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Thread: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

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    News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    The developer preview is also still on track to be available this autumn.
    Read more.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    It's kind of odd that they've decided they don't want to do anything to help Windows 8 sell. It's not a good image to be seen to be abandoning 8 for "Threshold"/9. Whatever the new name is, a new name means that the public will see it as a new generation, and that 8's short life marks it out as a Vista-esque error.

    If I'm right and this is how 8 ends up being remembered, that would be a huge shame. It's the best Windows I've ever used, and I've been using Windows since the early 90s. Even though I could add a 3rd party Start menu myself, I haven't because I don't need to. I think the Metro-view Apps panel is genuinely better: bigger, easily sortable, easily modifiable, and I can get to things even faster just by typing the first letters of the app/function I want. Beyond that, the OS is better in many ways than 7. Microsoft made a huge mess of selling this system to desktop users.

    The worst thing is that all the salty people who swore off Win8 will forever remember this as their victory: how they were so right, and Microsoft "lost". The next time MS finds itself in a difficult patch with a new product, the internet will ruefully sing "Windows 8". They lost control of this conversation, and they could have easily contained it if they'd tried to do so and not left users to squabble amongst themselves.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Otherhand View Post
    It's kind of odd that they've decided they don't want to do anything to help Windows 8 sell. It's not a good image to be seen to be abandoning 8 for "Threshold"/9. Whatever the new name is, a new name means that the public will see it as a new generation, and that 8's short life marks it out as a Vista-esque error.

    If I'm right and this is how 8 ends up being remembered, that would be a huge shame. It's the best Windows I've ever used, and I've been using Windows since the early 90s. Even though I could add a 3rd party Start menu myself, I haven't because I don't need to. [snipped] Beyond that, the OS is better in many ways than 7. Microsoft made a huge mess of selling this system to desktop users.

    The worst thing is that all the salty people who swore off Win8 will forever remember this as their victory: how they were so right, and Microsoft "lost". The next time MS finds itself in a difficult patch with a new product, the internet will ruefully sing "Windows 8". They lost control of this conversation, and they could have easily contained it if they'd tried to do so and not left users to squabble amongst themselves.
    I'm going to disagree with most of what you're saying - where I'll agree is that the core of Windows8 is definitely better than '7. Heck even the userspace tools - like Resource Monitor etc - are better in 8 than 7.

    Microsoft definitely IS still promoting 8 - and promoting hard. Just because the techno-illuminati are already talking about Threshold doesn't mean that anyone else is. And I'm sure there's some hardcore Vista fans (not me) who'll really take issue with that "Vista-esque error" swipe.

    Me, I'm thumbs up for Microsoft on Threshold. They realised that MUI isn't the "one UI to rule them all" - and I'm hearing that it's particularly dire on conventional mouse/keyboard/multi-monitor setups. So MS has had the courage to go back to the drawing board and merge the best bits of 7 and 8 - giving you the full MUI setup on touchscreens and "conventional" on the non-touch desktops both with the improved tools and underlying processes - what's not to like about that? And that's not a "victory" for the 8-avoiders necessarily, it's a plus for us all.

    It's all about choice - give me the option of a better way to do something and I'll gladly take it. What I don't want is being forced into contortions just to suit some marketing flac's idea of a unified OS.

    Oh, and Satan will be wearing a scarf and gloves before I install 8 on my Windows box. On the other hand if Threshold continues to impress (based on the preview reports) like it has to date then I'm a shoe-in for a pre-order.

    By the way ... "salty people" ... care to explain that crack?

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    I have to agree 8 is great to those of us who spent more than 10 minutes with it.
    The problem now is much like Vista the name has been trashed beyond repair so they have to just move on really.

    Likewise all those who swear by 7 are the same lot who hate vista yet 7 is basically a Vista service pack, the same will happen here a tweaked 8 will be called 9 and they will all love it because everybody says they love it.

