Windows 8 Designer Offers Candid Explanation of Metro and Why Power Users Hate It

89

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

ONaE

You know who got the "casual" market down right? Google.

Literally, their Chromebooks are Facebook machines. I'm seeing more and more of them in the wild, and it's all because it boots to something "casual" users can work with: a browser.

If that was really the goal of W8, why not boot into a browser, and make the bottom margin a start menu? If they needed to be less blatant in their copying, they could just have a default widget at the top of the desktop with a URL bar.

I hate to say this, but Microsoft is overestimating the people they consider "casual" users and are forgetting their real money comes from enterprise users who would rather have XP back.

avatar

misterz100

I'm interested in his talk of making something for power users, windows 8 makes no sense in a business environment, and as I have always said, they will have to make something that can replace win 7 for businesses people keep failing to figure out the pattern MS seems to set itself, ME, XP, Vista, Windows 7, windows 8 see the pattern? bad, good bad etc
I just hope this continues with windows 9 and shuts everybody up.

avatar

hornfire3

"windows 8/8.1 metro aimed at casual users"? no sorry but my parents are casual users, they both share a Sony Tap 11 tablet PC (which comes with Windows 8), and they can't even survive or work around with Win8 Metro basic mechanics unless I teach them how to do it. I did taught them how to use the new interface (through months of personal training/experience), but in the end, I gave up on their complaints and installed Classic Shell onto the tablet.

Don't get me wrong. I don't 100% hate Windows 8, it's just I think Metro isn't that intuitive and M$ went a little too far on design. Moreover I try to stay away from the App Stores, as 1) I'm not interested in buying more Apps for the system, and 2) limited storage on the tablet PC (128GB SSD)

avatar

livebriand

I use 8.1 mainly because it runs faster, but I never use the metro/modern side. (I even disabled the useless lock screen cover - there's a registry key for this.) The only exceptions - the start screen (it's nice for sorting things, though a mess in the all apps menu) and the Netflix app (since native apps tend to run better than web-based ones). And sometimes the music app, if I feel like it (the fullscreen part is stupid here, but acceptable with Netflix).

avatar

praack

interesting, most real power users hate it because they had to go past it and just want to use command lines and shortcut text, most normal people hate it because they are using a computer and don't want cell phone graphics.

and normal people don't want to know shortcut commands and command line, they want a menu drive system that is comfortable to use.

so each time i get someone buying a new computer, then coming to me to wipe win 8 off and place win7 on it- i laugh.

all because of metro.......

avatar

John Pombrio

Now THIS I can agree with. good post. There is too much of a change going from Win7 to Win8 for most folks to figure out how to use it for what they want to do. MS really should have included a comprehensive tutorial broken up into discrete answers to very basic questions. It would have gone along way towards relieving some of the hate out there.

avatar

SirFrag

A tutorial wouldn't help. People don't like change. And to be honest, I don't know anyone who has the time to go through an extensive tutorial to re-learn how to use their computer. It's not the 80's anymore... we shouldn't have to re-learn how to use every new computer we get. (I say that in reference to a normal person, not a techie).

Normal users just want a system that works. A system that doesn't crash, does what they need it to do without hassle, a system that they're familiar with, and they don't want a list of work-arounds to make it do their every-day tasks. I think this is why iOS was so popular. It's simple to use, gets the job done with minimal effort and doesn't require work-arounds and doesn't crash (much). I love my Android devices, but they are noticeably harder to use than my Wife's iphone. She's non-tech and loves her iOS devices... I gave her my old Nexus 7 when I upgraded, and it largely sits on the charger unused as she prefers he iPhone.

avatar

maxeeemum

This story is over a week old but............

I don't believe this Miller guy (M$ plant) in the least. This is just another attempt by M$ to save face for one of the biggest disasters they have ever manufactured. Windows 8 sole purpose was to promote "Windows Phone 8" and second Windows Tablets. They also threw in other products like X-Box to promote an all "M$ World".

