back to article The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

News has started to circulate about the next version of Windows 8.1 – namely update 2 – and even "Windows 9". Whether or not it bears the name Windows 9, the next major "wave of updates", codenamed Threshold is due to land on our desktops and mobes later on this year. The upcoming refresh, we’re told, will see lots of new …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Windows 7 works fine.

    If you really have to have Windows 8 - just get one of the many Start Button programs and then it's okay - but really, why did you ever want to upgrade from Windows 7 in a business environment?

    Oh dear, more time wasted talking about Windows 8.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Boring

      Half the people here seem to be complaining that MS have changed stuff.

      The other half are complaining that they've not changed stuff.

      No wonder they're confused.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Boring


        and the half that complain that MS have changed stuff, then go on to criticise Android, because they can't get the changed stuff on their 6 month old device... There is no pleasing some people. ;-)

        1. P. Lee

          Re: Boring

          I've been running 8.1 for a couple of weeks. It is just a games machine, but I have some observations:

          1. Things move. It isn't just different, its inconsistent. If I want to power off/sleep from the desktop I have to go bottom left, click on windows start-screen button. Then I have to move to the opposite corner (top right) for the power icon, then scroll down for the option I want. There's far to much movement.

          Worse, sometime I've noticed that the power button comes up on the bottom right bleed-in panel.

          2. pin to taskbar / icon on the desktop is a workaround for the start screen. I use this a lot. I did on Win7 too.

          3. Start screen is full of MS rubbish. You have to delete all the MS junk from the start screen one at a time (no multi-select of icons appears to be available): select an icon, from somewhere on the screen, then click on the delete menu which just appeared (so you couldn't see where it was earlier and plan your mouse moves) at the bottom of the screen which is far too much mousing. There isn't even a rubbish bin shown to drop stuff straight into.

          Then you have to replace the icons with useful stuff - control panel, explorer, Firefox :) and your other real apps. I shouldn't have to clean my environment on a fresh install - that just looks bad like pre-installed OEM crud. It's also tedious to remove and oh how I hate live tiles. It's like looking at a facebook page.

          4. PC Settings. You'd think this might be the control panel. It isn't, it isn't that useful and it doesn't appear to have a link to the control panel. Where are my £$%^&* network settings? PC Settings is at the bottom on a right-side auto-hide panel along with some other stuff.

          5. Menus/results. Right-side panel (lower) for some things, left side "start button (lower) on the desktop, almost top right for the start screen menu and search results. The menu's are all over the place with no apparent reasoning.

          6. Going along with the theme. Click the start screen button (bottom left) and your apps appear not in the bottom left where your mouse is, but all over the screen - again far to much mousing. If I have a lot of apps and start typing in the application name, my filtered list appears in the opposite corner to where my mouse was. Yes I could use keyboard shortcuts but it's supposed to be a WIMP environment.

          Or rather it isn't. This is a touchscreen, not mouse environment. Things are organised for fingers on opposite hands to be used in a coordinated fashion on a tablet-sized screen. It's rubbish for mouse-based operation on a 27' monitor.

          Here's the difference between how Apple introduced IOS and how MS introduced Win8. With Apple, I was never left thinking "I don't know how to do X." Perhaps because it is an inherently simpler environment. With Win8 I'm constantly having to think how to get past the GUI to my applications or data.

          Maybe its just my personality but I like structure, organisation and predictability. Search is a last resort when I've forgotten everything else or misplaced it. I don't want to be forced to search visually through a large screen of icons and neither do I want progressive search with its shifting icons and dynamic lists to be my main mode of access. Win7 search was fine, KDE search is fine, both attached to the start menu (and alt-F2 for kde). It feels like a desperate attempt to make windows cool by making it look as though "Windows just knows where everything is" rather than "I installed my app in that location and stored my data in that location."

          MS needs to get over itself and concentrate on what it knows. By the time it's ready for mobile, mobile will be saturated and the market gone. Get some better local caching in Outlook so my laptop talking to the corporate mail server on the other side of the world doesn't spend ages trying to update its social media integration data. That would be nice.

          1. Alan Edwards

            Re: Boring

            > If I want to power off/sleep from the desktop I have to go bottom left, click on windows

            > start-screen button.

            From the desktop, go to the bottom right to get the Charms bar, then Settings, and Power is in there.

            Or install Classic Shell (freebie), which puts it back in the Start menu where it should be...

            > (no multi-select of icons appears to be available):

            There is a multi-select of bits on the Start screen in 8.1 Update 1. I'm on the work Windows 7 machine so I can't try it, but it's probably holding down Ctrl or Shift. A little tick appears in the top-right of the panel.

            > PC Settings

            You're right, that is so annoying. You can get a list of network adapters, but clicking them gets you nothing.

      2. Shannon Jacobs

        Actually, the last Windows OS that was probably justified by new features was Windows 95

        No, you're getting confused by the two sides of the same coin. One side is the meaningless changes that create user confusion and lost productivity. The other side is the lack of meaningful changes that would justify the upgrade.

        Sorry, but I don't count "We're pointing a gun at your head" as constructive justification.

        Microsoft's monopoly has become quite destructive to the entire industry. No significant change is permitted without Microsoft's blessing. Meanwhile, their monopolistic position has destroyed their competitive edge and made the company lazy. There really are lots of new things that could be added at the OS level, but that would be hard work.

        Considering problems without solutions is pointless, so here's the solution. Cut Microsoft into three to five pieces. Each new company starts with a complete copy of the source code and an equal share of the employees. I suppose they should use a draft system to make it as fairly competitive as possible. Then the new teams compete. One of the daughter companies may focus on security, while another pushes the OS towards higher performance and a third focuses on compatibility--and the market gets to decide which is best. The new competitors can even share as much information as they want (especially for standardization), as long as they share it with the rest of the market.

        The shareholders would NOT suffer because the most important result would be faster overall growth. Even if one child company does poorly, that would be offset by others that flourished. Of course, a shareholder could hurt himself by selling off or buying the wrong shares, but that's always true. Or maybe that's only the second most important result? More freedom from meaningful and unconstrained choice is important, too.

        Sadly, this model of non-cancerous growth won't happen. American law requires each large company to grow like a cancer just to survive. That's what happens when the rules of the game are written by the most cheaply bribed politicians working for the least ethical and greediest businessmen. (The 99% of nice businesspeople just don't matter anymore.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Actually, the last Windows OS that was probably justified by new features was Windows 95

          "Considering problems without solutions is pointless, so here's the solution. Cut Microsoft into three to five pieces."

          Been there, done that, burned the stupid T-shirt. AT&T is far more malignant now!

        2. orlbuckeye

          Re: Actually, the last Windows OS that was probably justified by new features was Windows 95

          I would say Windows 7 justified new features as we moved from a 32 bit to 64 bit environment. Soon the hardware will be 128 bit and I expect the software to evolve maybe 3 to 5 years later.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Boring

      Windows 7 works fine.

      If you really have to have Windows 8 - just get one of the many Start Button programs and then it's okay - but really, why did you ever want to upgrade from Windows 7 in a business environment?

      It struck me that most of the "improvements" heralded in the article was making things work like they did before.. However, this is exactly the problem MS has: why would you buy a new OS and inflict a lot of pain on yourself and company if what you have just works? That's why they couldn't get rid of XP either - Vista was just so tragically bad that it broke the mindless upgrade cycle.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Boring

        What we need is "upwards-compatible". Windows 8 has a kernel that's probably an improvement on Windows 7, but only techies ever notice it. It could have had much the same UI as Windows 7 as "legacy mode" and that ghastly not-Metro interface as "new mode" with a choice between the two made every time one logs in (one click). But oh no - they had to tear up everything that went before, and force everyone to start over. F*** them.

        It's not just a user issue either. Talk to someone who writes programs with Windows GUIs about it. If Microsoft cared about its customers, anything that prevented an old MS windows GUI program displaying on a new Windows platform would be called a BUG, and fixed asap.

        In the Linux world, things work differently. The Gnome team actually did the same as Microsoft - foisted a radical new UI on their "customers" that they didn't like or want. But it's open source, so someone forked the old source and gave it a new name (Mate) and someone else took the newer version and re-skinned it to be less unlike the old version (Cinnamon - which is now also a complete fork). And there were several longstanding alternative UIs out there in the first place - no monopoly on our desktops, thank you!

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Boring

          It is not just the Kernel, the desktop has been improved as well. Especially if you use multiple monitors. That was worth the upgrade for alone on my laptop, which is docked to a 24" external display.