    Personally I will do the usual, keep an eye on cheap upgrade deals and make my own mind up.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Percy1983 View Post
    I have to agree 8 is great to those of us who spent more than 10 minutes with it.
    Sweeping generalisation. In my case I've spent hours with the accursed thing - or maybe it was actually minutes and just seemed like hours...
    Quote Originally Posted by Percy1983 View Post
    The problem now is much like Vista the name has been trashed beyond repair so they have to just move on really.
    Partially agree - 8 does seem to have a reputation in some circles as being a mule to drive. Yet I know pretty much equal amounts of people who find it an advance and those who curse the day it was launched. That's the trick that I think Microsoft might achieve with Threshold - please BOTH of those groups.
    Unless, of course, we're now going to get all the 8-fans moaning that 9 is merely a pale reflection of their usability zenith.
    Quote Originally Posted by Percy1983 View Post
    Likewise all those who swear by 7 are the same lot who hate vista yet 7 is basically a Vista service pack, the same will happen here a tweaked 8 will be called 9 and they will all love it because everybody says they love it.
    Service packs are issued to put in new functionality and fix bugs. So if 7 is a Vista+SP then surely that means that Vista was lacking functionality and/or bug-ridden. You seriously would prefer that to the same OS with the extra functions and/or bugs fixed?
    PS I'm not going to disagree with the assessment that 7 = Vista + big service pack.
    Quote Originally Posted by Percy1983 View Post
    Personally I will ... make my own mind up.
    Ditto. 8's dead to me, I'm looking forward to a Vista-esque service pack for it. If 8's good for you then fine.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Percy1983 View Post
    I have to agree 8 is great to those of us who spent more than 10 minutes with it.
    Oh Yay, this ignorant and narrow minded point of view comes up again. I've had it on machines for ages, and i don't like it. I've tried it with touchscreen convertibles, net-tops, net-books and regular laptops. It didn't really make full sense for any of them, and im far from the only one in the world who has tried and dislikes W8.

    There are some people who it works for, and sure there are some people who just jump on the, "its crap" bandwagon without giving it a chance... but there are a lot of people who have tried it and don't like it, for a multitude of different reasons.

    I don't understand the need to try and separate people in either intolerant, lazy people who fear change or the windows 8 master race whose patience and persistence has rewarded them with the fruits of productivity. The reality is far more segmented.

    Quote Originally Posted by Percy1983 View Post
    The problem now is much like Vista the name has been trashed beyond repair so they have to just move on really.

    Likewise all those who swear by 7 are the same lot who hate vista yet 7 is basically a Vista service pack, the same will happen here a tweaked 8 will be called 9 and they will all love it because everybody says they love it.
    Or maybe everybody loves/loved it because they fixed all the problems everyone hated in the previous version?
    I tried Vista, and it was a pain in the neck. It had some great features for improving productivity and it obviously looked a lot better than XP, but the stability just wasn't there before i gave up with it and went back to XP. Win 7 not only improved on the 'stepping stone' level of features in Vista but more importantly, it was pretty solid out-of-the-box.
    Stability isn't much of an issue with Win 8 in my experience, its usability. Performance upgrades are marginally noticeable on some hardware, not groundbreaking, yet the interface is awkward and un-intuitive without installing 3rd party tweaks.

    I agree they need to change the name and move on because the Win 8 name is riddled with bad press that prevents them from advancing farther with the average user. I would also say there is a significant enough number of improvements they need to make to warrant a new name, and to make me take it seriously.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    By the way ... "salty people" ... care to explain that crack?
    Two kinds of people:

    One, people who genuinely had problems adjusting to 8, or tried it and didn't like it, and explained their reasons, and were willing to listen to explanations of why it worked for other people. I'm not talking about them, and they're alright by me.

    Two, oddly bitter folk who positively enjoy sticking the knife in for reasons that make little sense, and actively enjoy doing so. I don't like that mindset.

    For a lot of people, this whole thing boiled down to "NO START MENU, NO BUY", as if the SM was essential to operating a computer. No amount of explaining to them that they could choose from a range of Start menu providers, if they wanted it, made any difference. To me, the Start Menu was a vestigial feature anyway. I have no idea why people think the Start Menu was the perfect thing (other than the obvious "As it was, so shall it be"). It took a minimum of two clicks (Start > QL Icon) to open any program, but often many more movements as you unfolded menu trees. There's no way anyone would design such a feature today because it flies in the face of good design. Microsoft came along with a replacement for that menu which takes two clicks for any app (Start or WinKey > Icon), and I think that's so much better. It's not perfect, but it's a big step in the right direction, especially now that the translucent overlay means that desktop users don't have to feel like they "left" Desktop and "entered" Metro view.

