The Windows 8 Power Struggle: Metro vs Desktop

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Mar 19 2012 9:27 AM

I found a great article on PCMag's Forward Thinking blog on Living with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

While I don't have it on my main box I am going to continue to use it.

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You all realize you can just turn metro off with 3rd party tools. There is probably some regedit you can do too to turn Metro off. Once you do that it's pretty much Win7 underneath.

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:09 PM

Metalmania31:

You all realize you can just turn metro off with 3rd party tools. There is probably some regedit you can do too to turn Metro off. Once you do that it's pretty much Win7 underneath.

 

Many of us work in tech support where using those 3rd party tools will not be allowed so why not get used to it? there is also a regedit to get it to go through to the regular desktop and skip the metro at login.

 

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NAzure replied on Sat, May 26 2012 12:56 AM

When it comes to tablets and phones, Metro looks like it will do pretty well. Obviously there are still kinks to work out but for those devices, they're on the right track. However, with a multi-display desktop computer using a mouse and keyboard, Metro offers nothing except a massive waste of screen real estate and a major disruption in workflow. I use a keyboard and mouse to get stuff done, and my needs are completely met by these mainstays (and then some). A touchscreen interface won't do me any good at all as none of my applications use them - and indeed, they're better off NOT using it (who in their right mind wants to code using a touchscreen keyboard?). Even if I had the disposable income to replace my perfectly good existing monitors with touchscreen versions, it'd essentially be a purchase just to utilize Metro - and thus a purchase I could never justify. The interface clashes horribly with the traditional desktop environment - using it feels like I'm switching between two very different operating systems on-the-fly, both functionally and visually. My workspace is set up with my needs in mind - having to configure two separate workspaces (one for Metro, one for Desktop) and then get them to play nice with each other is a lot of extra work that I don't want to do - and that's just so I can resume normal functionality! And, as the author noted, installing traditional windowed applications quickly mucks up the aesthetics. With my programs, Metro quickly turned into a jumbled, ugly mess that completely eradicated the aesthetic Microsoft was aiming for - and for no good reason. If Microsoft wants to keep me as a customer, they will need to provide a means of disabling Metro. Installing a third-party start menu replacement like ViStart grates on my nerves a little bit, but it's tolerable, as long as I never see Metro on my desktop.

Bottom line - if Metro isn't optional, then for me, neither is Windows 8. If sometime down the line some crucial Metro app emerges that doesn't have any way of running in a normal windowed environment, I'll be running it virtually in Windows 7 or Debian. I guess we should all be grateful that 7 will be supported until 2020...

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Metro is basically a phone OS. Microsoft has cut out lots of .net to get Metro small enough for a phone.

You cant use menu or menuitem commands any more. You cant do graphics without getting into directx.

Access to the hard disc is limited for apps.

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Actually, there isn't a real problem, provided that Microsoft allowed either Metro Start OR Windows Start navigation.

A touch screen keybordless user would choose the metro interface because it suits their device and method of working.

A desktop user, with screen and keyboard, would choose a drop down menu solution in place of endless right scroll.

Both would be happy and Windows 8 would succeed in its aim of providing a single OS across the board.

Of course, were Microsoft to force the inappropriate methodology across the board, one or other of the user groups will not use it.

All it takes is for Microsoft to either include a drop down menu or to allow the use of either interface by user choice. Not rocket science.

In the early days Microsoft spent very large amounts on testing usability in the field. They had labs where a user's every move was videoed and analysed before a decision about implementation was adopted. I seriously wonder whether the same research has been done for Windows 8.

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Gambit replied on Wed, Aug 8 2012 2:35 AM

realneil,

Linux is hardly a viable OS for home use. Not only I have printer issues with Linux, but a lot of the software I run is only available on Windows (To name a few: Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, SnagIt, PowerDirector 10 Ultra, and PowerArchiver 2012) and using Wine severely diminishes the performance any software that I use. The quality of the Linux software (including frees) are a joke compared to their Windows counterparts, especially the proprietary commercial ones. Not to mention that gaming support on Linux is abysmal and it is a poor platform for HTPC (Linux shot itself in the foot by not implementing HDCP support).

Linux is not without its uses (works great on servers), but for a box I use for both work purposes and entertainment, Linux just isn't a credible replacement and many Linux users, including zealots would agree with my sentiment.

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Zorin OS Linux and Linux Mint are two distros that come very close to a windows experience for Linux newbies. Linux is not the answer for many people, but cramming Metro down our throats isn't either.

I really like Zorin and I installed it onto the 6 PCs that I donated to a local battered woman's shelter for their use.  (I formatted the drives and trashed the copy of XP that was on them first) They write resumes, search for new jobs, and try to contact relatives that can help them help themselves. They're very happy with them. I have Zorin installed onto one of my own PCs as well.

I have Win-7 installed on three PCs here and It does what I want it to, and I already own it. So I have to ask, what is Win-8 gonna bring to the table to make it worth my while to discontinue using the already owned copies of Win-7 (remember that they work great and without problems) and ~spend money~ to buy into an interface that I do not like?

Microsoft is suffering from an ~Anal-Cranial Inversion~ on this subject.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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I have to agree with Gambit. I predominately use Windows in my office. In both cases MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite (video and print), video editing (Final Cut, Avid, Premiere), Quick Books, and other proprietary programs get used daily. None of the software I use is native to Linux and Wine is a poor substitute since I couldn't get them to perform the desired tasks. Even in my property tax consulting business OO.org and LibreOffice do not provide the ease of use and compatibility that I require. In the time that it would take to cobble together a Linux environment that almost does what I need, but that requires a great deal more of my time in maintaining, I will have expended far more in opportunity cost (a factor of at least 5) than I would have spent on name brand fully supported software for Windows and OSX.

Linux works great on servers, but on the desktop it simply is a hobbyist proposition. It doesn't save me a dime when opportunity costs are considered and the programs seem several generations behind. I really wanted to make LibreOffice work for me (I hate MS Ribbon), but it simply doesn't. I'm a user, not a techie.

That's what has been so frustrating to hear from Linux users when they assert that Linux offers everything that anyone would want. It's not true and it's never been true. But they keep banging the drum, raising expectations and setting a large segment of computers up for frustration and money loss. Linux users will disagree with me and that's OK. I'm glad that their choices work for them.

As for Windows 8, I have no intention of upgrading to it given my bad experience with Metro so I'll stick with Windows 7 until Microsoft release Windows 9 without Metro UI.

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realneil replied on Mon, Aug 13 2012 4:12 PM

Pettovello:
As for Windows 8, I have no intention of upgrading to it given my bad experience with Metro so I'll stick with Windows 7 until Microsoft release Windows 9 without Metro UI.

Agreed.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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Windows 8 looks like a hybrid OS. Windows 8 probably is the first hybrid operating system. It's an operating system that can be used both as a desktop os allowing you do do serious things like work, 3D games, simulators and as a mobile os allowing you to access simple apps using a small screen. If you have a powerful tablet with windows 8 on it you can use it on the go with the metro interface which is optimized for touchscreens, and when you want something more you can hook the tablet to a big screen, plug a mouse and keyboard and use it as a desktop.

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