back to article Windows 8: We kick the tyres on Redmond's new tablet wheels

The surprising thing about the Windows 8 Release Preview just delivered is not how much has changed from February's Consumer Preview, or even the Developer Preview from September 2011, but rather how little. Microsoft is set on delivering this hybrid tablet-and-desktop operating system pretty much as-is, despite widespread …


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  1. Tony J Smith

    A foolish decision by Microsoft to force metro upon all users, desktop as well as tablet. It's one which will likely backfire in spectacular fashion upon them. I can see the taglines and twitter posts now: "You can't spell METRO without ME".

    1. dotdavid
      Thumb Up

      You also can't spell it without ROT.

      Or MORT for that matter.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        You'll have to pay me FRAND

        I claim right to that meme... Windows Muerto and similar works.

    2. breakfast Silver badge

      But then again...

      Windows Metro is basically "Windows Me" with a bit of added troll.

    3. Mikel

      What is Metro?

      Metro is like Windows without all those awkward windows, and the apps you paid so much for, and the devices like cameras, printers and scanners you use every day. It's the new thing and doesn't support that stuff, so throw out all your old things now so you can embrace the wonder that is Metro!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rather generous review

    Even the hardcore Windows users will claim Windows 8 is a backwards step in PRODUCTIVITY, which is what everyone wants from a desktop OS.

    Nobody cares about shiny swish boxes.

    1. DJ Smiley

      Re: Rather generous review

      So the iP* users don't like boxes huh?

      They don't like Shiny?

      We'll see - the thing is, this will cause a split in the market which Apple I think has failed to appeciate. This gives windows that "shiny" feeling that apple device users expect. No longer will they feel the need to buy an apple computer to go with their latest shiny tablet or phone. As their new computer has the "same"* boxes on a screen interface their iP* already has

      * Yes, I'll think you'll find most users don't know/care that windows and iOS are two different things - both present boxes in a grid format which you activate to achieve a goal.

  3. Steve Evans

    *rolls eyes*

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but M$ are "forcing" a UI designed for a touch screen tablet onto their entire desktop user base just so they can claim "Work on your tablet just like you do on your desktop" on the advertising blurb of the Windows tablets.

    They're crippling their desktop users just so they can have a punt at 3rd place in the tablet market - aka over taking the abandoned WebOS!

    Oh well... Guess that's me sticking with Win 7 for a while... Which at the moment is hosting an XP VM!

    Hmmm, I've got Windows 2.0 floppies somewhere, I wonder if I can find a floppy drive...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: *rolls eyes*

      So use it predominantly in Desktop mode then.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: *rolls eyes*

        Yeah, just stop using the start menu!

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: *rolls eyes*

        "So use it predominantly in Desktop mode then."

        So that would be Windows 7 then?

      3. arober11
        Thumb Down

        Re: *rolls eyes*

        The desktop mode is a stub (No "Start" - button), breaking it for those who want to play on a non touch device, also not brilliant on the works Dell XT2.

        In desktop mode your forced to switch back tothe swipee Metro interface (via a key combo or a painful hot corner - especially if running via a VM on a Mac), to swipe around, and find and Start an un-pined program.

        Same goes for login / unlock, you need to swipe up, to get the login prompt to appear (took a min or two, to work that one out), and working out how to Shut Windows 8 down wasted another few min's.

    2. MikeyD85

      Re: *rolls eyes*

      I recently bought a second hand high spec gaming PC with a floppy drive in it. I thought it a lovely touch! Haha! Now to find a floppy disk... errrr.... hmmmm.....

    3. Fuzz

      Re: *rolls eyes* 3rd place

      I think you're underestimating how well the tablet side of this will do. Android might be king in the smartphone world but they're a distant second on tablets. I can see Windows easily beating Android for market share here but I doubt it will make a dent in the iPad.

      1. breakfast Silver badge

        Re: *rolls eyes* 3rd place

        It's pretty hard to make a dent in the iPad. They usually shatter.

      2. Richard Plinston

        Re: *rolls eyes* 3rd place

        > Windows easily beating Android

        There will be (if the OEMs actually want to build them) both x86 Windows 8 tablets and ARM Windows RT.

        OEMs have already said that they can't make an x86 tablet that is competitive with iPad because of the cost of Windows and of intel x86 chips even if they are SoCs. The final cost of a useful tablet would also require Office (the RT Office is only for ARM). While there may be some sales the users will be disappointed that their existing desktop applications won't work with touch.

        The ARM tablets may be considerably cheaper but will only ever run WinRT, will disappoint the users because they will think that existing Windows applications should run but won't and the Office is a cut down version. The only thing that it will have is Metro which is already mostly rejected on WP7 and on Win8 previews.

      3. Enrico Vanni

        Re: *rolls eyes* 3rd place


        Every Chinese tablet other than the iPad runs Android, and M$'s licensing strategy isn't going to change that any day soon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: *rolls eyes* 3rd place

          The licensing strategy for RT is key, though hardly mentioned in these discussions. Digitimes claimed rumours of $50-$90 per Windows RT license last month sounds on the high side given much of the tablet space is focussed around retail $200 Kindle - $5/600 iPad 3. If MS price RT aggressively e.g. $25 for 7", <$50 for 10" its a serious competition IMO. Higher and the BOM sums seriously favour Android.

          Sums different for Windows 8 Intel/AMD but still pressure on historical MS OEM pricing for desktop/laptop as MS enters lower cost tablet space.

    4. discociti

      Re: *rolls eyes*

      I find it hard to take anyone seriously who still substitutes Microsoft with some other monikor. It seems a little childish. True, Microsoft is not a charity, but the world most capitalized company is now Apple who, depending on your IT religion is worse or better than the monopoly attributed to IE. Isn't iTunes the same?

      It terms of crippling the desktop users. My experience of Win 8 is that its faster than Windows 7, crisper in the detail and some interesting new features. Nobody is forcing a new UI - you don't have to buy it - but to be fair there is marked difference between PC and tablet type operation.

      1. Chemist

        Re: *rolls eyes*

        "you don't have to buy it"

        Are you suggesting that in a year or two you'll be able to buy a PC without it ?. I build my own and only use Linux but for most people ...

        (Unless it all goes pear-shaped)

  4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Users were not so much won over to new versions

    They simply had to put up with whatever was preinstalled, or foisted upon them in the workplace. People are adaptable, and can learn new ways of working, but some "improvements" weren't.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Users were not so much won over to new versions

      First thing I did with Windows 7?

      Made the taskbar work properly.

      First thing I did with Office 2010?

      Ignored it and used OpenOffice.

      So much for being won over. I think I'll give 8 a miss.

    2. nexsphil

      Re: Users were not so much won over to new versions

      True about the foisting, but those versions of Windows were still basically Windows. This wacky tablet interface is going to take active resistance from ordinary users, not just power users. And businesses? You've got to be fucking joking. They've got work to do.

    3. James Anderson

      Re: Users were not so much won over to new versions

      I never came across any one who was won over by Vista. Perhaps MS should stick to two letter acronyms like NT or XT which seem to work for them.

  5. dotdavid

    "Microsoft is set on delivering this hybrid tablet-and-desktop operating system pretty much as-is, despite widespread feedback that the concept is not quite working"

    Puts fingers in ears


    - Windows 8 Management

  6. David Jackson 1

    Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

    The best thing Microsoft could do would be to remove Metro from Windows 8 completely. If they want something for the tablet market, while that lasts; produce something specifically for that. It they won't remove it, allow it to be completely disabled. I have the misfortune to have to work on a Windows 7 machine, but at least most of the irritating features can be switched off and it can be made to work almost as well as XP. Why not allow the same for Windows 8?

    1. DJ Smiley

      Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

      That would leave you with windows7.

      I find its hard to not think this is true, because after all even the requirements are exactly the same. Its a design change and thats all by the sound of things?

      1. David Jackson 1

        Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

        That's a pity. Generally, the really important changes between Windows version have been invisible; i.e. they are not inprovements to the GUI, although there may be some, but improvements in the performance, robustness and security of the system, plus support for new types of peripheral. Without these, there is no real point in having a new version.

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

        Windows 8 feels faster than Windows 7 on a relatively underpowered virtual machine, so if they had a proper start menu and the ability to disable Metro, it would actually be a decent upgrade.

    2. DrXym

      Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

      Metro doesn't have to be killed, it just has to offer functionality comparable to that delivered by the start menu. I can't believe how badly it still functions so close to RTM. I was prepared to give the benefit of doubt to the consumer preview, openly wondering but hoping things might improve but it's clear MS are releasing this thing whether it is ready for the desktop or not. I believe they've decided to get this thing out of the door regardless of it being broken and then we'll see a followup release much like Windows 7 was for Vista.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

      But if they allow that, that's what everone will do, including every corporate on the planet, and Microsoft won't be able to sell you apps, and they won't be able to shove Windows Phones, Xboxes and tablets that they can't otherwise sell under your nose and say "hey it looks the same" (even if it doesn't run the same stuff).

      Windows 8 isn't what USERS want, it's what MICROSOFT want, and that's where the product want wrong. The let that fucktard Balmer have a say in things.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

      The best thing Microsoft could do would be to do what Jimmy does at the end of 'Quadrophenia'.

  7. Bob Vistakin

    I finally get it! It all makes sense now...

    Microsoft are doing this so they can claim to have invented square corners. Genius. Soon, legally, all of computing (hardware and software) will belong to either Apple or them. So who's laughing at Metro now?

    1. Steve Knox

      Re: I finally get it! It all makes sense now...

      I'm laughing -- I just patented concave corners!

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: I finally get it! It all makes sense now...

        And I just covered the last base by patenting the circle.

        First letter being drafted to Tefal as we speak.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    train wreck

    Looking at the MS answers site regarding Windows 8, it seems the overriding questions are relating to 'how to remove Metro', 'where is my start menu?' and so on.... and this is from more tech savvy users of the kind who install preview software

    Imagine the train wreck this will be once PCs start shipping with this and the average joe gets his new PC home and can't figure out where his desktop or start button have gone?

