Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8 Disappointing Usability

  1. #131


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


    Quote Originally Posted by azasadny View Post
    I'm getting more than a little frustrated with Win8 as I use it on my main PC at home. Formerly simple tasks are more difficult and require me to "think", which I hate to do! Win8 seems to be several steps backward in terms of usability as Win7 was vey efficient and useful to me. I'll stick with Win8, but only because it's part of my job to be thoroughly familiar with the current operating systems.
    Hmm. Seems like you've come full circle. Weren't you just crowing about how terrific Win8 was a couple of weeks ago?

    Seems like a lot of us have gone back-and-forth over this one.

    -Max

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #132


    Posts : 17
    Windows 8 Pro (64 bit)


    Quote Originally Posted by Max Peck View Post
    W8 is fine, but let's dispense with the 30-second cold-boot right now. The 30-second cold boot will get you to the login screen and the Metro interface. However if you will watch closely, Windows continues to initialize the desktop system in the background as it would have under Win7. The overhead of loading drivers, etc, renders even the Metro front-end useless until the desktop initialization is complete. Oh yeah, you can click on a tile (and some of the live ones may start updating onscreen) but notice that any Metro app loads extremely slow because of the background load. On a complex system like mine it still takes a minute or two before things settle down and the machine is useful.

    On a system where you have not installed any desktop applications (primarily a tablet) then a 30-second boot is "real" but only to the extent that you haven't got much in the Windows Desktop loading. The 30-second cold-boot is an illusion.

    This isn't a negative thing, really ... I'm used to a cold boot taking a couple of minutes before everything settles down. That's why I put the machine to sleep rather than cold boot it most of the time. (Returning from sleep IS fast - just as it was under Win7). During the cold boot I just go get a cup of coffee or something. I honestly don't know why people get so upset about the system taking a couple minutes from cold boot. We used to refer to a "boot" as the re-IPL (Initial Program Load) of the system. It always takes longer to initial load an O/S and always will. Even an iPad (or iPhone) takes a long time to re-IPL, they (and other tablets) are only "instant-on" because they're in sleep mode most of the time. This is just the nature of the beast. Loading O/S services just takes time. I won't bother explaining why - it just does.

    The overall system is still the same. It's still a Windows NT kernel with all its subsystems. The desktop system doesn't wait for you to click the desktop tile to set up - it's doing this anyway. Windows 8 isn't as much different as everybody thinks it is. Metro is simply (well, maybe not simply​) another display and execution engine that's bolted on top of Windows NT. Microsoft is presenting an ILLUSION of quick start-up, but in actuality it's the same as it always has been - they just put some pretty stuff front-and-center to make you think your system is up and running. It ain't ... not until desktop is completely initialized. Most GUI applications have components that, as developers, we call "keep user busy" components - parts of the program that display stuff and give the user something to do while the real work is getting done. The Login Screen and Metro "Start" screen are all low-overhead items that are given front-facing execution priority to keep the user busy while the system initializes. Everybody is being fooled into thinking the system started faster when, in actuality, it hasn't changed at all - they just put one of the display subsystems up sooner so you think​ the start up is faster.

    Again, this isn't negative, really ... but it's smoke and mirrors on Microsoft's part. Pure marketing.

    -Max
    I understand your frustration, however that's not been my experience. My 30 second cold boot takes me through the login and to the Metro interface tiles, AND clicking on the Firefox tile gets me to the internet in about 2-3 seconds flat after Metro is presented. Yes, there's other things loading in the background, but I've found that whatever I click on to actually run straight after getting to the Metro tiles actually works pretty well straight away (with just a few seconds lag at worst). I do have a 480 GB SSD, which makes all the difference.

    So for me, Windows 8 is faster every which way, but spinning disk drives will seriously slow you down no matter what OS you're using. I've tried 7200 RPM drives and they were only marginally faster than the slow, tortoise-like 5400 rpm drives. I've also tried Hybrid SSD/7200 rpm drives and they were somewhat faster again than the 7200 rpm spindle-only drives but still tardy. However a full SSD drive was about 5-6 times faster than the Hybrid drive (I measured these with the free ATTO Disk Benchmark). And the SSD wasn't too expensive on eBay (and getting cheaper all the time).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #133


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


    Quote Originally Posted by dweebken View Post
    I understand your frustration, however that's not been my experience. My 30 second cold boot takes me through the login and to the Metro interface tiles, AND clicking on the Firefox tile gets me to the internet in about 2-3 seconds flat after Metro is presented. Yes, there's other things loading in the background, but I've found that whatever I click on to actually run straight after getting to the Metro tiles actually works pretty well straight away (with just a few seconds lag at worst). I do have a 480 GB SSD, which makes all the difference.

    So for me, Windows 8 is faster every which way, but spinning disk drives will seriously slow you down no matter what OS you're using. I've tried 7200 RPM drives and they were only marginally faster than the slow, tortoise-like 5400 rpm drives. I've also tried Hybrid SSD/7200 rpm drives and they were somewhat faster again than the 7200 rpm spindle-only drives but still tardy. However a full SSD drive was about 5-6 times faster than the Hybrid drive (I measured these with the free ATTO Disk Benchmark). And the SSD wasn't too expensive on eBay (and getting cheaper all the time).
    You misread me. I'm not frustrated at all. I'm speaking in point-of-fact. :-)

    My system is very complex, a lot of development tools and services which take time to start up. Win8 does not boot any faster overall, just the Metro subsystems load first. That you can get to Firefox quickly is irrelevant. Try loading SQL Server and a bunch of other utilities that require start-up processes and you'll see what I'm talking about. A development box like mine is simply going to take more time to cold start, that's all.

