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Continuation of: Poll - Metro on the Desktop

    General discussion

  • During a discussion of whether Metro on the desktop was "Liked" or "Disliked", Microsoft locked the discussion to "assist with thread management".

    The original thread is here.

    As this is the most important non-technical issue I feel Microsoft is facing, I thought it deserved more discussion.

    The last reply to me directly was from user Richard Raseley (who started the original thread), who said:

    "But the Metro start screen doesn't aggregate information in any more a useful way than the traditional desktop - it is just more friendly to touch (which is why it is great for tablets \ phones). If I am running Outlook (which I assume most of us here are) I can see at a glance if I have new messages or not - it doesn't matter if I can see the number, as I have to open the email client to act against 1 or 100. I can use widely availabe applications to do the same for RSS or "social" information. Addtionally - I can

    But the Metro start screen doesn't aggregate information in any more a useful way than the traditional desktop - it is just more friendly to touch (which is why it is great for tablets \ phones). If I am running Outlook (which I assume most of us here are) I can see at a glance if I have new messages or not - it doesn't matter if I can see the number, as I have to open the email client to act against 1 or 100. I can use widely availabe applications to do the same for RSS or "social" information. Addtionally - I can have all those apps start on a moderately powered computer and it is completely usable in 20 seconds (or less).

    You said yourself that work mode is just "one click away", but why would it be any clicks away? Most people (from the enterprise point of view) spend their time on the desktop doing work and don't need another layer to get in their way with mostly useless information and eye candy.

    I also think you are incorrect in your assumption that most apps will be Metro style, as the Metro styling is only an advantage on a touch screen. No, the majority of apps on the workstation will continue to be in the standard format (legacy is  the incorrect term to use).

    People seem to think that the Windows desktop is the way it is just by accident, but it certainly isn't. It is the way it is because it is the most efficient and intuative interface to use with a keyboard and mouse - many others have arrived at the same conclusion (as Windows, Linux, Mac look more or less the same).

    There is no new paradigm for the workstation and Microsoft needs to stop pretending that there is - keep Metro for touch but get it off my desktop!"

     

    My Reply is below.

    Richard,
    Again, I have to disagree. If you are in possession of the Windows 7 (or earlier version) PC that can "have all those apps start on a moderately powered computer and it is completely usable in 20 seconds (or less)." Please list it on EBay. I will most certainly be the highest bidder.

    You can not tell me that any current PC will go from a zero power state --> through post --> to logo screen --> to desktop --> to opening Outlook, an RSS reader and a social media app or website, in 20 seconds or less. Additionally, you would not be able to interact with 100% of the desktop as Metro allows.

    I understand that you don't like the look, or "feel" or functionality of Metro. I understand that you will spend most of your day in the classic desktopbut getting there to do "serious work" is the same 1 click away that it is now. When you start a legacy ("standard" for you, we'll getinto that later) app from the Metro UI you are automatically brought to Classic UI. It is actually fewer clicks than Start --> click app (and that's if it's in your default app list). If you like to use the keyboard then in Metro you just start typing and then launch your app. Again fewer keystrokes as there is no need to bring up your Start menu.

    And I don't see how you can call any information that can be pushed to you or pulled from anywhere "mostly useless information and eye candy". Messaging, calendar, social, RSS, server & system information, heck, they'll most likely be Metro apps that will tell you when you prescription refills are ready. If it can be imagined, it can be delivered. Right to your desktop. Zero clicks required. It's a new model, it's content driven, its streaming and its automatic.

    In your old model you initiate an action that you may or may not need to take based on the fact that you have no information until you act.

    Also, I don't claim to know what applications you use during your "serious work", but my "serious work" has me continually working on 700Mb + images in Photoshop. Which means I will want to close thoes 4 apps unless I want them taking up valuable system resourses while doing very processor and memeory intensive work.

    I also feel that I am 100% correct in my assertion that most apps will move to Metro style. It may be optimized for touch, but that doesn't preclude mouse/keyboard interaction. Take the Adobe CS applications CS5 is much more "touchable" than its predecessors without being any less "mouse-able". It's where things are going. And "legacy" is propper context when talking about Windows 8. "Standard" PC interaction, as you put it, will be non-standard about a year from now.

    Lastly, nobody that knows anything about UI/UX thinks the Windows desktop looks and works like it does by accident. It has "the most efficient and intuative interface to use with a keyboard and mouse" just as Windows 3.1 was the most efficient and intuative interface to use with a keyboard and mouse before MS changed the paradigm with Windows 95.

    Why did we change from Windows 3.1's interface?

    Because there will always be a better wat to interact with PCs until the "Precognant Thought Interface" (Trademark RobbCab 2011) lets PCs do what we want them to before we even know we want them to do it.

     

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 7:34 PM

All replies

  • I, WindowsVista567, created this post under an account that has since been deleted. If you have any questions about this post, I will respond to them from the "WindowsVista567" account, as I no longer have access to this one. Visit the "WindowsVista567 - old account" profile page for more information. The same is true of all other posts from 'WindowsVista567 - old account."

    I just checked the original thread. The moderators were smart to lock it, as it was becoming too long to handle. It was even the longer than the "close Metro apps" post.

    As for what you just said, there are several things I would like to address.

    "It may be optimized for touch, but that doesn't preclude mouse/keyboard interaction."

    It may not preclude mouse and keyboard interaction, but it limits it in ways unseen before. Why do I have to right-click just to use the program? Why do most Metro apps I find not have anything more than the most basic of features? Actually, designing for touch does preclude mouse and keyboard use in some ways. One of the Windows 8 demo apps is a game where the only way to rotate something is to hold it with one finger and scroll with the other. This is impossible on desktops, and I doubt that people will suddenly be willing to use two mice. As for the idea that Metro is somehow better because you can just start typing, almost all of my Windows 8 usage is in the desktop. There is no reason to use the Start Screen, as it is nothing more than an app launcher. When you are in Metro apps, you can't just start typing and open a program, so the rare occasion that I am actually on the Start Screen when I want to search for an app doesn't make up for the fact that I have to cover my entire screen in a big pane and scroll through every time I want to open a program. Metro also makes it harder to look for programs, as it takes up the whole screen, requring me to scroll through several pages of apps in what took only one quick scroll-down in Windows Vista/7's Start Menu. Don't forget about Start Menu folders. They are gone in Windows 8. No matter how much I use Windows 8's Start Screen and Metro UI, I just can't justify switching to it when a better paradigm for mice and keyboards are already in place. Yes, Windows 8 includes a lot of keyboard features, but most people do not navigate Windows with the keyboard. They do everything with the mouse. Will someone who doesn't know how to type in a Web address really understand why the icons they used to click on are gone? Why they can't find anything their computers used to be able to do? Will they even know what "desktop" means? If the Settings-Power-Shutdown chain confused us, imagine what it will do to someone who knows nothing about comptuers other than the absolute Windows basics.



    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:11 PM
  • I'll stop you right at the beginning MT.

