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  1. #1
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    What you need to know now about Windows 8




    TOP STORY

    What you need to know now about Windows 8


    By Woody Leonhard

    Few Microsoft publicity efforts have ever drawn as much attention as last week's 20-minute Windows 8 sneak preview.

    If you've heard that Windows 8 is for the dogs or that it will look like a phone, you haven't heard the whole story.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/top-story/what-you-need-to-know-now-about-Windows-8/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Funnily, I watched a preview of Mac OS/X Lion just yesterday. I was interested because I'm in the middle of switching from Windows to Mac - I have a 2011 edition iMac on my desk running Snow Leopard. It appears that as usual Microsoft is playing catchup and pretending to be innovative. Swiping, full-screen apps, full screen launchpad menus - they are all in Lion, which is being released next month. The big difference between Apple and Microsoft - apart from the fact that Apple are genuinely innovative - is that Apple go for evolutionary change. Microsoft appear to be going for a revolution - from the point of view of their users. By the time that Microsoft get there Apple will have taken a couple more evolutionary steps and will still be ahead of the game. That being said, both companies appear to be trying to persuade us that a desktop computer is in fact just a large mobile phone, and by doing so are dumbing down the interface. Somebody should tell them that there are reasonably sophisticated computer users out there that can cope with having more than one program on the screen at a time. I have three screens and i often have multiple programs going because I need them to do a single task,or a related set of tasks. These days some of those programs are Mac programs and some of them are Windows programs, because I'm running a Windows VM on my Mac using Parallels Desktop in Coherence mode.

    Oh, and I didn't find the video you pointed us to as in any way slick - I thought it was pretty clumsy.

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    Windows 8 User Interface

    I hope we are not all forced to eventually use a finger to control Windows. I have two large screens which are up from the desk and I don't sit on top of them either. Imagine having to have your arm stretched out for extended periods of time while accessing the icons on the screen. I am quite happy with my desk-top computer to use the keyboard and a mouse. This new UI is fine for laptops and tablets, etc.

  5. #4
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Not on My Laptop, You Don't!

    I flat-out REJECT what has so far been presented as Windows 8. The App-Tiled push-sell, cluttered iPhone/Apple Store style interface is a non-starter. I keep my Windows 7 desktop clean and uncluttered for a reason -- I HATE unnecessary ads and distractions where I am working. This includes inside my browser, which is why I block ads and scripts.

    And I suppose the OS won't even activate without demanding Credit Card Numbers (for the Store) and a Windows Live ID sign-up. Security would also be a nightmare in this operating environment.

    About the Windows 8 Presentation:

    At the 8:30 point on the timeline, what we may be seeing has been known to Linux users for decades as separate Workspaces. These are autonomous, often sandboxed, working environments, but they only have a few apps per workspace. Each workspace has its own desktop or other interface, and each can behave relatively independently. It's like Windows 7 Libraries on steroids. Or then again, like having multiple accounts without having separate log-ons for each account. Again, Linux users are already familiar with this concept -- it is only new to Windows users who have never seen Linux in action. In Linux, files and even apps can indeed be dragged from one Workspace to another -- or at least copy/pasted.

    I still will not accept the Apps and Touch Screen paradigm of this presentation, and I don't expect widespread business adoption. This whole concept is consumer-glitz at the expense of core functionality and efficiency of use. If you are trying to create or modify business documents or presentations, this interface just does not work for you.

    Again, as in the AskWoody blog, I ask, Is Microsoft at long last just an Apple Wannabe?

    And if Microsoft controls and approves the Apps, and they all must be bought at the Microsoft Store, this is the end of free programs by independent developers for the Windows platform. I smell a gigantic anti-trust action if this proves to be the case.

    The integration of Internet Explorer 10 into the operating environment seems too close to comply with EU anti-trust laws.

    So how do you boot a UEFI computer from a rescue CD? I guess this is also the end of the road for end-user self-help.

    To solve the issue of not having a touch-screen, we all would have to buy new hardware to go with the new Operating System. I for one cannot and will not spend yet another $500 to $1000 on hardware which by the looks of it will no longer run free software and cannot be user self-serviced.

    Or maybe we all will be using the Microsoft Surface as an auxilliary (USB 2.0 for most laptops) input device. And that will cost us how much?

