Coffeehouse Thread

28 posts

Forum Read Only

This forum has been made read only by the site admins. No new threads or comments can be added.

Windows Store Apps, "Metro Style" and "Unification".... thoughts requested.

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    pierlove

    Hi all....

    Ok, I will not deny I am fanatical about Windows 8. And I really comprehend the need for "touch" focused software, however the more I use our fine new OS the more I find myself gravitating back to the original "Desktop" thinking.

    So not to start a philosophical debate about design, or even productivity as these choices are purely objective, what is your opinion about the future of software development on Windows?

    Specifically:

    1. Is the benefit of a truly managed environment really more "valuable" than the "canvas" of the Desktop?

    2. Is the general consensus that RT/METRO  (Conceptually) isn't a successful environmental change with respect to usability? I find the Desktop still more productive than UNITASK SWITCHING.... and I find snapped view limited.

    3. Would Microsoft and our Developer Community be better served to create a focus on building touch enabled applications as WPF, Desktop Based Solutions, that leverage the "feature sets" that make Windows Store apps attractive? And shouldn't these applications be granted equal opportunity in the Microsoft Store with respect to digital sale and distribution?

    Please add your own questions and thoughts.

    Thanks!

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    I am a user of ModernMix. Personally I see a lot of potential with metro. I liked the app store, unified presentation model, and safer environment, that is a very needed feature. But the metro experience is so limited to touch screen, I just can't sit there and be happy about it. As Sinofsky has stated, people love taskbar, they pin, they launch app, they switch app using taskbar, people rarely use StartMenu. And instead of embracing taskbar, he did the opposite. He decided to remove all metro app supports on our beloved taskbar. This raised tremendous barrier for desktop user to adopt any metro app. I liked metro at its core. But, it is lacking in key usability features that, I have a dislike it for now. Anyway, because of ModernMix, metro app is actually useful now, just that, I have to buy this 3rd party hack to fix something that MS refused to address.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    pierlove

    @magicalclick:

    I agree as to the need for the touch experience.... but I think we need a paradigm shift to address "touch-ability" of "windows" as a whole rather than a "presentation model that is restrictive to an exact defined UX. That said I know this is double-talk.... but I agree with the need for a managed code execution environment.... .NET and the proverbial OS give us that.

    Thanks for your comment!~

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    You didn't mention what kind of device you use when using Windows 8. If you have a laptop or desktop pc than you will be using the desktop more than the metro apps.

    1. What do you mean with a managed environment? The metro environment has native apps too.
    2. The desktop is certainly more productive than the metro environment if you are using a laptop or desktop pc. Nobody said that the desktop is dead or will be abandoned. Not all desktop applications can be converted to touchscreen friendly metro apps.
    3. Using desktop applications like Office 2013 on Windows RT with a touch screen is not a great experience. It works more or less but a full screen metro app would work better. I hope in the next version of Windows we will see WinRT desktop apps. I think Microsoft focused on tablet and touchscreen features first because that market is growing explosively but that doesn't mean the desktop is dead.
  • User profile image
    pierlove

    I use the following..... HP Mobile Workstation, HP TouchSmart Desktop, Surface Pro. and HTC 8X WP8...

    IMHO we need to UNIFY in one direction or the other..... currently looking at a world going one direction or the other and trying to evaluate what further changes would need to be made to accomplish said goal..... I know there's other things to stress about but this reminds me of the last evolution, anyone remember the move from DOS to WINDOWS?   

    a DUAL UX leaves users wondering  

  • User profile image
    pierlove

    Great comments Zippy,,,

     

    Forgot to answer on thing:   #1 "managed environment" in the context of my question refers to "managed code execution".....

    Please correct me if I am wrong ...

    App delivered via the Windows Store are executed in such a way that prevents them from accessing certain native features (legally).... for instance you cannot code against #PowerShell from a #WindowsStoreApp .... and any code submitted for inclusion to the Windows Store (for digital distribution there will be rejected for any violations to the policies in force.

     

     

     

  • User profile image
    Craig_​Matthews

    , ZippyV wrote

    1. The desktop is certainly more productive than the metro environment if you are using a laptop or desktop pc. Nobody said that the desktop is dead or will be abandoned. Not all desktop applications can be converted to touchscreen friendly metro apps.

    Except everyone continues to use phrases like "when every app is moved over to metro" and "when the desktop goes away" and continue to talk about the day when we'll all be snapping 3 apps to our screens to be 'productive' and there will be no desktop.

