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Last post Author Topic: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster  (Read 20150 times)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2014, 12:11:01 PM »
Personally, this reminds of when Windows XP first hit the streets and everybody swore up and down that it was a terrible, no-good OS with a horrible "kindergarten GUI". Look at it now, we can't get rid of the friggin OS. I, for one, enjoy the metro start screen (although I boot to desktop). The start screen is actually fairly intuitive and allows me to hide unnecessary clutter caused by menu after menu of new program folders. Heck, I never used the all programs menu in vista/7 with the type to search feature.

Well, way back then they were kinda right - XP didn't get really stable until about Service Pack 3. And it is pretty easy to "theme away" the "Kindergarten" look.

Carol Haynes

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2014, 12:34:56 PM »
Windows 8.1 and Start8 on my laptop ... guess what it looks and works almost exactly like Windows 7 and I am happy with that.

The not-Metro interface is a turn off for me (though I can use it on customer computers if I really have to). More importantly since Windows 8 was released I have met precisely 1 customer who says they actually like the new interface - everyone else the first thing they say to me is 'how can I get rid of this'.

The biggest annoyance I have to deal with is the plethora of really crappy apps that people download for the not-Metro interface - not least email apps that are very VERY limited and have no way to export data to something better. People who don't know better drift round the MS app store looking for anything that is free to solve a problem and end up in a horrendous mess.

I have been a Microsoft Partner for the last 5 years with a MAPs subscription ... this year I won't be renewing as I really dislike almost all of their current product range and wouldn't actively recommend them apart from Windows 8 (provided Start 8 is included) but even then I wouldn't recommend people upgrade even from Vista!!

For the average non-techy customer out there Windows 8 has caused massive confusion and stress. Even when people get Windows RT phones they think they have something else and are surprised they are Windows devices (sharp selling from a lot of mobile companies to shift these devices into the market, and prey on people's bewilderment to do it).

I have never actually met anyone with a Windows 8 or RT tablet!

tomos

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2014, 03:48:40 PM »
[...] since Windows 8 was released I have met precisely 1 customer who says they actually like the new interface - everyone else the first thing they say to me is 'how can I get rid of this'.

in fairness, [I presume] you're dealing with people who are looking for help, i.e. you're [probably] not dealing with people who are coping well [happy] with the change (they are out there - look at Josh/Allen/Innuendo/Josh's wife/wraith's son/etc./etc.).

Mind you - even after saying that - I reckon I'd fit well into your customer base :-[
Tom
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 04:15:49 PM by tomos »

Stoic Joker

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2014, 03:52:35 PM »
I have never actually met anyone with a Windows 8 or RT tablet!

I've got an HP ElitePad with Windows 8 Pro on it, does that count?

Carol Haynes

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2014, 03:58:03 PM »
Sort of but since we have never actually met  :-\

Carol Haynes

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2014, 04:06:51 PM »
[...] since Windows 8 was released I have met precisely 1 customer who says they actually like the new interface - everyone else the first thing they say to me is 'how can I get rid of this'.

in fairness, [I presume] you're dealing with people who are looking for help, i.e. you're [probably] not dealing with people who are coping well with the change (they are out there - look at Josh/Allen/Innuendo/Josh's wife/wraith's son/etc./etc.).

Mind you - even after saying that - I reckon I'd fit well into your customer base :-[

To be fair even the ones coping quite well with using it want rid because it just annoys them all the time. If your main use of a computer is Word, Excel and Outlook what exactly is the point of the not-Metro interface.

And lets face it the ONLY reason for the new interface is to push the app store (which like Apple and Google stores is full of crap and scumware) - it doesn't really add much else to Windows of use. The apps are pretty lacking in most people's opinion. Haven't looked recently but is there a Facebook RT app yet - there wasn't for a hell of a long time!!

Have to say I use Android a lot and I am becoming increasingly disillusioned with that too - I hate all the functionally crippled apps - eg. the GMail is pretty annoying compared to the web interface allowing virtually no convenient ways to actually manage your email (yes you can read and write emails but everything else is clunky) - Android Mail app by comparison is in the stone age.

Facebook apps on Android and the Apple eco-system are all pretty terrible compared to the full browser based version - there is just so much you can't do!! Hell you have to have a separate app to manage pages (which is even more limited in functionality than the main app) and if you manage a FB group most of the settings are missing in the mobile apps.

