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Does the future of computing look like Windows 8 Metro?

    General discussion

  • I believe it does!  Touch Screen computing is here to stay in the BIGGEST of ways for every industry, business, social and educational setting! Windows 8 Metro IS opening up the way for this and much more.  Even Uncle Sam is going for touch screens in a big way - check out the computing the military is developing. Touch-screen computing in every form on every conceivable device will be one of two primary interfaces and the order of a new day in global computing and communications for everyone very soon!

    AND that second powerful primary interface? Along with the enormous power of Touch Screens, will be combined another even more powerful GUI! Full-control Voice Recognition is fast coming onto the scene. Ever heard of Dragon Naturally Speaking? That's a company worthy of buying a lot of stock in - though their competition will rapidly become great. Did I mention Smart Phones? The Voice Power for these and ALL similar devices will become "can't live without it" primary user interfaces in very big, wide ranging ways!

    I am so confident in what I'm stating here that I totally predict the Mouse and Keyboard will go the way of the Horse and Buggy - FOR SURE!!! There will still be some of these around - more likely keyboards. But many, many mice are bound for the recycle factory.

    So, Tech Gurus, WAKE UP! End the useless chattering about the "good old days" or is that the "good old GUIs?" Let's get busy building the future for the tremendous power of these new, powerful user interfaces: The Power of Touch and Voice! There are our fortunes of the future and they are there for the picking right now! Microsoft sees this new light of day and we'd better believe their competitors do, too. How about YOU!


    David Ray Reed
    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 4:23 AM

All replies

  • You miss the point.  Whether or not the Microsoft Windows 8 Metro style approach is made to work out or some new interface is developed, there will be a large redesign of ALL operating systems for ALL areas of computing making massive use of Touch Screens and Voice Commands.  This change IS forthcoming and much sooner that many may think.  It is very worthwhile to get onboard with Microsoft's efforts in developing Windows 8 and producing applications of all kinds for it.  Again, I am very confident that Touch and Voice computing will become predominant in all fields of computing: business, scientific, military, homes, school, you name it.  Keyboards will remain useful, but as Touch and Voice controls are more and more refined, keyboards will be less and less used.  As for the Mouse, it's use may even end completely.  Let's build for the future which definitely will be a Touch Screen and Voice Command world.

    As for "smudgey verical touch-screen[s]" and noisy "coffee shops,"  the technology of Touch and Voice functionality will grow to accomodate these and other settings.  And it will be a great experience!


    David Ray Reed
    Thursday, October 13, 2011 2:27 AM
  • Transcript of a Voice Command session in Windows Metro9:

    User: "Computer, Start Menu please"

    Computer: Bong sound

    User: "Computer, Start Menu please"

    Computer: Bong sound

    User: "Grrr, Ok, Computer, Start Screen please"

    Computer: "Where do you want to go today?"

    User: "Computer, Scroll left"

    Computer: Displays start screen

    User: "Computer, Scroll left"

    User: "Computer, Scroll left"

    User: "Computer, Scroll left"

    .

    .

    .

     

    I'm happy to have voice commands on my phone when I'm out and about in my pony and trap but I don't think the world is ready to throw out the keyboards and mice just yet :)


    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Friday, October 14, 2011 9:44 PM
  • Yep, some folks are still missing the point...  As I said earlier, "Whether or NOT the Microsoft Windows 8 Metro style approach is made to work out or some new interface is developed, there will be a large redesign of ALL operating systems for ALL areas of computing making massive use of Touch Screens and Voice Commands. This change IS forthcoming and much sooner that many may think. It is very worthwhile to get onboard with Microsoft's efforts in developing Windows 8 and producing applications of all kinds for it."

    Whining about or bad-mouthing or playing down or making fun of new technologies EVEN NOW being rapidly developed will NOT hold back the change.  Microsoft and others will continue to participate in these changes.  Truly savvy programmers and marketers are working with the current State of the Tech while just as eagerly supporting and contributing to the Touch Screen and Voice Command Technologies being developed, released and sold.  Are you?

    How about contributing some POSITIVE scenarios and dialogue that help with and inspire innovation, including building with Microsoft and Windows 8 (then 9 and beyond)? 


    David Ray Reed
    • Edited by DaveRay7 Friday, October 14, 2011 10:47 PM
    Friday, October 14, 2011 10:45 PM
  • David, my initial thoughts were that you are either well ahead of the game or you work for some consultancy group specialising in 'blue sky' analysis. So assuming you are sincere in these views and you want some serious discussion or out of the box thinking...

