Thursday, March 15, 2012

'Fixing Windows 8'

Update: the site appears to be unavailable

A site created by an ex-Microsoft employee – ouch

From Peter Pachal Ex-Microsoft Employee Launches 'Fixing Windows 8' Site:

In case you hadn’t heard, Microsoft is launching a new version of Windows this year. Windows 8 is a radical departure from previous versions of the software since it’s designed to work with both traditional PCs and tablets. Microsoft thinks it’s done a good job of accommodating both experiences, but at least one former employee disagrees. Strongly.

Former Microsoft program manager Mike Bibik, who now works for Amazon as a senior user-experience designer, set up an entire website to highlight what’s wrong with Windows 8 and how to fix it. “Fixing Windows 8″ says Windows 8 is less than optimal for a mouse-and-keyboard setup. While he thinks that the touchscreen experience is “great,” he says Microsoft’s repeated assertion (seen most recently in a post about how Internet Explorer will work in the new environment) that the interface is every bit as fast and fluid on a traditional non-touchscreen PC is “not entirely true.”

In his initial “rant” about how Windows 8 works with mouse-and-keyboard setups, Bibik makes many points. Among them:

  • No tutorial: When you first launch Windows 8, it just dumps you on the Start screen. This will likely be addressed in the consumer release, however.
  • It’s difficult to see all your Metro apps: While the Start screen shows some of the apps in Metro, seeing all of them requires a right-click and navigating to an icon that says “All Apps.” Bibik says this is hard to find, and we have to agree.
  • A Microsoft account is required for some apps: A few apps, like Store, require a Microsoft account (Hotmail or Live will do) to work properly, which can take new users down a cumbersome registration process.
  • Scrolling is counterintuitive: The scroll wheel on the mouse scrolls left-to-right in many Metro apps, since that is the primary way to navigate in Metro.
  • Metro apps don’t have window controls: There’s no way to minimize or maximize a Metro app — they either take up the whole screen or they’re in the background. It’s in this departure from traditional Windows that Bibik says he expects 75% of new users to just give up.

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