For all these companies this is all just about money ... none of them give a toss about what customers/users actually want or need.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2014, 08:10:55 PM »
...
To be fair even the ones coping quite well with using it want rid because it just annoys them all the time. If your main use of a computer is Word, Excel and Outlook what exactly is the point of the not-Metro interface.

And lets face it the ONLY reason for the new interface is to push the app store (which like Apple and Google stores is full of crap and scumware) - it doesn't really add much else to Windows of use. The apps are pretty lacking in most people's opinion. Haven't looked recently but is there a Facebook RT app yet - there wasn't for a hell of a long time!!

Have to say I use Android a lot and I am becoming increasingly disillusioned with that too - I hate all the functionally crippled apps - eg. the GMail is pretty annoying compared to the web interface allowing virtually no convenient ways to actually manage your email (yes you can read and write emails but everything else is clunky) - Android Mail app by comparison is in the stone age.

Facebook apps on Android and the Apple eco-system are all pretty terrible compared to the full browser based version - there is just so much you can't do!! Hell you have to have a separate app to manage pages (which is even more limited in functionality than the main app) and if you manage a FB group most of the settings are missing in the mobile apps.

For all these companies this is all just about money ... none of them give a toss about what customers/users actually want or need.

I'm actually kinda surprised that for twenty years even fourth rate desktop programs do more than most of the truly awful apps in those stores. It's almost an ironic reversal of what the "cold hard cash economy" of the apps were supposed to do! And the proportionate space used by iAd or whatever it's called is apalling - maybe 15% of the screen space!

Heh xkcd nailed it a little while back.
http://xkcd.com/1174/


wraith808

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2014, 08:24:33 PM »
To be fair even the ones coping quite well with using it want rid because it just annoys them all the time. If your main use of a computer is Word, Excel and Outlook what exactly is the point of the not-Metro interface.

That's not exactly fair.  You're speaking to the feelings of people on a scale that we can't even know.  My son quite likes it, and when he has to go back to his Windows 7, he doesn't want to.  Just being able to search for anything through the charms appeals to him.

On the other hand, I had a Windows 8 Pro tablet.  I really wanted to like it... but after being used to the iOS interface on my other tablet, and some strangeness b/c of the fact that there was a whole OS underneath that wasn't aware of anything other than portrait, I sold it.

It's really a matter of individual opinion.  They just didn't do enough to sway, and more attempted to force.  Truthfully, I think if they had an option to us a classic start menu in order to ease people into it and give people a choice, it would turn out to be pretty much a non-issue.  And having the option might have meant that people would have eventually had not-metro grow on them.  Of course, trying to make WinRT on top of it is the reason that they didn't do that.  Some key decisions were just stupid, IMO.  And I think that's their largest pain point.

Carol Haynes

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2014, 05:07:16 AM »
That's not exactly fair.  You're speaking to the feelings of people on a scale that we can't even know.

Not sure I understand - its not a question of being fair it is what my customers tell me on a daily basis. How are the feelings of the average user in a business "on a scale that we can't even know"?

tomos

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2014, 06:10:19 AM »
^Well, you were responding to my post where I was pointing out that some people here were "coping well" with Win8. What I was saying -- but maybe phrased badly -- was that they were/are happy with it (I since edited my post to reflect that).

... you're [probably] not dealing with people who are coping well [happy] with the change (they are out there - look at Josh/Allen/Innuendo/Josh's wife/wraith's son/etc./etc.).

Obviously your experience with your customers is relevant, but doesnt negate other people's positive experiences with it.
Tom

Stoic Joker

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2014, 07:00:07 AM »
On the other hand, I had a Windows 8 Pro tablet.  I really wanted to like it...

Funny you should say that, as I approached the ElitePad in much the same fashion. The problem - and there is only one, but it's huge - is that lacking a physical keyboard, if I "click" or rather touch a text field...the on screen keyboard should appear...instead of making me hunt for it. But sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't...and the inconsistency just drives me bat shit.

wraith808

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2014, 08:24:09 AM »
That's not exactly fair.  You're speaking to the feelings of people on a scale that we can't even know.

Not sure I understand - its not a question of being fair it is what my customers tell me on a daily basis. How are the feelings of the average user in a business "on a scale that we can't even know"?

