able to keep everything in the same family.

Of course "real" Windows isn't available on a phone, and even if it were the selection of phone hardware is pretty limited compared to what's available for Android.   So it probably wasn't in the cards anyway.

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Austinian
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Sean Nelson, 6 months ago

Sean Nelson wrote:

I appreciate the idea of unifying them. If they had properly integrated the mobile environment into the desktop and if the apps I need were available then I might have bought a Windows phone instead of Android one. I have a long investment in programs, scripts and utilities I've both purchased and written for Windows, and it would have been nice to have been able to keep everything in the same family.

Of course "real" Windows isn't available on a phone, and even if it were the selection of phone hardware is pretty limited compared to what's available for Android. So it probably wasn't in the cards anyway.

Perhaps MS would have had better user response if they'd used Metro on just phones and tablets. I think touching a handheld device is more central to the user experience than touching a monitor that may be two or three feet away from the user.

But that's sheer speculation on my part. We'll never know what could have been.

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malch
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Austinian, 6 months ago

Austinian wrote:

Since I'm dreaming, how about a Windows without a registry? All config files easily editable and app config files in the same directory as the app they control.

Having the kernel and all applications sharing a single registry was always a bad idea.

All systems should provide isolation between the system and the user/apps and I can't imagine what possessed them to mix it all up at Win 95. Windows will never be really robust until that is fixed.

I'd be fine with good old INI files. But, at the very least, the Windows settings need to be isolated/protected and provided with a simple backup/restore capability.

This was all true and known back in the 60's and 70's. Now, of course, it's even more imperative given the amount of malware and mischief we face today.

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Carey Brown
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Re: sure hope so!
In reply to bronxbombers4, 6 months ago

bronxbombers4 wrote:

The idea that desktop users need to run things like a tablet was ridiculous! How many quality touch screens are there and do you want to grease and smear up your fancy UHD wide gamut photo monitors??? Or hold your arms way up and out to a monitor all day long?? W8 was a ridiculous disaster.

Tablets make a lot of basic things pretty pain in the neck to do to, as it is windows already treats the shell, where you can batch things a million times faster than point and click and so on, and the last thing we needed was an even more dumbed down UI for desktop that makes it harder to do exactly what you want.

+1

Keep your fingers off my monitor!

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1w12q312qw1
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Re: sure hope so!
In reply to bronxbombers4, 6 months ago

bronxbombers4 wrote:

The idea that desktop users need to run things like a tablet was ridiculous! How many quality touch screens are there and do you want to grease and smear up your fancy UHD wide gamut photo monitors??? Or hold your arms way up and out to a monitor all day long?? W8 was a ridiculous disaster.

Tablets make a lot of basic things pretty pain in the neck to do to, as it is windows already treats the shell, where you can batch things a million times faster than point and click and so on, and the last thing we needed was an even more dumbed down UI for desktop that makes it harder to do exactly what you want.

+1

Redmond folks must be having a big ole New Year's celebration, W8.1 surpasses Vista at the expense of XP. They've got some work to do to get by W7, though, as its percentage increased during December; that alone should tell them a lot about W8. I would conclude many more XP users are opting for W7 over W8.

December OS Data

Stan

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itchhh
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Re: hose effing cheating bastards at Microsoft
In reply to Ron Innocencio, 6 months ago

Ron Innocencio wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

Desktop users will no longer be treated like second-class citizens

http://windowsitpro.com/windows-81/microsoft-windows-big-changes-coming

I stumbled across this article yesterday. Looks like Microsoft has been chastened.

-- hide signature --

Henry Richardson
http://www.bakubo.com

Those effing cheating bastards at Microsoft. Why donn't they just fix Windows 7 rather than make us buy W8?

I didn't realize Windows 7 was broken?

-- hide signature --

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
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chillzatl
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Austinian, 6 months ago

Austinian wrote:

I think that before Metro apps can be widely successful on the desktop, they will have to a) integrate on the desktop, as you say, and b) be better than the existing desktop apps; otherwise, why bother with Metro when many good desktop solutions already exist?

Microsoft can fix a), but they're going to need the major software companies to write most of the type b) applications. Given the enormous number of very refined Windows desktop applications already available, I think THAT is going to be the hard part. The very hard part.

Do Metro apps have any fundamental functional advantage over standard desktop programs? If not, I wonder whether Metro can succeed on non-touch desktops.

"Metro" is just the interface for an entirely new set of API's for windows called WinRT. It is a much more evolved, secure and stable platform than Win32 (what all other windows apps are written too). Whether one agrees or disagrees with how Microsoft decided to go about implementing this new code base, it IS better and it IS the future of Windows.

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chillzatl
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Re: sure hope so!
In reply to 1w12q312qw1, 6 months ago

1w12q312qw1 wrote:

bronxbombers4 wrote:

The idea that desktop users need to run things like a tablet was ridiculous! How many quality touch screens are there and do you want to grease and smear up your fancy UHD wide gamut photo monitors??? Or hold your arms way up and out to a monitor all day long?? W8 was a ridiculous disaster.

Tablets make a lot of basic things pretty pain in the neck to do to, as it is windows already treats the shell, where you can batch things a million times faster than point and click and so on, and the last thing we needed was an even more dumbed down UI for desktop that makes it harder to do exactly what you want.