Not only did this fail big time but they have hurt the brand name even further. Instead of getting into the mobile phone market more they have alienated WP8 even further. Windows 8 is nothing more then a marketing tool that went awry. That's why Steve Emballmer is gone and all upper management is being fired or replaced.

avatar

SwissMiss

Does Microsoft understand why most people still use the QWERTY keyboard layout? It's not the most efficient possible layout, but it's more efficient than learning a new one.

And I wish they wouldn't diss moms and little sisters when they're reaching for examples of non power users.

avatar

Rachine35

One thing that I hate about win 8 is that you can no longer hit f8 to get into safe mode. If you are having a booting issue, you now have to jump through so many more hoops to do a job that has been the standard for many years now. I like many things about win8, yet how they setup access to trouble shooting is confusing and nuts.

avatar

Ghost XFX

If they knew it was shit, why do they continue to force power users into using it?

Another thing, at least to me, most casual users were on previous MS OS in the past. The most casual of users understand the previous OSes.

I'm not buying the whole, "we were catering to the casual users that wanted to connect to Facebook" excuse.

Face book?! To hell with Face Book!

Log your lazy sorry carcass in and hop on like a normal person. You never needed W8 to register to Face Book previously, so why the need now?

But the biggest deal to me, as a gamer, is the lack of OFFICIAL support for W8 from many publishers. That lack of support says a lot. The lack of support from MS says even more. I shouldn't have to hunt for a damn thing that should be readily available to me, no sooner than I download a title of my choosing. I already paid the price in having a MS OS on my PC.

avatar

Nfiltrated

I just couldn't help but add my 2cp.

1. I don't like win8/8.1 (but it does its job and does it well once your smart enough to work with it.) (1.1 If you knew real windows power user commands, scripts, and how to code you would stfu. That includes the novice programmer Jacob Miller.)

2. I am an actual poweruser and when I don't like something I fix it to my likes.

3. To all of you that say its for idiots remember anytime you point your finger you have 3 pointing back at yourself (and for those of you that didn't get it, if you can't navigate an os without a start menu [really] your a novice pc user at best so stop calling yourself more than you really are.)

4. They make books for dummies (if you don't know if you need one let me help you; if you don't like a ui and/or can't find anything without a start menu you need one.)

5. Windows changes the layout of their new os (are all of you really that young that you missed the xp-win7 change [yes win7 and aero pissed everyone off once when it came out] on behalf of microsoft and myself SURPRISE! they changed it again.)

avatar

SirFrag

Xp to 7 wasn't a fundamental change. They changed the look, but the system operated in the same fashion.

avatar

RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Do you feel more masculine, now? I know I feel belittled and demeaned by your massacre of the English language, Einstein.

avatar

John Pombrio

What is a cp? Canadian penny? Canada got rid of their penny. Gawd, I wish the US would do the same!

avatar

RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Since when has anyone needed a retard UI to do stupid social networking crap? No one could figure out Facebook before Window 8?

What a load of bullshit. They were NOT trying to service casual PC users. They were trying to sell phones with ZERO brand recognition and thought they could leverage their operating system to break into a market dominated by Android and Apple. Windows was fucked up to sell phones. Period.

I call foul on his blatant attempts to appeal to the ego of "power users." First he says Metro is shit for power users, but later says they will be giving power users more Metro, or more "shit," in future releases. They plan to tailor "shit" to taste better? They want us to see the benefits of "shit?"

Nothing about the posts is candid. It was all planned, rehearsed, and carefully executed.

avatar

firefox91

My issue isn't Metro really. Yes, it does suck but can bypass it with Classic Shell and get some original Windows feel back. The problem is far deeper than Metro. The areas where power users play are also dumbed down or just out right neutered. Ever try to do an SFC /scannow on Windows 8? I did. I found it easier to format the hard drive and install Windows 7 than to get that working. That is pathetic. It's almost like they don't want people fixing their own systems. But what power user is going to pay Microsoft for help on their own system?

avatar

Granite

I'm not a power user and I didn't even know what SFC /scannow was until you mentioned it and I looked it up. But guess what I found in the very first link google gave me?

