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Windows 8 UI

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  • Windows 8 UI

    You got see this...touch optimized, of course you can also access the desktop mode for productivity purposes and file system access, but for media/entertainment/browsing...I think this is phenomenal.

    I particularly like the tiles, as opposed to icons. Icons are puerile by comparison, IMHO. I think tiles are more informative and useful. I love windows phone 7 UI, this adds multi tasking and design in a very fluid way thanks to the power of the desktop. I can see users combining mouse and gestures in a day to day basis, it's just a matter of time (and apps).

    More info here (Endgadget) and here (Anandtech).
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  • #2
    Great article explaining most of the features so far, making the same point I made above re icons:

    let’s face it, while sometimes pretty, icons are always static. They don’t do anything. Live Tiles are the opposite. Borrowing from Windows Phone 7, when you log into Windows 8, the first thing you’ll see is a homescreen full of square and rectangular Live Tiles. These are shortcuts, but they’re also much more. Since they’re larger, they can display pictures and animate to show new, relevant information to you before you ever enter an application. For instance, the Hotmail app may show you how many unread messages are in your inbox. The weather tile above actually shows the weather before you even enter the app.
    We’re also assuming that Live Tiles will be very flexible, allowing you to make a tile for almost anything you wish, from an individual flight, to a webpage you want to remember, to a file, to a single feature or page within an application. In many ways, Live Tiles offer much more information than a standard desktop, but are sparse enough that you don’t get information overload from looking at your homescreen.
    From what we gather so far, it appears that the standard Windows 8 homescreen can hold a grid of 18 square Live Tiles. As you can see above, some apps will have small square Live Tiles, while others will have double-sized tiles. It would be cool if tiles could grow even larger, assuming you desire it. We presume that the new homescreen will add pages infinitely (or for a while) based on the number of tiles you add. If not, it will likely have a set number of homescreen pages you can fill, much like Android phones. You’ll be able to drag Live Tiles around and reorganize them as you wish
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    • #3
      I do find it kind of strange that they basically made a front end for their operating system. It seems a little bit counter-intuitive. And the fact that it mimics the Windows Phone 7 (in Windows 8 mind you) also seems like a bit of a step in the wrong direction. They should have called it the Windows Phone 8 if they were looking to make the new OS with a similar layout. I just hope they are not going to force us to use the front end and that they also spend time on optimizing and innovating the back end of the OS.


      • #4
        Counter-Intuitive? Have you seen the video? The thing was designed for a big multitouch screen, like this 22" one for $250.00.

        Have you ever tried using a touchscreen with the stock Windows 7 FE? Not that intuitive. When I'm showing pictures for my 3year old daughter on my main PC, she tries to use as it's an iPad, pinching and sliding her fingers trying to see the next one. That's not good, and I bet MS sees that.

        Now if you don't have a touch screen, you can of course disable all that. It's already being said that when in an app you won't see all that anyways. But I can see a multitouch screen as a second (or third) monitor in my setup no problem. Also on the kitchen PC, not to mention laptops.
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        • #5
          I guess if you're a fan of large touchscreens it will work for you. I personally will avoid that trend at all costs. CarPCs are fun but will always be limited by the fact that the majority of the user interaction revolves around touch screens. Why would i want to compound that issue in my home or at work?

          Another gripe i have with this particular user interface is, while i agree tiles are better than icons, the tiles are all over the place and dont seem to have any rhyme or reason to them. I'm sure this will be able to be adjusted and sorted, but that means each PC i use i'll have to get used to another interface.

          then.. there's gestures.....
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          • #6
            Well, I for one love the iPad and other mobile interfaces, like Windows Phone 7, and I think if Windows can be seem to look as fast as those devices, it will add to the experience.

            I have four finger gestures set on my iPad, and I use it all the time. Can't see why you wouldn't like them. I would love to send an app who just crash flying over the screen, WebOS style...LOL

            The most basic gesture, swipe left and right to change screens/windows, should be universal in all front ends and apps...
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            • #7
              I think that touch screen would be awesome for home and car application if all touchscreens were similar to that of the iPhone or iPad. Most other touchscreen monitors just don't compare. Not nearly as sensitive, and dull, dull, dull.


              • #8
                Home touch screen are great - but with a keyboard.
                Often faster than a mouse (and mouse-RSI free; not that trackball users have that problem (as much)) it has advantages.

                Mind you, screen fingerprints are IMO damned annoying.

                I'll probably skip W8 - I love W7 but had the luxury of skipping XP. (And of course Vista - but I know to always avoid every 3rd Windows release!)