    By the way, Google has nothing to offer in its ChromeBooks at this time. That's why Google won't allow retail sales of ChromeBooks -- they are still running an OS which is largely vaporware as of the latest reviews. You'd expect much more after two years of nonstop hype and a $500 price tag. And the Chromebook is -- shockingly -- a LAPTOP, not a Tablet!
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2011-06-09 at 17:19.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I'm not too terribly concerned about all this touch screen stuff. From what I understand of Windows 8 thus far, traditional desktop features like mouse and keyboard will remain. They are by no means going away anytime soon.
    Backward compatibility has always been a Microsoft staple, even to it's detriment at times. I believe the user will be eased into these features, not forced.
    If MS is going to improve their phone and possibly put out an os for a tablet, then the previous "traditional" Windows operating systems are just not going to cut it.
    So no, not a Apple wannabe at all. Just going with the flow is more like it. And it's probably about time too.

    Still too early to make anywhere near a final judgement. We just don't have enough information yet.

  8. #6
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    For my work desktop pc WinXP, OfficeXP and our industry specific software provide everything I need to do my job and a lot more besides. Win8 will be wholly irrelevant.

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    The end of Microsoft's Dominance

    If Microsoft goes forward with Windows 8 as currently envisioned, it will be the end of Microsoft's dominance of desktop OSes. No company can survive two bad OS products that are completely rejected by the market, in such a short period of time (Vista & Win 8). It's the opening Apple and Ubuntu have been waiting for. No corporation is going to embrace having a consumer phone UI on their desktops. No serious, knowledgeable techie will embrace and recommend it. We were right about Vista and I'm confident we will be right about this monstrosity called Windows 8.

    We are witnessing how a monopoly can destroy itself through arrogance. It will be studied and written about for decades to come. When you don't understand customers and try to force products down their throat that don't meet their needs or expectations you lose.

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    Thanks Woody for the advance peek. I never, in my wildest imaginiation, thought I would say this but, based on your informatin, my next machine is most likely going to be a Mac. Microsoft is now actually *interfering* with the way I use a computer and work on it. I hate the thought of switching, but, I can't put up with this kind of garbage.

    Microsoft fails to understand that *businesses* use computers - we are not all 20-somethings running around playing with tablets and texting our friends or looking up movie times or the way to the mall on our phones. Nor are we playing videogames on our computers. There's a *huge* segment of the market that could care less about these things.

    We want desktops with icons on them, first and foremost, not a bunch of "tiles" - what insanity - have they lost their minds?

    Many of us also have zero interest in storing things in the "cloud" (what a term - aka somebody else's servers), no matter what the Big Boys want us to do. Why should I turn over MY stuff to THEM? Forget it. Not gonna happen.

    Microsoft, you lost big-time on Vista, Windows 7 isn't great, and now you plan to self-destruct on Windows 8.

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  13. #9
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    Hay, Clint -
    The point here is, many of us *do not want to be "eased" into these features.*

    "Easing" is just a slower form of forcing, and over the long run, that is exactly what it is. Sooner or later they drop support for the "older" ways we prefer, so yes, we *are* forced.

  14. #10
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    I think Microsoft just decided that they flat-out don't care about handicapped users. The blind, those with amputations, the diabetics with poor--or no--sense of touch can't use a touch screen and anyone with any kind of movement disability is going to be VERY unhappy. And to ship with the touch screen as the default? They lost that audience immediately.

    And me as well: I sit 29 inches from the screen because that's the closest my desk will allow me to get. My arm isn't long enough to reach that far! I would consider a touchpad next to the keyboard in place of the mouse. Also, I agree with Boprimak--give me a bare screen that I can add to, not a cluttered mess I might be able to remove everything from.

  15. #11
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    Microsoft VS Apple

    I saw the Windows 8 preview and as usual Microsoft is off on their own ideals of what the residential and business world NEED instead of what "we" actually want and need.

    Apple however determined to rethink computing on a global scale LISTENS to their user base. they understand a key concept Microsoft has NEVER grasped... Keep the users happy and they'll never leave you.

    Apple keeps it simple. The OS is streamlined and with Apple either it works or it doesn't. At the same time the key features people love they continue to offer in their Operating Systems like the Apple Menu. Originally it was taken out of OSX but after massive negative feedback they added it back almost immediately. Smart business on Apple's part.

    Microsoft has been playing catch up to Apple since the 80's. Windows was built on the Mac OS GUI, or should I say stolen. So as the Apple OS continues to grow in popularity Microsoft scuffles to compete, hence why we had a Windows ME and Vista.... 2 rushed Operating Systems that were sub par to say the very least, and is the reason why both failed and were pulled.