+1

Redmond folks must be having a big ole New Year's celebration, W8.1 surpasses Vista at the expense of XP. They've got some work to do to get by W7, though, as its percentage increased during December; that alone should tell them a lot about W8. I would conclude many more XP users are opting for W7 over W8.

December OS Data

Stan

Windows 8/8.1 surpassed 10% market share in December and will continue to grow, as it should.  And it's easy to conclude that when the numbers are right there to support it, but without any context and insight into it, it's just as meaningless. Enterprises are always a generation or more behind. Most are just now upgrading off XP and naturally they're going to Windows 7 next, not windows 8. This is just how it works in the enterprise IT world.

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Austinian
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to chillzatl, 6 months ago

chillzatl wrote:

Austinian wrote:

I think that before Metro apps can be widely successful on the desktop, they will have to a) integrate on the desktop, as you say, and b) be better than the existing desktop apps; otherwise, why bother with Metro when many good desktop solutions already exist?

Microsoft can fix a), but they're going to need the major software companies to write most of the type b) applications. Given the enormous number of very refined Windows desktop applications already available, I think THAT is going to be the hard part. The very hard part.

Do Metro apps have any fundamental functional advantage over standard desktop programs? If not, I wonder whether Metro can succeed on non-touch desktops.

"Metro" is just the interface for an entirely new set of API's for windows called WinRT. It is a much more evolved, secure and stable platform than Win32 (what all other windows apps are written too). Whether one agrees or disagrees with how Microsoft decided to go about implementing this new code base, it IS better and it IS the future of Windows.

Unix was also "a much more evolved, secure and stable platform than Win32" for years; that alone doesn't guarantee success in the marketplace.

If real-world Metro apps work better than the existing alternatives, and can interoperate smoothly with desktop applications, then they may well succeed eventually.

The mere percentage of users with Windows 8/8.1 can't be relied upon as an index of success; threads discussing this reveal quite a few people using Start Menu replacements and seldom if ever even seeing the Metro UI.

Certainly, as the percentage of desktop users with 8/8.1 increases, more and more of them (like me) are able to use Metro apps if we wish. But I suspect that will happen on a large scale when, and only when, they work better than the desktop alternatives we have already paid for.

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CAcreeks
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Android vs iOS, NetApplications biased?
In reply to 1w12q312qw1, 6 months ago

1w12q312qw1 wrote:

Redmond folks must be having a big ole New Year's celebration, W8.1 surpasses Vista. [Net Applications pie chart here:]

December OS Data

I don't understand why they do not consolidate OS X when they lump all Linux together. Adding up all Mac OS X, market share is 7.43%. Other sources rank OS X higher, for example 8.45% at W3Counter.

Another interesting factoid is that during 2013 for mobile, Android sales were 79% versus 14.2% for iOS, however iOS makes up 55.2% of browsing versus only 33.9% for Android.

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tkbslc
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Re: The real question: can they recover?
In reply to Birk Binnard, 6 months ago

Birk Binnard wrote:

I'm sure Metro is fine for the thumb-typers and social media buffs, but that does not describe me at all and I'm not doing anything with Metro any time soon.

The biggest shock for me was to find it on Server 2012.   I understand common kernel and all that jazz, but I really want a UI designed for touchscreen on a critical enterprise database server? And I don't really dare replace it with Start8 or whatever because again, it's business critical. I don't need to be hacking my servers.

That's where I worry about MS losing some fans.   Once the industry support for MS on the backend goes, there goes half the reason to run MS desktops in the business, too.

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tkbslc
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Re: Why don't they fix the long path name debalcle?
In reply to glasswave, 6 months ago

glasswave wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:

Desktop users will no longer be treated like second-class citizens

http://windowsitpro.com/windows-81/microsoft-windows-big-changes-coming

I stumbled across this article yesterday. Looks like Microsoft has been chastened.

Let me see, we are happy to let the end user and all the programs make path/file names that exceed 262 characters, but when you go to copy/move those same files to another volume we''ll disrupt your copy and at the very end, give you no way to easily I'd the files in question and offer no way to fix the error!!!

It's windows Explorer. The file manager is still based on Windows NT code. That's why it has such wonky behavior with UAC and local admin permissions, too.

What a bunch of aholes, they are more concerned with getting a viable app store going than they are with solving the biggest problems with windows.

Well making money is probably their #1 priority, understandably. But yes, I think most of us would rather have a modern file manager than a touchscreen app launcher.

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tkbslc
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Re: Win8.2: Big Changes Are Coming to Windows
In reply to Michael Firstlight, 6 months ago

Michael Firstlight wrote:

Th really sad thing is that some of us long time Windows developers that were on the very first Developer's Preview program were beyond intense on how bad we thought Metro was for the desktop - and we were stunned to the degree of arrogance MS displayed totally ignoring us.

Same with us long time MS-loving Sys Admins.   And then they even added Metro to Server 2012 while disabling the option present in the RC to use the classic start menu.    F'n jerks!

MS proved they run a business like the three stooges - and that is probably an insult to the three stooges!

I think Ballmer has all three stooges in his belly.

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