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/3047-sfc-scannow-command-run-windows-8-a.html

Reading through this tutorial, it looks like this is a fairly simple process. It's your choice to reformat and go back to Win7, but I don't think I would have done that.

avatar

Nfiltrated

There were problems with win8 at one time with sfc my post refers to a generalization with windows and historically they add tools that often don't work correctly until sp3 or right before they discontinued support depending on which came first. Prime example is winboot. Anyway win7, 8, 8.1 its all the same they just keep me on my toes by hiding stuff again imo.

Also classic shell might have been the cause of his problem, but I digress.

avatar

Nfiltrated

Really tools that didn't work with win7 and you thought that was going to be different in win8? Its easier in win7 to format and reinstall too, but I won't hold that against you or Microsoft. OS manuals tell you how to properly maintain/reinstall schedule for the os even though no one reads them.

avatar

SirFrag

If you were a true power user, you'd know how to use Google to find what you need to fix a system. I do it every single day (as I do that work for a living). In my company we have a handful of w8 systems (mostly new laptops that feature a touchscreen, otherwise they get w7), and I've dealt with that already. But 5 minutes on google can solve most of your problems.

avatar

don2041

If MS had put the option on the first boot {please select which GUI would you like your computer to boot to classic or metro ]none of this bullshit would have happened.

avatar

D1RTYD1Z619

Metro was clearly made for Apple OS simpletons.

avatar

John Pombrio

This rant still going on? You can COMPLETELY IGNORE Metro if you are knowledgeable enough about computers to do so. I am and I did. For me, there simply IS NO METRO. I don't like MS Paint so I don't use it. I don't like Metro so I don't use it. It is a choice. I made mine and decided to ignore Metro. Most of the folks on Windows 8 forums completely ignore anyone still ranting about "how MS screwed up with Win8" as a waste of time.
Speaking about a waste of time, why am I even bothering to post this? I will change no ones cherished prejudices here.

avatar

Dustinzilbauer35

That's a very good question? Why are you wasting your time here. ***k off. Only an idiot would defend Windows 8. It was definitely, as previously asserted, a mentally retarded marketing ploy that blew up in their faces. Why else would they have XBOX music in Win8? Gee, I wonder.

avatar

Ghost XFX

No, John. They burned me with ME and Vista.

They're not going to burn me again with an OS that amounts to finding a gold ring in a loaded cat liter box. Sure, I might find something special in this OS, but why in the hell are we here anyhow?

avatar

vrmlbasic

Sounds to me as though these Win8 acolytes are lashing out in order to cope with their cognitive dissonance.

Why are you glad that you have switched to Win 8? Even without Metro it offers me nothing that I don't already have with Win 7. As far as I know, there aren't even any compelling new hotkeys.

avatar

Renegade Knight

1) More stability. 7 was stable. 8 more so.
2) Faster on the same hardware.
3) Start Screen/Search. This works better than the start menu.
4) Better touch support. The era is upon us. I've switched to 8 for my tablets. Yes running desktop apps isn't as nice as on a laptop but I can do it.

There are cons but the pros are for things I do daily. The cons for things I do on occasion.

avatar

vrmlbasic

Except under overclocking, I've never had Win7 crash on me. I can't imagine "more stable" as a result.

Windows Search has failed since they stripped it of options after Win XP. I had hoped that Win8 would give us a more powerful search than just "type the keyword in the box, with support for some undocumented higher-complexity options" but I have not seen this.

I can imagine that Win8 is nice for a tablet but I can't imagine a use for a tablet that would make me spend more than 200 on one, which prices me out of Win8 tablets. I'd prefer a Windows 8 x86 tablet to my Android-based Nexus but I don't see why M$ thinks we need to have Win8 on our PCs to be able to use Win8 on tablets/phones.

avatar

LatiosXT

So I'mma rant here, kind of.

I'm tired of all these Windows "H8ters" because I see they're all so focused on one aspect of Windows that's a subjective preference.

