Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

Summary: Microsoft has a long way to go to make Windows 8 work on desktops and tablets.

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#4 - Switching between screens is a nightmare

Switching between Metro apps is a kludgy mess on an epic scale. You don't have the traditional Alt-Tab combo, but instead you take your pointer (or finder, and place it on the left-hand side of the screen and either drag across or click on the icon that pops up.

Sounds easy ... but wait!

Problem is, once you have more than a few apps running, there's no quick and easy way to cycle between them. You move the mouse to the left, an icon pops up, and if it's not the right one, you have to click on it and try again.

This is so amazingly kludgy that I can only hope that it's some kind of stop-gap. On a tablet, this is ideal, but on a desktop or notebook, it has to be one of the worst design decisions I've seen in ages.

Microsoft - FIX IT!

#5 - Tiles will eventually lead to bloat

Remember when Microsoft introduced the System Tray. It was a place for important stuff to live so users could have easy access to it and see the status of certain applications. Pretty soon, this prime-time real estate (prime-time because it attracted eyeballs) was filled with all sorts of crap.

Looking at Windows 8, the Metro UI desktop will become the next System Tray. Every app is going to want a piece of this real estate. And more apps running will eventually lead to bloat. While Microsoft will surely make sure that the apps it ships with Windows 8 will be lightweight and play nicely, imagine when you have you have iTunes and Steam and so on running, bombarding you with ads and crap news and information. It's a dead certainty that OEMs will be pre-installing apps in exchange for cash, bringing a new era of crapware.

Will Microsoft prevent OEMs from filling the Metro screen with crap? I hope so!

#6 - There needs to be an option to turn tiles into icons

The smallest tile is too big ... once you have dozens of apps installed, that Metro screen is going to get mighty cluttered.

Also, there needs to be a logical way to categorizing apps beyond bundling them into groups.

How tiles are handled needs to be streamlined to make it easier to navigate.

Conclusion

The more I use Windows 8, the more it feels like Windows 7 with a Metro bolted onto the side. And Metro feels like a hybrid between the Windows Phone OS and the Xbox 360 interface. It feels weird and unfinished.

If Windows had a full Metro UI, completely replacing classic UI then I could see it being really useful on tablets, but right now it's little more than a veneer, and by making Metro the default on desktop systems, Microsoft is acting like a child waving a crayon scribble in the faces of any adult that will pay attention. There's no need for Metro to be on the desktop beyond the ability to run apps, but it's there.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer warned us that Windows 8 would be risky ... at the time I was skeptical, but the more I use Windows 8, the more I feel that it could make Windows 7 the new Windows XP.

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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191 comments
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  • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

    For once, I agree with all of your points, particularly the Metro kill switch. Metro is obviously NOT a desktop UI. It's fine on tablets, but gets in the way on desktops.
    BillDem
    • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

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      alexdan2
      • The sad thing about these spam posts?

        @alexdan2
        They are more relevant than AKH's blog.
        toddybottom
    • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

      @BillDem Get six pack Abs

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      alexdan2
      • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

        @alexdan2
        GET LOST !
        hkommedal
      • @alexdan2 .. all that gym work obviously

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        thx-1138_
    • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

      @BillDem Get six pack Abs

      I???m busy and can???t spend 60 minutes a day with exercises.
      Truth About Six Pack Abs does not require this.
      30-45 minutes workouts 2-3 times a week should do the trick

      go here : <em></em>goo<em></em>.<em></em>gl<em></em><em></em>/YR85Z<em></em>
      alexdan2
      • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

        @alexdan2
        Get OUT of here !
        hkommedal
    • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

      @BillDem
      Robots of the world assume you don't have six pack abs, but you want them enough to work 90 minutes per week for them (not much more than that though).

      Also, Metro needs a killswitch. This desktop mode without a start button hardly seems like a desktop mode. Maybe Metro could be accessed by a shortcut, as if it were a program running within desktop mode.
      In fact, I hate this use of Metro where the traditional desktop environment is relegated to one program within metro. However, if Metro felt like one program running within the traditional desktop environment, Windows 8 would be a lot easier to swallow.
      chris3145
      • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

        @chris3145
        Microsoft could use a Control Panel element for the user to select the UI to invoke on boot up--Metro or traditional desktop.
        TsarNikky
      • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

        @chris3145 I agree that Metro doesn't make sense for desktops. But MS would never simply turn it into an application, they learned to not doing that from Windows Media Center Edition: nobody ever uses it.
        belli_bettens@...
      • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

        Metro makes sense to be default on a touchscreen device. It wouldn't be difficult to just give the user a boot up choice in the control panel. <br><br>And I don't think the sky is falling. The article seems a bit dramatic on something that is just a developer preview. Like Windows 8 would only allow 2 app multitasking. Oh no!! Quick, gotta nip this one in the bud. Please.
        crogs
      • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

        @chris3145,

        I agree. I've been using the DEV preview myself for a few days and that's the feeling I get. The desktop is being presented as a "program" to run from Metro. It really ought to be the other way around. Metro ought to be a "mode" of Windows, not the main entry point.

        I can tell you for sure that if I ever consider developing to Metro myself, the front-end is not going to be Metro first, desktop as an afterthought. The jury is out on this one as far as I'm concerned.
        Max Peck
    • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

      @BillDem - unfortunately, the Metro kill switch would kill Metro. It's probably going to remain a requirement so that the future of Windows doesn't ricochet back to the old useless desktop.

      Personally, I'm looking forward to having a rich desktop, and having a tablet OS that doesn't force me to also pack my laptop on trips. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much effort they put into keeping the mouse+keyboard support as full-featured as they did, and we can only expect more streamlining as the product nears its release. That said, I won't have much patience if the final product makes desktop apps hard to use.

      And then... there will be Windows 9. This is only the beginning, so it's going to feel immature right now, but we can be thankful that we're no longer stuck with the Microsoft status-quo, which was dying a slow death.
      scH4MMER
      • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

        @scH4MMER
        So maybe Metro SHOULD be killed
        sackbut
      • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

        @tk_77

        What part of Developer Preview don't you get? The only reason they released it to the general public was because it was going to leak anyway, so rather than Microsoft risk customers getting malware from shady torrents, they just released it to everyone.

        Sheesh.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

        @scH4MMER
        Maybe killing Metro for laptops/desktops is not a bad thing. Metro is clearly designed for casual tablet users.
        TsarNikky
    • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

      @BillDem Have to say I concur. I love what Microsoft has done but it certainly needs polishing and all your points are valid. The most annoying thing is the start menu switch when you're in Aero mode then all of a sudden there's this damn Metro and of course vice versa. It makes more sense that you get the interface that matches the hardware attached. If I don't have a touch screen driver, why would I want metro? Reverse is true too, if I have a mouse attached how likely is it I want big blocks to click on? I think there needs to be some "thought" at the Windows kernel level that takes its best guess at the interface you want and then presents it. Perhaps an easy access icon/tile that lets you switch if it selected the wrong one for you but it certainly can't stay the way it is otherwise you can see people turning Metro off in the registry and leaving it off.
      GeiselS
    • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

      @BillDem It is desktop UI. For me it works fine.
      kamilw
    • RE: Windows 8 design flaws Microsoft MUST address

      @BillDem
      AMEN! Will Microsoft listen??
      TsarNikky