Coffeehouse Thread

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Windows 8 CP one month on

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  • vesuvius

    It has now been 4 weeks since this re-imagined operating system preview was released, and I am curious to know if everyone is using it at their main OS or if like me you are not using it at all.

    Developers are pretty scathing - in fact, I would say excoriating - when they dislike something. I have come to develop very thick skin, because even in a team, if someone does not understand the reasons for you writing things a certain way, or opting to use framework X over framework Y (MVVM Light over Caliburn for example) they still get on with coding, but moaning non-stop. I think the ability for developers to jump teams on project is a great thing to have (like Microsoft), because since everyone in a team is always vying for recognition, there is a lot of pointless back-chat an negativity that can develop, developers are frequently in the wrong, but never admit it.

    The reason I write this is because when the CP was released, you typically had this bitching and moaning that developers are so good at. Never satisfied, and a lot of the time, they are at fault. I would be curious to know if you think there is any chance of the start button making a comeback? I doubt this will happen, as this is central to the re-imagined operating system.

    Josh Smith has probably sacrificed his MVP status for this post, I certainly hope he does not lose it but he raises a point that I think most people are thinking but no-one is saying. When this guys dad using Win 8 video was initially posted it was a few thousand hits, but it is approaching a million. I have been reading the comments on the Win 8 blog, and people are communicating their disbelief at the removal of the start menu and Steve is aware of the backlash.

    Are you working on a Metro app, do you now, in hindsight, think that it is viable as platform for the future, and think people have just complained because they are just old farts that won't change?

  • spivonious

    I'm using it as my main OS on the desktop. I haven't installed it on my HTPC or laptop though.

    I have gotten used to the smart screen. Learning the Win+I shortcut was huge, as was realizing that apps can place things in the settings menu.

    The main reason I haven't put it on all of my machines is that it feels like a beta. My wife wouldn't be happy with a beta OS on the HTPC. I'm hoping for a public RC so I can take it for another spin. After some initial disappointment, I've gotten used to it and don't really have a problem with removing the start menu. The mouse gestures work fine for me, and my next computer purchase will probably be a tablet, so it will be nice to have the same OS on everything.

    Am I writing Metro apps? Nope. I don't think we'll see a large move to WinRT for at least a year after Win 8's release. There just won't be enough of an installed base, unless the OEMs have some nice inexpensive tablets in the wings.

  • figuerres

    no plan at this time to buy windows 8 for my desktop or my laptop or at work.

    at work we have zero plans to use windows 8 at this time.

    i will look at what they do with a new release and i will possibly get a tablet but not unless i see a huge reason. 

    my take is that the windows tablet is a good idea and they should have done it before now.

    i would have rather they had went with two OS options

    WIndows 8 - desktop and laptop users who do not want the metro stuff on boot.

    WIndows Tablet 8 for the ones who want it.

    WinRT  - possibly the one real inovation but it's not ready for most of the windows system.

    and MS has totally managed to create a perfect storm of bad press / mixed up messages / lack of information around the whole windows / .net / wpf / silverlight / windows phone to the point where no one can figure out what's going to happen and while trying to get some new developers are also going to lose a lot of developers at the same time.

    it's funny to see that of late the MS stock has actually gone up in price .... waiting to see what happens after the release of windows 8.

    will it stay around $30 bucks ?  or will it drop below $20  ?

  • Michael Butler

    I'm using the Windows 8 CP on both my home desktop and my Samsung Series 7 Slate.As an operating system, it's pretty solid and the keyboard/mouse combination works very well for me, but then again I've been using PC's since the days when they came with CP/M as well as DOS.

    The apps that are available, or should I say 'App Previews' are the weak link. Very few of them are actually functional enough to use properly. The only Metro app that I use regular is IE10.

    From a development stand point, I've built a few prototype applications and have done since the original developer preview. It is a frustrating experience, given the lack of any real decent samples or of any developer documentation. WinRT/XAML is just different enough from WPF/XAML to be incredibly frustrating. Trying to work out which of the new controls is best for certain types of UX and what properties you actually need to set is very annoying. Couple that with the rather bland Visual Studio 11, it's not always a lot of fun to write code on Windows 8.

    The lack of support for things like Xbox Live and other apps in the UK is also annoying. Not giving me a chance to give it a real; consumer test. I'm hoping to see more frequent app updates over the next month or so.

    The OS itself works and does the job well, it's just the applications currently available that leave a bad taste in my mouth.

