WIndows 8 Seeks More Game Devs, Offers Prizes

By Alec Meer on November 6th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

WINDOWS HATE LOL

The jury’s still out on Windows 8. Well, my jury isn’t – I’m dual-booting my PC with it at the moment, and I think it’s a clumsy, insidious and arrogant mistake in terms of how it applies to desktop PCs, even if it much makes more sense for touchscreens. I’ll admit it doesn’t seem to do anything negative to existent PC games, however. More on that later, though. One thing Microsoft does want to do with Win8 is re-establish it as a gaming platform, though in terms of the iDevice app store rather than a pixel-shaded mega-shooter sort of way. To try and encourage more game development for their awkwardly bastardised new OS, Mirosoft have launched a dev compo – with the winner bagging money, a marketing campaign and a posh trailer for their project.

Controversial game course Train2Game are involved (proving a PR campaign for the winner), which perhaps raises some alarm bells, but mentoring from Mastertronic’s Andy Payne (a lovely fellow if ever there was one), Eidos emperor Ian Livingstone and Rebellion’s Jason Kingsley is most certainly not to be sniffed at. The winner also gets a £4000 trailer, 500 quid and a Win 8 smartphone.

To enter, you need to first submit a game to the Windows 8 app store, so this isn’t something that can be won on an idea or a promise alone. Full details are here.

MS have also put together a bunch of resources aimed at encouraging folk to dev for Win 8, which you can find on a site cunningly designed to look as though it’s not made by Microsoft.

, .

198 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. pupsikaso says:

    I don’t understand Microsoft… Win8 is an OS designed specifically for mobile. Why is there a desktop version at all?

    • Derezzedjack says:

      I think they’re in it for the money!
      I mean if the base is practically the same as for Windows 7 and they don’t have to spend a massive amount of time to make it work on a desktop, then there will be enough people out there, that will just buy it because it’s new and the new stuff is always better, right?

    • Lemming says:

      Hilariously, it doesn’t even work that well for mobile. Not when games run faster on an ipad 3. “Whoops!”, eh, Microsoft?

      • Shralla says:

        Games run faster on a tablet that costs $300 more? You don’t say!

        • Premium User Badge

          Revisor says:

          Does iPad cost 300 USD more than the MS Surface RT?

          MS Surface RT: $499 (32GB), $599 (32GB with Touch Cover), $699 (64GB with Touch Cover)
          iPad 4: $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB), $699 (64GB)

          Hm, doesn’t seem like a $300 difference to me.

          But it’s not important anyhow, both are closed systems dependent on the will of a corporation.

        • Lemming says:

          Err, it’s more the point that MS is supposed to be competing with the ipad 4 for market share, and the ipad 3 is already faster at running the same games. The ipad 4 is going to be even more powerful.

      • SaVi says:

        Gives us the source to the Benchmarks, would like to check if it isn’t just because they weren’t optimised for the new platform.

    • Teovald says:

      Microsoft has always been led by the business guys. Not the engineers, not the designers.
      Merging all the platforms to assault the mobile OSes works very well in that optic.
      They already had a mobile experience with zune, they took it and intend to apply it everywhere, even where it makes absolutely no sense.

      I have no hate against Microsoft, but I hope that it will kickstart Linux as a mainstream os.

      • Premium User Badge

        yhancik says:

        I’m just afraid market shares lost by MS tend to go mostly to Apple, not Linux :/

      • InternetBatman says:

        I like Mint when I use it and dislike Apple products, but I have to agree. Most people won’t want to buy a computer without an OS installed, and will just go to the alternative of Apple.

      • MrLebanon says:

        *crosses fingers* I hope SteamOS/LinuxSteam is going to be accessible

        Every time I try to use Ubuntu I end up hitting a brick wall with something basic and head back to 7 (last time was connecting the the secure wireless at my university)

    • CKScientist says:

      The idea is to have programs that can work in some sense on both large and small devices, which isn’t a bad idea. For instance:

      You’re at work making excel spreadsheets, and need to go show what you’ve been working on to your boss. So you sync up your tablet with your PC, loading the spreadsheet onto your tablet. The tablet version of excel looks a little different to the PC version, but it’s still basically the same program – it can display tables and charts using the same code as the desktop version. You run around and do a demo on your tablet.

      Later, you’re out meeting a client, and you can give him a quick look at his accounts from the Excel on your phone, and make some changes for him here. Your phone can’t replace your PC because its too small to be good at data input, but it’s useful because its portable, and it works great for data display.

      This is actually a really cool idea – why should there be a big difference between portable, touchscreen devices and static PCs? Why shouldn’t the same application run on everything? Sure, the UI needs to be a bit different on different platforms, but the core of the functionality and the OS can be just the same.

      I’m a programmer, and I’ve made a bunch of iOS apps. The difference with apple is that iOS is fundamentally different to MacOs. code that runs on an iPhone has no commonality with code that runs on a macbook. You could make two programs, one for each device, but they’d be just that: two different programs, twice the development costs, with little common functonality. win8 doesn’t have this problem.

      I think this is a really important, revolutionary idea – that whatever size of display, whatever input device used, all hardware is the same on some level, and all software should be able to run on all hardware. One day, someone is going to do this right and it will be amazing.

      win8 isn’t it, though. Having the same basic OS on all platforms is great, but not if it means having an OS that doesn’t reallty fit on any of the platforms it runs on.

      I’m hopeful about win9.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I totally get that potential, and I think it’s a great idea. I’m less excited about the prospect of an Apple-style closed ecosystem covering all my devices. I’m not a programmer / developer / techworker, but wouldn’t web-apps be just as able to easily reach cross platform compatibility?

        Here’s a practical example from my experience. We’re planning our wedding in a smallish (5 sheets about 150 rows) spreadsheet. We’re doing all the cooking and paying for it ourselves, so I do it in Libreoffice, import the file into google docs, and now my fiancee and I can access it, send links to family members, pull it up anywhere, and edit it anywhere.

        • hatseflats says:

          The reason is that supporting web apps doesn’t help MS in getting lots of third party software on Windows RT and Phone, which is what they need to win market share. They’re screwing their customers for their own gain (as they do with the desktop app, see my post below).

          • InternetBatman says:

            Except they are supporting a lot of first-party web-apps. They’re practically turning Office into one with Office 365. It more seems like they’re competing against themselves: “this will offer seamless integration across hardware, but you won’t need it if you pay a subscription, but this interface change is absolutely necessary.”

            You have to wonder if a break-up would have been good for them. That way the OS could focus on making the best OS for the platform, the software makers could focus on making better software, the ad division could sell ads, and the entertainment division could focus on losing money.

      • hatseflats says:

        The problem is that win8 doesn’t do that either. Windows phone apps don’t work on regular windows 8 and windows 8 metro apps don’t work on windows 8 RT or Windows phone – without porting, that is.
        It’s doesn’t just suck for desktop users due to its design, it’s also dysfunctional as a strategy. However, considering the enormous weight of Windows, this may work. I hope it doesn’t and it crashes and burns. I’ve never been a Windows/MS hater (I loved it and think it’s way better and more convenient and intuitive than OSX) but this dick move, trying to use their market share to finally become successful in the mobile market by purposefully making the desktop version suck,* is unforgivable.

        *For those who are interested: one may wonder why they made windows 8 as it is. Why not make a Windows which offers the tablet functionality on the desktop (for media centre functionality and touch screens) as an added function? (like the old media centre) Why doesn’t MS use its market share to offer a similar Windows version on tablets, porting Office to it and stimularing developers to start making apps which can be offered on both tablets & phones and the regular Windows?
        The reason is that they’re hoping to make developers do it by forcing windows users to use the Metro app, by making the desktop part suck. This means there is suddenly a huge market for Metro apps, and by making it easy to port these apps to Win RT and Windows Phone, they can in one stroke have lots of apps for WP and RT. At low cost.
        Mind you, this is not some tin-foil hat stuff. People who are positive about Metro typically begin by saying “oh you can just ignore Metro, the desktop version offers great benefits to Win 7″. A few weeks later, they say “yeah I’m basically using Metro only, desktop is too much of a fuss” and the thing is, no matter what one’s opinion is, Metro is not suited for getting work done. MS offers benefits to attract users, then – by making the desktop app suck, no matter what some people say – makes them switch to Metro. Voila, huge market for apps, so that developers start developing apps. That is crucial, for without apps an OS is not attractive to users (no matter how good the OS is) and without users it is not attractive to develop apps. MS is trying to get around that by screwing desktop users.