    I really want Microsoft users to engage with good design, and to have more curiosity about new ideas. I think Windows Phone, and what they tried to do with Metro, proves that MS is willing and capable of utterly transforming OS design. Apple doesn't like to draw attention to it, but both they and their creator-community have followed where MS led this time on flat design, after Apple went so far into skeuomorphism that the style had become exactly the kind of gaudy, old-fashioned ugliness that OSX/iOS was supposed to overthrow.

    I'd love to see MS go even further into its UI work, but the triumphal cheering over the sight of jpegs of Start Menu leaks has me worried. MS might be forever shackled by the limits of its own users.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    With all the latest patches Win 8 (or in my case 2012 server R2) is now just about usable (like having an icon to shutdown, finally...) Charms is still anoying so good riddance. Just need to get rid of worst ugly blocky aesthetic and it'll be OK again. Could be done by patching 8/2012R2 but i think in marketing terms they need a fresh start to get over the 8 stigma.

    Home machines still on 7 till then.
    Last edited by wasabi; 08-08-2014 at 09:35 AM.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Bring back Millenium!

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Otherhand View Post
    Two kinds of people:

    One, people who genuinely had problems adjusting to 8, or tried it and didn't like it, and explained their reasons, and were willing to listen to explanations of why it worked for other people. I'm not talking about them, and they're alright by me.

    Two, oddly bitter folk who positively enjoy sticking the knife in for reasons that make little sense, and actively enjoy doing so. I don't like that mindset.
    [rest snipped]
    Good post - thanks for taking the time out to explain. Oh, and I'm in group 1 by the way.

    The rest of the post (the bit I snipped) is a pretty good explanation of the way I feel also. Note, I have nothing against MUI per-se, in fact on phones I'd prefer it to Android or iOS. My core objection is that for the use I'm making I'm continually having to switch between MUI and "classic desktop" and that's jarring, unecessary and annoying. Start menu (unlike Saracen) I'm pretty "meh" about - like most I'm into the Windows+a couple of letters to select a particular app. But MUI "steals" the Windows key for MUI-classic switching and "just type" doesn't work on the classic desktop.

    Strangely enough, both my kids and my father like 8 - the latter particularly because MUI's tiles are great for someone with poor vision and/or motor skills. On the other hand both my brothers-in-law hate 8 with a passion - at best it's "tolerated" because they don't want the hassle of downgrading to 7.

    That said, if I was forced to choose 8 then I'd unhesitatingly pick 8.1 over "raw" 8 - I just find 8.1 slightly less worth of verbal abuse!

    PS accusing Apple of copying Microsoft in UI design is a good way to get lynched by a pack of ravening iOS fanboys. <grin>

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Otherhand View Post
    For a lot of people, this whole thing boiled down to "NO START MENU, NO BUY", as if the SM was essential to operating a computer. No amount of explaining to them that they could choose from a range of Start menu providers, if they wanted it, made any difference. To me, the Start Menu was a vestigial feature anyway. I have no idea why people think the Start Menu was the perfect thing (other than the obvious "As it was, so shall it be"). It took a minimum of two clicks (Start > QL Icon) to open any program, but often many more movements as you unfolded menu trees. There's no way anyone would design such a feature today because it flies in the face of good design. Microsoft came along with a replacement for that menu which takes two clicks for any app (Start or WinKey > Icon), and I think that's so much better. It's not perfect, but it's a big step in the right direction, especially now that the translucent overlay means that desktop users don't have to feel like they "left" Desktop and "entered" Metro view.
    The translucent thing is a good move, but i still feel that its unnecessary to use the whole screen.

