back to article Workers can't escape Windows 8 Metro - Microsoft COO

Windows 8 will help people work harder and faster, argues Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, because the "immersive" Metro user interface removes all their distractions. Highlighting business-centric features in the new OS, Turner insists Windows 8's fondness for fondleslabs will boost office productivity. The …


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  1. Jad

    Full Screen

    Oh god no!

    I've spent years training people not to maximize every application (Looks particularly stupid on 30" wide screens with small fonts ...) and now they're taking it away?

    I'd remove all Windows boxes from our building if I could get away with it, just for this error, but I guess I'm gonna be stuck supporting this new POS for years to come ...

    Anyone know how Mass Spectrometer software will work of in (click start and 3 apps come up ...)

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Full Screen

      I NEED the ability to window, when I as dragging files between different File Manager Windows Explorers, or updating live, development or beta test repositories. Or running up a live application and the development to see if I have broken anything.

      The more I read about Windows 8 the worse it sounds, in fact it is scarier than Vista.

      1. Miek

        Re: Full Screen

        I know many users who are unfamiliar with the idea that they can run multiple windows and switch between them, perhaps $MS is going to deprecate Multi-Tasking as of Windows 8.

      2. Vortigern
        Thumb Up

        Re: Full Screen

        Scarier than vista?.... ah, that's better - For a while I thought MS were going to ruin their pattern of One-Good then One-Bad OS but it's shaping up quite nicely now!

      3. admiraljkb

        Re: Full Screen

        Vista wasn't that big of a deal really. Don't get me wrong, it was a steaming pile, but the root cause was just too many changes at one time which caused the overall failure. A reversion to NT3.51 driver model with the new Aero UI and some bad decisions on display handling resulted in bad performance. A combination of Win7 (which heavily reduced memory requirements) and better hardware fixed the Vista debacle.

        Win8 is a reversion to the Win2 UI. 25 years of UI progress now thrown down the drain.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Full Screen

        Don't worry, Norton Commander will be back!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Full Screen

      It would work the same way it always has works, dispite what others want you to believe, windows are still there, they will work the same as they have always done and assuming your program works on Win vista/7 it will run on Win 8 as well So unless your software is converted to a metro app, windowed programs will work, if it is converted to a metro app then i dare say someone could probably program a work around for it

      1. Monthi

        Re: Full Screen

        I don't know why you got down voted. I'm playing with Windows 8 right now and it feels like they slapped Metro on top of Windows 7 sans a start button. The only applications that open full screen are the ones designed specifically for Win8's Metro interface. I've been using WP7 for a year and I'm already used to Metro so I like the live tiles and the information they can provide at a quick glance. All other applications open up the familiar Win7 interface and you can drag and tile to your heart's content.

        As per usual this is just some PR / Dev blowhard who has a 'vision' about how the industry should be. The metro UI is actually quite distracting, considering all the live tiles deliver a ton of information. And multitasking is highly dependent on your job and your setup. Sometimes having multiple windows open is counter intuitive and sometimes it's not.

        Sad to see the voice of reason on this thread is down voted. But then I gather this a sensationalist website. Winning internet. Winning.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Full Screen @Monthi

          I dont know either, its not like im talking out of my arse, its fact.

          No whats more likely is that people are downvoting posts, and not just mine but any post that even hints at positive comment, rather than the merit of the comment its self.

          To all you downvoters, since you cant be arsed participating in the beta test you signed up to do, you dont want to like anything about it and you make sure anyone who disagrees with you is ridiculed, why are you even here? can you not even try to be open minded and objective an provide with sensible feedback?

          To the rest of us, lets just not bother coming to these kind of stories theres obviously a hard core of people here that will not look at anything with an open mind and a objective attitude, lets carry on testing and reporting on the OS like we asked to do and see what MS can do with that data, that is how things get done an things may get fixed

    3. MIc

      Re: Full Screen

      I have a similar concern. I have 4 1080p LCDs in a 2x2 pattern at work and I am not sure how well this will work out. I plan on installing the Beta tonight and give it a go. Wish me luck.

    4. Mandoscottie

      Re: Full Screen


      no but if you ever find out how, let me know mate :o)

  2. Ralph B

    If ...

    If all applications have to run full screen then why is it still called "Windows"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If ...

      Because Tiles evokes being hungover, Slabs evokes mortality, and Bricks are what this will sink like?

      1. TRT Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: If ...

        That Metro Ui looks like a bowl of angry fruit salad. With added Haribo.

      2. Ralph B

        Re: If ...

        I'd call it "Curtains".

      3. dssf

        Re: If ...

        Don't call it Slabs or Bricks...

        Call it "Pains" and not "Panes", for what it will entail...

        As for "because the "immersive" Metro user interface removes all their distractions.

        Highlighting business-centric features in the new OS, Turner insists Windows 8's fondness for fondleslabs will boost office productivity. The controversial handheld gadget-friendly Metro UI (described by our Andrew Orlowski as "a huge negative") will be an asset for businesses, Turner reckons, because full-screen apps will immerse workers in their spreadsheets, pushing distractions out of sight and ramping up output."

        Hell, I call it OBFUSCATORY... How about calling it "Microsoft Obfuscations"?

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Call it "Pains"

          Nah, call it "Pain", coz you can only have one at a time.

    2. DrXym

      Re: If ...

      They don't have to run full screen. Windows 8 still has a desktop with draggable windows. The main worry is the start menu is gone and what replaces it is wholly inadequate. If users could dial down metro on the desktop it would be just an incremental update really. If Microsoft forces metro down user's throats then they're going to have a riot on their hands.

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: If ...

        On the up side, if metro is Microsoft's only vision of the future, then it could be a chance for some smart programmers to develop an alternative shell/ecosystem to replace metro and give folks a choice. Maybe the Classic Shell project will start getting more traction outside of nerd circles. God knows that's the only thing that makes Win7/2008 the slightest bit palatable.

        1. Vic

          Re: If ...

          > it could be a chance for some smart programmers to develop an alternative shell/ecosystem

          Gnome2 on Windows?


          1. Euripides Pants

            Re: Gnome2 on Windows


            1. Vic

              Re: Gnome2 on Windows


              "Release 1.2, date will be 1 november 2009. "

              ...Except it wasn't :-(


        2. admiraljkb

          Re: If ...

          @Pirate Dave

          KDE already runs on Windows8, and I'm running it on Win8. Still needs a systray, but looks like most of the rest of it is now stable on Windows, which is a huge leap from a couple of years ago.

          My current plan is to investigate the systray issue a little further to see if I can do something about it, and when Win8 starts the early process of evaluation in the company, I'll stick KDE/Win on top of it for business continuity and see how it fares versus Metro during the early testing phase.

          There was a time when there were a lot of alternative shells for Windows prior to Win95. The hooks are still there, so no reason why they won't come back if Win8 releases with a borked UI like Win2.x/3.x had.

        3. fzz

          Re: If ...

          Alternative UIs have been around for years. LiteStep goes back to Windows 95. Have you tried any? Probably not because, up to now, Windows has been adequate. Maybe you'll try an alternative under Windows 8, but who here would install an alternative UI on their parents' PC?

          1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

            Re: If ...

            In the Win3.x days, I used something called Dashboard as a replacement for Program Manager. It was cool because it could shrink down to a small little box with tiny icons in it, and it sat at the lower-right corner of the screen, and left the rest of the screen free (important in the 640x480 days). I can't remember if it came from HP or Borland, but it was one of my favorite utilities back in the day.