        • Emeraude says:

          This “dick move” has been a Microsoft strategy in one form or another for more than 15 years though.

        • Shuck says:

          I had assumed that Microsoft was trying to carve out its own niche by pushing these tablet/laptop hybrid devices, because that’s the only place where Windows 8 makes sense from a user perspective. But yeah, their real motivation is probably something rather more ridiculous…

      • Jumwa says:

        I have that example right now, it’s called Google Drive. And it doesn’t require I run the same OS on everything. Or even the same browser.

      • nullable says:

        I agree on that the basic idea of “one application that works on all platforms” is pretty great, the problem is, IMO, that MS is taking what I’d call “the lazy way out”. Personally I’d much rather see a system that would, say, make an Android app behave like a desktop application for the platform it’s running on (think x86 Dalvik, not the emulator), including UI (window per activity? browser-like navigation controls for the hardware buttons?).

    • Stochastic says:

      I think the plan is to eventually transition to a unified OS, but obviously people’s hardware and usage patterns weren’t going to change overnight, and so Microsoft had to package the traditional desktop environment along with the Metro/Modern UI. I’m not a programmer or OS expert, but my understanding is that architecturally Windows 8 is very similar to Vista/7 at a low level, it’s just been further refined and had this new UI slapped on top.

      There are some advantages of Win8 over 7 even for traditional desktop users (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/better-on-the-inside-under-the-hood-of-windows-8/), but this isn’t a must-have upgrade by any stretch.

    • HadToLogin says:

      Somehow, I think answer to your question wouldn’t be that far from answer to “why Valve made Steam Mobile?”…

    • djbriandamage says:

      To be honest the Windows 8 FUD from RPS and others is getting kind of tiresome.

      I think Windows 8 is great and it doesn’t get in my way whatsoever. It adds new features to the desktop UI that I use every day, and the so-called tablet apps are absolutely useful on PC if for no other reason than to show realtime data on the live tiles on the Start screen (like weather, upcoming calendar events, or unread email).

      I get that RPS’ apt tagline is “Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Full Of Bias” and I won’t refute or criticize it for that. However, it sure would be refreshing if RPS could have the tiniest inkling of creativity or adventurousness to strain itself and find a single positive thing to say about Windows 8.

      • Premium User Badge

        RobF says:

        I’d imagine that would be massively easier to do if there was anything tremendously positive to write about the bloody thing.

        • djbriandamage says:

          RPS’ readership seems to have no trouble with that task while writing comments. Presumably they’re not professional writers so I don’t know why they’d be more capable than the staff here.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            from what I read in these Win8 articles on RPS… the comments are overwhelmingly a mix of “not sure, haven’t tried”, negative comments against it, and a small handful of positive comments which often appear to be astroturfing.

          • djbriandamage says:

            That depends on how suspicious you are, I guess. Grass roots look just like astroturf when you wear plastic glasses.

            How’s that for a confused metaphor?

          • Hoaxfish says:

            well, silliness like “only people who’ve never used windows 8 don’t like it” doesn’t exactly sound like a sensible approach to a discussion, when clearly people have used it and list specific dislikes. Of course the trick of astroturfing is to sound like a legitimate person.

          • djbriandamage says:

            I think it’s equally likely that all praise is astroturfing as it is that all opinions are negative.

            I find it hard to believe that RPS has nothing positive to say whatsoever but it’s possible that’s their honest opinion on the matter. If their opinions are based on thorough personal experience then I have no problem with that. I question how thorough that experience is, however, because they haven’t really gone into specifics. Still, this isn’t a technology website so that would explain why they’ve only mentioned it in passing.

            I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, but great doubt requires great benefit.

          • subedii says:

            RPS hasn’t had any official article on W8 yet, that’s still coming. And when it does, I have little doubt that there will be some good things said about it.

            I also have little doubt that given the tone of what we’ve seen so far:

            a) It’ll still be pretty negative, and

            b) There’ll be plenty of comments along the lines of “You don’t know ANYTHING about the OS and all your complaints are invalid”, “bandwagon jumping”, and of course, flat out “lying”.

      • Emeraude says:

        To be honest, after all those years, I’m finding the whole Microsoft FUD to be kind of tiresome.

        I don’t think it’s so much a case of not having anything positive to say as much as one of not feeling anything positive is worth saying when the whole well-water has been spoiled.
        I know I’m tired of looking for positive things to say. I’m tired of people mocking my warnings of what might happen, seeing the things I warned about come to pass, then see the very people that mocked me both complain about the the new change and tell me to shrug it off as ‘that’s the way things are”.

        Not a jab at you by the way. Just tired.

        • djbriandamage says:

          I understand you completely. Ordinarily I’d be on the defensive stating all my favourite aspects of the OS but people don’t want to hear it. If RPS is content to parrot its journalistic peers then more power to ‘em. I come here to read opinions on games, not facts about technology, so no love lost. You go to a hamburger stand when you’re in the mood for superior meat, not for the ketchup.

          • Grygus says:

            I am always suspicious when supporters of something want to cast detractors as somehow flawed, personally. They have different opinions, but that does not mean that they are uninformed or parroting anyone else, or wrong. The fact that there is no room in your argument for different tastes ruins your credibility for me. Note that RPS doesn’t call you names or imply that you are unprofessional because you like Windows 8; that’s why I find them believable, and not you. Just in case you care.

          • dirtrobot says:

            How can you be so insensitive?! Mr Meer’s family was killed by windows 8! And now he’s fighting for justice with the only weapon he has, words!

      • spectone says:

        MS brought this upon themselves if they had not been involved in so many astroturfing campaigns in the past then people might listen to the positives. Right now my response to almost every who thinks Windows 8 is good is “Paid Shill”.

        This leaves me with mostly negative comments until I can tell if the people being positive are not being paid for it.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Ah, well, despite all evidence to the contrary, it’s not designed specifically for mobile. It just looks like it is.

      (but seriously, it’s just the start screen that’s changed to be the same as the mobile stuff, the rest of it is pretty much the same as Win7)

  2. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    A lot of reviews I’ve seen have been very positive for Windows 8 (e.g. Engadget). I’m not updating as I only use Windows for games anyway, but I’m curious as to what’s good/bad about it.

    • Nallen says:

      In order to have an application in the tiled front end it must be sold via the Windows app store. In order for that to happen it must be certified. Many people are concerned that this is a step towards making Windows a closed platform where anything, not just the apps need to be approved. Think of your PC becoming a Playstation, or an iPhone with a Microsoft badge on it. Not a good thing.

      • Trithne says:

        Also, the XBox has already taught us that that certification process is an absolute nightmare and just all-round bad. If the process for getting things onto Win8 is anything like it, forget about hotfixes or any sort of timely patching, and doubly forget about free updates of any kind.

      • plugmonkey says:

        Many people are concerned that this is a step towards making Windows a closed platform

        Has anyone come up with an actual reason for thinking that yet? Last time I asked, there was no evidence or logic to support this conclusion.

        • Emeraude says:

          Has I’ve kept saying, this is a company whose whole history has given us very little reason to trust anything it does.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish

        • Premium User Badge

          LTK says:

          What Windows 8’s closed distribution means for developers. It’s likely going the way MS-DOS went after Windows 3.0. Ever tried getting a program to run in DOSBox? Imagine being in the same situation 20 years from now, where you need to do the same thing for every program that’s not certified for Windows 8. That’s what’s in the pipeline for Windows as a platform.

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            Potentially we’ll see a shift from such specialized VMs as Dosbox to Dosbox-type appliances running in mainstream VM environments (VMware etc). There are certainly ways around these things for the type of users who use Dosbox in the first place.