Here's a challenge, can you name me 10 things that make Windows 8 inferior to Windows 7 without it being related to Metro or the start Screen?

avatar

LatiosXT

So after avoiding this for a while, I've finally came back to see what kind of shenanigans people have come up with. Someone wanted to play the "NO U" card. Okay.

1. Most people who use a computer really only use it for a few things and full screen it anyway.
2. The Start Menu is rarely used as it was originally designed: a repository of programs in one place. It basically took Program Manager from 3.1 and turned it into a menu. When was the last time you actually went into the All Programs section?
3. Start Search and pinning to the Taskbar has made the Start Menu increasingly vestigial.
4. I can populate the Start Screen with items that I use more often, but not enough to pin in my task bar. Then it's a matter of muscle memory to navigate my mouse where I know it will be.
5. I'm finding menu based navigation increasingly annoying. Missing targets can have a lot of penalty (especially with Pre-Vista Start Menus) and the targets are small.
6. Start Screen also has a way of grouping programs together, and as of 8.1, allows naming those groups.
7. The Start Menu gets cluttered very quickly. I don't understand why I need 5 different shortcuts for one program when only 1 of them actually launches it.
8. I find Live Tiles a bit better than Gadgets. One, they'll actually open up an application to give me more info, and two, Gadgets have this annoying property of being a hidden "window" of sorts. In order to see them, I'd usually do the Go-To-Desktop command (because I don't know how many Windows I have up), which would also hide Gadgets, open a window and minimize it in order to finally see it.
9. I find Metro's flat design better than the eye candy that is Aero. Aero was trying to copy Apple's glossy and glass feel. Metro is something that's trying to be un-Apple as possible. Which it succeeded in doing (at least on the Zune HD). Hell, people are noticing Apple is taking design cues from Metro. But all in all, this is a subjective thing. If you like your eye-candy, then that's fine by me.
10. As for applying the Ribbon UI to desktop apps, I actually don't mind it either. It did its job: exposing all these features that either were hidden behind a clutter of menus or made them easier to access. Overall: make use of my screen real-estate without being in the way. Ribbon does this fairly well. We're not living in a world where 640x480 to 800x600 on 15"-17" screens is the norm anymore.

The thing with Metro though is that it affected people who primarily used the mouse to navigate and operate Windows. I use a keyboard whenever possible to execute commands and Microsoft has touched very little of these if not at all.

And I would think a real power user would use the keyboard to do things moreso the mouse. For a lot of tasks, I can do them in a fraction of the time with a keyboard than I can with a mouse.

avatar

vrmlbasic

F8

Creepy auto-install of drivers for networked printers

avatar

misterz100

Auto install? I have seen a prompt but not an auto install, that would be sweet. Luckily only have 1 windows 8 laptop in the house so instaling the printer like the toher windows 7 PCs isint a big deal. My sister uses it I instaled Start8 and she dosen't know the difference hehe

F8?
what dose that do? <_<

avatar

maxeeemum

Just a few things I came up with:

1-Metro with no tutorial on how to use it

2-Lack of a classic mode to restore start menu

3-Ribbon interface

4-No DVD playback

5-No Aero Glass

6-No Windows Media Center

7-Live Tiles suck for those with Data Caps

8-Dumbing down the Control Panel even more than Vista and 7

9-Apps and the Windows Store for desktop use

10- Trying to sell touch screen use on the desktop

11-Removing software programs like DVD Movie Maker, Burn ISO Image, etc.

12-Having the balls to think your customers are so dumb they would buy into Windows 8

13-Having the balls to think Win8 would sell WP8, tablets, Office, XB1 and other M$ products.

14-Thinking “Convergence is possible”

15- Trying to copy Apple. PC users are not Apple Sheep!!!

This is just some of the things wrong with Windows 8!!!

avatar

misterz100

OK just what is everybody's whining about the ribbon interface? Ever since MS started using it for office and such I find it much easier to quickly find the things I use most. Same with AutoCAD , I work much faster with it I feel. Maybe it's just my ADD needing a simpler interface idk T.T

avatar

Neufeldt2002

If anything Metro or the start screen is more relevant in these comments than any other as it is the main focus of the article. I challenge you to give 10 reasons why Metro is so great without going into anything desktop related as that would be more inline with the article.

avatar

Renegade Knight

10? No.
Some? Yes.

