Can Windows 8’s Metro succeed on the desktop?

The biggest cloud hanging over Windows 8 is how desktop (and notebook) users will react to the new Metro user experience (which I’ll refer to as MoSh to differentiate the new “Modern Shell” from the app model and Store change).  What we’ve seen in the Developer Preview, hints of later builds, and descriptions from Microsoft has already caused a lot of discussion.  In a few days we’ll see the Consumer Preview, with its updated and near final implementation of MoSh.  The Consumer Preview is likely to be downloaded, and used on a daily basis, by millions of people.  The demographics of Consumer Preview users will lean heavily towards Power Users, meaning that those least likely to be happy about MoSh will be the ones putting it under a microscope.  These are also the key influencers, so while we can expect they’ll be more negative than the general PC user population their views can’t be dismissed because they will heavily influence Windows 8 adoption.  If they are too negative overall then Windows 8 is in trouble.  Some will be (and already are) very vocally opposed to MoSh, but we don’t yet know if that is a small minority, substantial minority, or majority.  Over the next few weeks we’ll find out.

I’m cautiously optimistic about MoSh’s chances.  Before moving on to explain why I should acknowledge that what I say here may have some conflicts with my “Devil’s Advocate” piece aimed at developers.  In that piece I picked a specific example of where Tablets come into the picture, and I time-compressed the reactions of the IT hierarchy to many of the changes being introduced with Windows 8, to make a point.  Now I’m back to discussing short to mid-term reality.

Let me explain my own usage pattern of Windows.  Going back to Windows 3.1, the first version I used regularly, I’ve had the same usage pattern.  I always maximize the window I’m working on to take up the full screen.  10″, 15″, 20″, 23″ or larger monitors make no difference.  Alt-Tab is my best friend as I rapidly switch back and forth between windows.  Sometimes I need two windows on the screen so I can reference one while typing in another, but I hate when they overlap and I have to continually move things around so information I need is not occluded.  So my norm is 1-2 non-overlapping windows.  When I’m doing software development my pattern changes a bit.  Then I like having more than one monitor so I can keep the window I’m concentrating on open on one and use another to keep a few smaller, non-overlapping if possible, windows open as well.

The co-founder of my old SaaS startup likes to chide me about my lack of desire for monitors much bigger than 20″ (although I’ve recently grown quite fond of a 23″ monitor) because his usage pattern is quite different from mine.  He likes huge monitors, and the more of them the merrier, so he can have as many windows up on them at the same time as possible.  One of my observations though was how much time he had to spend moving windows around on his monitor(s).  To me it seemed like the more real-estate you gave him the more time he wasted managing it.

So there you have two people, who have been working together off and on since the 1970s, who represent two ends of the spectrum on how they use Windows’ windows.  One question is, whose usage is more representative of the general population of Windows’ users?  Certainly if you walk around a software developement shop I think my co-founder’s usage pattern in more common than mine, but what if you walk around the more general user population?

Let me throw out some anecdotal evidence.  I go to my Insurance Agent’s office and observe both his, and his employees’ computer usage.  In every case they have the app they are using in full screen mode and switch to other full screen apps as they need them.  I go to my Dentist and Doctor and observe both the back office and medical personnel using that access pattern.  I walk into retail stores and observe the sales people and how they use their PC and it is that full screen/app switching style.  I hear call center personnel talking to themselves as they work on their PC and you can tell they are looking at one app at a time.  I glance over the shoulder at travelers on airplanes and see a single application taking up the entire screen of their notebook .  I watch my wife and she mostly works on a single app at a time.  Anecdotally, I see few users who make regular use of Windows ability to display large numbers of windows on the screen at once.  Even when I see people using multiple windows, such as those who need a lot of information being displayed at the same time (e.g., security traders) they are using non-overlappingwindows.  Of course this is anecdotal data, and a very narrow slice at that, but the data Microsoft collects through its Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) telemetry is extensive and gives them a good picture into actual usage patterns.  If it matches my anecdotal data then a design that optimizes for having a very small number of non-overlapping windows makes sense.