    Touch interface: yes its good in its place and no doubt it's place will extend over time, it'll never be for 'everyone' (I still see people trying data entry tasks in windows / web where a good green screen terminal session would have been better). I can't see the photoshop / CAD / 3D folk taking to touch or any application that requires high precision but where I do see it taking off is in dashboards, visualisation, drill down type applications the sort of thing management types love to show off over lunch or down the golf club. I don't necessarily see touch as a dumbing down I see it as a way for data experts to navigate their data without having to hold a computing degree. The trick here is for OS developers to give developers the right environment (WIMP) that lets them code those new breed applications, you don't have to be in 'touch' to develop for 'touch'. I can understand the current developer preview being touch focus because as developers we need to be immersed in touch to 'get it' but by beta I hope we can 'turn on' touch when we need it (UI testing etc) and not be forced into a paradigm that doesn't suit our working practices.

    Voice Interface: I can't imagine trying to program using a voice UI, I don't talk in code, I use code completion (a lot), I think and rethink what I'm typing and keyboard control is far quicker than mouse/touch/voice so again the coders and the precision guys won't but into this. Do I think those same management types that want to finger navigate through their data will take to this? hell yes, There's a scene in Bladerunner where Decker navigates though a photo using voice commands and I can see that happening in management presentations "Computer, sales figure for 2011... pause, by client... etc). What am I trying to say? Voice commands should be part of the OS but the OS should not be dependant on voice commands?

    Sorry if the above is disjointed, I'm on my second bottle of red and for the n'th time thankful I chose a career in IT ;)

     


    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Saturday, October 15, 2011 12:41 AM
  • @DaveRay7

    I disagree with you completely. No one wants to hold their hand up to a monitor in front of their face, and touch screens are expensive. Even with special environments created by OEM's designed specifically for touch, touch just hasn't caught on. Why should Windows 8 be any different? For that matter, what if I don't buy a touchscreen? Do you think that Metro-style apps with mice and keyboards could ever possibly be "the future?" You may think that all operating systems will eventually be redesigned for touch, but what if you're not using a touchscreen? There is no way that everything you do on your computer could be converted to a touch app. Imagine trying to do everything anyone could possibly do on a PC with an iPhone or Andorid device. It won't work, and neither will your touch ideas.

    You really need to provide some evidence to support your claims. Saying "touch WILL be the future" as a sweeping declaration will accomplish nothing.

    Saturday, October 15, 2011 2:33 AM
  • "No one wants to hold their hand up to a monitor in front of their face..."

    That's right, so they will move the monitor to a more comfortable position. When you use an ATM, are your hands in front of your face?

    "There is no way that everything you do on your computer could be converted to a touch app."

    Touch is not the endgame, it's just the next step in the evolution of human-computer interfaces.

    Applied Sciences Group: Smart Interactive Displays

     

    Monday, October 17, 2011 1:33 PM
  • I think "touch" is the wave of the future for handheld devices, but that's a no brainer because there really is no other way to use a handheld device.  For desktop/laptops though, I have to disagree.  I could never do the things I do on a computer using my fat finger on my screen.  From gaming, to photo editing, to working with thousands of files & folders on live servers, I need the pin point accuracy of a mouse.  And like most people, I don't work in an environment where voice recognition is feasible to use, and at home, I could never bring myself to talk to my computer, so I'll always need a keyboard too.

     

    Monday, October 17, 2011 2:10 PM
  • "I could never do the things I do on a computer using my fat finger on my screen.  ...I need the pin point accuracy of a mouse."

    Assumption one: The touch device and display device are one and the same thing.

    Reimagined: Two devices; a non-touch display and a touchboard of similar x,y dimensions. (Clean the touchboard by first plugging the USB port and then dunking the whole device into soapy water.)

    Assumption two: A finger is only as accurate as it is wide, whereas a mouse is "pin point".

    Reimagined: A mouse is no more accurate than the hand driving it, and the appearance of "pin point" accuracy is only the result of averaging (approximately speaking) the position of the hand at any moment, using a narrow beam. Clever software coupled with improved touch device optics could provide the same general accuracy for touch interfaces as the mouse currently offers - by precise capturing and location of the center-point of the 'smear' of the finger. Furthermore, with separate touch and display devices, the touch device can be zoomed, independently of the display device, resulting in far more precise movements over a nominated portion of the display. Mouse movement could potentially be zoomed also, but this would have the subjective result of putting a large, clunky object between the finger and the touch surface, making the experience feel much more indirect. Mouse zoom would have the affect of making the mouse appear larger, whereas touch zoom would be like make the world larger (or conversely, the finger smaller). So ultimately this option is really only going to work for touch. Perhaps most importantly of all, the separation of touch and display devices has the result that the touch target is no longer concealed by the touch object (the finger).