    And why can everyone else see this except Microsoft?

    1. adnim

      Re: train wreck

      Of course Microsoft can see this but their dominance of the OS market and the fact that nearly all new PC's are shipped with Windows means they don't have to care. What they expect is that... "users are won over in time". Of course this is not really the case, users are forced into the new tech because MS remove support for old tech and require OEM's to install the latest MS OS.

      Installing an alternative OS may only be a small challenge for a PC user with a little IT literacy but the majority of PC users these days are not PC users at all, they are just consumers with little to no idea that alternatives even exist.

      Metro is perfectly suited to those who want an entertainment/information displaying/social networking device... ie:a consumer. Productivity and use of a PC as a working tool is something else entirely, so whilst MS may win over the consumer with Metro they are going to have a hard time pushing it to those who use a PC as a productivity tool.

      1. blondie101

        Re: train wreck

        "Metro is perfectly suited to those who want an entertainment/information displaying/social networking device... ie:a consumer. Productivity and use of a PC as a working tool is something else entirely, so whilst MS may win over the consumer with Metro they are going to have a hard time pushing it to those who use a PC as a productivity tool."

        If this is their target who on earth will they win from iPad and Android? Don't see it happening. They will be third and that's not how the Microsoft eco system can survive... Start selling your shares...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: train wreck

        "Installing an alternative OS may only be a small challenge for a PC user with a little IT literacy but the majority of PC users these days are not PC users at all, they are just consumers with little to no idea that alternatives even exist."

        Which means they wouldn't even realise if the IT dept rolled out their new PCs with Linux installed. It'd be a more familiar interface with a faster learning curve than switching a whole company to Win8/Metro with its associated massive shift in interface paradigm. ;)

    2. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: train wreck


      "And why can everyone else see this except Microsoft?"

      Emperor's clothes?

      1. Nigel 11

        Truth in naming

        ME - a nasty debilitating illness. Yup.

        Vista - means excrement in Sanscrit (allegedly). Yup.

        Metro - anagram of Morte. Dead. Yup.

    3. Paul Shirley

      Re: train wreck

      It also seems obvious now that one objective of the prereleases was to let techies party on hacking Metro into submission. Then blocking all those exploits.

      A significant number of 'average joes' never need to deal with the 'where's my XXXX gone' because they let their techie friend configure their machine before using it in anger. My brother let's me configure his new laptops before he even turns them on, something annoys me enough I turn it off before he knows it was there.

      What will save Win8 (if that's possible) is people will find hacks faster than Microsoft can ship updates to block them. At some point it will be possible to configure Metro away and make it stick and a working 'enough' Start menu will get frankensteined onto Win8.

  9. Stonedecroze

    Won over? Really ?

    "Harris describes how every new version of Windows has had vocal opponents, but that users are won over in time."

    Millennium, Vista ... NOT.

    1. Benjamin 4

      Re: Won over? Really ?

      Users are not won over in time. The old version is no longer available for sale and or no longer supported, so they are forced to use the new version.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Won over? Really ?

        We never did get to find out what would have happened if it was ME or ditch Microsoft.

        We never did get to find out what would have happened if it was Vista or ditch Microsoft. (Yes, I know Windows 7 is pretty much Windows Vista properly debugged. XP had a fairly Vista-like start as well.)

        This time? Who knows. DEC managed to kill itself, at the third or fourth try.

  10. Bill Neal


    Return The Mother______

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the work on multiple monitors sounds good

    1. Bill Neal

      multiple monitors?

      What was wrong with multiple monitors before? I haven't had trouble with Windows or Linux.

      1. Fuzz

        Re: multiple monitors?

        doesn't mean they can't be made better, there are two main improvements.

        1. The taskbar is now available on all screens in the monitor with options for whether the program buttons appear on all taskbars or just the one on the application screen.

        2. Desktop wallpaper, you can now have wallpaper that spans your desktops or different wallpaper on each screen. There's even an option to automatically show landscape pictures on the landscape screens and portrait ones on the portrait screens.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: multiple monitors?

        "What was wrong with multiple monitors before? I haven't had trouble with Windows or Linux."

        No problem with multiple monitor support on linux either, but on Windows it -sucks-. Even with the latest Windows 7, you can't have a taskbar on each monitor, showing just the windows that belong to that screen. Can't have a start button or system tray on each screen. Can't define different wallpaper per desktop (if you want something like that, you gotta munge them all together into one big image file, align it exactly, and tell it not to stretch or centre it). Can't 'send to monitor to the left' or 'send to monitor to the right'. Complete and utter half-baked mess.

        1. Quxy

          Re: multiple monitors?

          You forgot to mention that when you unplug your laptop from the external monitors, all* the application windows that were open in the right-hand monitor are now inaccessible, even after restarting the application.

          (* For a large subset of popular commercial applications, in any case.)

  12. jai

    flash baked in? so adverts unavoidable?

    So Flash is baked in to IE now, and because IE is going to be plug-in free, does that mean there's no way to use something like Ad-Block to avoid adverts?

    Or is there a type of non-plug-in plug-in that we'll be able to use?

    1. dogged

      Re: flash baked in? so adverts unavoidable?



      1. Big_Ted
        Thumb Down

        Re: flash baked in? so adverts unavoidable?

        Actually No

        Firefox can't write a browser for it as they don't have access to the API's

        Theres been a couple of stories etc on it here in the past week orso.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: flash baked in? so adverts unavoidable?

          Firefox will be able to work in Metro mode on Windows 8 for x86, but won't work on Windows 8 for ARM.

          1. B4PJS

            Re: flash baked in? so adverts unavoidable?

            I think you meant

            "Firefox will be able to work in Desktop mode on Windows 8 for x86, but won't work on Windows 8 for ARM"

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: flash baked in? so adverts unavoidable?

              No. WOA doesn't allow access to the Win32 API except to Microsoft and it just so happens that if you want to write software of any complexity like IE/Office for tablets you need the Win32 API. It also only allows installations from MS's online shop. Finally there's an IE-only policy for WOA. They can do this because they're not a monopoly in this area.

              However Windows 8 for Intel does allow (some) Metro apps access to Win32, does allow installations from outside of MS's shop and to avoid accusations of monopoly other browsers are allowed.

              It's going to be an unmitigated disaster.

    2. B4PJS

      Re: flash baked in? so adverts unavoidable?

      If you actually cared to do a little research my dear chap, before prattling on like a fool, you would realise that it is a cut down version of flash that only allows certain whitelisted sites play flash content. I am certain that this list does not include advertisers.

      1. wobbly1

        Re: flash baked in? so adverts unavoidable?

        ... until Microsoft do the deal with the ad networks and adds them to the "allowed" list in an "update". Reminiscent of the deal they did with Big media rights owners...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: flash baked in? so adverts unavoidable?

        > I am certain that this list does not include advertisers.

        Certain? Why, did you actually care to do a little research?

    3. RAMChYLD

      Re: flash baked in? so adverts unavoidable?

      Just find a list of all the ad-servers' address in the world, add them to the hosts file, and alias them to Troublesome, but it was the oldest method in the book.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Iceberg spotted on horizon, captain determined to beat sales records and piling on steam

    Metro on tablet: maybe (depends on app support, and it's basically a new platform launched a few years behind the iPad.. developers will need convincing).

    Metro on desktop: sorry, but it's a big step back. I think it would actually work better if it was *pure* metro rather than this nasty half'n'half we're being given, because at least it would be consistent (and actually pretty good), if not exactly keyboard + mouse friendly. Problem is, it'd still end up worse than windows 7 on the desktop.

    So basically what we have is this:

    - On the desktop, a downgrade for most users.

    - On the tablet, a new and untested OS that's late to the market... risky!

    - On the amazing new hybrid desktop/tablet machines? A new and untested category of device that may or may not take off. This is the only place where it makes sense, and we don't know yet if there's even a market for it, or if it'll work well enough if there is.

    This could be a massive disaster for the PC industry. It's already starting to sink under the threat from tablets + mobile. Now microsoft are throwing them a huge pile of bricks instead of a lifeline, because people won't buy a new PC if they don't like the OS on it.

    Speaking of which, will windows 7 still be available to buy, and will it be available on new machines when 8 is out?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "This could be a massive disaster for the PC industry. "

      And not a moment too soon - it's amazing how long it has survived as the bunch of box-shifters it became during late 80s and early 90s.

    2. hewbass

      Re: Iceberg spotted on horizon, captain determined to beat sales records and piling on steam

      "This could be a massive disaster for the PC industry. It's already starting to sink under the threat from tablets + mobile. Now microsoft are throwing them a huge pile of bricks instead of a lifeline, because people won't buy a new PC if they don't like the OS on it."

      Having held the PC industry back for 20 years, I would have thought that MS finally getting a Design Idea (even if it is one that has some poorly thought out implementation) would be considered a good thing, especially since it might open the door to other challengers being able to compete -- and particularly if they adhere to documented open standards, with some consideration for those people that might have to get something back from archive in 20 years time.

      [Watching from the side lines. I actually compute for a living: all the heavy duty computing SW in my Industry is aimed at proper operating systems anyway so, other than documentation, zero impact to me]

  14. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Does anyone remember the ending to Terminator 2 ?

    Where the evil terminator dies thrashing around in hot metal, and goes through it's past lives ?

  15. DrXym

    People won't be won over

    Not when Microsoft is not addressing obvious shortcomings in metro. There are some very obvious ways Windows 8 could improve the experience and it doesn't. Lack of folders is the most obvious omission but also the inability to set zoom level, the lack of Windows button and more.

    Would it really damage their design ethic for Metro to implement something called a "folder" and represent program groups by such a thing? They could even do some neat little animation where you hover or click on them and the icons whoosh out make space for themselves in the list.

    Putting all programs and icons in a linear list is just flat out stupid. It's broken for desktops where many people may have hundreds of icons and sorely missing even for tablets.