            I just last year finally left Win2000 behind and upgraded to 2k3 on my primary desktops. Have production servers now that run 2008, and I hate it completely. So many things have changed so drastically, and I wonder if all changes ( *cough*Task Scheduler*cough*, IIS Manager*cough*) are really for the better. Hardware support seems better and I've had no crashes so stability seems good, but overall, god, the UI sucks donkey balls.

      2. Christopher Rogers

        Re: If ...

        Agreed. Microsoft need to keep sight of what works for consumers, what works for Doris the secretary who only knows Word/Excel/Outlook/point-and-clickly-type-things and what the crossover is for tech savvy employees (i.e. the people who have successfully imported the ipad into their way of working).

    3. MIc

      Re: If ...

      They don't. The current set of apps are still windowed. Also Metro apps have a split screen paradigm that is a first class citizen feature.

      1. fzz

        Re: If ...

        Running 2 (at most) Metro apps side by side requires <b>minimum</b> screen resolution of 1366x768. Dunno about the rest of you, but none of the PC monitors in my house supports more than 1280 pixels horizontally. And that pretty much rules this feature out for most laptops.

  3. richard 7

    Oh well...

    Best tell my customer that all of those multimonitor setups they insisted on are now a waste of space. WHile we are at it I'll can our current Veichle platform too, as that kinda relies on multiple views.

    Lossley translated he means 'We are doing what the hell we want and you cant stop us. You thought the ribbon was bad.... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaha.'

    Least Balmer actually looks and apears to be insane...

    1. richard 7

      Re: Oh well...

      Yes I know the spelling and grammar is awful, but I'm full of flu and dont wanna be here so cant be arssed.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Oh well...

        I beg to differ. Bend over, Richard!

      2. DF118

        Re: Oh well...

        Mate, if you were really "full of the flu" then you wouldn't be here posting, much less (as you imply) actually at work. You'd be wracked with pain, hallucinating in a darkened room, and in your more lucid moments would be wondering who replaced your duvet with one made entirely from red hot sharpened bricks.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          I'm also sick with the flu (spend most time of the day in bed during the past 4 days mind you) and simply sitting a while behind the PC in the evening, also skimming El Reg during that time, is simply very relaxing.

          It also helps you to keep up with incoming e-mails and such. Maybe even picking up some work from home if you feel up to it!

          Just because people people spend time here doesn't mean they can't be sick.

          1. Vic

            Re: @DF118

            > Just because people people spend time here doesn't mean they can't be sick.

            I thought it was a requirement...


          2. DF118

            Re: @DF118

            "Just because people people spend time here doesn't mean they can't be sick."

            I never claimed that.

        2. richard 7

          Re: Oh well...

          I run my own business, sickness isnt an option :) And flu is easier to say than some strane mutant cold/viral/flu mashup that just makes me wish I really were dead.

          I've kinda accepted that the ribbon isnt going to go away, evidenced by the fact something very similar is popping up in other apps now too. Its just messy, horrible and I suspect, easier to code. Same with Metro I suspect too. Still it's not going to end well and I really still cant be bothered to get that worked up, every person that gets fed up/cant work it out, throws the computer is potentially more money for me. Utterly the wrong atitude but that could be the whole jaded techie thing starting to happen at last.

    2. fishman

      Re: Oh well...

      <<<You thought the ribbon was bad.... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaha.>>>

      And IE10 uses the ribbon........

    3. vagabondo

      Re: Oh well...

      "Lossley " -- I can't decide if that is an allergic reaction to or a mutated form of "loosers".

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft in spin mode.

    Perhaps they are looking at feedback and think Windows 8 is going to tank like the new Microsoft Bob.

    I absolutely fucking hated the Win8PP and MetroUI on the PC is a disaster.

    If I were a Microsoft shareholder, I would be ****REALLY*** worried right now, with Windows Phone tanking spectacularly, Office looking stagnet, and the Gaming division not making enough money in the products lifetime to cover the initial development costs.

    1. dogged

      Re: Microsoft in spin mode.

      You really like that "New Microsoft Bob" thing, don't you Barry? That's the fourth time you've posted it. And about the thirty fifth time you've told us that you hate metro and the billionth time you've told us that everything Microsoft has ever done has been actively child-molestingly evil.

      We get it. You told us. Now stop telling us and fuck off.

  5. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I'm having a proper play with it right now. To be fair it's not as bad as I thought it might be. The integration of desktop and metro isn't that tricky. I've found everything (even the command prompt) within half an hour. One thing I liked was being able to tie a user into my MS Live ID and I can see potential. I'm going to try installing a few applications now but so far much to my surprise I actually can see myself using it.

    1. Dummy00001

      So within only few hours you have managed to get around to actually doing something useful with your computer?

      With the progress marching that fast, I gather, in Windows 9 they would improve the mark to few days.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge

        Lol, me? Nah. I have it running on a test VM and am playing with it as a background task. At the moment it's just curiosity. As a software developer I can't avoid it forever so it just makes sense to have a tinker with it now.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        So tell us, how long from starting the install of a brand new beta OS do you think is an acceptable amount of time to be actually doing useful work? I think a couple of hours is pretty good going.

        1. Neil Greatorex

          Re: @Dummy

          Pillock, most of us are IT pros here, we can do useful stuff, having installed a beta, in microseconds. Looking at a veritable turkey takes hours..

          1. Daniel 4

            Re: @Dummy

            "Pillock, most of us are IT pros here, we can do useful stuff, having installed a beta, in microseconds. Looking at a veritable turkey takes hours.."

            Perhaps if he had said "hours" this may hold water (bearing in mind your extreme hyperbole - I've never seen a hard drive spin up in microseconds, so installing an OS that fast seems slightly unlikely). I believe he said "half an hour," which to try out a new OS is perfectly reasonable in my book.



            1. Neil Greatorex

              Re: @Dummy


    2. Benjamin 4
      Thumb Down

      So you can use it. Name three advantages over Win 7. It's faster, and err that's all I can think of.

    3. Someone Else Silver badge

      It took you a half-hour to find the command prompt...

      ...and you consider that "not bad". You have a much higher tolerance for shit that I.

      1. dogged

        Re: It took you a half-hour to find the command prompt...

        it took me one second to find the command prompt. Windows key, "CMD", return.

        I'm guessing you lost braincells by believing Barry Shitpeas.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge

          Re: It took you a half-hour to find the command prompt...

          Sigh. The key phrase being 'WITHIN half an hour'. It amazes me (saddens me frankly) that people with such poor reading comprehension can find a job in IT. Or are some of you just here for the beer?

          I'll spell it out for you on the basis that one should always help the afflicted.

          I spent about half an hour playing with the VM after installation. Now perhaps some of you would just have dicked around aimlessly clicking icons and gawping at the screen. Unfortunately I'm afflicted with a sense of purpose when I'm in the office so I did post installation configuration. Attached it to a test domain and since my job involves a lot of MS Exchange and SharePoint work, did some tasks based around that so that it could be used for testing the applications we develop. At some point during that process I needed a command prompt so I found it. I probably spent four or five seconds thinking about it but can't honestly remember. It might have been automatic since I do tend to use Windows+R a lot anyway - but perhaps I just used the All Programs 'button' to launch it. Meh.

          In summary:I spent half an hour on Windows 8. At the end of the that time I had installed four applications, reconfigured parts of the network stack and generally got it into a state where someone could do some serious compatibility research. I'd say that half an hour for a beta OS is bloody good going for all that. Not to mention that I built one of our bigger suites and finished a defect fix - ie;my normal job. Frankly even getting a new XP VM to that state probably takes over quarter of an hour.

          Oh and I posted on El Reg but hey that's just gratuitous multitasking on my part. Ding me for wasting company time on that if you want.

          1. Vic

            Re: It took you a half-hour to find the command prompt...

            > Or are some of you just here for the beer?