    Why is right-clicking so hard? It allows for much more immersive applications. Hiding the UI at the touch of a button to simply observe the content can be a boon. You also make they very assumptive...assumption that all Metro apps will have this exact styling. Why would that be so? I wouldn't think that the UI would always be hidden and need to be clicked to be exposed. That wouldn't make sense and definitely wouldn't be productive. Windows 8 seemed to be a lot about developers; I doubt MS wouldn't give them a choice in this regard!

    Why do all the Metro apps you see have the most basic of features? Oh, I dunno...maybe because Microsoft is actually working on the OS? Developers make the apps. Microsoft does the OS. I don't want Microsoft busily working on apps that won't even exist in the full release. I want them to make a good OS and the idea of Metro and its base is very intuitive for both mouse users and touch users. I want the developers to develop good, intuitive, and intricate apps.

    For instance, the Start screen is much more efficient than the Start menu. All your apps in one spot, just scroll to the one you want or type it and bam, its there.

    Your example of a Metro app which only has a mainly touch interface is again flawed based on the above - also, Microsoft has mainly released this build for developers. It is there to show off basic (read: not advanced or in-depth) functioning of the OS and to provide a easy and powerful development platform. This release is likely meant to deeply accentuate both the Desktop and Metro experiences over to show what is at their core.

    While I will admit the power down issue was really...frustrating...you can't expect everything from MS in only a pre-beta (maybe even pre-alpha).

    As for folders being gone...I too am a bit upset at this, but do we really need them? It's just something that we're used to. Making groups of tiles and naming them can be just as effective (or at the very least, nearly as effective). Also, I doubt that we won't have some kind of folder-based experience as many will want it. But think about it: what is better? Everything exposed, at your fingertips, just there, or all hidden away in many folders? This is a complete redesign. From the ground up. MS decided that Tiles are better than folders, and perhaps if they are implemented better than they are at the moment they will be a lot better.

    Just give it a chance to develop. The base features and core principles of the OS are pefectly sound. It just needs a lot of smoothing out.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9:18 PM
  • Okay, I admit that maybe I did go overboard. I'm not an optimist, so for someone like me, it's hard to see the benefits of moving to a smartphone-like UI on the desktop. Admittedly, people said the same thing about the iPad when it first appeared, about using a phone OS on a tablet, but Steve Jobs once said in an interview that they started working on the tablet idea first. The big issue with Metro is that it is not designed specifically for desktops. This means that it is designed for touch screens, then some UI elements are added to work with desktops. That is almost never a good idea.

    Just because you abbreviated my display name as "MT," I would like to point out my public display name is a reference to the Roland MT-32 sound module, one of the first ways to get high-quality sound out of computers, and would be better abbreviated as "MT-32." When I look at the name, I see "MT-32 5000." This brings up another good point. One thing I do like about Windows 8 is the legacy compatibility. I can use my Roland MT-32 from 1987 on modern computers, and I have no doubt that it will work with Windows 8.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9:26 PM
  • Hey RobbCab, wanted to add my 2cents to some of the things you said:

    If you like to use the keyboard then in Metro you just start typing and then launch your app

    You can do that today in win7.  And it works a lot better too.  It finds everything and you can scroll the list with the arrow keys.  In metro, you need to click/navigate to the different categories to find what you are looking for.  So no, it most certainly isn't more efficient when talking "power user".

    When you start a legacy ("standard" for you, we'll getinto that later)

    There is nothing to talk about here.  Calling desktop applications "legacy" because there is metro is like calling nuclear energy "legacy" because there is solar power.

    The desktop is far from "legacy".  Do you think windows 9 will be developed in a metro app?  Come on now...

    I also feel that I am 100% correct in my assertion that most apps will move to Metro style

    No, they won't.  Most applications won't.  Not even close.  Metro Visual Studio anyone?

    How do you port Access, Excel or Word to "metro" without crippling it into oblivion?

    You have a fine example in the developer preview what it really means to port your application to metro...  Look at IE10 on the desktop and then compare it with the metro version...  Nevermind the plugins even.

    Bookmarks? 25 open tabs?  Print?  Internet options? Download manager?  Where are all those things in the metro style version? 

    They are gone.  Why?  Because you simply don't have room to put all those commands.  And it's not even a big application nore a productive one! It's an application to consume data from the internet!  Take a look at the toolbars, menu's, ribbons or whatever else is being used on the productivity applications you use every day.  Now consider that in metro style, those fonts double (at least) in size. All commands will be bigger and further apart.  And ALL of them are supposed to be placed onto the 'app-bar'.  How is that ever going to work?  Answer: it won't.

    Metro is nice for consumption apps that don't need a bazillion commands.  It is utterly worthless for productivity applications.  And that's ok.  This simple fact is why the desktop is still part of win8 (and will continue to be part of future versions).  It's also the reason why it's utterly senseless make metro invade desktop computing.

    Again, I'm absolutely loving the idea of having both in the same box.  But I'm absolutely loathing the idea of forcing this touch-first paradigm into a mouse-world.  And trust me: that mouse world ain't going anywhere.


    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9:48 PM
  • I'll stop you right at the beginning MT.

    Why is right-clicking so hard? It allows for much more immersive applications. Hiding the UI at the touch of a button to simply observe the content can be a boon. You also make they very assumptive...assumption that all Metro apps will have this exact styling. Why would that be so? I wouldn't think that the UI would always be hidden and need to be clicked to be exposed.


    Clearly you haven't seen the Build session called "8 traits of great metro apps". 

    According to "best practices", this is exactly what you should do: hide all commands away in that app-bar.

     

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9:51 PM
  • @Aroush
    I have seen a fair bit of the BUILD conference videos, but I must have missed that one.

    I do believe that this will in general be the best practice (for many consumer-based apps), but I do think it won't work for more advanced, work oriented applications and if they don't allow developers the option then I can safely say we're in agreement ;)


    @MT325000
    Sorry about that. I'll make sure I get it right from now on. Nice reference, by the way. Very interesting.

    Also, I apologize if I myself was a bit assertive as well. You do have some very valid points.

     

    I myself do think that the desktop needs to be more independent from Metro - but it also needs more tie-in; mainly, to make for better interchangeability. I want to be able to easily move something from Metro to the Desktop without a hassle.

    A proper start menu does also have its place, and although I find Metro useful for this task - having it as an option would satisfy most.



    • Edited by Walkop Tuesday, September 20, 2011 10:21 PM
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 10:16 PM
  • Sorry if this post is not pointed, germane enough. I'm not a developer, programmer (just a little experience)... haven't seen presentations.

    Seems to me these discussions get too much into either/or... else.  I can't see it being so exclusively rigidly polarized one way or the other.

    I think Metro and Desktop can be used together for great productivity, whether casual user or workstation devotee. Imagine a workstation desktop technician flipping into Metro for lunchbreak, company news, employee apps, whatever. Imagine a casual home user in Metro flipping into desktop to... whatever, open a recipe and an active local store shopping list/ordering app and schedule a week's dinners all at same time. Or taxes, banking, documents. I'm sure there's some scenario having multiple home user Desktop windows that Metro (now) doesn't provide with the same ease.  Flipping between fullscreens can be annoying, unhelpful... at times.

