Coffeehouse Thread

74 posts

So I finally got round to trying Win8 on hardware

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    The first thing to point out is that this was done on an old EEE PC T91MT (the Eee PC with the touch screen).  This only just matched the minimum spec for the preview of Win8, so I can forgive the flickering screen and the generally lackluster performance. The Eee's touch screen is also not great, which probably added a low level of background frustration.

    The main problem was that I found it really hard to discover where the functionality was. The Charm-bar wasn't easy to get access to for some reason ("NO! I don't want to scroll, I want the Charms!") and often when I started typing on the Start screen, the search wouldn't come up so I had to try and get the Charms up to select search. This made it tedious to find functionality.

    I used the Win7 upgrade path, so the PC still had logins for admin (with a password) and logins for family members (without passwords because my kids wouldn't be able to remember them). 

    In Win7, when you start up the machine you get presented with the list of users to select who you want to log in as. When you restart Win8 it seems to remember the last person logged in, and if they don't have a password, it logs them straight in.  This means that if I was using the PC last, but my son fires it up, he gets automatically logged in as me.  For a shared family PC this is going to get annoying pretty fast.

     

    Finally, the reason that I have second thoughts about upgrading to Win8 was that I had to search the web to find out how to switch the bloody thing off!  This is symptomatic of the whole UI, I feel.  There's no way anyone could naturally figure out that you need to to get the Charms up, select settings, then Power and then select Shut Down.  Ludicrous usability. With Win7 you see the 'Shut Down' button as soon as you discover the start menu (which is easy to find).

    Still going to play with it for a while, and I'll report back on how the children get on with it (aged 8 and 6, with only limited exposure to Win7).

    Herbie

     

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    Am  away with the  kids for a couple of days (wife is working) and we are using a series 7 slate that I picked up on eBay cheap (volume controls are broken and only one speaker). We didn't pack the Bluetooth keyboard.

     Anyway.

    We fired up the BING maps App as we were looking for somewhere local to eat.   At my daughters request we did a search for Italian Restaurants and safe to say that the results we got back were just what we needed, showing our location and the locations of local Italian restaurants. Selecting a restaurant gave us more details and an option to go to the restaurants own web site.

    It was a great experience and bodes well for Windows 8.

    (I then typed in 'chips' (I am fussy about cuisine) and we proceeded to the local chipper for tea).

     

     

     

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    @Ian2: Yes, but I can already do that on my Win7 phone ...

    What doesn't bode well is when Win8 is installed on desktops, and users won't know how to switch it off when they're done (and mostly won't bother to search).

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    @Dr Herbie:Agreed, just thought it was worthwhile pointing out a positive experience I had.

     

    In reality  I think 'no compromise' was perhaps just too difficult a target as realistically users are going to have to compromise all over the place.

    "Minimal compromise" would have been better but a disaster for marketing!?

  • User profile image
    cheong

    I've been playing with Win8 RP for a few days on Virtual Lab.

    Not sure whether it's "Remote Desktop" problem or not, when connecting to "Metro" I get an unnecessary wide desktop area that I have to scroll right far away to reach the Charm-bar.

    When switch to "Desktop" mode, the screen ratio is just right.

    I hope this problem won't exist on RTM, because I remote from work to home a lot.

    Anyway, any new RDP client for Win8 that supports switch to connect with Metro or Desktop? Or do we just remote into desktop with RDP?

    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    Ian2

    I remote desktop into my Windows 8 machine (hardware based) all the time and don't get this issue if that helps.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    @Ian2: It's nice to hear that. Thanks.

    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    If Microsoft is going to have tutorial videos in Windows 8 when it ships, Microsoft needs to get those videos out on the web now. Go viral with them. Start "training" millions of people on how to use it before it's even out, it will make things 100x smoother.

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    My company gave me an extra ExoPC slate they had lying around, so I've been playing around with Win8 RP on it. I agree that the charms bar and the app switcher are not easily discoverable. I already knew how to pop up the charms bar and had no issue bringing it up when I wanted to. However, I had to search online how to get the app switcher (and not simply cycle to the next app). The tutorial in RTM might help, though I think the interface should remind you until you swipe either side by maybe flashing the sides or simply saying "swipe from left".