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sean_brown View Post
                  I think that touch screen would be awesome for home and car application if all touchscreens were similar to that of the iPhone or iPad. Most other touchscreen monitors just don't compare. Not nearly as sensitive, and dull, dull, dull.
                  depends on the touch screen, not the monitor.

                  capacitive touch is clearer, with IR touch being the clearest. IR touch is a little less sensitive because of the way it is made, but either have very clear images with very good response.
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                  • #10
                    Yeah, so I guess I'm a big fan of capacitive touch


                    • #11
                      So it seems that Instant ON is confirmed for Windows 8. Also Instant ON connected to the internet. SSD boot in 6 Seconds!! Whoa. I want this on my carputer.

                      Switching between the live-tile UI and the usual desktop is instantaneous.

                      You can also do a split-screen interface, where you see both the new and the old UI side by side.

                      With Windows 8, apps are all optimized for touch.

                      PageUp and PageDown buttons will allow you to move between tiles on non-touchscreen devices.

                      It will have a new mode called “always on, always connected” – It’ll permit for instant wake-up from sleep and keep the ARM tablets constantly connected to the web.
                      It will allow tablets to connect to USB sticks

                      UEFI engagement will help with speeding up boot times – systems with SSDs in them could go from a cold boot to the Start screen in under 6 seconds.”

                      It will require a minimum of 1366 x 768 resolution for the best Windows 8 experience. 1024 x 768 will be the absolute minimum for the new UI fanciness and 1024 x 600 will let you run Windows 8 in the classic desktop mode.

                      Bad news about the resolution though. Guess the 7" screen for cars are over finally. Most manufacturers are now opting for 8 and 9" screens on their high end models (Infiniti, BMW, Lexux, Mercedes), the only reason 7" is so popular is because people want to hold on to the cheap to make it look oem double din size - except that more and more cars completely ignore the "double din" standard, see the new focus, etc.
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                      • #12
                        it is a good concept but so was the vista aero. in reality it turned out to be a nightmare. I am not happy that with every upcoming version they put more and more restrictions on the os and make things harder to get to. yes i REALLY want to turn off notifications about not having auto updates on and i really want to get to the windows folder and i most certainly would like to be able to find the control panel.

                        You know what i mean.. Hence why im still running a stripped version of xp almost across the board. So far the only reason i even have 7 is because it plays nice with SSD. But i can put up with it on one system...

                        We run motion tablets at work and i love the digitizer and loathe the touchscreen. I find it awesome to be able to grab it by the screen so to speak and not press things (then there is the gorilla glass etc etc). Even with palm rejection, it is not accurate in "rejecting" presses and makes handwriting a chore.

                        For a conventional monitor, i can't imagine having to hold my hand out every few seconds. Might be great way to build muscle (or achieve joint pain) but ill take the proven approach of resting my hand on the mouse.

                        Multi touch is the devil and it is counter intuitive. Once you use something for a while and novelty wears off, you realize how much it sucks when you just want to get work done!
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                        • #13
                          Well, it looks like people like you are the reason windows is so bloated with legacy code over the years.

                          How is finding the control panel an everyday productivity feature? It isn't. The ability to find and run an app, that's what matters.

                          Your point about the input method makes absolutely no sense. How is a computer having a capacitive multi touch screen, or a pressure sensitive wacom digitizer or an n-trig touch interface or resistive or whatever, how does that have anything to do with the OS? I had a Motion LE1700, great for some stuff, but very limited. I have a multi touch x201t, works better for me, but neither one nor the other capabilities say anything about windows 7 as an OS, since it runs on both machines.
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                          • #14
                            At the Build keynote, Microsoft stated that developers need to clearly think about how they plan to use touch and that it obviously doesn't make sense for continuous desktop use. Microsoft tends to give users and developers choices in how they use the Windows platform. That's why you see multiple development models (Metro, desktop, web), languages (C++, C#/VB, or JS), hardware platform (desktop, laptop, tablet, Intel/AMD, ARM), etc., etc. It's up to the developer to make the right choice for the system and customer.
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                            • #15
                              Itís interesting that the word ďproductiveĒ was mentioned. Metro, like most touch interfaces, is very good at non-productive endeavors. Put another way, Metro is well suited for consuming content, but all touch interfaces are horrible at producing content.

                              Think about all the things you see people doing with smartphones and tablets: Watching. Listening. Reading. Socializing. All perfectly normal activities and these devices make doing that on the go easier than it has ever been. It has changed the way we receive information, entertainment and stay connected.

                              What you DONíT see is anybody producing that content on a smartphone or tablet. Sure, you can record video (in some cases even HD), audio or snap a picture. But you wonít edit that media using a touch screen unless itís the only thing you have. As an amateur, this may be adequate, but no professional would ever consider these tools as replacements for traditional desktop devices and software.

                              As someone who spends 12-14 hours a day in front of a computer and makes their living from the result, Iím pretty confident Metro wonít have much impact in my day-to-day activities. And anyone that makes a living with a spreadsheet, work processor or most other pieces of ďproductivityĒ software will agree.

                              And yes, I have Win8 running on a dual-boot Azpen X1 tablet and itís pretty darn slick, as Iíve said before.