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            I feel like you’re talking about two completely different things here. A “Dosbox-type appliance” running in VMware gives you what Dosbox currently gives you on Win7, without the need for Dosbox to be Not-Metro certified independently of VMware Player. I’ve not yet seen how VMware’s Unity features integrate with Win8, but potentially there’s the opportunity for direct shortcuts from the Not-Metro desktop to games which exist only within your VM.

          • plugmonkey says:

            It’s likely going the way MS-DOS went after Windows 3.0. Ever tried getting a program to run in DOSBox? Imagine being in the same situation 20 years from now, where you need to do the same thing for every program that’s not certified for Windows 8. That’s what’s in the pipeline for Windows as a platform.

            Phasing out an obsolete piece of software is not the same as switching from an open to a closed system. This is exactly my entire point. It’s “most likely” going the way MS-DOS went. Why? Er, because.

            Have I ever tried to run a program with DOSBox? Yes, many times. It’s really easy. Steam will even automatically set it up for you.

        • Premium User Badge

          phuzz says:

          If Microsoft develop the next version of SQL Server (eg) for Metro only then I might believe that, but as it is, there’s far too much legacy business software that requires the desktop for Microsoft to ever get rid of it.
          It’s possible they could make the desktop a premium component that you have to pay extra for, but I doubt it.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            It’s quite silly, that the server update in parallel with Win8, does feature not-Metro, but comparatively still retains a lot of the freedom of previous versions.

            I think a number of people moved over to Win 2000 rather than suffer Win ME.

        • Chev says:

          Has anyone come up with an actual reason for thinking that yet?

          Personally I was at a MS dev conference today and they *are* only talking of the desktop as a legacy mode. Their new tools and additions are all geared towards metro apps and they have already tried to constrain the express versions of VS to apps.
          Hell, they were even talking of web sites as an outmoded thing, saying everything should migrate to apps so you’d be free of browsers and just use the metro HTML engine. Sure, they were doing it with a smile and great dev tools and a legacy desktop and dozens of app contests ( the one reported here is just one of many in several domains) but they *are* definitely moving to apps and urging everyone to follow.

          • plugmonkey says:

            And this was within the context of the legacy desktop being the only method by which to install any non-app, non-metro content? And on the route to a closed system? Those being the key things.

            I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they were fading out the ‘desktop’ paradigm, which nobody thinks in terms of anymore (I certainly don’t see my computer screen as a desk covered in paperwork), but without the other stuff, it’s another red herring.

            I genuinely await standing corrected on this, but the only thing I’ve been offered so far is *mumble mumble MS-DOS mumble stands to reason, innit?*

            If it really is, it’ll be fascinating, not because it ushers in a dystopian future of Microsoft monopoly, but because it will spell the spectacular collapse of one of the world’s biggest corporations.

          • Chev says:

            Yes, they were really clear about nothing getting to metro without the app store, and nothing getting to the app store without certification (and a dev subscription which requires a credit check and so on). Attempts to circumvent certification, such as getting a shell application to the app store to then download and run custom code without it getting certified, would be met with the app being taken down. Obviously they haven’t explicitly said they’re planning to take the desktop down but they hade emphasized its lack of new features, and the radical moves in some peripheral domains (being forced to to go through the ms cloud for some professional applications, XNA being put in a closet, .net being dialed down in favor of HTML5, the attempt to remove desktop programming from VS express earlier this year) clearly indicate they’re getting rid of legacy systems.

            Of course, this is highly dependent on getting devs and consumers to use the new systems, which is why you have those app contests popping up like mushrooms, excellent tools for quickly developing apps and DX11.1 (and thus metro) being able to run on DX9 hardware.

          • Premium User Badge

            RobF says:

            Yup, as far as MS are concerned all the stuff we take for granted, all the stuff we see as standard is being treated as legacy now versus their new paradigm and their vision of a shared screen future.

            And that’s troubling. They don’t see a desktop-less future as a cataclysmic failure waiting to happen, this is what they’re aiming for, where every product they’re currently working on is aiming towards. From Smart Glass to Win8 to the next generation of games consoles to Win8 phones, interoperability, desktopless and unified, each as one.

            Plugmonkey, you seem to honestly want them to say “we’re shutting down the desktop” before you’ll believe this and they won’t do this, not this generation. They’ll just put all their pieces in place as they are doing. You might think “ah, but that’d be stupid! They’ll nuke themselves” but they’ll take their time where they have to, they can make some things awkward, make them normal and what you’re seeing now, it’s not paranoia to say it’s baby steps towards that future. It is what it is. Moves to the desktopless future. And that awkwardness, those attempts at normalising the new MS way? They’re already here. Right now, their impact isn’t immediately massive – 12/24 months down the line and innumerable steps more into this program and who knows?

            It’s no secret that they’re reducing choices on their end. Putting XNA to sleep, dropping .net support down, all the progress they’ve made over the past few years in making their products more accessible and open are being put to pasture in favour of the store. Once these things are phased out, there will be more things going the same way. Because it makes no sense to just quietly put these things to sleep and then not continue with new things, replacement things and those replacement things as we’re already seeing are for Metro, for the Metro store and for Metro apps.

            And yes, maybe right now it seems like that’s a ridiculous thing to do. Insane even. Because it is. It *is* insane. It is a ridiculous stupid thing to do. But that’s the gamble here. And even if they fail and they about face, the path they’re currently on can do a great deal of damage to the PC ecosystem we have now whilst they follow this path. Forget lockdowns or anything like that for a second, all the games that have been built with XNA, their future is now vastly more uncertain. They run now but support is being phased out. The poster child for XNA, XBLIG is being left to rot. All the Apps that rely on older versions of .net, their future also is now uncertain. Once these things are gone and they will be gone, then it’s not just a case of about face, the damage will already be done, the ecosystem surrounding these things will be irreparably damaged. And you won’t even notice as a normal consumer for a time because like with the dearth of new non-big pub content to XBLA, it takes a while for these things to filter down to the level of the average user.

            As I say, none of this is paranoia. This is all observable right now, stuff you can see happening with your own eyes that takes 30 seconds observation. And sure, you can’t extrapolate a disaster scenario from these things but you can heed the warning signs that there’s change in the air and question whether this change is a good change. Especially when it’s clear that every move towards Metro as default MS make or every move where MS prioritise Metro over current stable and well used languages, APIs and systems, the more it pulls away support from the very stuff that makes the PC space so strong. The stuff that’s saw developers walk away from consoles to head to the PC precisely because they don’t want to deal with that sort of shit anymore and the last thing you want at that point is to say “nah, tell you what, here, have that shit right back again”…

            It is likely that MS won’t get the control they seek but they can sure fuck things up trying to get it. *That* is the bigger worry.

          • plugmonkey says:

            I think the problem here is that people keep using the same two words to describe four different concepts: Metro and Desktop.

            There’s ‘Metro the app store’, which obviously you’re going to need to go through MS to get on. Then there’s ‘Metro the UI’.

            People keep claiming that you need to go through ‘Metro the app store’ to get on ‘Metro the UI’. I haven’t had any personal experience with Win8, so I’m relying on 3rd party reports, but on this very thread there are first hand accounts of people who have installed non-Metro software in Win8, and then accessed it without having to go back into the ‘desktop’ to do so. If that’s the case, then the claim appears to be false, and seems to be the basis for a large amount of the panic. If this is not the case, then OK, I see where people are coming from.

            Then we have ‘Desktop the outdated UI’ and ‘Desktop the only way to install non-Metro software in Win8’.

            Do I believe that MS are phasing out ‘Destop the outdated UI’? Yes, I do. It’s 20 years old, and is based on a design concept that no-one subscribes to any longer. I don’t see my screen as a desk, with windows on top of each other like pieces of paper. I don’t work with 2 programs side by side in different windows; it’s clunky and awkward. If I want to use two programs, I have two screens. Everyone does. One screen in this scenario is like having one of your hands cut off. If my phone and tablet ran the same OS as my computer, and could be pressed into service as extra screens ad hoc, that would be awesome! Plus, the desktop UI ONLY works with a keyboard and mouse. If you’re using a hybrid tablet / laptop, or you want to connect your PC to your TV (which I do), then it’s useless. Why wouldn’t they phase that out? It’s as out of date as DOS commands were in 1995.

