back to article Microsoft drops 'risky' Windows 8 preview on World

Microsoft has released to the World near-final code for Windows 8 - its riskiest bet yet. Officially called a Consumer Preview, but actually a beta, the next Windows 8 milestone will be the release candidate followed by release to manufacturing, Windows Division president Steven Sinofsky said Wednesday. Microsoft chose the …


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  1. Audrey S. Thackeray

    No Iberian languages?

    I mean who speaks German but not English?


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I mean who speaks German but not English?

      Ummm, quite a few Germans, Austrians and Swiss?

      1. Audrey S. Thackeray

        Re: Re: I mean who speaks German but not English?


    2. Christian Berger

      Re: No Iberian languages?

      Well you have to consider the Windows 8 target demographic. They aren't exactly aiming at people with good education, that's a market long lost to Linux.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Ok so: German and English speakers are all stupid, or is it that all Linux users are super intelligent?

        Either way, it must be great to be able to congratulate yourself on your own intelligence, based on your choice of OS. That is an OS, which I'm constantly reading on The Register can be used with no special knowledge. In fact I'm constantly assured that people's grandparents are using, never having seen a computer before with no training whatsoever.

        1. Wombling_Free

          Re: @Christian

          " In fact I'm constantly assured that people's grandparents are using, never having seen a computer before with no training whatsoever."

          They can stand on it to reach the sherry.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: No Iberian languages?

        Well you have to consider the Windows 8 target demographic. They want people with actual money to spend, not bankrupt Southern Europeans.

        There FTFY.

        1. Audrey S. Thackeray

          Re: No Iberian languages?

          They want people with actual money to spend, not bankrupt Southern Europeans.

          What about countries outside southern Europe that speak those languages?

          How's Brazil's economy doing?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: No Iberian languages?

            "How's Brazil's economy doing?"

            I dunno, why don't you ask a favela inhabitant?

      3. Piro Silver badge

        Re: Re: No Iberian languages?

        Ah, I see, you've managed to confuse "education" with "all-consuming smugness".

        Easy mistake to make.

      4. Bill Neal

        Well you have to consider the Windows 8 target demographic.


  2. Greg J Preece

    Downloading now. Looks with others, I'm really not sure about removing the Start button, but at least they're trying. I'm actually kinda warming to Metro, but not on the desktop. The whiplash I get from moving to and from it is just too much.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      I'm really not sure about removing the Start button

      I think it's a great start (if you'll pardon the pun), now all that needs to be done is to get rid of the rest of windows.....

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Metro - no thanks.

    I won't be putting Metro on anything. It's fucking ugly, it's too simplistic to be useful.

    1. Phoenix50

      Re: Metro - no thanks.

      Completely, utterly, totally, whole-heartedly; 100% disagree.

      1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
        Thumb Down

        Re: Re: Metro - no thanks.

        For a mobile device, maybe, but not a workstation.

    2. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Metro - no thanks.

      And the constant context switching between Metro and the Desktop when launching multiple non-Metro apps (what most of us will be doing, at least at the outset) is distracting.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Metro - no thanks.

      So fine - you can use W8 in desktop mode on your PC. Nobody forces you to use Metro.

      1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
        Thumb Down

        Re: Re: Metro - no thanks.

        Not that easily - it starts in Metro mode, and every time you click the new Start button from the desktop you get transported back to Metro land. And, at least so far as I've seen, there is no way to configure W8 for "classic" mode so that you get something resembling the W7 or previous start menu, etc. So you would have to find/build your own, or litter the desktop with shortcuts to launch apps. And lather/rinse/repeat for every program you want to run, new software installs, etc. Trying to maintain that is going to be a right royal pain. You say nobody forces you to use Metro, but MS is doing everything they can short of actually removing the desktop to do exactly that.

      2. Ron Christian

        Re: Re: Metro - no thanks.

        For that matter, nobody is forcing you to use W8. I just recently upgraded from XP Pro to W7. I think I'll wait until W9.

        Let's all remember, the OS is not an application. It's a way to run applications.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metro - no thanks.

      Wow. Computing for da future. Set up ur new computer to dual boot to both Windows 8 with Metro and Ubuntu 12.04 with Hud. Your computing experience will be enhanced

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Go figure

      ......yet "Leapfrog/Fisher Price" iOS is lapped up. Talk about f cking UGLY! People have told me they wanted an iPhone because it's simplistic. Thats one of the reasons I believe iOS users need 'special' assistance. (They're a bit thick.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        How incredibly self-righteous of you to assume that unless your O/S comes with a 1990's style flight-sim keyboard overly and requires 2 years of training it's utter shit!

        I personally have no interest in the iOS gadgets, happy with what I have but here's a small smidgen of a clue about interface design. How about people want to use technology to ( well bugger me! ) GET STUFF DONE!

        Your average techno-gadget punter, if you're still listening Mr Smug-Chops, just wants to buy a gadget and get stuff done. Well paint me blue and call me Susan! People want to buy things and get stuff done, not spend hours dicking about to make it sing and dance? Yep, that's right, they want to buy it and use it! Even if that gadget and it's interface falls a little short at the moment, if it's capable of getting 90% of the user's tasks done, it will do for the time being.

        So when you design something that a million people will stamp over their own Granny to get hold of, then you can stand tall and proud in your ivory tower shitting on everyone else, until then STFU!

        1. Miek

          Re: @Obviously

          "Well paint me blue and call me Susan!" -- You sir owe me a new Red Dwarf themed keyboard and a fresh cup of coffee. I also quite agree that some folk like to actually work on their computers and get stuff done.

        2. Colin Millar
          Thumb Up

          Re: @Obviously

          Don't beat around the bush - tell him(her) what you really think

      2. Armando 123

        Re: Go figure

        I simpler is always worse, then let's all use mainframes and machine code.

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          Re: Re: Go figure

          simpler is always worse, then let's all use mainframes and machine code.

          Simpler!!!!!! FFS you've never had to work with a badly written/Telon generated CICS program...

    6. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Metro - no thanks.

      The thing is, the whole experience is ANYTHING BUT simplistic.

      Two internet explorers, two control panels, two ways of doing a handful of things.

      The whole thing is a complete abomination, designed simply to try to sell you crap through the Microsoft Store so they can grab a cut.

      A real shame, since there are a handful of technical advances buried under there somewhere. Buried under a mountain of baby-poop green and colourful squares.

    7. dogged

      ITYM - Not Android? Not by Sony? - no thanks. *hatehatehate*

      I fixed that title for Barry because he forgot to declare an interest.

      I'm interested at the difference in attitudes between the Reg and the Tech blogs.

      The commentards here are pretty much 90% along the lines of "hate fail lol Vista Fisher-Price lol we're so superior etc".

      The commentards on Engadget or the Verge - known Apple cultist haunts, interestingly, are 90% "wow, love it, downloading, this is amazing etc"

      I think the difference is that people read the gadget blogs because they actively want new things. The commentards on the Reg, it appears, absolutely do not.

      Sorry El Reg. Your readership are turning into the demographic that buys the Telegraph

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one who finds this entire "tile" interface fugly?

    1. fishman

      Looks like

      It looks like something Fischer-Price would make. They make toys for very young children.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        That's what everybody said about XP, many of the same people are saying that about Win8/Metro despite never having seen anything except a screenshot of it.