    Bottom line: Touch (at its best) will become far more accurate than the mouse can ever be, and then become ubiquitous on all classes of devices. The mouse will fade away.

     

    • Edited by Drewfus Monday, October 17, 2011 4:25 PM
    Monday, October 17, 2011 3:58 PM
  • "That's right, so they will move the monitor to a more comfortable position."

    What position would that be? Am I supposted to start looking down at a screen for an extended periood of time or find some chair with an ultra-high setting? Or maybe I should lower and tilt my screen so my hands could sit on it? By the time you get to that point, it's easier to just build the monitor into a table.

    "Touch is not the endgame, it's just the next step in the evolution of human-computer interfaces."

    Who is it the next step in the evolution of computer-human interfaces for? Am I supposed to start using a touch-based version of Adobe Photoshop? When I think about the number of windows I have open when I edit a video (many different things going on), I cringe when I try to imagine doing the same thing in the Metro UI. When there are 7 windows open, and material needs to be cut, copied, pasted, and dragged from one window to another, the desktop is a more efficient way of doing this than Contracts or switching back and forth between full-screen programs. It turns out that I run less windows maximized than I thought I did when I'm working on a large project.

    Monday, October 17, 2011 7:08 PM
  • Touch is not the endgame, it's just the next step in the evolution of human-computer interfaces.

    Applied Sciences Group: Smart Interactive Displays

     


    'Touch is not the endgame...' Great quote, looking back you could apply the same quote to trackballs, light pens, graphic tablets and mice and looking forward we can probably apply it to voice, eye ball tracking, hand movement, thought control and who knows what even further down the line.

    Reading some of the other posts on here it sounds like people expect that each new technology has to kill the one before and when it doesn't they assume it will fail.

    Interesting video too - after watching it I'm reimagining the mouse... there is no mouse but moving your hand around on the desk (tracked by a camera) as though you were holding a mouse controls a pointer. Benefits - one less peripheral to cart around and it'll work on non-flat surfaces (i.e my lap), lots of problems to be overcome for sure but someone somewhere in a lab is possibly working on the problems right now. 

     


    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Monday, October 17, 2011 11:25 PM
  • there is no mouse but moving your hand around

     

    Try levitating your arms for just 60 seconds and then tell us what you think.

    Now  imagine having to do that all day long.  It would be torture.


    I agree that would be painful, that's why I said 'on the desk'
    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Monday, October 17, 2011 11:57 PM
  • 1. Imagine hunt-and-peck poking an alphanumeric simulated keyboard on your wobbly vertical lcd panel.

    Ed, that's one device, not two.

     

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 8:17 AM
  • "Am I supposted to start looking down at a screen for an extended periood of time or find some chair with an ultra-high setting?"

    For hand-held devices this is what people do anyway. But moving a combined monitor/touchscreen to a lower position would have limits for long-term use, as you point out.

    "Or maybe I should lower and tilt my screen so my hands could sit on it? By the time you get to that point, it's easier to just build the monitor into a table."

    For desktops, my split touchboard/monitor idea might work instead. That would allow keeping the arms low while the back and neck remained straight. But you have a point about building stuff into tables. Changing input methods and greater emphasis on ergonomics might mean that office furniture gets some serious reimagining over the next decade also.

    "Am I supposed to start using a touch-based version of Adobe Photoshop?"

    For people who can afford Photoshop or CS, semi-specialist hardware like i'm talking about would, if it worked, be a no brainer, so by definition touch driven graphics software would be feasible. Of course i have no idea if it would work, other than what i can imagine it would be like. :-) For combined touch/display, i'm curious to know how well offset touch would work. That is, where the physical touch point and the touch activation point are offset, by a bit more than a finger width. The idea of course, is to eliminate concealment of UI elements by the finger. This would require touch/display null strips on either side of the monitor, but maybe the brain could get used to the offset, and make it all worthwhile. Very speculative, yes.

    "When there are 7 windows open, and material needs to be cut, copied, pasted, and dragged from one window to another, the desktop is a more efficient way of doing this than Contracts or switching back and forth between full-screen programs."

    So wait for Metro to be completed, and then you can do the same thing in Metro as you do in Desktop (albiet slightly differently).