  • Bas

    I would be very surprised if the start button came back. Personally, I don't miss it. The start screen took some getting used to but it only took me a day or so. I'm not put off or distracted by the full screenness of it. Ever since Vista I rarely pay attention to what launches my applications (be it a start menu or a start screen), I just hit the windows key, type a few letters and hit enter. That still works just as well.

    As for Metro Apps, some of them are dismal but I'm quite fond of reader, mail and calendar. So much so in fact that everytime I look at Calendar.live.com or the calendar in Live Mail, it sort of annoys me.

    Viability, I don't know. It hinges on cheap tablets. If I can get a Windows 8 tablet for less than an iPad then that's a big win. People aren't buying android tablets because they're so great; they're buying them because they're cheaper than iPads but offer sort of the same experience. Windows tablets need to compete with those tablets, not the iPad. In other words: cheap. ARM support is a big help. Now we just need to avoid stuff like that HP slate or the swivel-screen Dell laptop.

    Nonetheless, I'm developing some Metro apps. A marketplace that isn't extremely overcrowded like Google's and Apple's are is almost as big a draw for me as the ease of development with XAML and C#. WinRT is unfinished but I don't find it nearly as horrible as some people make out.

    and think people have just complained because they are just old farts that won't change?

    I'm not saying people don't have legitimate complaints, but I fear this is largely the reason, yes. I often see lines like "the average users won't be able to wrap their head around the fact that there's both the desktop and metro." and often wonder if this is written out of actual, in-depth knowledge of the cognitive skills of the average computer users, or out of some weird superiority complex over the lowly computer using slob. Did they really mean that the average person will be completely unable to wrap their heads around this change, one that that only they, Usability Experts will be able to understand, or did they really mean to say "I, personally, was confused by it"?

    That blog post just screams linkbait to me. Especially because the very first sentence he wrote is attention seeking "Microsoft are going to punish me for this but THE TRUTH NEEDS TO BE HEARD, DAMMIT!" hyperbole. If he had a valid message, he should have posted it without the drama.

  • wkempf

    As far as the OS is concerned, I think you'll see people continue to * very loudly in the echo chamber, while actual customers will make the transition without much fanfare similar to how Vista went. It's a change, and people, especially "power users", always * when things change. But it's really not that big of a deal. The desktop experience is something you can get used to, while the Metro side will be very compelling on touch devices (and keep in mind, within a few years desktops will be touch devices).

    When it comes to WinRT the biggest issue I believe is just developer burn out. In a vary short period of time we've already been through three XAML stacks (WPF, Silverlight and Silverlight for the Phone). That's a lot to learn. Add to this all of the other "essential" APIs we've been through with (WCF, ASP.NET MVC, EF, LINQ, Rx, etc.) and it becomes hard to get excited about another API to learn, especially one that's "just another XAML UI stack". For this reason I think for the next year you'll mostly just see Phone devs working on WinRT apps while the others continue on with what they already know and use. Over time that will change as the marketplace starts to demand more Metro apps, especially if Win 8 tablets become "in demand" at the enterprise level much like iPads have.

    My take is that Microsof has a difficult year ahead of them, but long term I believe they've made the right choices.

  • wkempf

    , Bas wrote

    That blog post just screams linkbait to me. Especially because the very first sentence he wrote is attention seeking "Microsoft are going to punish me for this but THE TRUTH NEEDS TO BE HEARD, DAMMIT!" hyperbole. If he had a valid message, he should have posted it without the drama.

    What would be the point of link baiting here? Josh doesn't have ads on his web site. There's hyperbole because he was expressing his feelings, which at the time he posted were pretty raw. He'd been part of a fairly depressing e-mail conversation with his fellow Disciples, after all. His blog is a personal blog, and not a "journalistic blog", so I find most of what you just said to be rather off the mark. His message was valid to him, and that's all that matters.

  • Bas

    , wkempf wrote

    *snip*

    What would be the point of link baiting here? Josh doesn't have ads on his web site. There's hyperbole because he was expressing his feelings, which at the time he posted were pretty raw. He'd been part of a fairly depressing e-mail conversation with his fellow Disciples, after all. His blog is a personal blog, and not a "journalistic blog", so I find most of what you just said to be rather off the mark. His message was valid to him, and that's all that matters.

    Views? Replies? Ego? Who knows. I just found that the whole vibe of it smelled like attention seeking rather than "My thoughts on WinRT". I could be wrong, who knows, but that was how it came across to me.