Look at where you said that.  If you'd said your customers.  Or the people that I'm involved with.  But you didn't.

[...] since Windows 8 was released I have met precisely 1 customer who says they actually like the new interface - everyone else the first thing they say to me is 'how can I get rid of this'.

in fairness, [I presume] you're dealing with people who are looking for help, i.e. you're [probably] not dealing with people who are coping well with the change (they are out there - look at Josh/Allen/Innuendo/Josh's wife/wraith's son/etc./etc.).

Mind you - even after saying that - I reckon I'd fit well into your customer base :-[

To be fair even the ones coping quite well with using it want rid because it just annoys them all the time. If your main use of a computer is Word, Excel and Outlook what exactly is the point of the not-Metro interface.

You're talking about the ones coping quite well, after Tomos talked about specific people quoted on the board.  Implying that the people on the board who are coping quite well want to get rid of it.  As I said, my son hates to go back to windows 7.  So, I can say for sure that the one case that I know of and have knowledge of personally doesn't want to get rid of the interface.  And he's not the only one I know that has windows 8- it's just not come up.

Carol Haynes

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2014, 06:30:41 AM »
Sorry it was unclear - my previous post before I was talking about my customers' reactions and I just used "the ones" to continue my train of thought!

Oh the joys of posting in threads ;-)

johnk

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2014, 07:15:24 PM »
I'm a bit late to this debate but my recent experience with Win8 prompts me to add a few words. I tried Win8 as soon as it came out but had to roll back to Win7 as my HP laptop had one of those hybrid AMD/Intel video cards and there was no driver on the horizon.

Fast forward to last month, and I found a Nokia Lumia 920 at a very good price, and decided to try Windows Phone 8, fully expecting to dislike it. Right now, if asked, I'd say without hesitation that Windows Phone is the best mobile OS (although the bar is very low -- they're all far from perfect). I use the 920 every day, and my once-loved Razr i is sitting in a drawer. Not at all what I expected. WP8 is well thought out, with features that make me reluctant to go back to Android. Glance for one...

And then a couple of weeks ago I bought a Microsoft Surface (RT), as they're now priced very reasonably. And again it far exceeded my expectations. Almost every piece I have read about the RT OS has been violently negative. And having used it for a couple of weeks, I just can't see the problem (for tablet use). It's a gorgeous bit of hardware, which cost me £250 including the touch keyboard (which I use all the time), and full-fat Office, including Outlook. And the crippled desktop still gives me full access to the registry editor and all the other system applets. I wanted to enable network shares? Simple -- open services.msc as normal, switch on the sharing service. It's all there. I no longer use my Android tablet. A pattern is emerging...

For what it's worth (something between very little and nothing), if I were boss of Microsoft I would bet the farm on RT. Demote full-fat Windows to a niche product and merge Windows Phone into RT (why on earth is there a separate phone OS in the first place?). The only people who object to walled-garden OSs are consumer geeks (i.e. the sort of people who inhabit this forum). I'm guessing that if you offered corporates a walled-garden OS (RT) that communicated seamlessly with Windows Server/Exchange and offered VPN access/whatever else might be essential, then said corporates would be perfectly happy.

Having said all that, I still run Win7 on my desktop, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I remain a consumer geek, but will keep an eye on Windows 9...
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 07:22:02 PM by johnk »

wraith808

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2014, 09:09:57 PM »
They're actually going in the reverse of what you said- WinRT is destined for the bin.  Which was one of the main reasons that I sold my tablet.  I can't have confidence in it if they don't.  I got bitten by that twice before with MS, and just as I was ready to give them another try...

...that said, after using iOS, it does still feel in its nacency to me.  When I was returning it to factory, the screen would only go portrait, though all of the dialogs were wider than that, and you couldn't adjust at all.

They're a company trying to do everything, and succeeding a little when it comes to mobile devices IMO.

40hz

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2014, 12:36:02 AM »
...that said, after using iOS, it does still feel in its nacency to me.

Agree. A tablet computing experience is what it is. And I personally don't think it's quite there yet. It still feels like there's something minor but important to the user experience that's still missing from all these devices. Sorta like a mouse before they put a scroll wheel on it.

