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Thread: Windows eight (8)

  1. #1

    Windows eight (8)

    Worth the switch?

    Gaming to the next level?

    Happy times at the fun spot all around?

    Discuss!
    He said to them: "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment." - Gospel of Thomas

  2. #2
    The main mistake is keeping metro (or whatever it's called now) on by default. PC users are going to want to switch to desktop mode asap.

    I'm not really sure how the whole microsoft store thing is going to work, but it seems like a bad idea. What's the point of having a closed, locked-down system along side an open one? I really don't get it.
    "it is time to get a credit card to complete my financial independance" — Tibby, Aug. 2009

  3. #3
    Human Computer
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    Even with several decent games appearing on OSX & Valve porting Steam (already in beta) & their game library to Linux (LFD2 & TF2 immediately), Windows will continue to dominate in the gaming department for quite some time. It appears that Microsoft is dead-set on the new changes & unless you're going to switch OS's you might as well hop on that train, because they'll eventually try to force you anyways. Besides, a lot of people (e.g. this dude) have "come to enjoy it".
    ? :)

  4. #4
    Admiral of Awesome
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    18,560
    I've been using Windows 8 exclusively for about a month.

    Here's the tl;dr version: It's bad. It's bad enough that you shouldn't buy it. Unfortunately it's not bad enough that it's worth the effort to downgrade once you have it, which somehow makes Windows 8 even worse because it's not just a bad OS, it's a constant reminder of your own tendency to procrastinate.

    It's pretty much the same-old Windows 7 once you get everything pinned to your taskbar. (Although I've noticed that I'm pinning more apps than I used to. Hmm, I wonder why.) I say "pretty much" because you will eventually bring up some new user interface element, usually by accident, which reminds you that you are using something designed for a bad tablet computer. By "bad tablet computer" I'm specifically talking about the Surface, which has had the **** thoroughly railed out of it by the tech press over the past few days, but to be fair I'm sure the Asus aftermarket special is even worse. Somehow.

    Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about.

    I have three monitors. When I quickly drag my mouse across my desktop, I will almost invariably trigger one of Windows 8's magical hotspots and cause some part of the tablet UI to fly open. Charms, Metro apps, the on-screen display, the start tile, some tile for... I don't know, the last used metro app? I don't even know what they all are. And it's almost never just one thing that pops up. It's usually several (or even all of them).

    Boxes and text and icons randomly popping up and flying around in my peripheral vision, constantly triggering the part of my hindbrain that evolved to alert me to predators. At best it's doing some serious long-term harm to my attention span.

    There are exactly twelve locations on my desktop, in prime real estate (the edges and corners), which cause bad things to happen when a mouse cursor passes by them.

    That's just an example. Windows 8 is full of these little problems, shortcomings and oversights, that makes the entire product a disjointed and profoundly disconcerting user experience.

  5. #5
    Eh, I only had to use Vista a couple of times and it was quite bad, really. Either I just didn't use it that much or Windows 7 just seemed that better on the go. So I'm hoping the next OS after Windows 8 is going to be a similar improvement.

    (Or probably much worse, eh)

  6. #6
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Here's a fun exercise that was brought up on another forum:

    The Surface is approximately the same size as a sheet of paper (US Letter size). Grab some sheet of paper near you. Hold it in landscape - i.e. sideways - with one hand on either end.

    Scrolling in Windows 8 works just like on the iPad, except the applications usually scroll horizontally instead of vertically - like flipping through the pages of a book. Imagine your sheet of paper is a Windows tablet, and you want to scroll to the next page in a document. Try doing this with your thumbs.

    Quick survey: How many of you used your right thumb to scroll to the next page? Because you can't do that. You have to use your left hand. If you use your right hand it just opens up the charms menu. Oops.

    Now, imagine there's a button located in the middle of the bottom edge of your sheet of paper. Try to press that button without moving your hands from the sides of the paper. Felt great, right? That's where the home screen button is on every Windows 8 tablet (a Microsoft licensing requirement). That's a button you need to use dozens of times, every time you pick up your tablet.