        2. Tom 35

          It could have had much the same UI as Windows 7

          Beta Windows 8 did have that feature. Just had to change a registry entry and you got your desktop back. But the people who though Metro was a good idea had it stripped out for the final release.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Boring

        Then maybe Microsoft should just focus on getting new hardware sold to replace older machines in the enterprise. Many companies use the 3-year cycle for machines. Typically they are out of warranty by the 3-year mark and many companies just use that as a time to replace hardware. New hardware = new OS money to Microsoft. While MS makes less per machine that say someone buying an upgrade, Microsoft could reduce their costs by removing the various version of Windows. Do they really need 32-bit and 64-bit versions; do they really need a standard version and a pro? In the past they have had even more different versions like home, ultimate, etc. Dump 32-bit and just sell one version that does it all; they would save a lot of money on development and support. Intel released 64-bit processor a decade ago; it is time to move on from 32-bit architectures. The hardware is old and many systems had RAM limitations and Windows is just pathetic with less than 4GB of RAM which many 32-bit system can't even address and only sees 3.2GB of it. While some of the more recent Atom processors were 32-bit but even they are getting a bit old.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Boring

      You wouldn't want to. But Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all.

      1. GregC

        Re: Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all.

        ebuyer - I bought a copy of 64bit Pro from them 2 weeks ago.

        PC Specialist will also happily sell you a machine with 7 preinstalled.

        1. keith_w

          Re: Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all.

          so will Dell. Tiger Direct in Canada seems to have plenty of copies in stock.

          1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            Re: Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all.

            Whether you can still purchase Windows 7 depends on your relationship to Microsoft.

            If you are an ordinary customer, it is now *impossible* to buy Windows 7 in accordance with the strict Microsoft terms and conditions, unless you come across a supplier who has remaining stock of retail licenses.

            If you are a Business Associate, there are a number of things that Microsoft will allow you to do to ship Windows 7.

            Many system builders (like Dell) bought Windows 7 OEM licenses upfront (remember all those stories about MS claiming that Win 7 had a fast uptake rate because of counting these pre-purchases as shipped systems), so have a stock of licenses they can use to put on newly built machines. As I understand it, MS are no longer allowing OEM Win 7 licenses to be purchased, so they will run out at some point.

            One of the interesting options is that Microsoft allow what is called a Refurbished Machine license. These are mainly for companies in the corporate refurbishing business, who can install Win 7 on systems originally sold with Win XP or Vista before selling them on. There are some suppliers who sell these licenses on to end-users or small businesses, possibly against MS's business guidelines. But I have seen at least one missive from MS that they tend to turn a blind eye to this practice.

            So while it is still possible to get Win 7, it's becoming increasingly more difficult as time goes by!

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all.

              Sorry, just purchased a brand new system with Win7 Pro included.

              I went for Win7, because the user was very familiar with XP. Also the user tends to upgrade s/w and h/w at the same time, so given 5 years on-site support, this machine shouldn't need updating until circa 2019 when Win7 will becoming to the end of its support life-cycle and Win 10 will have been around for a year or so. Plus we can expect the Linux and open source offerings to be much more mature. As for Win8?, well I was tempted but then I thought that I would firstly have to upgrade it to Win 8.1u1 from 8.0/8.1 and then in a few months I would then have to upgrade it to 8.2 or whatever and if 9 is a free give away for those on 8.2 then another pointless use of my time (and waste of client monies) to implement yet another upgrade. At least with Win7 I know all that will be coming down the line from MS are security fixes...

              1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

                Re: Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all.


                Read what I wrote.

                Many system builders (like Dell) bought Windows 7 OEM licenses upfront (remember all those stories about MS claiming that Win 7 had a fast uptake rate because of counting these pre-purchases as shipped systems), so have a stock of licenses they can use to put on newly built machines. As I understand it, MS are no longer allowing OEM Win 7 licenses to be purchased, so they will run out at some point.

                So you have one of those pre-bought licenses on your machine. The only reason you have to apologise is for not reading my post.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all.

          I just bought a brand new, factory-sealed copy of Win 7 Professional 32/64 Retail version (not OEM, but Retail). Reasonable price too. Hopefully.... ...we'll see what it actually is when it gets here. As the seller has steller reviews, it's perhaps not as high risk as it seems. But we'll soon see.

      2. Jedit Silver badge

        "Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all."

        Yes, but there are ways to find a copy if you're willing to put in the effort. Try this plan:

        1) Go to obscure online retailer

        2) Search for "Windows 7" in Software - the site search engine should automatically recommend this department.

        3) Buy the item at the very top of the page.

        It gets slightly more complex if you want Pro or Ultimate. Then you have to perform an intermediary step where you scroll down to find the specific item you want, as it is further down the first page.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all."

          @jedit Amazon.

          Would that be the 'OEM' or 'Retail' version? If I understand the difference, the retail license is slightly easier to move from an old broken PC to a new PC. When installing on a used PC with unknown lifespan, I'd prefer the Retail license so I can more-easily move it around.

          1. orlbuckeye

            Re: "Windows 7 isn't easy to purchase anymore, if at all."

            Retail versions are a thing of the past because of the Windows store. The new model will have all upgrades being available on the store and the old fixes and small updates that were service packs will be delivered through updates. New installs will be available as OEM through system builder and personal usage licensing.

    4. Will 28

      Re: Boring

      This is not boring, it is a very interesting article. I run windows Vista, it cost me £200, I don't think it's as bad as people say and would happilly keep using it for 3 more years. However MS decided not to support VS2012 on windows Vista, as a software developer I need to be able to use that (especially as work computers are rubbish and I want to get my much more powerful home computer compiling our code).

      So I need to upgrade, question is do I upgrade to win 7 for probably about £100, and have this problem again in about 2 years time, or pay what's likely to be about £200 to jump to 8 now it might be usuable, and kick the can a bit further down the road.

      This article contained useful information for me, though I'm still not sure now the spectre of a win 9 has be dangled in front of me - damn that last paragraph.

      1. K

        Re: Boring

        "I run windows Vista, it cost me £200 .. do I upgrade to win 7 for probably about £100, or pay what's likely to be about £200"

        Since you still run Vista, I'll make a few assumptions and guess your PC is just an appliance/tool, rather than used for gaming or a hobby. So your PC is working but possible showing its age?

        If that is the case, wait for Windows 9, then buy yourself a new PC with an OEM version of Windows installed! You'll be able to pick up a reasonable system for £300-400.

      2. Pedigree-Pete

        Re: Boring

        @ Will28. Will MS REALLY release a new OS next year? Even if they do would you jump to be the 1st to install it or wait for SP2. If I HAD to change from Win7, on the strength of this Reg article, I probably would go to 8.1 with the latest patches.

        1. Eddy Ito

          Re: Boring


          I expect a new release next year as MS seems to be keeping with the 3 year major cycle. Vista went live late '06 followed by 7 in mid '09 and most recently W8 in October 2012. It seems reasonable to expect that sometime in the second half of next year that W9 will be splashing across desktabs everywhere well before X-mas '15. Either way there's probably time to get knocked-up and calve before we start seeing a preview edition if there are any. Will it be better than W8.x? As always the answer will be, yes and no. Many rumors to follow, undoubtedly.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Boring

      Windows XP worked just fine. M$oft is just greedy; they are not satisfied with having the most used OS in the world. They want the entire world to roll over and abandon a perfectly good OS on Lord Redmond's command. It might have worked had Windows Vista worked, but it didn't. Windows 7 launches a denial-of-service attack on itself if you have not started it for a couple of weeks. Windows 8 is about to be an even bigger bellywhop.

      1. orlbuckeye

        Re: Boring

        No Microsoft upgrade to keep up with the hardware technology changes somewhat. XP is 32 bit almost exclusiviely. MS releases products based on the industry as a whole. MS doesn't make touch screens, graphics cards, Hard drives, Motherboards, printers or processors. They just make an OS that runs those things. Like someoneposted Intel has been making 64 bit processors for 10 year and AMD even longer. yet you want to stick will a 32 bit OS? The whole industry evolves with new technologies. Soon we will have 128 bit hardware.

    6. Acme Fixer

      Re: Boring

      You couldn't have said it better. From me, who worked for the Help Desk, which did not need more 'frills' to cause headaches, when Win 7 was already doing the job.

      Someday, the majority of organizations are going to revolt and stop using Windows anything.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Now the Power button is clearly on display in the Start Menu. Something like this shouldn’t have been made so hard to do, so kudos to Microsoft for giving this back."

    Kudos? Don't agree with this at all. They shouldn't have removed it in the first place.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Power buttons are easy to find, they are on the front panel of the PC

      1. WylieCoyoteUK

        yes, under the desk, behind someone's handbag.

        1. Nigel 11

          Power buttons are easy to find, they are on the front panel of the PC

          yes, under the desk, behind someone's handbag.