    I'm guessing you can make a Metro app with all kinds of toolbars/gadgets, hide-able, optional, whatever... smaller buttons, lots of them ...even with windows/frames in them.  I think I could get used to right-click slide menus... not quite there yet, as, yes, they are kind of 'limited' now (IE 10).  (And users shouldn't have to be technicians figuring the ways to combine Metro apps, or data/gadgets from one app into others. Maybe a Metro Desktop for that could be developed... but for now we already have a Desktop... which doesn't seem to interact directly with Metro apps.)

    What I haven't seen yet, are multiple program windows in Metro. I've seen the Metro wall, and fullscreen apps.  Sure you can make the tiles be mini data tiles... but where's my Minority Report video window, document window, active background, etc., whatever?  On the desktop? Multiple desktops? Not quite.  Metro doesn't have the windows, Desktop doesn't have the 'flow'... and the combination of them isn't quite there either, but it's a step in the direction.

    I think you'll be able to choose your UI presentation(s) for some time yet... on the appropriate device. I doubt Win8 is an attempt to convert the world to Metro only... and we shouldn't... yet.

    (The drum I beat... I'd like to see Desktop as a stop on the Metro wall wrapping around it... rather than as an 'app'. ;)

     




    • Edited by RDrr Tuesday, September 20, 2011 10:45 PM
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 10:42 PM
  • @Walkop

    I'm not mad about the way you abbreviated my display name. I just thought it made more sense if I was known to the forum as "MT-32" rather than "MT" followed by a bunch of numbers (which is how it looks). Since I've mentioned the Roland MT-32, I thought it might be interesting to point out how I see Windows 8.

    This is a comparison strictly of audio quality. This is the Monkey Island intro with Roland MT-32 music. This represents Windows 7 on the desktop and Windows 8 on tablets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3dB0qEcG20.

    This is the same video with sound from an emulated Creative Sound Blaster, the original from Creative Labs. This is how Metro feels to me; it is "simpler," represented by how this version contains less instruments, but quality is lost, both in the Metro UI and in the audio sample. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjvD3C_nvBk

    I don't necessarily think Metro is as bad as the Sound Blaster sound, but if you own an MT-32, why do you need the Sound Blaster sound? Similarly, if you own a desktop PC, what is Metro needed for?

    If you're curious about the MT-32, there is a Wikipedia article.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 11:34 PM
  • Hey everyone. I just want to say thanks for continuing the conversation. This is why I came in here. For opinions and information that both validate and contridict my beliefs. Awesome stuff!

    I just wan to sum-up some responses to those that have disagreed with me.

    On why all the Metro apps seem geared for touch and are not very complex: I think i  heard during Build that they were coded by a few interns over something like 10 weeks. Of course they're limited these are not production apps they were made to show off a new UI that for the first time actually has a Usable touch interface.

    On major apps not "going Metro": I feel that is a short sighted view. Do you really think there will never be a touch optimized version of Office? Really? Agreed that it wont come in Windows 8, but it will come. And when it does, it will handle more than just touch vs mouse/kybd. Think about it. The NUI is right around the corner.

     

    Aroush is right when he says "The keyboard and mouse world ain't going anywhere". Nobody said it is and nobody wants it to. That said, when devs get going on this you are going to see ways of interacting with PCs you have never imagined. Apps will be equally at home using touch, mouse/kybd, pen. I'll post more on this in a different thread, but if my vision of what the next generation of Windows will be able to do is correct, you ain't seen nothing yet.

    Where I have to disagree with him though is; I don't see the desktop making it to Windows 10. anything that runs Win32 will most likely go VM by then.

    Thanks again for commenting everyone. And look for and contribute to some posts I'd like to write specifically on how to make the Dual UI/UX work and How close Windows 8 can come to the first production NUI.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:44 AM
  • hi,

    personaly windows 8 is great in all for what it is currently but it should not be for non touch interface devices. hot to mention the start menu sucks i think that when you click the start button the normal start menu should come up and if the metro is going on desktops at least have the normal start menu then modify the repetitive start menu that pops up when you hover your cursor in the lower left of the start button to when you click that start button it takes you to the metro style start menu.

     

    regards

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 1:20 AM
  • >>On why all the Metro apps seem geared for touch and are not very complex:
    >>On major apps not "going Metro": I feel that is a short sighted view

    Most of us know that these applications are just (sometimes crappy) demo's made by interns.  Metro doesn't seem geared for touch, it is geared for touch.  It's not that we don't see how we can bring complexity to it, it's simply obvious that complexity is inherently impossible with metro style productivity applications.

    Again, I'm loving the metro stuff and WinRT (for consumption apps). 
    Here's my reasoning...  2 things are required to make an application suited for productivity:
    1. it runs in a window (allowing stacking and easy control)
    2. it has the space for a large amount of commands (toolbars, menu system, ribbon, small fonts)

    I can easily imagine a dozen enterprise applications that would be great in metro.  But all of them have to do with consuming data, not creating it.
    For example, I'm allready thinking about a visual reporting/querying system where you "drag" entities around and link them together, configure filters etc.  That's really great.   

    >>Do you really think there will never be a touch optimized version of Office? Really?

    No.  There probably will be a metro version of office.  What I am convinced about though, is that that version won't even have half the capabilities of the desktop version.  Simply because there is no room to put all the commands.  One button in the metro app-bar takes up the same space as 4 to 5 commands on a ribbon.  Word, Excel, etc are big applications you know?

    In another thread, someone said "well, you can also put buttons right on the screen instead of the taskbar".  To me, that simply defeats the entire purpose of metro.  At that point, you are essentially making a desktop application that can only run full-screen.  It's crippling.

    The fact of the matter is that when one starts to work on a new application, you will decide on using metro or desktop based on the following question only:
    Am I targeting a tablet?

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 6:52 AM
  • Well here we are just going to have to agree to disagree. I can envision touch/convential versions of Word where a semi-transparent "ribbon" opens on top of the document replacing the SIP.  It could be selected from a row of tabs at the top of the app and it could be a full 2/3 of the screen with more than enough room to house all the commands needed.

    Speaking of the SIP, I can envision app-specific keyboard layouts where the "Alt" changes the keys to the commands the app requires.

    Both of these work with touch or keyboard (albeit the SIP would only appear when the corrosponding "Alt" key was pressed on the physical keyboard)

    Floating pallets that appear and disappear based on a specific on screen gesture with your fingers or mouse.

    There are probably 100 more ways that I can't envision.  The point is it's up to us. We are the innovators that will define the next level of interaction. Just because we may not be able to see it right now, does not mean we can not do it. We will, and 15 years from now we'll wonder how we created all this wonderfull stuff with "just" the Windows 7 desktop, and how we ever managed without these new methods of interaction.