1) 7 had a good backup program. 8 made it hard to find. 8.1 seems to have removed it.
2) A lot of power user utilities are a lot harder to find.
3) Sorry but you have to put metro in the mix. Moving between Metro and Desktop when you are using a mix of programs is kludgy. I want my metro apps in a window and my desktop apps in a side by side tile and the ability to do either. If I'm going to live with Metro, make it easy to do so.
4) The default of trying to force you to use a MS account for everything. No thanks.
5) The Metro Store. I loathe that I'm forced to use only 1 store for Metro Apps. Android is more open. You can see that Microsoft would love to do this for Desktop and I truly hope 9 doesn't go here.
6) This is specific to 8.1. I find search in 8 better than 7, but 8.1 not as good as 7 or 8. Though I do like how it works better (Just start typing).
7) Upgrade path. You have to install a prior version of windows to install your 8 upgrade. Since you still have to reformat windows on occasion (they didn't fix that it bogs down and yes I have used the roll back feature) You have more of a PITA process to do a reformat.
8) More draconian licensing terms. Technically I can't ever use my legacy windows 8 version again even if I keep the software but throw away the hardware since it's 1 PC only. I'm going to use it anyway even if I have to hack it.
9) Price. They want a lot for this software. It gets in the way of #7 and 8. Make it cheap and I'll buy it new. Make it expensive and I'll reuse it. This isn't so much an operational complaint though. Just a cost of doing business.
10.) I only made 9. Overall even with the nits I like it better than 7, but still find 7 very easy to use. However in the "I'm not sure it matters but why do they do that department." I find 8 uses 32 bit programs in a 65 bit world and this is native apps that come with your OS. Why?
11) Secure Boot. Not quite a windows 8 feature but a problem just the same since the roll out was at the same time. You can throw EUFI in the mix. I've had some problems with it even if it is better and the adoption seems to be timed to have rolled out with 8.

See my post above for what I like and why this list isn't a deal breaker.

avatar

John Pombrio

None that I can find. I like Win8 so much more than Win7 that I went around the house and upgraded all the computers as I could no longer put up with Win7 anymore. The number of times Win7 rebooted without bothering to tell me GRRRR. Nope, could not pay me enough to go back.

avatar

vrmlbasic

...that's sarcasm, right?

avatar

IntelFanatek

GAWD! Perception IS reality... there's no accounting for preferences.

Why 10? Isn't that subjective? Kind of an arbitrary bench mark isn't it? Ok I'll try:

1.)Default UI sucks
2.)It's built for idiots
3.)No Start button (I realize they added this back in with 8.1 but seriously the guile!)
4.)The whole concept is pointless without a touch screen
5.)Steve Balmer....enough said
6.)UI SUCKS
7.)Mikerowe$oft fanboys like you won't let it go that it SUUUUCCCKKKS
8.)The DEFAULT UI SUCKS
9.)You like it, so by the transitive property of my dislike for one thing associated with others, I also dislike it and you.
10.)BECAUSE THEY COULD HAVE DONE SO MUCH BETTER.

avatar

Orlbuckeye

1. My default UI is the same as Win 7 except they got rid of the start button I never used.
2. I have the choice of using touch or the mouse. I use touch maybe i should have paid a little more and got a non-touch screen.
3. I love the Task manager in the top left of the screen.
4. I like to start typing instead of searching through a start menu for programs.
5. I like the new task manager.
6. I like that VLC has a windows 8 version now
7. I like the I don't have to switch browsers for certain apps like I do at work with XP. I can't wait to get my upgraded pc at work
8. I love i can connect to m work network using Juno Pulse (desktop) then click on Metro remote desktop and and can access my pc and even see my wallpaper.
9. I love all my taskbar apps and my desktop shortcuts.
10. Now i do dislike that if i go to Metro and run an app that it goes back to the desktop when i close the app (8.1). Sometime i want to stay in Metro.
11. I like how everything Microsoft thing syncs to my account so I don't have to keep entering it.