          Or two PCs stacked on top of a filing cabinet. You press a button and realize 0.1 seconds too late you've just shut down someone else's PC.

          Or four PCs connected to a KVM switch. Tip: coloured cable ties are very useful. Cable ID you can see from any direction.

      2. Jim Willsher

        for those of us who live in an RDP / Teamviewer world, either to remote PCs or remote servers, a physical button doesn't really help.

        1. slugmeister

          Huh? Why do you need the power button of you are RDP'ing?

      3. Bloakey1

        "Power buttons are easy to find, they are on the front panel of the PC"

        I believe he was describing a clean shutdown rather than a crash and all the problems that can arise from such behavior. Some switches can take you into a software shut down prompt but by no means all.

        Why not take it further and tell him to throw the main switch on the circuit breakers.

      4. Blitterbug

        "Power buttons are easy to find, they are on the front panel of the PC"

        Normally I'd agree with you - I always use the power button.

        But... Ever since Vista, the power button defaults to 'sleep', because the failed promise to boot faster than XP failed so miserably that they had to cheat. For the past seven years or so, one of the first hacks I have to do to any new laptop is go to the Power applet and restore the power button's correct behaviour. Because a well-sorted lappie should boot in ~60 secs with all add-ins (Skype, et al).

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Truth4u

      Why would you ever need to turn a computer off???

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge


        Re:Why would you ever need to turn a computer off?

        Energy saving/fire risk/noise even.

      2. A K Stiles

        re: Why would you ever need to turn a computer off???

        ...because it's windows, and therefore requires its semi-regular hard reboot ?

        (yes, yes, I'm already leaving...)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Kudos? Don't agree with this at all. They shouldn't have removed it in the first place.

      Especially since they didn't give it back anyway; by default "power off" on a Windows 8 machine is actually a suspend state.

      To actually turn the thing off you have to do a 'shutdown /s' from the command line...

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

    Mice, touch, start menus ... how traditional ... how old-fashioned .... how computer-centric.

    And by computer centric, I mean just that: having the computer: be it a PC (a "proper" computer) a phone or a tablet, at the fore of the operations.

    Instead, how about putting the person or the user in the spotlight? So instead of us having to press the buttons and direct the machine to perform what we want it to, shouldn't IT be asking US what WE want. So instead of having a menu or GUI that says: these are your options: pick one, the interface asks one simple question:

    What do you want to do?

    So the user can write, speak or draw their request: I want to write a letter, I want to watch a film, I want to continue reading my book, I want a command line, I want to search the internet, I want to know what this (holds summat up to the camera) thing is for ...

    After that, it goes away and works out how to fulfill our requests. Obviously if it is unable to do so, it should respond in a calm, cool and not-quite-remote voice to the effect "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that" Though I suppose we'd all have to change our names (or at least our accounts) to make this happen. A small price.

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

      @Pete2. Agreed. Why voice control is not the goal of the next level of PC and tablet UI design I don't know. Natural language processing has improved to the point it should be feasible. But then, M$ tried helper agents producing much rancour instead. And sites like DamnYouSir still indicate even Apple have issues. However, M$ application GUIs have become worse IMNSHO. Is this a sign of a generational change or another example of a failing education system ?

      1. James 51

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        Voice control, are you mad? My office is already noisy enough. The ads turning on Xbox ones should be warning to everyone. Just no. At home in your quite room sure but not in a standard enterprise setting.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

          Ha ha ha! Just saw the post above mine about a "standard Enterprise setting".


          1. Bloakey1

            Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

            "Ha ha ha! Just saw the post above mine about a "standard Enterprise setting".


            What is funny about that? An average user in a standard enterprise using his computers in a typical manner performing normal tasks with a standard install <continue ad nauseum>......

            Hmmmm, you may have a point!!!

            I often hear "my computer is the same as his, why is his not doing it?". Trying to explain that no computer is the same and that different people perform a myriad of differing things on their computers making them effectively unique, does not cut the mustard. Now a mild whimper and groan is my stock reply.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

              "Computer... Computer? Computer. Ah, a keyboard and mouse... how quaint."

              "Ha ha ha! Just saw the post above mine about a "standard Enterprise setting".


              What is funny about that?

              I capitalised the word "Enterprise". The standard computer setting on the Enterprise is obviously for a voice interface, hence Scotty's amusing interchange with Dr. Nichols's desktop machine.

              1. Anonymous Coward

                Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

                Its OK, some of us got the Trekkie joke the first time around.

                Assume the others are muggles.

            2. James 51

              Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

              "Ha ha ha! Just saw the post above mine about a "standard Enterprise setting".


              What is funny about that?

              I think he was refering to the starship Enterprise.

        2. Pete 2 Silver badge

          Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

          > Voice control, are you mad? My office is already noisy enough.

          did you forget to read this bit?

          So the user can write, speak or draw their request ...

          It's a case of horses for courses and market forces. Many here seem to think I'm advocating voice activated input as the only option. The point is to choose the appropriate solution for the situation: not to fixate on one, that would not be suitable for some environments.

          However, at the risk of repeating myself, the main issue is to have the computing device fulfill our requests - not us having to tell it how to do things. It should work that out for itself: so we'd give it the problem to solve (what we want) and it would come up with the solution (how to do it).

          And assuming we've learned nothing in the 20 years since Windows 3.1 and Bob and that the amount of computing power, interfaces and sensors: Kinect, Siri, etc. available to implement something like this today would not allow far better choices and options, is simply wrong.

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?


            >So the user can write, speak or draw their request

            So what's wrong with the Keyboard and mouse solution, they are proven, they dont break down very often and the simply work.

            Speaking requires interpretation.

            Writing requires interpretation.

            Drawing requires interpretation.

            Interpretation leads to false positives, then having to repeat the command again and again, a long learning phase etc etc ...

            In other words, they are far more pain than they are worth....for anything but minimal commands ( swiping on a smartphone is fine)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

            Please clear up my confusion.

            You suggest I learn to draw in order to use a computer?

            Your alternative vision is that after 20 years of slaughtering my handwriting , using this thing that claims to be a keyboard, and just seems like a receptacle for coffee and cigarette ash, I'm supposed to write? How?

          3. Joe 35

            Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

            LOL. "draw their request". Hilarious.

            "what were you doing at the office today dear"?

            "I was playing bloody Pictionary with the computer again"

            1. Dave K

              Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

              Instead of having to manually draw out each letter in a word, imagine if someone could create a device where you press a single button to get that letter to appear. And imagine how much faster people would work if they get hold of such device and become proficient with it...

          4. Nuke

            @Pete 2 - Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

            Wrote : - "assuming we've learned nothing in the 20 years since Windows 3.1 and Bob ..... is simply wrong"

            Well Microsoft haven't.

          5. JLV

            Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

            Lemme guess. Not a big fan of CLIs, aintcha?

            Too bad.

          6. Montreal Sean

            Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

            We have this type of interface already, it's called a secretary. Or personal assistant or whatever the politically correct term is these days.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        "Computer... Computer? Computer. Ah, a keyboard and mouse... how quaint."

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

          "Fyunch(click) I want to write a letter."

      3. Kevin Johnston

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        There was a reviewer many years ago (Dragon type era?) who defined the problem with voice input perfectly.

        At some point there will be an amusing misinterpretation of what you have been saying and your voice will change slightly because of the incipient smile which means there are more misinterpretations until it reaches the point where it is laughter in and garbage out.

        A secondary problem is that in order for the computer to have a chance at working out what you are really asking (in type you can see the difference between two, to and too but they have the same sound) you require the person speaking to roboticize themselves.

        This is a project much easier to describe in words than to implement.

        1. groberts116

          Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

          July 10, 2013 the Navy completed Aircraft Carrier Qualifications on the X47B autonomous attack aircraft. The parameters of the qualifications were to give the X47B mission instructions. The X47B was launched and than the experimental attack aircraft autonomously carried out the mission and returned to the George HW Bush Aircraft Carrier and landed autonomously, which ushered in a huge advance in robotics controlled exclusively by the on board computer. What this suggests is that computers and robotic devices have advanced to a level much greater then we are aware, making it very likely that we are close to having access to a computer that can carry on a conversation with us and at that point the user interface is going to be completely different.

      4. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        "Why voice control is not the goal of the next level of PC and tablet UI design I don't know."

        Because we work in open plan offices with dozens of other people, perhaps...

        1. Infernoz Bronze badge

          Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

          Open plan offices are the work of the devilishly stupid extroverts who confuse collective rabbiting with results because they need excessive stimulus to feel alive, it's also (bean counter) cheaper, but this is hell for Introverts, and costs a lot more in lost productivity. Luckily I recently got a better arrangement for thinking work, so no longer have to put up with that destructive chaos.