    I'm glad you keep commenting Aroush. Your points are well thought out and valid.  They also keep me thinking.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 5:19 PM
  • My biggest problem with Windows 8 is that once tablets are removed from the picture, Metro's presence as the main UI of Windows becomes hard to justify. In one of my posts above, I posted an example of what happens when something is converted from one device to another that it was not designed for. My example was the music of The Secret of Monkey Island, but is it any different when it comes to the Windows 8 user interface? Yes, Windows 8 "works" with mice and keyboards, but the Metro UI is not desinged for them. PC's are still far more powerful than any touchscreen systems, and they need software designed to work with them from the ground up, not a touch UI that has been converted to work on mice and keyboards.
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 8:03 PM
  • >>I can envision touch/convential versions of Word where a semi-transparent "ribbon" opens on top of the document replacing the SIP

    Sure.  I can too.  I'm just wondering what the point would be.  How does that add value in contrast with the desktop experience?

    And somehow, I really doubt that the same level of functionality could be obtained in any of the office applications using only touch.

    >>I'm glad you keep commenting Aroush. Your points are well thought out and valid. They also keep me thinking

    I'm primarily trying to figure out what the new paradigm will be.  I have trouble seeing the road microsoft wants to take.  It looks very bumpy.  I feel that I will only be able to truely offer a great experience in my applications once I really understand what the role of metro and desktop is, and more importantly how they fit together. 

    Msft wants us to see desktop as an "app", but it doesn't feel like one.   And because of the whole start button thing, it also doesn't feel like a "stand-alone" part of the OS.  It has "duck tape" written all over it.

    I have an idea which I'ld like to share with you all, see what your thoughts are.  Stay tuned.  :-)

     

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:16 PM
  • Metro in its current form needs work, that's for sure. The desktop is not an app, but a fundamental part of Windows 8. On desktops and laptops, it makes more sense to run Metro as an app, since it doesn't work as the primary user interface. Despite this, it doesn't remind me of "duct tape," as it's properly called, at all.
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:21 PM
  • First off, +100 for the Monkey Island reference. I loved that game. I don't remenber if i played it on my Magnavox 386SX 20Mhz system or my Zeos 486DX2 66. Wow! That makes me feel old!

     

    I can see what you mean about Metro on non touch devices, but i think part of it is the newness of a drastically different UI greeting you on boot & part the apps that were quickly coded by interns as a tech preview for an OS where they wanted to emphasize touch.

     

    I think the experience will become more gratifying as more useful apps start showing up.

     

    But the best part is, if you disagree with me, Microsoft will let you completely disable Metro and the only time you'll have to see it is on first boot.

     

    I do not mind the keyboard/mouse interaction in Metro in the limited scenario the preview app situation allows. but I feel it has a ton of potential.

    I can also see a time when we'll interact with Metro on non-touch devices through Kinect-like devices, but I'm saving that discussion for a NUI thread I want to start.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:37 PM

  • Clearly you haven't seen the Build session called "8 traits of great metro apps". 

    According to "best practices", this is exactly what you should do: hide all commands away in that app-bar.

     


    I think you should watch it again. You are supposed to put controls there, but there is a lot you can do in the interface of an application that can effectively be control free. You need to rethink your UI from a content-centric perspective rather than the old WIMP-style command driven approach. An app isn't Metro styled just by hiding it's traditional toolbar controls.
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:57 PM

  • Sure.  I can too.  I'm just wondering what the point would be.  How does that add value in contrast with the desktop experience?

    It could add value just by being a version of Word that works great no matter what input type you prefer.

     

    It could be a better experience due to the fact that you would never need to take your hands off the keyboard if you didn't want to.

     

    And the SIP replacement/ribbin overlay implementation was something that just popped in my head while reading your post. I can only imagine what someone smarter & more talented than me could come up with with some thought.

    I'm primarily trying to figure out what the new paradigm will be.

     

     

    To me, that's the most exciting part we get to create the paradigm. Right now!

    The ideas we come up with have a chance to help shape the future of the PC in a very profound and a very real way.

     

    Can't wait to see your idea!


    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 10:22 PM
  • I think you should watch it again. You are supposed to put controls there, but there is a lot you can do in the interface of an application that can effectively be control free. You need to rethink your UI from a content-centric perspective rather than the old WIMP-style command driven approach.


    Sure.  But that's kind of my point.  In most productivity applications, this is simply not possible.

    Good luck reworking the commands of Excel for example in such a way that you don't need buttons for all the options.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 6:33 AM
  • Can't wait to see your idea!


    It's here: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsdeveloperpreviewgeneral/thread/433b3132-3e6f-4a71-b57e-19c0a7aa1bbd   :-)

    To be honest with you, I'm getting a little annoyed with the fact that there is nobody from microsoft here defending the metro/desktop thing.  Or trying to explain their reasoning of all this.

    In all these threads about desktop/metro, there is a deafening silence from them.  The only posts they made was to clarify when they were closing threads.

     

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 6:37 AM
  • "You can just start typing and you can launch programs that way"

     

    Ok, this seems to be mentioned alot, so let me put a little question here. How do you search for something you don't know the name of?

    Let me elaborate a bit more. Lets suppose you install Visual Studio. It adds WAY more than just the visual studio link to the start menu program group - can you name all those apps from the top of your head, WITHOUT looking in the program group? I highly doubt it. How about other complex apps (you know, the ones that actually let you DO something instead of being just data consumers)?

    The start screen is crap on a desktop, the search is sorted alphabetically instead of grouped by, say, something logical like, i don't know, programs, and totally inadequate for heavy usage.

    Notice that i dont even want metro to be completely removed - both because i know it won't and because it is usable in tablets, i just want a on/off switch somewhere, hopefully from the installer.

    And another thing. How useful is a metro-office? Typing documents in word with an on-screen keyboard? Your fingers will love that, specially the great mechanical feedback from the glass.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 9:13 AM
  • Again, this is why most of here are suggesting that the start menu in classic desktop mode works exactly like it currently does with a way to exit the desktop added to the menu.

    Also I am quickly tiring of the "Apps that actually let you DO something" attitude I'm seeing all over the place here.  All it shows is arrogance, shortisghtedness and a lack of creativity. 

    The apps on the developer preview were whipped up by a few interns in a couple of weeks and they were meant to show off the touch interface because its the new feature. How feature rich do you expect them to be? Of course they're based on consumption. 1. they're easy to code up 2. people are generally consumers. But to suggest that you can't have a productive app just because it's not wrapped in AeroGlass is incomprehensible to me. 

    Also, I can see plenty of instances where "consuming information" will help me actually "DO something".

    I may write a bunch of "widget" apps that let me view server loads, or report how many idle PCs are on the network so I can use them as a render farm, or display the revision status and last user of Sharepoint documents.  The point is I can deliver content directly to my desktop that will aid me in deciding what my next action should/could be. If that's not usefull or a production enhancement, I don't know what is.

    To those who can't see ways to interact with software unless there is a traditional UI paradigm in place, I really don't know what to tell you.  I mean why aren't we all talking directly to the kernel in machine code?  All the GUI does is add layers of "eye candy" to the experience. And the mouse just slows us down because we have to remove a hand from the keyboard.