How about the Start Screen vs Start Menu controversy?  In the Building Windows 8 blog Microsoft talked a lot about how their telemetry suggests that the new Start Screen approach is far superior to the Start Menu for most users.   What about anecdotal data?  Let’s start with one of Windows’ user experience failures.    When Windows XP shipped it was stripped of all desktop icons except for the recycle bin.  The recommendation (and guidance to software developers) was to not use desktop shortcuts, but rather to just use the Start Menu for all application access.  And the first thing nearly every user did was ignore Microsoft and create desktop shortcuts for all the applications they regularly accessed.  Software developers briefly made the default installation not put a shortcut on the desktop, but most reversed that decision on future updates.  Look at many users’ (Windows XP, Vista, or 7) desktops today and they look a lot like the Windows 8 Start Screen!  Now personally that is not my access pattern.  I generally run applications I’ve pinned to the task bar or by hitting Start and typing to cause a search for the app.  It is rare for me to actually walk the Start Menu hierarchy.  Now my pattern might be reflective of Windows 7 users, but obviously isn’t reflective of Windows XP users (who have neither feature).  The sprinkle lots of shortcuts on your desktop pattern is extremely common all the way back to Windows 95.    And so for most users it seems that MoSh’s Start Screen actually is an acknowledgement of their actual usage pattern.  Having search so well-integrated means that my usage pattern should adapt to it quite readily as well.  Moreover, after a few years of iPhone, iPad, and Windows Phone usage the Start Screen paradigm may be very comfortable for me.

The anecdotal evidence and hard data seem to support the choices Microsoft made in designing MoSh.  But is that enough to insure that the Windows 8 user experience is well accepted by desktop/notebook users?  Hardly.  There are two problems.  First, while you can optimize for the 70%, 80%, 90%, or even 98% of users that may leave the other 30%, 20%, 10%, or 2% terribly dissatisfied.  Not only might you lose those users, they could end up “poisoning the well” so that even users who should be thrilled by the new user experience won’t give it a chance.  I know, for example, that if I tell friends and family that I don’t like Windows 8 I can cause at least a dozen people to stick with Windows 7 or abandon Windows for the Mac.  And that’s not even getting into the thousands who might be influenced by my blog entries.  Second, even though you create something new that you objectively know should thrill the majority of users, change is hard and those users might reject change.

The jury hasn’t even heard all the evidence on Windows 8’s new user experience yet, so figuring out if it can succeed or not is difficult.  As I’ve said, I’m cautiously optimistic.  But it could fall flat on its face.  Over the next few weeks we’ll get our first true look at how users feel about the new user experience.  I’m sure many people at Microsoft are holding their breath.

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36 Responses to Can Windows 8’s Metro succeed on the desktop?

  1. Guest says:

    Huh, actually I have a WMP window stay in the front playing the VS11 beta sneak peek video while reading this very article, unfortunetly I can’t do this with MoSh, even snapping/docking wont help. :)

    • halberenson says:

      I’m sitting here working on my blog while snapped to the left is Vimeo playing a video. So you certainly can do what you want with MoSh.

    • Sertac says:

      Tanvir, thank you for your comment. Why I would not use WPF is three fold. Performance for one, it is still not there on Windows XP. Developer tools and speed of voeeldpment second, WinForms designer in VS.NET and availability of high quality components trumps WPF. And lastly you cannot simply recompile WPF apps to WinRT. WinRT is XAML based platform, based largely on Silverlight, but different from it. I can tell you from our experience that you cannot easily even keep WPF and Silverlight components on same code base (if you want high quality ones that push platform) since they are different enough and use different hacks to be kept on same code base. So if you want to take full advantage of platform you have to go native, which is target Silverlight specifically and that is what we’ve done with out controls for Silverlight. So it is with WinRT, it is different enough from Silverlight that I suspect you will have to target it specifically. We should have more information on this as we develop on new platform.