            Do I believe that MS are phasing out ‘Desktop the only way to install non-Metro software in Win8’? No, I don’t. And this seems to be the basis for the other large amount of the panic. I don’t see why they would do that. It gains them nothing and loses them a great deal. And this is the part I would like to see some genuine indication that this is what they’re thinking, not just that the desktop UI is past its sell by date, and that they really should have their own app store in their OS, like Apple do. That seems infinitely more likely to be what they’re thinking.

            So, yeah. Change is coming. I’m aware of that. There will be winners and losers. I don’t think THAT big a change is coming though.

          • Premium User Badge

            neofit says:

            @plugmonkey
            “I don’t work with 2 programs side by side in different windows; it’s clunky and awkward. If I want to use two programs, I have two screens. Everyone does.”
            No. Sorry you’ve been using your PC like a tablet.

      • DeFrank says:

        That’s simply not true. Please don’t comment just to comment.

        • Premium User Badge

          LTK says:

          I think you just burned out my hypocrisy detector.

          • derbefrier says:

            No he’s right that guy doesn’t know what hes talking about. most likely has never tried it himself. From what I have read adding a non metro game is much like adding a non steam game to the steam library and apparentpy it works pretty well. Basically every negative thing I have heard about windows 8 has proven to be false so far. People seem to have problems admitting they are wrong though so get stupid uneducated responses like yours

        • Vorphalack says:

          For your comment to be true, you would need a time machine.

        • DeFrank says:

          I’m commenting in response to an outright lie/misinformation. That’s not commenting just to comment. Although I gotta say, “hypocrisy detector” and “time machine” comments are super clever so thank you for sharing them.

          • Vorphalack says:

            You cannot say it is either a lie or misinformation that Microsoft might try and make the PC a closed platform with future versions of Windows. On that point you are speculating as much as anyone else. Additionally the OP was quite clear that this is still speculation, so i’m not really sure you can get away with calling that a lie as it is not being stated as fact.

          • nearly says:

            “You cannot say it is either a lie or misinformation that Microsoft might try and make the PC a closed platform with future versions of Windows.”

            You can’t say that Bill Gates isn’t going to wake up tomorrow and going on a killing spree either. We should probably worry about that too, as long as we’re worrying about things that haven’t even been suggested or overtly stated as intentions.

          • Vorphalack says:

            How spurious of you.

          • DeFrank says:

            Holy hell, learn to read.
            I’m replying to the comment that “In order to have an application in the tiled front end it must be sold via the Windows app store. In order for that to happen it must be certified.”

            That is wrong. It’s a fallacy.

      • roxahris says:

        Why do you want a Windows application to run in Metro? Why are you using Metro apps on your desktop PC?

    • Subject 706 says:

      Basically, Windows 8 sans “Not-Metro” has a few nifty improvements, boot speed, better task manager, much improved file copying, etc etc.

      The marriage to “Not-Metro” is weird and often cumbersome, since that interface uses its own programs (apps if you will) distinct from the desktop versions. You end up with two different picture viewers for example, who have different settings, and seem generally unaware of each others existence.

      Microsoft has more or less fixed a nonexistent problem for desktop users, needlessly complicating UI matters.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        yep, I think the most immediate problem is the schizophrenic nature of the Notro UI and the Win7 UI.

        Notro’s livetile/sidebar apps is an evolved form of Vista’s Widgets. While it’s a neat idea on mobile to have information without fully opening the software, the desktop has long had solutions to that same problem (the taskbar being the most obvious). Notro also introduces the inanity of full-screen apps for even the most basic software (e.g. full-screen clocks)… which obviously becomes more inane the bigger your screen (and with the lack of a taskbar… you have to start fiddling about just to see the time).

        A number of apps, system settings, etc will direct you to the desktop, or vice versa (depending on your file associations). The way you open, and close, task-switch, print, and split-screen (or 3+ multi-windows on desktop) all differ between the two “modes”.

      • theleif says:

        This pretty much sums up my thoughts on Win 8 so far. Also, it’s the first OS I’ve used where I had to search for how to turn of the computer.
        My first computer was a C64. Just sayin.

        • TormDK says:

          I’m guessing the power button on your computer was hard to find? :)

          At least Windows 8 makes sense in that regard as the first Windows of it’s time. No longer will desktop machines be put to sleep mode when pressing the power button to turn it off.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            You can actually configure what the power button actually does on earlier versions just as with windows 8.

            And as much as the power button might be logical, for a long time everyone was told that you shouldn’t (because the older hardware really did just cut power)… still, if they feel the need to include a “turn off” option within the OS, they should at least make it clear where it is (not like buried in the “settings” “charm” is any better than the “start” menu).

          • theleif says:

            Using the power button to turn of the computer does of course make sense objectively, problem is that has never been the default behaviour in Windows.

          • TormDK says:

            Oh I know Hoax – I’m just stating the obvious.

            The very first thing I did when I had installed Windows 8 on my home gaming machine was go into the power settings to see what Things were like there as default. I was quite surprised that Microsoft had finally made the default choice be the most logical one for a desktop machine like mine.

            In essence alot of people’s negative reactions to the modern UI and Windows 8 is that it makes relearn some aspects of Windows.

            Some people embrace that, and enjoy the new Windows immensely (most normal consumers – aka, not enthusiasts like us) – others are more conservative and Thus whine.

            Given that most people that visits sites like these are enthusiasts, you’d see a similar trend on other sites.

          • Premium User Badge

            RobF says:

            I think that’s a massively insulting assumption to make. I have no aversions to relearning things, I’ve been relearning things for 30 years now across different environments. It’s when what once took 1 or 2 steps on a GUI now takes many steps, when stuff that used to be in full view is now hidden behind abstract actions. When stuff is actually not as good or just change for someone else’s sake (where someone else is for the sake of this discussion a corporation rather than a user) and many other things.

            Being conservative is not the issue at all.

      • Baines says:

        Although people have complained about the way that Windows 8 achieves a faster boot speed, in that it exchanges a classic full shutdown for a powered off sleep mode (caching files to the hard drive, then restoring from that cache during start-up).

        • Premium User Badge

          FriendlyFire says:

          Only if you activate that sleep state. I’ve turned hibernation off entirely and still benefit from vastly improved boot and shutdown times. It’s not just trickery that makes the OS faster, there’s also been welcome changes under the hood to help things along.

      • Premium User Badge

        FriendlyFire says:

        That’s pretty much my feel of this thus far. Had Microsoft not forced the interface formerly known as Metro into Windows 8, then I would have wholeheartedly recommended the OS. Refreshed task manager, unified ribbon bar UI for just about every application, faster boot/shutdown, early support for ReFS, incredibly improved multi-monitor support (that’s perhaps the most welcome change of all), streamlined file transfer… There are a lot of things to like.

        Thankfully, I quickly jumped on the option of installing Start8 (five dollars ain’t much) and pretty much forgotten about the start screen ever existing. Start8 fixes the biggest issue I had with the OS.

    • Mctittles says:

      You can make Windows 7 run in the “faster” windows 8 mode by disabling animations and window effects and a couple startup items. This is basically what windows 8 did.

      If you run Win7 with all the junk and whistles you might see a perceptive faster speed, but if you already slimmed down your Win7 install then the main difference is the slower speed of having to load an “app” for the desktop or the app store.

      • Premium User Badge

        FriendlyFire says:

        Not true, Windows 8 keeps all the Aero animations introduced in Vista and 7. The lack of blurring on window borders and the taskbar are the only differences which could have an impact on performance, and that’s rather negligible. Changes such as a new WDDM are much more likely to be the reasons for the faster feel to it.

  3. Cold Steel says:

    Win 7 is the new XP and Win 8 is the new Vista, history is merely repeating itself.