    4. Pisnaz

      The windows Live id integration actually worries me. I got it up in a VM pretty quick as well and got around handy enough. I bypassed metro and went for the desktop right away. Then came back to metro and played with it.

      Some things I am not fond of, beyond metro and the focus on touch vs mouse are the Live id integration and default sharing of your personal information. I am digging around trying to view it as a common user vs a tech guy use to multiple interfaces and programs. I am really not fond of the social integration thrown in my face, my computer is a tool first a recreational device second and occasionally used to socialize with people.

      Still playing around but some of my repulsion for things like the ribbon are gone but some new worries are growing.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        I didn't get much chance to play with the Windows Live side. Our test domains tend to be locked down so I'm betting that some of Live stuff in there won't work. I just thought it was 'cute' the way they did it. The install asks for the email address then lo and behold your picture and your full name appear and you're asked to login. I agree though that's a bit concerning. When security processes are smooth and easy to use you have to start being wary.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't want to work harder.

    Working 'smarter' and 'better' (grammar!) are the opposite of working harder.

    Unfortunately, it looks very much as though Metro, like the Ribbon, will make me work harder.

    It's not all bad news. Windows 8 will keep the shareholders happy, and it will keep desktop support staff employed. It will also increase the sense of pleasure I get from using ABW (Anything But Windows)

    1. Keith Langmead

      Re: I don't want to work harder.

      Personally I've very glad I rarely end up doing desktop support these days, since I'm mainly server orientated, but I feel really sorry for the poor buggers who'll have to support this! Effectively we now have two completely different Windows UI's to learn, since some users will be using Metro entirely, while others will be breaking out (well as much as is possible) to the proper Windows desktop, and we'll need to be able to cater for both groups!

      I can't help thinking Kevin Turner's never actually MET a real life user. They're going to hate it, it's going to confuse the hell out of them just when they've finally got used to things like the start bar. Geeks might put up with it, learn to use it etc, users won't. They'll moan, complain, and refuse to use it, and that will give IT Support even more of a headacre.

      At least with 7 they had the geeks on side, liking the new features and willing to pass on the new benefits to their users, with this, not so much. When asked by users why they need the new version, there'll be less "let me show you the features that will make things easier for you", and more "I dunno, I think it's shit as well but we've been told to upgrade you".

      I'm really disappointed by 8, which is a shame since with the new virtualisation tech built into it I was really looking forward to it coming out. Now... not so much.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't want to work harder.

        I know users who call everything on screen 'the thingie'. Now they'll be telling Support, 'I've lost the thingie. It's somewhere behind the big thingie'.

        Hours of endless...

        1. AndrueC Silver badge

          Re: I don't want to work harder.

          There's my Dad for a start. He once described the wifi connection menu on Windows 7 as 'a white rectangle in the corner of the screen with writing on it'. Not that he's computer illiterate, mind. He manages perfectly well and has installed hard drives, installed windows and even got obscure scanners working.

          But when it comes to tech-support I am sooo glad that Logmein is available :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        While you are mostly server orientated you don't have to worry; Microsoft has you covered because they even managed to put Metro into their new Windows Server 8 as well!

        Trust me; its true (I didn't believe this at first either).

        2 OS environments with the same annoyances. They can't play favorites after all ;-)

        1. admiraljkb

          Re: @Keith


          Windows Server doesn't have a GUI unless you want it. :) Windows finally went back to the OS/2 and Unix/Linux model of GUI's aren't required for servers. In fact depending on which Server license you get, you don't even get a GUI anymore.

          1. Goat Jam
            Thumb Up

            Re: @Keith

            No GUI?

            The WinServer monkeys here are going to wet themselves.

      3. Robert Heffernan

        Re: I don't want to work harder.

        "Personally I've very glad I rarely end up doing desktop support these days, since I'm mainly server orientated, but I feel really sorry for the poor buggers who'll have to support this!"

        Better start feeling sorry for yourself. Download the Windows Server 8 beta, I hear it has Metro too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't want to work harder.

      If Jobs taught us nothing else, it' is that we should WORK FUNNER, not GRAMMATICER, or something.

  7. JDX Gold badge

    It sounds rather lame, but forcing workers to single-task really could boost productivity... choice requires decisions.

    So get rid of all that fancy GUI and go back to basics ;)

    1. Justicesays

      Who wants to be "distracted" by email while trying to produce a budget spreadsheet by combining requests sent in by email.

      who wants to be "distracted" by the web page while they are working on the source for it.

      Who wants to be "distracted" by the application while they are trying to document the menus and features

      Who wants to be "distracted" by web pages/forums while trying to solve a knotty OS or application issue.

      If you dont want people to be distracted, uninstall the stuff distracting them, or limit their internet access, or just give them a low appraisal and tell them to buck up their ideas.

      Dont make their desktop a shitty smartphone single task OS.

      I guess the days of browsing the web whilst playing a game and watching a video are over for home users as well?

      1. steogede

        Wasn't one of the big features of Win 7 the tiling and placement features? What makes more sense than getting rid of all that and calling it new and improved?

        1. Paul Shirley

          Wasn't one of the biggest features of Win3 that windows could overlap instead of tiling?

    2. Paul Shirley

      When I'm trying to blunder my way past some new programming challenge, having the browser window showing help visible at the same time as the source I'm mangling can be pretty damn productivity enhancing!

      Apply the same to any app causing me a problem or to navigating the twisty maze of configuring Windows itself.

      I like my maximise button. Let's me go fullscreen when I need to focus and windowed when I need it.

  8. Justicesays

    Don't worry, I'm sure

    People will find something else to be distracted by.

    Possibly something with an OS they want to use....

    That sure to promote the use of windows,possibly as something to throw their desktop computers out of.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    "We encourage IT professionals to begin using it...."

    Er, why? No bugger's going to install it.

    Even if it were good (which it bloody well isn't), world + dog is running an XP to 7 migration right now. That'll be expected to stay in place for a few years, by which time 9 or 10 will be out.

    I think you can count the number of places still on XP and hanging on for 8 on the fingers of one foot. Of course, one of the very few who rolled Vista might skip 7 and go to 8, but that's a perishingly small niche market.....

    1. Spiracle

      Re: "We encourage IT professionals to begin using it...."

      You mean those on the ME-Win2k-Vista-Win8 'antiphase' upgrade path? Poor souls.

      1. jai

        Re: "We encourage IT professionals to begin using it...."

        is anyone still on that path? surely they all switched after the Vista debacle...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Full agree.

      As to people on Vista who might skip 7... A lot of people in my surroundings who are using Vista basically use it with the same looks & feel as XP / Win9x. Others have learned to adapt yet "aren't looking forward to that ordeal again". Keep in mind; this is all pretty recent, only a few years ago.

      I only showed the Metro snippet which MS has released to some of them while telling them that "this is what the new Windows looks like". Solely based on that (obviously limited) experience I'd say chances are much higher that people move up to 7 than that they'll go to 8.

      1. Beaver6813

        Re: @TeeCee

        Most companies are still on XP and are upgrading to Win7. So Win8 will be missed by most corps. and Win9 (where they'll realise their horrific mistakes) will be the next leap for Corp. IT.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    An Immersive Experience...

    Like being up to your neck in Bull Sh*t.

    1. Tom 35

      Re: An Immersive Experience...

      Too bad your standing on your head...

      Reminds me of when Vista was getting all the bad press and they were spewing crap about how great it was to anyone who would listen.

    2. Mike Bell

      Re: An Immersive Experience...

      I was thinking more along the lines of how they used to test witches in the old days. Nice girl or bad witch: either way, your dunking won't turn out well.