    This is Windows 8.

  7. #7
    ..would like a shrubbery.
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    I want to like windows 8, I really do. It looks fantastic, it's very responsive. It starts up incredibly quickly and is instantly responsive. Everything I do feels instant. In desktop mode I like the ribbon addition to Windows Explorer, it is nicer than the old drop down menus we've had since Windows 3.1. In fact, I'd argue the Windows 8 desktop is easily the best yet.


    But I agree 100% with Jon`C. The new stuff is irritating. I don't care about the start button going, having that hotspot doesn't bother me too much.. apart from one thing. When you activate the hotspot it shows you a fairly large button. If you then go to click the centre of it, you move off the hotspot and the button disappears. Now *that* is frustrating.


    Metro as an app launcher and startbar replacement is perfectly adequate and no worse than the start menu (it's hard to say whether it's better either, though. But it could be argued not having to click "All programs" and navigate through a tree is a good thing). It works quite nicely and hopefully will steer developers away from clogging up the start menu with readmes, uninstallers, etc. That said, because it's not categorised, you end up with 20 "readme.txt" and "uninstall" icons without any way of knowing what they relate to! Come on microsoft surely you could have just given things the convention of "$directory - $name" so you'd get "Jedi Knight - Uninstall" rather than an unremarkable "uninstall" icon that is useless to everyone.


    The issue arises with metro apps. Metro is not a multi tasking UI. It lets you run one app at a time and forces it to be fullscreen. When you're in an app, there's no way to see what else is going on on your computer. Not even a clock!


    The combination of screens growing larger and using the corners as buttons is a nightmare. It involves frantically moving the mouse around. With average display resolutions increasing year on year how is there any argument for a fullscreen weather app which I'm after 3 very short lines of textual information from?


    One of the things Windows has always done very well is Window management. Putting the user in control, letting you display any application at the size/position you want it at, allowing you to have two programs next to each other, quickly being able to see what's running and with a single click, switching between applications. Metro completely reverses this. It takes away all that control entirely.


    The lack of an obvious task list in Metro is one of its biggest downfalls. Seeing what's running is a task in itself, you have to hover over the top left corner. and *then* hover over the vague menu that appears just to see what's running! This is a death to productivity. The same goes for task switching, it's a horrible process for something that on other UIs involves 2 steps: move the mouse and click, now needs: move,wait,move,wait,click. It's such a horrid method of something which is a common task! I don't mind so much with the "Charms" bar because they are less frequent tasks. However, task switching is so common in an OS GUI that it needs to be as painless and obvious as possible.


    My first experience with using apps was pretty much this: Firstly, IE10. I click the button and it opens in Metro. Fullscreen. I go to facebook, check my messages... the browser interface disappears entirely. I can't see what website I'm on any more. How this works with SSL and online shops I have no idea. It seems like a phishers wet dream to me. But anyway, One of my messages is a funny picture. I want to share it with my friend via MSN messenger. Wait, my browser interface has disappeared how do I get the URL for it? Move my cursor to the bottom of the screen in the hope that it will slide up the address bar that used to be there... no luck. There are no visual clues at all. I am essentially stuck. I want to google it but... I can't type in google.com to get to google. Fantastic. I click the start button and "IE10" again. It opens the instance of the app that's already running. And my taskbar has returned. That was horribly convoluted. Turns out the answer is "right click". Which I had tried, but you have to right click on things that aren't specific HTML elements... how are users supposed to know that?! Or where they can click to reveal the browser UI or the normal right click menu? Horrid!


    Why is the address bar at the bottom anyway?! Ignoring the fact it breaks 15+ years of browser tradition, once you launch IE10 (or explorer - now renamed "file browser") on the desktop rather than in metro it's back at the top! What the hell, Microsoft?