    • syndrome says:

      Why can’t someone observe they have two alternating teams and two vastly different OS product lines: the envelope pushing one that builds cool new high-level features, tackles UI etc, but barely touches the low-level parts and the wider OS implications of the stuff they add/change, and the other team that actually merges back what’s been proven to work from that into a next gen OS they’ve been working on for at least 4 to 5 years. Microsoft is hardly the only company in the world that works according to this alternating release model. That way they’re constantly fresh on the market, yet they monetize R&D and still manage to develop a stable OS that works/lasts.

    • sabrage says:

      The circle remains unbroken.

    • HadToLogin says:

      Not like XP and Vista wasn’t 98SE and Millennium Edition. Or 95 and 98. That’s how MS roll.

      • Premium User Badge

        Llewyn says:

        Vista is somewhat the exception to that pattern though because they eventually fixed it pretty well, unlike 98 or ME. I don’t see them redeeming 8’s problems in the same way though.

        • InternetBatman says:

          They fixed Vista with Windows 7. My partner’s laptop still runs vista and its a perennial source of problems (she’s a terrible computer user – but still).

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            My gaming machine still runs Vista SP2 and it’s not giving me any problems at all. My work Win7 laptop on the other hand… (although that’s more Lenovo’s fault than Microsoft’s to be honest)

          • MrLebanon says:

            i had bought a windows vista laptop that had a windows 7 upgrade to come in the mail (this was just before windows 7)

            i noticed considerable improvements upon upgrading

    • Mctittles says:

      It’s just crap piled upon crap piled upon crap. Sometimes they remove a few bits of the new crap and people rejoice, although the crapless version is still better it’s too far back to see.

    • Guvornator says:

      Wasn’t Windows 7 based on tweaked Vista tech? And if so, doesn’t that make (Windows 7 based) Win8 just Vista 2010 (+2), Touchy-Feely, this time it REALLY works, edition?

      • simssi says:

        Yeah, and I find it kind of ironic that even though Windows 7 is the first Windows after Windows 3.1 to have a version number applied to it’s name, it’s actual version number is Windows 6.1 (6 is Vista).

    • TormDK says:

      Fun fact for you – The difference in speed on Vista SP2, and Windows 7 SP1 is around 5%.

    • Baines says:

      The sad thing is, Windows 8 was supposed to be an improved Windows 7. That’s what the earliest beta tests were talking about, how the move to support tablets and handhelds was requiring Microsoft to focus on further optimizing the OS instead of bolting on new features.

      But then somewhere along the way, it turned into some confused hybrid, something not made for desktops (and with easy access to the old form intentionally removed after Microsoft saw how people were switching) but which also struggles on tablets. (News on the Surface sounds pretty darn bad.)

  4. Premium User Badge

    RobF says:

    I sat there reading this last week and I still can’t wrap my head around how you end up with something so insane as the snap view:

    “So for Windows 8 any application that uses the new Windows UI has a rule — they must support widescreen (16:9), full-screen (4:3) and snap view (1:4)”

    http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RyanLangley/20121101/180674/Developing_Fruit_Ninja_And_Jetpack_Joyride_For_Windows_8.php

    I’m increasingly convinced that Windows 8 is an operating system designed by maniacs. Why anyone who isn’t pissing money out of any hole already would consider writing for it, I have no idea.

    • Stochastic says:

      My guess is that the snap view aspect ratio is there to facilitate multitasking on smaller displays where screen real estate may be at a premium. You can run the “app” while still having enough space left to browse the web, check email, etc. It does seem strange that this is a requirement, though, especially for something like a game where presumably you would want to play fullscreen at 16:10 or 16:9 aspect ratios.

      • Premium User Badge

        RobF says:

        Yeah, it’s not that snap view exists, that’s reasonable. It’s that whoever puts the final rubber stamp on this stuff doesn’t have the slightest understanding of whether something is appropriate or not to be used across the board. That any developer has to put time into making their game work in snap view is absurd.

        But then, that’s basically Windows 8 in a nutshell. A whole lod of fairly reasonable ideas slammed together into something that’s designed around what Microsoft want you to do not what’s appropriate or necessarily best for the user.

        • Emeraude says:

          A whole load of fairly reasonable ideas slammed together into something that’s designed around what Microsoft want you to do not what’s appropriate or necessarily best for the user.

          You know, that’s one of the beefs I’ve had with Microsoft for the longest time now. I’d find the way they manage some things understandable/tolerable if they actually were providing a freeware. As it stands, I can’t shake the feeling that the company’s paying customers’ interest are often put behind other’s.

        • pupsikaso says:

          Well can’t you conform to the Snap View rules but basically have the game pause and overlay some image saying “return to normal view to continue” or something whenever it’s re-sized to 1:4?

          • Premium User Badge

            RobF says:

            You’d imagine that’d be the sensible way to handle it but…

            “Have feature parity across states. Remember that snapping is simply resizing your app. The user expects to be able to interact with your app when it is snapped”

  5. Hoaxfish says:

    Croteam has popped up as another voice of opposition: http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/11/05/serious-sam-3-developer-speaks-out-against-windows-8/

    • Crazy Horse says:

      That article states: “To clarify: Windows 8 itself won’t restrict you from installing certain games/programs, they just won’t show up in its primary interface.”

      I wonder what the implications of that are. Does not showing in the “primary interface” mean it will not be able to be run at all? Or does this just mean that these games won’t be available in this rubbish Windows Store. Surely Steam will still function as normal on Win 8?

      I obviously haven’t paid any attention to Win 8 yet. What little I hear of it worries me.

      • Subject 706 says:

        Win8 does not prevent you from installing any program you want. In the case of Steam, nothing prevents you from installing it on Win8. However, since Not-Metro is your default UI, and Not-Metro only shows Windows Store Apps, Steam won’t show up there.

        I.e. most of your useful programs/games won’t show up in Not-Metro.

        • pupsikaso says:

          Which isn’t a problem for any normal user, but since the majority of users are below normal and will think that this non-metro UI is “the computer” not having your product shown up there is a big deal for most businesses.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            It’s still at least a minor problem, even for the most skilled users… in the same way that not having icons on your win7 start menu can get problematic, especially if the start menu now covers the whole screen as soon as you login.

          • Koozer says:

            “Which isn’t a problem for any normal user, but since the majority of users are below normal…”

            …what?

          • Premium User Badge

            RobF says:

            I think you can read that as “being rather nerdy as we are, we take a certain level of technical proficiency and consider it a normal baseline whereas out there in the big world, that’s simply not something that you can take for granted as the vast majority of people do not have that level of technical proficiency”.

          • Brun says:

            In other words, “most people are just dumb.”

          • Emeraude says:

            Well, to be fair, we are dumb. The important and hard thing to try to keep in mind is that *we* is not just other people.

        • Guvornator says:

          This is what I don’t understand. The desktop exists for you to have easy access to the programs you use regularly. To just decide that certain programs aren’t going to show up seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. The start menu was a dodgy enough idea on it’s own, but at least it didn’t actively stop you from adding stuff.

          It pains me to say it, but Mac OS just seems to have it (relatively) nailed. Easy to use interface and the OS doesn’t insist on using your computer innards like an infinite playground, filled with resources to loot…

          • Brun says:

            There seems to be a bit of confusion here – “Not-Metro”, as everyone here is calling it, is referring to the UI formerly known as Metro, not to the desktop (which resembles Windows 7). Theoretically you can put anything you want on the desktop.

            For clarity’s sake, can we just start referring to it as Metro again, like everyone else in the world? Microsoft was stupid for not holding on to that trademark.

          • Guvornator says:

            Sorry for not being clear, but isn’t metro doing the same job as the desktop? It’s just now you have a 2 – an official, MS certified, one and a below the counter “use anyfing, ya want, guv” one. It’s hard for me to see how a 2 speed desktop interface is a good idea.

        • Jenuall says:

          Hold on, has this changed since the Release Candidate version then? “Desktop” Programs which I have installed on Win 8 RC have created a “Tile” on the Metro Start page, just the same as any native Metro app would?

          • Brun says:

            You’re correct that desktop applications do create their own icon on the start menu. I don’t know where this guy is coming from.