    Windows 8 to me looks like a HUGE mistake. Such a drastic change in the look and feel of an OS is NOT going to go over well with the corporate world, and that's really where Microsoft needs to focus their attentions. When this new OS enters the business world and the users are basically ham stringed aside from shell shocked and can't perform their job responsibilities we are going to see Windows 8 get shelved just like Vista was shelved.

    Practical functionality far exceeds the need to redesign something that isn't broke. Microsoft apparently will never understand this.

    As an I.T. Professional I honestly see no logical reason why Microsoft feels the need to do this. Smartphones and Tablets have their place in the computing world, and for that yes they have a different interface because of screen size more than anything else. Apps and widgets are the way to go on a system with limited screen space.

    HOWEVER a PC is used much differently than a smartphone or a tablet are used. I know very few people that use a smartphone to actually do work outside of emails and for I.T. Pros some administrative tasks like resetting user account passwords.

    Is Microsoft going to change the world? In my opinion absolutely not, I think they're going to end up with egg on their faces again unless there is a feature to turn this ridiculous GUI off and use a standard desktop GUI.

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  17. #12
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    Well you have to remember something..... Touchscreen features only work IF you have a touchscreen! Conventional Monitors can't do that. And i don;t know about any of you BUT I am NOT replacing my three 23 inch Samsung Screens for this silly feature.


    MODERATOR NOTE: This post has been edited to remove profanity that violated forum rules. Please read and abide by the Forum Rules. Click the Lounge tab at top of page, Forum Rules are under FAQ. Please activate Private Messaging in your user profile.

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    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-06-09 at 13:42. Reason: Inappropriate language

  18. #13
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    I agree here 100%.

    No self respecting I.T. Professional working in the real world is going to embrace this OS in the business world.

    IF Microsoft had a clue this feature would have been an addition to the OS EXACTLY like Apple has done with OSX LION. Lion features a new addition called Launchpad. Launchpad allows you to have all of your apps show FULLSCREEN on the desktop as cool icons, which look VERY similar if not identical to all Droid and iPhones. It's simple, and does not force a user to have to take a class to learn how to use LION. http://www.apple.com/macosx/whats-new/launchpad.html

    IF Microsoft goes down because of this Apple will take advantage of it. I have always been an Apple advocate. the problem Apple has is the business world. They need a stronger more solidified foothold on Corporate infrastructure. Considering they axed the X-Serve from production, all but giving up on rack mounted servers I don't know if we are going to see Apple move into the market. I'd like to but probably won't.
    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-06-09 at 13:43. Reason: Inappropriate language, see Note in Post #12

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    Ya know what else is REALLY FUNNY here?

    Apple created a new feature in OSX called the DOCK. The dock sits on the bottom of the screen and "docks" all the apps you want it to display. These apps have neat little icons that look just like Smartphone widgets and app icons, AND is actually where smartphones got the idea from.

    Just goes to show you how far ahead Apple is in computing then Microsoft.

    PRACTICAL USES FOR NEW FEATURES AND DESIGNS MICROSOFT! Idiots on a monumental scale

  21. #15
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpdraven View Post
    I agree here 100%.

    No self respecting I.T. Professional working in the real world is going to embrace this OS in the business world.

    IF Microsoft had a clue this feature would have been an addition to the OS EXACTLY like Apple has done with OSX LION. Lion features a new addition called Launchpad. Launchpad allows you to have all of your apps show FULLSCREEN on the desktop as cool icons, which look VERY similar if not identical to all Droid and iPhones. It's simple, and does not force a user to have to take a class to learn how to use LION. http://www.apple.com/macosx/whats-new/launchpad.html

    IF Microsoft goes down because of this Apple will take advantage of it. I have always been an Apple advocate. the problem Apple has is the business world. They need a stronger more solidified foothold on Corporate infrastructure. Considering they axed the X-Serve from production, all but giving up on rack mounted servers I don't know if we are going to see Apple move into the market. I'd like to but probably won't.
    The LaunchPad concept looks like the way to go. Give us a choice, Microsoft!

    And that Apple Dock feature would be another good way to handle Apps, provided it doesn't degenerate into just another Ribbon.

    Are you listening, Microsoft Developers?
    -- Bob Primak --

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