    One wonders if Microsoft are really intending for Windows 8 to be usable for desktops at all. It's beginning to feel like they really don't care and intend an 8.5 or 9 down the line to make it work in a tolerable way. This is shaping up to be the worst received release since Windows Me.

    1. jason 7

      Oh how lovely my Metro Desktop looks...

      littered with masses of ReadMe and Unistall tabs everywhere. Looks so classy.

      I love the fact they have built in that slide puzzle thing, (you know the ones we had as kids where you slide the tiles to get them in order) for arranging the Tabs, just that those crafty buggers have worked it so it's impossible to get them in the order you want.

      Was that intentional?

    2. Fuzz

      Re: People won't be won over - worst received release since Windows Me.

      I think you could be right on the Me comparison, however this is very different to the Me issue.

      Me was rubbish behind the scenes, it was unstable, driver support was poor, it was slow. However the interface was quite nice, it was the Windows 2000 interface which most people would only have seen at the time if their place of work was using it. It was familiar enough looking very similar to 98 that people were used to but with a bit of polish.

      Contrast this with Windows 8 where behind the scenes the OS is great, it's stable, fast, I've no doubt driver support will be as good as Windows 7. The problem with Windows 8 is the interface.

  16. Jeff 11

    Cue massive sales of Windows 7

    Remember when MS introduced Vista, and every manufacturer offered an XP downgrade option?

    I predict a bout of déjà vu for the Windows group.

  17. Robert Forsyth

    Metro is just an extension of the Ribbon I/F

    What is there not to like? ;)

    Or it is like using a browser in kiosk mode, or it is just one big tool bar.

    Mine's the one with the MeeGo on a flash drive.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Metro is just an extension of the Ribbon I/F

      Install VS2010 in Win8 and you get a home page full of icons for "MFC-Trace tool", "Install MSFT FXcop", "Manifest log viewer" and other tools I had never heard of.

      Presumably this is an egalitarian American ideal.

      Supporting equality over the oppressive hierarchy that gave precedence to Visual Studio or Excel over these poor oppressed downtrodden utilities that nobody ever used - now they have equal place on your desktop.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mine's the one with the MeeGo on a flash drive.

      MeeGo is dead, long live Tizen.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash from the past

    Is it me but doesn't Metro seem like how Windows 3.11 was just with added widgets?

    1. Alexander McCallister

      Re: Flash from the past

      Sir, I knew Windows 3.11. Windows 3.11 was a friend of mine. And this is no Windows 3.11.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Flash from the past

      Actually it looks more like Windows 1; a big pile of stuff to click and after you click it it appears on screen.

      Major difference being that instead of full screen Windows actually knew how to tile stuff back then. A lesson I think they'll have to re-learn.

  19. Big_Ted

    OK all you tech savvy people......

    Its time to read up on how to do the downgrade process.....

    I know for sure that my sister is going to be getting a new laptop for Xmas and you can bet the first thing she will ask her "Tech Support" ie me is how to sort the computer to run properly......

    And by properly she will mean like her old one and the ones at work do.......

    Wonder how much I can charge per person if I hand out leaflets outside Currys just before Xomas........

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lets hang fire for a moment

    Vote up all of you lovely people that have tried it.

    I haven't, but I am old enough to remember the every other rule with micro$oft.

    Good version/bad version/good version/bad version

    It's the Fringe parody - in the blue universe Bill gates is still in change and the products don't suck as much

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lets hang fire for a moment

      Old enough to remember the every other rule or young and ignorant enough to buy into the stupid every other rule which anyone with actual experience knows is a load of horseshit?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lets hang fire for a moment

        Old enough to remember a rule which is actually a crappy Internet meme, but not mature enough to realise that it's incredibly childish to use a dollar sign for the s in Microsoft.

        Big company in makes money shocker.

    2. Code Monkey

      Re: Lets hang fire for a moment

      While I agree on the every other rule, it won't stop me pointing and laughing.

  21. banjomike

    Still unimpressed

    Still unhappy. I have tried it. I miss Windows.

  22. banjomike

    for users equipped with mouse and keyboard this feels wrong...

    It doesn't just FEEL wrong, it IS wrong. Desktops are NOT fondleslabs and it doesn't matter what Microsoft say or do, desktops can NEVER be fondleslabs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: for users equipped with mouse and keyboard this feels wrong...

      As the mouse points out, you don't need to have a touch screen to manipulate the screen, my boss has an external multi touch bluetooth touchpad for his Mac laptop. I daresay that this would work just fine with Windows 8.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: for users equipped with mouse and keyboard this feels wrong...

        "my boss has an external multi touch bluetooth touchpad for his Mac laptop"

        Fair enough. That could work. Most users have a £2 optical mouse plugged in at the moment. How much are these multi touch bluetooth touchpads? Oh, and the cost of the bluetooth dongle for the PC since most desktops don't have BT. An the time for tech support to roll out the drivers etc, plug in the dongles for those users too scared to di it themselves.

        It probably is a good idea as an option, but not as a requirement to work around a problem which doesn't have to exist in the first place.

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: for users equipped with mouse and keyboard this feels wrong...

      Indeed. Note that Apple have a different UI on the iMac compared to the iPad. They know that they are two completely different classes of devices and users. The iMac one is not unlike "classic" Windows XP or 7.

      (Amazing. Microsoft has managed to make me say something nice about Apple! )

  23. Joe Drunk

    This is definitely a HUGE gamble by MS. I don't think your average home user will care - 'Wow, this works almost like my IPad - my Facebook, twitter, email all work! Yay!!!'

    Power users? I really doubt it.

    Corporate users? Probably will be fine since start menu is still there but I wonder what the costs will be for user training on new Metro UI. I Also wonder about the costs for apps that may have to be re-written. The migration costs for Win 8 could be unprecedented.

    I agree that this looks like it may be a disaster for the PC industry - more and more consumers are buying tablets instead of laptops and with Win 8 most consumers won't be able to differenatiate between either. Tablet will become laptop without keyboard.

    >Speaking of which, will windows 7 still be available to buy, and will it be available on new machines >when 8 is out?

    I doubt it. MS wants everyone on the new OS (whichever one just came out) so no Win 7 on new machines and stores will stop stocking Win 7 as sales diminish.

    Who knows. Maybe the era of desktop/laptop is slowly coming to an end. We may be entering the era of strictly tablet/thin client and servers/clouds.

    It's anyone's guess as to how this movie will end so just break out the popcorn.

    It's Friday and nearly pub o'clock!

    1. Big_Ted

      Corporate users? Probably will be fine since start menu is still there but I wonder what the costs will be for user training on new Metro UI. I Also wonder about the costs for apps that may have to be re-written. The migration costs for Win 8 could be unprecedented.

      We have only just upgraded from IE6 to IE8 due to old programs and code.

      We have about 600 legacy programs in use and I can see a massive problems switching to version 8. It has taken the best part of a year to test and modify them to go from XP to windows 7, I dread to think about try to implement an upgrade to Windows 8......

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        We have that problem too...

        I suspect that at least one of our ven-duhs would still have us on windows 2000 if we'd let them.

        critical line-of-business app that doesn't support windows 7 on the client, and won't until we upgrade the *server* side of the software which will require a forklift upgrade and a very large amount of money for new hardware whilst writing off the hardware we put in not too long ago that hasn't had all the shiny rubbed off it yet.

        I suspect we'll be on windows 7 and XP for a while still...

      2. Test Man

        Who says that the corporate world should move straight away? If you are, you're doing it wrong. Fact is, this new paradigm is here to stay and the next release and the release after that will be using the exact same, with tweaks. So you have plenty of time to move on. In the meantime, 7 (hell even Vista) will still be sold and supported, so stop panicking!

    2. Peter Johnstone

      Start menu is still there?

      I installed the public preview on a VM last night. My desktop didn't even have a start button. There was a start button on the developer preview. Deleted the VM within about ten minutes.

      If you want a look at how a mobile/touch based interface can be done properly on a desktop, look no further than the LaunchPad on Mac OSX Lion.

  24. Kyoraki

    The solution is simple

    Install Stardock's 'Start8', which adds both a metro themed classic start menu, and the option to use metro in a window. Expect 99% of OEMs to ship this pre-installed.

    1. jason 7

      Re: The solution is simple

      You go try it and report back.

      You'll see.

      1. Kyoraki

        Re: The solution is simple

        Tried it in CP, worked fine for me. Some tweaks could be made here or there to make navigation easier, but I was always more of a fan of using the search anyway. Another alternative is ViStart, which is identical to the Win7 start menu.

        1. jason 7

          Re: The solution is simple

          No with this release they have ripped out the legacy code for it.

          Quite a few articles on the web about it.

          Nice of them isn't it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The solution is simple

            @Jason - I'd personally like to have a start menu as an option, but this is one of those dammed if they do dammed if they don't areas: Windows shouldn't be full of legacy code, it should be well pruned, if there is code that shouldn't be being used, it should be removed.

            1. jason 7

              Re: The solution is simple

              Oh I agree.

              All this could have been avoided if they had simply put in a custom installer and given us the 'choice'.

              Haven't had a custom Windows Install option since Windows 98SE.

  25. nexsphil

    It's about the app store

    This metro lunacy only makes sense if you understand the contemporary US business mind. In full view of everyone from every business sector, Apple utter zombies of its customers and shafted them every-which-way-from Sunday - making themselves incredibly rich in the process. Everyone now wants a piece of that action. The problem for these new wannabe Scrooges is that Apple had the iphone. The iphone was seen as so desirable that Apple *could get away* with shafting their customers - nobody cared, they just wanted the device. In time their ability to do this will diminish as the novelty of that device diminishes. Apple's power to keep doing business this way depends upon them continually releasing "must have" devices. They will not achieve this constant top-level turnover of product, so they will bask in an inevitable backlash in time.