        1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
          Thumb Down

          Re: @Fishman

          I've seen it and used it since the developer preview was released, and I still don't like it. At all.

        2. Chad H.

          @ anon 19:19

          I've used it

          It's fugly

          It's not for desktop usage

          But marketing will love it.

        3. Piro Silver badge

          Re: @Fishman

          That's actually nonsense. I'd hope on a reputable meeting place such as El Reg, that those commenting have tried the Dev Preview and Consumer Preview. I certainly have. It's not good, it is a complete mess, by any standard.

          The reason why people said XP looked stupid is because they had a bright blue theme with a green start button. If you were sensible, you chose the silver theme and had a decent enough looking desktop.

          If you loved the old stuff, you chose classic, job done, couple of clicks. Nothing was radically different to 2000 to the point of being unusable, by any means.

          The dubious changes in Windows 8 are far more than "click here to change classic theme if you hate new themes, job done".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: @Fishman

            XP looked good with the Royale theme, which gave the title/taskbars a metallic style sheen.

            Metro is like win3.x program manager, and the "hot corners" will be a shambles on a multiple monitor setup.

    2. Phoenix50

      No of course not.

      There's you and the fella who threw himself in front of a train at Didsbury this afternoon.

      Enjoy tomorrow.

    3. Gary F

      Hate it - I have a 24" monitor not a 10" tablet!

      Can the tile rubbish be disabled? Just give me the Windows 7 desktop and start menu, plus the hidden technology improvements of 8. That's all.

      The server version better not have this stupid interface otherwise Microsoft have shot themselves in the nuts.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Hate it - I have a 24" monitor not a 10" tablet!

        How about you read a single article about W8, and get back to us on that?

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hate it - I have a 24" monitor not a 10" tablet!

        "The server version better not have this stupid interface otherwise Microsoft have shot themselves in the nuts."

        You're right, it probably won't. From what I've heard, you'll be saying goodbye to a GUI!

      3. Steve Foster

        Re: Hate it - I have a 24" monitor not a 10" tablet!

        Well, I have both. I'm downloading the preview as I write, and will be throwing that onto a VM (displayed on the big monitor), but I would also be interested in trying W8 on my 10" tablet (currently running Froyo) - only I don't see an ARM download.

        1. David Hicks

          @ Steve Foster

          ARM devices usually require some device-specific code or variables outside the purview of the OS in order boot, as they don't have anything like a bios that's needed to discover the hardware config. And that's not to mention the various processor family differences etc

          It's pretty likely (IMHO) that Windows for ARM will only ever be available pre-configured on devices.

      4. Busted

        Re: Hate it - I have a 24" monitor not a 10" tablet!

        Actually the server version has no interface, to my knowledge it's going CLI :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          I wonder how Barry Shitpeas will object to the server being CLI only?

          You know he will find a way.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      No, I think 99% of the world do as well.

      It's Microsoft's very own Unity disaster...

  5. Steve Knox

    So... slim to none?

    “We paid just as much attention to using Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard as with touch”

    1. fishman

      Re: So... slim to none?

      t seems strange that their internal reviews didn't catch that before they made the last public release.

    2. Phoenix50

      Re: So... slim to none?

      Ah I see Steve, so when he said:

      “We paid just as much attention to using Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard as with touch”

      He was LYING. That's right - HE IS A LIAR.


      1. BlueGreen

        @Phoenix50: Re: Re: So... slim to none?

        Frankly, dear boy, yes.

        That's what I've learnt as a dev and user in the past 20 years of dealing with MS & their products. What they say is, as far as possible, indifferent to the actuality yet still remain legal.

        So, yes.

        1. Phoenix50

          Re: @Phoenix50: Re: Re: So... slim to none?

          Bzzzt. Disagree.

          So I guess it's a tie, dear boy.

          1. BlueGreen

            Re: Re: @Phoenix50: Re: Re: So... slim to none?

            By Jove, my twenty+ years of hands-on beats your puerile and fact-free Bzzzt. Perhaps you could lay before me, in the fashion of pearls before swine, some reason for your disagreement, old bean?

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Phoenix50

              Re: Re: Re: @Phoenix50: Re: Re: So... slim to none?

              Excuse me - but as a "dev and user" myself for the last 20 years "+" why should I dignify your remarks with any justifications whatsoever?

              You are using your experiences as a basis of fact!

              Well the *fact* is, ol' chum; that it is your opinion, nothing more.Perhaps one based out of experience yes, but so is mine.

              So once again - bzzzt. I disagree, since my experience of Microsoft has been fantastic throughout the decades, and I totally disgaree with the suggestion that lying and legality-stretching is as endemic throughout the company as you claim.

              And before you warm up your boney developers' fingers and start writing about all the anti-trust cases thrown at them over the years, don't bother, I've heard it all before, and it's not tainted my opinion of them as a purveyor of high quality products, old fruit.

      2. Eddy Ito

        Re: Re: So... slim to none?


        Are you at all aware that they could have paid insufficient attention to either? That would make the statement TRUE. That's right - TRUE

        Of course I suppose you could be thinking along the lines of: null != 0

        Now then, be a good chap and spit out the hook so Steve can get back to business.

      3. Steve Knox

        Re: Re: So... slim to none?

        First of all, welcome to the internet, Phoenix50. Allow me to be the first to explain to you what we here lovingly call a "troll" (as evidenced by the icon I used in my post): it's a post which is designed first and foremost to generate outrage in those readers naive enough to take it at face value. At least here on The Register some of us are polite enough to warn other readers with such an icon; in the wilds of the world wide web, you'll find lots of trolls who are not so nice.

        The entire point of my post was that the above quote can be considered true as long as Microsoft spent as much attention on mouse and keyboard interaction as they did on touch -- no matter how much or how little that quantity is.

        I chose the lower quantity for maximum outrage potential (thanks, by the way, for proving my point.)

        1. Lallabalalla

          Re: Re: Re: So... slim to none?

          OK you win

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be nice

    Microsucks is allowing people to write proper virus for Win 8 before it's officially sold to consumers. That way hackers and other perps can be fifty steps ahead of anti-virus white hats when Win 8 is sold for big bucks.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 will make Windows 7 the next Windows XP.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ooh look...

    The MS haters are out in force tonight slagging off something they've never used and don't understand (no change there then.)

    Go down the pub, guys, it'll be more fun than slagging things off on the Internet.

    1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
      Thumb Down

      Re: Ooh look...

      No MS hater here, and I *have* been using it for the past few months, and it still stinks.

      1. alexh2o

        Re: Re: Ooh look...

        The metro start screen implementation of the Developer Preview was simply awful - but it wasn't even remotely finished! There were basically no metro apps and the Windows Store didn't work either. The only way to use the DP was like a Windows 7 install in Desktop mode. Of course it stank!

        The new Consumer Preview, also not a finished product and severely lacking in the metro departments, is leagues ahead already! But it still isn't at the point where you could just live in metro, due to the lack of apps.

        When it's *finished* it will be a lot better. There is a lot of Microsoft hate on here! And a lot of metro hate! Of course some people will just not like it, but just as with every Facebook redesign, most people will hate it until they actually use it. Then suddenly non-metro will be like using a Windows 95 PC.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ooh look...