  2. Fallon Massey says:

    Anyone that’s optimistic, is skating on thin ice, especially if they’re a developer.

    I LOVE Windows Phone, and people that see me use it are interested a lot, but none of them would buy one. Why? Well, I don’t think it has anything to do with the Metro interface, because it’s the least important consideration any sane person would have when making a phone buying decision.

    However, Windows 8 is a MUCH different animal. For a lot of users, it will be forced down their throats in one way or another. If they’re in a large business, it will most likely be mandated, even if adoption is years in the coming, but there is also the possibility the big business will simply take a pass on Win8, and wait for something better unless consumer adoption is large.

    So it all comes down the the area that MS is already having trouble with. The key market is tablets, and if Win8 fails there, this game, while not over, could signal a big retreat by Microsoft from a lot of areas where they’re failing, mainly phones, but there are others.

    I’m rooting for them to win, because it will make my life easier, but I’m also hedging my bets, and investing in a non-Microsoft world. I bought my phone before the Silverlight debacle was fully known. If I had known how MS would handle the transition with developers, I never would have purchased that product.

    A company on the ropes in certain business areas simply can’t be trusted. A drowning man is dangerous, because as he flops around, he may grab you and take you down with him.

    Work with Microsoft, but don’t trust them, and be prepared to move to other technologies in a very efficient manner.

    • halberenson says:

      Let’s separate the developer and end-user aspects of the conversation. How does Microsoft’s handling of Silverlight have any impact on why an end-user would or would not buy a Windows Phone? Microsoft has made it quite clear that existing Windows Phone apps will run on Windows Phone 8, and I see no reason that won’t hold true for several versions to come. Even assuming Windows Phone 8 adds WinRT, end-users will have no clue if the apps they run are Silverlight, XAML/C#/WinRT, or HTML5/Javascript/WinRT. The developer community will quickly switch to the new stack, so even if Microsoft stops making new features accessible from legacy Silverlight apps the end-user won’t notice it. Only apps that aren’t in active development will be impacted, and they wouldn’t have picked up the new features in any case.

      Now as a developer the whole Silverlight thing is more disturbing, particularly if you were using it as a cross-browser/cross-platform tool. If you were using it for writing Windows Phone applications then you have skill-set preservation in moving to XAML/C#/WinRT. Yes you need to worry if you should continue to invest in that area or focus on the HTML5/Javascript/WinRT stack instead. I can see arguments for both, but honestly if you are worried about Microsoft flailing about then the latter approach should be attractive as it lets you write most of your code to be portable. You should be able to create apps that share most of their code between the WinRT-based Windows Store versions and the emerging HTML5 marketplaces such as http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/22/2816525/mozilla-opening-its-apps-marketplace-for-developer-submissions-at-mwc and http://mashable.com/2012/01/09/att-html5-app-store/. Of course this only works for certain kinds of apps, but at least for now those are the same classes that Microsoft is targetting with the new app model.

      I agree with you that Microsoft’s wounded status makes it harder to bet on its various technology choices. But at least you are betting on what it is doing with mainstream Windows rather than on a frankentablet like Courier would have been. A developer needs to weigh that the risks are high, but the potential reward is huge. If you are a large shop than it is relatively easy to assign some people to dip your toe into the Metro app pool and see what happens. If you are a small shop then the tradeoffs are more difficult indeed.