  11. Miek

    " which stuffs a user's business apps, files, settings and a full corporate Windows 8 build on a memory stick" -- forget about losing your laptop, windows has helpfully bundled all your stuff onto a USB key for you to lose in a more convenient fashion.

    1. LaeMing


      Just use a nice fat steel cable to fix the USB stick permonantly to the desk.

  12. Irongut

    What a crock

    "Metro user interface removes all their distractions"

    WTF do you call those Facebook & Twitter tiles?

    "full-screen apps will immerse workers in their spreadsheets"

    I'm a developer and system admin, I need windowed apps. I use them all the time and have since they were introduced in Windows 2! This full screen or two apps side by side if your monitor can manage a least 1366 x whatever will definitely reduce my productivity.

    My work will be replacing any pre-7 machines with Win7 ones this year. After that we will not buy another PC till we see what Win9 ls like. And, if it doesn't fix this mess we'll be looking at OS X and Linux.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a crock

      Yes, multiple windows on a large display are essential for a developer (I'm in hardware design so having RTL browser, execution trace, editor, possibly pdf of documentation etc all open are essential ... never mind the need sometimes to have two sets of these windows and the ability to pull different combinations up together to try to work out why a new version is making this stop working as expected!)

      Recently had a demo from a tool vendor of their up-coming new version ... they proudly demo-ed the new tool which opened full screen and managed all its sub windows itself etc etc ... think their rep was a bit taken aback when we all said that it looked completely unusable now and could we switch back to the old seperate windows idiom!

      1. Quxy

        Yep, of all the innovations Microsoft has inflicted on the world...

        ...The Multiple Document Interface is one of the most annoying. (I was going to add "pointless", but Wikipedia reminds me that one of MDI's main advantages is that "if the windowing environment and OS lack good window management, the application author can implement it themselves.")

    2. DJV Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Metro user interface removes all their distractions.

      I'm more of the opinion that the Metro user interface IS the major distraction!

  13. 1Rafayal

    Dont want to sound like a Windows 8/MS fanboi - but are we really sure that the Metro UI will prevent us from working with multiple screens?

    I have no idea at the moment, not even tried the version that has been released. But if I could have a tile or group of tiles on each screen, that doesnt sound like such a bad idea to me, given the amount of notifications I tend to receive. Plus, one of them could be the Windows dekstop?

    Just an idea, preparing for auto downvoting now.

    1. Eguro


      It believe would be foolish to assume that MS is overlooking multiple monitors, multiple applications and things such as that.

      If it turns out that MS is overlooking this, well then MS is foolish and that's about it.

      1. Spearchucker Jones

        Re: Indeed

        I'm running the CP on 3 monitors.

        1. Neil Greatorex

          Re: Indeed

          I just have a picture in my mind now, of you breathing on your knuckles and polishing them on your chest.

          Can't think why..

    2. Benjamin 4

      No Multitasking Support

      I can't get it to work. As far as I can tell MS are preparing to lose what little credibility they have left.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    See, I knew that whole silly multi-tasking fad would come to an end eventually.

    Now if Windows 9 could just boot straight into BBC BASIC...

  15. Meleth

    Yeah one thing about the live id, log in to your windows 8 machine with it and then try to logon to say msn on another machine with the same account and see how well that goes. Atleast digsby won't let me login as long as i'm logged on to the windows 8 machine.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about when I want to have two word docs open side by side, half a spread sheet and a pair of putty terminals?

    1. Techs UK

      err, you can still do all the stuff you're all whinging you can't.

      Have any of you used this new GUI?

      The desktop has always been an App itself (try task killing 'explorer.exe')

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Bob

    Generally business avoided Microsoft Bob.

    Is this Bills final influence in MS, to get Melinda's product to the mainstream?

    It'll get in between the windows I have open. Email, browsers, spreadsheets, source code repositories, XML editors, command line windows, RDP sessions. All switchable by that bloody big Program Manager.

    Put it away.

  18. Tony Paulazzo

    Disclaimer: Hate the MetroUI design, but Win8 doesn't stop you from running multiple windows (one of the tiles on the start screen is for the desktop, and multi monitor setups work just fine - I use two monitors, Extend rather than Duplicate), and apart from having to stop the mouse in the 'sweet spot' between both monitors, it works fine, and so far, most of the time I've not had the Metro Ui onscreen.

    But I do agree, Windows shouldn't get rid of the start button just because the iPad doesn't have one, it screams of 'me too' rather than 'innovation, and the graphical implementation of Win8 is awful, Solitaire looks like a 5 year older version of itself.

    In point of fact, an Android rip would've been better, widgets (or the Vista Sidebar, but free of being locked to the side of the screen, rather than Fisher Price blocks), streaming weather, facebook, stocks etc placed on the desktop as user placed options.

    1. Morphius
      Thumb Up

      I was going to say the same thing. Just checked my build that is behind me. As long as you go the desktop you can control the windows however you want. BUT I still say this is for the touch screens, it took me a while to find the off button, control panel and the such. Most end users would find things if they looked but of course most end users fear change so will just complain and be downgraded.

      I really dont see the point of metro on a desktop.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      People with a single monitor who also a regular 1024x768 resolution /will/ experience issues when they want to use Metro apps in multiple windows. While all previous versions had no issues with that what so ever.

      So yes; it /does/ stop you from using multiple windows. I agree if you state that the behavior on the desktop is still like the previous versions. But for how long?

      Don't forget; they're already busy re-hauling Office and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if a lot of the new Office ends up on Metro.

  19. Select * From Handle

    Erm to all the people like "NOOOOOOOOO! don't take away multiple windows!"

    Isn't the article talking about windows 8 in Tablet mode?

    1. Levente Szileszky

      Re: Erm to all the people like "NOOOOOOOOO! don't take away multiple windows!"


  20. squilookle

    I haven't tried any of these previews, but there seems to be alot of spin regarding Windows 8 from one side, and FUD, speculation and panic coming from the other, to the point where I'm not sure what to expect from it now.

    There are precedents for them making unpopular changes (e.g. ribbon - although I got to like it once I was used to it) and there are also precedents for customers rejecting products they don't like, and MS caving in and producing something better (e.g. Vista followed by 7)

    So my point is, it's not worth panicking over: give MS feedback based on the previews/betas/whatever if you're using them. Or wait till it gets released, then either use it if you like it, or don't use it.

  21. DrXym

    Hahahah, no

    Microsoft had better provide a "classic" mode for corporates because no matter how much they may wish to dump all that legacy baggage, no one is going to buy into a desktop OS which reduces the experience to a handful of brightly coloured panels.

    That experience might work on tablets where people tend to have less software and lowered expectations regarding freedom etc. It won't work on standard "legacy" PCs which have a keyboard, a mouse and 10+ apps a user may reasonably expect to work with in parallel.

    I'm hoping their consumer preview and developer preview are just that, shaking the bugs out of the new stuff, with the intent that those who want a start menu and the old world can have it. Because if they don't provide it then W8 is going to go across like a lead balloon.

    1. dogged

      Re: Hahahah, no

      "no one is going to buy into a desktop OS which reduces the experience to a handful of brightly coloured panels."

      Really? You don't think corporates will bite hard on McDonalds levels of complexity along with McDonalds levels of pay for using them?

      Because I bloody do.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft are spinning Win 8

    If they're trying this hard to get the message across, Metro must really suck.

  23. Meleth

    Even though I have a touchscreen connected to the comp i'm running win8 on, having to bring it up the whole time still sucks. BTW has anyone figured out how you do a search in the appstore? or how to access the 'side menu where you can shut down the comp' via touch alone? Only way i've been able to the side menu is by moving the pointer to the top right corner.