    So back to Microsoft. These people are not smart. They look solely at the revenue-end of what Apple is achieving without the slightest regard for the concept of product demand. Product to them is just a minor element in a wider revenue equation. So now they've decided they want a cut from all apps running on Windows. Just like the Apple app store. Imagine the money! Metro and its associated app store are its way to achieve this. Problem is that greedily turning over their customer base and restricting user freedom to such a degree is customer-shafting at a level that would make Jobs blush. It's patently absurd, childish, moronically conceived, and doomed to catastrophic failure. I can't say I'm not looking forward to the show.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: It's about the app store

      Newsflash commentard.

      The majority of apple users are massively satisfied and keep coming back for more - that hardly meets the definition of 'shafted' now does it?

      Now excuse me whilst I go off to fondle my iPad then enjoy a post coitus fag.

      1. nexsphil

        Re: It's about the app store

        Read and understand sir. Yes, as I stated, Apple get away with it because there's an enormous carrot with the stick.

        Microsoft have no carrot, so shafting their customer base will produce one hilariously obvious result. Very amusing for onlookers such as myself.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So, what you're saying is...

          Microsoft is shafting their customers with the stick, rather than the carrot...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's about the app store

      The iOS App store was launched with iPhone GS3 in 2008, not quite 3 years after the Microsoft Xbox marketplace (2005). Its taken until now for Microsoft to come up with a way to bring a marketplace to Windows without incurring the wrath of regulatory authorities. It must have been frustrating for them to see Apple copy the marketplace model for apps without need to avoid legal issues.

      Greedy maybe. But competitors like Amazon have had several years to create and market a Windows Store in advance of Microsoft. Open Source too. They didn't even try. Redmond can't be blamed for this. If their store concept is successful, expect Microsoft to be forced by law to allow other stores into WinRT/Metro space.

  26. Captain Scarlet



    "Although some people had critical reactions and demanded changes to the user interface, Windows 7 quickly became the most-used OS in the world"

    I thought most users were vocal about Vista not 7, in fact everyone just said 7 is better than Vista. Still I fail to see much difference between Win 2000 and 7 apart from the eye candy.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Confused

      Still I fail to see much difference between Win 2000 and 7 apart from the eye candy.

      There speaks a man who never tried to install anything other than business software on 2000. XP and 7 I'll grant, but 2000 was a right bloody dog for non-business use. ME was actually better for compatibility, but unusable for a variety of other reasons.

      The obvious big plus in 7 over XP is 64-bit support that doesn't b0rk compatibility with most applications.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Confused

        Win 7 UI works as well as XP. It P*ssed me off simply because it was different, so I had to spend time out from thinking about the work and start thinking about the s*dding interface again. I'm over that now. Same as learning to drive a new car, but worse, because a desktop UI has a lot more controls than a car.

        Metro is far, far worse. It's an enforced paradigm switch. That can only make friends when everyone who uses the old one is crying out, "there has to be a better way", and you supply the better way. And even then ... everyone knows what is said about better mouse-traps, and that it's not true.

        Metro fails at the first. It's not better. It's a huge leap backwards. It's the equivalent of taking away the pedals and controls that are universal on all modern cars, and re-introducing the pedals and controls from a model-T Ford.

        1. Philip Lewis

          Re: Confused

          We had a model-T ford when I was a kid - comes from having a "spanner" for a dad. But anyway, watching him drive it was bizarre. IIRC "spark" and "accelerator" on the column, gears (2) on the floor, floor brake applied to the gearbox and a hand brake. (Corrections from veteran car buffs allowed)

          When Cadillac (yes, apparently it was Cadillac) settled on the, what is now the "standard", user interface for a car, they made some lasting and well thought out decisions.

          I am confidently predicting that the Metro-UI will be gone long before the accelerator pedal or its location.

  27. LetsReason
    Thumb Down

    What Is Most Annoying

    The Metro side can be viewed as an elaborate Start Menu and you can use the Desktop side. That is what I do and it has not been a big issue. I do not even have an appropriate tablet to use it on and I'm okay with it.

    I agree that Microsoft is screwing up here because they are ignoring user input on many ground level things. It just seems so conceited and ignorant for them to proceed as they are. I just do not get why they would ignore good suggestions.

    The most annoying thing is that I refuse to be part of the Cult of Apple and am stuck with Microsoft's mistakes.

  28. Simon Jones [MSDL]

    Mail Forward

    To forward a message in the Mail App, tap the Reply button in the top right and you get a context menu of "Reply, Reply All, Forward". That's been there since the Developer Preview ISTR.

  29. I sound like Peter Griffin!!
    IT Angle

    Just Geddit People!

    1. Bake a half decent OS

    2. Bake a pos OS, price it low, and mark up the price of the half-decent OS

    3. Watch the masses buy the half-decent OS at a higher price to avoid the pos OS

    4. Rinse and repeat

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Just Geddit People!

      Not true. Linux is a lot cheaper than half the price, and a lot more than half-decent, so it should have put Microsoft and Apple both out of business.


      1. WatAWorld

        Re: Just Geddit People!

        Apparently the problem is Linux doesn't meet the needs of ordinary consumers, and doesn't meet the major needs of big corporations and governments, because yes, Linux is cheaper but regular folks and IT managers people think its so bad you can't give it away to them.

        1. Chemist

          Re: Just Geddit People!

          "regular folks and IT managers people think its so bad"

          Strange then that we had several hundred installs in a major pharma that I worked for that were necessary because only Linux or Unix ran the necessary software and was stable enough to run for days on end at 100% cpu ( this is dual Xeon workstations I'm talking about - long before multiple cores )

          "Ordinary " consumers will need to be able to buy PCs with Linux installed before it stands a chance there

  30. Mad3218
    Thumb Down

    The next Vista is here and you will love it. Just ask Microsoft!!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft are playing the long term game

    Yes a lot of techy peopleon here hate Windows 8 Metro interface and they can't understand why it is on the Desktop / laptop when it has no place, but Microsoft aren't daft.

    The shift is moving to mobile computing to tablets and powerful smartphones leaving companies like Dell and HP dead in the water, so Microsoft are playing the long game by forcing Windows 8 on all new PC's and when companies upgrade to Windows 8 employees will be used to the Metro interface and then when they go into their Phone 4 U stores in 18 - 24 months time what will they see? Phones with a recognisable OS that they know how to use.

    Microsoft are taking a hit on their Desktop share because they know it's days are numbered, but this is going to help their smartphone and tablet share in the long run, which is where the gold rush is. It pains me to say it but in three years the result will be Apple iPads and iPhones will be used by the minority (like MacBooks and iMacs) and Windows / Phone 8 will be shipping on majority of Tablets / Smartphones and PCs

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Microsoft are playing the long term game

      "The shift is moving to mobile computing to tablets..."

      Not while people sit in offices it isn't. Consumer sales are peanuts to the big boys.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Microsoft are playing games. Badly

      That 'stating the bleeding obvious'.

      Metro is a fullscreen experience. Once you fire up an app you aren't seeing much of Metro any longer, just the chrome from it. And that chrome is very thin, a side effect of the stark simplified styling of Metro itself. So how is that going to hook people on the UI?

      They won't be seeing the Metro front end while actively using the machines, particularly in the tablet default 'consumption device' mode. Won't be staring at Metro while not using the device. What is it ordinary folk are supposed to get used to that drives them to seek out Metro?

      Renaming 'widget' to 'live tile' didn't magically make them a unique, must have feature and there's not much else to talk about. Several so called vertical UI versions (the fashionable label for Metro) ship for Android and all have failed, people just don't find this approach compelling.

    3. Putonghua73

      Re: Microsoft are playing the long term game

      I think your prognostication is correct if you simply reverse the order of MS and Apple. My company Win Server 2003 on desktops / WYSE terminals and Win 7 on laptops. Tablets are iPads. BBs for Senior Management and Nokias for everyone else. Personal? I see MacBooks and either iPhones or HTCs, with a few Samsungs [Android].

      Companies upgrade to 8? I think you are severely underestimating Corporate culture and Production environments. Stability in terms of uptime and supporting business critical applications is King and Queen. If Windows is still used in the Corporate environment in years to come, Win 8 will be skipped for the next iteration (or iterations).

      If Dell and HP are "dead in the water", then so is MS in the tablet stakes. As in 'dodo' dead. There's Apple. Then everyone else. The boot if firmly on the other foot. Of course, that could change but WOA ain't the disruptive product that will re-order the playing field.

      1. WatAWorld

        Re: Microsoft are playing the long term game

        I think most companies will skip Windows 8 because it is too different from Windows 7 and offers no major human productivity or IT security benefit.

        I find it hard to believe MS doesn't realize this about corporate customers after all these years, years in which almost all corporations and governments skipped Windows Me and Windows Vista.

        But who knows, maybe you're right in MS's thinking. But if so, MS is going to be very disappointed when Windows 8 is not on office desktops and so doesn't prep employees for Windows 8 phones.

    4. Richard Plinston

      Re: Microsoft are playing the long term game

      > Phones with a recognisable OS that they know how to use.

      Corporates are unlikely to move to Windows 8 for several years, if ever, many are still making their plans to roll out Win7. Many of the Metro features are for consumers (facebook, twitter) and corporates will not like the requirement for using appstore when they develop their own apps (I think that MS has backed down on this).

      Win 8 will first show up in retail stores, and it will have "a recognisable OS", the one that consumers saw in their phone shop when they decided to buy an Android or iPhone.

      What you say is exactly what MS's plan is: "If we force it down their throats they will grow to love it".

      Another aspect of this is to force OEMs to build in 'secure boot' to make it as difficult as possible (or impossible on ARM) to avoid Metro by booting something else.

      However, OEMs are not in business to further Microsoft's empire, they are there to make money. If they see that the desktop market is falling and that Win8 is not selling then they will make machines that _will_ sell and make a profit. Currently they are locked into Windows by the 'discounts' that are related to 'loyalty', but it could reach a tipping point where they lose more by staying with Windows than by selling something else.

