The Writing Confederation

Computers, anime, and writing – A confederation of topics

Followup on Windows 8 Preview

So yesterday I posted my article First Look: Windows 8 – Thoughts, questions, and concerns in response to Lifehacker’s article First Look at Windows 8’s New Interface for Tablets and PCs as well as Microsoft’s video called Building “Windows 8” – Video #1 in which Jensen Harris, the director of program management on the Windows user experience team, demonstrated some new features of Windows 8. Well, this morning Lifehacker posted another article: Windows 8’s New Interface: Love it or Lump it? While I think the title is a little strange—”lump it”? what?—the fact that they—Lifehacker, not Microsoft!—are looking for some feedback on the early preview of Windows 8 is interesting, as is the feedback that ensued. The article features a poll at which anyone can cast their vote as to whether or not they like the new Windows 8 interface so far by choosing on of these options: Love what I’ve seen so far; Hate what I’ve seen so far; Undecided—I’m waiting to see more/use it before I pass judgement; Other. Not quite hating the interface myself, I voted for the third option.

After voting, I read the rest of the article. Towards the bottom, Adam Pash, the author of the article, included a quote from Will Smith: “If the iPhone has taught me anything, it’s that spending 5 seconds with a device is more revealing than overanalyzing a few frames of video.” I have to say, I totally agree with this, and would recommend that others take this into consideration: no matter how many videos Microsoft makes, there will always be some question that does not get answered, something that is not quite communicated correctly, and a feature that just doesn’t get enough focus. That said, I would also like to highlight a few comments, the first made by a user named Phoshi:

For the love of god, please no. A touch-centric UI is the best option for a smartphone, where you have highly limited input, but keep it the heck away from my PC. I have proper input devices here. They’re called a mouse and keyboard. My mouse is more accurate and less likely to be misinterpreted, and certain not to smudge. So don’t design the UI around a paradigm I do not follow.
Needless to say, my favourite part of the video was the bit where they showed a proper desktop and taskbar.

And another comment by a user named JCulp:

I think that it is a very interesting UI and there is a lot of development that should happen but I feel like they should be working on perfecting a UI for desktops and production. This seems more like a casual recreational computer/tablet user. I used the Omnimo desktop for a little while and this looks like a fantastic updated version built into windows. I can’t see myself utilizing this UI… There are many features that I would like to see implemented in the windows 7esque UI. I would love to see windows version of spaces. I use Ubuntu and love that feature but I need it in windows and no app seems to work that well. I used to be hardcore windows fanatic and lately I have seen my eyes drift to other OSes. Lion’s new features look like they streamline the workflow, Ubuntu’s Unity surprised me and is making me question windows. If you asked me in October 22, 2010 I would have been one of the most avid Windows supporters… now with the use of Ubuntu and Snow Leopard I feel there are a few features that are needed in Win7 UI. Best of Luck Win8 I will end up updating because I am a student and it costs hardly anything plus I have to use Windows for my Architectural programs.

Both make basically the same point: Windows 8 looks like it will be a touch-style desktop, and both ask the same question: Why?

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