      Actually no..

      It's that the Microsoft shills havn't arrived yet to address the balance...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Just chill out on the MS hate, ok? Go down the pub, meet some real people have a few beers.

        I have never seen a single comment where you've had the opportunity when you haven't slagged off MS. I get that you don't like them, but it does mean that my mental image of you is that of a 15 year old who sulks in his bedroom and hates the world becuase they "don't get it".

    3. Miek

      Re: Ooh look...

      Actual I think the Linux haters are simply enjoying watching the $MS fans rant on about how bad it is.

  9. johnnytruant

    One thing I'm wondering

    Is whether I can run this live off a DVD/USB, or am I to clear a partition for an actual install? Be nice if MS caught up with Linux on the liveboot front at least.

    It's unlikely Windows of any flavour is ever going to be my OS of choice, but I'm always excited to see (and try) a new UI. Something new is always worth a look, that's what I say.

    1. alexh2o
      Thumb Up

      Re: One thing I'm wondering

      They've added a feature known as Windows To Go which allows you to boot a Windows Install directly off a USB drive. Go and grab the .exe rather than the .iso though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One thing I'm wondering

      There's a 'windows to go' feature, which allows the OS to run off a large USB device (20 GB+).

      In the dev versions you have to partition and copy an image to the device using manual command line steps.

      I'm also downloading the CP at the moment, so maybe this has changed.

  10. Johnny Canuck

    @AC 19:21

    Well, I have the developer preview installed on one of my computers and I have to say that I'm not crazy about it. I'm downloading the consumer preview now and I'll install it on my computer with the developer preview installed so I can test it out too. I'm glad they have added better mouse integration as that will help with some of the UI issues I experienced. I will wait for he actual beta before I say whether or not I hate it, but right now, I'm not crazy about it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Vista 2?

    Forcing an interface designed for 3.5" display on people using multiple large monitors may give a "Vista 2" feelings to many. Guess I'll skip it waiting for Windows 9 where bad decision will be fixed...

    1. Phoenix50

      Re: Vista 2?

      "Forcing an interface designed for 3.5" display on people using multiple large monitors..."

      haha - yes that's right, Steven Sinofsky said "I know, lets take Windows Phone 7's home screen and blow it up on to a 1900x1200 display - that'll do".

    2. Dan Hall

      Re: Vista 2?

      This is the company that just doesn't understand UI.

      First, they tried to shoehorn their desktop UI into a phone interface. That's right, the start button and the whole "desktop" paradigm right there in WinCE. Well that sucked usability-wise and people hated it. So they had an epiphany: if we can't use our desktop UI on a phone, maybe we should use our phone UI on the desktop! Brilliant!

      For a company that spends gobs of money on a usability group and gobs more on studies, focus-groups, and so forth, they're pretty blind.

      1. Audrey S. Thackeray

        Re: Vista 2?

        To be honest the Start button on a WinCE device wasn't that far off the App Drawer icon on my Android phone - hit it, screen is taken over with a list of applications and functions, select one and it goes away.

        It was never an elegant interface but I didn't find it especially hateful.

  12. Snark
    IT Angle

    OK thats horrible

    I downloaded it, willing to give it a chance, hopeful people were just being anti-MS. I installed it in a VM, really impressed with how quick and smoothly it went, thought hmmm maybe this will be good.

    omg.. thats horrible.

    I am sorry, but any OS which I have to read the online-freaking-help to work out how to shutdown (and then can't believe what it's told me) has jumped the shark. What's wrong with a friendly "poweroff" button on the Metro UI?

    IT? because... I can't see much IT in this thing.

    1. alexh2o
      Paris Hilton

      Re: OK thats horrible

      They want you to sleep/hibernate rather than shut down.

      And is "Charms Bar > Settings > Power" really that difficult to find? I think it's probably a case of you just not knowing about the Charms Bar properly yet.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Snark
        Thumb Down

        Re: Re: OK thats horrible

        Well actually yes I do think it's difficult to find. One thing I like about using a "touch" device is its mostly intuitive what to do. If people are moving to a more "intuitive" interface then I'd hope simple tasks to be intuitive. Going to a settings menu to turn off my power is not, I am afraid, an intuitive leap. I consider changing my power state to be an action, a task, not a setting... though I guess it's a fairly persistant one.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Re: Re: OK thats horrible

          Did you try hitting the Windows key, the power/standby key on your keyboard, or the power button on your computer? Do they all work nicely as expected?

          1. Armando 123

            Re: Re: Re: Re: OK thats horrible

            I tried hitting alt-leftCTRL-shift-tab-S-esc-F12-and-clucking-like-a-chicken while hitting num-lock with my nose, as recommended by a Russian web site. That site took over my built-in camera, put up a video of my clucking that has gone viral, I've been embarrassed worldwide, they've gotten all my financial information, I got fired, and I think I seperated my left shoulder.

            So, better than Windows ME.

            1. Anomalous Cowturd
              Thumb Up

              @ Armando 123

              Thanks for that! PMSL...

              Do you have a youtube link for that video? ;o)

          2. Piro Silver badge

            Re: Re: Re: Re: OK thats horrible

            Also, no. The consumer preview crashed on shut down for me :(

      3. Miek

        Re: Re: OK thats horrible

        "And is "Charms Bar > Settings > Power" really that difficult to find? I think it's probably a case of you just not knowing about the Charms Bar properly yet." -- The powerpuff Girls called and said that they want their Charms Bar back.

      4. Piro Silver badge

        Re: Re: OK thats horrible

        Actually yes. What user would guess you click "Settings" to shut down..

        In before someone says "Why would you click Start to shut down???"

    2. Goat Jam

      Re: OK thats horrible

      "read the online-freaking-help to work out how to shutdown has jumped the shark"

      Unfortunately, that is exactly what Gnome 3 (Shell) does too. It must be some sort of disease that UI designers have all caught.

  13. Nya

    Not going to use this mess

    I have been giving MS lots of "wait and see" with the whole previews so far. But this is it. This is going to tank. Vista will look like heaven to this disaster. This is meant to be the primary OS for use on tablets and desktops, it performs terribly on both due to a clunky, disjointed, and utterly screwed up GUI. Metro works great on touch, but with a mouse? not a chance. Not interested in it at all.

    No way in hell am I upgrading any machines around work to this mess, I'll go order in a shed load of Win7's and stock pile them till 8 has been canned and we get a proper OS later down the road. But no way in hell am I going to use this mess.

    1. Phoenix50

      Re: Not going to use this mess

      I think that's a real shame - change on this scale was never going to be accepted by everyone though; so thanks anyway for giving it a chance.

      1. Nya

        Re: Re: Not going to use this mess

        Don't get me wrong, I actually like Metro...heck I have a WinMo 7.5 phone. But I use a keyboard and a mouse on my desktop, and a trackpad on my laptop. And I can pixel click with precision. Huge icons the size of desktop gadgets are not the interface to go with precision user interface tools. I can actually see it selling well on tablets, it should prove a huge success there. But on a laptop and desktop it's not the change which is the problem, it's the fact it's not a progressive step forward but one which hinders user interaction.