    Nearly every post I see here talks about the desktop eventually being abandoned. The only disagreements I see is over "when" with some people at one end saying MS already abandoned it and people at the other end saying things like "at least a version or two."

     

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    , Craig_​Matthews wrote

    Nearly every post I see here talks about the desktop eventually being abandoned. The only disagreements I see is over "when" with some people at one end saying MS already abandoned it and people at the other end saying things like "at least a version or two." 

    Depending on how you look at it, the arguments are essentially the same. The moment when all desktop apps are "ported" to metro would be when you'd essentially end up treating metro as a "desktop." There would still be both desktop-like apps and metro/consumer-ish apps, so in that sense, it died but it didn't.

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    I'm ok with the desktop going away, but metro is too locked down right now.  I write LOB apps that specifically need to load external assemblies at runtime, need to read/write to the serial port, need to communicate with other applications on localhost without user initiation, and need to be sideloaded.  Until these and other capabilities are unlocked, metro cannot act for me as a desktop replacement.

    I understand why Microsoft has locked these capabilities down, but at the end of the day a user must have some way to say, "I know I can get myself into trouble, but allow me to do these things."

  • User profile image
    cbae

    @bondsbw: I really wish Microsoft would provide some details about the changes to WinRT forthcoming. We've seen some UI changes and new features of the OS, but the thing holding back adoption of Metro apps isn't the OS itself. It's the damn WinRT framework.

  • User profile image
    pierlove

    @MasterPi: I agree with your assessment.... eventually we will all be "ported" like it or not. With XP at EOL its just a matter of time now.

    That said I would like to direct our discussion to this end... what can we do to produce the same level of productivity in METRO... HERE IS ONE EXAMPLE I CAN THINK OF IMMEDIATELY...

    Has anyone noticed that with MOST METRO (WINDOWS STORE) apps that a MDOAL DIALOG does NOT typically implement {hot keys} or {keyboard shortcuts} for YES, NO, ENTER or CANCEL? and almost always expects a mouse click or a touch event?

    I can go on and on but I am interested in others idea about UX tradeoffs that need to be fixed for the RT environment....

     

     

     

  • User profile image
    pierlove

    @cbae: I agree, I think the WinRT - UX itself is both too "UNFAMILIAR" and "LIMITING" to most novice users, which steepens the learning curve due to the initial resistance to change. And lets be fair, the average user isn't a developer/geek. For myself I want a "UNIFIED UX" with consistent controls that allow me and my user base to work together each in our own way..

    So we NEED "windows" with "behavioral" traits that compliment the user based on his/her preferences.... some will prefer the UNITASK approach (METRO, FULLSCREEN, ONE THING AT A TIME), while others are MULTITASKING MASTERS, with 500 Windows stealing FOCUS at any moment,.  and still others are like me.... I like UNTASK/SWITCHING..... the METRO FEEL with the DESK PRODUCTIVITY of being able to change FOCUS (at my DISCRETION)... this is the only way I can describe what I AM AFTER, PERSONALLY,

    When IE started offering the KIOSK view.... I started dreaming of the day every app would give me the freedom from the PROVERBIAL FRAMING A WINDOW gives...(METRO BASICALLY)

    but now its a controversy ,,,,

    what's the best for all? No one solution will make every soul happy, but the "lock down, specific DEFAULT- UX isn't the answer.

    It's the Microsoft Way of course.... design for the DEFAULT.... the goal is to make a UX that pleases the most people out of the box without a need for a "preference".

    This is, and has been, and should be, pragmatically; the only approach a successful company can take. Anything else would limit adoption and stifle the user base, purely on "first impressions"....

    "Everyone wants to date an attractive person."

    The problem is that for HUMANS, "attractive" is EXTREMELY subjective.

    I said all this to say:

    Again with the DOUBLE-TALK.... I "FEEL" TORN between the two environments.

    I loved the command prompt old school, "war games" feel of DOS.

    Then windows killed DOS (semantically, of course). And now my desktop is soon to follow.

    So now I need "Administrator" access to get to the "COM" level, and SUPER-WHITEHAT--LEVEL-ACCESS to get to a command prompt with PowerShell support.

    How many context changes do we need to have a productive and stable system?!