          Anyhow, I'll stick with Windows 7 until enough of my favourite software providers see or can be persuaded that Windows is a lost cause, and to migrate to Linux; my Netbook already migrated from XP to Mint.

      5. WylieCoyoteUK

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        Voice control is useless in a noisy environment, like your average office.

        Drawing would be pretty useless without a large digitiser and hand editing a CAD drawing freehand is not a good idea. Writing legibly is harder work than typing.

        What else? Oh.yes gesture.

        So instead of sitting at a desk we should just sit and wave at our PCs.

        There is a reason that voice, gesture and other analogue inputs are not really suitable for work in a business environment.

        They are by nature imprecise.

        1. Allan George Dyer

          What else?



          icon: "of course I spilt coffee on it, I was trying to write a letter"

      6. Vic

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        Why voice control is not the goal of the next level of PC and tablet UI design I don't know

        Because many offices are open-plan.


      7. Richard Plinston

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        > Why voice control is not the goal of the next level of PC and tablet UI design I don't know

        I had an OS/2 box nearly 20 years ago that had voice input as a standard feature.

        Microsoft had Speech API (SAPI) since 1995:

        """The first version of SAPI was released in 1995, and was supported on Windows 95 and Windows NT 3.51. """

        Voice control was the goal of the _previous_ (x2 or x3) level of PCs.

      8. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        Voice control has a built in drawback.


        No one wants to hear you talking to you computer.

        Not many people want to be heard talking to their own computer either.

        So unless you are in a private office voice control is not a good idea. It's fine on StarTrek, but not in the middle of an open plan office. ( And even in StarTrek they didn't often talk to the computer, come to think of it.)

    2. Rabbit80

      Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

      Microsoft tried that with BOB years ago.. And it was spectacularly bad!

      1. scrubber

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        Not B.O.B. from B.A.T.?

    3. GregC

      Voice control? In a busy open plan office?

      As the title - voice control works really well, in a quiet environment. Quiet is not a word I'd use to describe our office, add everyone shoutingtalking at their computers and it would be horribly noisy. Plus the potential for my neighbours PC responding to my voice command or vice versa (my Android phone already occasionally responds to a non-existent "OK Google").

      The thing about the boring, old fashioned, traditional input methods is this: they work, by and large. Particularly in a working environment, if you want to replace an existing system then your replacement needs to be, at the very least, equally functional. In reality, it needs to offer actual, tangible to the user, improvements over the existing system in order overcome resistance to change.

      1. Bloakey1

        Re: Voice control? In a busy open plan office?


        " Plus the potential for my neighbours PC responding to my voice command or vice versa (my Android phone already occasionally responds to a non-existent "OK Google")."


        Imagine some rum cove screaming out X Hamster! poor Sharon on reception's machine might give her the surprise of her life.

        Glad to hear you get that damn Google rubbish, I thought it was only me and was an NSA / North Korean sponsored harassment campaign due to my support of cock baiting and badger fighting, errr, hmmm.or something like that.

    4. Joerg

      Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

      GUIs need to go full 3D .. and when holographic displays and projectors will be available then browsing thru a full 3D UI will get easier and more complete.

      Still the UI needs to become a full 3D environment.

    5. Shady

      Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

      Computer: "What you like to do now Dave?"

      Dave: "Write a letter"

      Computer: "Would that be in Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 365, WordPad, LibreOffice......"

      Dave: "Any. The first. I don't care"

      Computer: "To which First are you inferring? President? Birthday?"

      Dave "The First Office Version!"

      Computer: "I do not have have Office 1 Installed"

      Dave: "I want to write a letter using Office 2010"

      Computer: "Office 365 is the current version. Would you prefer to use that instead"

      Dave: "YES!"

      Computer: "Would you like to add a heading to your letter?"

      Dave: "Yes"

      Computer: "Please tell me your heading"

      Dave: "Gimme back my fucking mouse pointer and icons"

      Computer: "I do not understand the word gimme"

      Dave: [cocks handgun]

    6. dogged

      Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

      Because Windows is an enterprise OS, in the main. Imagine a busy office with everyone and his cat shouting at their computers. How productive!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        The person next to me at the moment talks to themselves quietly most of the time. Followed by silences, then sudden loud outbursts of 'f*cking w*nking computer!' I'm personally loving the idea of voice commands in circumstances like this, in a crowded office.

        1. John65

          Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

          That's funny. Makes me wonder if I'm the quiet one beside you :)

      2. Bloakey1

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        "Because Windows is an enterprise OS, in the main. Imagine a busy office with everyone and his cat shouting at their computers. How productive!"

        I am in broad agreement but, but ... I have been in a trading room and the amount of shouting, posturing etc. was depressing to behold but at least the recipients of the shouting were human and not some unresponsive PC with dubious translation / interpretation skills.

      3. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        I suppose that is the advantage of working at companies that have offices, not one large room.

        I've never shared an office with more than about 3 other people, usually 1 other person or I'm the only person in the office.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

          I bet the same genius responsible for open plan offices came up with or was related to the Bright Spark who gave us Stand Up.

          Stand Up - a meeting without chairs, comedy or a beverage service.

          For those unaware of Stand Up, your ignorance truely is bliss.

    7. Nigel 11

      Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

      Pretend that the hard problem has been solved, and a computer contains a weak AI that is capable of disambiguating natural language, that can filter your voice from others in the background, and work out the difference between input and meta-input (commands), and handle all the contextual mappings that are an instinctive part on natural language. (Personally I think that's fifty years to infinity away). But anyway,...

      There's a subtle but significant difference between spoken / informal written communication (texts, memo pads), and formal written documents. There's also a not-so-subtle difference in how they are created. The former are linear, rarely revised, read once and thrown away, subject to question-and-answer clarification if unclear (conversation). Formal documents are usually not created in a linear fashion. They used to be written as drafts, with crossings out, arrows and boxes showing text relocations or insertions, etc. Then typed. With a computer one types and reads it back, and can do the editing as one goes. It's probably an improvement. But the key thing is, "how do I know what I think until I've read what I've written"? (A quote, possibly mangled). Speech has no part in this process - it would completely get in the way. Unless it's a play. In which case, the editing process likely involves listening to (and possibly watching) a rough and ready performance, and deciding what worked and what didn't.

      BTW the reason why e-mail causes so many office embarassments, arguments, grudges and bust-ups is that it straddles the line between these two forms of communication, and what was intended as a conversation get interpreted as a formal document or vice versa. A genuinely useful AI would be capable of doing the same as a PA or a PR person - "do you really want to say that, because ..." Like I said, it'll be a long time coming.

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

        > Pretend that the hard problem has been solved

        > There's a subtle but significant difference ...

        I agree. However, the key is to not think of this as any one form of input supplanting all others.

        The whole "secret" is to provide an interface than can utillise many forms of input, depending on what is suitable, optimum or even physically possible (given the range of physical limitations that people can have).

        I also agree about emails - and also about forum posts. However ISTM there are many flame-wars that start or get out of control because purely textual content doesn't convey intonation, jocularity, seriousness or any other emotions. So it's left up to the reader to guess, ascribe or project the emotional content of written content - depending on the mood they are in - or what medication they are (or should be) taking. On the opposite side, I wonder how much "confusion" has occurred from people typing "not" when they mean "now" and vice-versa?

        Other forms of interface could also empower automatic translation: thus enlarging the sphere of communications and (as Douglas Adams pointed out) vastly increasing the scope for confusion and misinterpretation to global proportions.

        We also need to remember, that most of the working practices that we have now, are the result of the limitations of the tools we have available. A greater number of forms of interaction would also expand the form and content of the material we produce with it. I think that's why so many comments here are so scornful of voice as the only alternative: they have not considered that practices, content and form will evolve and adapt as more possible ways of interacting become available. Throat or ear microphones (which have been around for decades) and maybe sub-auditory sensing methods being the obvious response to all the nay-sayers.

        What we need to do is look over the parapet and use our imaginations. Instead of saying "such-n-such will never work because ... (of limitations that only exist in the present, or in our minds) " and look for ways to improve things and THEN to look for ways to implement them. Rather than for people to always stick with what they are familiar with and rejecting all new possibilities, simply because they don't like change.

        The one thing we know about IT is that change DOES happen - except in the world of UIs, where we still seem to be stuck with 19th century manual input formats and 1970's style GUIs and mice. And it seems to be the GUIs that account for all the criticism that W8 has attracted. You'd hope that soeone, somewhere would be trying to break away from all that.

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

          @Pete 2

          We already have the technology but it just isn't as functional, or intelligent enough that it can currently replace the KVM solutions that we use today.

          The reason that keyboards and mice are still in use is because they are simple to use ( with only a very small learning curve).

