Friday, June 1, 2012

Windows 8

I got the the new Windows 8 preview thing, and it's a huge departure from Windows.  There will be a ton of relearning.

And there's a lot of stuff I don't really like, and things that makes it less user friendly.  A small example:

Before, when the screen saver was on, you could tap the mouse to indicate "I'm going to use the computer".  You'd be presented either right into your desktop, or to enter your password.  Nice and easy. Unless you have a cat, that worked 100% of the time.

Now if you have a password set, after moving the mouse, you must then click/drag the new overlay lock image up and out of the way.  And no, I can't start with the screensaver on with clicking and dragging up; it has to be 2 distinct actions--one to turn off the screensaver, another to hide the lock page.  Adding a second or so for every time you want to use your computer.  So I now have to do 2 actions to tell the computer I'm ready instead of 1.

And to make it more fun, while I saw it "bounce" once to show what's beneath, no amount of moving the mouse to a corner (which is a new standard "thing" for Windows8), or wiggling madly will give any hint about what to do next.  Clicking isn't the craziest thing to try if you're guessing what to do; but unlike iOS, there's no obvious "Slide To Unlock" text hint about what to do.

I can see how the new unlock process makes perfect sense for a tablet that can be bumped around in a bag, but for a desktop or laptop it simply adds another step without any real benefit.  That's the problem with Microsoft shoehorning everything into one OS.  Stuff that makes perfect sense one a tablet doesn't work on a desktop.  Pre-iPad, they'd gone the other way and focused on the desktop and let the tablet version try to adapt to those mouse/keyboard schemes.  Which is why they never sold many tablets.  Now they're doing things that make sense with touch on a tablet and adapting them to the desktop...we'll see how that works.

Steve Jobs famously pushed the first Mac OS developer(s) to shave seconds off the startup time.  1 second times a million people every day adds up.  Microsoft is now doing the opposite, times 100 million people*.

*they hope.  I have my doubts, I think many people will stick with Windows 7 the way people have stuck with XP.

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