    Oh, a Metro Word wouldn't just be for "typing documents in Word with an onscreen keyboard". It would be equally at home, maybe more so, with non-touch input methods.  You see, without the traditional menu accross the top of the app, the "Alt" key is now freed-up to display an overlay instead of activating the menu.

    Press "Alt" and you get an semi-transparent overlay with "ribbon" commands, all mapped to keys, and all clickable, with a visual representation of the action. That's 26 commands visible with one key press."Alt+Shift"... another 26 commands. 52 commands with visual confirmation, all without the need to take a finger off the keyboard if you choose.  And it works the same with the SIP and a finger. 1 mode of interaction...2 different contexts.

    I'm not saying this is the solution, but it could be. Others will have different solutions, better solutions. And when the best is found,  that will become the new paradigm.

    Lastly, I may not want to write a 20 page Word doc on a tablet's onscreen keyboard (lets not forget I could write it with a stylus...but I digress) but I sure would like to be able to edit one when I'm not at my desk.  And I would also appreciate using one UI to do either.

    I find it funny...no, sad, that I see a lot of complaining about how people "hate" metro, and its a toy, and we want to actually DO something. But I started a thread asking for suggestions on how we can tell Microsoft how to fix the issues we're seeing that has zero replies. How about you all try to actually DO something about the things you don't like?


    • Edited by RobbCab Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:38 PM Typo
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:34 PM
  • ...without the traditional menu accross the top of the app, the "Alt" key is now freed-up to display an overlay instead of activating the menu. Press "Alt" and you get an semi-transparent overlay with "ribbon" commands, all mapped to keys, and all clickable, with a visual representation of the action...I'm not saying this is the solution, but it could be.
    The problem with this argument is that it assumes that we need a new Metro-style app to implement this new interface. There's nothing stopping Office or other any application from taking this approach right now, in the current UI paradigm. Why don't they? I'm not saying that Office has reached the pinnacle of UX; but I AM saying that if there is a better way, they don't need Metro with all of its limitations to get there. Why do you believe that the extreme limitations of Metro apps will lead to a more productive application? If there is a better way, why don't we do it now, without sacrificing multi-tasking to get there?

    Moderator | MCTS .NET 2.0 Web Applications | My Blog: http://www.commongenius.com
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:31 PM
  • That's a great question...why don't we do it now?

    I have a few for you:

    How many people hated the ribbon when it was debuted? Answer: A lot. 

    How's that working out? Answer: Microsoft is implementing it in just about everything. They have data that proves people are more efficient when using it (post learning curve).

    Why did the previous, menu driven method of interaction change?

    Why are we as developers not talking directly to the kernel in machine code? Isn't that a more efficient way to communicate with the base code?

    This GUI thing and its limitations just get in the way, it'll never catch on.

    And IMHO the biggest limitation in Metro is us.

     


    • Edited by RobbCab Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:54 PM
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:52 PM
  • Your response did not answer my question. The biggest limitations of metro is the requirement that all Metro apps run one at a time, in full screen. This significantly limits multi-tasking. You say that we can create new user experiences in Metro apps that are better than what we have had before. I say, any new user experience that you can create in a Metro app, I can create in a desktop app, WITHOUT the limitations of Metro.

    So I'll ask it again: how do the limitations of Metro make us more productive?

    (I'm actually one of those [apparently very few] that thinks that the Ribbon is significantly less productive than a traditional menu. But I have long ago accepted that I am in the minority in that opinion. And I don't want that to color the argument, because I am not opposed to a change in the way we use applications, even a significant one, IF it can be shown that there is a significant corresponding benefit.)


    Moderator | MCTS .NET 2.0 Web Applications | My Blog: http://www.commongenius.com
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 7:46 PM
  • Your response did not answer my question. The biggest limitations of metro is the requirement that all Metro apps run one at a time, in full screen. This significantly limits multi-tasking. You say that we can create new user experiences in Metro apps that are better than what we have had before. I say, any new user experience that you can create in a Metro app, I can create in a desktop app, WITHOUT the limitations of Metro.

    So I'll ask it again: how do the limitations of Metro make us more productive?

    (I'm actually one of those [apparently very few] that thinks that the Ribbon is significantly less productive than a traditional menu. But I have long ago accepted that I am in the minority in that opinion. And I don't want that to color the argument, because I am not opposed to a change in the way we use applications, even a significant one, IF it can be shown that there is a significant corresponding benefit.)


    Moderator | MCTS .NET 2.0 Web Applications | My Blog: http://www.commongenius.com

    This is the problem with that attitude, though. You assume that Metro in it's current state will act like the final product, so it should never be used for productivity applications because it doesn't work. That's what I'm getting tired of, myself (although I have nothing against you).

    1. Metro won't necessarily have no proper multi-tasking. Windows has been about multi-tasking from day 1 - and although they are completely reimagining the paradigm with Windows 8, I doubt they wouldn't implement a truly useful multi-tasking interface that'll satisfy us all. We already have window side-snapping; who's to say they won't introduce a more useful, proper system?

    2. Saying that the Metro interface won't work for desktops. That is just assumptive; why can't Metro simply detect whether or not you're using a desktop, and adjust the sizes of the buttons? Would that be difficult? Even a operating system like Ice Cream Sandwich is supposed to do something similar (adjusting the UI based on screen size). The alt-key solution is also a good idea. There are just so many things you can do with Metro that dismissing it such a long time before release doesn't make any sense at all.

    3. (side point) I, personally, find the Ribbon much easier to use than a traditional menu. Menus can just get too cluttered with commands sometimes, and with no graphical assistance it can be tricky at times to find certain things. The ribbon is right there, always there - easy to use, consistent, and simple (yet powerful). It may not be AS productive to someone that is very good with menus and memorizing the location of each command - and menus do have an advantage in some situations - but it is better for the majority and that is what generally matters.

    Also, it's not like right-click menus were taken away - they're still there, and will stay there for a long time to come.

     

    It's just that the "Metro will never be useful for anything productive" view is closed-minded and restrictive in my mind (and, apparently, in RobbCab's as well). Why CAN'T Metro work with multiple Windows? Why won't that be possible? It's not like this is even remotely close to a final product - I'm betting it will be a lot more useful soon. 

    If Metro doesn't turn out to be a good, multi-faceted (yet simple and easy to use) UI, then I will be in full agreement with you. It will still remain better for content consumption; and even if it didn't turn out to be useful for productivity, then that's what the desktop is for. It just needs deeper integration into the OS; right now, it does seem a bit like duct-tape. It isn't that stand-alone as Metro is always right there - hanging over you. 

     

     

    @RobbCab, you have some really good points there - it's really about the learning curve. If you know how to use Metro and in it's proper place, it has the possibility to be an extremely powerful UI. Although I do find that there ARE some things that are easier to do in Windows 7 than Windows 8 (less clicks, etc.), Windows 8 isn't even close to Beta yet and I'm betting that all those bumps will be smoothed out.