          I wouldn't like to suggest that we will never use any other method but for the moment nothing is better that what we currently have.

          Swiping a tactile screen has become the defacto interface on SmartPhones because it works for that particular format. Swiping a large tactile PC is a pain, a mouse is a far better medium - for the moment.

          Evolution/advances in technology will always provide us with alternatives but until those alternatives have some distinct improvement over the existant then I doubt that anything will change.

          1. Immenseness

            Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

            Also privacy. Unless you are standing behind me you can't see what I am writing with a keyboard and mouse. It would be hard to write a confidential letter (something that happens all the time round here in an open plan office) by for example talking, without everyone else hearing it. Unless of course it was drowned out by the noise of lots of other confidential letters being spoken/shouted.

            As someone said above, a variety of inputs INCLUDING a keyboard and mouse, or voice/swipey touch screen, would be the thing to strive for. People can then choose whatever is appropriate for their use. Voice might be just what someone needs at home.

        2. Death Boffin

          Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

          All I want to do is go back to the 1950's:

          "Mildred take a letter to Mr. Leadbum."

          "Dear Mr Leadbum, your offer is seriously lacking in detail and does not have a realistic price."

          "OK Mildred, take that, clean it up and prepare it for my signature."

          What is so difficult about that?

    8. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

      Because even Patrick Stewart couldn't get away with saying

      "Computer; export monthly account spreadsheet - energize" without sounding like a prat.

  4. Denarius Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    thanks Phoummala . Your assessment confirms my decision to skip Win8. entirely. Now if only Office returns to something usable. in the meantime OfficeLibre works in a familiar way, but not so complex Word docs with tables can display badly. Even KDE has gone insane IMHO. I used KDE for over 15 years but have gone to OpenDesktop derivatives, but due to the balkanisation of the Interwebs sometimes I have to flash up a windows OS to do something,. I hate stuff that moves without express orders to do so. I hope Win9 will look like the best of the Windows desktops, Windows 2000. Stable, light, fast, familiar. Ducking for cover...

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: thanks


      I am considering molishing a new computer for home and am now definite I will wait for version 9.

  5. hammarbtyp

    My biggest peeve

    There are many, but after running windows 8 for months on my main machine, the biggest issue is creating a desktop short cut after installing an application.

    Unless the installation does it automatically, I find I have to trawl file explorer to locate where the application is installed to create a shortcut

    Which is a pity, because windows 8 is actually quite a smooth desktop experience and almost as powerful as some linux window managers :) , it is all spoiled by it forcing to go back to the unnecessary metro interface when try and do anything

    1. Stacy

      Re: My biggest peeve

      I gave you a down vote there, as I thought that you mean task bar :) Must learn to read!

      Looking at it again I changed it to an up-vote - it does seem a long winded way to actually do this rather than right click the app and send to the desktop.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: almost as powerful

      "almost" ? The gap hasn't closed to such an extent.

      Virtual desktops?, flexibility to put toolbars wherever I want on the desktop? out of the box functionality is what I'm referring to

    3. John P

      Re: My biggest peeve

      Here's a quick way to get the shortcut.

      On the start screen, search for the application you want, right click > open file location. This will take you to that application's location within the Start Menu file heirarchy, then you can just copy and paste the shortcut to the desktop.

      It's not quick by any means but certainly quicker than trawling around the file system. Would be nice if they added "Pin to Desktop" in the right click menu alongside Start and Taskbar...

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Zog_but_not_the_first


    It looks like MS are sticking with the "do it our way and nobody gets hurt" approach.

    As a Windows user since Ver 3.1 this really feels like the long goodbye.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: So...

      As a Windows user since v 2.0, I find 8 is a great step forward. Horses for courses I suppose.

  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    There's a clue in the name


  8. Roger Greenwood

    "Power Users ... who are accustomed to multi-tasking between different apps"

    I guess that means I am promoted!

    It was a surprise to see Microsoft adopting so many of the changes intoduced by Unity/Ubuntu etc in recent years. And making all the same mistakes.

    Also avoiding 1000, waiting for 1001 (maybe).

  9. TRT Silver badge

    Is there any sign...

    That they are going to abandon either retina searing colour schemes or play-dough shades which have no discernible meaning?

  10. Khaptain Silver badge

    Desktop != Tablet != Smartphone

    They wanted to create the same experience for the various platforms : fail....

    They made MAJOR changes to a very functional OS ( XP , W7) rather than taking small steps = fail.

    The expect that users will forget 10-15 years of habits and instantly move over to a new paradigm = fail.

    All they had to do was move in small steps, test the water and either implement or remove...

    Now they are in a position that they need to make new radical changes in order that the userbase falls back in love... but that is not going to happen overnight.

    The tablet world is not the proffessional world is not the smartphone world... Different userbases, requirements and situations. MS Please, please, please stop confusing them, I can easily handle the differences between the three, they really don't need to have the same interface..

    1. Steve I

      Re: Desktop != Tablet != Smartphone

      "They made MAJOR changes to a very functional OS ( XP , W7) rather than taking small steps = fail.

      The expect that users will forget 10-15 years of habits and instantly move over to a new paradigm = fail.

      All they had to do was move in small steps, test the water and either implement or remove.."

      Who do you think they are? Apple?

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Desktop != Tablet != Smartphone

      Sorry Khaptain, I use a Windows tablet that plugs into a dock on my desktop to be used as a desktop replacement in the office. It works very nicely.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Search is easier than that

    Actually for search all you have to do is start typing when you are on the start screen. You don't need to hover anywhere. Just hit the windows key (or option if you're running on a Mac) and start typing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Search is easier than that

      No! Not at all!! Windows 8 is incredibly tricky to use. No one would be saying that if you could find ANYTHING you knew the name of by going to the METRO SCREEN and just TYPING!!! (YUK! I can't bring myself to look at it! (I do like the new Android UI guidelines though.))

      You clearly know nothing of the NIGHTMARE that is WINDOWS 8!!!!!!!!!!! It took me THREE HOURS to find the DESKTOP!!!! And I'm really clever! Imagine if a normal stupid WINDOZE user had to do it!!!

      M$ FAIL!!!!

      1. Hans 1

        Re: Search is easier than that

        > It took me THREE HOURS to find the DESKTOP!!!! And I'm really clever! Imagine if a normal stupid WINDOZE user had to do it!!!

        Do you really think there are more people out there (excluding old age) who need 3 hours to find the desktop on Windows 8?

        As for the article, 60s to find something on the OS is by no FSCKING MEANS acceptable.

        They just added a few clicks here and there since Vista for us to wear out our MS mice quicker ...

        As for the Windows7 fans, what exactly has changed between Vista and 7 that makes you rejoice ? They fixed the Vista memory hog bug in 7, apart from that 7 is the exact same piece of excrement Vista is. No, not true, wordpad can open "some basic" word documents, wow, a feature!

    2. Graham Jordan

      Re: Search is easier than that

      I stopped reading the article when I came across the stress over search.

      I hated windows 7 search. I preferred XP. At least in XP I knew that doggy was genuinely searching for my files, in 7 I was never really certain it'd finished.

      Windows 8 search is incredible. Start > TYPE > oh look there it is. How this can be deemed as difficult is beyond me.

      For someone to work in enterprise IT not knowing this, or even coming across it by accident is disturbing.

  12. yossarianuk

    Don't wait - upgrade to Linux

    Your life will improve generally and you can sleep soundly in bed knowing your not funding an organisation that has such a malignant influence on all our lives i.e

    As well as various anti competitive/monopolist tactics they still use (ask anyone who sell Android products..)

    (obviously you will still be FORCED to fund them through tax)

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Your life will improve generally and you can sleep soundly in bed


  13. Joerg

    Microsoft halts Windows7 support, no more hotfixes...

    Microsoft has announced that it's halting support for Windows7, Windows2008 and Office2010 SP1

    No more hotfixes. No more updates.

    The usual shame to force people into buying worse products like Windows8.x and the upcoming Windows9.x mess

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft halts Windows7 support, no more hotfixes...

      would you please care to post a link to the announcement?

      1. GregC

        Re: Microsoft halts Windows7 support, no more hotfixes...

        @joerg - how about the whole truth, not just cherrypicking to suit an agenda?

        Mainstream support ends January 2015, which means no feature upgrades.

        Extended support runs through to 2020, which means security updates will continue to be provided until that point.

        I'm no fan of MS, but promoting FUD is no better when it's aimed at MS than when it comes from them.

        @Steve Davies 3 - there's quite a bit of detail in this ZDNet piece

        1. Joerg

          Re: Microsoft halts Windows7 support, no more hotfixes...

          No feature updates it means that all the bugfixes provided by plenty of hotfixes won't be available anymore!

