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Windows 8 Experience on Laptops is Poor

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  • User profile image

    Hi All,

    I am using Windows 8 on my laptop and have done so since it was released. I find the interface an interesting concept and with a touch tablet or some such device it is I am sure a wonderful experience. However on a laptop and standalone computer I find the Windows 8 interface to be very frustrating to use.


    What we need is a faster interaction for these users for example:

    1. Use the mouse to drag screens around and not be forced to use the scroll bars which are so Windows 3.1.

    2. Double clicking selects an item say an image which should then offers up the edit tool options. Within these options should be included any relevant user install software for example Photoshop or Gimp. The user could also set their editing software as the preferred option so next time the image would open automatically in that program with and other options still shown on the options bar.

    3. Placing the cursor at any of the edges of the screen should provide a pop out box with options rather than having to right-click and getting top AND bottom options appearing.

    4. More use of key combinations should be adopted. For example we currently have ALT + arrow keys to go back-and-forth between different sites in Internet Explorer which is very useful so why not introduce CTRL + arrow keys to go back and forth within a web site? Which speeds up the user experience

    These are just a few of the concerns I have with Windows 8 however, little things like this would, I feel, greatly enhance the user experience within Windows 8 for those who are not using touch screens. I hope someone will look at these and other such issues and remedy them prior to releasing Windows 8 into the wild.



  • User profile image

    I don't agree with (1) at all. Scroll bars are more efficient because they allow you to immediately jump anywhere within the document. In fact even when using Windows 8 on a tablet I sometimes use a mouse or pen JUST so I can get the scrollbar and jump to the bottom of a document. For an easy way to scroll mousewheel or two-finger touchpad motions are far more pleasant. The mouse should not be used to imitate touch gestures! It should have its own input language that fits what it is good at. They made that mistake with the "drag screen up to unlock" which was thankfully fixed in RP. "Swiping" with a mouse is just an awkward, unnatural feeling motion.

    Rather than yet another redundant way of scrolling I'd prefer that the "drag in empty area" with mouse be used for something else, such as quickly selecting multiple items with a rectangle as it is on desktop.

    The problem with (3) is that once you've "used up" the edges of the screen by making them trigger the app bars, you can't use them for anything else - on horizontally scrolling canvases this would break the scrollbar and semantic zoom control for example. Personally I wonder if there shouldn't be a separate control for commanding with mouse (with the same commands), something like the transparent mini-toolbar in Office, that would allow you to command a selection without having to take your mouse pointer down to the bottom of the screen (and back up again).

    For (4), I agree there need to be more keyboard shortcuts and I also have a related gripe which is that there's no way to easily learn/discover keyboard shortcuts in Metro style apps other than knowing them from desktop apps or trying every key on the keyboard. The app bars need to have something like underlines in menus, keytips in ribbons, etc., where you can hit a key like ALT and see the available keyboard shortcuts.

  • User profile image
    Larry Osterman

    What's funny here is that I prefer Win8 on my laptop to Win8 on my development machine.  The primary reason for that is that my dev machine has 2 monitors and the primary monitor is oriented vertically.  Metro apps on a single 1600x900 panel are really nice (I burned out 5 video cards on my old dev machine trying to get a 3rd monitor working on it so I'm not about to go there again).

    To be clear: I like Win8 on both machines (a lot), I just prefer it on my laptop.


  • User profile image

    Putting cursor on the top-left edge should bring up the next app, and the top-right should bring up the charms.

  • User profile image

    As long as we're complaining...

    1. I like having a common location for things, but the Devices, Settings, and Share charms don't make it obvious that they're app-specific, especially when you have the top and bottom menu bars too. I didn't think the Mail app supported printing until I read that print functions are moved into the Devices charm.

    2. I lost my right-click! Sometimes context-sensitive menus make sense, like in a word processing application. I undertand why it left though, as you can't really right-click with your finger.

  • User profile image

    @Larry Osterman: I'm honestly quite surprised to hear you say that.

    Do you think as an OS it is workable on a multi-monitor setup? In particular with either the left or right hand "hot corners" (hot edges? hot sides?) being unreliable?    

    Also how much time do you spend in Metro Vs. the "desktop?" 

  • User profile image

    My desktop experience so far was that Win 8 "RP" booted quick as long as I only had SSD or maybe single HDD on the system. After plugging in all my SATA HDD's, win 7 boots about as fast, the Win 8 boot slowed down a good bit. I also didn't like the new OS selector which takes a good bit to load and then when you select Windows 8 it's already loaded. Fortunately when I went to choose to boot to Win 7 it switched back to Win 7 boot menu and hasn't switched back.

    I tried installing few games to both clean 7 and clean 8 RP and in 8 RP the installers exhibited some bugs. Not a good sample size but I suspect that if in Vista some drivers stopped working, in Win 8 it will be some old apps stop working more or less subtly.


    I was intending to install Win 8 RP to my old laptop but apparently newer cpu with NX is required.

  • User profile image

    I've been running the RP on my multi-monitor desktop, and I haven't seen any issues with the hot corners being unreliable. In fact, if you set the taskbar to auto hide, it seems that the hot corner with the 6 pixel "curb" is actually easier to hit than the start button.

    I haven't had any problems making the transition, because I use the start screen exactly the same way as the start menu. I either hit the Windows key and start typing, or I click an icon that is pinned to the task bar. In Win7 I never actually used the MRU list in the start menu, and I equally never clicked into the all programs list. If it was important, it was pinned, and if it wasn't then search is your friend.

  • User profile image

    , Othalian wrote

    I am using Windows 8 on my laptop and have done so since it was released. 

    Windows 8 hasn't been released yet.

  • User profile image
    Larry Osterman

    , ManipUni wrote

    @Larry Osterman: I'm honestly quite surprised to hear you say that.

    Do you think as an OS it is workable on a multi-monitor setup? In particular with either the left or right hand "hot corners" (hot edges? hot sides?) being unreliable?    

    Also how much time do you spend in Metro Vs. the "desktop?" 

    It's 100% workable on multi-mon, *especially* with the hot corners in the RP - they're pretty reliable on my rig.  Because of how my monitors are oriented, the hot corners aren't as relevant though - my monitors are oriented like this: ||= so the hot corners are only active on the right monitor at the top left and bottom right - the middle corners on the left monitor already have infinite fitts distance because the mouse gets "trapped" in the corners.

    I spend about 95% of my time in the desktop environment, that's because the primary tools I use are almost all desktop apps (my day job is building code for Windows and the command interpreter is a desktop app).  I use the metro email app for my personal email pretty much exclusively, and the metro calendar for my personal calendar (I merged my work calendar into it earlier today actually).  I use the music app all the time to listen to my music collection, but since the music plays in the background, it doesn't really count as being in "metro".

    I also spend some time each day playing some of the various metro games in the RP, some of them are pretty good, some are just ok.  That's expected with any platform.


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