Sunday, April 1, 2012

Windows 8: Failure for PCs, Winner for Tablets.

Hello Readers,

Me as well as some other techies have diven deep into the realm of the Windows 7 Consumer Preview.
Through my experience with this new OS, it is clunky and highly tailored to fit Mobile Devices.
Read on for the full scoop:

Microsoft has a vision. It wants to be running the same operating system running across all its devices. It’s a laudable goal, with many advantages for both Microsoft and its customers. The thing is people use different gadgets differently — you don’t do all the same things on a tablet that you do on a PC, and when you do, the experience is different.

Microsoft knows this, so Windows 8 is advertised as "highly adaptable". It responds differently to touch than it does to a mouse. For example, to bring up your Settings menu with your finger, just slide in from the edge; if you have a mouse, you aim for the corner.

Making the corners the key points when operating Windows 8 with a mouse is a smart choice — they are pretty hard to miss and you don’t need to be precise. However, some of the subtle things in the interface appear to be poorly thought out.

To begin, the icons don’t follow standard web “mouseover” rules. Take one example: When you point toward the lower left corner, Windows 8 (either Metro or desktop) calls up the Start screen. Or rather, it calls up an icon for the Start screen, but if you hover your mouse over it, it disappears. This goes against what websites have trained people to do for a decade: call up menus by holding your mouse over icons, then navigating through the menu by staying on top of it.

It sounds like a minor point, but it’s actually not, and the same problem comes up agaim and again from Windows 8: unintuitiveness. Metro is a beautiful and powerful interface, but it’s hard to get used to, sometimes needlessly so. Another example: the Start screen allows you to scroll left and right simply by pushing your mouse icon right up against the edges of the screen. Yet several apps (like Photos) incomprehensibly don’t do this, instead forcing you to use a scrollbar (or the mouse scroll wheel). Again, it sounds minor, but it’s everything.
There are many bugs, I don't live in Anaheim and I can't
change my location, there is also some stray
code in the news tile.
Also, Metro is all about scrolling left and right. Apps like Finance look beautiful, with amazing layouts and great landscape pictures. So why have the top and bottom edges do nothing at all when you mouse against them? We’re all used to calling up docks or menus when pressing against the edge, and Metro even lets you do this using touch. It would have been helpful to keep some of that functionality when using the mouse. For the university of the mouse/keyboard, you would think that MS would have done a better job for devices this common.

Working with a keyboard was better, with intuitive navigation via arrow keys. There are some nice keyboard shortcuts (like screengrab) that you can’t replicate via touch, so the basic human-interface devices definitely open up the realm of possibilities. There was occasionally a little lag with the wireless keyboard I had, but it was something I could live with.

I think it was worth a download. Have you downloaded the Windows 8 preview? Tell me what you think below. (You can comment with your name or anonymously below).



Anonymous said...

it's going to take them a while before tablets and the related OS are up-to-par. Until then I think I'll just wait it out.

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