Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Why they designed Windows 8 the way they did

  1. #21


    Posts : 1,770
    Windows Phone 6, Windows CE 5, Windows Vista x32, Windows 7 x32/x64, Windows 8 x64


    The Nintendo example shows exactly what Microsoft has done. The typical game controller, which I believe is still in wide use, was added to with the Wii controller that provided a different experience for different games/task. But the original game controller hasn't been replaced when it comes to traditional console games.

    The other examples are just as flawed, books, cars etc. Not one example has been replaced by what was given as an example of a new approach. The example of familiarity is a complete crock, people don't just hang on to things just because they are familiar with them, they hang on until something better comes along, and Windows 8 isn't better.

    That video also raises a whole new world of jokes about Microsoft building cars.

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  2. #22


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Max Peck View Post
    Interesting video. Pretty good sales job. Can't say I agree with all of his assertions. The one that bothers me the most is the assertion that:

    FAMILIAR=MEDIOCRE
    I think you missed the point. The point wasn't that familiar=mediocre, it's that you'll never know if there's anything better if you don't move outside your comfort zone, try new things, and attempt to improve upon the previous versions.

    Today's best of breed is next years mediocre. So even though today, something may be the pinnacle of achievement, if we just stop we might as well die.
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  3. #23


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Max Peck View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    This is a bit long, but if you're actually curious.. even if you hate the design.. it might be interesting to understand the reasons behind it. It's really interesting to see how little Windows 8 changed from their early prototypes.

    Interesting video. Pretty good sales job. Can't say I agree with all of his assertions. The one that bothers me the most is the assertion that:

    FAMILIAR=MEDIOCRE

    The video of the Mediocre car was cute. However this presentation paints too broad a brush, IMHO. If "familiarity" is a bad thing then let's re-imagine the keyboard. That's been attempted (DVORAK) but never took. English text. Let's start reading right-to-left, that will be cool. Just form the words backwards. That'll work. Why not re-imagine the mouse yet again and go with a trackball design. I haven't seen one of those in years but at the time they were going to replace the mouse.

    Someone earlier said that Microsoft changed things "because they can". Exactly. Is there anything "wrong" with the new design? No, not necessarily, but to make the assertion that change to their design is necessary for everybody is a bit presumptuous. The guy is very soft-spoken and eloquent in his talk but the arrogance [of Microsoft] still manages to slip through, particularly when he's lampooning the design of the iBook interface in the iPad/iPhone. I see his point but, quite honestly, I find that interface both entertaining and comfortable. Sure, as a minimalist you might wonder why all the extra code to make it "pretty" (chrome). Believe it or not some [a lot] of people like that kind of thing.

    If you had talked to Microsoft just a short five or six years ago, they would have told you that the Aero "chrome" was the "wave of the future", now all-of-a-sudden they've reversed course and gone "minimalist". Again, I see the argument, however it seems pretty schizophrenic to me. Want to know why they did all this? Apple. That's the one and only reason that makes any sense.

    Yeah, I used the thing for a month and it's fine ... but necessary? That's a real stretch, particularly to a desktop user.

    -Max
    You kind of defined mediocrity in the middle part. Is there anything wrong with the design? Not really. Is it well suited for today's PC usage? Iffy. He made a good point saying how you boot twice, once into Windows, and another into a web browser. It's almost like the web browser becomes Windows.... Consider that when Windows 95 was designed, the primary task was Office software and productivity related work. It's a tired design of an era far gone. These days, we do that, but we also do a LOT of web based things from news reading, video watching, music playing and streaming, and so much more that Windows 95 would be confused why it would be there.