      It seems that HP's dropping of WebOS may have been because MS would have taken away their discounts on _all_ machines when WOA/WinRT became available. If Metro is avoided, as WP7 is, them maybe HP dumped the wrong products.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nominal price for W7 upgrade to W8 - not

    it's gonna be 15 quid or so. Cheap, etc, but not nominal.

  33. Tom 38

    Adobe Flash is now baked into Internet Explorer 10

    There is a catch though: Flash support only applies to sites on a compatibility list distributed by Microsoft.

    This project seems like it is being managed by Ballmer. Whilst world+dog move to rid themselves of shitty Adobe products, MS go one further and embed it even closer into their OS - but only if you pay them first.

    PS: The user who thought that the ad companies wouldn't get whitelisted for flash - dream on pal.

    PPS: Burn in hell Windows 8.

  34. ScottME

    Just not interested

    I'm glad to say that all this fuss over Windows 8 is simply passing me by, merely causing some slight amusement as it goes.

    Moving to Linux three years ago is looking more than ever like it was totally the right thing to do. There's been some whining from my fellow Ubuntu users recently, bitching about the Unity interface, but that is going to be utterly overwhelmed by the wails of anguish from Windows users when they're faced with Metro.

    The good news for anyone who thinks they won't be able to put up with Windows 8 is that just about any WIndows box will most likely run Linux, and I can promise you that it'll feel a lot more like home than Metro.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just not interested

      Maybe one day I'll be able to download any arbitrarily selected PC game from Steam and run it successfully under Wine on Linux. If / when that day comes, Wine will have achieved the level of compatibility required for people to seriously consider moving legacy binaries to Linux. Not before.

      1. ScottME

        Re: Just not interested

        Well sure, if you're a gamer, and you're addicted to PC games (though actually I think you'll find they are Windows games, not specifically PC games), then you won't be a happy bunny running Linux. But game developers will likely to come up with Metro versions of their stuff, so Redmond's brainfart won't be such a pain in the ass for you.

        The kind of everyday, Joe and Jane Public user who's going to get royally hacked off with Metro, on the other hand, might find that for most of their purposes there are "good enough" Linux alternatives which are open source, and free-as-in-beer as well as free-as-in-speech, so as well as getting a more familiar UI, they can stop bleeding cash on proprietary software.

        1. WatAWorld

          Re: Just not interested

          Joe and Jane can live with metro, or they can install Windows 7 for free using their Windows 8 license (99% this is going to be permitted like it was with earlier Windows versions).

          Joe and Jane cannot live without their favorite games and applications.

          If Linux met their needs, they'd have switched to it when Windows Vista was making a mess.

      2. Steve Knox

        Re: Just not interested

        Maybe one day I'll be able to download any arbitrarily selected PC game from Steam and run it successfully under Wine on Linux. If / when that day comes, Wine will have achieved the level of compatibility required for people to seriously consider moving legacy binaries to Linux. Not before.

        Maybe -- although Wine may actually not be a prerequisite...

  35. Ravenger

    Tap? TAP?

    I just tried installing a game on Windows 8 release preview. When I inserted the disc it put up a box asking me to 'tap' it to choose how windows handled the disc.

    It's another sign of the ludicrous tablet and touch-screen focused of Windows 8, and it really, really irritates me. I have a PC, not a tablet.

    I shan't be buying it, in fact I'm going to get another copy of Windows 7 for my spare PC just in case they decide to stop selling 7 to force people to go to 8.

    1. Test Man

      Re: Tap? TAP?

      Only the mentally paranoid would think that. Have Microsoft stopped selling Vista? Nope. They are not going to stop selling 7 for years until maybe when Windows "10" is out. So stop talking nonsense.

      1. Jordan Davenport

        Re: Tap? TAP?

        Have Microsoft stopped selling Vista?

        Yes, actually.

        "Microsoft no longer sells Windows Vista, though we will continue to support it."

        Source: or

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Dave Robinson

      Re: Tap? TAP?

      Yeah, I sat there tapping my non-touchscreen 24" HD vertical stand-mounted tablet, and it just completely refused to do anything :-)

  36. IGnatius T Foobar
    Thumb Down

    It's "Active Desktop" all over again.

    Remember that kludgy old "Active Desktop" that everyone hated? Microsoft was using its desktop monopoly to force everyone to use its piece of crap web browser. Now with Vista 8, Microsoft is using its desktop monopoly to force everyone to use its Vista Phone UI, even though it isn't on a phone.

    1. WatAWorld

      Re: It's "Active Desktop" all over again.

      True, except for the "force" part.

      People do have the options of Linux and Apple and Windows 7.

  37. Test Man
    Thumb Down

    "Clearly Microsoft believes that history will repeat; though Harris conveniently forgets the warm reception Windows 7 won even in preview."

    Clearly the author forgot about the UAC furore.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trying this on my spare laptop. Metro is insane on a non-touch device, and pretty certain I won't be going there for my multiple PC business use scenarios.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Been running it for a while...

    .. and the dev preview before that, why?

    Well, I've only got one windows 7 license, so I installed it as dual boot on my hackintosh, to play Steam games, Diablo III, etc.

    In short, I haven't used it for much else - busy typing this in windows 8 now, as I've just finished a gaming session, will shortly boot back into Mac.

    I completely ignore the metro interface - it's absolutely pointless on a desktop, I can't stress how completely bad it is UX wise. Heck, other people have already stressed that :)

    So, what is the difference between massive tiles and icons? - I guess the tiles can display additional information prior to launching the associated app - but heck, widgets on a desktop can do that.

    It's amazing to me just how arrogant desktop developers can be.

    We've seen it with Ubuntu, we've seen it with Gnome 3 - and now we're seeing it with the biggest desktop computer OS in the world - "We're right, this is the future", completely ignoring their user base screaming "this is so wrong, please stop!"

    Perhaps microsoft will relent and provide a simple way to just turn Metro off, but therein lies the big problem here.

    With Metro off, windows 8 is effectively windows 7. What a shame.

    Really, they should take a leaf from MacOs X and concentrate on software enhancements, new features and a measured approach to interface enhancements and most importantly *separate the mobile OS from the desktop OS!*

    In a world where windows XP, after 11 years, *still* has a massive user base and where uptake of windows 7 is only now starting to overtake XP, surely microsoft would learn an important lesson?

    It seems not - the bean counters hold sway - "we need a new release! Everyone is going mobile, we need Touch on *everything*"

    WIndows 8 will no doubt shift in large quantities, but only through OEM - I suspect this will be another Vista for Microsoft. In the meantime, Apple and Android will continue to dominate the mobile space and windows XP and windows 7, the desktop space.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Been running it for a while...

      Ubuntu, now Microsoft, all screaming up the same path.

      Yes, it's arrogant (Why can they change all these things? Because.), its stupid, its madness.

      A thousand upvotes. Except only one is allowed.

  40. Johnny Canuck

    Maybe this is a "new Coke/old Coke" strategy. Make such a reviled product that people clamor for the original and flock back in even greater numbers when the "new Coke" is axed and production resumes on the "old Coke".

  41. Anonymous Coward

    The thing bothering me the most...

    Is knowing that by the time we'll have the ultimate Windows version which will make everyone on the planet happy we'll only have a few days left to enjoy it.

    Because right then Andromeda will come crashing in and disrupt our whole solar system.

  42. adnim


    As a geek ;-) I am not impressed. If I was a person who did not have a clue about computers and how they worked, I might be impressed. Everything is in the right place and simple to use and the default settings are fine for those who don't know better and don't mind sharing their activity with Microsoft.

    Personally I don't like Windows 8. I shouldn't have to develop a whole new usage regime just to use my PC. It really is a pain. I am not prepared to do the research or put in the time to make it behave the way I want to work. What would be useful is a Windows classic theme and an uninstall Metro option, but then I guess I would just be left with Windows 7 and no reason to "upgrade". For myself I see no point in Windows 8.

    Why can't I uninstall and remove the store application. Why wasn't I given the choice of an alternative browser during install? Why have Microsoft stopped asking me where I want to go today and started telling me where I should go today and making it damned difficult for me to change what they think is best for me.

    This post has been typed into Firefox running on Windows 8 in a VM. (2Gb RAM allocated and 2 cores). It does feel a bit quicker than 7 but then again this is a fresh install to a fast HD (Caviar Black). PC is i5 2500k @ 4.5Ghz with 8Gb RAM so it's pretty quick anyway.

    My honest opinion.... Meh

    I might install virtual box to this Win8 install and install Win 8 to that VM and then install virtual box to that win 8 and.... it just might be turtles all the way down ;-) but to be honest I would rather just watch a music vid and down this rather nice Shiraz I have. Win 8 is 40% fail 60% Windows 7

    1. WatAWorld

      Re: Well...

      Right, MS is giving you all the reasons to avoid Windows 8 that made you and me avoid Apple all these years -- no choice, and too much stuff forced on us.

  43. David Strum
    Thumb Down

    Ages of Empire - ?

    Well, like any Empire, there comes a slow take off which gathers momentum, a plateau, then the inevitable decline. Windows 3.1 through to Windows 98, was the start of the Microsoft climb to greatness: NT sowing the seeds of future success. It sort of spluttered with Windows ME, then came back triumphantly with indomitable XP. We’re now in the zenith with Windows 7. Anything after this will only confirm Microsoft inexorable fall into ruin as the hangers on rewrite Bill’s success story, to read “Micro-soft – a small software company, that had it all.”

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The toddlers might like it

    Fisher Price interface.

  45. Trollslayer
    Thumb Down

    Ohhhh dear

    Anyoen remember the Soviet five year plan and what happened?

    This is what happens when products are driven by commercial needs instead of consumer needs.

  46. bazza Silver badge

    Tried it once more...

    ...and still can't stand it.

    The ridiculousness of it is amply illustrated when you find that you can turn on the Administrative Programs tiles. Then it truly goes to pot. How on earth are you supposed to use that?!?!

    Other crap - it is heavily biased towards being signed in with a Microsoft Account. How's that supposed to work in a company domain?