     

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 9:02 AM
  • "...lots of problems to be overcome for sure but someone somewhere in a lab is possibly working on the problems right now."

    Not possibly - definately :-)

    Perhaps in the 2020s we won't have mice on desks - we'll have cameras in ceilings instead.

    • Edited by Drewfus Tuesday, October 18, 2011 12:00 PM
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 12:00 PM
  • "Try levitating your arms for just 60 seconds and then tell us what you think."

    "Now imagine having to do that all day long. It would be torture."

    Are you currently moving your mouse "all day long"?

    Holding one arm out intermittently would be ... something we could conceivably get used to.

     

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 12:05 PM
  • "...lots of problems to be overcome for sure but someone somewhere in a lab is possibly working on the problems right now."

    Not possibly - definately :-)

    Perhaps in the 2020s we won't have mice on desks - we'll have cameras in ceilings instead.


    I was thinking wide angle view from a hi-res webcab in the display or maybe some form of proximity detector in the keyboard/touchboard that could detect a 'ring' on your index finger of your 'mouse' hand - with sufficient accuracy it could even pick up the action of you raising/lowering your finger to 'click' your virtual mouse. 
    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 12:26 PM
  • "I could never do the things I do on a computer using my fat finger on my screen.  ...I need the pin point accuracy of a mouse."

    Assumption one: The touch device and display device are one and the same thing.

    Reimagined: Two devices; a non-touch display and a touchboard of similar x,y dimensions. (Clean the touchboard by first plugging the USB port and then dunking the whole device into soapy water.)

    Assumption two: A finger is only as accurate as it is wide, whereas a mouse is "pin point".

    Reimagined: A mouse is no more accurate than the hand driving it, and the appearance of "pin point" accuracy is only the result of averaging (approximately speaking) the position of the hand at any moment, using a narrow beam. Clever software coupled with improved touch device optics could provide the same general accuracy for touch interfaces as the mouse currently offers - by precise capturing and location of the center-point of the 'smear' of the finger. Furthermore, with separate touch and display devices, the touch device can be zoomed, independently of the display device, resulting in far more precise movements over a nominated portion of the display. Mouse movement could potentially be zoomed also, but this would have the subjective result of putting a large, clunky object between the finger and the touch surface, making the experience feel much more indirect. Mouse zoom would have the affect of making the mouse appear larger, whereas touch zoom would be like make the world larger (or conversely, the finger smaller). So ultimately this option is really only going to work for touch. Perhaps most importantly of all, the separation of touch and display devices has the result that the touch target is no longer concealed by the touch object (the finger).

    Bottom line: Touch (at its best) will become far more accurate than the mouse can ever be, and then become ubiquitous on all classes of devices. The mouse will fade away.

     

    Drewfus, I have to give you credit for towing the "Metro touch interface is great" line!  But nothing you said makes any sense to me and I couldn't disagree more.  Obviously you're sold on touch devices (or future technology yet to come) so it appears we have to "agree to disagree" on this.

    Whether it's a separate touch interface vs. a touch monitor, if I'm using my finger to do the touching, then a mouse is significantly more accurate.  Try making a "selection" in Photoshop of a specific area down to the pixel level using your finger on your touch screen or your 'touchpad' on your laptop and then do it using your mouse.  I could maybe zoom in to 500% zoom level to ensure I get down to the pixel level and the touch device reads the 'average' of my finger correctly and gets me to the correct starting pixels, but then to drag & select a large area becomes more than a little disfunctional at that level of zoom.  I don't see at all how a touch device using my finger could even begin to approach the accuracy of my mouse.

    I'm not sure what touchboard or device you're referring to that has similar dimensions to my monitor that would be separate?  To do this, it would have to be a fairly good size touch device, wouldn't it?  Why would I want something significantly larger on my desk than my mouse?  And why would I purchase something that probably costs significantly more than a mouse but offers no better functionality?

    I'm sorry, but I don't see your 'bottom line' conclusion coming to pass.  (At least not in my lifetime.)

     



    • Edited by KHemmelman Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:19 PM
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:15 PM
  • Ed,

    This is me using an iPad with one hand and the iPad flat on the desk, it's also got a flip case that lets me have the iPad at something like a 15 degree angle which is nicer for typing due to the slight rake. When I take the iPad walkabouts in our Datacenters I do indeed use two hands. I use whatever seems most comfortable for the current location.

    I don't seem to have too many problems with glare and it is possible that the Adobe advert is shown that way because it's an advert and holding a tablet looks more exciting than flat on a desk.