          Not just no new features but any bug affecting performance and stability won't be fixed anymore.

          Just security updates doesn't mean much if the system becomes less and less stable and less compatible with new software.

          Also this will mean manufacturers will start dropping drivers support for Windows7 just like they did with WindowsXP.

          This just means that Windows7, Windows2008 and Office2010 SP1 are dead.

          At Microsoft are clearly completely insane, gone crazy.


    I liked the Windows 2000 interface...

    ... so I changed to Linux Mint XFCE. I'm much happier now, with A LOT less support to do. Think about it.

    1. frank ly

      Re: I liked the Windows 2000 interface...

      MATE is a bit more 'sophisticated' and helps to give me a WinXP-alike experience. I'm very happy with it.

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: I liked the Windows 2000 interface... @CAPS LOCK

      The trouble is that Microsoft has a direct or indirect almost-monopoly on certain widely used small enterprise application classes. There's no good equivalent of Autocad on Linux. Nor is there any equivalent of Sage Accounting. You can probably think of others. It's a scandal that MS is allowed to maintain such monopoly power, but until our legislators catch up there will continue to be applications where using Windows is essential (even if that's Windows in a VM on your Linux desktop).

      1. Roger Greenwood

        Re: I liked the Windows 2000 interface... @CAPS LOCK

        @Nigel 11 "There's no good equivalent of Autocad on Linux"

        Yes there is :- Bricscad

        But I agree with your sentiment - alternatives can be hard to find.

  15. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    "Traditional" doesn't mean what you think it means.

    Quoting the article: Forcing the desktop view instead of the traditional Tile apps view will present a more traditional desktop, making the transition to Windows 8.1 Update 1 smoother.

    "Traditional Tile apps view"? It's not traditional, it was introduced in Win8. That's not traditional, that's a new "feature" (so sayeth MS) that the rest of the world considered absolute crap.

    A *Traditional* view would be the desktop as it had been since Win95 up through Win7. Being able to Alt+Tab through multiple applications without having to jump through hoops to figure out on which UI the damned things were located. Traditional would have been leaving the damned UI alone & just making it faster, more secure, and offering *CHOICES* instead of making *Demands*. See, giving us the Choice of a Classic (traditional) UI or their new one on first run of the machine, giving us the choice to switch between them if *WE* wanted to, giving us the choice of how to run our stuff rather than forcing us to try & find where you've hidden it, giving us the CHOICE of a Classic Menuing System from which to find the controls we need to get our work done... THAT would have been Traditional.

    Instead MS rammed an absolute Cluster Fuck down our throats, removed elements of the UI we've relied upon since Win95, and decided to take away our choices. Wrong move. You take away our choice, you take away our willingness to pay you money to rape us for the "privilege" of using that SNAFUBAR of an OS you call Win8.

    I'm on Win7 and at least I can get my work done. Trying to use Win8 on a desktop (read Traditional) machine without a touch screen (read "not traditional") interface is so fucking screwed up it boggles the mind. "Takes a bit of getting used to" is such a bald faced understatement it makes me wonder how much MS paid you to write that tripe. You want to find out how long it takes to "get used to"? Try using Win8.x *While Blind*. You can just cram those "hot corners", "charms", and *no longer traditional* UI elements RIGHT up your ass, because you won't have a fucking clue how to navigate what had been a relative constant since Win95.

    Did I like Win95? No, I hated it at first until I got used to it. And when I switched to Win98 the UI was familiar enough to make the transition easy. Switching to XP was a bit of a step, but the UI was still familiar enough to make the transition a step rather than a jump. Going from XP to 7 was a PITA as far as Ribbons go, but otherwise we could find stuff, get stuff done, and earn our pay without needing a month of retraining just to stand a snowball's chance in hell. But the switch from Win7 to Win8? That wasn't a mere "step", that was closing your eyes & taking a running leap out the top floor window of a skyscraper & trying to learn to fly before you kissed the pavement.

    No, Win8 in *NO* way has any Traditional aspects to it. The only thing even remotely the same was the Windows name. "Where do I want to go today?" I want to go back to the XP UI so I can get shit done, you dumb fucks.

    (My appollogies for all the cursing, but I've been trying to use a Win8 laptop while my Win7 system is being repaired, and it's a fucking miracle I haven't taken a backpack nuke to MS HQ to show them *EXACTLY* how much fun I've been having.... *InsaneCackle*)

    1. Jagged

      Re: "Traditional" doesn't mean what you think it means.

      "Ribbons" Eww. Worst "upgrade" to a "productivity" application ever.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Traditional" doesn't mean what you think it means.

      The W7 UI still catches me out. Alt-tab feels very confusing compared to XP in the way it shows which task is being selected. There also appears to be a gesture interpretation of a mouse movement that makes a window full screen - when all I wanted to do was move the mouse quickly to another part of the desktop.

      I used to use Shift-Del to delete folders without them going to recycle - and it became an over-learned sequence of mouse-clicks. Now I have to be very sure that the correct highlight is on the folder I want to delete - and double-check the "do you want to delete" prompt very carefully. There appear to be two highlights of differing intensities on different folders at the same time - which has led to unintended consequences.

      Can anyone explain how to make a folder Search ONLY look for a given text inside files with a given wildcard name? - like the XP search options do. Thanks in advance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: how to make a folder Search ONLY look for a given text inside files with a given wildcard name?

        use agent ransack. Windows explorer search is shit, has been for ages. I end up in a dos box doing "dir *myfile*.txt /s" half the time.

        1. Hans 1

          Re: how to make a folder Search ONLY look for a given text inside files with a given wildcard name?

          I do that on Windows since XP, could never stand that little #$% dog.

  16. dogged

    "Prior to Update 1, powering down your machine required you to move the mouse to the lower left-hand corner of your screen, slowly hovering over that corner, right-clicking the Start button or pressing Windows key and X on your keyboard, then clicking on "Shut down" or "Sign out"."

    Or, y'know, clicking on the desktop and hitting ALT+F4.

    Rocket Science! Waaaaaaay too hard for support desk, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rocket Science?

      We're not talking about IT professionals, or even people who can remember key combinations here. We're talking for the unwashed masses. In any *decent UI* things should be more visible than remembering ALT+F4 and where to be when you press it.

    2. jason 7

      Or... the Off button.

      1. jason 7

        Re: Or...

        Not sure why the downvotes.

        Just pointing out on a Windows box if you press the Off button it properly shuts down the PC. Well it does on mine.

        Fairly simple for most people I would have thought.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Or...

          "Fairly simple for most people I would have thought."

          You have to teach users that the button has to be pressed momentarily - and then wait. It is a Goldilocks push - not too fast and not too slow.

          When it doesn't appear to do anything immediately they will try again. Eventually they hold it in until the PC switches off - producing a "4 second" crash power-off which can corrupt disks or mess up applications saving data.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: pressed momentarily - and then wait.

            For like half a second. Try it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      or in the real world

      click on desktop

      press alt+f4

      some random action happens

      press f-lock

      press alt+f4

      some random app you've still got open closes....

      press alt+f4

      finally the shutdown menu appears

      or click start, click power shutdown menu appears.

      Windows 8.1 Update 1 is so much better than the original Windows 8 - glad we waited for that before migrating from XP. Windows 8.1 Update 1 has required a quick (as in one minute) crash course in loading programmes and people have been able to get on and use it just fine.

      The person we put on Windows 8.0 hated it, as did I.

      1. dogged

        None of that happens if you click ON THE DESKTOP. If you click other apps, ALT+F4 closes them, as you'd expect.

        Are you just really bad at IT or looking for excuses to hate something?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows N+1

    Seems like Redmond is going the Mozilla Firefox way on version numbers.

    Amazingly, we're at Firefox V30 nowadays !

    This means W9 is for next year, and then W10 the year after. Then, they'll switch to 6 months release date, in order to milk the "I bought W N+1" base, until they too dry out.

    That's OK to me, their stuff is anyway only gonna live as a VM with hacked serial on my Mac, for the legacy programs (number reducing over time) I'm still using occasionally.

    Seriously, hiding the shutdown button, WTF ... This and so many other GUI atrocities ...

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Windows N+1

      MS have history on this - Vista hid the "Shutdown" button, and put "Sleep" where you'd expect it to be.

      The four Vista laptops we have destroyed their batteries in less than a year...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait and see what Win 9 looks like first?

    1. PhilBuk

      Win 9 on Subscription

      If Microsoft have a real death wish they will make Win 9 subscription-only.


