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Things that were easy in Win7, requires effort to do in Win8 (on desktop)

    General discussion

  • I'm still playing around with Windows 8 DP. It So far I have to say this OS definitely is taking some major risks and I think it will certainly pay off on the tablet market. But for the traditional desktop and laptop market, I think this may alienate people.

    Just to throw it out there, I work in tech support (this release isn't geared toward me, but rather developers, I know). But I found it very strange to do a few things:

    -Exiting metro style apps. I had to continually use Task Manager to get out of metro style apps. I figured if I hovered the mouse over to the top right corner, it would do the trick, but nothing. After searching online, I found out that you can't exit metro style apps (they are simply suspended), but to change screens you can go back to the Start screen by hovering to the left bottom corner and clicking start. Granted I was running this on a VM so it became tougher to see this, but once I did it was just strange behavior. I'm sure this will be addressed (at least I hope it is), but there certainly needs to be a mechanism to exit apps thats intuitive. Similar to how in previous versions of Windows everyone knows you click on the X on the top right corner to close a window/program. Even the Escape key doesn't do anything.

    -Lack of a real Start Menu. I'm not sure what MS plans to do here but they certainly need to keep the traditional Start Menu. While the Start screen works for touch-enabled devices, it does not work all too well for a desktop using keyboard/mice. Scrolling side ways is rather annoying. Not to mention, there aren't many mice out there that allow for it naturally since most scrollers are vertical, not horizontal. The Start Menu just provides easy access to shutting down the machine, favorite folders, programs, and control panel, etc.

    But here's the biggest issue. Let's say you were to remove icons from the desktop (mistakenly) and unpin items from taskbar (mistakenly), you can't do anything in regular Windows. Currently you have to click on the Library folder on the task bar to even get into Windows Explorer. One of the great things about Windows is that there are always multiple ways to do the same thing. The way things are set now feels like that's no longer the case. No shortcut to anything that will open Windows Explorer on your taskbar or desktop? Well it seems you're screwed in the desktop mode. Unless you wish to navigate through the Start screen in Metro and run a search for the Windows Explorer app.

    To get to the Control Panel in the desktop, I seriously had to open up Windows Explorer and navigate through the folder tree on the left side, click on My Computer, and click on Control Panel. It's like there is an effort to hide items in the desktop. Why?

    -Shutting down. When I have to look up online how to shut down Windows, that's not good. It's currently located in perhaps the most obscure place ever and requires more clicks than it should.

    In Windows 7, takes 2 clicks to shut down windows (click on start, click on shutdown).
    In Windows 8, it takes 3 clicks and 2 moves from the mouse (hover the mouse to the left bottom corner, click on Settings (how is anyone suppose to know it's located here?), hover mouse to right side of screen to click on Shutdown, and then click on Shutdown again).

    That's all I have to say about Windows 8 for now. I look forward to the changes that will be made in the beta and release candidates. I know this is still pre-beta software and it's only meant to give developers a preview of what's to come (which is smart, the more apps available on release, the more likely the metro platform is to succeed). I just hope MS sticks to its word when it says 'no compromises will be made'.

    On a side note, I can imagine Metro would work well if a multi-touch mouse (like Apple's Magic Mouse) were used on a desktop. With such a mouse, you could easily scroll sideways, you could use gestures, etc. It will be interesting to see if OEMs start releasing similar mice going forward when Windows 8 is released (I believe MS actually sells such a mice but I forget the name).

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 7:34 PM

All replies

  • I do agree with you on some points. Accessing simple things like the control panel (some thing that I use a lot in the first couple of days of doing a fresh install) is exremely cumbersome. First I have to go to the metro control panel scroll to the bottom, and click the advanced control panel.

    Using the scroll bar in the Start Screen is incredibly stupid, you should be able to "click and flick." As as long as I'm on the topic of the metro UI, moving tiles took me a good 5 minutes to master. You have to hold and tap, slightly move your finger down, and then move it around. Whats wrong with just tap and hold?

    And finally, I love keyboard shortcuts, and I'm happy that most of not all of them still work in Win8, but the onscreen keyboard doesn't have an ALT or Windows key.  Oddly enough, I liked the Win7 on screen keyboard more because if felt much more like a real keyboard.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 7:58 PM
  • hey one big suggestion.

     

    if you cant find something just simply type it. its the most brilliant feature in windows 8.

     

    you want control panel while in metro "just simply type the word "Control panel"

     

    most of the time you wont even need to finish the word.


    Monday, September 19, 2011 4:50 AM
  • I'm not looking to use the Control Panel in Metro. What I wanted was the Control Panel in classic Windows (desktop mode). When I type Control Panel in Metro, I get the Metro Control Panel.

    Thanks for the suggestion though, didn't realize you could just type and search in Metro. I wonder how that would work in a tablet (how do you just pull out a keyboard to start typing? is there an easy intuitive way to do this?). On a desktop that seems easy enough since you already have a keyboard.

    Monday, September 19, 2011 5:25 AM