    I agree I wouldn't want to hold my hand out to reach over to my main desktop monitor but like Drewfus said who says the 'display device and the touch device are the same thing'. I think the mouse will be with us for some considerable time yet.


    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:54 PM
  • > Obviously not, when you're sitting in the dark like that.

    > But how do you type on that thing?

    Dark: Yup, working from home today and don't believe in wasting my own electricity. In the office, glare from ceiling lights has never been a problem (we may have 'special' lights I can't actually remember what they look like), glare from the windows is a pain though.

    Typing on it: hunt & peck but the stuff I do on the iPad doesn't require touch typing. I did pair it with an apple Bluetooth keyboard at one point but I decided it wasn't worth it for the amount of text entry I do.

     


    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 4:35 PM
  • >  Dark: Yup

    the stuff I do on the iPad doesn't require touch typing.

     

    Then maybe Metro will be ideal for your glow-in-the-dark iPad.

    It'll fit nicely right next to your PC, keyboard and mouse.

    A little short on desktop space?  Your iPad can double as a coffee mug coaster.

     

    What can I say.  What's your point?  This thread was about eliminating kb+mouse with something that does Metro.

    Now you guys are talking about stacking more techno-clutter in front of my PC to somehow make use of it...!?

    What for.


    You posted the adobe picture to prove you need two hands to operate it, I responded with an example of single handed operation.

    You commented I'd have no issues with glare in the dark, I explained the low light conditions.

    You asked me how I type and I explained that.

    What's my point? You ask questions, people tend to answer. You state an opinion people either agree or propose a counter opinion. That is the point of a Forum I believe.

    This was a thread about elimination of kb+mouse, somewhere along the line it branched out into a discussion of possible future interaction methods -all good stuff, I'm not sure how running Metro on an iPad fits in but I am intrigued by the possibilities of a glow in the dark coffee coaster as a peripheral, the big question in my mind is should it be stacked, horizontal or vertically mounted?

     


    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 7:24 PM
  • "I could maybe zoom in to 500% zoom level to ensure I get down to the pixel level and the touch device reads the 'average' of my finger correctly and gets me to the correct starting pixels, but then to drag & select a large area becomes more than a little disfunctional at that level of zoom."

    So switch back. There's a button on the side of your touchboard.

    I'm not sure what touchboard or device you're referring to that has similar dimensions to my monitor that would be separate?

    Hence the term; reimagined.

    "Why would I want something significantly larger on my desk than my mouse?"

    That's like saying; why would i want a touchscreen covering the display on my tablet?

    "And why would I purchase something that probably costs significantly more than a mouse but offers no better functionality?'

    It is better. How many artists do you know that draw with a mouse?

     

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:14 PM
  • > Are you currently moving your mouse "all day long"?

     

    Yes. Of course.

    Just look at the condition of my notebook touchpad's left-click button.

    Having a worn out button tells me that button gets a lot of use - it does not tell me you're pressing it all day long without rest.

    Which is why I know through experience that any horizontal touch device will never be as comfortable or effective as a mouse.

    A meaningless statement. You can only know what your claiming to know in hindsight, not foresight.

    "I cannot understand the fascination with the idea of reaching your outstretched arm to a vertical touchscreen."

    For long periods - neither can i. So i'm arguing for something a little more sophisticated.

    "But that's where Metro is taking us."

    The belief that Metro is all about touch is incorrect. Metro improves the touch experience substantially, but the core ideas and design features go way beyond optimization for touch. See my latest comments on the blog re Start screen @ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/11/reflecting-on-your-comments-on-the-start-screen.aspx#10227034

     

    • Edited by Drewfus Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:43 PM
    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:37 PM
  • The belief that Metro is all about touch is incorrect.  [...]  but the core ideas and design features go way beyond optimization for touch.

    Yes, I do believe it goes beyond touch.  It is an attempt to answer the Android challenge, and to re-imagine how to re-attract disenfranchised engineering talent back into the MS arena.  An arena that has become so encumbered that there has been an exodus away from it.  Such an exodus, that even some of the largest Wintel Partners have announced their intended departure.  HP for example, but that's old news already.

    I also think the reason Search has been increasingly peppered throughout Windows, since Vista, into Windows7, and now even moreso into Windows8, is in answer to the Google challenge.  But that's a different subject.  Right now, we're talking about Metro.

     

    So.  Did you tap and sing that fanboy message into your Android?   Er, Metro app?

    Your entire comment could be summed up as; competition at work.