    Finally, apps are irritating. I double click a .mp3 file and suddenly I'm taken to a fullscreen music app. Totally hiding whatever it was I was doing. Why did Microsoft decide that I can't listen to music and do something else at the same time? What a load of nonsense.


    *sigh* Windows 8 would be good if Metro didn't have apps.
    Last edited by Ni; 10-26-2012 at 04:27 AM.
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  8. #8
    Admiral of Awesome
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    The reason text and fonts look so sharp and readable in Windows is thanks to a technology called ClearType. This technology is so core to Windows that it's included in the lowest-level graphics library.

    ClearType automatically adjusts text to fit the pixel layout of your monitor, eliminating the fuzzy edges you see in OS X and Linux when parts of a letter fall "between" pixels.

    This is a great technology for low-DPI displays, like the one you are using to read this post, or the one included in the Surface. It's good because individual pixels are visible on these displays, so the width of these "between-pixel" lines is exaggerated. It's a bad idea for high-DPI displays, like the ones used for good tablets, because individual pixels can't be resolved at the intended viewing distance. On these displays the actual widths of the "between-pixel" lines are already preserved, so ClearType makes the text look worse.

    It's not all bad news, though. ClearType also includes a great subpixel antialiasing algorithm to effectively triple the resolution of your monitor when you're viewing text.

    Again, this is a great technology for low-DPI displays. Unfortunately, when you rotate a display you change its subpixel layout. Rotation is a pretty common operation for tablets, right? So the smart thing to do would be to update ClearType to support automatically changing the subpixel layout when the display is rotated, right?

    Nope.

    Instead, the tablet parts of Windows 8 simply disable subpixel antialiasing regardless of display orientation. But they made sure to leave the rest of ClearType enabled. That way you get the best of both worlds: ****ty text on high-DPI displays and ****ty text on low-DPI ones.

  9. #9
    Admiral of Awesome
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    I'm not sure why they even bothered disabling subpixel antialiasing anyway. It's not like anybody is ever going to use a Windows 8 tablet in portrait mode. Apps still scroll horizontally. All it really seems to do is make less content show up on the screen.





    Devastatingly useful.

  10. #10
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Oh, don't worry, it's not just the home screen.




    Quote Originally Posted by Ni View Post
    The issue arises with metro apps. Metro is not a multi tasking UI. It lets you run one app at a time and forces it to be fullscreen. When you're in an app, there's no way to see what else is going on on your computer. Not even a clock!
    Ni: I don't know what you mean when you say that Metro doesn't support multitasking. You can dock apps to the side of the screen. That way you can interact with two apps at the same time. It requires some developer support but I'm sure most developers will embrace the feature just like Microsoft has.




    Edit: Just updating this post to mention that fiddling with app docking eventually caused a deadlock in the DWM, and I had to cold reboot my computer. Good thing this only seems to happen when you're using useless features.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 10-26-2012 at 05:06 AM.

  11. #11
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Before I head off to bed, I want to leave a message for anybody who doesn't listen to what I'm saying here, and decides to pay actual real money for a copy of Windows 8 (or, god forbid, a Windows 8/RT tablet).

    When you are enjoying Windows 8 and being delighted by the many new useful features, I want you to think about this man:

    Name:  lead_Steven_Sinofsky-420x0.jpg
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    Steve Sinofsky.

    I want you to think about him, and thank him for all of the hard work he did to make Windows 8 the operating system it is today. Most people think the most influential person at Microsoft is Bill Gates, because he's the founder and chairman, or Steve Ballmer because he's CEO. But none of that's true. The real product design decisions are being made by Steve Sinofsky, and I want to make sure that he gets all of the credit that he deserves.

    Some day soon he's going to be CEO.