  24. JP19


    My spell checker doesn't think immersive is even a word. thinks

    immersive - noting or pertaining to digital technology or images that deeply involve one's senses and may create an altered mental state:

    Yep I'm sure Metro is going to create altered mental states. The kind where keyboards start looking like hammers and screens like nails.

    Anyhoo what use it immersive without rich and compelling?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They add a bunch of great improvements, like the task manager, the copy dialogues, boot speeds etc, and ruin it with an interface designed for a five year old.

    That said, everyone is in to fucking up their UIs these days in the name of 'convergence', which apparently we want. Not that it matters as typical users are likely to run Windows on the computer, run Android or iOS on their phone...

    Besides, unless they somehow find a way to totally remove the Internet from a computer... how exactly is that going to help.

    @Select * From Handle

    Lots of people working on tablets eh?! Though, why even make the point... it's not exactly like Android or iOS run non fullscreened apps.

  26. danny_0x98

    Mr. Turner, Bless Him, Speaks Out

    Since those distracting e-mails are from the managers telling us that this fire is now more important than that fire, or that some issue, on their desk but of tangential interest to us, has now been moved along a few inches — because that's "communication," we'll express our skepticism that Windows 8 delivers the working Nirvana Mr. Turner describes.

    We'll also overlook that it's the applications, not the os, that we use to get our jobs done, and on Day 365 of the Windows 8 epoch, they will the same applications. Nonetheless, let's go with Mr. Turner's premise.

    Over here in the US, we're having this election thing and jobs creation and productivity as terms are bandied about in ways that are as copious and as non-rigorous. Still, us voters are treated to lessons from Economics -1A. Productivity is work per dollar. So, Windows 8 productivity gains mean that whatever is being done now will take less time after we've met Metro, freeing up time for...? Things that weren't necessary? Yeah, don't think so. There won't be more important stuff to do until we get more customers, so, I guess fewer workers are needed. Ruh-roh.

    And, aren't billions of dollars over the next few years going to flow from us and our businesses to Microsoft, which means there are billions fewer dollars to buy our product and services?

    Were I to take Mr. Turner seriously, I'd have to run on about how Windows 8 will be a job-killer.

  27. Citizen Kaned


    to be honest ive not really looked into 8. but after watching the consumer preview thingy on the website i feel like im having a seizure now!

    im glad we just upgraded to win 7 here. its hard enough to keep my directors on windows and not bloody apple as it is. if they see this we will all be after macs... <shudders>

  28. Robinson

    They're taking the piss, aren't they?


    When I played with the consumer preview last week, I thought this was some kind of joke. Reading the above it's clear they're serious.

    I literally can't believe it.

  29. Doug Glass

    Yeah right, ...

    ... a sizable portion have still escaped Windows 7 and are still using XP. But yeah, give 'em 10 years and we'll all be on Windows 8. Or is that Windows 27?

    The harder the pitch, the worse the product.

    1. dogged

      Re: Yeah right, ...

      The harder the pitch, the worse the product.

      If this is a truism, then the iPhone and iPad must be utterly shit.

      1. Steven Roper


        They are.

  30. A. Lewis

    What a bunch of houzi de pegu

    I've only. just started playing with Win8. But my initial reaction has been the same as when I first tried WinPho7: "what the (bleep) were they thinking".

    Well thanks to Mr Turner at least I know. They're not thinking.

    What a load of marketing-fluff rubbish. Looks like the 'skip every other version' maxim will hold true.

  31. Levente Szileszky

    Wow, another completely CLUELESS turd from MS...

    ...says another utterly CLUELESS thing.

    How surprising - it isn't.

  32. jason 7

    Just installed it.

    I sat down to try it cold as a normal user for the first time.

    So ...errrr.....where are all the applications like Notepad,etc.?

    Where do I find them?

    I don't need 95% of the stuff on the Metro page but the stuff I do need I cant find anywhere.

    I'm trying to be clever and clicking on blank parts of the screen (there are lots of those) and that doesn't do anything' but make the desktop go small (why do I need it to do that?).

    I did click somewhere and got a bit up the right hand side that gave me some options but I lost it and cant get it back.

    I feel like one of my ordinary customers that hasn't had the benefit of 20+ years PC experience like I have. It's really humbling and to be honest a OS shouldn't do that.

    I am not looking forward to rolling this out to my long term XP/Vista customers. It will be carnage.

    1. jason 7

      Re: Just installed it.

      Okay I've found them.

      But seems an awful lot more travel and clicking to get to stuff. Like clicking on My Computer, to get to properties I now have to right click and trail over to the other side of the screen to select Properties.

      That just seems daft, then I have to go back to the desktop to use it. I missing something here or is this just a major step backwards? I haven't felt this lost since I went from 3.1 to Win95 but after a few minutes I was fine.

      Has anyone at MS sat their mum or dad down with a Windows 8 PC and said "there you go, do the following tasks!" and just watched what happens?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just installed it.

        Its not Windows 8, its you.

        You see, your problem is that you haven't been sufficiently brainwas^D^D^D^Dtrained yet.

        So pull out your creditcard, take a few courses, and by that time you'll be very happy with Windows 8. Simply because you know that if you admit you're still not happy you're also admitting to have spend hundreds of dollars on training. And most businesses won't do that ;-)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Redmond Knows Best - like it or lump it

    When will MS understand that users are NOT all the same and have different needs and different ways of working?

    MS imposing a common straitjacket will, once again, result in lower productivity for many, both as they become accustomed to yet another different MS totalitarian UI, and as they find that they cannot do what they need to do efficiently, since no-one at Redmond realised (or cared) that many users find it more efficient to work in ways unforseen by MS.

    At least in the past, users were able to customise their desktop, their toolbars, etc. But with the wretched ribbon even that option has been removed.

    Their arrogance is breathtaking.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    "keynote speech"

    You mean, "Marketing pitch."

    But then, I don't think MS people know any other form of communication

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lipstick on a pig?

    MS has just one, vital strength - its PC legacy. For example, the vast majority continue to use Office because the only think 100% compatible with MS Office is MS Office. I use (and love) LibreOffice, but recognise that, while compatibility with MS Office is pretty good, 100% compatibility will never happen. And Office development has become moribund as a consequence. No one can challenge it no matter how easy or well-featured), so it just keeps getting slowly bigger and MS does little more than tinker with the UI (e.g. the Ribbon monstrosity).

    Tablets (and smart phones to some extent) have introduced a strong, indirect challenge. The crux of the problem is that MS Office (as it stands) is lousy for the form factor. Always has been and always will be. It could only change with a radical redesign, in the same way Apple totally redesigned iWork for the iPad (as opposed to iWork for the desktop). They are similar, but radically different in use and don't have full feature parity either.

    This is a conundrum for MS - if it reinvents its OS and applications to specifically target tablets, the legacy (and market lock-in) is left behind. Given that MS is years behind everyone else, this is a serious risk. MS certainly seem to have rejected it, and fallen back onto the old scheme of dragging the touch form-factor back into the PC fold. So the desktop becomes something like a tablet - which feels stupid and limiting - and the tablet inherits the same old desktop software, which is awkward and difficult to use. Then MS can claim, "get the full Windows experience everywhere". And yet, I think we'll get something which doesn't deliver *anywhere*. "Metro on Windows" could become synonymous with "lipstick on a pig".

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "helps eliminate distractions"

    Why not go the whole hog and get rid of all those pesky and distracting graphics elements, too?

    DOS UI is back, yay!

  37. paulc

    Is this the final straw?

    Waiting for the "Tommy" moment... when everybody finally has enough and walks off singing "we're not gonna take it"...