    • Talhaa says:

      I wish I could agree with you on this article but cllarey you might be missing one point. Even with all the Windows Mobile Devices out there, how many people are buying them compared to an Android phone or the IPhone. I have not read a good review on a Windows Mobile Product in forever from this site or many other tech savvy sites everyone complains about the same thing, It is old, it is tired as an OS, MS hasn’t done anything with it. Why would MS do anything everyone bought them and MS was still bringing in money up until the last 2 years or so then the Windows Mobile Market has started to get smaller,, Iphone sales exploded, Android came out and WebOs which isnt the biggest seller came out and MS market share started to sink. Did everyone want a new OS from MS that had to be able to be backwards compatible and do all the things the new mobile OS’s could do they never would have gotten it right and again everyone would be complaining of them trying to do to many things to match to many competing OS’s. So they went with where the money is. Everyone loves the IPhone, and that is what you are getting. If the supposed tech savvy people wouldn’t have jumped ship to everywhere else then maybe we would have gotten something different then what Windows Mobile 7 is. Tech savvy people are a small percentage compared to normal people that have to have a cool thing. That is simple logic. Go where the money is. the Tech savvy people complain about MS all the time so I am sure they will all have Windows Mobile 7 phones when they come out anyway because that is the new Gadget. You can complain about what MS did all you want, but cllarey everyone who purchased one of the competeing phones cllarey showed MS where the money is and they want the market share back tech savvy people need not apply if it is gonna be a problem, Stick with your Closed Market IPhone, the Android Phone, which can multitask not great at it but works, (Which I do have a Samsung Moment for my business, nothing fancy but works good and did not want to spend money on the Touch Pro 2 when I owned a previous Touch Pro and other that the bigger screen I didn’t see any other reason to buy it. I also have a Pre as my personal phone, also I like it a lot, won’t buy an Iphone because I hate Apple, numerous reasons why but closed market and too much control over their stuff, too much micro management but that is my opinion) or the different people the WebOs from Palm it can still multitask properly. This change is a simple thing in MS eyes. They have had enough of getting dinged in the mobile market and want to remind Apple that the big ugly MS beast is still there and will always be there. I don’t want to come off sounding like an expert which I am far from. I have been coming to this site forever back in the days when it was a Sprint only site. Everyone so often though I read something on here that just seems weird to me and decided just to say something. Thanks for reading.

  3. dave says:

    I like how you describe the situation that if the new Mosh is criticised by pundits and influencers it will poison the well in the same was WinPho is still challenged by and trying to overcome the bad reviews it received upon release.

    So, given this, what can MSFT do to impact and influence they way the intelligenzia react?

    By the way, your self-described usage pattern is how I work, too – one maximized window – lots of alt-tabbing.

    One other partially related point – as a person who just started a job in an all Mac / Google shop, after three months I still can’t get used to the changed command keys layout, google email / docs or the less functional msft software implementations I’ve paid for out of my own pocket to get my work done. But, younger dogs may not be bothered as much.

    I anticipate a lot of churn next year as Enterprises finally start rolling out Windows 7, and consumers looking for new home computing options are faced with essentially the decision to stay with what they use at work, as they’ve done for years, or to try/buy somethong new. I suspect many will gravitate toward reducing risk by choosing experiences learned from the closest “new to them” thing they have – their phone and, for some, their tablet.

    So, back to my question – what can MSFT do to influence / impact the intelligenzia who are about to offer their verdict on Windows8?

    • halberenson says:

      It depends on how much money they are willing to spend!

      Ideas:

      – Use XBox more aggressively to sell Windows 8 Tablets. In the past they’ve given away free entry-level XBox’s with the purchase of a Windows PC. Reverse that and give away a Windows 8 Tablet with purchase of a higher-end XBox/Kinect bundle this Christmas XBox is the only product with real cache amongst the under 30 crowd, so you have to use it in every way possible. The rumored replacement of the Zune brand wth an XBox brand is another example.

      – Give away a free year of MSDN to all developers. Ditto for TechEd Make VS11 Pro free for a year. Up the budget for free training coupons by a factor of 10. In other words, show a lot of love to key influencers. More than usual. More than anyone could imagine. It would cost them $.5 to 1 Billion (mostly in lost revenue) depending on exactly what they did, but the payback could be 100:1!

      – Make Windows 8 upgrades free for Windows 7 Home SKUs

      I trouble go on, but you get the point. Show a lot of love to your user base and forgo some near term revenue to quickly co-opt them into being Windows 8 users and advocates.