    Is it me or are we missing a bigger picture? With windows being what it is why are we not rallying behind Microsoft to present the "IDEAL BALANCE BETWEEN "POWER-USER CONTROL, and SECURITY"...

    the two camps are basically mutually exclusive.... and well honestly my philosophy is that if you think you are secure, you are the most vulnerable you have ever been. SECURITY is an illusion that people tell themselves they have so they can feel better.

    So I am officially ranting. Publically. Not good...

    With apologies,

    James

     

     

     

     

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    , ObjectAntics wrote

    while others are MULTITASKING MASTERS, with 500 Windows stealing FOCUS at any moment

    I understand this thought process and the reason these folks like the desktop.  But for me it's from the opposite perspective.  I don't want overlapping windows, I want full screen areas that will help me focus on the current job, but at the same time I want dockable windows that can help with my main multitasking needs.

    It's easy to go from metro to desktop; ModernMix does this.  But the opposite isn't true.  Some dialog windows are designed to be a fixed small size.  If I were able to dock any desktop window, practically none of them would resize correctly to work well in that mode.

    So I don't have a lot of sorrow for those who dislike the metro UI, as again their problem has been solved with ModernMix.  My situation isn't solved and won't be if apps I use are still being developed for the desktop.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , bondsbw wrote

    I'm ok with the desktop going away, but metro is too locked down right now.  I write LOB apps that specifically need to load external assemblies at runtime, need to read/write to the serial port, need to communicate with other applications on localhost without user initiation, and need to be sideloaded.  Until these and other capabilities are unlocked, metro cannot act for me as a desktop replacement.

    1. Instead of loading external assemblies at runtime, just load all of them at startup time and then lazily initialize them when you need them. You can't load code in WinRT apps that isn't part of the AppX by design.

    2. Writing to the serial port is something that Win8.1 can do. (http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/3-026 at 8:40).

    3. You can communicate to other programs on localhost already in WinRT. You need the Local Network capability to do so.

  • User profile image
    pierlove

    , bondsbw wrote

    *snip*

    So I don't have a lot of sorrow for those who dislike the metro UI, as again their problem has been solved with ModernMix.  My situation isn't solved and won't be if apps I use are still being developed for the desktop.

    I did the star dock thing/customization thing for a while but I found the instability and inconsistency too much for me. I want to be able to spin up a new box and go to work. I don't want to have to customize the OS/UX to be productive. And most importantly I want the OS/UX to be the same on my desk as my users will have so that oA's software will run "by-design" on our user's machines. 

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    , evildictait​or wrote

    1. Instead of loading external assemblies at runtime, just load all of them at startup time and then lazily initialize them when you need them. You can't load code in WinRT apps that isn't part of the AppX by design.

    This defeats the whole purpose of extensible design.

    2. Writing to the serial port is something that Win8.1 can do. (http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/3-026 at 8:40).

    That segment seemed to be specific to using the serial port profile over bluetooth, and I didn't see any other mention when I skimmed the video.  But I'll take a look into it, thanks.

    3. You can communicate to other programs on localhost already in WinRT. You need the Local Network capability to do so.

    I've created a similar POC before, but would this pass Windows Store certification?  My solution either needs to go to the Windows Store or we need a way to sideload apps painlessly.  (By painlessly, I mean installing without being domain joined, without being managed by Intune, and without purchasing sideloading licenses... in other words, like a desktop app.)

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    , ObjectAntics wrote

    And most importantly I want the OS/UX to be the same on my desk as my users will have so that oA's software will run "by-design" on our user's machines. 

    So you are unwilling to conform your desktop to that of your users (standard Windows 8 with fullscreen apps), and instead you want your users to all conform their desktops to yours (a la ModernMix or a theoretical equivalent built-in behavior)?

  • User profile image
    pierlove

    , bondsbw wrote

    So you are unwilling to conform your desktop to that of your users (standard Windows 8 with fullscreen apps), and instead you want your users to all conform their desktops to yours (a la ModernMix or a theoretical equivalent built-in behavior)?

    No, I'm just saying that the OS/UX should accommodate the 3 different work styles I previously described. Win8 does this now but with the obvious demarcation between past and future.

    I must sound insane trying to describe a perfect solution that doesn't yet exist. But it would "Look" something like this...

    WinRT with a security overlay that was more like that of windows policy system so that different privilege levels existed, on top of this the "Metro" style would allow for innovative ways to expand on the progress we have already made. 

    Does this make any sense?

Conversation locked

This conversation has been locked by the site admins. No new comments can be made.