avatar

Carlidan

Yep the usual rants all piled up to one. :/

avatar

Neufeldt2002

He's just trying to calm the waters, and at the same time trying to resell the failed UI. Basic marketing double speak.

avatar

chrome_slinky

while the story told seems plausible, it also sounds like something developed much after the face - once MS realized how far afield they had gone, and the sheer numbers of people whose ire had been raised.

avatar

Shalbatana

THANK YOU! If MS had stated this up front than many people would have understood and much of the hate chat would have been quelled (though probably not much of the hate itself). We would have understood.

I understand why Metro had to be implemented the way it was, I really do (and there's more reasons than just what he states), but man MS promotions and marketing once again muffed it up. There's something to be said for a little bit of transparency and openness. Instead they just shut their mouths and played dictator.

I'm glad someone at least had the guts to speak up and say what MS should have, even if unofficially.

avatar

HiGHRoLLeR038

Old news

avatar

thematejka

The response on Reddit only confirms my initial view of Metro, which is that it was made for casual-users. There are A LOT of them. At the very least, the poster provided some insight into the consumer conditioning tactics Microsoft employs with its product.

I agree with him that if Windows is to be useful to more people, they need to create spaces for casual and power-users.

A lot of haters complained that the two "playgrounds" of desktop and Metro were not separate enough. I agree in many ways, but Stardock's Start8 was the perfect compromise. It gave back the full desktop and let you push Metro away for good. If Microsoft released that initially, I would be happy as a power-user.

However, I understand the problem presented in the Reddit response where if they didn't enforce Metro, the casual-user would not be using it as much. Imagine this: you know nothing of windows 8, you just get it and you are setting it up for the first time. During setup you are asked if you want to use Metro or if you want to boot to desktop. This is confusing and does not help Microsoft change their product and try to help out both power-users and casual-users in the best way.

They may not have done everything right, but they knew that and had a plan for it --> release Windows 8 as it is popularly hated and make procedural changes over time. It makes sense, IT departments do these kinds of things all the time to help coworkers transition to new products and systems.

avatar

Renegade Knight

I have to agree with the guys logic. Power users will sort it out. Casual users will be good to go.

avatar

fung0

The whole story is total BS. The reason Metro was forced on all Windows users was so that Microsoft could quote huge numbers of installs for the new environment, and thereby attract desperately-needed app developers to its tablets.

That was perfectly obvious right from the start. Microsoft's retroactive justification doesn't hold up for many reasons, but here's one. Who are these "casual users"? There are a billion people who already know how to use Windows. A DRASTIC change to the UI is the last thing the least-knowledgeable would have wanted. The change to Metro is all about TOUCH, not ease of use. Hence, about TABLETS, not anything to do with Windows, which is 99.99% NOT touch-enabled.

Another reason the casual-user story won't wash is that Microsoft has clearly been trying to deprecate the traditional desktop. Their push towards the WinRT API is needless, if all they want to do is cater to light users. Prior to the release of Win8, all of their Web pages started referring to "the legacy desktop," as if it were being dragged along temporarily before being phased out.

Finally, as pointed out on Reddit, and here, if Metro had been just about casual users, there would have been ZERO reason to force power users to endure it. Microsoft could easily have had an install option marked "EXPERIENCED USERS ONLY!! - would you like to install the Classic Start Menu?"

In fact, Metro would have been far easier to implement as as a shell environment, like Media Center. The fact that Microsoft didn't do it that way clearly indicates its intention (or at least hope) to slide users towards a more closed, Apple-like environment that would give them a fighting chance on tablets, and a new revenue stream quite literally stolen from software developers.

You don't have to hate Metro to hate Windows 8 on a conceptual level. It's an OS born out of pure greed and a total disregard for the established user base, poorly built under the direction of someone who really doesn't understand OS design (Ballmer).

avatar

Nfiltrated

Win7 works on tablets, windows did what they always do and reinvented their os. They do that from time to time.