  12. #12
    (Still) On 13 week vacation
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Boxes and text and icons randomly popping up and flying around in my peripheral vision, constantly triggering the part of my hindbrain that evolved to alert me to predators. At best it's doing some serious long-term harm to my attention span.
    This is the best thing you have ever written.
    >>untie shoes

  13. #13
    Windows 8, when suddenly everyone is a UI/UX expert. (edit- not calling you out Jon'C. Your points are fair. More, the internet in general)

    Installed it last night with no issues. Then again, I only use one screen so maybe thats why i like it.
    [01:52] <~Nikumubeki> Because it's MBEGGAR BEGS LIKE A BEGONI.

  14. #14
    ..would like a shrubbery.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Ni: I don't know what you mean when you say that Metro doesn't support multitasking. You can dock apps to the side of the screen. That way you can interact with two apps at the same time. It requires some developer support but I'm sure most developers will embrace the feature just like Microsoft has.
    Indeed you can but it's not very intuitive and the UI itself makes it frustrating so to use that it's not worth it. Beyond that, "multitasking" has become dual tasking, which in the real world isn't that helpful. Let me use that sidebar space to dock a handful of apps, IM (why is this fullscreen?!), Weather, music and there might be some benefit to it.

    My point, in general, is that it doesn't want you to multi task. Let's say I start a medium sized download going. I bust out solitaire while the download is happening but because solitaire is fullscreen I can't easily keep an eye on how it's doing. In general, everything about metro seems to be designed to make it difficult to keep track of what's running and wants you to focus exclusively on one thing at a time.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by mb View Post
    Windows 8, when suddenly everyone is a UI/UX expert
    MOAR LIEK A SUX EXPERT ZOOM zoom ZOOM

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mb View Post
    Windows 8, when suddenly everyone is a UI/UX expert. (edit- not calling you out Jon'C. Your points are fair. More, the internet in general)

    Installed it last night with no issues. Then again, I only use one screen so maybe thats why i like it.
    You have to use it for more than a day to really see the stupid crap. Desktop and Metro are REALLY disparate pieces, and issues come up in stupid ways:

    1. The Metro mail app cannot be activated from the desktop anywhere. Click on an email link in a browser? Better have a desktop Mail app. This is a serious problem since it forces desktop users to basically stop using Metro entirely. Apps that desktop users might have otherwise used suddenly become pointless to even have. Basically, file associations are the only thing that can activate a Metro app from the desktop.
    2. Share charm doesn't work on the Desktop, period. It never will. Thus ensuring that the Metro apps will be further siloed into their own section of Windows.
    3. The search charm also does nothing on the desktop, but more importantly rarely works in Metro apps. Even Microsoft's own apps often fail to support it, or even worse, re-create it inside the app instead.
    4. The Start Screen search functionality does not replicate Windows 7's, instead using a category system that often fails to make sense. It also requires additional actions if the category provided isn't the one you wanted. I don't see why categorization was even added, as in my experience, typing in the name of what you wanted in Windows 7 almost invariably brought it to the very top anyway. It gets worse when you realize that the categorization is somewhat random. Things that should be settings are often apps (especially anything administrative), for example.
    5. Users cannot expect to stay in Metro entirely either. Common system settings like keyboard layouts are contained in the desktop Control Panel only.
    6. Metro pickers (such as contact pickers, for picking a contact in Messenger) often lack search functionality completely. This is especially stupid when dealing with files.
    7. The tutorial system literally does nothing except to show you where hot corners are. Not what they do, or how they're useful, just where they are. Thanks, Microsoft. I expect to get a million phone calls on that one. Not just for how to turn the thing off, but also how to print. (Hint: it's by going to devices then the printer)
    8. Then you get stupid crap like this. By default, photos open in the Metro photos app. Problem is, let's say the photos are in a folder in your desktop. You open one, and expect to flip through the others. Nope! Photos app doesn't have access to the rest, because it's only able to read specific files you give it, or files from the libraries. Period. This is the sort of asinine filesystem that iOS gets ragged on for, except now it's inconsistent since Desktop apps have none of those problems.