        Personally, I would of preferred it if there was a firm split between Metro and Explorer. For Explorer we have the full proper list of applications, and an interface very similar to 7. With Metro being there if we the user wants it, and not have it thrown at us with no option whenever we want another application. I would like it at boot for example, but once I get into my work load, I want an interface with complete control to work how I want to. Not to be dictated to. If I want to be told how to work I might as well use an Apple product. I like my choice and freedom, and sadly this is taking us in a direction which takes that away from me and leaves me very few choices which don't come with a penguin attached.

        And talking of which, ok MS is using a "betta" fish as the beta logo for 8, but sheesh did no one work out what penguins eat when they thought up the fish logo?!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Re: Not going to use this mess

          Well forget ubuntu linux or fedora, they come with a tabletizd, dumbbed-down, dogs-breakfast of a UI similar to what MS is doing with Win 8. Of course you can (still) install and use a different GUI (XFCE IS (still) sane) on the penguin OS (just as you can (still) use the old Aero).

          I find the headlong rush to 'modernize' the GUI annoying and unnecessary, making life miserable.

          1. Vic

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not going to use this mess

            > forget ubuntu linux or fedora, they come with a tabletizd, dumbbed-down, dogs-breakfast of a UI

            Oh God, yes.

            I installed Fedora 16 a week or so ago. I spent some time really trying to get on with the new Gnome Shell.

            I failed. It is just *awful*. I mean Really, really terrible.

            I spent most of yesterday and some of today taking the BlueBubble port of Gnome 2.32 and porting it to F16. I'm not finished yet, but it's usable. And all of a sudden, I like that computer again.

            Why on Earth do people think that such things are a good idea? Fedora used to be an awesome distro; post-F14, it's dire.


        2. DAN*tastik

          @ Nya

          "would of preferred" should be "should have preferred".

          Not extremely relevant to your comment... But if we all help each other by correcting other people's mistakes, it will make us all more employable. I am sure HR people receive plenty of CV's all the time and the ones in which English is used in a "creative" manner must be the first ones to end up in the recycling bin.

          I appreciated it when people corrected me in the past - especially when I was learning English - and now I am just giving back :)

          1. Vic

            Re: @ Nya

            > I am sure HR people receive plenty of CV's

            Many of them including grocers' apostrophes...


            1. DAN*tastik

              @ Vic - Re: Re: @ Nya

              Not replying to be arsy cause I am not perfect and neither is my English, but there is no clear rule for the plural of acronyms. So CV's could work, not banana's. If I am not wrong I read it in a book called "Eats shoots and leaves".

              Thanks for mentioning anyway. I will double check if things have changed since then, or I was just wrong!

              When I used the word "gender" instead of "sex" on here though, that was a right cock up :)

            2. DAN*tastik

              @ Vic - Re: Re: @ Nya

              Did some research and there are conflicting opinions regarding apostrophe for acronyms.

              Pretty much everybody seems to agree that there is no standard rule.

              However ( from ):

              "Before I realised I use one (an apostrophe) habitually for acronyms and dates when I was taking my TEFL course the teaching assessor would always circle my acronyms and re-write them"

              So I guess I'll stick to that from now on. Thanks for enlightening me :)

        3. johnnytruant

          Re: Re: Re: Not going to use this mess

          I have a feeling that Metro is very much like Unity and Gnome Shell - power users don't like it, but it tests very well with ordinary users. There are a lot more of those ordinary users than us - they're the people the UI designers are designing for, and rightly so. You can say what you like about MS, Canonical, Gnome et al but they know the importance of testing, and they know which part of their market needs the extra help of a change in UI. My Mum, for example, loves Unity - she says things like "I didn't even know I had this thing installed" and "it's like it knows what I'm looking for" and so on.

          Personally I like huge controls/icons/etc. Makes my computer easier to use. I can click to the pixel too, but if I don't have to, there's a lower cognitive overhead to finding a control. Fitt's law applies to me just as much as anyone else. I love Gnome Shell - but it took me a couple of months to get used to it, but now it's so slick and easy I wouldn't want to go back.

          [ caveat here is that my copy of Win8 hasn't finished downloading yet, so I can only speak for my experiences of Unity/Shell ]

          1. Joerg

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not going to use this mess

            Ordinary users are going to freak out and won't use Windows8 with the awful Metro UI. The Metro UI is already a big failure on Windows Phone, a failed attempt of Microsoft trying to mimic Apple in a bad way. But on desktop and servers forcing Metro UI it's just plain insane and fully retarded.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not going to use this mess

              I haven't tried Windows 8 yet, so I can't comment on how good or bad I think Metro is but, do you really think that Windows Phone has failed because of the UI? The reality is, I think, simpler. Windows Phone 7 was too little, too late and the quality of the UI didn't really matter. The mind/market share was already with Android and iOS, and therein lies the biggest threat for Windows 8 as a tablet UI. We are still at least 6–12 months away from any Windows 8 tablets hitting the shelves, meantime the iPad 3 is a week away, new Android devices are being launched seemingly every week (often failing, but at least they are out there). Who at this point is waiting for MS to catch up before they make their tablet purchasing decisions?

              Whether or not Metro is a good UI or not, how will Microsoft recover the ground in the tablet space they have conceded over the last two years? If they don't, they are left supporting an overly-complex OS that is trying to be all things to all men, whilst their marketers attempt to convince corporate customers and a dwindling number of home PC purchasers to upgrade from a perfectly adequate (Win7) desktop which, in many cases, they have just upgraded to.

              How do you sell an OS which is optimized for hardware those customers aren't using, in order to run legacy applications designed for the old style UI? It feels as if Microsoft are abandoning them in favor of a market of tablet consumers that they probably won't be able to attract anyway because they are already heavily invested in an alternate ecosystem of devices, applications, music and videos (too little, too late). So, do you drink the Koolaid and re-equip yourself and your workforce with expensive tablets that run the UI just fine, but suck when it comes to running your critical business apps designed to work with a mouse and big screen, or do you stick with what you've got and tell your MS salesperson to give you a call when they have a Windows 9 demo to show you?

          2. Piro Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not going to use this mess

            No, this doesn't test well with ordinary users.

            Try to put a normal user infront of it. Get them to figure out how to switch applications, get Metro up, shutdown the machine without using the power button on the machine itself.

            It doesn't test well.

  14. JDX Gold badge

    Provided the desktop mode is really going to let me use desktop all the time if I want to, I'm not unoptimistic... or at least not averse to upgrading my PC from W7->W8.

    The hot-corners thing... that is a desktop feature not a Metro-only thing, right? I imagine it'd be very easy to get used to, probably a better use of my time than refusing to learn so I can comment "it's impossible to use" on every W8 story on El Reg :)

  15. Tony Carter-Inman
    Thumb Down

    Don't like it on the XBOX, don't like it on the Nokia phones! Wonder if I'll like it on a desktop?

    I'll be sticking with Windows 7 for a while I think - which is quite good for a Windows OS.

  16. 1uk3
    Thumb Down

    Terrible! Might be good for touch but it's not desktop environment.

    I was hoping that there would be an option somewhere to make it more Windows 7 like and hide everything Metro from sight unless you were using a touch device.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      You mean like using the desktop mode?

