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Saturday, September 14, 2013

One size does not fit - Windows 8.1 upgrade

It appears Microsoft has not learned that one-size does not fit all when designing Windows 8 to replace Windows 7. The comments from this article <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/12/windows_eight_one_review> puts it succinctly the difficulties Microsoft is facing inflicted by herself:

The Search app also deserves a mention. Search “Everywhere” from the Charms menu, and an app pieces together local and web results into a multimedia view that works brilliantly for certain types of search. It is an excellent app. The question is: will users who are stuck in the desktop ever discover it? That question expresses Microsoft’s difficulty. The more it steers users towards the Windows 8 tablet platform, the more complaints it gets from bemused and often conservative Windows users. The more it enables user to stay in the desktop environment, the harder it becomes to establish its new app platform.
I honestly don't understand why Microsoft is hell-bend on subscribing to this silly idea that there is only one way to use a computing device. The only conclusion is to use a force users to use the "Modern" (aka Metro) apps so that their effort will quickly boost up the number to compete with Apple and Google. In order words, Microsoft is using her customers as their foot soldiers.

Apple seems to understand this issue much better than Microsoft and handles the situation with finesse. Apple does not try to make MacOS to run and behave like iOS. This is not only sensible but free each group of designers the constraint one form of device would impose on the other learning to all sort of ridiculous compromises.

Microsoft appears to be incapable of learning from its past. When Microsoft brought out the PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), a fore-father of today's smart phone, it tried to make its operating system emulating the Windows' and this exercise failed miserably.

Now Microsoft is contended on forcing Desktop user to run like a 9-10" touch devices when they do not have any touch facility. Surely with the kind of resources available in Microsoft, they can build into the Windows the intelligence to detect the operating hardware and to be adaptive.

As a concession to Desktop user with 19+" monitors, Windows 8.1 now allows user to resize their "Modern" apps. 

I actually find this term "Modern" user interface kind of inappropriate. What is so 'modern' when you look at one, it reminds one of the good old dumb terminal display - always fixed at that size (80x24) - except that this now has color and gaphics. Nevertheless, it is fixed and can't be resized, except in Windows 8.1. All controls are flat ugly as compared to those in Windows 7, even without Aero, and lacking any feedback. In many applications one can't tell if it is a clickable control or just a piece of text. Calling that 'Modern'? Please bring back the ancient user interface.

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