  19. John 110

    Not everyone works in an office

    I have 40 users working at 15 shared machines switching from a terminal emulator, running a LIMS, to various specialised laboratory applications running in the browser (IE8 on Win XP) to software interfacing with analysers (some of which hasn't been updated by the manufacturer since Windows 95). Oh and we're a Microbiology lab, no touching the screen (keyboards are a necessary evil that are cheap enough to be replaced). And we're only one of the labs here, and we're not a particularly big one.

    Voice and touch tiles just won't do the job in this environment, neither will obscure methods of switching applications. And hiding running apps away is definitely out of the question, what happens then is people fire up more instances until the processor runs out of grunt and the system fan is whining like concorde.

    I'll get my coat, it's the Howie one with gram stain down the front.

    1. qwarty

      Re: Not everyone works in an office

      Curious why its ok to touch a keyboard but not a screen?

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Not everyone works in an office

        Um....As he said: " no touching the screen (keyboards are a necessary evil that are cheap enough to be replaced).."

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Not everyone works in an office

        Touching the screen leaves nasty greasy marks, even if you've not been eating crisps, and not having a clean screen drives me crazy! In fact, I've been known to snatch a pen that someone points too close to my screen, and make to stab their hand with it.

        Also, the keyboard is normally arranged within arm's reach. The screen is often not. I'm waiting to see how workstation position guidelines are changed to prevent RSI's when reaching your whole arm out to touch the screen.

  20. Andy E

    What’s the compelling reason to upgrade?

    I look after about a dozen traditional PC's and laptops and they are all running the latest and greatest Windows v7. I have looked at v8 but can't identify the compelling reason to make me even want to upgrade. As most of the machines are fairly recent and stuffed with memory, I'm hoping we won't need a new system until Windows 9 has been released which if I'm lucky will be more accommodating to traditional PC's and laptops.

  21. Stuart Halliday

    Real people don't know how to use Windows.

    They just want to know where to wave the mouse, when to click and which mouse button to click.

    The other 1% (ie us) know how to work our computers regardless of which OS it runs.

    To tell if your workforce is ready for Windows 8, try this. Move the taskbar to the right-hand side and see how long it takes for them to figure it out.

    If its more than 10secs. They're not ready.

    If it takes you more than 5secs to figure out how to do this. You're just playing at IT.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      I thought Windows 8 was a nightmare scenario. I was wrong. I've discovered an even worse thing.

      A 24-strong research group has just arrived here from Spain. "Please can you connect me to the network, and the printer, and set up my email..."

      Three of them have Windows 8 machines. In Spanish. This is the true meaning of guesswork. I have aged five years today.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Think yourself lucky they weren't Japanese or Hebrew versions.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          I have dealt with a Chinese version of Mac OS X before. Not easy, but I managed it.

          If faced with a non-Roman version of Win 8, I'd have had a nervous breakdown.

          1. Cpt Blue Bear

            Its not that bad. I once spent an afternoon removing spyware from a series of PC that were all in Korean. The first problem was getting enough control back to change the language to something I could read. Cue lots pointing at button labels and asking "what does this say?" type questions.

  22. brain_flakes

    Here's the choice I made:

    Win 8.1 on my laptop, It's faster and more power efficient which are both plus points for a mobile machine even if it doesn't have a touchscreen.

    Win 7 on my desktop, because I want to get work done on multiple monitors without things constantly full screening at me.

  23. hairydog

    I tried to like it - but failed

    I installed Windows 8.1 on a non-touchscreen laptop. Yes it works, and yes I can use it.

    But all the time you are reminded that this is set up as a toy, not as a business tool.

    Those metro apps have less functionality than real programs, and are not what I want a computer for in the first place. All those stupid boxes in the way instead of helpful menus.

    The App Store is no use on a business machine: you don't want users installing software.

    Despite being fast and in a powerful machine, every task takes much longer than it does on Windows 7, because the 8.1 UI is both unintuitive AND inefficient.

    It might be good on a touchscreen tablet computer, but they are normally unsuitable for serious work because the input obscures the output.

    The machine now only gets powered up for the odd Windows Update. When I have time I'll wipe it and install Windows 7 again.

    Sorry, Microsoft, Windows 8.1 makes Windows ME look like a good idea.

    Unless you get it right with 9, you will lose even more users.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I tried to like it - but failed

      You're right, Win8 is no good without a touch screen. The more mobile the device you're on, the better the Win8 experience. Desktop Win8 is a hideous experience.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: I tried to like it - but failed

      >The App Store is no use on a business machine: you don't want users installing software.

      Actually the App Store concept is quite good, only as an Enterprise I would like to be able to reconfigure it to show our app's catalogue (both desktop and modern) that users are permitted to install. Currently this information resides on a webpage on the intranet.

  24. big_D Silver badge


    is coming next year.

    What is coming this year is an Update and doesn't include the work being done in the Threshold project.

  25. big_D Silver badge

    Are you sure?

    or someone who is in IT who is more than familiar with Windows, Windows 8 has taken some considerable adjustment. Switching between new-style apps and traditional desktop apps can be confusing,

    I'm sorry, are you sure you work in IT? I didn't have any problems adjusting, the desktop works just the same as it ever did and the start "menu" now takes up the whole screen, but is easier to customize.

    Granted having some settings under Modern and some on the desktop doesn't help, but as I never navigate to them, I just search for the settings applet I want, just the same as I do under Windows 7 on the start screen/menu.

    1. Joerg

      Re: Are you sure?

      It seems that you are the one not working in IT if go around telling that everyone is going Win8.x to be so productive and happy with it...

  26. Keith Langmead

    Long winded search

    "On a non-Update 1 system, searching meant you had to swipe your finger in from the right edge of the screen to start the process, or hover your mouse over the lower-right hand corner of the screen and then move the cursor up to the Search box to type in your query."

    Yeah, or you could just press Start on your keyboard and immediately start typing what you're searching for! Why faff around hovering over things with your mouse etc, especially on a system with a keyboard?

    I'll admit it's nice to have an actual search box on the Start screen, but purely because the idea of just typing without putting the cursor somewhere does blow some users minds.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Long winded search

      >I'll admit it's nice to have an actual search box on the Start screen, but purely because the idea of just typing without putting the cursor somewhere does blow some users minds.

      I encountered this style of UI back in the 1980's...

      We were having problems getting a system to boot and over the phone walked through the start up sequence with the experts who couldn't understand why the system wasn't booting until one said the immortal words "you did type 'GO' ". It then transpired that when the screen went blank we were supposed to type 'G' 'O' <return> ... (NB. note also the use of capitals!)

  27. breakfast Silver badge

    Excited for the update

    I look forward to the next update to Windows 8 - when I got 8.1 it killed my wireless card in a way that has -as yet- to be fixed by either the maker or by Microsoft. It is certified as Windows Compatible, though, so I guess I must be imagining the constant network dropouts as must all the other users of the same card. Probably our own fault for having a computer that uses a part from an obscure manufacturer like Intel, I guess.

    I can't wait to see what essential parts of my system stop working with the next "update" - maybe the screen? Or the keyboard? It's like a special lottery.

    Fortunately I'm not doing much Windows development at the moment so I just run Mint on the machine most of the time. It seems to work fine...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    M$ suicide mission continues

    It looks like M$ are either trying to commit financial suicide or trying to shake the M$ loyal holdouts into buying Win8 by say that's it's not going to improve any time soon.

    Win8 is a disaster and it looks like they'll be pushing that same steaming pile of GUI onto Win9.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the Company who brought us 'user features' such as 'Trusted Computing'

    -Well I'm all done. I've had enough of Microsoft.. From here on, it will be something else... But before I'm tagged an MS hater, take note I'm a MS certified developer with a couple of decades experience. But I've had enough. Remember this is the company that brought us 'Trusted Computing' as a user feature!... Moreover, lack of any real customization of the windows build to something more to my taste, and ongoing user behavior monitoring, are major deal breakers for me, see below...

    -All MS ever do is break things, or rob someone else's ideas. They never actually innovate, except in a limited corporate sense perhaps... All I want now is a machine that fucking works. I want a custom build, one that re-sellers just don't offer anymore, if they ever really did....

    -I want WinVNC, that plays everything, not something that doesn't, or gets in the way. Plus enough about big media DRM and spying on user activity in MS Media Players please.

    -I want a browser that isn't IE, but that I don't have to install manually every time, overriding the hidden plug-in defaults which can take an age. who has time to disable all the crap in 'Run without Permission'... Has anyone ever written about why Skype and Adobe and Google hide in there?

    -Don't install MS Office again, if its going to be a fucking useless trial, phoning home to Redmond and constantly nagging me to put everything into the CloudFog...

    -Preferably I want an open Office suite, more than one, and installed by default......

    -I want an image viewer & editor that does what it says on the tin, no more...