  4. Mary branscombe says:

    Dig through the B8 blog; they have posted some of the CEIP figures on window numbers and aero snap, followed by much sniping about how representative they are (very, AIUI)

    • halberenson says:

      My favorite part about the sniping is that it is probably from people who don’t join the CEIP.

      Microsoft has enough data to slice and dice things to see how different audiences behave. If they want to look at how desktops with two large monitors running Pro differ from an 11″ notebook running Home Premium differ in user behavior they can. If they want to look at just the behavior of developers (using VS installed as a proxy) they can. So I don’t think the real issue would be that the data they have is non-representative, it’s to my point that the decisions can’t make everyone happy.

      Just a 2% dissatisfaction rate means you’ve alienated 28 million users. The only reason you could justify that is if you can really delight the remaining 98%.

  5. dave says:

    Hal – nothing wrong with trying market share. That can work for consumers, though it tends to get negative comments from pundits.

    Is there any educational program that msft can enter into? What ways can the conversation be positioned to help unfix pre-conceived attitudes – to allow a new relationship between msft and key influencers?

    I guess, if someone can answer this they would be worth their weight in gold.

    • halberenson says:

      I’m not really calling for a market share play, but really a stronger seeding of the influentials. The XBox Christmas Bundle idea would make at most a tiny dent in market share, but seed the x/y generation nicely. The developer/IT love isn’t a market share play at all.

      There obviously isn’t a silver bullet for reaching the influentials or everyone would shoot it :-)

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  10. Olli says:

    Nice analysis!

    However I think with a second screen it’s a bit different. I use to move longer background tasks like RAW image conversions or downloads as well as mail and messenger to the second screen. Yes, you actively work on just one app, but have the background windows in a glance.

    I think the problem is also that with traditional Windows you could work in both ways (single and multi window), while Metro forces you to only have one Window. So it is not just “optimizing”, but cutting away possibilities.

    What makes things difficult is that most of the people I talk to think the most interesting feature in Win8 is to have a Windows device that is a table on the go as well as a full fledged PC with keyboard and monitor when put in a dock at home. Just one device for everything.
    However in that scenario it will always be multi monitor – the tablet screen plus the big monitor. So Metro is bad supporting the most interesting future scenario.

    • halberenson says:

      Isn’t that scenario addressed by the Desktop in Windows 8? The more interesting question is how will they address these types of scenarios in Windows 9. Will they just continue to rely on the Desktop, or will they add additional background processing etc. to the app model and additional window management options to MoSh? But that is a ways off.

      • Olli says:

        > Isn’t that scenario addressed by the Desktop in Windows 8?
        That’s what the whole public disgrace is all about: everybody would be fine if Microsoft would say “Desktop and Metro both have their place, use the best for the job/device in parallel”. But they label the desktop “legacy-don’t use it”, but Metro only covers some use cases.

  11. Bryant says:

    My issue with the Metro Shell is it is not windows any more. I am a power user and developer. Here are three apps that concern me.

    Number 1: So for someone using an app for video surveillance on a one monitor tablet a Metro app might be cool. Have things displaying 8 cameras and a nice touch zoom feature. Touch a camera to bring it larger. But wait now I have that running on my dual or triple monitor Desktop PC now I want to be able to move one Camera full screen and have the others on another and my security check app on the third so I can see people’s pictures as they scan their access badges.

    Well as it stands now you are SOL when it comes to the Metro interface. Metro only runs on the primary display so now what do you do. You have to write a Metro version and a legacy version of the app and O Yea forget all the cool touch features because your legacy.

    Number 2: I have a DJ software product that is really cool and I want to take it to a Metro style app so I can add in all the cool touch features. I have a lighting add on that runs as a parallel app that would be really cool to have all the sliders touch active there as well. But right now customers use them on dual monitor systems. So I guess I am SOL there because Metro is windows without windows. I could not have both apps be Metro and use dual monitors.