          • Guvornator says:

            Ah, ok,, I’ve fallen into the trap of people I’ve roundly laughed at during every other MS release, the “I’ve not tried it but it’s shit” group. I hang my head in shame.

            My point about the Mac OS still stands though.

          • Ninja Foodstuff says:

            Launchpad, introduced in Mac OS 10.8 was based on similar principles as Metro. The idea that, on a desktop, you’d for some reason want all your applications laid out in front of you like a patchwork quilt shows some serious disconnect with reality. It’s clearly a feature designed by engineers for engineers, or maybe for people who don’t ever install applications, but somehow remember what they all are from the icon.

            However, Apple didn’t make Launchpad the default way to launch applications.

        • TormDK says:

          All Valve would have to do would be to make a Non-metro app and have it pushed to the Windows store.

          I’d like a Steam Live tile, they could even make it push new offers out to users.

          • Firez0r says:

            A marketplace in a marketplace? Not sure how that would work for either Valve or Microsoft. And what’s going to happen with all the transactions on Steam, will Microsoft get a percentage?

          • Brun says:

            Microsoft could simply refuse to approve Steam for sale in the app store. But that raises some antitrust implications that I’m guessing Microsoft would rather avoid given their past (admittedly baseless) troubles with the EU and US. Taking a cut from Steam’s sales would raise similar concerns.

          • Emeraude says:

            “Baseless” is far from the the first word that comes to mind when I think of Microsoft’s struggle with the EU.

          • Brun says:

            I’m sorry but I have trouble taking a suit based on the legality of integrated web browsers and media players (now standard features on all smartphones and tablets) seriously.

          • Emeraude says:

            Which is far from all the different amounted to. It’s weird that this is what the global narrative has reduced it to, forgetting the whole global vendor lock-in issues.

        • theleif says:

          Actually Steam does show up there when you install it, as do any other notmetro programs or games you install.

        • Grape Flavor says:

          I don’t know what you’re talking about. All apps that would traditionally add shortcuts to the Start Menu upon install, add those shortcuts onto the Start Screen instead.

          There are a number of very valid reasons to be concerned about Windows 8, but some of this stuff people are saying is just plain inaccurate.

  6. Daleof says:

    I’m getting a new laptop soon and I think I might have to get Windows 8. Is it tolerable if I install classic shell and stay away from Metro entirely?

    • Oh Tyrone says:

      I’d say yes. I’d even go one step further and say that if you treat the Metro/Modern UI more like a glorified start menu than a proper OS environment, it’s even quite decent, what with the better boot time and various other improvements (optimized performance, better security etc). To try it out, I actually installed it on an old laptop (dualcore @ 1,86GHz w/ 1GB RAM) and it is surprisingly very fluid – moreso than Win 7 was on the same machine.

      Now, this might be mistaken, but from what I can gather most, if not all, of the issues people (including me) have with Win 8 seem to be related to the Metro/Modern part of it, and while it isn’t (at least to my knowledge) possible to be entirely rid of that UI, it certainly is quite easy to minimize your interactions with it, which essentially renders Win 8 a Win 7 with some slight improvements. So while it might not be advisable to upgrade from 7 to 8 (as the improvements are hardly worth the $70 or whatever it is they’re asking), there certainly doesn’t seem to be any reason not to choose 8 over 7 if you have to pay for whichever it is you choose. Provided you just keep away from Metro.

    • spectone says:

      If it wasn’t for the stupid stupid Metro interface I would have upgraded by now. The boot speed is impressive and there are lots of other under the hood improvements.

  7. SimulatedMan says:

    Those who are convinced win8 is purely optimized for touch interfaces might want to have a look at:
    http://www.hanselman.com/blog/Windows8ProductivityWhoMovedMyCheeseOhThereItIs.aspx

    It won’t necessarily change your mind, but you might find something useful.

    • vonkrieger says:

      The transitions in that video were so clumsy that they made me sea sick. =D

      • SimulatedMan says:

        To be honest I didn’t look at the video. I just read the article.

    • InternetBatman says:

      The problem I had with the article was that it offered no reason for the change, and it’s primary suggestion was just to use hotkeys. That’s always been the suggestion of power-users to non-power users even though there has never (to my limited knowledge) been a significant in-OS effort to teach users hotkeys. The problem with suggesting that is that most normal users interact with the OS largely through the mouse and have done so for over a decade, to get over it requires retraining habits and a huge burden of knowledge for little reward.

      The benefits he mentioned were unrelated to the new UI, and the techniques were mostly about working around it.

      • SimulatedMan says:

        All fair points, and I definitely agree that Windows (all versions) should do more to teach users about keyboard commands. I feel that the article does however demonstrate the fallacy of saying that Win8 is entirely geared towards touch interfaces. If it were, why would it have such an extensive keyboard interface. I would also like to point out that keyboard shortcuts being more efficient than using a mouse holds true for the standard desktop paradigm (look at me throwing fancy words around) as well.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Oh absolutely. Power keys are more efficient, but I feel like it’s mostly professionals that use them because they’re not very intuitive. So arguing that the system works just fine if you use hotkeys effectively dodges criticisms of the interface while not offering a user-friendly middleground.

          The only feature he mentions that is probably an improvement that requires a new OS is the hypervisor.

          Also, I can’t help but shake the feeling that mouse and keyboard interface should be a solved problem by now. It’s been 40+ years and even Linux does it moderately well.

          • Guvornator says:

            I believe there was an OS which used keys to do what you wanted. It was called DOS :) . Alright, I’m being facetious.

        • Emeraude says:

          In a way, I’m reminded of the classic “Oh the UI has no problem, you can fix things using the console” Linux mentality here.

  8. Ironclad says:

    I have a question/curiosity: will the release of windows 8 increase or decrease the cost of new windows 7 purchases (ie upgrade kits, or installation discs bought in stores)? I’d think that it would go down, but then Microsoft might put an embargo on new win 7 sales? /IDK.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Increase because MS will stop making them. Windows 8 is much cheaper than 7 ever was.

  9. BobbyDylan says:

    I’ll file Windows 8 in the same box as Vista, and Windows ME.

    • Guvornator says:

      Genuine question – what was wrong with Vista? My HP Vista laptop has been by far the most reliable of any of my PCs.

      • Emeraude says:

        Vista on release was problematic for most users because of pilots and poor optimization I tend to think (though mu opinion is of little worth, given I never used it). I remember my friend’s top of the line, barely released computer getting inferior notes on some benchmarks when compared with my old optimized XP build of the time, which made him understandably mad.

      • InternetBatman says:

        The search function is absolutely terrible, and UAC is way too vigilant. The search function was rightly supposed to be integral to the system, but when it doesn’t work that’s a problem.

        • Guvornator says:

          I have to say, I’ve never encountered a non web based search function, mac or PC, that did work as advertised (and as someone whose job means i have to look for files on a daily basis, I know). The idea of a keyboard search being the focus of a GUI OS is pretty pants, though. The UAC is a bit of a bugger (although I’ve always left it on and got used to it). I’m guessing MS thought it had to be super vigilant otherwise what’s the point, but I’m pretty sure any hacker worth his salt could get around it. I also remember there was controversy regarding the “games” folder. Certainly it’s a proper chuggy old bugger that takes ages to get anything up. Anything in it gets a desktop shortcut ASAP.

          Personally, I think a lot of it is down to the two things that bug ALL windows launches – people installing it on old computers filled with bits that just weren’t made to work with Vista (“Why doesn’t my PC run anymore??!!!” “Um, because you’re having to run iffy beta drivers that your hardware maker lobbed out the door at the last minute?” ” No, it’s MICROSOFT’S FAULT!!!!”) and people who don’t like the new way of doing stuff. Personally, I’m in the latter group…

      • Premium User Badge

        darkChozo says:

        Mostly launch issues and people not being used to UAC, as far as I know. Hardware support was pretty dodgy at the start, with lots of broken drivers making it seem like Vista performed worse and was less stable than XP. That kind of stigma doesn’t dissipate easily; just think of the people who still associate Windows with 95-era BSOD issues that have long since been resolved. It didn’t help that Microsoft was handing out Vista-certified stickers like candy, even when the hardware wasn’t Vista-comparable in the least drivers-wise.