    That's fine by this fanboy.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 3:54 PM
  • Interesting UI research http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/10/microsoft-researchers-want-to-turn-your-hand-into-a-touch-screen.ars

     


    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Thursday, October 20, 2011 11:04 AM
  • Ed,

    Having a keyboard projected onto my hand would be weird (what would they project on if you wanted type with both hands?) but that vPro link you pointed to is really creepy, I thought that kind of stuff was just something invented for/by sci-fi/fbi/cia movies & conspiracy buffs. 


    Acer W500 tablet & dock, New 'works' Lenovo laptop Too much apple stuff. Remember: A Developer Preview is just that, a preview for developers - not everything will work 'just right' on day 1.
    Thursday, October 27, 2011 11:42 PM
  • Disrupted by fanboys.

    If you call those fond of observed data and hard information fanboys, then I am happy to be a fan of reality.

    -Noel

    Thursday, November 17, 2011 9:50 PM
  • I never said I wanted Big Brother in my computer.  I'm with you on this one.  I don't like the direction these things are going at all.

    The other thread, for which you chose to level the term "fanboy" at me with intent to insult, was one in which we were discussing whether 64 bit code runs more efficiently than 32 bit code doing the same kinds of graphics data processing - which it does, measurably so.

    I have never seen a lamb with such a big mouth.

    And now you choose to call me a "lamb".  Thanks.  How nice of you to notice me.

    I have a great idea (and I'm not even in the back of a taxi):  Why don't you create an account using your real name, then write only things you'll be proud to sign your name to.  You've been through SO many accounts, and again and again you're admonished, censored, and even banned.  Why do you choose to be like this?  I'm sure with your knowledge you could become a recognized CONTRIBUTOR yourself.

    -Noel


    • Edited by Noel Carboni Thursday, November 17, 2011 11:46 PM Somehow I never see all my typos until after posting. Never.
    Thursday, November 17, 2011 11:24 PM
  • @Ed Nahuey

    MCC is a "fanboy badge?" If so, what is my Blog Commentator III gold achievement?

    Isn't this discussion supposed to be about the Metro UX?





    Friday, November 18, 2011 12:00 AM
  • >  what is my Blog Commentator III gold achievement?

    In your case, an award for prolific posting, often without reading.


    I knew you would say that, and I do read before I post anything. If you haven't noticed, the large volume of blog comments has come to a sudden stop.

    "Just the way you like it. The future of computing."

    You should be well aware that I have been a major critic of the Metro UI. I do not "like it" at all.

    Let's try to keep the insults to a minimum.
    Friday, November 18, 2011 1:31 AM
  • DaveRay, you kept saying people are missing the point. We get the point just fine, but the world is not Star Trek just yet. Whether YOU like it or not, the vast majority of PC users out there are uninterested in touch screens, and the overwhelming majority of them are completely spooked with the idea of PCs responding to voice command. I like to keep up with new technology myself, and I agree that the technology is ready for people to take advantage of. That doesn't mean it will happen as soon as you think. The people who embrace new ideas in computing are the minority, and they always will be. Most people are doing their best just figuring out how to use what's considered familiar and comfortable. As a diesel truck technician, I use PCs quite a bit every day in my job, and I know more about them than some of the people in our IT department. I can also tell you with certainty that Freightliner Corporation is not even close to ripping apart their global resource network and tailoring it to windows 8, android, or anything else. They currently support IE 7 and 8 and windows XP and Vista. (If they could have avoided it at the time, they would never have supported Vista.) When we get new computers at work, they have XP Pro installed on them because it is still the only OS that can completely get the job done. We will be using keyboards and mice in our line of work for a while longer yet. That doesn't mean I won't embrace the new in my spare time at home. I probably will, but don't expect the world to change just because you think it should.
    Friday, November 18, 2011 2:01 AM
  • It occurs to me that a computer responding to voice commands needs a conscience (not to mention schooling in laws and morals and a few failsafes we haven't even thought of yet) before voice commands can be anything beyond a novelty.

    Sure, we see people on the Apple commercial asking carefully crafted innocuous questions of Siri, for information that can't matter much (e.g., what's the weather going to be like today?)  Would you be willing to dictate a letter to the IRS through Siri, and send it without proofreading?

    What about when the machine misrecognizes an innocuous command (or even background noise) and does something horrific?  Sure, we can easily imagine things in today's context - what could the computer do at its worst?  Delete all your files?  That would be bad enough.  But what if it were operating an elevator, or an industrial robot?  Maybe running the equipment keeping a critically ill patient alive.  Or controlling the throttle in your car...