    A lot of these are small problems, but most of them are examples of one big problem: inconsistency.

    Introducing a new UI is difficult. Mixing a new UI with an old UI is even more difficult. Microsoft made the "no compromises" promise, and let's be honest, no one expected them to actually fulfill that. But in the end, I think many people will end up asking "why do I have Metro"? For new users, they will have a horrendous time learning it, when the new UI is supposed to be EASY to learn. Because nothing in it is consistent.

    Worse still, is this UI was obviously designed from a tablet point of view, but Windows RT sucks. And I don't mean kinda sucks, I mean it is terrible. There are horrendous performance issues, and the near-empty App Store doesn't do them favors. The tablet-designed UI ironically runs better on non-tablets, yet sucks on desktops.

  17. #17
    While I don't want to upgrade, I will probably end up buying a copy now so I can get it at the $40 price point rather than wait for some game or app that requires Windows 8 to come along and then I'm stuck paying full price.


    Edit: Oh joy, 2 laptops I bought recently qualify for the $14.99 upgrade price. Guess it wont be too costly.
    Last edited by EAH_TRISCUIT; 10-26-2012 at 11:11 AM.

  18. #18
    No Longer Homeless!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ni View Post
    The issue arises with metro apps. Metro is not a multi tasking UI. It lets you run one app at a time and forces it to be fullscreen. When you're in an app, there's no way to see what else is going on on your computer. Not even a clock!

    ...

    The lack of an obvious task list in Metro is one of its biggest downfalls. Seeing what's running is a task in itself, you have to hover over the top left corner. and *then* hover over the vague menu that appears just to see what's running! This is a death to productivity. The same goes for task switching, it's a horrible process for something that on other UIs involves 2 steps: move the mouse and click, now needs: move,wait,move,wait,click. It's such a horrid method of something which is a common task! I don't mind so much with the "Charms" bar because they are less frequent tasks. However, task switching is so common in an OS GUI that it needs to be as painless and obvious as possible.
    All you have to do is move your mouse into a left corner, and then along the edge. IE: Move to the 'Start' corner, then move up along the edge. Or move to the top-left corner and then move down.

    Note that the thumbnails that come up aren't live previews like on the normal Windows taskbar, because obviously I would never want to run more than one app at a time (it will use too much power or something). They're actually a snapshot of the app when it got suspended. Super useful. It might actually be nice if it showed your open desktop windows, but unfortunately they're all lumped into one group.

    @CM: I read Ars Technica too.

  19. #19
    I should note that Jon`C's comments about the Surface aren't really true ("had the **** thoroughly railed out of it"), many reviews (Ars, Engadget, The Verge, Anandtech, and I stopped looking after that) state the hardware is solid, it's just Windows 8 and poor pricing. You might argue that there's no reason to make the distinction since you can't get one without the other, and that's true for now, but it presents a lot of ideas I wish other tablets would adopt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vin View Post
    All you have to do is move your mouse into a left corner, and then along the edge. IE: Move to the 'Start' corner, then move up along the edge. Or move to the top-left corner and then move down.

    Note that the thumbnails that come up aren't live previews like on the normal Windows taskbar, because obviously I would never want to run more than one app at a time (it will use too much power or something). They're actually a snapshot of the app when it got suspended. Super useful. It might actually be nice if it showed your open desktop windows, but unfortunately they're all lumped into one group.
    Yeah, super useful, especially when you don't remember what the app looked like. If only there was some sort of graphical representation of an application... like... an icon. Seriously, the taskbar had previews already, but didn't sacrifice icons to do it. AND it did it without requiring some stupid mouse gesture that is nearly impossible to pull off reliably on multiple monitors. (Good luck keeping it on that edge between two monitors)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vin View Post
    @CM: I read Ars Technica too.
    Good for you.

    They did make it easy to create a bullet point list of my frustrations, but I've been complaining about a lot of this since developer preview.
    Last edited by Cool Matty; 10-26-2012 at 12:52 PM.