  38. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    No distractions????

    well guess they are not going to include a whole list of M$ games with windows 8

    No more freecell to waste 5 mins on while waiting for a customer callback <sniffle>... guess I'll have to walk to the coffee machine instead

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: No distractions????

      You'll be pleased to know that all the usual games are still there. The only difference is that, since the new Start screen has no concept of folders or nesting, they are all there at top level and you have to use the scrollbar at the bottom of the screen to find them.

      Icon: A suppository for Mr Sinofsky.

  39. Paul RND*1000

    "Windows 8 will help people work harder, faster and better"

    No it just means they'll have full-screen Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay or *cough* El Reg comments open instead of whatever it is they're supposed to be doing.

    I get all my best work done when the internet is down.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Win7 "smokes" Win8

    Perhaps people recall those commercials where a guy with a Windows Phone bets with people using 'other' smartphones that he can perform certain tasks /much/ quicker. For example; taking a picture and putting it on a social website, sending an e-mail, navigating towards a certain point, etc.

    I bet that I can take on any Windows 8 installation and "smoke it" with a mere Windows 7. Where of course we'll both start in the default (desktop on Win7 & Metro on Win8) and both are tuned for work (Win7; recently used programs on the start menu, Win8; tiles structured for work).

    Lets connect to the server of $customer. Hint: you recently used this connection (not too long ago).

    Win7: Click start, go up (remote desktop), hoover (1 sec?) and go to the "recent" list in the jumplist. CLICK, you're in.

    Win8: Click Remote desktop, wait (splash screen; I bet 1.5 sec), click the "recent" pull down then find & select the entry. Click, you're in.

    Addition: lets type over the serial number of Office 2010 which you just installed (yet forgot to activate).

    Win7: (when working full screen): set the program to 'windowed' so it can sit in the corner of your screen. Now open up the document containing the serial number, place it so that you can both read & type. Now simply type it over. Easy does it.

    Win8: Go back to Metro, start the program containing the data. Now you'll end up on the desktop. Well, unless you're a genius who can memorize an entire Microsoft serial you'll have no other option than to memorize a small part and alt-tab back and forth between full screen remote desktop and your serial document.

    Lets open the Word document you made last week.

    Win7: Click start, go up (Word), hoover (1 sec?) and go to the recent list again. CLICK, document is open.

    Win8: Click on Word to start it, wait a moment. Now, click 'File' go to 'Recent' and search for the document in the list. CLICK, and its open. Note: If you use 'recent documents' a lot you could have pinned this on the quick launchbar in Word. That could have saved some time.

    Lets go to the control panel to find & check your backup.

    Win7: Click start, click control panel. OR; click start (or hit windows key) and type "control", it'll pop up ready to hit enter on (optionally you need to move down a little with your cursor).

    Win8: Type "control" but wait.. search results only display apps, nothing else. SO either press tab, hit cursor down and then press enough shift-tab to get back to the search result screen OR start using the mouse to first click "system" (iirc, the option below 'apps') and then click "control panel".

    (I'm aware of win8 keyboard shortcuts which can move you directly into a search mode. But do you honestly think your casual "search user" will remember those? Even so: how is that easier (keyboard combo) than merely hitting "windows key" and start typing?)

    And that's not even mentioning how we can no longer group our apps together. I click start, I click "all programs" and I have a group "Develop". This contains NetBeans, my UML tools, and even the several Visual Studio Express versions I use. 3 clicks and I'm there.

    Wait; it gets better.. Because I use this group on a semi-regular basis I put this in the middle of my start menu. As such I never have to look for it. It sits a few inches away from where I clicked "all programs".

    Win8? Either you somehow group it all together into Metro ("remember; the 4th section of icons is the develop section. How you should remember? Well, the 4th letter of the alphabet is 'd' right?). OR you find your way into the "all applications" (right click on an empty space, then click the option at the bottom) and try your luck there. However; both metro and "all apps" are nothing more than a pile of apps without /any/ structure.

    My bet? Workers will easily escape the Metro nonsense. We'll simply stay on Windows 7 until either Microsoft comes back to its senses OR until the competition has managed to come up with solid alternatives. Keep in mind: Win7 is supported until 2018 at least, and a LOT can happen in 6 years.

    1. Neil Greatorex

      Re: Win7 "smokes" Win8

      Probably a stupid question, but; why do you keep "Hoovering"?

      Dusty office perhaps?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        HA HA HA, I had to look it up but its a good one!

        That's just my not native English showing up...

        I'll be sure to keep in mind that next time I'll hoover those extra 'o''s away ;-)

        Thanks for the heads up!

  41. Wile E. Veteran

    "Full-screen immersive experience"

    And this is different from a green-screen terminal with dedicated function keys how? Because it has color?

  42. Someone Else Silver badge

    "Windows 8 will give people a beautiful, fast and fluid experience ..."

    Sounds a lot like the description of a premature ejaculation....

    1. MissingSecurity

      Re: "Windows 8 will give people a beautiful, fast and fluid experience ..."

      Except even finishing premature makes you feel good.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    I cannot believe I am going to say this....

    But after testing both, the consumer preview and the developer preview of Windows 8 for a few weeks now, I think I miss any other version of Windows. Even Vista....

    Win 8 is one of the major failures I've seen in design, functionality and accessibility. In any product, not only software.

  44. Glenn Amspaugh

    Kine not working hard enough

    Obviously the way out of the great recession is to get all these lazy workers to increase productivity. Turns out the world's troubles all come down to the working guy being lazy and easily distracted.

    Mine's the one with the tongue planted firmly in pocket.

  45. John Munyard

    Hmm, I'm calling "bollocks" on this one.

    If Office 2007 is anything to go by, productivity will DROP dramatically because Microsoft messed with a well established GUI and refused to offer a way for those that wanted to switch back to the older version - you know, the productive non "ribbon" version where you knew where everything was, the hotkeys worked and the whole thing made sense.

    And don't even get me started on the complete clusterf**k that Microsoft has turned MS Word styles into. It used to be a genuine productivity tool, and now it's a useless mess, clearly screwed up by endless feedback clinics with morons who never understood how styles worked in the first place.

    Message to Microsoft : a GUI which is primarily directed at tablets isn't going to get all those companies still running WinXP to upgrade. In fact with so much kit due for replacement you may just be pushing them towards other alternatives.

  46. Mikko

    not excited about using Metro at work

    To some extent, I understand what Turner might be talking about. I already do a lot of single-tasking, especially when programming - too many levels of thinking to handle to be distracted by anything not relevant blinking in the corner of my eye. I never seem get much use out of multiple monitors either. So I guess I'm supposed to like Metro.

    Thing is, I don't see much there that would help my current workflow. The current "Dock" metaphor seems to work well for me for stacking the 10-30 other currently open apps, browsers, IDEs etc. in the background for quick task switching, but out of the way of the single thing I'm working on at the moment. A potential improvement is improving visual identification of multiple instances of the same open app, but I haven't really figured out how Metro would help there. All it seems to do is add multiple new options how something could be accomplished, and jarring visual transitions from the old desktop to Metro. In-order style app switching is useless after more than 10 open apps in any case, no matter if it is Alt-Tabbing or Windows Phone-like. There's probably some promise for better use of widescreen aspect ratios for single-tasking, but having played with the latest preview a bit in a VM I'm rather underwhelmed so far.

    The other thing, of course, is that while most people probably can get used to Metro and not have it hinder their productivity too much - all in all it is not *that* different to Windows 7 if you stay away from Metro apps - I also know very well from observing my colleagues that there definitely isn't one single way to write code - many, if not most, of them really like to have multiple monitors and several windows open at the same time. In fact, I believe my single-tasking style is somewhat in the minority. Why try to make the grand new UI concept some kind of a office productivity enhancer when that UI is pretty much useless to most people in your average work environment?