    • Edited by Walkop Thursday, September 22, 2011 8:22 PM
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 8:22 PM
  • Walkop,

    You seem to be confusing me with someone else. I never said that Metro will never be useful for anything productive. Nor did I say that the Metro interface "won't work for desktops". What I said is, anything that you can create with Metro, you can create without Metro. And Metro has designed limitations that are very likely to significantly impede productivity. The only things that Metro has going for it at this point are package-based installation and sandboxing. And while those are good things, a) they are not worth the sacrifice of multitasking, and b) they can and should be available for desktop apps too.

    You seem to think that the limitations that are currently designed into Metro are not indicative of what the final version will look like. While I agree that this is an early preview, everything that I have read and heard indicates that the current design was intentional: they think that one app at a time, full screen, is a good thing. The only possible way that they will be convinced otherwise is for us to tell them, which is what I am trying to do by posting in this forum.

    (I do not want to get into a discussion about the Ribbon, as it is not related to Metro in Windows 8)


    Moderator | MCTS .NET 2.0 Web Applications | My Blog: http://www.commongenius.com
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 8:47 PM
  • I have to agree with you here David. I've showed this Windows 8 experiment to a bunch of people. First reaction is "wow cool" then after a bit of the user playing around, I get more of "wow this sucks." I also heard things like "this is boring and bland" directed to the user interface design. I've also asked around, colleagues and friends, and I hear the same things there too. Metro is broken in its current state. The usability of the product is very poor. Why for instance can I drag up with the mouse on the start screen to log in, but I can't scroll with the mouse in the grid views? Why can't I drag out from the edges with the mouse to get to the start menu or next application? Why are there two different locations for the start menu? Why can't I close an application? Why are my apps automatically suspended? Why is IE10 in Metro so difficult to use? Why is it such a PITA to shut the computer down? Why is my windows desktop listed as an app tile on the Metro screen? Why are there so many key combinations to remember? These are all the questions I have as a consumer.

    As a developer I have more quesions, some are similar. Why is my app automatically suspended? Imagine having your email program automatically suspend if it is in the task bar. That is just stupid. Why am I in a sandbox? If certification checks for malicious code, why the need to sandbox me out of using other .NET features that we've all learned to use? Why another framework? We already lack parity for the frameworks we have now (Silverlight, WPF, WP7, etc.), now we add yet another one? Why is there not a sense of bringing these all together so I can have code that spans multiple devices? Why should I invest in WinRT? It seems I invested years on WPF and Silverlight, and those are now sitting abandoned because something cool comes along, aka WinRT. Why would I ever write HTML/JS for a WinRT app? I thought the whole point of HTML/JS was to become platform agnostic? I'd essentially be buidling HTML/JS that only runs in Windows 8, and further, only in Metro. If the point is to allow HTML/JS users to post apps in the store, I think there are trends right now where companies are building HTML/JS web sites to avoid royalties paid to an app store. Why is my desktop being treated like a phone? It clearly is not. Please don't give me the line that Windows is conserving power by auto suspending apps because Windows 7 does not suspend apps on low power devices, i.e. netbooks. This seems to me like they took the Windows Phone 7 model and slapped it into Windows. This just doesn't work here.

    I have had a touch based computer for about 3 years or so now. I bought it thinking that touch would be cool on a Desktop. It is not. I have barely ever used it. I won't mention the brand, but it came with its own Touch based application shell that hosted other touch based applications. That sucked too. Now I'm not saying a touch based tablet wouldn't work, I am arguing more against the software than the hardware.

    After playing around with the preview, I honestly think the best designed application out of all of them, is that word finder game. Not to knock the developer, because whoever made that did a very good job, but if the best app on your system is a word matching game, there are probably some serious issues.


    http://blogs.windowsclient.net/joes
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 9:17 PM
  • >>Why CAN'T Metro work with multiple Windows?

    Because every single metro-application will, by design, only run in full screen.  Don't even mention snap as a worthy alternative.  1.3333 windows doesn't compare to the 3, 4, 5 I have on my screen right now.

    It's totally great for data-consuming (touch) applications with limited input, running on low power devices.  Things that don't tend to expose a gazillion commands, like productivity suits.  We all know that that is why metro exists.  There's no point in denying that while trying to shoehorn it into a paradigm where it clearly doesn't belong.

    >> It's not like this is even remotely close to a final product -

    True.  But nothing is going to change to the general workings of metro.  It's most basic design is that it all runs fullscreen.  This is not gonna change.  I'ld even say that this would be impossible to change.  It would break the entire system and paradigm. 

    Listen, it's not that we hate metro.  I think you won't find a single developer here who isn't looking forward to code against winRT and perhaps create some killer apps.  The problem is that metro is much to restrictive to be shoehorned into a desktop experience.  It doesn't make any sense.  There's simply no way that you could achieve an equal level of productivity, let alone improve upon it, by totally destroying windows multi-tasking. 

    Fullscreen means hiding other information.  'Suspended' means that applications stop running.  'Metro style' means 38pt fonts, big controls that are far apart to allow for fat finger control, which results in less screen estate for content.

    No, metro apps surely will not achieve the same level of productivity as desktop applications running in windows.  They most certainly will look cool, slick, smooth, ... and they will be a great experience to consume data with.  Once you get into the more complex productivity stuff... nah.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 9:47 PM
  • While I've not spent a massive amount of time reading posts on the whole 'is Windows 8 for the destop' issue, a lot of the general feeling I'm getting from what I have read is that people are looking at the current - and let's not forget, pre-beta, still-in-heavy-devopment - implementation of Windows 8 and Metro and saying 'no, this is going to suck'. Personally, I think such a view is short-sighted, just as Bill Gates and his fledgling Microsoft was back when Windows first crawled its way out of his PC.

    First, a little history. "Windows has been about multi-tasking from day 1..." Well, sort of. Windows was originally implemented as a way to get away from the CLI-based PC applications of the day (oh how fondly I remember the days of typing furiously for five minutes - or keying my way through an ASCII-graphics file manager for a while - in order to accomplish what we can now in 2 mouse clicks and a swipe of the hand) and move into the budding world of the GUI. Back then, coders had to create apps that played by the 'rules' and split lengthy tasks into smaller timeslices - if they didn't play fair, Windows would crash, or at the least, the system would 'freeze' until the app had finished what it was doing. And back then, simply copying a few (what we used to call) large files was enough to bring Windows to its knees.

    Then came that lovely bit of coding we now call preemptive multitasking, which allowed Windows to control what ran when and for how long, and the first paving stones towards true multitasking (and its later counterpart, multithreading) were laid and set. From then until now, the UI itself has changed relatively little, because for all this time we (generally speaking) have been more concerned with drastic improvements in performance and acessability than we have in changing the underlying 'look and feel' of our PCs' interface.

    The times they are a'changing, however; the advent of Star Trek's PADD finally made reality has seen to that, and such a major shift in the hardware we are using has demanded a paradigm shift in the interface that drives it. Add to this the fact that networking - both local and global - has grown to such a scale that we are literally connecting fridges to the local supermarket to order the milk themselves, making friends with people on opposing sides of the world without ever opening a physical door, even running businesses almost entirely 'virtually' with little-to-no physical proximity to our workplaces, and we have proof of a clear need for a new type of interface.