    Once Win8 is up and running and all services have settled down, yes, it's quite fast. Whether it's faster than Win7 I'm not sure but it doesn't really matter; it's plenty fast enough running on an i5 with 8GB of main.

    Sure, SSD's are going to speed the process up - of course: they're memory based instead of rotating storage. When they come out with a SSD that can replace my 1TB hard drive without breaking the bank then maybe I'll think about it. In the meantime this one is fine.

    -Max :-)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #134


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


    I find that the Windows 8 start menu comes up very fast after login, but nothing is usable until all the background processes have completed, so the actual start-up time is really no shorter than for Windows 7.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #135


    Quote Originally Posted by Max Peck View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by azasadny View Post
    I'm getting more than a little frustrated with Win8 as I use it on my main PC at home. Formerly simple tasks are more difficult and require me to "think", which I hate to do! Win8 seems to be several steps backward in terms of usability as Win7 was vey efficient and useful to me. I'll stick with Win8, but only because it's part of my job to be thoroughly familiar with the current operating systems.
    Hmm. Seems like you've come full circle. Weren't you just crowing about how terrific Win8 was a couple of weeks ago?

    Seems like a lot of us have gone back-and-forth over this one.

    -Max
    Max,
    Yes, I can see how you would remember that as the OS was new and I had not hit the little parts that frustrate me yet. To be fair, there are a few things about Win8 that I love (file transfer interface, integration with my Windows Home Server and Windows Phone 8, etc... I just get a little frustrated at the things that M$ missed... I vent at times, just ignore me...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #136


    Posts : 17
    Windows 8 Pro (64 bit)


    Quote Originally Posted by Max Peck View Post
    Sure, SSD's are going to speed the process up - of course: they're memory based instead of rotating storage. When they come out with a SSD that can replace my 1TB hard drive without breaking the bank then maybe I'll think about it. In the meantime this one is fine.
    -Max :-)
    A lot of people are using an SSD for the system drive and a separate bulk hard drive for their application data. I do this too. I have a second drive - a 1.5 TB hard drive on my machine for bulk data storage. It's pretty trivial to configure the applications to point their data storage to the secondary drive in most cases. But of course if you're developing software for a specific configuration of hardware you'd have to model that for your customer.

    Lotus Notes 8.5.3 also starts up very quickly for me, yet it has a large startup overhead under the Eclipse framework, but of course YMMV.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Peck View Post
    Try loading SQL Server and a bunch of other utilities that require start-up processes and you'll see what I'm talking about.
    -Max :-)
    More reason to get an SSD for these applications to start up faster, but to be fair, this is not *Windows* starting up, it's the applications starting up. Windows is so often blamed for Applications wait times...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #137


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


    Quote Originally Posted by dweebken View Post
    More reason to get an SSD for these applications to start up faster, but to be fair, this is not *Windows* starting up, it's the applications starting up. Windows is so often blamed for Applications wait times...
    Agreed, it is the applications. However, as I said earlier, the O/S being configured the same way it was before the upgrade takes an almost identical amount of time to "settle" as it did before.

    I'm not concerned about the performance of the hard drive in this box. Once the system has settled down everything performs fine. My primary machine is a notebook (Inspiron 17R). I don't think there's a drive bay in there for a primary SSD and secondary hard drive. I have a 2TB external USB drive for backups and offline storage. A SSD would be a luxury at this point that I really don't need.

    -Max
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #138


    Tropical Island Pair a Dice
    Posts : 3,030
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64/ Windows 7 Ult x64


    I think the 17R has one drive bay, the Special Edition may have two. The XPS 17 has two.
    My old Studio 1737 (C2Duo) has two drive bays, SSD in one and HDD in the other. The SSD made me hold off on an upgrade, it's very fast now and have been getting up to 7 hrs battery life.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #139


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
    I think the 17R has one drive bay, the Special Edition may have two. The XPS 17 has two.
    My old Studio 1737 (C2Duo) has two drive bays, SSD in one and HDD in the other. The SSD made me hold off on an upgrade, it's very fast now and have been getting up to 7 hrs battery life.
    Seven hours, eh? That's excellent. Mine is getting close to 3 which is fine for me, I'm never far from a power outlet. The 17R is more like a desktop replacement than a "laptop" anyway. Good box. I just got this one around last June. Ought to last many moons.

    If they'd just come out with a 1TB SSD that I could swap this one out with (and not break the bank in the process) I'd probably consider it. However ... it's fine as it is.

    -Max
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #140


    I am by no means a PC expert. I have been using PC's since Windows 95 and have used every version of Windows with the exception of Windows Vista. The bad press concerning Vista (at the time) kept me away from it and in hindsight, I'm glad I stayed away. I was reluctant to give Windows 8 a try because of the bad press again; however I wanted to take advantage of the 'upgrade before Jan. 31, 2013' deal for such a great price, and I am glad I did. With a few minimal steps (i.e. getting a third party START button), I say I am using Windows 7 (formerly my favorite version) that has so much more power, options, and versatility and it is called Windows 8. I won't post anything negative about it in here because it seems everyone else has that covered. I like it, I'll use it, and it works for me!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows 8 Disappointing Usability
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