  17. Stu 18

    $30 upgrade, one version that does it all

    If they are serious about getting people to ditch xp,vista,7.

    It is just not worth more than that for a bit of eye candy and a few bug fixes.

  18. jim 45

    you mean someone actually managed to download it?

    I gave up after numerous attempts that stalled out.

    1. Fuzz

      Re: you mean someone actually managed to download it?

      really, one thing that I can't complain about was the download speed. 2MB/s throughout.

  19. MIc
    Thumb Up


    Looking forward to it myself. I always though the desktop was a waste of space / unusable. Im curious to see how it will work on my 4 1920X1080 monitors :)

  20. Corborg

    Hooman Compooter Inter action

    I've tried the Dev Preview, it was unfinished. I'll reserve judgement until I've tried the consumer preview and maybe even the final product. I have to say though, where is the desktop/WIMP metaphor going? Metro + Ribbon = a messy experience.

    I think MS should concentrate less on dumbing down (and making a mess of a desktop metaphor that works) and more on educating the user.

    Why make the top left corner of the screen a hotspot for the mouse to switch icons, which will be inadvertently strayed into when the user knocks a touchpad, when you can just educate them to press alt+tab?

    If I can disable Metro, and the footprint is sleeker than Win7 then I'm happy.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Hooman Compooter Inter action

      >>when you can just educate them to press alt+tab?

      Sounds like the way open-source people view designing software! Anyone designing software needs to accept users are not looking to be educated.

  21. Ted Treen

    It's all a bit moot, anyway

    Yup, I'm a Mac man - but I still need a Windows machine at work - Industry specific software written way back in the '90's. Suspicion has it it was the 1890's.

    Prior to installing WMWare on my office Mac, I had a Pentium 4 running XP Pro on my desk. I was one of the better equipped staff - Win2000 and lesser Pentiums abound - but so they do in many large organisations who might have their own esoteric S/W - which, if a relic of pre-2k days, is probably not that demanding on resources. Add that to Lotus Notes, a bit of Word/Excel and there really isn't any great need or incentive to upgrade.

    With companies still using Win200/XP on a regular basis, I just don't see the huge mass of commercial users rushing out to upgrade.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: It's all a bit moot, anyway

      You forget that most big corps have enterprise licenses, which only support certain versions of windows and MS will OOL certain versions (eg XP). There is some flexibility there if you please nicely with MS (or threaten to leave them), but at some point MS will force them to upgrade purely to stay within license and support agreements.

      1. Ted Treen

        Re: Re: It's all a bit moot, anyway

        I'll take your word for it:- being mostly a Mac specialist, I've never been involved with MS's enterprise/site licences - or the implications thereof.

        It will upset many organisations who still have dozens of P4's floating around, though...

        Beer? - Why not?

      2. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Re: It's all a bit moot, anyway

        MS react to what users want though. They tried to kill off XP but users demanded otherwise and they extended support (same for IE6)... if companies hate W8 the way they hated Vista, MS will do the same and let them stay on W7 until W9 comes out, knowing how slowly corporate IT updates anyway.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Re: It's all a bit moot, anyway

          Yep, the global mega corp who employ me has only just started rolling out windows 7 to the non-IT staff.

          For me it's not an issue because I am fairly computer literate and am open to change but the amount of bitching and moaning about things being different (espescially as they have just gone to office 2010 as well) you wouldnt (or maybe you would) beleieve,.

          Some of the people I work with, I can imagine their heads exploding if you sat them in front of a windows 8 machine!

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: It's all a bit moot, anyway

      It's one good thing about Mac land, things don't change so massively between releases of the OS. It's almost like Microsoft feel compelled to keep radically changing the UI to justify charging so much for the upgrade.

  22. pip25

    Someone who likes the Consumer Preview please tell me...

    ...why is it a good idea to have TWO taskbars at once? Which cover each other? The only alternative is to use Alt+Tab to go through a combined list...

    Is there a concept behind this...? If so, WHAT? Seriously, it seems like they weren't even trying... :(

    1. Chad H.

      You might have to wait

      I think he's getting an eye transplant.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    So, you take a failure and...

    Make no mistakes about it, the Metro UI/WP7 is a total and utter failure - even Nokia's abandoned N9 managed to outsell the ultra-hyped Lumias. The interface feels constrained and limited after trying to use for more than a few minutes, and to anyone who has seen widgets done properly (Android and KDE), the crippled tiles are a total frustration.

    And you take this over-hyped failure, which not even Orlowski is defending that hard now, and put it on a desktop, and try to force everyone to use it? And make the desktop a tile? And you expect that away from the hyped reviews and the typical softies, anyone will want to use it?

    Seems like a "unstoppable" Bob+Vista combination... I wonder if this is an attempt to to prove the old saying "if you make something idiot proof only idiots will want to use it"?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: So, you take a failure and...

      You've not managed to actually read any reviews of WP7 before telling us what everyone thinks, have you?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: So, you take a failure and...

        Unlike the paid reviews and the softies, I won't tell you how anyone thinks besides me. Just look at the sales figures for the Lumias, at the sales figures for the N8 for the same period last year, and at the sales figures for the N9, and you'll see the obnoxious failure that is WP7. Or if you can't get the figures, just look at the sales of WP7 as a whole and compare it with the sales of Windows Mobile.

        As for what I think, I tried to use that crap as my main phone. I tried giving it to my wife. Now it is my second phone, usable for emergencies only. I've gone back to my two years old Nexus One, My wife has her ZTE Blade back, and we're much happier than with that fugly fisher price toy of a phone that is the Lumia 800. The only regret I have is that the screen and the camera are good enough that would have made it my main phone if it had a decent OS.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Preview on the preview...

    I've turned into quite the Microsoftie over the last couple of months, right up to a point where my company has become an (not fully official as of yet) MS reseller. Quite frankly I grew quite the liking towards Windows 7 & Office 2010 (and some of the other products too) which is quite frankly one of the main reasons I decided to go for partner & reseller -ship (don't kid yourself; the other reason is obviously that I expect to make some income out of it).

    Quite frankly I credit Microsoft for their courage, although I'm still not too sure if it isn't stupidity. I actually like Metro; on my upcoming Windows phone (which I expect to get in a week or two, even though I was and still am quite a critic on some points). But this ?

    Anyway, its downloading and I'm quite anxious. Will this version be compatible with Windows' own Virtual PC or do I need to get Sun's Virtual box again ? Can I still hook into the OS using PowerShell or rpc (sc.exe) or has that changed? Do I need to create shortcuts to .cpl files on the desktop so that I can avoid Metro to get to the control panel or...

    To quote Luke Skywalker... "I have a bad feeling about this..."

  25. Dex

    Metro Controller gets rid of Metro easily enough

    Metro Controller gets shot of all aspects of Metro, a simple google search for "metro controller" will easily return what you want.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metro Controller gets rid of Metro easily enough

      But without Metro you also lose the option to start any of your applications. Perhaps apart from skimming \Program Files yourself and making shortcuts for everything on your desktop.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 9? If I must use it, I'll switch to (Windows 8) Classic Mode.

    "Windows 3.1? It's nothing more than what Windows 3.0 should have been."

    "Windows XP? Look at the internal version numbers. It's just a service pack on top of Windows 2000. Nothing More."