    I'm not going to buy it, that's for sure.

  47. Furbian

    So a solution to the Start Menu having become a Start Screen..

    .. using two monitors, clever, but here's my problem, I have a 28" 1920 by 1200 monitor (you can imagine just how HUGE metro looks on this, I launched 'solitaire' and the whole screen filled with it!)... and there's not enough room on my desktop as it accommodates a 17" laptop (HP Envy), docks for my pair of phones, a proper Teac Hi-Fi system etc. So no start menu, is still a gigantic fail.

    I started using Windows 7 since is Beta releases and never looked back, but started abusing Windows 8 since I installed it's Beta, and went back to the comfort of my Windows 7 desktop.

  48. mark daly

    So how much of my 16 GB tablet will I need to install Windows 8

    Ummm. 16 GB.

    So it appears that you are going to have to buy a fairly costly tablet just to run this beast.

    The interface may have changed but the bloat remains the same

    1. Nanki Poo
      Black Helicopters

      Re: So how much of my 16 GB tablet will I need to install Windows 8

      Netbooks rinse-and-repeat... how long before MS insist on hard drives in tablets...?

      Except this time they wont be able to destroy the market...


  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Games as Metro Style apps

    WinRT/Metro style apps can work very well for games. I'm talking native code high performance 3D not just Solitaire (I've ported some Direct3D game world code to Metro so that is experience speaking, not speculation). Full screen is traditionally normal for many games and the Windows store eliminates the size and complexity of the install that is often associated with Windows gaming. One very positive step forward for Windows as a platform. You can also use the same game on laptop, tablet and desktop (one Windows store purchase gives you 5 install licenses and expect many free games too). Often on Windows RT as well as 8. Not beyond the bounds of possibility that Xbox next will support Metro games transparently too.

    There are no examples yet in the Windows store but there will be. Most likely this will be a very attractive feature for many consumers.

    Admittedly, this fact is not relevant to many business scenarios but wanted to point out the glass is not quite as empty as many net chatterers take pleasure in predicting.

  50. PaulR79

    Metro for servers too..

    I read the other day that Windows Server 8 / 2012 is going to have the Metro UI too with it being the only option for a graphical interface. The same article also mentioned MS removed legacy parts so the old, familiar desktop can't be put back in by users.

    Just how stupid do you have to be to force not only desktop users but also server admins. to use a touch driven interface? I can just see it now..... network and server admins. flocking to the new version and loving the interface. Flocking to the new version of Linux or UNIX I mean.

  51. Dana W


    Yes, you will have to come to OSX for an ADULT Interface! hehehehehehehe.

  52. mdc

    Windows 8

    As the person responsible for the original concept and a significant amount of the design work for Longhorn (which became Windows Vista), including Aero Glass, if anyone should have a problem with Metro it's me; but I don't.

    The initial premise for Glass (as it was called back then, the Aero UX sprung up around the Glass model) was not - as most people believe - to provide eye candy for the end user. Instead, it was an attempt to pull the window chrome away from the content and make it as unobtrusive as possible. The whole point of the glass effect itself was to allow the end user to make better use of their screen real-estate by allowing them to see content beneath the active window.

    The first concepts did exactly that - completely transparent window borders with floating titlebar controls, however, this proved distracting to the end user as when a window behind had a lot of text or otherwise "busy" content, the user had to fight to recognise the window caption. It was then that we decided to apply a blur filter to the surface beneath, still allowing recognition of the content beneath but without being distracting to the user. Many, many trials were done to ascertain the appropriate amount of blur, incidentally. Desktop compositing and the DWM window manager were born out of a desire to make this as smooth an experience for the end user. Things like Aero Peek and hover thumbnails were also designed to fit this goal of making the chrome less obtrusive.

    Some of my other concepts promoted a VERY different approach to the user experience, much more in line with what is seen today in Windows 8. In fact, the premise for the shift in the desktop paradigm goes back as far as the early Blackcomb concepts first demoed by the MSN services division in 1999; it has ALWAYS been felt that the desktop itself is a rather clunky way of providing content to the end user, which is - after all - the purpose of computing devices, be they traditional desktops, laptops, phones, or even set-top boxes. Windowing systems were designed to allow users to work on multiple pieces of data in quick succession, and yet over the years usability studies have found that users rarely manipulate more than 2 documents simultaneously.

    A radical shift away from the desktop metaphor WAS considered for Longhorn, but rejected for numerous reasons; primarily due to the scale of the undertaking that was already planned for Longhorn. Various features got dropped over the course of the development - NOT the ones that were complained about by the public and the media at the time - but other technologies first proposed in Cairo and later carried forward to Windows 7 - and the focus slowly shifted towards the HAL, networking and the Aero UX, luckily for myself.

    One of the other reasons for keeping the traditional desktop paradigm was Mac OS X. There were rumours that Apple would be making the switch to x86 and there was always a possibility that they would open OS X up to non-Apple hardware, in either a full or limited capacity. It was felt - most notably by Jim Allchin - that the familiarity of the Windows interface would offer people a strong incentive to upgrade to Vista, rather than exploring alternatives. Linux has never been considered a credible threat due to its inaccessibility to the average user, but OS X already had a niche - but highly vocal - following and was well-known by the public. The possibility of it being available as a competitor, which opening the OS up to generic hardware would have started, was a compelling reason to keep the familiar experience for those afraid of change.

    Now, however, it's become clear that both OS X and Linux have been unable to provide a credible alternative to the general public, and so the plans for a content-centric interface were finally put into place. While some have suggested that Windows 8's interface is "touch-only" or "based on Windows Phone 7", that couldn't be further from the truth. Windows Phone 7 was instead a pilot program - in a relatively low risk sector - for the designs originally suggested for Blackcomb, which have now found their way into Windows 8. At the time, touch interfaces hadn't even been conceived of - remember, back then touch sensitive screens were Resistive nasties that required at best a stylus, or at worst jabbing at them hard with a finger or pen.

    The fact is that Metro just happened to be easily accessible for touch devices, and that has been touted as one of its benefits; it is NOT, and never has been, the original aim of the design. The aim of the design is exactly the same as Aero was - to take the chrome away from the content, and allow the user to focus on what they're doing rather than unnecessary clutter. A perfect example of this is internet Explorer on Metro; in its default state, all you see is a webpage; chrome CAN be pulled up if the user requires, but is otherwise absent. The majority of Metro applications are like this - in fact it's part of the Metro UX specifications.

    This has always been the way that computing has been going; customisation features have subtly been taken out of each successive version of Windows, as users have - on the whole - moved on from eye candy and instead focus on productivity. This isn't specific to the software sector; even social networking has experienced this shift - from the cluttered, flashing, marquee-laden MySpace profiles of 2003 to the clean, customization-free Facebook profiles of today.

    Personally, I see Metro as a good thing; it allows me to do my work without distraction, and I'm just disappointed that I wasn't the one who did the design work for it this time around.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8

      Welcome to the Register stranger - I see you joined today.

      Is this just part of the Metro-hyping exercise ?

      1. mdc

        Re: Windows 8

        Not quite - been a LONG time reader (since the Reg first opened) - but never felt the need to comment on anything before!

        @Thad, I'm not saying everything's hunky dory in Windows 8; on the contrary, there are features absent which I myself am a frequent user of on Windows 7, and the look of traditional application's tiles on the Start Screen is quite frankly shocking... even on the traditional desktop we can have 96x96 icons - why are we stuck with 48x48 on the Start Screen?

        Also, the decision as to whether or not a tile can be single or double width should lie with the user rather than be limited by the application creator; I would much rather have a double-width IE icon leading a column of pinned sites than have reside next to one of them, but then again I'm OCD and I like things "just so".

        I've since moved into a different field entirely (photography) and therefore no longer have any input into the design process; but I'm still - on the whole - supportive of what we're getting in Windows 8. There's just a few additional bits and bobs I'd like to see added, feature-wise to make things perfect, and there's still time before RTM to add them. Failing that, there's always service packs and I daresay Stardock have something in the works regarding Start Screen customization if all else fails.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Failing that, there's always service packs"

          Failing that, there's always Linux.

          I expect somebody knows how to get Libre Office to print an address on an envelope and not across it.

          1. Chemist

            Re: "Failing that, there's always service packs"

            "I expect somebody knows how to get Libre Office to print an address on an envelope and not across it."

            Certainly I've never had any problems printing envelopes from Libre Office (although my Samsung laser, excellent in other ways, does tend to put a crease in the envelope)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8

      @mdc good to hear a voice of reason here.

      I'll add to background that going much further back to the origins of the Windows desktop at 3.x and beyond in late 80s and 90s, there was no sense at the time this was meant to be the end of the story. Indeed compromise was the name of the game trying to build a usable PC system with what would now be considered laughably low hardware capabilities. A lot had to give. I recall interesting discussions in Redmond on what next. We'd all seen tablets, gesture input etc. in movies and TV long before Stargate Atlantis previewed the tablet concept big time a decade later then capacitive made for a comfortable touch experience.

      Twenty years on I also see Metro as a positive development, if a little late in coming. The classic Windows desktop was never intended to be effective on small screens. Metro is true to the fundamental tradition of Windows of enabling applications to run on a wide range of systems with considerable OEM freedom in creating and innovating compatible hardware.

      However IMO the question how to work more effectively with large screens remains unanswered. Metro 1 works well for some apps even on a 28" monitor but for the most part Windows 8 relies on a virtually unchanged desktop UX for many productivity use cases. I hope Windows 9 allows for some fresh thinking here and the developers are not discouraged by the vocal conservative critics of 8.

      1. tony trolle

        Re: Windows 8

        "I hope Windows 9 allows for some fresh thinking here and the developers are not discouraged by the vocal conservative critics of 8.."

        I think discouraged by the sales will be the point to see in a years time.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8

      Thanks for your point of view.

      But if you think it makes everything all right --- you couldn't be more wrong.