But...that said...having spent several hours in both the Apple and the Microsoft stores putting the iPad and Surface through their paces, Apple wins hands-down on every front. It's just a more mature and polished product. Probably to be expected since it costs about 2-3 times as much as a "comparable" Surface tablet.

As far as RT goes, Microsoft's Exec-VP Julie Larson-Green had this to say when asked:

Quote
"We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three. We do think there's a world where there is a more mobile operating system that doesn't have the risks to battery life, or the risks to security. But, it also comes at the cost of flexibility. So we believe in that vision and that direction and we're continuing down that path."

Since Windows 8 and the Windows Phone are a go, that third named OS, lowly little Windows RT, seems to be on it's way out. Especially considering Microsoft is the only player still selling it now that Dell and all the other manufacturers have officially discontinued their RT product lines.

I can't help but think Windows-RT will eventually go the way of Windows CE (now CE was one cool and fast little OS!) and Surface the way of Zune.

Wince50.PNGWhat the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster

« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 08:00:44 AM by 40hz »

kilele

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2014, 08:16:58 AM »
A bit off-topic but anyway related with the change of user interface. I've bought an android tablet 7'' in size recently and I wanted to share my initial impressions.
- The main problem is that if you don't put it on a table you are limited to work with just your thumbs, I'd like that you could manage the virtual keyboard from behind being the rear part of the tablet tactile as well if you held it with your hands, this way all fingers would be available and a tablet could be far more comfortable for gaming and working on train or when you sit on an armchair.
- Default keyboard is not qwerty with arrows, it'd be nice to have something like the physical ones.
Keyboard should  be semitransparent with a key magnified as soon as the user puts a finger over it, translucent to avoid covering the sight of what you are editing. Another important thing that is not well resolved when editing text is the placement of the text caret navigation.
- Wrapping huge text conveniently is very important to avoid having the user scroll too much, uff I find myself scrolling\enlarging all the time, that process to fit a readable view into the screen should be more automatic, regarding text wrapping a solution could be that one could select a paragraph with a quick option to rewrap/enlarge the rest of the document  the same as that paragraph.
- I wouldn't mind to have to tap as many times as needed to magnify anything, be it a button, link, input box..a magnified region should be brought up for anything. Something like what i've seen in Chrome for android when the ui has doubts about where the user has just pressed, then an enlarged loupe is brought up so that you can select more precisely, i would like that this sort of loupe showed up all the time for everything no matter how many times you'd need to tap to activate a function/control/link..
- Emulation of mouse for tablets could be a handy feature, imagine yourself moving a semitransparent mouse and seeing the pointer just a few inches above your finger, you could right click/double click within this control without worrying about your chubby fingers.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 10:45:13 AM by kilele »

wraith808

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2014, 10:41:08 AM »
I can't help but think Windows-RT will eventually go the way of Windows CE (now CE was one cool and fast little OS!) and Surface the way of Zune.

Don't forget the Windows Tablet PC.  That's where I got bitten.

40hz

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2014, 10:44:51 AM »
I can't help but think Windows-RT will eventually go the way of Windows CE (now CE was one cool and fast little OS!) and Surface the way of Zune.

Don't forget the Windows Tablet PC.  That's where I got bitten.

Hear ya! ;D

I don't even buy Microsoft mice any more after the last three wireless units I purchased crapped out within three months. One of their USB nano receivers also fried and nearly took out a USB port on my GF's new Win7 laptop. I burnt a finger pulling it out. It was that hot. No joke.

It's back to Logitech AFAIC. Those trusty little Logitech M325s  :Thmbsup: are unkillable. (Or at least they are in my world.)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 10:50:19 AM by 40hz »

Stoic Joker

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2014, 11:31:51 AM »
Keyboard should be semitransparent

Damn! Now that would be handy! Especially when working at a command prompt where the input tends to be at the bottom of the screen and behind the keyboard. So you end up just having to guess if you typed it right until you can close/minimize the keyboard before restoring it to hit enter.

xtabber

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2014, 05:21:32 PM »
I can't help but think Windows-RT will eventually go the way of Windows CE (now CE was one cool and fast little OS!) and Surface the way of Zune.

Don't forget the Windows Tablet PC.  That's where I got bitten.