    "Windows 7? That was my idea"

    We've all been here before, people. Every 3 years or so, there will be new software.

    If you're change adverse, then perhaps IT isn't the right industry for you.

    1. Chemist

      Re: Windows 9? If I must use it, I'll switch to (Windows 8) Classic Mode.

      "If you're change adverse, then perhaps IT isn't the right industry for you."

      I want improvement not just change !

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        As you're a dedicated Linux user (based on your previous posts) why do you want improvement from MS?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Chemist

          Re: @Chemist

          My original post which didn't mention MS (other than in the auto-generated title) was :


          "If you're change adverse, then perhaps IT isn't the right industry for you."

          I want improvement not just change !


          The comment was a general one - too often mere change is seen as a good thing when real improvement is what most people want.

          I'd like all OSs to improve because I don't want any sort of monoculture - I make the choice to use Linux - I certainly wouldn't want to constrain other users.

    2. Chad H.

      Re: Windows 9? If I must use it, I'll switch to (Windows 8) Classic Mode.

      @ Chemist. I'm sure you won't mind if I change the wheels on your car for rectangular ones... after all you're not change adverse are you?

      1. Chemist

        Re: Windows 9? If I must use it, I'll switch to (Windows 8) Classic Mode.

        @Chad H.

        Are you stupid ?

        I said I'd rather have improvement not just change (Hint : triangular wheels would NOT be an improvement because the ride would be bad )

  27. thunder
    Thumb Up

    I've been using it today

    It's not that bad as most people make out. Ok, there's some new stuff so you have to change your set in ways, but these changes are actually more efficient from a getting things done point of view. It's probably going to suit a newbie user quite nicely as it hides a lot of complexity from the user and common tasks are easier to find.

    No doubt there will be more attractive themes to come along at release as I do find the block colours a bit heavy. Otherwise it all runs very snappy

  28. Semaj

    Hot Areas

    One thing that I have been trying to puzzle out (I've been to lazy to actually try a preview yet) is whether there is any visual indication whether these "hot areas" in the corners have any kind of visual indication that they exist.

    I'm normally very pro change and generally like Microsoft's stuff (I even defend Vista as in my opinion it was much better than XP and I enjoy pointing out when someone talks about a great Win7 feature, that it was actually in Vista) but using the metro UI as a replacement for the start menu just seems completely daft why not a supplement if in desktop mode? Click start button, get starts menu AND metro ui.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hot Areas

      Some have but other don't. So if you hoover to the lower left corner you see a "metro preview" appear so you'll know that this will fire up Metro. But the rest doesn't have this. So upper left then the previously ran program appears (preview). And the other two corners will immediately show the controls for the active program.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Still not supporting own technology...

    So I have the whole thing setup in Microsoft's virtual PC and guess what ?


    /Exactly/ the same problem as the developer preview gave us. I consider this to be an epic failure; I mean what is /the/ first pick for Windows users when it comes to virtual machines and the likes?

    And its not as if this stuff is anything arcane or something since other virtual environments have no problems at all with it.

    Dumb move right there IMO.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Search Technet

      If you have a look at technet, it explains how to setup VirtualPC for Win8.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft isn't going to be around much longer.

    It's just a prediction I heard by Ben Fulford.

    I agree, I don't think Microsoft is going to be around much longer.

    With Gates is practicing eugenics, I hope they do fail.

    Every new version of windows since XP makes me want to puke.

    If they want me to buy another OS from them, they need to re-offer xp, and provide security updates.

    WIth win 8, I am left wondering.

    WIll my old expensive thousands of dollars in audio hardware work with win8, it didn't with win7

    Will the new .NET 5 break the old .NET scripts

    Will IE9/10 ever remove active X?

    Will the new shell, kill off 16 bit apps? How about TWO SHELLS? jesus tits

    Will the audio mixer ever be fixed?

    Will decent audio mixer SDK examples of the audio mixer ever be released?

    Will I still have to run an XP in a VM to get my work done !?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Microsoft isn't going to be around much longer.

      You mean the same way IBM disappeared when they lost the PC battle?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FOr the record...on XP I'd pay $300 for updates past EOL!

    I'd gladly pay $300 for xp updates past the EOL.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FOr the record...on XP I'd pay $300 for updates past EOL!

      How many Linux installs from 2001 still get updates?

      It's a genuine questions as I don't know - I find myself updating my Linux installs (CentOS, RHEL, Fedora) every year or so. As for supported updates from a decade ago, forget it.

  32. Harmless

    "Hot corners" a steaming heap of Fail

    That'll confuse so many people!

    "Where's the Start Button gone?"

    "Oh just wave the mouse around, something might just happen if you're lucky!"

    It's dumb to have something important that you're magically expected to know, and are unlikely to find out yourself. I can't speak for most people but I prefer to figure things out for myself rather than have to be trained.

    I was using Win 7 for ages before I found out by accident that the lower right corner is a 'hot corner' to show the desktop! Have they completely missed the point about 'discoverability'?

    Having said that, I expect that any glaring deficiencies in the user experience will be corrected by someone somewhere providing a freeware or Open Source workaround, so maybe it won't be a big deal in the long run.

  33. Giles Jones Gold badge

    A repeat of the Pocket PC mistake

    So while Microsoft tried to shoehorn the Windows desktop approach onto the mobile with their Pocket PC platform (later renamed Windows mobile), they are now making a similar mistake of changing what is primary a desktop OS into a mobile OS.

  34. thondwe

    Coorporate Change

    I remember huge arguments here when MS introduced the Ribbon bar on Office - "we can't upgrade people won't understand the change, we'll need training, etc." . We'll have the same arguments again - and frankly I can see why this time. Metro on a desktop PC is a poor change from the start menu. How many people are going to ring support once they're in an app

    saying "how do I start/switch to another app"!

    PS: VMWare Tools (workstation 8) install and appear to work - dual monitors - even bigger fail - Apps only run on one, desktop on the other - can't run two apps side by side?

  35. Herby

    This just in.....

    For release in 2013, Windows 9, Internet explorer 11. Preview to come soon. Marketing splash next. Now word on Office 2013. Should have improved interface.

  36. Mark Wilson

    Wow it is unintuitive and horrible, they actually seem to have taken all of the best bits of Windows 7 and binned them. Even as an IT pro I found it awkward, the thought of putting this on my wife's computer fills me with dread. I do I need a full screen start menu when the windows 7 one worked. I know I have only just started playing with it but I have also just started downloading Linux.

    1. Audrey S. Thackeray

      Even as an IT pro I found it awkward

      It is often the case though that IT pros are so used to a particular way of working and have so many different tasks to carry out that a change in the UI can be much more of a hindrance to us than to 'normal' users.

      I haven't seen this one yet but I expect to be annoyed by a load of things most of which are broadly similar to the things that annoyed me in the switches from ADFS to DOS to Windows and then through the various iterations of that.

      I have to say there's nothing about this that makes me think I want it but I'll see how it goes in actual use.

  37. Uwe Dippel

    Let's face the music

    Having used this piece of pretty much crap, yes, it is quite unusable and most of all Aunty Tilly will suffer heavily from it, maybe up to a heart attack. Because that new paradigm of continuously switching interfaces get's on everyone's nerves who is not yet insane.

