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Richmond, VA
reply to mbernste

Re: [WIN8] Windows 8 Review

I don't think anyone here is specifically being critical or supportive of his basic conclusions with any detail. The man is making a number of valid or invalid points. Either refute them, agree with them or move on to another thread, but lets not make this another I hate or love Windows 8 thread.

Is Windows 8 "User-Hostile"?

CONTROL- The weakest argument Boyco makes is with regard to control but I don't disagree with him completely here. I don't know what his problem was that caused the weather app to keep popping up, but that isn't normal. If you know how to use Windows 8, you almost have complete control of it. With any operating system I have used, you do things by clicking things. I occasionally use my wife's Mac. I stumble around by clicking on various objects and eventually getting to where I want. In Windows 95 through WIN 7 you had the start button. There were specific objects you interacted with to make things happen. All the keyboard shortcuts are fine and dandy, but the operating systems were mouse based and the primary means of navigation within the operating system were by using a mouse. With the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft has eliminated the object in some important controls. They have replaced those with "sweet spots". I have two monitors as do a lot of people I know. When you try and find the sweet spot to get the charms bar, it requires a great deal of concentration. If you go a little to far to the right, you move over to another monitor. If you don't go far enough you get nothing. There is no visual object to select. It is all location based and you lose a lot of control when that is the case.

CONVEYANCE- The user should be visually able to figure out where to go to get things done. Windows 8 fails miserably here. As stupid as it was, you always knew you could go to the start button to shut down the computer. In Vista Microsoft wisely took the name off the button, but it still did the same thing. From the start menu, one could find a program, shut down their computer, search for things, and do lots of other chores. A monkey could have figured it out. There is absolutely not one visual clue when you look at either the Windows 8 Start Screen or Desktop of where you go to get these things done. I don't see how anyone could argue that Microsoft has not degraded the conveyance of information in Windows 8.

CONTINUITY- There couldn't be a bigger fail for Microsoft. If you do something in part of the operating system, doing that exact same thing in another should achieve the same result. In Desktop mode you close a program by clicking the X in the right top of the screen. In Metro, there is no X. You hunt for one of those delightful sweet spots at the top of the app and you drag the app to the bottom of the screen. There is nothing that CONVEYS that information to you and there is no CONTINUITY within the operating system itself that that method would be appropriate. This is what happens when you combine two operating systems into one.

CONTEXT-I'm a little unclear here as to the difference between CONTEXT and CONVEYANCE. I'm not sure where the concept of the 4-Cs originated. Is this something Boyco came up with himself? I'll go along with his arguments, because I think he is right here, but I'm not so sure there is a big difference between CONTEXT and CONVEYANCE. Boyco mentions the Start screen itself and says it should be called "The Taskpanel." I don't know about that. He makes a better argument when he talks about the "Charms Bar". What the heck does "Charms" have to do with anything? What does that convey to the user? His strongest argument is hen he talks about the lack of information in Metro itself. You look at a some tiles and wonder what the heck they do. There is nothing in the Photos tile that tells you anything if you don't recognize the photos they place in it. The travel icon tells you nothing. There is absolutely no information to help you. Where they do put in titles, the text size is small compared to the whole icon. There is a lot to complain about with regard to conveyance and context with Metro, simply looked at alone.

The weakest part of Boyco's presentation is the lack of curiosity found within. How hard would it have been to find out how to shut down a Metro app? Did he really think that weather app popping up un-expectantly was something that was supposed to happen? When you make a good argument and pepper it with nonsense, everyone writes you off. He needs to clean up the presentation because in my opinion he makes some very valid points.