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Review / Thoughts for Windows 8, Metro, and Internet Explorer

    General discussion

  • I've been using Windows 8 on the preview machine for the past few days while at build.  I work at an accounting firm, and our professionals are starting to carry around both a laptop and a personal iPad.  Personally, I buy the concept Microsoft is selling, as I for one don't want to carry both - so I carry just a laptop where I can develop.  To this point, the first thing I did on Tuesday night was to install and test our 32-bit COM-based accounting software - low and behold it works just fine. 

    In my first few days I really tried to spend some time testing and learning not only the dev stuff, but also how it would work or impact a typical person, and test it out as a professional tool and computer.

    I would take the tablet to my sessions and try to think and be a typical personal user during sessions to take notes (I have used the notes app, the build app, and even word 2010 for this purpose).  I have also spent some time doing some development building a couple test and mock-up Metro-apps.  Then in the evenings I would spend a few hours trying to use it as my professional machine (to write code and develop on), which is a very precision task just as our accountants would perform audits on.

    As a tablet, it's a tablet - works OK, but don't want to really spend a lot of time getting precision right.  I have some wrong words, misspelled words, but I understand the notes I took, and I bet I could give those to a secretary and they could get it fixed right up without too much issue.

    Here is what my assessment has been with 3 days of 8-12 hours using the tablet each day:

    Performance - Very Fast & Fluid.  You Nailed it Microsoft

    Experience - Things are smooth when I stay metro or stay desktop.  The transition is Jarring.  The Desktop is a little tough to use when each time I want to launch an app while programming I am jarred back to metro, where my chrome disappears and a bunch of content all the sudden overwhelms me.  I don't need to see my tweet@rama tile update when launching VS Command prompt while trying to be efficient developing.  It's distracting.

    Power - The power has been good.  First day, while using Metro apps I had BlueTooth, 3G, and WiFi running, it lasted from 9:00 session until about 4:00.  Not bad.  When I turned it to Airplane Mode the next day using my metro apps, it lasted all day with battery to spare until I needed to dock it and develop anyway.

    IE - I can see why you have both versions in there, but its a prime example of what Steven talked about in Keynote - once you have a touch browsing experience, you will never go back.  I found that I wanted the chrome-less experience even when on the desktop and developing.

    I got a bone to pick with this no-plugin thing.  I think you should delay that for a year.  Take a lesson from Apple.  The first thing I knew I wanted to test was flash on the browser, since that is the chief complaint I hear from iPad users regarding browsing.  Do the first Metro version supporting plugins, with an ability to turn it off (maybe even default it to off) but don't just strand all that content.  Why would I upgrade to this if I cannot see my videos I published to Shutterfly.  Yeah, Shutterfly should, and likely will upgrade but not everyone will get that done before Windows 8 is ready.

    That point specifically impact me, I have spent 2 years developing Silverlight RIA Service applications. Would be nice if they would be supported in Windows 8 until I have time to update all those projects to Metro. I know you made it easy enough to do, a little more time to work through things would be nice if you want me to adopt this product and not skip it like Vista. I mean really I'm not going to start upgrading my apps to Metro until there is a real metro to upgrade to. Then I need some time for dev and testing. It took me 2 years to develop all those apps.  And in the nature of your next OS, your decision to abandon plugins will effectively isolate my ability to support the app platform you put me on?

    Interface - A couple things need to be more obvious.  Apps - when I am on the metro start screen, includes something on the page that lets me click to the app menu.  Don't make me search for the right charm (Search) which is non-intuitive, to find my list of all apps.  Also along these lines - I can uninstall Metro apps from Start, but can't figure out how to uninstall non-metro apps.  Sure I will get it, but currently it's inconsistent - hopefully this is already on your list.

    Most Importantly - I really think you should offer (as you may already be planning for) a SKU of the OS which only runs the new Appx model apps.  At that point, you can completely remove the desktop, and any desktop-ish items remaining.  This would provide you a great consumer experience for people like my parents who have sworn off Windows for the iPad because they don't want customization or option, they want a Steve (Jobs or Sinofsky) to make the decisions for them. 

    Along these lines, they don't want to know a file exists that isn't a content file. The pickers and launchers seem to really help make this happen - kudos to the team for all those efforts, I encourage you to stand resolute behind these efforts.  For my parent's sake if no one else...

    Most Importantly (cont'd) - offer that SKU in a Microsoft Store in Atlanta (that's where my parents live), with the good supportive people you have in your Denver store, not through OEM support.  Then when they visit they will know what to do with my XBox (once that gets its live tile update as well).  Oh yeah, and when they visit, show them how the PH7 works the same so that they can let go of their anger issues using that Droid phone they can't figure out but have because some guy in a Verizon store decided it was the best phone for them.

     

    I would love to hear some reaction to the IE stuff in particular.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 6:07 AM

All replies

  • Thank you for your feedback.  We are always glad to hear of your experiences with Windows Developer Preview and ideas to improve it. 
    Greg - Microsoft Support Engineer
    Friday, September 16, 2011 7:22 PM
  • Well for Me its pretty cool, Ive been using it for 3 three months now, and it didn't even roll down my expectations.                   

     I will wait when the beta comes out


    • Edited by Neutron15 Saturday, November 19, 2011 4:12 AM
    Saturday, November 19, 2011 4:12 AM
  • IE - I can see why you have both versions in there, but its a prime example of what Steven talked about in Keynote - once you have a touch browsing experience, you will never go back.  I found that I wanted the chrome-less experience even when on the desktop and developing.


    I can't say that I have had any experience with Windows 8 like that. When I downloaded IE9 on Windows 7, the first thing I did was make it look like this:

    When I use IE in Windows 8, one of the first things I did after trying out the chromeless version was to decide that it wasn't good enough.

    After that, I switched to the desktop version and made the desktop IE look like the one in this picture of Windows 7. I don't like the "chromeless" design of Metro-style apps. It's just another hinderance to actually using the computer.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011 11:56 AM