Windows 8: Embrace Or Reject?
By on March 11th, 2012
  • Metro Start Screen does not span multiple monitors: I am not sure why, but Metro Start Screen always stays on one screen in a multi-monitor setup. You cannot stretch it to two screens and you cannot send one of the full-screen Metro apps to another monitor while having some other Metro app open on the first monitor. Whatever new features have been introduced in Windows 8 related to Metro apps (like snapping another app next to a full-screen app) are limited to one screen. This means, in setups with 2 or 3 monitors, users are forced to see the Windows 7-style Desktop on other monitors. This is a bummer, because one way to reduce the jarring that occurs when switching from Metro to Desktop is by limiting the exposure of Desktop and making Metro more fully-functional for day-to-day use. Having a multi-monitor setup means no matter how immersed you are in Metro, your second and/or third monitors will scream “Desktop”, which of course, is not desirable.
  • Switching between Desktop and Start Screen is jarring: Needless to say, it is jarring to go from the bright-colored, big tiles in the Start Screen to a plain old Desktop, and even worse from a power user’s perspective, going from Desktop to the Start Screen.
  • Large monitors: Windows 8 for mouse and keyboard introduces interactions at the corners of the screen to invoke certain commands. For example, bottom right corner has an icon to show all apps (semantic zoom mode) and top left shows the previously accessed app. The mouse has to travel a lot of distance on large monitors to get access to those corners, and so memorizing keyboard shortcuts for those actions will become necessary. Also, depending on how an app is built, there is a chance that most of the big screen would end up being filled with white space.
  • No Compromise may actually be a Compromise itself: I have heard two separate wishes voiced in reaction to Windows 8 – the first, is the ability to turn off Metro Start Screen, and the second is the ability to hide Desktop and make it unavailable. This is Microsoft’s biggest problem: they are trying to create a no-compromise solution by merging both the old and the new, but maybe their customers on both consumer side and enterprise side may be looking for only one or the other? Do you see the “No Compromise” path actually like a compromise? Rather than go with two separate OSes, Microsoft compromised and built (quite nicely, as a v1 effort) a blended OS. Time and customers will tell when Windows 8 comes out, if that was the best option but at the moment there is enough concern from both the sides to create some level of worry in Redmond.
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    Author: Romit Mehta Google Profile for Romit Mehta
    Romit writes about mobile news and gadgets, and is currently a Windows Phone owner (Nokia Lumia 920). Find him on twitter @TheRomit. Personal site is http://romitmehta.com.

    Romit Mehta has written and can be contacted at romit@techie-buzz.com.
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=701446679 Sanat Gersappa

      Good one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003521321256 Rich Varsay

      A new Metro-style interface has been added that was designed for touch screen input in addition to mouse, keyboard, and pen input.

      http://comprehensive-support.blogspot.in/2012/02/microsoft-windows-8-new-features.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1342984974 Lee-Tammy Brewer

      The day Microsoft makes a working, logical, user-intuitive/friendly, and stable environment is the day I will consider (note that word) being back in their camp. However, 30 years of experience tells me not to hold my breath. If Microsoft had to compensate me monetarily for all the years of frustration their products have put me through, I would be as wealthy as Bill gates himself.

      I even, recently, dumped Microsoft Word off of my Mac and started using Apple’s “Pages” to finish a book I am working on. Literally, formatting a picture to do what I wanted took 7 mouse clicks in Word. Pages takes only 2 for the same operation. I was amazed. Also, it was not uncommon for pictures, once Word reloaded the book for another work session, to ignore their settings and randomly be moved anyway. So far Pages has been flawless…. way too many “Microsoft Moments” in my history to not be skeptical.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=785979415 Lela Smith Erthein

        what kind of book are you working on?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000175224867 Hamza Umar-Boyd

      Micro$oft is doing to windoze what Canonical did to Ubuntu…forcing users to new UI and making users fight their OS just to get things done. The purpose of the OS is help get tasks done not force you to waste so much time trying how get tasks done efficiently.

     
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