        The problems with UAC were mostly because people were used to Windows just letting them do anything, and the shift to explicit permissions was seen as annoying. The shift was definitely a good thing; -there’s a reason why sudo exists – but people just weren’t used to it and therefore didn’t like it. Didn’t help that Vista probably had more UAC prompts than were really necessary.

      • Lemming says:

        With all the service packs it ‘works’ fine. But with Win7, you’d notice a performance increase without even changing your hardware. Alot of what’s wrong with Vista is the ‘bloat’ behind the scenes.

  10. Blackcompany says:

    Note to self: wait for Win9 before getting a new laptop

  11. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    MS do not understand what they must do to win PC gamers over.

    1: Port their biggest franchises to PC & do a good job with DX11 enhancements (Halo/GOW/Forza is all they have now).
    2: Backport Xbox LIVE For Windows to Windows 7 which will remove all associated costs from publishers/developers to port online features from 360 to PC.
    3: Give a flying **** about PC gamers!

    None of this will ever happen as MS are far too in love with their Xbox brands so others will as always be happy to fill these gaps.

    • SimulatedMan says:

      It could be argued that given the market share MS has, they “won over” gamers long ago. Not to sound too much like an MS fanboy, but DirectX has done a great deal for hardware compatibility issues, as anybody who remembers setting IRQ values can attest.

      • Emeraude says:

        I don’t know if it’s so much “won over” as “own” though…

        • Citrus says:

          They haven’t won over or own anyone on PC. That’s the problem. MS has never made money from lucrative PC gaming business despite being a leader in PC gaming since forever.

          This is why they want to close Windows to turn it into Xbox like gaming service and force people to Xbox (by banning mature games on PC). Nice strategy. By next Windows people will be used to censorship in Windows and when MS closes it off completely no one will be able to do anything.

          • Emeraude says:

            “Own” in the sense that they made all they could to make sure you couldn’t do without Windows if you wanted to play on PC.

            Provided with various levels of success, but still. If you want a gaming dedicated PC today, you still *have* to use windows.

          • Grape Flavor says:

            There are no restrictions on Desktop apps, and for Metro games the maximum rating is M for Mature, which is the highest rating that games are ever actually made for anyway.

            So you’ll have to run your porn simulator in Desktop mode, not from Windows store. Boo hoo.

    • Guvornator says:

      Yes, it’s pretty rubbish that they took Halo away from us, especially with the work Budgie had done previously on the PC.

    • pupsikaso says:

      Not to offend, but I don’t think you yourself know how to “win PC gamers over”.
      All you’re suggesting is basically this: Make XBOX console games play on the PC. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t really know any PC gamers that want to play console games on the PC. Console games do not differ from PC games in just what platform they are released on. They differ on the fundamental design and quality level.

      • Brun says:

        He means backport the Xbox LIVE network architecture and netcode to Windows, so that developers would have to do less work to bring multiplayer to their PC ports, which WOULD be a good thing if done properly (chief benefit for us being the elimination of GFWL).

      • PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

        Windows 8 with Xbox LIVE For Windows according to MS requires no work to make it run the same online features/network connectivity on PC as 360 so that would be a huge help to publishers/developers ( most of the porting cost is making that play nice on PC why bother if MS have done that at an OS level in Windows 8) but as MS also insist that is Windows 8 exclusive its just another reason why PC gamers do not want to trust MS as most of us can guess where this walled app store & OS is heading can’t we!

      • Grape Flavor says:

        Really? I don’t know ANY PC gamers who limit themselves to games developed solely for the PC.

        In fact the only such games are strategy titles, and a few things here and there like STALKER and Witcher. Those are all great fun, but if that’s really the limited selection that you’ll even consider I feel sorry for you.

  12. phenom_x8 says:

    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/11/windows-8-basics-tips-tricks-and-cures

    Some tips and tricks to get rid of your annoyance, guys (including get rid of metro using task scheduler!).

    • Hoaxfish says:

      yea, I found the task-scheduler idea clever, and the “how to print” was something which had previously eluded me.

      Of course with these tricks, it always comes back to the question of why you’d not use Win7 in the first place.

      The handful of improvements in Win8 that also apply to the desktop are pretty nice, but I feel they’re outweighed by this sort of hoop-jumping.

    • Emeraude says:

      You know, having to struggle that much against your OS to make it behave the way you want makes me wonder: at what point does using an alternative – thus having to relearn a lot of things – becomes an acceptable proposition ?

      Though I keep feeling the fabled “year of the Linux desktop” is never happening as long as computers are not sold with *working* pre-installed alternative OSes anyway.

      Interesting experiment: I built a totally automated Arch computer with dedicated scripts for my parents. Apart from a couple software compatibility problems with third party applications (curse you Apple), they never noticed a difference. Had the computer been sold to them that way, they’d have been perfectly satisfied (they’re some of those “dumb people who dare to use computer” I keep hearing about).

  13. SentientNr6 says:

    Installed it this weekend at home. Took some time to customize the start menu or wasitscalled and already miss the clean desktop at work.
    PC at home now boots in about 6 seconds.

    I have to admit that I had to consult some blogs to see how some features worked. They really should create a tutorial video or something.

    • DerNebel says:

      I just want to ask here:

      Is it worth upgrading from Vista? I’ve been stuck with it since some bullshit with warranty, and I’m seriously considering shelling out the 24 pounds they’re asking for.

      • Citrus says:

        Nebel, I hope you aren’t serious. I have been using X64 windows since XP and Windows 7 is a huge step-up from Vista AND XP in everyway possible. This is the first time I have not even thought about upgrading to a new OS in a long time.

        Also, I have my Windows 7 installed since 2008. Still runs fast.

        • Premium User Badge

          Llewyn says:

          How do your experiences with Win7 help him determine whether it’s worth him upgrading to Win8?

          • Citrus says:

            I am telling him to upgrade to Windows 7 from Vista so that he will realize that he doesn’t need to upgrade to Win8 at all cause of performance increase.

            That’s why I never mentioned Windows 8.

      • SentientNr6 says:

        Yes In my opinion it is.
        But be prepared to read some blogs on how to use the new UI.

  14. vonkrieger says:

    I just hope devs have learned their lesson and will avoid being lured into the jaws of Microsaurus going forward.

    There are so many great ways to get your game to market nowadays without being bound to one of their draconian contracts.

  15. Cinnamon says:

    If you are an indie who can make semi competent games but can’t think of a way to make one that gamers are genuinely interested in then this sounds like a great idea.

  16. pilouuuu says:

    Why does Microsoft want to destroy PC gaming?

    If they wanted to do anything good to PC they would develop some exclusives and put some love on the community that always gave them the money, instead of just focusing on this console fad. They wouldn’t create garbage like GFWL. If they continue as they are now, PC gamers will start to move to Linux. And what’s even worse for them, developers.

    They did right with Windows 7, but now they are taking horrible decisions regarding PC once again.

    • Brun says:

      Why does Microsoft want to destroy PC gaming?

      Because it steals customers from the Xbox?

      • pilouuuu says:

        Shouldn’t they start caring for the PC, now that the X console toy is ending its life-cycle?

        • Emeraude says:

          Either your or my irony detector happens to be misbehaving here.

          • pilouuuu says:

            Well, yeah… It’s probably ridiculously optimistic to think that they’re ever going to put some love on the PC instead of their consoles.

        • Brun says:

          No? They’ve already got their next console in the development pipeline.

        • Citrus says:

          Shouldn’t they start caring for the PC, now that the X console toy is ending its life-cycle?

          You DO realize that both MS and Sony are working on their “next-gen” consoles, right? When they come out sometime in next two years, all this PC love drama we see from developers today will disappear and we will be back to playing console ports for another ten years.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      “console fad”, lol

  17. Scouter says:

    Windows 8 was bad. But WIndows 8… oh the horror!