    You might say to a human assistant, "Wow, I wish that salesman would just drop dead."  He or she knows to just smile at your joke, made in frustration.

    With great power comes great responsibility.

    I've tried Windows voice recognition.  It works pretty well - usually - but other times quite blindly makes proper sentences out of completely wrong words, spelling them perfectly of course.

    God help us.

    -Noel

    Friday, November 18, 2011 2:29 AM
  • While I do admit to writing this post about voice in Windows 8 (http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-IE/windowsdeveloperpreviewgeneral/thread/2f0c5d0a-cdd6-44e4-934a-b375f9a5b8ab), it was more of an attempt to get Microsoft to drop the idea of Metro on desktops. I do not think that voice should replace the regular desktop UI, and I doubt that I would ever use a Siri-like feature in Windows 8.

    I know that Windows already has speech recognition, and though I once set up a Vista profile just to try it out (it didn't last long), I have never used it in Windows 7. Mice and keyboards are better than touch or voice.


    @Noel Carboni

    You bring up some very valid points about voice commands. Just so you know, it's impossible for computers to have a consiousness - a computer is an electronic machine, nothing more (were you joking?).


    • Edited by WindowsVista567 Friday, November 18, 2011 3:12 AM Corrected a typo, changing "comptuers" to "computers"
    Friday, November 18, 2011 3:05 AM
  • Conciousness and conscience are two different things.

    Artificial conscience is possible - e.g., a rule that says "A computer may not harm a human being" could be programmed in.

    -Noel

    Friday, November 18, 2011 4:01 AM
  • And I don't want to get into a theological argument - or any argument at all - but we can't reasonably define consciousness, so you can't hope to say it's impossible to achieve in a machine.  For all we know, we're just biological machines with slow but hugely parallel processors.

    -Noel

    Friday, November 18, 2011 4:04 AM
  • I believe it does  too its called mac os x latest version as they already have 1000's of aps for i phone with better user interface.

    For buisness apps you need to retrain users who strugle to use even a basic smart phone. i.e it will only be suitable for new app's and the mouse and keyboard are too expensive to replace on 100+ machines, Users will need to go on a what the heck is this course to even use it. companies cannot pay $1000's of dollars to replace all the apps 

    Most users are happy with what they know. just imagine going to your pc and not knowing how to send emails as your pc has been upgraded and will no longer work in the same way. for users to be able to use them, Users like the same look and feel . i worked on a help desk and users love what works.

    We had enough trouble when upgrading to 64 bit windows 7, let alone getting rid of the mouse and keyboard. Nice idea but it will be a huge step backwards for the poor user unable to do CAD or even understand the new interface. i want it on new machines only. I want it to work, but it will take time. Money and userbility are too valuable in buisness. We have trouble every time the interface changes. 

    When asked should we upgrade use say they like what they know how to use. i  had users saying Windows 95 is better than Windows NT as they are unsure about it as it crashes and they do not want new just reliable bulit proof software to get a task done in fastest possible way that allows sharing of docs with all users. PC users can not cope with change if it is slowing them down.

    I would love touch screen that allows users to integrate smart phone and pc apps without having to re train staff.

    What does Bill Gates think of Windows 8 preview release??

    Just giving a users perspective.

    a help desk worker for a company/organisation with 6000+ users.



    • Edited by graham2000 Tuesday, November 22, 2011 1:34 AM
    Tuesday, November 22, 2011 1:12 AM
  • If the future of computing looks like Windows 8 Metro (as currently portrayed in WDP), the computing platform is due for major changes away from Microsoft's solution!  Many of the discussion replies in this post discuss touch screen but I do not believe that Metro necessarily implies touch screen.  If you listen to Microsoft's history behind Metro application development, you will find that the apparent goal is to simplify the user experience much like the big Chief tablet and pencil kids used in school, like what is used on mobile devices or like what is found in airport typography and signage - big, bold, high contrast, large font, no distractions, simple - all because we are in a hurry to get our work completed quickly and with minimal effort.  These goals do not necessarily in and of themselves imply touch screen.  Even some of these goals seems contradictory to other actions within Microsoft - i.e. the implementation of the ribbon bar in Office products and now in Explorer.  There are many, many times in my use of a computer that I have multiple windows open, side-by-side, on multiple monitors to accomplish the tasks that I have been charged with completing.  Businesses today expect many tasks of their employees and their workloads are not in a single threaded mindset like Metro apps.