    Other than that, the performance is great for an Atom 1 GHz, 1GB RAM system. Really responsive. It does have some issues with light sensitivity (keeps cycling through different brightness levels) but I attribute that to bad drivers and not the OS.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Regarding the shutdown thing, I agree that it's annoying on a desktop pc but I don't really see this as a problem on tablets. You don't really shut those down or reboot those, except in weird exceptional cases, which makes it, in my opinion, fine to bury that option away in the settings. Even on laptops this doesn't really bother me, I either just close the laptop lid and make it go in standby or just press the off button on the laptop itself. I never touch the shutdown menu, even on W7.

    On desktops, it's a pain, I grant you. Clicking the taskbar and hitting alt+f4 has become nearly automatic for me, but it still feels weird.

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    Glad to see I'm not so alone after all. By and far W8 on a tablet is a much better experience than a desktop. What's strange is that when I have my tablet docked with mouse & keyboard I rarely use the touchscreen. So for me the only benefit of W8's touch interface is when I'm mobile with the tablet which is about 20% of the time. The rest of the time I'm stuck with the joys of the "no compromise" mouse/keyboard support.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    LarryLarsen

    @Dr Herbie: Here are a couple things that might help you out. For bringing up the Charms, just hit Windows+C on your keyboard. You can also hit Windows+H for the share charm, Windows+I for the Settings charm, Windows+K for the devices charm, or if you're doing a search you can use Windows+F to search files, Windows+Q for search charm.

    If you have any other questions, send them to defragshow@microsoft.com and Gov and I will find out for you.

    Thanks,
    Larry

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    @Bas: The thing is, selecting Shutdown from the menu isn't actually any harder than on Win7, just different. OK, if you actually want to shutdown it does take a bit more (3 clicks vs. 2). But if you want to restart, which is about as common in my experience, it's actually easier on Win8 - the number of clicks is the same (3) but the click targets are bigger / easier to hit - no having to target that little arrow, which also carries a nasty risk of doing something you didn't want if you accidentally hit the button next to it instead (which I've done several times).

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    @DeathByVisualStudio: If I didn't know any better I'd say I had gone mad. DeathByVisua‚ÄčlStudio is posting sedately and criticism is coming from places I never thought would.

    Even though it will cost $40 to upgrade, I am not telling any friends or family that they can get a really cheap upgrade for their Windows 7 laptops or computers to Windows 8.

    It is issues like these that make it certain that I will not be thanked, and instead will be asked how they get Windows 7 back.

     

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    @LarryLarsen: I think my point was rather that these things (including the shortcuts you list) are not obvious or easy to find.  I think MS needs to do a lot more work to educate everyone about them: a 'Tip A Day' app that drip-feeds these kinds of details, perhaps?

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    @LarryLarsen: I think my point was rather that these things (including the shortcuts you list) are not obvious or easy to find.  I think MS needs to do a lot more work to educate everyone about them: a 'Tip A Day' app that drip-feeds these kinds of details, perhaps?

    Herbie

    I am not sure how much help this will be. It's one thing learning how to do something differently, and another thing wanting to. Windows 8 is an unpleasant desktop experience, as touch has taken precedence.

     

     

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , vesuvius wrote

    @DeathByVisualStudio: If I didn't know any better I'd say I had gone mad. DeathByVisua‚ÄčlStudio is posting sedately and criticism is coming from places I never thought would.

    Even though it will cost $40 to upgrade, I am not telling any friends or family that they can get a really cheap upgrade for their Windows 7 laptops or computers to Windows 8.

    It is issues like these that make it certain that I will not be thanked, and instead will be asked how they get Windows 7 back.

     

    It's a mad, mad world. I concur with the non-upgrade approach -- god knows I don't want to have to educate these people. I already got an earful from the GF for upgrading the shared computer at home. I'll let friends & family run into the Windows 8 UI when they buy their first touch based device.

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    Finally, the reason that I have second thoughts about upgrading to Win8 was that I had to search the web to find out how to switch the bloody thing off!  This is symptomatic of the whole UI, I feel.  There's no way anyone could naturally figure out that you need to to get the Charms up, select settings, then Power and then select Shut Down.  Ludicrous usability. With Win7 you see the 'Shut Down' button as soon as you discover the start menu (which is easy to find).

    I had the same problem with the developer preview.

     

     

    And then again with the customer preview. For a tablet Windows 8 is nice and ahead of iOS but for a desktop it's not going to work.

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.