    -What I don't want is stealthy sneaky user behavior monitoring that sleep in Scheduled Tasks, hidden IE plug-ins, silently invoked Registry Run commands, difficult to disable DLLhost calls... and tricky to stop Services etc ... I wonder how many people apart from developers really know about all of these??? Enough already MS!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The type of M$ FUBAR that's unforgivable :-

    "Prior to this upgrade, when you're were on the desktop view of a Windows 8.1 device, you couldn't open apps through the desktop mode view but instead had to switch to the Metro-style application view."

  31. Andy Non

    Having bought a Windows 8.1 laptop with a touch screen a few months ago I can honestly say I detest Windows 8.1. I've used every Microsoft operating system since the early days of DOS. Even after downloading a third party start button and applying all the patches and "upgrades" it is still the user interface from hell.

    Windows 8.1 update has now imploded too. It gives a dumb error message about being unable to get any updates - but every time I turn the computer on it badgers me that there are updates available. I've had no luck attempting to repair the updater - system restore hasn't fixed it. Microsoft's Windows update repair tool claims to have found and fixed problems but Windows update is still dead in the water. Online help is less than helpful to solve the problem and various people suggest completely different solutions, none of which work. So it is now becoming unsafe to use the computer online as it is not patching itself and is thus at risk from malware.

    So my new Windows 8.1 laptop is now effectively at the end of its "useful" life after only a few months!

    My solution... I'm going to delete Windows 8.1 and install Kubuntu. Microsoft can shove Windows 8.1 and (Windows 9 when it comes out) where the sun doesn't shine. I'm finally done with Microsoft's crappy operating systems.

  32. Fading

    Win 8.1 my old nemesis....

    So they have given us back the ability to click a red cross in a non-resizable app to shut it down. Obviously no one at MS has the task bar at the top of the screen set to auto-hide as I do. They have also removed the grab from top and sweep down to close the app on desktop mode. Can you see the issue I am having? Yep if I want to close an app first my auto-hide taskbar gets in the way, then the charms on the top right get in the way and finally I might be able to click the red cross.......

    This is a sign of progress.......

    I had just got used to win 8 - now win 8.1 has put me back to square one. Yes I could have the task bar on the bottom but I have it at the bottom for my work PC (that I remote into) so I can easily tell the difference on which machine I am on at anyone time.

  33. chivo243 Silver badge

    Windows and Star Trek Movies?

    Only the Odd numbered versions are good?

  34. Fenton

    Eventually settled on 8.1

    I built a new PC six months ago. Long time Windows 7 user

    I initially flirted with OSX, but could not get the thing perfectly stable and half the free apps I use were not available and couldn't use my paid for apps. Also the auto indexing would kill the Sata channels when indexing the SSD, causing the system to freeze until it finished (also and issue with windows 8/8.1)

    Then I flirted with Linux (Mint), too many config options in too many different places and I just find the Gui an unpleasant experience, then there was the endless command line commands required to get certain apps working. And I couldn't use my Windows paid for apps.

    I could have gone back to windows 7, but had a copy of Windows 8 lying around, installed and upgraded to 8.1

    I use the system mainly in desktop mode (icons on the screen and in the task bar), with two monitors. And to be honest my workflow has not changed a bit compared to windows 7. If I do require apps that are not on the desktop, I don't really care if I find it on a full screen Start Menu or the little one as in Windows 7.

    However I did do a quick install of windows 7 to see if there were any performance differences.

    Windows 8.1 does perform between 5% to 10% better compared to 7.

  35. Tom B

    A Genuine Touch-Based Desktop

    Touch would work just fine if your entire desktop -- not the computer-screen image, but your actual, honest-to-god top of your desk -- was itself a touch-sensitive display screen. I'm thinking here of the original Tron movie, where the boss had this nice big, fancy desk where computer images would appear on it (including the full-size keyboard). In the real world, you might want a desktop that tilted to 45 degrees, though.

    But what I'd really like to see is a command-line interface capable of understanding whatever you typed in. If it couldn't understand you, it would ask in plain, simple, obvious language. Then it would remember, so in the end you'd be using your own personal shortcuts every day. The bonus here is that nobody else could use your computer under your login, because after a while, the server would be able to tell the difference between your warped mind and someone else's. There are times when I find typing things into a command line a whole lot easier than figuring out a bunch of @#&%#* little pictures and non-intuitive finger swipes.

  36. Daniel von Asmuth

    The WIndows XP dilemma

    - Should you stick with XP?

    - Should you upgrade to 2000?

    - Should you upgrade to Vista?

    - Should you upgrade to 7?

    - Should you wait for Windows 9?

  37. Gis Bun


    Windows 8.1 "Update" [as named by Microsoft and not "Update 1" has been out for 3 months. Now you're showing off?

    That said, in a month will be "Update 2" but only minor enhancements.

    A possible "Update 3" may come out sometime early next year. Either that release or Windows 9 will feature a full Start menu - very similar to Window 7, but the right side of the menu ["Documents", "Pictures", etc.] will use Windows tiles.

  38. Myself-NZ

    I'm OK with Windows 8.1

    I hated Win8 when I first tried it, spent about three days cursing the thing and not getting much done, before I went back to Win7.

    Seeing as I support people with computers, and the majority of people with new computers are getting Win8, I thought I had better try it again so I at least can do a decent job of supporting the people that put some money in my pocket, so I went to Win8, but this time I installed Classic Shell/Start.

    Not ecstatic or anything with it, but it gets the job done. With Classic Shell/Start, I boot straight to the desktop and use it pretty much like Windows 7. I get an OS that is more up-to-date security-wise, slightly better performance (nothing to complain about there). Basically never see or use the modern/metro interface unless I absolutely have to, which is fairly infrequent. I don't use the apps or app store as I install and use proper desktop programs.

    As an OS should be, it is largely something I spend next to no time thinking about, it is something that is required to run the programs I want to use. As long as it does that and stays out of my way, then I am OK with it.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair....

    " If you’re using Windows 8.1 on a tablet or a touch-enabled device, you won't spot much in the way of difference."

    Well, that's sorta not the point of the upgrade.

  40. Asok Asus

    What dilemma?

    Simply sit tight on Windows 7 and wait and see if Windows 8 is a piece of crap. If so, then keep sitting tight with Windows 7. End of Story. Q.E.D.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: What dilemma?

      Would tend to agree. The vast majority of enterprise (and government) is either already on 7 or will be in the coming year. It is unlikely that any large company is considering a wholesale refresh particularly since Windows 7 Pro won't go off support until Jan 2020 and because of their volume licensing are not in the market.

      If 8.1u2 does arrive and does provide a better desktop experience and slots straight into a Win7 infrastructure then we could expect to see some enterprises also deploying Win8 tablets etc. in response to particular business needs. The worrying thing is that the author of the article states "I work for a large enterprise with thousands of users globally, and for testing purposes, installed the update on a Surface Pro tablet and on a traditional HP desktop." but provides no feedback whatsoever on how Win8 does play in a Win XP/Win7 enterprise.

      The question with a release of Win9 rumoured to be pencilled in for April 2015, is whether MS will do to 8 what they did with XP and held of changes for commercial reasons so as to include them in Vista/7 as a means of encouraging sales...

  41. David McCarthy

    Win9 should be codenamed Amnesia

    I can't think of another company which has so totally forgotten the basic business premises of keeping your customers happy and building on your successes.

    That's probably because only their dominant market position has prevented Microsoft from going to the wall like all other companies that forget.

    I remember looking forward to new versions of Windows because each one did stuff better, more easily that the one before ... Win3.11 ... Win95 ... NT/Win2000 ... WinXP ... and then Microsoft forgot who they were, where they were going and, most importantly, why.

    Perhaps if they call Win9 Amnesia, it will act as a constant reminder.

  42. connermac725

    research and deploy

    I took the time to test windows 8 before we deployed them at my company I used classic shell to give back the start button and to skip the metro screen and to disable the hot corners. once that was done my users never knew it was windows 8 until they had to login.

    BUT the upgrade to 8.1 which you had to do to get security and OS updates. now that was a mess each computer had to visit the Microsoft store and do a 4gig download what a mess especially when one failed several times I had to search the knowledge base to find out why eventually running the windows update repair tool (yea keep that in your mind you may need it someday) after download 5 it worked

  43. orlbuckeye

    Well there are more and more professional apps being developed as cleints for their desktops versions that can utilize mobility and GPS type applcations. Window 8.1 doesn't force anyone to use a desktop or Metro mode. It does allow the user the choice. It departments can lock the desktop down in the business environment. Most people's jobs aren'tr dependent on the OS but they are dependent on the software they use to do their job. Training is minimal sind the desktop will be configured with all the same apps that the used under XP but the 64 bit versions.

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