    While I fully appreciate Microsoft's attempts to relook the user interface and make improvements to enable fast interaction with the computing platform, I am NOT convinced that the metro solution is the answer and I do not believe that a total touch environment brings benefits to the majority of the users.  I do however, absolutely believe that there are specific applications for touch screens and I believe that there will be more in the future but I also believe that there will not be a complete replacement for a VERY, VERY long time.  I will not waste my time or effort with Voice in the near future and I see only limited use for a touchscreen.  I have tried spreadsheets with touch; I have found touch totally unresponsive at times because of the physical interaction of human finger with a mechanical / electrical device.

    Yes the operating system should be capable of supporting multiple sources of input but the user should have the control and option to select those interfaces that best fit the environment and business requirements of the user. 

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011 5:56 AM
  • If you listen to Microsoft's history behind Metro application development, you will find that the apparent goal is to simplify the user experience...


    It seems pretty clear the real driving goal is to be able to run an App Store for Metro apps and make billions of dollars from sales commissions on direct app sales to hundreds of millions of Windows users.  This goal must be met regardless of whether it makes things work in a less integrated way for any or all Windows users.  When you realize this is what's driving the development a lot of decisions that seem quite odd begin to make more sense.

    This is just my opinion, but I'm not seeing anything to make me want to alter it so far...

    -Noel

    Monday, November 28, 2011 7:19 PM
  • As a power user, I have no wish to download apps (as I have seen them so far) or can conceive of downloading my latest video creation to an i-pad so it can render on the way to the office. I also have no touch screens and do not expect to buy one at current prices. So what should W8 be? IMO primarily it should be W7 with additional 'must have' features which warrant an upgrade. At the same time Microsoft wants to make it compatible with mobile phone and slate apps. This is not entirely a bad idea but in doing so can either succeed or alienate everyone.

    So what is W8 like. Internally the folder structure is very similar to W7 and presents no surprises. At a glance the main references to Metro apps were out of the way in AppData. On the face of it then, there seems no reason why the desktop experience and Metro applications should not lead a harmonious but separate existence.

    It all comes down to the UI and in its current format is UTTERLY WRONG.
    Without choice, the Metro start panel opens by default. It holds not only Metro apps but all the system utilities which open on the desktop. Not only that but every program installed goes there letting loose a multitude of icons - and not a folder structure in sight. As an example an NLE installed resulted in 2 icons on the desktop while the equivilant in Metro was 9 icons including 6 for uninstalling. If we do have to have this then at least let everything go to the lower layer by default and be pinned only if required.
    Meanwhile, try working on the desktop without having to go into the Metro start panel.

    In my view Metro should contain mainly Metro apps together with any other programs or utilities which may be required. The desktop should have access to any program or utility which runs on the destop (some system utilities would be available in both). When first booting into W8 there should be a choice of running in either Metro or the desktop and that should be the default until changed. In the same way that there is a desktop icon in Metro, there could also be a button on the desktop to enter Metro if required.

    At all costs keep Metro and the desktop apart unless needed - they serve different functions.

    The desktop? Think I will wait for the beta before passing judgement.

    Monday, November 28, 2011 9:49 PM
  • As a power user, I have no wish to download apps (as I have seen them so far)

    Out of curiosity, where have you obtained most of the apps you do use?

    I know I've bought almost all of mine online.  I almost never buy shrink-wrapped software any more.

    -Noel

    Monday, November 28, 2011 10:58 PM
  • Perhaps it is to do with a familiarity of terms. A CAD, NLE or Office suite I would think of as programs or at worst applications. An 'app' to me is something where you guide a ball through a maze for instance, and I have not seen anything much better yet in Metro. No doubt there will be a gradual convergence where I fear many of the current open source programs will reappear at a price.

    BTW my main programs of Pinnacle, Avid, Acronis and Windows7 are all shrink wrapped even though some were ordered online. I do like to have the original installation discs. I do download freebe programs for those one off or seldom used occasions (+ 1 or 2 useful ones such as MediaInfo).

    I used to do some programming years ago but at my age I don't think I am going to make a fortune out of Microsoft.

    Monday, November 28, 2011 11:39 PM
  • Like you, I use applications, but I think we're really supposed to drop any distinction between suite/application/program/app, and get ready to buy little games for 99 cents and big graphics editors for 699 dollars all from the same marketplace.  Whether Microsoft will pull this off or not is not certain, but I suspect they will.

    -Noel

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:20 AM
  • That's what worries me. The next step will be to say that all software needs to be certified. It's getting close to that now.
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 1:48 AM