    Number 3: My book keeper uses dual monitors to put the accounting program on one and excel on the other. As it sets now we can run both of these as they are as legacy apps so Windows 8 would be no issue. But when MS upgrades Office to be Metro and then Quicken follows suite. What do we do then?

    A tablet interface is not always going to be a business productivity interface. Productivity comes with flexibility to adapt the tool to the task not to force the task to the tool. Business users need that kind of flexibility out of their PC OS. And bring that to a Tablet and then you have something more powerful than your competitors. Tablets as they are today are primarily a Media Consumption device, watch videos, surf the web, check e-mail, read a eBook, listen to music, play games ect… You can write apps designed for productivity but try and edit production videos, Do CAD drawings, Edit 20 tracks of audio ect. You may be able to do it if you have the right app but would you want to day in day out with a 10″ display and maybe no keyboard or mouse. That is not productivity.

    I like Windows 8, but Microsoft if you are going to jump in do a Cannon Ball. Go all the way with Metro and make it really powerful then users and developers will have a reason to get excited.

    • halberenson says:

      Your scenarios aren’t the core Metro scenarios for Win8. Like Office 15 you can do cool touch Desktop apps in the short run. Win9 better address your scenarios.

      • Bryant says:

        So tell my customers to skip Windows 8 unless they are drug there by some vendor who embraces the Metro Interface. I think you made my point. With that kind of thinking Windows 8 stands to be a Vista or ME release, and that is where the same of it is.

  12. Bob says:

    In my view, here are the challenges of the Win 8 beta:
    1) At first glance, new users do not easily see the benefit of the Metro “live tile” interface. The tiles do not come to “life” until the end user personalizes them with social contacts, pictures, email, music, news and other apps.
    2) Good, inexpensive x86 tablets are not currently available for beta users. So we will only hear the vocal minority of desktop users complaining about the new interface. A large group of x86 tablet users will not be available to balance out these complaints.
    3) The Microsoft App store quality is important even for a beta launch. Good Metro apps are the incentive for fence sitters to embrace the Metro interface. Without quality apps, you can’t convince someone Metro is the future. I’m referring to both consumer and enterprise applications.

    It’s too late now, but Microsoft should have sent sample x86 tablets (with keyboard and dock) to all the leading tech journalists and websites for the Win 8 beta. Similar to what Apple did with the recently released Mountain Lion.

  13. Jim Reuter says:

    So I’m definitely one of those in the camp of multiple (3) big screens with lots of windows up; how many depends on what I’m doing, but 8 is a good average. And I spend very little time moving windows around (except when a displayport hiccup causes all my windows to move back to one screen!). And I’m usually doing work that requires seeing context in several of those windows simultaneously.

    Here’s the rub. In Windows 7, you can work the way you like, and those of us who like lots of windows on lots of screens can work the way we like. We can each have what we like best. An all-Metro-all-the-time world basically ***prohibits*** the way I like to work. And I *need* that kind of flexibility and visibility to do the job that I’m paid to do. So a system that prohibits it is just a non-starter for me.

    Let’s draw an analogy. Some people are “clean desk” types who only want to have one thing on their desk, or at least only one thing at the top of the pile. Others are “cluttered desk” types who have lots of thing on their desk all at once. I’m the latter. But I cannot imagine doing my job (architecture, software development, testing, performance testing) the other way, because I have to have lots of supporting material and reference material handy to do what I do. I just want a big desk that has everything I need on it. It may look cluttered to you, but I know what I’m doing and I can see what I need rapidly.

    Trying to force everyone into a clean-desk straight jacket simply isn’t going to work.

    Another bothersome thing: Most of the user studies that went into the Metro design are all about focusing on most efficient clicks / touches. For me, most efficient use of the available screen real estate is as important to me, if not more important, than click efficiency. And windows 8 completely blows it on that point.

    • halberenson says:

      Jim, I honestly think Microsoft wants you to stay on Win7 for now.

      Btw, you in CXO3 now?