    Enter the touchscreen. Tablets - namely the one that conveniently renamed the Star Trek one using its own uniquely identifiable form of pig-Latin - are often seen in the hands of 8- and 80-year-olds alike today; they are easy to use, the apps are small and 'task-based' rather than the 'feature-packed' bloatware of the past few decades (and Microsoft is no exception to the bloatware rule, let's be honest - in some ways, they've led the charge). Other companies have led the way into the new computing milennium, and now Microsoft has finally stepped up and delivered something of thier own in response to market demand. As all good businesses should.

    Now, let me be clear: I am not a Microsoft fanboy, by any stretch of the imagination. I didn't mind XP and liked Win98-SE a lot, but when MS started dropping XP support I (figuratively) cried in despair, because I love PCs and loved being able to code without having to recompile my OS every week - I'll have *NIX of that, thanks, I'd rather code my own stuff and be able to always have something somewhat reliable to code it on. I loved being able to drop in the (almost) latest hardware and fiddle with the guts of my system, unlike certain systems for which removing a piece of sticky-tape voids the warranty. So I stuck with it, and I'm holding on to Vista for now because it (just, only just) works and upgrading to Windows 7 was quite simply going to be a waste of money given the upcoming 8.

    That said, I like Windows 8, and I have high hopes for Metro - it's got the potential to change PC computing in as fundamental a way was Windows 3.1 did. A complete paradigm shift, but with less of a learning curve. With a mix of both old and new interfaces, the young'uns can use Metro while us old geezers can still use 'Retro'. Plus, developers can learn (or in some cases, simply 're-learn') the old saw that 'less is more' and start designing apps based on doing simple tasks well...instead of trying to do everything, badly. Plus, it appears to do the same thing my Vista does and more, on a new fully-set, locked and updated installation out of the box, using about 60% less disk space. Bloatware this is not, for a change.

    I think a lot of people are missing the potential of Metro and touch-based interfacing. Once I got Win8 running to my liking, explored Metro and VC2011 a bit, and test-built my current VC2010-centric OpenGL-based 3D project (which passed with flying colours), I immediately started to think of the future of my coding. My best friend loves her iPad, for the simple reason that it's...well, simple. Simple to run, simple to use, simple to understand, and simple to fix if something goes wrong. She wants an app that allows her to make virtual mockups of her intended clay models before she actually puts fingers to clay, but she doesn't like how complex most modelling applications are, many of which appear require a degree in phyics to operate with any proficiency. And an iPad screen just isn't big enough for that kind of thing - it really needs a large screen resolution, like on a PC.

    So, what would I do with Metro once I figure out how the guts of it works? Well, how about a Metro/OpenGL hybrid engine powering a 3D modelling application, running on a PC with a nice, big touch screen, allowing my friend to literally use her fingers to mold, carve and shape 3D objects as if she were modelling with clay? Define a 2D polygon by tapping the screen to place auto-edged vertices in sequence, double-tap it to copy it, drag each copy together at the edges to join them and create complex polyhedra. Scale, translate and rotate objects with the swipe of a finger. Literally drag-and-drop a texture over your new model. All of this without having to have a clue about the math behind it all, or spending hours trying to learn the ins'n'outs of a contemporary modelling program. How's that for potential?

    Ok, so Win8 and Metro as they stand have issues. Well, it is a developer release, so don't expect it not to have bugs, potential oversights and all-round strangeness (and a lot of it). Don't look a very generous gift horse in the mouth either; since when has a 'big commercial company' - and Microsoft, no less - freely made available to the general public a reasonably-polished working version of a large-scale, big-money product for us to evaluate and comment on, long before the version we'll have to pay big bucks for has even gone to beta - let alone commercial - release? And an almost-fully operational development package to go with it, which is near-on as functional and possibly more powerful than the current retail version? Come on, I dare you to come up with a comparable example - what Microsoft has done is a bold move which may be either thier downfall or thier savior...but either way they have some guts.

    It's still early days yet and time will tell, but I for one am so-far impressed with the potential of Windows 8, and perhaps given time others may yet see that potential as well. Remember, there is more than one way to skin a cat - you can now do it with your own fingers instead of relying on a mouse.

    Despite similarities with its predecessors and other OS's, one thing is for certain: this is not another 'me too' Windows.
    Metro interface - Ooooh, shiny! OpenGL working in VC2011/Win8 - Ooooh, shiny! So, if I can get Metro and OpenGL to play nice together...shiny...


    • Edited by Eric A. Carter Friday, September 23, 2011 11:00 PM Must...proofread...before...posting... ;}
    Friday, September 23, 2011 10:47 PM
  • I would just like to point out that many tasks in Metro actually take longer to perform than tasks in the desktop if you measure by the number of clicks required. Depending on what you are doing in Windows 8, something that took two or three clicks in Windows 7 can take up 8 or 9 clicks in Windows 8. If you want examples, I do have them, but I think you might notice this yourself if you spend time navigating Windows Developer Preview with the mouse. Yes, Metro has huge potential in terms of touch computing, but this only applies to tablets. As it turns out, most people don't want to hold their hands up to a touch monitor to use Windows. If you have any touchscreen PC's with monitors in the usual position in front of your face, level with your shoulders, try navigating them with only the touch UI and using the keyboard only when you want to type actual text, and you might also see Metro's big shortcomings. Touchscreen PC's can hurt your shoulders and your hands in ways that did not happen before.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011 6:00 PM
  • Try something simple like finding the "Manage" My computer. Windows 7 is one keypress (win key) + one right click (my computer) + one left click, from ANYWHERE.

    Try doing that on metro.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011 7:02 PM
  • If you like to use the keyboard then in Metro you just start typing and then launch your app.

     

    Precisely.  In fact, that option has been available since (believe it or not) Windows NT (specifically, NT 4 Workstation); however, it really got teeth when Microsoft Index Server became standard in Windows 2000 Professional.  Microsoft Index Server is not an obvious feature - it barely got any press, though Microsoft did explain its reason for being when it became a standard feature.  However, Index Server is the one feature keyboard-based power users leverage the most.  All those Windows-key shortcuts (most of which go back to at least Windows 9x, and some back even to Windows 3.x)?  That's Index Server at work.  It works for Metro/Immersive apps, classic apps (I use it more for Word and Outlook than anything else), application panels (Classic Control Panel), etc.  If an application (of any sort) is accessible to the user, Index Server will dig it out.  You don't lose that in the Developer Preview.  In fact, you can leverage it using "Windows key + R" and type the name of the application (of whatever sort) you want to launch - putting Index Server on the case.

    When you start a legacy ("standard" for you, we'll get into that later)

    There is more than one way to write an app, just as there is more than one way to skin a cat.  And there is no reason why Metro apps and standard desktop apps can't co-exist - the only reason FOR that insistence is deliberate pigeon-holing - either by users or by developers.  The reality is, that with Immersive/Metro in place, none of the standard desktop applications I have installed have broken.  *None*.  So thinking that they can't co-exist is not only wishful thinking, but not borne out by definitive empirical data (on my traditional desktop) emphatically proving otherwise.