  47. DS 1

    Metro - garbage.

    However, its harsh but simple. MS can't pull the whole MS structure onto smaller ARM devices. And somewhere in the great fat wallowing mass - They decided that they must get on ARM. The desktop, Start Button, and legacy, old apps, and multiple old MS technologues you find on X86/X64 can't get across.

    So fundamentally its about trying to force a new start, hence all the abuse of previous, and the deletion of the Start menu. By doing this, they hope to force a new start and get everything on the new structure in as short a time as possible.

    Some of which makes sense.

    MS is currently moving at great pace. They are throwing out the baby with the bath water, and putting the cart before the horse. They've been on this trail bnow for a few years. Do you know what the future holds for dot net? silverlight? No? Nor do most others. What about previous technologies and investments? Azure and powershell, and a lot of core work has been done to make their stuff data centric in nature, to compete in the cloud layers. Screw what was before, its all azure, office 365, and now Win 8 (which if you test it links into all that crap.)

    As a tech, and a user, and a customer - not one part of this helps me. Not one part of it uses my time and invetment wisely, and most of it will leave me worse off with poorer products, and more limited services. Sometimes simplification can be a good thing. But this is all about doing what MS wants, to help MS, and to sell new stuff.

    If you carefully examine things, a lot of MS products in recent times have less feartures, for example, check MSN messenger, which had a lot of features moved from it into office 365. A lot of stripping is taking place. And if you want it back you're going to pay for it.

    That is.... assuming all this goes to plan. I don't have to use any of that MS. And there may well come the time where I don't.

  48. Cyfaill

    Give Microsoft plenty of rope... err ribbon

    Lets see this played out and lets see the market decide what their fate will be.

    I think they are getting hints now that this is not how to ram a product down the throats of their customers but... Microsoft is just what it is, belligerent.

    Even resentful that anybody would question their almighty power to shape the world.

    At long last I definitely hear the unmistakable sound of an iceberg striking the side of the Microsoft ships hull, ripping a long self inflicted gash five chambers past repair while they steam full ahead into oblivion. The market sea is a force of nature whose presence and pressure should never be disregarded. Just remember, Microsoft did this to themselves by simply dismissing their customers as mere cattle to be driven to the whims of their presumed office overlords. Work harder, work harder now... Lets just see how this pans out.

  49. CmdrX3

    I've tried to like it, I really have

    but it's sucks sweaty borlox. I love Windows 7, but this hideous monstrosity of a Frankenstein... not so much. Maybe the actual retail release will be nice, but I doubt it. Keep Metro for the tablets and the phones and give me a proper OS for my computer.

    1. Neil Greatorex

      Re: I've tried to like it, I really have

      "I love Windows 7"

      Really? Been smoking something 'pungent'?

      1. LaeMing

        Re: I've tried to like it, I really have

        I'm using Win7 at work recently as we test the upgrade from XP in our student labs.

        I also quite like the UI. Can't speak for the core OS. I am a *nix person by preference.

  50. BitDr

    "Turner reckons, because full-screen apps will immerse workers in their spreadsheets, pushing distractions out of sight and ramping up output."

    Seems we've come full circle and are back to something more like Software Carousel than Windows.

  51. Stu 18

    MS eats its own dog food

    Do they still say this? Seems spectacularly apt to me.

    Dog food is made of offal right.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It Ain't Windows If There Ain't Windows

    Please refer to title.

  53. preppy

    Deja Vu

    This is not the first article I've read which contained similar criticisms of a new GUI. The other articles were about Gnome 3.0 and Ubuntu Unity.

    Are GUI designers ALL ill with the same disease? Or is this just a symptom of the "bleeding edge" -- where we'll all just have to wait for the technology to "mature"?

    1. BitDr

      Re: Deja Vu

      I vote for all GUI designers with the same disease. The only one that does not seem to think that the desktop is not a tablet is Apple.... but that could change. This head-long rush off the cliff is an opportunity for those who think evolutionary and not revolutionary.

    2. Graham Wilson

      @preppy -- Re: Deja Vu

      Correct, seems to me these designers can only cope with one UI paradigm at a time.

      Seeing they're all more addicted to their iPhones/smartphones than their desktops (desktop PC UIs being passé), the solution is to clone 'the slab's' UI onto the desktop!

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Deja Vu

      GUI designers are not ill. Their problem is that the world *hasn't* changed. We are still using mice and keyboards to interact with desktop computers. *That* is essentially a solved problem in human-computer interfacing. Therefore, there is no need for GUI designers for any new version of an established OS.

      It's been a problem for about 20 years now and it is now so bad that the GUI folks are trying to import models of interactions from touch screens (touch my neighbour's desktop screen and you'll get a punch in the face) and portable devices (pick up one of my neighbour's desktop screens and you'll do your back in) where even a five-year-old can see it is worse than wrong.

      The economy is in a bad way and their jobs haven't had any meaning for a decade. Pity the poor GUI designer. Then shoot them.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It was called "DOS"

    I remember when I was working with full-screen applications, it was called "DOS". Thanks to heaven Borland introduced that little program called Sidekick that let you access some useful apps without having to switch applications.

    Anyway no problem, XP lasted ten years, 7 can last another ten, then maybe will be time to look for alternatives to Windows, unless "Vista 2" will be replaced by 9 (or Seven of Nine, it won't be bad...)

  55. Tim Brown 1

    I'll stick with XP...

    Call be a luddite - go on, really, please.... but

    Is there any chance we might get to a point where instead of releasing 'new', incompatible versions of Windows-whatever every few years, Microsoft release instead incremental upgrades to what we already have?

    I took a look at a preview of Windows 7 and quite liked it, but the potential pain of having to do a clean install and re-install (or find new versions of) all my current apps made me stick with XP. I'm quite relieved that Windows 8 is such a mess, since that makes keeping XP an easy choice for me.

  56. jason 7

    After two hours using it......

    ....I've come to the conclusion that it's WIndows 7 but they have just made it 10 times harder to use.

    I can't see how its slicker, quicker or more intuitive at all. The corporate feedback on this will surely bring on a u-turn from MS?

    The main problem I have is that there are no prompts or breadcrumbs as to where I should go or do to get to things (still haven't worked out the proper gesture or sequence of stuff to get that right hand side menu up, unless spastic clicking-jiggle is the right thing to do). Plus it seems I'm having to use hot keys and the keyboard more where with all previous versions I'd just click with a mouse.

    It's like an motorway system with the road signs removed. Interesting as an experiment but bloody tedious very quickly.

  57. YARR

    Optimal strategy for IT managers who support Windows clients

    1. Buy enough site licenses for Windows 7 to cover anticipated future demand.

    2. Transition all Windows-dependent applications to browser independent web applications before support for Windows 7 ends.

    3. Switch to a sensible Linux distro at your convenience.

    1. admiraljkb

      Re: Optimal strategy for IT managers who support Windows clients

      and oddly enough, #2 is already happening behind the scenes currently in a lot of businesses, although its mostly due to iWhatever and Android devices infiltrating the workspace. That is part of the reason MS is risking so much on Metro, although I think they'll end up accelerating the drive for platform independence. Even if Metro is revised sufficiently to be "successful" before launch, telling your biggest corporate customers "my way or the highway" is going to ensure they start coming up with and following through with the backup plans for multiple suppliers (which they should have had anyway).

      UI's are one area where people get very, very touchy. I have to include myself in that, and I've been on both sides of the argument.