    In W7 world, If there was a program you use fairly regularly, you would probably have a shortcut on the taskbar, sure we can all agree on that?
    If there was something you used a fair amount, but not as much, a quick way of accessing that without taking up valuable taskbar space is to pin it to the start menu. Sure, not everyone would actually do it, but for me it worked very well.
    For other things that you rarely access, you have to navigate through the trees, however there is often more than just the .exe file within the tree, uninstallers, read-me's. Sure, they were never used but at least you could find everything in one folder!
    An alternative to clicking lots of trees is to hit the Windows key and start typing, which would bring up a small list in the start menu... great.

    In Win 8 you can still do the first one just the same, but if you want to do anything else, you have to open up the interface in full screen and deal with loads of tiles.

    The other thing to consider here is that its not just mouse clicks which are the issue, its mouse and eye movement. With a start menu the movement is very slight, with a start screen everything is much more spread out, it takes more scanning (muscle memory may eventually negate some of this) and more hand movement. This is not so much of an issue for a touchscreen tablet but for a desktop user, it is.
    I don't like tiles, if I'm on a shopping website I immediately set it to list mode. Same goes for windows explorer and any other application where i can turn off tiles. My brain works quicker with a list, it always has and it always will, its just the way I'm wired!

    Here is another thing to consider, I have one of these:


    Now with a screen that wide, why would i want the whole screen to be used for a giant start screen? Its a dreadful use of space.
    Now im not saying MS should ditch the tile and fullscreen interface just to cater for some niche instances like these, but it wouldn't take a total re-engineering to create that halfway point whereby the full screen isnt always used for start/search. There is a definite middle-ground that would satisfy everyone, I'm sure of it.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    dunno why MS insisted on slapping Metro on windows desktops. All they had to do was put a choice after the install finished:
    []Want to use new metro interface
    []Want to use desktop UI
    why was it that hard? was there no one in MS who could have foreseen this? Is everyone at MS on tablets and touchscreens?

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Otherhand View Post
    I really want Microsoft users to engage with good design, and to have more curiosity about new ideas.
    I'm not sure it's to do with not wanting to engage with "good design" (whatever that means), or a lack of curiosity.
    A PC and by associations the OS running on it is a tool that enables people to perform a task, most people don't want the bother, or don't have the time to re-learn how to use something just because they buy a newer model. If we buy a new hammer we expect it to work like the last one, if we buy a new TV we expect key features to be similar to the last one (channel, volume controls), if we buy a new car we expect key features to be the same like the brakes, steering wheel, accelerator.

    If people had to re-learn how to drive a car each time they bought a new one, i dare say people would have problems accepting the new way of doing things no matter how much better it maybe.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Percy1983 View Post
    Likewise all those who swear by 7 are the same lot who hate vista yet 7 is basically a Vista service pack
    No. Seriously. It was not.
    A service pack is usually little more than a collection of pre-existing patches, with the occasional security related upgrade thrown in (firewall, virus scanner and so on). Sometimes you'll get new features entirely, but they are usually just improving / collating existing ones.

    Windows 7 introduced much better performance, better tools in several areas, a faster boot time, a better interface, a smaller install footprint, better devices and printer management, better stability and lots more. A lot of these are not in the area of a service pack whatsoever.

    Every iteration of Windows has improved on the last one in all of the core areas an OS should (memory management, kernel, stability....), but to call these "service packs" is a oversimplification. Windows 7 is not "basically" a service pack at all. It's a fully blown OS that grew from an existing code base. The same as Vista growing from aspects of NT/Server kernels and codebases. Or 8 growing from 7. Many of these features couldn't be installed as a service pack, as so much of the underlying OS would change that things that sit on top of it, like drivers, would not work.

    I can't believe HEXUS is still going backwards and forwards over the W8 interface. Some like it, some don't. The elite mentality of those that post 'use it for more than 10 mins' is an unbelievably childish way of trying to shut down someone elses opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    Good post - thanks for taking the time out to explain. Oh, and I'm in group 1 by the way.

    The rest of the post (the bit I snipped) is a pretty good explanation of the way I feel also. Note, I have nothing against MUI per-se, in fact on phones I'd prefer it to Android or iOS. My core objection is that for the use I'm making I'm continually having to switch between MUI and "classic desktop" and that's jarring, unecessary and annoying. Start menu (unlike Saracen) I'm pretty "meh" about - like most I'm into the Windows+a couple of letters to select a particular app. But MUI "steals" the Windows key for MUI-classic switching and "just type" doesn't work on the classic desktop.