    Might want to fix that minor typo. :)

  18. pingu666 says:

    im using windows 8 with start8 (5dollar program), and i use it just like 7, its fine, its like 7 with improvements.

    and people shitting the bed about the app store should consider how nearly every program will default to installing some shitty toolbar and other crap you dont want, downloading a small program to download the actual thing u want, sites that have sponsor/ad download links to confuse you, and its a centralised place to get programs.

    so if it works like other app stores, its better than what we have had, typically.

    • DerNebel says:

      Sure, it’ll be way more convenient.

      What I’m scared about is that it won’t jus tbe convenient. Given Microsoft’s track record with the Xbox and this obviously being a counterpart to the Apple App Store, I am scared of closed platform development, exclusive deals and even more restrictrive EULA than Valve already has.

    • theleif says:

      What you are saying is basically that once you turned your Win 8 into Win 7 it’s fine. That’s not exactly an endorsement for Win 8.
      I’ve done the same thing though, have most of the programs I used pinned so I rarely see nonmetro, but it begs the question why to upgrade at all.
      I do love the faster startup time, the new task manager and copy interface, and it does feel a bit snappier. But if it weren’t for the cheap upgrade option I would have felt pretty disappointed. Would recommend to do it anyway if you’re still on XP or Vista.

  19. pilouuuu says:

    Well, it seems to be the cycle of Microsoft OS. One crappy, one good.

    – Millenium, Vista, 8: awful
    – 98, XP, 7: great

    Now, off-topic, but much more interesting for PC gamers is this Another World intro remake! Really good!

    • Cinnamon says:

      Wow, fmv with quite bad acting on top of cgi. It’s like I’m really back in the 90s.

  20. DrGonzo says:

    What exactly is arrogant about Windows 8? Why is it bad for desktops? The Start menu is still there, in fact the functionality is massively improved, have you used it much? What do you think?

    From a technical standpoint it outperforms Windows 7, if you’re an AMD user that is.

    As you’ve said you dual boot you must have seen the excellent new dual booting screen. How about the Task Manager? How about the new functionality in Windows Explorer?

    I cannot stand this bandwagon at the moment. I haven’t seen any genuine criticisms outside of not liking change so far.

    I can’t see anything arrogant other than your statement to be honest.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      You took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve been running it without a hitch since it officially launched. Loaded it up that Saturday and it’s been running flawlessly. Hell, even the upgrade process went smoothly – kept all of my applications and settings. The only thing I had to reinstall was OpenVPN which didn’t want to seem to work properly until I did a fresh install.

      So far I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit.

    • smg77 says:

      It’s arrogant because MS is forcing their tablet/phone UI on PC users.

  21. aepervius says:

    I have a VERY EASY way for win 8 and microsoft to make their app store a success : allow adult game and adult stuff like porn on their store. Nobody else does, that means they will be a monopoly for those market.

  22. Zogtee says:

    Microsoft are “serious about gaming” again, eh? Rrrright!

    • subedii says:

      That’s what gets me in particular.

      People are constantly going on about about how all the detractors have “vested interests” because MS has a storefront. That we shouldn’t care if it’s Valve or Stardock or MS we get our games from (Nevermind that Gabe Newell said he hopes he’s wrong on Windows 8. Why? Because if W8 fails, it will drive people away from the PC space. Nobody wins in that scenario, least of all Valve or any other 3rd party).

      So let’s leave aside the concept of 3rd party interests for a second. To be blunt, the prospect of a future tied closer to the Windows store, and in particular GFWL (or whatever they’re calling it today) alone should horrify everyone in the PC space. MS’s entire certification process alone in order to get onto the store (much as it was for GFWL) is a massive MASSIVE problem that every significant game that wants to make use of it will run up against. And that’s before you get into all the vested interests that MS have when it comes to the PC and the 360 markets, which you could write pages about.

      MS’s approach to the entire PC games market over the past 5 years has been nothing if not schizophrenic. And where it hasn’t been schizophrenic, it’s been outright terrible. And people yelling about how other companies should shut up because they’re just afraid of the MS Store becoming the de-facto standard… Alright, let’s even assume that’s true. Do they genuinely want to give MS more control over that sphere instead? To dictate the terms as they see fit?

      Take a look at how GFWL was when it first started up. Now take that, and imagine that’s the way it would have STAYED (complete with hamstrung multiplayer unless you pay extra for the most basic features), as if it had simply been accepted as the de-facto standard, the way that MS tried to force it to be. Heck, loot at it today, and understand that there’s a reason it is the way it is today.

      And the thing is, the guiding principles behind their approach to GFWL weren’t any different to XBL, aren’t any different now, nor any different to the guiding principles behind W8: That once you achieve lock-in, it doesn’t matter what happens next, the customer must and will play by your rules.

      Same ol’, same ol’ I guess. I mean I could probably even point that one at Valve. But the thing is, Valve has a vested interest in seeing a healthy PC games market, which is why their approach has been so different to MS’s. There have been companies that have done a tremendous amount to push the concept of the PC as a viable games machine over the past 5 years. MS isn’t one of them, and I would argue, has actively worked to the converse.

  23. Citrus says:

    MS has been trying to kill PC gaming for a long time (started with HALO being Xbox exclusive back then) but has failed. Now they have found a new way. Kill PC (read=Windows) gaming by doing what Apple did with OSX.

    So basically this is a strategy to make Windows so shit for games that people and developers eventually just switch to ToyBox where MS earns even more from ripping of developers and gamers.

    It started then they made the new Windows 8 gaming service called XBOX..

  24. Tei says:

    XNA needs not apply*

  25. Shinryoma says:

    Blame Apple and the legions who blindly support their products. Microsoft is just responding in the way they know.

    • Emeraude says:

      Well then, blame Apple for paving the way, and Microsoft for following it the only way it knows.

      To each according to its faults.

    • Lemming says:

      Isn’t that another way of saying it’s Apple’s fault for MS not innovating?

  26. pupsikaso says:

    I think Win8’s viability is going to lie purely with Developers and with Consumers (read: us). Microsoft is relying heavily on Developers to adopt it’s draconian Windows App Store, and Developers will only do that if
    1. Ease of development.
    2. Lucrative market.

    For #1, it’s easy to argue all the bad points about a walled off and certified-only app store compared to the usual way of releasing desktop apps on the PC, but this is wrong. You should not be comparing it to desktop, you should be comparing it to other app stores like Apple’s and Google’s. Developers that will be making apps for Win8 will be comparing it to Apple and Google, not to the usual desktop environment, since that is an entirely different market.

    When looked at it in that light, the Windows App Store isn’t so much different from the Apple App Store or Google App Store, thus development is entirely viable.

  27. Lemming says:

    I get the feeling that if Windows 8 had been closer to Windows 7, but integrated MS office they would’ve sewn up the market. The mobile version could’ve still been made with touch screens in mind and just come with the free office viewers and still had some unique sync capabilities with the desktop OS.

  28. Deuteronomy says:

    I wish Meer would get over himself. The only arrogant entity in this equation is him.

    I’ve found 8 to fast and stable, and had a lot of fun cooking with the allrecipes app, and getting into twitter for the first time with Tweetro. The start screen is a great app launcher, for both metro and desktop, and I think the sales so far show Microsoft is well on its way to another success.

    The fact that Meer sides with the Pirillo’s of this world shows how out of touch he is with what people actually want. Perhaps he should go back to writing feature length essays on the awesomeness of having to walk backwards through Dishonored in order to enjoy it.

  29. DeFrank says:

    I gotta say it’s kind of incredible that on a pc gaming site there are so many people having difficulty learning to use W8. And even more incredible that there are so many suggestions that for an “easier” experience and learning curve, install… Linux?

    • Premium User Badge

      neofit says:

      What is more incredible is that people are going out of their way to learn an inferior interface. And that others that are using their PC non-gaming apps – at home AND at work – in full screen mode, are here teaching others about UIs and productivity.

      • DeFrank says:

        Do you have it installed? How is it inferior? Win Key+Type brings up everything. It’s plenty efficient, and what is to learn?