    4. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Windows 8

      Thanks for the propaganda, but I've actually tried using Metro and I can honestly say that in 26 years of computing on a vast range of operating systems and hardware it's the most retarded, unintuitive, illogical, unpredictable and downright obstructive desktop interface I've ever had the misfortune to use.

      If you want to experience the metro launcher done much less badly, try E17's everything launcher... about the only positive thing I can think of to say about Windows 8 is that the CLI (i.e. powershell) is actually quite usable these days, which is just as well. Metro is no doubt fine for those with very low IQ, or those who only want to use their PC as a giant web-browsing tablet, but for people who want to do anything more, it's quite astoundingly bad.

    5. tony trolle

      Re: Windows 8

      Once it was just version 4's software being shit now its every other one..

      The techies are going to VM this abortion and run something else.

      I still get support emails from around the world for Win2K, Win98se,& XP, with the current Win7 calls also. Vista calls dropped like a stone after Win7 (no calls after 4 months). New software running on Win 8 ? well my buddy is developing his new version of control software running on a android phone/tablet and a custom USB dongle/interface. So Microsoft have 'sort of' got the idea but for the wrong device.

    6. Not That Andrew

      Re: Windows 8

      An interesting post, and you've shed some light on the thinking behind Metro. I still think Metro is terrible on the desktop anfd a huge mistake, though.

    7. janimal

      Re: Windows 8

      " has ALWAYS been felt that the desktop itself is a rather clunky way of providing content to the end user, which is - after all - the purpose of computing devices, be they traditional desktops, laptops, phones, or even set-top boxes."

      This ridiculous statement is the reason for the Metro problem. Delivering content is only one small use of a computer, albeit one that makes a lot of people a lot of money. I don't see content delivery as the primary function of an operating system though.

      Many people want to continue to use their computers as general purpose, programmable tools for problem solving, content creation, data organisation and analysis etc...

      The vast number of ways in which people can make use of computers can't ever be encompassed by a single non configurable UI paradigm. A highly configurable environment must surely be better for general purpose computing?

      However there is another problem here. If a large OS making corporation were able to make the perfect OS interface, what would they do next? The primary focus is not to create the best OS in the world it is only to make money. Sadly for them and us making money relies on people consuming, and SW companies have to find ways to make us consume more frequently to keep the money machine turning over.

      For MS as long as the OEM's pay to pre-install the OS on boxes, they have made their money.

      I moved my aging parents to linux a couple of years ago and have had a much quieter life since - although I had to switch them from Ubuntu to Mint when the unity nightmare automatically installed on their machines. They need the discoverability of a menu / window driven interface. They are not inclined to try swiping the mouse in various parts of the screen experimenting to see if it makes the computer do anything.

      Even someone with no qualificattions or experience in UI design can see that there are many situations and users for whom Metro is utterly unsuitable.

      How is it for accessibility BTW?

  53. Dave Robinson

    The Year of Linux on the Desktop?

    There, I said it first!

    Actually, Linux Mint 13 (with added Cinnamon) is pretty good. Making the slightly-crap Gnome 3 look like the tried and tested Gnome 2.

    Personally, I'll be sticking with Windows 7, but if I had to make a choice between Windows 8 and the penguin, it would be the penguin for me every time.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

      Linux Mint13 offers a choice of Cinnamon or MATE.

      I can't say anything about Cinnamon: one failed attempt to run it on another Ubuntu version is no basis for any kind of a judgement. I expect I will be taking a look.

      I have installed MATE on top of Ubuntu Studio 12.04 (which comes with xfce, so no unity/gnome-3 grumbles anyway) and have a nice "proof of concept" that I can almost entirely reproduce the look, feel and minor tweaks of my 10.04/11.04-classic desktop.

      With Mint or Ubuntu we have all the choices we need, and, above all, the absolute freedom to make them, even if that was not exactly Mr Shuttleworth's plan. With the rest of the Linux world out there, there is no reason why any of should be sitting in front of a desktop that we find difficult, unintuitive, or even unattractive.

      I'm a committed Penguin. If you start poking things under my finger nails, I'll cough to still having a bootable XP partition, but it is gathering dust, and the layer is getting thick. I don't even bother to keep my data on NTFS partitions, just in case, any longer.

      But Linux in the office?

      OK, so I have never liked Word for Windows (I have Office 2000: there never was a need to upgrade past that), but still... I wasted an hour two days ago trying to get Libre Office to print a bloody envelope. MS Word may be horrible (I'm not entirely prejudiced: Excel is brilliant!) but unless the Linux world can come up with stuff that gets the real work done, better, easier, faster, than the MS Office tools do, then no, it is not going to be the year of Linux on the desktop. Not yet.

      1. Dave Robinson

        Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

        I'm forced to use Office 2007 at work. The novelty of playing "hunt the function" wears off fairly quickly. A fine example of change for change's sake. Just like Windows 8, perhaps?

        The problem with adoption (or lack) of Linux on the desktop is driven by the fact that central IT departments are often either too scared or insufficiently knowledgeable to do anything other than shove in Exchange Server and Sharepoint. I work for a small employer without an IT department (but loads of highly qualified techies), but for reasons I don't fully understand we pay for outsourced Exchange and a Sharepoint CRM system. Copies of Zarafa or Zimbra and SugarCRM on one of our own servers would do the job nicely, and require very little maintenance.

        I think the key is that the Microsoft way has always been easier for management to understand and justify. However, there might be a sufficient head of steam built up by dislike of Windows 8 (and allegedly Windows Server 2012) for some organisations to take that leap of faith. Who knows?

        Or maybe they'll just buy everyone a new Dell or HP tablet :-)

      2. Chemist

        Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

        Apart from any other considerations Linux on the desktop is only going to happen in appreciable numbers amongst non-technical or enthusiasts WHEN pre-loaded machines are readily available AND that's NOT going to happen due to pressure from Microsoft via discounts.

        That said I use nothing else for all my computing ( 1 laptop, 1 netbook, 3 workstations and 1 server) and can do everything I want from editing 1080p/50 video, RAW photo manipulation, programming in a variety of languages, scientific modeling, pcb design and drafting and the usual browsing, writing and spreadsheets.

        1. WatAWorld

          Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

          I don't understand. Why would MS discounts affect a vendors decision to put something cheaper than discounted on a computer?

          Surely they are not installing Linux for some other reason. Perhaps support would cost too much, too many machines would be returned, or installing in Linux on vast numbers of machines would create easy targets for hackers.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Year of Linux on the Desktop? Not yet.

            "Why would MS discounts affect a vendors decision to put something cheaper than discounted on a computer?"

            Where have you been ?

            If vendors sell machines with anything other than Windows they have to play MORE for Windows

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Downvoting Chemist.

          I don't understand.

          The guy says he can do everything he wants to, and quotes a wide variety of applications. How can such a post be unpopular?

          Oh! Of course... the Microsoft representative!

  54. Not That Andrew

    I have used Win 8 Release candidate and the only reason I could think for Metro on the desktop is that Microsoft have bet the back on tablets and they are trying to kill off the Desktop PC to spite Apple.

    However, in retrospect, that is stupid and paranoid, so maybe Microsoft actually think its a good idea, after all this is the company that employed Ray Ozzie after he inflicted Lotus Notes upon the world, and promoted him to CTO and Chief Software Architect before coming to their senses. If they can do something that stupid they could genuinely think Metro a good idea

  55. N2

    I think I understand whats going on

    Microsoft, have over many years dictated the pace of change of hardware via their relationship with Intel, with the advent of devices, powered by other processors the playing field has changed.

    I've often considered it a better solution to replace a PC complete with new OS, as opposed to upgrade an existing one (that word 'upgrade' when applied to Microsoft always sends a shudder down my spine), but as I see it, this operating system completely buggers your PC which is oh so 'last year' & Microsoft sees its future in hand held type devices - what ever they are.

    Thumbs down, perhaps but just wait and see...

  56. Anonymous C0ward

    Has this Jensen character

    ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome?

  57. CyberCipher

    It's Deja Vu all over again

    Most of you whippersnappers are too young to remember Windows 1.0. It came out in 1985. It had tiled windows (just like Metro - not the overlapping windows that we now all expect and take for granted). I know because I ran that bitch on a Tandy 2000 on top of DOS 2. In retrospect, it was a rather lame response to Apple's Mac (IMHO) which came out the year before (1984). Take a hard look at the Windows 8 logo. It's almost identical to the old Windows 1.0 logo. Redmond is messin' with us.

    BTW, I'm typing this with IE10 on Windows 8 build 8400. My personal use aside, there's one thing that I am absolutely certain about, viz Metro along-side a crippled desktop will NEVER fly in the corporate world where I work. Neither will cloud based computing (the security Nazis will never allow it). If Microsoft does not have a better offering available by the time Windows 7 expires, there will be a head-long rush of these techno-nerds to other platforms on the desktop (Linux already has a significant presence, BTW). It'll be like setting a fire inside a crowded theater.

  58. Doug Bostrom


    Final ascendancy of marketeers over engineers unleashes disaster. The dual monitor screenshot drives the point home nicely.

    What a mess.

  59. Martin Maloney

    Windows 8 is so bad...

    ...that people won't even bother to pirate it!

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    April Fool

    And the calender 'app' on it isn't even right. It's June now, Steve, not April 1st

  61. Winkypop Silver badge

    Ahh, Microsoft, I remember them.

    Didnt they used to be quite popular?

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trying to justify murder by saying that it's as good as rape

    " the clean, customization-free Facebook profiles of today."

    This attitude sums up exactly *what* is wrong with UI designers today. We, the plebs, DO want customization to the max. We are all different people. Some of us find one way of working easy, others find it hard. I am forced to use Office 2007 at work and if I want something not on the current ribbon, I have to switch to another ribbon, use the function, and switch back, then re-orientate myself before proceeding. A menu avoids this nonsense. Facebook timeline forces you to keep switching left and right and left and right to read what outght to be a linear flow, y'know... like a *time*line actually is.