    But let's face it, it will be "cool" to the majority of dumbos who'll run after any most fashionable craze; even if they need therapy (or at least a batch of evening classes to master this abdominal nonsense). And yes, I didn't give up easily. And yes, I've been in IT for 30+ years.

    Let's face it, I have given up on expecting users, I mean, the average user, to be sane. From thence it will make it, like The Tin Lizzy, which made it despite of its availability being limited to black colour.

    So what we see here is an unseen combination of two interfaces: One can't touch, one can barely use because it is pimpled with overdimensional icons that you need to 'thumb' to reach. The best is the Settings. For those who have the .iso installed. Fantastic. I do it on my 24" screen, and I could be almost blind and yet see what I am setting. And scrolling like hell for other settings.

    And yet, I know that I preach to the converted; the numbo-dumbos left and right will "love" what cannot, cannot at all, be loved.

    What I'll do, is taking some GNOME 3.x around, and show it off as W8. And not mentioning the term "Linux", but adding a fake W8 background, and I'll be met with "Wow!!" (with a 'W' for 'Windows').

    Branding, my dear compatriotes in the country of El Reg, is all. Branded s*** is "Wow" if only it is branded.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sharp Ugly Corners

    Who is the incredibly stupid executive moron that approved that awful design with razor sharp corners. Doesn't MS hire artists? For the lack of rounded corners, this will FAIL BIG TIME.

    Also the complete lack of a start button is going to soooo turn off Mom and Pop consumer.

    1. Andy ORourke

      Re: Sharp Ugly Corners

      rounded corners! you dont think MS is made of money to pay those royalties for licencing apples "rounded corners" patent do you?

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Why I think win8 is very poor...

    Its simple really... I'm using Internet explorer to download a file, say an ISO file which contains a preview of a certain OS. Although my Internet connection is quite decent it will still take some time to grab 2Gb worth of data.

    So first I visit El Reg and skim around, then I decide to play Spider Solitaire.

    Note: while doing that I can - at all times - see the progress of my download. I don't want to play solitaire to win a dozen games or so, I want to kill time and as soon as my download is done then I'm through playing. This cannot be done on Windows 8 anymore. Whether you download using the "Metro IE" (which doesn't even have a start page anymore, very annoying and confusing at times) or the desktop IE... As soon as you start Solitaire (Metro) its full screen so you can no longer see what else is going on in your system. VERY annoying.

    Another epic failure.. Say one of your metro apps goes haywire (which has happened two or three times now on my box) and your screen is locked. In regular Windows you can always hit control-shift-escape and the task manager comes up, maybe something is stalling? Or when all else fails: control-alt-delete and select the taskmanager. At the very least you get a new window from which can fix stuff (you can even start new programs and such from here).

    Windows 8? When Metro locks up and you hit control-alt-delete you still have the option to start the task manager. Its just too bad that it starts up on the desktop "app" while you remain locked in Metro. So your only option is to log off and back on again.

    I don't want this full screen nonsense, I want my Windows back so that I can see what the heck is going on in the background.

    1. Galidron

      Re: Why I think win8 is very poor...

      That sounds bad. I only use full screen for video games and generally don't like anything else to be full screen.

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: Disappointed and impressed at the same time

      Perhaps this is Windows for the next generation? you do almost wonder if this OS has been optimised for people who live on Twitter and Facebook.

      As an OS for creating things it will be quite annoying and distracting.

  41. the-it-slayer

    My arms...

    will drop off if M$ keep persisting that it can be used on a touch-screen monitor attached to a PC.

    Why not make Metro (or runtime) ARM exclusive to ensure it's only tablets that get the feature? Stupid, stupid corp decisions.


  42. David Hicks

    XFCE for the win

    I'm actually being serious. With GNOME and Ubuntu gone crazy in the Linux world, and this interface from MS, I'm more firmly than ever in the old-fashioned resource-light geek interface corner.

  43. Armando 123

    Is it just me

    or is the UI one place you can look at and see why Apple has succeeded where MS has failed? I'm not saying this to rag on MS or praise Apple, I think it shows what happens when you play to your strength vs playing to someone else's strength. Seriously, like Louie Armstrong, Apple has figured out what to leave out, and that makes their interfaces so much better than MS', IMnsHO.

    I've been using Lion and Mountain Lion for a while on my laptop, and while there are things about the interface that aren't the chioce I'd make, or I wonder why I'd want a certain feature, the overall UI has a consistency and a logic to it. Where certain gestures from iOS made sense to incorporate, they were added to the desktop OS. Where they didn't make sense, they were left out. That shows a lot of design, thinking, engineering, testing, re-engineering, etc. Apple isn't perfect, and like I said, they don't always make the choice I would, but those differences are few and minor, and I think a lot of that is as much my taste as their choices.

    MS UIs feel to me like it was all slapped together under a deadline, using whatever already existed whether it made sense or not, then bolting/duct taping/soldering/ bailing wiring whatever feature list marketing said onto it.

    And for the record, I use Ubuntu Unity, Windows XP & 7, and RedHat at work, OS X at home. I develop on all those platforms. So I do have some idea of what living with ech one is like.

  44. LesC

    Must try harder

    Got this off Technet first thing this morning and installed it on a mediocre by today's standards Tosh laptop. 7 hours later - have just restored Windows 7. What a steaming pile of total carp.

    I've got easier access to my network shares with my Nexus S.


  45. stim
    Thumb Up

    Obvious really...

    it's very obvious after a short while of using it...

    99% of the time on a PC or laptop, you'll be in the desktop environment (i mean, how often do you need the start button now anyway on a regular machine)...

    99% of the time on a touch pad or phone you'll be in the touch zone (metro), it's simplistic and easy to use, much like the 5 fingers attached to your hand... the precision that a mouse provides is just not there in the touch zone as our fingers are too clunky... plus the requirement to be precise in this zone is also not required - users want email, internet, photo's etc, not CMD prompts, MMC's, office docs etc...

    And there we have it. It's all a bit scary at the mo as we work out what we're meant to be doing, but fill the taskbar up with icons on the desktop, load the metro-start page up with tiles and then use it... it will make sense.

    I love it :)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obvious really...

      Metro by itself isn't that bad. The problem is that its being enforced upon us /and/ in combination that many desktop apps have been replaced with a metro variant. As such people have no choice but to leave the desktop to run certain apps.

      With all the hassle that comes from it. I can't use a workplace where I can no longer easily see what time it is for example. On the desktop I always have my clock visible. On metro; forget about it. Its a combination of all those little annoyances which make windows 8 for a lot of business and professional users totally unworkable.

      A lot of people don't use Windows primarily to "have fun". First its to get a job done, and if it can provide any fun aspects in between then that's a small bonus but nothing more than that.

      IMO they should have split things up. Provide a "Windows Phone" (WP7), "Windows Mobile" (Metro powered Win8) and "Windows desktop" (Windows 8). Where the current win8 is the mobile version and the full Windows 8 has a normal start menu which can be used to bring us to the Metro environment.

      Heck; for all I care they give us a choice; start menu or start screen.

      But the consumer preview as I've used it is IMO simply unusable for any serious work. Too much distraction and way too much inconsistency.