      • Jim Reuter says:

        Officially WFH, I go into CXO3 to kick around test hardware and meet with people as needed. I can do almost all of my testing work with remote desktops, ssh consoles, iLO remote consoles and remote file share access while sitting at my desk at home. So you can imagine why I say what I did above with that model of work.

        Did you hear CXO1 is going to be demolished?

      • Bob says:

        That brings back memories, but not knowing Jim, I have to ask; does HP own the CXO complex?

        Too bad about CXO1 getting demolished. How old is it?

        • Jim Reuter says:

          Yep, that’s an HP building on HP property. I don’t know all the business reasons behind the decision, but that is a 30+ year old former Digital Equipment Corp manufacturing building retrofitted to be office space. And we’re in an age where even premium office space sits idle.

  14. Bob says:

    Thanks, Jim. As a former DEC employee I’ve been to the CXO complex multiple times, but didn’t know if HP still owned it or not.

    • halberenson says:

      It’s nostalgic for many of us. My office was in CXO1 for a couple of years, and I’d been going there for years before that.

      There is a rumor that a local developer is buying a bunch of the DEC, I mean HP, land to build housing. I guess I should drive over one day and get a last look before the building is compeltely gone.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I think Windows gets a bit too much of a bad rep based on faults of the past and the crud that OEMs like to shove on new aihcmnes.In it’s current incarnation as a clean install it’s a very very good OS and I say that as someone whose been using Macs exclusively for the last ten years. When a job last year required me to work on Windows 7 aihcmnes I was dreading it but after getting used to the differences I found it to be every bit as good as OS X and in some aspects better (I find task bar is cleaner and easier than the dock, and dual monitor work with a Cintiq is much much easier than on a Mac in fact in some ways it’s got worse with Lion. Full screen Hnngh) . I’m now finding myself using bootcamp on my Mac Pro more than I’m booting into OS X. Which is bizarre. but using Adobe programs is easier in Windows 7 for me no I can remember the keyboard shortcuts.So I don’t know if calling it Windows is a problem, they should maybe call it Windows Metro to help differentiate and not confuse people but even without the Desktop’ app as it were it’s still WinRT underneath for Metro so all the same APIs are effectively there. Ultimately it seems the desktop will be phased out in favour of the new metro stuff much like DOS was gradually let go.It’ll be interesting to see how it does, I’m hoping a more balanced 3 or computer/tablet ecosystem will emerge.

  16. Arian says:

    Windows 7 isn’t perfect, but it is still coinmparably better than windows vista and all previous ones.You could give Linux a try. I’ve been using Ubuntu for couple of years and I loved it. It’s fast and reliable. You have a lot of apps available +you can run quite a few windows ones through wine, crossover office, crossover games, etc. Some programs are more difficult to run, or don’t run perfectly so it really depends on your demands. Check the compatibility first. The good thing is that can easily have a dual boot with windows and linux if you want to, at least until the moment you know enough to decide. You can also run a live version of ubuntu from CD/DVD, without any changes on your hard drive.If you have a lot of money then you can also go for a Mac. Really good for graphics, pretty stable and fast. It has less apps than windows though, and surely less games if you are a player.

  17. gareth says:

    Well, great to hear that MS designed their new OS based on one persons extremely narrow view on how MS Windows based PCs have been used since windows 3.1
    Well if you go into my accountants office you will find EVER USER has 2 screens and they ALL use multiple programs at once, while still being able to keep track of new emails and news feeds. What metro is trying to do is saying

    No you are working the wrong way, you need to work the way WE want you to work, and no we are removing the option for you to work the way you work.

    Its like saying
    the elevator is too dangerous, and we don’t like how everyone walks at different speeds up stairs, so now everyone has to use the escalator going at a nice slow speed so that the idiots don’t fall off, and for those that like to skip up stairs two at a time to get where they are goign faster. learn to live with the new evolution and F U !

    really disappointed, just make it a choice and everyone will be happy, force metro on everyone and you will fail.

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