  58. This post has been deleted by its author

  59. ph0b0s

    U-turn Alert

    Isn't this one heck of a U-turn. Haven't Microsoft for many years, been extolling the virtues of not needing applications to be full screen, but in 'windows' who's size you can control and stack to look at multiple things at once. Wasn't one of the touted features of Win 7 the ability to stack windows quick on either side of the screen just by dragging them there. If it was so bad for productivity why did they bother.

    This is like Apple coming out and saying that having things that 'just work', is actually bad. Or stylish design is bad.

    I am gob-smacked by this, gob-smacked I tell you. What's next keyboards are actually bad of typing.....

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the "immersive" Metro user interface removes all their distractions"

    In my job the OS is literally the very least of my distractions when compared to the relentless phone calls, emails, instant messages, drive-bys and tickets.

    You'd hve to be a dribbling moron to be distracted by the OS functions.

  61. FlatEarther

    Why do Microsoft, Google, Apple think the know what I do

    They don't.

    If I want to run 12 applications and switch between them because that's what my job takes how would they know? And if its a different 12 applications tomorrow how would they know that? If 10 minutes distraction helps my productivity they won't know that either.

    If I want to search for holidays in Thailand this morning it doesn't mean that I'm still interested 2 hours later. People can think about two different things in one day (but, not apparently at MS, Apple or Google).

    And, BTW, all of these interfaces and applications are just a means to an end. They are not THE end, so I don't want these mega corporations deciding that I must use a different means because their so called "designers" have had too much sugar.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having installed Windows 8, and trying to use it for three hours, the only good thing about Metro is people are at least modding it out of Windows 8 already.

    The shutdown procedure is absolutely nuts. If you don't know how it works, you'll turn it off the same way I did... with shutdown -s -t 1.

    Though, with Ribbon Explorer, with Ribbon minimised it's actually not that bad. Metro is worse than I possibly thought though. It's really annoying how much great stuff is in there, and ruined by this train wreck of an interface.

    Someone needs to go to MS, Canonical and Gnome developers and give them a kick in, because this interface madness needs to stop.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You gotta check out the discussion on microsofts website:

    Reminds me of those commercials featuring "real" people saying how super duper this new and improved thingamabob is.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What does windows 8 look like?

    I have been attempting to google this but I simply cannot find anything that I'm sure is what Windows 8 looks like...

    This might be because IBM allows me to use ANY OS which meets the security requirements, and I'm used to a sensible gnome desktop.

  65. Derek Currie
    Big Brother


    Windows L8 is going to create a massive user lash-back. All the marketing-speak Microsoft can muster is not going to save them from the consequences of their poor GUI design.

    This fits so perfectly into The Spirit of the Age: User Abuse.

    And we should all know by now what follows when you abuse your clients: Retribution.

  66. fzz

    Finally . . .

    . . . office workers can be as immersed in their work as sewer workers.

    Thanks, MSFT!

  67. P. Lee

    MS's first server-only OS?

    That might be worthwhile.

  68. Tankboy

    Oh dear...

    Windows 8 is going to suck loudly if they're already trying to sell it. Who are they kidding? They did the same thing with ME (remember that?) and followed up with Vista (if a software company has to offer downgrades...), and then instead of improving a product that is perfectly serviceable, they announce that there will be no more support for XP. Suck it Micro$oft. My Linux is working just fine.

  69. Gil Grissum

    Win 8?

    The med school I work for is slowly migrating to Windows 7 now. They most certainly won't be rushing to upgrade to Windows 8 and oh god, if I have to support this, I am going to be drinking a lot of beer to survive it.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We've justed canned our Windows 7 upgrade, does that mean when they get round to upgarding XP we'll end up with Win8? Well I suppose that's assuming we haven't been broken up and fed to the sharks by then obviously.

  71. Vetis

    First: I have to admit to using Vista at home, installed it when it was released and I've never had a problem with it.

    Im using the 8 CP and i don't get why bars and buttons are getting bigger on a lot of programs while actual useful space is declining. They even removed the classic theme which I have been using since XP. The OS should be in the background letting you run what you want, not the main feature of the PC.

  72. MIc

    Not too bad.

    I started using it a work on a 4 monitor setup.

    Running VS 2012 and all that jazz. I have to say I don't see what all the fuss is about. The metro stuff is not as big as a nuisance as all this hoopla would lead one to believe.

    If you're commenting on how catastrophic win 8 will be and you haven't tried I would suggest that you roll off the throttle a bit and give it a go.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Not too bad.

      Could you give some insight how Metro handles multi-monitor systems?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  73. MIc


    The extra displays always show the classic desktop with a taskbar on each display. The metro interface is constrained to just the primary display. Metro apps are also limited to the primary display. You can show both a Metro app on the primary display and regular apps on other screens. The Metro app will stay up until you drag a regular window onto that display. This forces the primary display back into classic desktop.

    So mainly I'm only using the metro as a really large start menu. And I actually prefer this. Searching for apps and control panel items is way easier (just start typing) . So I have to say the metro stuff isn't that intrusive.

    1. MIc

      I guess what I am trying to say is...

      the IT worker can escape Metro... for the more part at least.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finally . . . Clippy RULZ!

    The sMashed MaRawDuh strykes agayn. <:-p

  75. jason 7

    Amazing bonus of Windows 8. Thanks Microsoft.

    Since I have installed Windows 8 on a tablet laptop, I've been hawking around some of my customers that have been dawdling over upgrading from XP to 7.

    I've sat them down with the Windows 8 laptop and asked them to play around with "the very near future".

    All of them have now given me hurried orders for WIndows 7 machines.

    Fantastic! Kerchinnnng!

    Windows 8 - The best selling point for Windows 7!

  76. BobChip

    Metro - No thanks

    I am currently trying the consumer pre-release version, and at least so far it gets a resounding no thanks.

    Metro is a pain, and gets in the way of my doing productive work. I do a lot of high end graphics / CAD type work, for which a 24 inch (non-touch) monitor and a mouse is essential, and it takes significantly longer to get to that interface and start work in Win 8 than in my present setup. (if you want to fly in an aeroplane designed on an 8 inch screen by someone using their fingers and thumbs to position parts, please just put up a post saying so......)

    Is it just my imagination, or is MS trying to move us to a future in which a computer is primarily a device you use to consume content from the internet, as opposed to a tool for doing productive work?

    There is absolutely nothing here to persuade me to switch back from Linux to MS. I guess I had to look, but now i know.

  77. jason 7

    You can see how its dividing up in the forums.

    Those that just consume and are of the skinny jean and white plimsoles persuasion love it and feel that desktops should be banned.

    Then the rest that are just too tired/jaded to go through this crap and just want to get on with our tedious dreary jobs creating stuff and trying to make money with the minimum of hassle.

    I've been using this system for nearly 20 years I really really don't care about Metro, sorry kids, Dad's not interested.

    Take it out of 8 for Desktop/Laptop and leave all the nice improvements like the Task Manager etc. and let us get on with trying to keep our jobs.

  78. KakersUK
    Thumb Down

    "because the "immersive" Metro user interface removes all their distractions."

    Turn people into mindless robots by treating them like children!

  79. William Hinshaw

    MS Bob 2.0 here we come

    This is MS Bob 2.0 and is worse than MS Bob 1.0 could ever dream to be.

  80. jason 7

    Some things that dont make sense for Metro and the Metro Apps.

    How will Windows 8 work in a corporate environment anyway?

    A lot of Metro apps will need a Windows Live login so that's going to be locked out or folks wont have or want one. Then any IT Support Dept will want to lock out the Metro App store and App installation anyway. No one wants company PCs full of craplets using up all the bandwidth and pinging monitoring software left right and centre. doesn't make sense. Whats the point?

    I'm thinking that Windows 8 Premium will be Metro only and Windows 8 Pro will have the option to turn it off.

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