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DeathByVisualStudio DeathBy​VisualStudio If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
  • The long road to the Start Screen

    *snip*

    Windows 8 is introducing lots of new UI paradigms and is definitely a "version 1.0". It required me to think a bit differently about how to approach tasks, but now that I'm used to it, I'm much more productive. It will continue to be tweaked and I'm sure by SP1 we'll have all forgotten the little annoying bits. Windows XP was pretty bad when it first came out, but no one remembers that; they just remember the post-SP2 XP.

    I have no problem with trying something new, 1.0 and all but they didn't have to nuke (or make difficult to access) what worked well. It's like I've said all along that they are trying to force the acceptance of these new, unproven approaches on people rather than letting them opt-in and it seems kind of arrogant on their part. Hell they could even make the out-of-box experience use the 1.0 by default but let us change the default to our liking if 1.0 just doesn't cut it. Office 2013 is a great example of that. While the OOB experience is quite different than Office 2010 you can dial back the changes if you want. I'd think Microsoft would want to do that to spur adoption by business (i.e. let them deploy Windows 8 configured in the manner that they want to support it in -- start menu vs. start screen, boot to desktop -- boot to metro, etc.)

    In addition the 1.0 (all the new stuff, not just search) returns Windows to that half-baked state we've seen in just about every version of Windows prior to 7. Take the control panel/PC settings for example: some things you do in metro and others you do in the desktop. On a desktop PC that may be fine but on a tablet I don't want to try and interact with a pre-touch UX on the desktop. The reverse is true for things like devices. When I want to get to the details of my device properties half the time I'm whisked away to the devices  section of the metro PC Settings screen when what I really need is the old control panel's devices screen because you can't bring up device properties in the PC Settings screen. It's just one big hot mess.

    BTW I thought Microsoft said SPs will not longer include feature changes and additions so I'm not so sure W8 SP1 will improve on these areas unless Microsoft considers them a bug or security issue.

  • The long road to the Start Screen

    , kettch wrote

    @spivonious: No, because that would require learning something new.

    And would take more effort. Smiley

  • The long road to the Start Screen

    , Craig_Matthews wrote

    All I want is to be able to search from the desktop without obscuring everything or causing a change in context. If the start menu is gone, fine whatever, I just want to be able to search while, say, needing to reference something I'm already working on, and not being required to click several times to get to the search box in an Explorer window just to stay on the desktop.

    I bet Microsoft or someone will release a desktop gadget that provides direct search for desktop users instead of having to rely on a ninja shortcut key combo, oh wait...

    All kidding aside Start8 provides a pretty good solution.

  • Office Customer Preview Available

    It just struck me that at least Outlook 2013 reminds me of WM6.5 -- skinned better for touch (and metro-fied) but still the same old Outlook under the hood. Not that Outlook is bad or anything but on a tablet it still feels kind of wonky without mouse & keyboard. I'm looking forward to trying the metro OneNote on the tablet. Hope they release that soon.

  • Office Customer Preview Available

    Yes the install experience was fantastic! No problems on my Build tablet running W8 RP. Like butter...

    First impressions:

    1. Love the Send a Smile/Frown reporting system; screen captures are a big plus.
    2. Someone here once said that they never had seen a good implementation of metro in a desktop application. Well in my strictly, subjective opinion I'd have to say that still holds true (Zune aside). This feels like they stripped all of the chrome out, removed most of the colors, minimized everything, and ALL CAPS'd the menus and tada now you have a metro app.
    3. I hope they include sunglasses with the final release -- too much white & bright.
    4. Like the initial releases of VS 2012 there's not enough contrast or color and it's hard for me (just me mind you) to easily find UI elements.
    5. The "minimize everything" approach is also hampering my productivity/discovery. In trying to reply to an email I found it annoying that what I thought was the reply button was the undo button instead. I had to expose the messages ribbon to hit reply. Looks like "More Clicks in Every Box" or "Only Wussies Don't Know The Shortcut Keys". Sure you can reconfigure the interface (more than I can say for W8's missing desktop features Wink ) but the out-of-box experience is disturbing.
    6. I do like the smooth cursor movement that Charles mentioned -- now that's super sexy.
    7. Glad to see Outlook utilizes W8's notifications. Now if there was only a central list of all notifications like on Apple and Android devices... (keep in mind I'm on a tablet here).
    8. The touch mode is a nice addition for tablet users.

     

  • The long road to the Start Screen

    , MasterPie wrote

    *snip*

    Which is why the desktop is there.

    Which brings us back to the start screen...now part of the desktop.

  • The long road to the Start Screen

    , MasterPie wrote

    *snip*

    and it is the designer's responsibility to figure that piece out. Designers and HCI experts will listen to users' concerns, but will base most of their assessments and ideas on the actual tasks that they perform and those actual issues they observe, for the point of UI design is to optimize those tasks.

    True but that also assumes the designer (like the developer) really understands the user story, use case, etc. It also assumes that the designer's work isn't hobbled for some other agenda that a decision maker like Sinofsky has in mind.

    IMO, W8's Metro environment certainly isn't optimized to perform tasks using a mouse & keyboard.

  • The long road to the Start Screen

    , brian.shapiro wrote

    *snip*

    The Media Center in Windows isn't a 10 foot UX.

    Sure it is.

    And for argument's sake let's say you're right that it isn't a 10 foot UX; MS should treat metro like Media Center -- as an app that can be loaded at startup or optionally be the shell for those use cases where it makes sense (i.e. a tablet).

    , brian.shapiro wrote

    *snip*

    But why are we talking about replacing the desktop? Microsoft has said the Desktop is here to stay,.

    And that's why the orb and start menu have been replaced by a metro UI... Sorry but I don't need a Bob front-end to my desktop. And what about desktop development? WPF or Silverlight going anywhere other than being mothballed? Actions speak louder than words in my book.

     

  • The long road to the Start Screen

    , brian.shapiro wrote

    *snip*

    The funny thing is that I see a lot of the same people who complain about Metro also complain that Media Center is being taken out. Metro is bad, but Media Center is good?

    No, Media Center as a 10 foot UI is great, not as a the eventual successor to the desktop. A good consumption UI doesn't necessarily make a good content creation UI.

  • Office content bodies randomly skewed

    @davewill: In Vista I've experienced something like that with Outlook when I had the Outlook gadgets running on the desktop. The content and the chrome got all wonky and you could do nothing but kill the app and restart it. I reported it to Microsoft via the forums and they said it was a known problem with the APIs that the gadgets were using. Like your experience it would only happen when the window was inactive.

    Just this week my debugging broke for web stuff in VS (at least with Cassini). If I manually attached the debugger to the process when the breakpoint was hit VS would go wonky just like my past experience with Outlook. I'm sure it's totally unrelated but an interesting similar behavior none the less.

    Video driver updates fixed neither of these problems unfortunately.