RT is dead because it does not provide any of the advantages of Windows and the interface is simply not as usable as either Android or iOS on either phones or tablets.  With all due respect to johnk for his personal experience, "Tile World" as David Pogue refers to it is a usability disaster.

See this post for a description of my my recent experience with a Windows 8.1 tablet.  It's not quite there yet, but clearly, the future of Windows (not RT), is probably going to be running on tablets.  The ability to use a single device on the go and also as a desktop PC, just by docking it with a keyboard/mouse/monitor, is a huge advantage over Android and iOS devices.  The biggest stumbling block may well be the nearly unusable tiled interface.

What on earth were the executives at Microsoft thinking when they signed off on that ridiculous design?

That said, x86 Windows tablets are not going to replace ARM based devices running Android or iOS for consumer mobile devices because they do not use power as efficiently. The fact that run times for both kinds of devices are similar is deceptive, because most of that depends on the display, not the processor.  It's when the display is off that you really see the difference. The battery in a Windows PC will run down quickly if you don't actually shut the system down, whereas ARM devices can last a very long time on battery power in sleep mode while still keeping essential processes going.




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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2014, 07:09:39 PM »
RT is dead because it does not provide any of the advantages of Windows and the interface is simply not as usable as either Android or iOS on either phones or tablets.  With all due respect to johnk for his personal experience, "Tile World" as David Pogue refers to it is a usability disaster.

It's not just Johnk... if I weren't a power user, it wouldn't have been bad.  My son loves it.  I know several other people that do also.  It's not a useability nightmare, I think, as much as it is a marketing and PR nightmare.

johnk

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2014, 07:23:53 PM »
It's not a useability nightmare, I think, as much as it is a marketing and PR nightmare.

That sums it up for me, really. I've never understood the criticism of its usability. Once you get your head around what the RT desktop can and cannot achieve, it's fine, and fulfils my needs.

But in asking the marketing department to explain a new OS with "a desktop that isn't really a desktop", the designers gave the marketing people a tough task, and they just weren't up to it. Having read all the negative publicity, I long ago decided not to buy an RT product. It was only after deeper reading, and seeing the discounted price, that I decided to give it a go. I'm very glad I did.

xtabber

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2014, 09:21:38 PM »
The problem with the tiled interface is that it imposes an unnecessary cognitive burden that makes it harder to accomplish what you want to do.  Without delving too deeply into cognitive neuroscience. the human brain operates by recognizing patterns.  If the needed information can't be immediately determined, it switches from "fast" (subconscious) to "slow" (conscious) processing in order to figure things out.

In the case of the Windows "Modern" interface, the dominant pattern consists of the tiles themselves, which appear identical until one deciphers the ideogram on each one.  This slows the process by which the user recognizes the function of each tile, if only by milliseconds, but enough disrupt thinking and distract from the intended task.

I actually like the look of the Windows tiled interface which reminds me of the conceptual art of Sol Lewitt.  But Lewitt wanted to force the viewer to take time to figure out the patterns in his designs. That's not what you want from a user interface.

And there are other usability problems.  The ideograms are too stylized to be immediately recognizable -- a problem that some people have also found with the "flat" look adopted by the latest version of iOS.  A more important criticism is that there is no consistent way to navigate the interface, let alone between "Modern" apps and Windows programs.

So even if you personally find the tiled interface to be aesthetically pleasing and it meets your personal needs, it generally provides a less productive environment than alternative mobile or PC operating systems, which is why it has met such determined resistance.

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Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2014, 01:39:25 AM »
A bit off-topic but anyway related with the change of user interface. I've bought an androd tablet 7'' in size recently,  the problem is that if you dont put it on a table you are limited to work with just your  thumbs besides the default keyboard is not qwerty with arrows. Id like  that you managed the virtual keyboard from behind being the rear part of the tablet tactile as well if you hold it with yor hands, this way all fingers would beavailable and a tablet could be far more comfortable  for gaming and working on train or when you sit on an armchair. id like also to have to tap as many times as possible to magnify anything, be it a button, link, input box..a magnified region should be brought up for anything.
Keyboard should  be semitransparent  whith a key magnified as soon as the user puts a finger over it. Wrapping huge text conveniently is very important to avoid having the user scroll too much, uff I find myself scrolling\enlarging all the time.  

Mmm, some nice ideas :)  I hope some relevant folks incorporate some or all of these!