      1. stim

        Re: Re: Obvious really...

        Why can't you just stay in desktop mode for business - that's what i'll be doing!

        What exactly has been 'removed' and replaced with a metro app that is no longer available in the desktop???

        1. Chad H.

          @ Stim

          Solitare, and the start menu for two.

        2. Anonymous Coward


          Windows Live messenger for example. I often use this to keep in touch with friends and colleague's ('business partners') alike. VERY handy if you're coding something and want to discuss some stuff during the process (copy code snippet & paste in chat window).

          While I'm working I get to see status updates appear when people sign in, with a mere right mouse click (on the icon obviously) I can check who's online and a mere mouse hoover is enough to set my status.

          This has now moved into Metro. So now I have to /leave/ my code window (heck, I have to leave the whole desktop!) in order to do something as trivial as checking who's online.

          That is supposed to be easier ?

  46. Furbian

    The Start menu, (orb) it's gone!

    The future's not bright, it's a bunch of stupid giant sized flat tiles.

    Yes I’ve tried it, and it's just as bad as their phones, with the 'flattened' Xbox experience (it used to look nice with the 3D Window tiles and concentric circles in various places).

    It also appears to have a new feature ‘freeze time’, where the mouse and keyboard lock for 30 seconds or so, even on a relatively high spec machine like mine.

    It grinds the hard drive like nobody’s business, and even its boot manager takes an age to load. This is on a fast mechanical hard drive, I wasn’t going to stick this abomination on my SSD.

    I could go on, but I don’t spend time describing what I produce into a toilet bowl, so why should I waste time going on about something similar here?

    So, it looks awful, and is scary. Why? Because M$ will force it on all and sundry, getting laptop manufacturers not to publish Windows 7 drivers (my Microsoft finger print reader has no Windows 7 drivers for example), withdrawing support like it did for XP to make people take up Vista, etc.

  47. Lance 3


    "Metro-lovers to rub themselves into 'fast, fluid' frenzy?"

    Would that make them metrosexuals?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is hidden UI good?

    I don't get why Microsoft is so hot to hide UI from users. To use Win8 it sounds like you constantly have to swipe hidden toolbars in from the bottom, right, etc. The "Start button" is invisible. They are saying the browser doesn't have any chrome. Great, so how am I supposed to know where the back button is, etc.?

    This looks like an attempt to reduce screen "clutter" with the ridiculously misguided notion that if something looks simpler, then it's easier to use. Sorry but any good book or class on UI design will tell you that good UI is full of visual cues to indicate the state of the system and how to accomplish tasks (usually via on-screen buttons). Hidden UI is *not* easy.

  49. IGnatius T Foobar
    Thumb Down

    A desktop computer is NOT A PHONE

    A desktop computer is NOT A PHONE. Stop pushing phone UI on desktop computers.

    Microsoft, Apple, and Canonical all seem to think that we want our computers to look like overgrown smartphones. Guess what: we DON'T. We've all come to expect the OS navigation controls to be in a strip on the bottom of the screen, and it works well that way.

    Car analogies are popular, so here's one: the basic controls of a car are in the same places on every make and model. Why? Because there's an agreed upon consensus that they're the best layout, arrived at after years of experimentation and innovation. Once the best layout was discovered everyone stuck with it and no one is complaining. So it should be with the computer desktop.

  50. Wibble

    First impressions after installing it today...

    Downloaded it this afternoon as an ISO so I could install it in a VM on my Mac.

    The installation was great. 10/10 for cleaning that up Microsoft. Well done.

    It runs quite well, the main operating system's working in the way that all operating systems should, i.e. you don't notice them.

    Now the problem. It's the User Interface. If you're not using a touch tablet, the gestures are completely inappropriate for a laptop/desktop machine. For instance the logon requires you to drag up a cover from the bottom. Sorry, it's naff on a desktop.

    Where are the applications? There's a load of pre-loaded stuff in the start screen, most of which is inappropriate for work; games, music, etc. Apart from <winkey>R, I can't find any applications to run. Not notepad, nuffing. Microsoft have lost the Start menu and replaced it with... well, nothing I can see.

    The applications are really weird too. I can't seem to work out how to get context menus up on things like the PDF viewer or IE. Just odd.

    I know it's a first cut preview and accept they'll be changes. But this is not good at all. Someone with 30 odd years of experience of all sorts of Graphical User Interfaces and I'm left feeling like a total numptie. I've no idea how it works and I've never before been left feeling like this.

    I'm particularly disappointed as I was really hoping that Microsoft would show Apple how it's done. Yes, honestly. Unfortunately, it's like Microsoft took the worst things of Lion and then raided the rejects bin. For a user with large screens, keyboard & mouse, the tablet interface is horrible. OSX Lion is not good when compared with previous versions (vis-a-vis Launch Control and Mission Control). Windows 8 just doesn't have that finesse and is very far from intuitive.

    As a desktop operating system user interface it's a complete disaster. If Windows 8 gets released like this it will really flop in business.

    Now, lets re-visit this posting in a few years to see what happens.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Embrace it before it's rammed down your throat

    I've tried it and while I like some metro aspects, I find it a joke that if you want to do anything productive you are taken straight back to desktop, but you can't just have desktop you MUST have the metro interface even though all you can do is check the weather (for those too scared to look out the window) and play games like cut the rope....

    Alarmingly the shills and astroturfers are out in force on various tech sites. Not so much this one, but all the other major sites especially ZDNET, downvoting anyone questioning Win8 while praising Windows 8. They all say the same thing too as if they are reading it off a script despite the fact these are supposed to be independent posters from all over the world.

    They all talk about how the 'static silo'd grid of icons' is dated and these live tiles are the future and Microsoft aren't trying to copy apple they are trying to innovate, so why do I no longer have Start > Programs then my list of programs? Instead I now have 'applications' rather than 'programs' and an app store is rammed down my throat at every opportunity. Sound familiar?

    Microsoft have taken some brilliant ideas here and ruined them with horrible garish colours that will alienate most major businesses in an attempt to go after the .99p app buying public who will recognise the name, but not the product and that will put your average Joe Punter off. Too much change will them buying replacement PC's and the only winner here sadly will be apple which is a real shame as there's some great ideas buried underneath that bad colour scheme

  52. Eddy Ito


    Hmm, System Requirements:

    Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster. 1.2GHz OMAP4460 check

    RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit). 1 GB check

    Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit). 16GB SD check

    Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher. SGX540 no dice

    Ok, so it won't run on my Pandaboard but somehow I don't think it will work even if I could upgrade to an OMAP4470 which has the SGX544 and is DirectX 9 capable.

    Come on Balmer, help a guy out. Pick an ARM (TI, Freescale, Nvidia, ??) and work with us to get a dev board that doesn't cost three grand and get a preview of WOA out there. Oh well, I guess I'll stay with Android for that set top or maybe if HP gets moving I'll give WebOS a spin.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Damn!

      I came back to this thread specifically to ask what you just alluded to - is the current preview the x86 version only? Have we got/had an ARM preview at all yet?

  53. Greg J Preece

    Safe mode can now only be activated by launching a normal boot and selecting it as a reboot option...



    Who the fuck thought that was a good idea??

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