    I really enjoyed the part about apple. That literally took the words right out of my mouth! Seriously, leather stitching and paper rip outs is just disgusting. Is there anything wrong with it? Maybe, but repulses my eyeballs. Is it familiar, yeah. Mediocre. Arguably yes. The use of the bookshelf, that flips over to iTunes, oh my! I personally like to live a minimalist lifestyle, kind of like how that guy said he was going to get rid of all his books because of the eReader, I don't own a DVD movie or player, a CD album, or anything of physical media. I'm all digital and make use of my desktop PC, which by the way, I'm at the drawing board redesigning a case for it to fit 15, three terabyte hard drives. The use of over the top UI design is just gross and honestly at this point, distracting. For example, I had a laptop running the Release Preview with Aero, alongside my PC running the RTM version, and between the two I was noticing the window chrome more than on my PC. A piece of UI that isn't even close to a significant amount, probably 10 percent of the total UI, was standing out to me more than the actual window content. Same thing happens to me when using 7, I just look at the chrome and controls, and I think WOW! It's so shiny, it's glassy, and glows. I don't know about anyone else, but I do REAL work on my PC, I have very little time to be gushing over something so menial, and believe you me I use my PC all day everyday.

    Honestly, I don't think apple had too much influence on this one. If you ask me, I bet Windows Phone 7 had more impact on Windows 8 than anything. I remember reading the story about Windows Phone 7's early development days, and it was decided in around 2009 to basically break off from Windows Mobile 6 and just start fresh and not keep the older design. It was later released in November 2010, which would be right around where the Windows team would had made their first mockups. If you look at those mockups they had, they look more Aero and less metro. Why? Convergence of a unified Microsoft, the speaker made the point of how that design language is in Windows Phone, Windows, and Xbox; as well as other apps and services. Maybe apple had some influence, probably they were grossed out by their leather designs! And they wanted to do something that is modern versus familiar. 3D icons and glass doesn't sound too modern.
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  4. #24


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    As a designer oriented person, WOW. I was real impressed at how stupid little details that God can only see are in Windows 8. Like for example, with the word Start on the Start Screen. When you pan over on the Start Screen and it gets close to a group title, that title lines up PERFECTLY with the word Start. I tried this out with my Touch Mouse, it works!

    I've also noticed if you have the Charms bar open, and have the music player banner showing, the banner lines up perfectly and is symmetrical to the time portion of the Charms.

    This is a new Microsoft for sure. I challenge the person that says the design of Windows 8 took little effort to design. It OBVIOUSLY didn't!

    I choose modern over familiar. I've used and learned the ways of Windows 8 and take advantage of them, on a desktop without touch. I believe it's better over the familiar design of Windows 7, which really dawned on me how old and dated that design is. Windows 7 is literally a glassy, shinier version of Windows 95. It's strange.
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  5. #25


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Ray8 View Post
    I just don't know how one could use touch on a desktop, effectively anyway. I have a dual monitor setup and sit much more than an arm's length from them, so if I tried to use touch, I'd be forever hunched over my desk. Maybe the idea is to cause a whole new generation of medical ailments that need treatment?
    How do you drive?....
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  6. #26


    You have any more silly analogies to toss out.
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  7. #27


    Posts : 1,770
    Windows Phone 6, Windows CE 5, Windows Vista x32, Windows 7 x32/x64, Windows 8 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    How do you drive?....
    By the sounds of it, quite differently to you and clearly something different to what you drive. I have no need to touch the 'window' in front of me when I drive and I have the 'familiar' controls that have been in use for ages.
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  8. #28


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    I haven't read this yet, but the author thinks he has insights on this thread subject.
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  9. #29


    Just watched this video and is slowly turning me more into a Microsoft fan boy!
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  10. #30


    DeLand, FL
    Posts : 380
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit


    Hi Coke,

    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    You kind of defined mediocrity in the middle part. Is there anything wrong with the design? Not really. Is it well suited for today's PC usage? Iffy. He made a good point saying how you boot twice, once into Windows, and another into a web browser. It's almost like the web browser becomes Windows.... Consider that when Windows 95 was designed, the primary task was Office software and productivity related work. It's a tired design of an era far gone. These days, we do that, but we also do a LOT of web based things from news reading, video watching, music playing and streaming, and so much more that Windows 95 would be confused why it would be there.
    I can certainly understand the viewpoint about the "boot twice" idea. I never much cared for the web browser idea in the first place. I prefer a more rich desktop experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    I really enjoyed the part about apple. That literally took the words right out of my mouth! Seriously, leather stitching and paper rip outs is just disgusting.
    OK ... so we differ on that point. My eyes don't repulse over that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Is there anything wrong with it? Maybe, but repulses my eyeballs. Is it familiar, yeah. Mediocre. Arguably yes. The use of the bookshelf, that flips over to iTunes, oh my! I personally like to live a minimalist lifestyle, kind of like how that guy said he was going to get rid of all his books because of the eReader, I don't own a DVD movie or player, a CD album, or anything of physical media. I'm all digital and make use of my desktop PC, which by the way, I'm at the drawing board redesigning a case for it to fit 15, three terabyte hard drives.
    You're not a typical user. You're into micromanaging the design of your machine. That's OK, but most people don't do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    The use of over the top UI design is just gross and honestly at this point, distracting. For example, I had a laptop running the Release Preview with Aero, alongside my PC running the RTM version, and between the two I was noticing the window chrome more than on my PC. A piece of UI that isn't even close to a significant amount, probably 10 percent of the total UI, was standing out to me more than the actual window content. Same thing happens to me when using 7, I just look at the chrome and controls, and I think WOW! It's so shiny, it's glassy, and glows. I don't know about anyone else, but I do REAL work on my PC, I have very little time to be gushing over something so menial, and believe you me I use my PC all day everyday.
    So do I. I've been using computers since the mid 70's. When PC's first appeared I went into hock to buy an original IBM PC. I used to be up every night until 04:00 coding and back up for my regular programming job at 07:00. (Yes, I survived for weeks on 3 hours of sleep per night - writing FORTRAN by day and Assembly by night). I can't do that any more but I'm still at my machine all the time. The chrome in Win7 doesn't bother me. I find it attractive and refined looking. Win8, not so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Honestly, I don't think apple had too much influence on this one. If you ask me, I bet Windows Phone 7 had more impact on Windows 8 than anything. I remember reading the story about Windows Phone 7's early development days, and it was decided in around 2009 to basically break off from Windows Mobile 6 and just start fresh and not keep the older design. It was later released in November 2010, which would be right around where the Windows team would had made their first mockups. If you look at those mockups they had, they look more Aero and less metro. Why? Convergence of a unified Microsoft, the speaker made the point of how that design language is in Windows Phone, Windows, and Xbox; as well as other apps and services. Maybe apple had some influence, probably they were grossed out by their leather designs! And they wanted to do something that is modern versus familiar. 3D icons and glass doesn't sound too modern.
    I was a user of Windows Mobile 6 myself. I used just about every version of Windows CE up through Pocket PC right on into Windows Mobile. When I caught view of the "Metro" interface in the upcoming Windows Mobile 7 I gave up and defected to the iPhone as far as my mobile devices were concerned. I didn't care for "kiddie blocks" back at Windows 1.1, I didn't want to go back to it.

    Having said that, though, I don't think Win8 is particularly "ugly" once you have it set up and working. I actually liked my Win8 installation on this beast but had accumulated enough gripes that I needed to return to Win7. There wasn't anything in Win8 that added to my productivity *at all*. I write business-intelligence code and any GUI presentation I develop is to the Windows desktop. I looked into Win8's development model and, for the kind of software I develop, it just didn't add any tools that I felt would help me enhance my software development work. I am working on building an ASP.Net version of my application but, again, Windows 8 doesn't bring anything to the table that would enhance that for me.

    I don't consider the resizable windowed desktop experience to be mediocre. While I watched the video I resized it down to a small window, stuck it up in the corner and worked on several other things while I was watching it. There's no way in Metro I'd be able to do that: the best I'd get would be the video on one side and something else on the other. Sure, I could go to the desktop in Win8 and accomplish same but then how would that have been any different than staying in Win7? It wouldn't. So, for a user like myself it's a zero-sum-game.

    Maybe the desktop metaphor is "old, tired and mediocre" for consumer (I.E. tablet or phone) devices, but for high-volume or detailed work it most certainly is not. If our tech-support folks here had Metro forced on them, their work would grind to a halt.

    Apple isn't the only one who has a "reality distortion field" working with it!

    -Max
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Why they designed Windows 8 the way they did
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