    ....
    Except that my objection was never just about the Start menu. That's part of it, but far from all of it. It was more about MUI, and for largely the reasons you describe. It's just that the start menu got a lot of the discussion space, not least because those seeking to put down others that didn't like W8 sought to portray it as all about the Start menu .... or worse, the button.

    Yes, the Start menu suits me. I like it, not least because I have it set up the way I want it. And have had for a very long time. For example, I have a whole series of custom business databases, developed by yours truly. I could start each with a dedicated icon to click. I could start each by starting the database, then going through File/Open, navigating to the relevant data directory, selecting the file and opening it. Or I can have a Start Menu item near the top of the list (for most used items) for Business apps, the individual databases listed in the order I want in the submenu, and the start parameters and paths in the shortcut, opening the relevant database with three clicks, none of which is far from Start button, making it dead easy and very fast. And I've been doing it that way for, oh, 20 years plus.

    And all of a sudden, MS decides, no, you can't do it that way any more. And why? Because they wanted an OS 'unified' across desktop and mobile devices, and never mind that desktop and mobile devices tend to be used for different things, in different ways. And all because ios and Android are huge threats to them, because MS has failed miserably to come up with mobile products that compete in the mass market.

    So, instead of doing the smart thing and letting users decide if the liked the MUI way of working, or tradititional desktop mode, they tried to use the massive Windows userbase to leverage underperforming sales of mobile devices. Sadly, for them, instead of leveraging mobile sales, they have seriously alienated a lot of the desktop userbase.

    I seriously think that MS got so used to being the dominant player that they still think they're the only game in town. MS became dominant by noticing that PCs were a game-changer that IBM, in their ignorance and arrogance, dismissed a trivial. The computing world had moved on, and by the time IBM noticed, they'd lost the ability to dictate to users. Well, MS have lost the ability to dictate, too, and for much the same reason - technology moved on and they failed to notice in time. So now, in the mobile world, they're definitely an also-ran, furiously trying to keep up.

    It's ironic, too, considering how MS destroyed IBMs cosy little monopoly, yet today, how often do you see the name IBM mentioned in anything to do with PCs, or even mass market? IBM thought, for a while, they could still dictate terms. Microchannel architecture, anyone? I'm beginning to wonder if, in another 25 years, people will struggle to remember who MS were. And wonder, in a whimsical and idle moment, what they do these days?

    Anyway, trying to lay down the law from their Olympian heights might work for a company that has us by the curlies, but MS no longer do, and arrogant dictat no longer cuts it.

    As I, and many others, have long said, all they had to do was let US, the users, decide. Like MUI? Fine, turn it on. Don't like it? Fine, turn it off.

    What really frosted my conkers wasn't either start menu or MUI. It was MS's condescending and arrogant attitude.

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    Re: News - Windows Threshold to add virtual desktops but cull the charms bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Except that my objection was never just about the Start menu. That's part of it, but far from all of it. It was more about MUI, and for largely the reasons you describe. It's just that the start menu got a lot of the discussion space, not least because those seeking to put down others that didn't like W8 sought to portray it as all about the Start menu .... or worse, the button.

    Yes, the Start menu suits me. I like it, not least because I have it set up the way I want it. And have had for a very long time. [snipped]
    Good post - just wish that there was another way to express agreement than "thanks"... Any chance of Tumblr style "heart" switch that I could use to show I liked a post? (Please not ./ style vote-up/vote-down though - too easy to abuse) That way I can use Thanks for posts that have useful information instead.

    Totally agree with what you're saying and also a bit put off that the objectors to MUI (note, it's not 8 I hate, just the UI - and even then there's some bits that are okay) are pigeon holed as "Start menu fetishists".

    Of course if the UI was just a layer - as it is in *nix OSes - then we perhaps could have had the goodness of 8 but without the frustrations of MUI where it's used inappropriately.

    Shame LeapMotion wasn't better than it is - I really quite fancied a gesture driven UI.
    Last edited by crossy; 08-08-2014 at 09:07 AM.

    Career status: still enjoying my new career in DevOps, but it's keeping me busy...

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