    Oh and the argument about the desktop not being the ultimate UI (at least until a Star Trek computer human-like AI UI becomes possible) is so ridiculous I can't be bothered to ridicule it.

    AC because my employer's views are not always the same as mine

  63. WatAWorld

    Who here was won over to Windows Me and Windows Vista?

    "Harris describes how every new version of Windows has had vocal opponents, but that users are won over in time."

    To which I say, "Huh? Windows Me and Windows Vista."

  64. Anonymous Coward

    mdc - "Linux has never been considered a credible threat due to its inaccessibility to the average user,"

    Funny that, the "average users" I've tried on various Linux versions normally report a much better experience for "average user" - web browsing email and not picking up viruses type average goals.

    I've got an install of 8 here, have wiped it a number of times when I want to actually use the hardware for "not average" tasks like installing drivers for something that worked last year or not screaming every few minutes.

    Those average users tried on Linux often eventually go back to Windows, why because their on-line bank only supports IE, nothing more fundamental. The failing is not in the OS it's in the MS infested business world where a spreadsheet is a an "Excel" Text document "Word".

    Windows 8 will be born into a world of more grown ups, the average user is getting more discerning and understanding of what they want to get done, forcing this Chimera on everyone is a desperate act and we will only move to the fabled "New OS land" if we all drink the potion at once.

    Queue visions of Balmer ranting at those wanting to leave the room.

    1. Chemist

      "their on-line bank only supports IE,"

      Using only Linux and banking with 3 banks and 3 other financial institutions I'd be interested in knowing who the retard banks are. I've NEVER come across any site that insisted on IE and that include usage by friends and family who also use Linux.

    2. Vic

      > the "average users" I've tried on various Linux versions normally report a much better experience


      I've had quite a few users too scared of change to try Linux, but once forced to, they take to it with ease[1].


      [1] I have one exception to that - he "needs Photoshop". I have shown him how to do the things he wants to do with Gimp, but he can't get past the fact that the keystrokes are different. Every time he destroys a computer, I show him the price of buying Photoshop, and he decides to give Gimp another go. Then one of the other local lads turns up with a pirated copy, and he's back on Photoshop. Until the next cycle...

  65. Sil

    SP1: enable users to choose their experience

    On the tablet side Windows 8 is miles ahead of ios and Android. Interestingly enough it may not translate into market shares if all the user want is to read (web / app content) or play very limited games.

    On the desktop side where Windows 8 will get a big share of the market no matter what, users may become irritated by design decisions that makes sense for tablets but not necessary for desktop. tradeoffs for battery life against multitasking, for touch easyness against information density and mouse/keyboard usage.

    Also the all or nothing policy, with next to no interaction metro/desktop, even seen in dev tools, libraries and runtime, seems dubious.

    Sometimes Metro doesn't make sense at all. If you want to use Skydrive for any significant amount of files, metro is very bad because of poor information density and difficulty with handling files. The explorer integration makes much more sense and is faster and easier to use productively.

    The deep integration of cloud services such as live login, parameters saving and skydrive integration is incredibly useful, as are optimized boot process and optimized code base.

    Many Metro apps are very attractive but I think MS went overboard with async programming. Sometimes an app takes so much time to configure itself (mail, contacts) that one can only think that it crashed - although it hasn't, and one tends to open and configure the app again and again and again until it seems to work.

    On the opposite after a few hours' use I have seen a disturbing tendency: metro apps that do not work anymore and do not give any error message that could help diagnose problems. They just start and close after a few seconds.

    The worst ever design decision if you ask me is the dual IE with Metro's bastardized IE, incapable of running plugins, with very limited flash support and no support at all for favorites. I am quite sure it will confuse and enrage users in no small amount.

    All in all I think MS did an amazing job but a few decisions it took may very well come to haunt them and cost them dearly, with desktop and productivity as a second class citizens in Windows 8. A few windows policies such as optimize for touch / optimize for keyboard & mouse, optimize for battery / optimize for multitasking, optimize for readability / optimize for information density would have gone a long way to make windows 8 the most dramatic upgrade ever.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    it may not have been the web site specifically, maybe "You must install this windows software or MAY not be covered for unauthorised losses" etc. FUD bank style.

    I didn't dig, one advantage of them chosing to go back to Windows is that I wash my hands of it because Windows is so advanced for the "average user" technical support is not required, unlike Linux.

    The periods o clarity are becoming longer though and the "average user " can install Linux in less time than Windows these days.

    But anyway this is off topic we''l be seeing posts sprinkled with the words "I'm exited..." when the states wakes up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Windows is so advanced for the "average user" technical support is not required, unlike Linux."


  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite unbelievable.

    I find it incredibly shocking Microsoft is including no method to completely disable the Metro interface in Windows 8. I like Windows as it currently is (Windows 7). I have the desktop setup as standard (at home anyway, i only really play games). If Windows 8 forces me to use Metro though i will be avoiding it like the plague as i suspect a lot of people will be. How can the Microsoft consumer researchers be completely unaware that nobody likes Metro as a desktop and more to the point who are they asking? Because i can tell you, they aren't asking people who like to get things done. They are presumably asking a flock of magpies whether they "like the shiny new thing".

  68. Christopher Rogers

    This stinks of fail

    This is just too radical a departure for the great unwashed when it comes to windows. Win 7 is an outstanding OS. MS should not be releasing this product as Win 8, it should be Windows Metro and specifically for the tablet market. The X86 version should only be a metro skin for Win 7. Windows 9 should be where they attempt to pull the desktop and metro together. Win 7will indeed have a loooooong future.

  69. Joerg

    Forcing the awful MetroUI on everyone is just plain insane..a big fail!

    Common users won't be in a rush to buy lame MetroUI apps. Just like WindowsPhone is a failure due to MetroUI and got a 4-5% of smartphone market at best.

    MetroUI is the worst interface design ever seen on any computer to date. It's the most retarded thing that anyone in the business could have done. It's Microsoft committing suicide.

    Those geniuses, designers/programmers/managers, inside Microsoft that came up with the awful MetroUI should just be fired immediately. But Microsoft won't do it until they see their revenues decline heavily. And this time is going to happen.

    Windows Vista wasn't bad, it just was released with too many bugs in an alpha stage to do beta testing on paying customers. But that's it. The Aero interface was cool and sound, the OS still gave users full usability like the previous ones. And the Service Packs then fixed Vista almost completely. Although it was too late because Windows7 got released and it was and still is a much better OS overall.

    BUT Windows8 due to the insane MetroUI it's a real nightmare for anyone.

    Power users, common users, professionals, system administrators, system engineers, developers/programmers... it's going to be a huge mess for everyone.

    Productivity due to MetroUI just disappears and Windows8 is turned into a farce, a silly joke.

    Microsoft managers are so out of mind that they are pushing the MetroUI garbage on the server/enterprise Windows8 releases to and they really expect professionals to waste time on MetroUI, switching back and forth between desktop and the silly MetroUI childish screen over and over just to do some basic things.

    Not even playing games is going to be easy on Windows8 due to MetroUI anymore. Things are so messed up that the majority of normal users will have an hard time understanding what is going on.

    Microsoft so desperately trying to mimic Apple success it's going to be its death instead. Microsoft risks going bankrupt on Windows8 failure.

    It's amazing to see such a big Corporation going down like this and committing financial suicide destroying its own product without listenting to its own customers. They seriously think that professionals will buy Metro apps... so maybe a full screen childish Autocad Metro version ? Or a Photoship Metro app ? And so on and on ?

    Without the option to disable the MetroUI garbage Windows8 is just unusable.

  70. Monty Burns

    "Unfortunately there is still no option to forward an email."

    Then I must have a build from the future! My consumer preview has the ability to forward mail....

  71. This post has been deleted by its author

  72. William Hinshaw

    MS will face the rage of millions

    It will be a rage that will burn hotter than a thousand suns. Bob 2 will die or MS will suffer more embarrassment than the tragedy that Bob 1 was. Yeah there is lots to like about Windows 8 under the hood but Bob 2 is worse that CE ME NT all put together. So now it will be Metro CEMENT? or

    CEMENT Bob 2

    "He sleeps with the fishes."

  73. Dropper

    Fisher Price Windows

    Windows For VTechs maybe? Whatever, like all the shite versions of Windows the only copies MS will sell will be to vendors. As soon as IT departments get hold of the pre-installed machines they'll repair them by doing a quick re-image. I guess I don't know why people get upset over something they have no intention of buying. We will wait for MS to fix most of what is wrong, improve the things they got right and release a version with a Start Menu and a way to stop the widget circus from appearing in the middle of the screen.

  74. Thorne

    Ribbon Menu

    "Harris describes how every new version of Windows has had vocal opponents, but that users are won over in time."

    Ribbon menus have been out for ages but still generally despised. There is a difference between winning people over and people stop complaining because the company doesn't care or even listen.

    Windows 8 will try to force a touch based interface onto normal PCs which don't have touch screens and will be univerally hated. People will stick to older operating systems to avoid it just like Vista.

    M$ had the opportunity to make something good but have selected all the worst features over every OS out there and blended them together to make a complete dog's breakfast

    1. William Hinshaw

      Re: Ribbon Menu

      I was thinking it was more of a forced mating between iOS and MS Bob 1.0 and all the worst features of both was the result =)

  75. pctechxp

    Vista 2.0

    Tried this on a test PC at work and could only stand it for 10 minutes its so bad.

    May-Jo Foley's blog entry here;content indicates Microsoft intend to stop hacks to bring back the Start Menu.

    While some can draw parellels with the demise of Program Manager in favour of the Start Menu this really is a retrograde step.

    With Vista the interface looked nice but the 'engine' of the OS was neglected while with Windows 7 they fixed that but with this they've just got it all wrong.

  76. This post has been deleted by its author

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "More significantly, you can now display the Start menu on any display"

    -Like setting the primary monitor in older versions of windows?

    "Harris describes how every new version of Windows has had vocal opponents, but that users are won over in time"

    -Worked for Vista

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