    Visual Studio is many applications that are part of a *suite* - the IDE could well adapt to Metro/Immersive, while other parts of VS could well remain in *classic* form (how long did it take the Ribbon UI to migrate to all of Office, for example?).  ImmersiveIE is like the *kiosk* mode that all browsers, including IE 9 and earlier have had for years.  Kiosk-mode, by design, doesn't include all the features that desktop-mode does (this is true of kiosk-mode in other browsers, including Google Chrome and Firefox), which is why it's completely separate in IE.  The plug-in/ActiveX control issue is unique to the x64 versions of the Developer Preview for a reason - ImmersiveIE is an x64 browser by default; desktop IE10, in the Developer Preview, on the other hand, is x32.  (An x64 version of the FlashPlayer AX control exists, and is downloadable via Adobe Labs (http://labs.adobe.com) - I have no issues with it in ImmersiveIE.)  And you can *hand off* a URL you are browsing in ImmersiveIE to desktop IE; right-clicking on the New Tab bar highlights that option, whereas left-clicking starts a separate ImmersiveIE session without ending your current one).

    Your thinking in putting together your anti-Immersive rant is based on an old paradigm - "Whole-hog or none!"

    However, the reality of computing itself is an emphatic refutal of that paradigm, even if you didn't factor the GUI, let alone Windows itself just since 2000 Professional, into it.  Nothing is static about computing - not even desktop computing.

     

    Monday, September 26, 2011 6:24 AM
  • Personally, I would like to have my cake and eat it too.

     

    I can see myself on a dual display computer with an app running full-screen metro-style on one display and working on the desktop on the other display.

    I would like the class start menu button in the desktop and still be able to access the new-style start screen and search menus. I don't see why you have to choose between the two.

     

     

    Monday, September 26, 2011 5:37 PM
  • The reality is, that with Immersive/Metro in place, none of the standard desktop applications I have installed have broken.  *None*.  So thinking that they can't co-exist is not only wishful thinking, but not borne out by definitive empirical data (on my traditional desktop) emphatically proving otherwise. 


    It's not about these applications not working.  Obviously they are working.

    Rather, it's about full-screen stuff covering up the data on my screen.  When in a productivity setting on your desktop with 2 big-ass monitors, any application or tool that forces itself to be full-screen is breaking your workflow.

    It's about full-screen applications with enormous buttons and enormous fonts taking up ALL the real estate on your screen.

    It's completely unnecessary.  I have yet to hear a single good reason why we should have such things on your desktop.

    You know, in UI design, the general rule is that the designer should have a reason for every detail/change.  Clearly, microsoft refuses to explain to us their rationale behind forcing full-screen applications for the visually impaired unto our big-ass desktop monitors.  This should be very telling to all of you.  It certainly is to me.

    They know that this is completely idiotic.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 6:21 AM
  • I am in the dislike camp right now. I run it on a Sony Vaio 24" touch screen and on my Acer Iconia tablet. I am using the tablet mostly right now. I really hate the Applesque experience in the Metro browser with no Flash or Silverlight support. Many time on Facebook I get a link to watch a vidio. When it's in Flas I have to stop what I am doing and open the non Metro browser. I am on my tablet, for entertainment, no need for me to have to do that. At a minimum it should be my choice as a consumer to say I want to support plugins in my browser. Or maybe an option to pin the non Metro browser in place of the Metro browser. Two nights ago I wanted to listen to some new music on the MSN music store. Great it plays in Silverlight. Wait, stopped me dead in my tracks and had to switch to the non Metro version.

    If this is what I have to deal with, why not defect to the iPad? I have deferred getting one waiting for a great Windows 8 version but it's not so great. If you want be be ahead of the game with iPad you need to do better than them and support what consumers love to do and not hinder them like Apple does.

     

    All I can say is MS, please don't be stupid enough to not support the features I want as a consumer. I know I am not the only one out there who wants this and I want it in Metro without having to switch midstream.


    RLJ
    Wednesday, December 14, 2011 9:22 PM
  • I recently sugged that Microsoft extend WinRT to the desktop and allow users to create Aero-style desktop apps using the WinRT platform. It seems like a better long-term solution than the current Metro/Desktop split.

    Saturday, December 17, 2011 1:53 AM
  • I recently sugged that Microsoft extend WinRT to the desktop and allow users to create Aero-style desktop apps using the WinRT platform. It seems like a better long-term solution than the current Metro/Desktop split.


    Whilst I agree with the sentiment, bringing all the benefits of WinRT to the Desktop world presents some particularly difficult challenges which aren't going to be trivial to engineer a good solution to. I'd rather the desktop world stays as-is for this release of Windows and the work for bringing a first-class WinRT desktop environment, that fully embraces new ideas like contracts and system managed application lifecycles, in Windows 9.
    Monday, December 19, 2011 11:22 AM
  • Microsoft locked the discussion.

    Doncha just love it?  They get feedback from people out here in the real world that contradicts their preconceptions and they lock the discussion.

    Rather than arguing about the Metro interface on the desktop, why not just do a simple "pro" or "con" survey.  After Windows 8 is released, they can then publish the survey results with either "we told you so" or "we should have listened".  Then they'll at least have SOMETHING to say rather than just blushing in silence like they did after the Vista debacle.

    Constructively, I would suggest treating Metro on the desktop the way they treated UAC in Windows 7.  UAC was intrusive and much-hated in Vista, and all it took to make it acceptable was to make it's options more visible.  Allow Metro to be turned off during the installation, or allow some kind of "Desktop only"/"Desktop then Metro"/"Metro then Desktop" choice that is PROMINENT in the control panel.

    Making Metro the first thing you see on Windows 8 sends a message to all users - change or stagnate. The problem is that many many users WANT to stagnate.  The message you're sending is that they are unwelcome, and first impressions cannot be unmade.

    Offering people a few simple choices about UAC changed it from hated in Vista to benign in Windows 7.  Sounds like a good policy for any major new feature.  After all, "legacy" is not necessarily a bad word.  I know tons of people who love "legacy" apps and hate "innovative" changes to their comfortable habits.  If you make people who dislike change into second-class users, you alienate them.  Just let them feel like you actually care about their preferences, even though you don't share them, and you'll have a lot more satisfied customers.

    Give us all some simple, relevant choices about how we WANT to work, whether or not you agree, and we'll stop complaining.  We developers (OS and App) could all use a lesson in humility. We'll never lose our reputation for arrogance until we stop being arrogant know-it-alls.  Ever thought about "the customer's always right" in the software industry? 

    Power to the people.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 6:25 PM
  • Microsoft locked the discussion.

    Doncha just love it?  They get feedback from people out here in the real world that contradicts their preconceptions and they lock the discussion.


    As far as I know, threads posted here are locked after they receive a certain number of replies. This has nothing to do with the content of the discussion and can be seen in any thread in this forum that has a large number of replies.
    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 8:04 PM