  • magicalclick

    I don't care about start button because I moved on. I have already decided to either install a start button or build my own, or considering staying with win7, before CP is released. My concern with Metro is the quality of metro itself. I am pretty much the first person who raised tons of metro app problems on this forum, ranging from black screen performance issues to lack of favorite in IE Metro design decisions.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • exoteric

    I don't have the time to experiment with Windows 8 right now. I don't see why anybody would mention WinRT in a critical context (vesuvius' link) however - it's one of the best things about Windows 8!

    The only thing that worries me about Windows 8 is the UX. I'll assess the final version when it comes out and decide if I'll skip a generation or not.

  • Charles

    @vesuvius: Main OS. Editing/Rendering C9 interviews, VS11 Beta work great in the Desktop "app". It's been fun experimenting with WinRT, too. 

    C

  • Larry Osterman

    My personal laptop is running the CP (about to upgrade to the current build), my dev machine is running whatever build was Monday's daily build (I upgrade my dev machine every Monday) (one of the nice perqs of working on the windows team).

    I want to be running the CP on 2 machines at home, unfortunately there's an issue with the USB configuration for one of my devices that prevents CP setup from installing on those machines (it's fixed in current builds).  I'll be putting the next public release on the home machines as soon as I can.

    On the other hand, I'm a bit of a self-hosting nut - I've been self hosting Win8 on my laptop and dev machine since shortly after Win7 shipped.

    The OS has been wonderfully stable this entire time (except for a couple of rather notable exceptions - one filesystem issue that caused it to not be able to recognize the volumes that contain my source enlistments, and a chkdsk related issue that cost me a bunch of personal documents (stupid me, I had no backup)).

    One of the fun things about self hosting for so long is being able to see how the system has evolved over time (the same was true for Win7 watching as it evolved from Vista).

  • Charles

    @Larry Osterman: You folks are doing some great work in Windows, Larry. Rock and roll.

    C

  • Bass

    @wkempf:

    Vista was a time of bad press and repeated revenue declines for Microsoft.. I don't think they want another Vista.

     

  • cbae

    I lost interest in Windows 8 after I found out that the Windows 7 display driver that I used for the Dev Preview doesn't work in the Consumer Preview. I don't understand how this is the case though. Did they drastically change the driver model at some point between builds?

    I suppose I'll see if I can scrounge up a hacked driver when I get more time.

  • Sven Groot

    My plans for test-driving the CP were cut short by the fact that the network was incredibly unreliable. It kept dropping connections, and making an incoming connection failed 9/10 times. This made it impossible to use for daily usage, so I had to return to Windows 7.

  • mawcc

    , cbae wrote

    I lost interest in Windows 8 after I found out that the Windows 7 display driver that I used for the Dev Preview doesn't work in the Consumer Preview. I don't understand how this is the case though. Did they drastically change the driver model at some point between builds?

    I suppose I'll see if I can scrounge up a hacked driver when I get more time.

    Do you also have an AMD 7970 card? I find it very annoying that AMD has Windows 8 CP drivers for all their cards except the latest.

  • BitFlipper

    Windows 8 will be the 1st consumer version of Windows since Windows 3.1 that I will not upgrade to. Yes I get Metro, and I see why it is important. I even suggested something almost identical to Metro before MS went down this path. I can joke and say Windows 8 was my idea but I don't want to be associated with it.

    However the part I'm not getting is why the desktop had to be castrated for the sake of Metro. Why? Those of us doing real work writing non-finger applications that will never work in Metro are now being force-fed a UI that does nothing but frustrate.

    So far the best responses have been along the lines of "once you get used to it, it is not so bad". Instead it should have been "this is an excellent next step of the desktop which has been evolving over the last 2 decades".

    I'm not buying "the desktop metaphor doesn't work anymore because a computer is not a real dektop". The only thing on my Windows 7 desktop that vaguely resembles a physical object is the recycle bin. Everything else is specific to a computer. My physical desktop doesn't have a start menu, a task bar, icons, a control panel, etc.

    My feeling is that MS is going to be hit hard by going into this direction. I hope they recover because if there is one thing that I would really hate happening is Apple getting a monopoly on the desktop. If we thought an MS monopoly was bad... This is the worst time for MS to be doing reckless experimenting while Apple is in a situation where they can't do any wrong and is currently severely overhyped by everyone.

    MS is/was innovating for a long time with development tools/languages etc, while Apple hasn't done much in that regard. Yes apparently that doesn't matter and as far as I can tell, MS has been stumbling badly recently with their lack of clear message, inability to stick with one platform/framework and evolve it instead of abandoning them every few years, and now this whole Windows 8 fiasco.

    Maybe MS thinks they can pull another Vista and recover afterwards with Windows 9 again, but this is the worst time to think that is going to work again.

    Very disappointing to say the least.

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