  20. #20
    Imon, umon...everymon!
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    My biggest problem is the separation of the classic desktop and metro UI. It's terribly inelegant that I effectively have two ways of managing windows. It's further worse that the only reason desktop mode exists on RT tablets to support Office, because a metro Office rewrite would take years because of the absurd engineering debt they have in the old Win32 API. And smaller companion apps like Google has for Android wouldn't be able to be sold as "full office." That being said I can think of several ways to integrate things without the horribly jarring separation that there is today.
    Bassoon, n. A brazen instrument into which a fool blows out his brains.

  21. #21
    Imon, umon...everymon!
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    A lot of this stuff can probably be fixed in updates. I really love how ****ing easy it is to get and update Metro apps. But the problem is that MS considers this shippable in the first place! Jon's complaints about three monitors is so crazy because EVERY DEV ON WINDOWS HAS AT LEAST 2. You'd think they'd fix it for their own ****ing sanity.

    I think Win8 had a lot of potential. The biggest problem I see with Windows as a division is that they seem to have no proper UI/UX designer that properly understands the field. It's not Sinofsky and it sure as **** isn't Ballmer. So you get this half-ass weird **** that looks like a design-by-committee mess instead of anything approaching unified vision. Apple has Jony Ive. Android has Matias Duarte (guy who did webOS, he is why Android 4+ is ****ing awesome). Windows Phone has some guy. Incidentally Windows Phone 8 is a hell of a lot better than Windows 8, respective for what it is.

    Anyway I've been using Win8 a little at work and on one machine at home and it's largely fine. I actually like a lot of the changes to the regular desktop. I'll be interested to see if it improves.
    Last edited by Emon; 10-26-2012 at 01:01 PM.
    Bassoon, n. A brazen instrument into which a fool blows out his brains.

  22. #22
    EXPERTSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
    [01:52] <~Nikumubeki> Because it's MBEGGAR BEGS LIKE A BEGONI.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by mb View Post
    EXPERTSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
    You don't have to be an expert to find problems with Windows 8

  24. #24
    Imon, umon...everymon!
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    Hit right click in the Games app to bring up the context menu. Notice the music-style playback buttons? Like forward/previous, play/pause and repeat? Confused because this is the GAMES app? Yeah, I was, too, so I emailed the team, and they told me it's for when game trailers are playing. Yes, because watching a single game trailer totally makes sense to have forward/previous tracks and repeat (i.e. there are no playlists to move through!). And because I really need to play/pause it from anywhere in the app, not just using the onscreen video controls like any sane person would attempt to do.
    Last edited by Emon; 10-26-2012 at 01:40 PM.
    Bassoon, n. A brazen instrument into which a fool blows out his brains.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Matty View Post
    You don't have to be an expert to find problems with Windows 8
    never said anything to the contrary.
    [01:52] <~Nikumubeki> Because it's MBEGGAR BEGS LIKE A BEGONI.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by mb View Post
    never said anything to the contrary.
    Yes, but it was a good opportunity to make the joke.

  27. #27
    ..would like a shrubbery.
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    Fun fact: There's no way to control sound in metro apps. You can't mute individual apps and some don't have their own mute button (Solitaire is a good example!)
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  28. #28
    Doubt I'll throw Windows 8 on my desktop or any of my laptops any time soon (as I'm not a fan of some of the changes in a true desktop setting), but I did pick up a Surface RT. Enjoying it quite a bit so far. Don't really have any issues with holding it in landscape mode (it's not that heavy, similar to an iPad in weight). Touch cover and stand on it are awesome so far. Build quality is iPad-level or better I would say, with the only complaint being the power adapter plug, because it sometimes requires a little fiddling, but once it's connected it stays connected. Haven't had any performance issues so far other than some apps take a little bit more time to start up than they would on an iPad say, but nothing bad, just a few more seconds. Nowhere near as bad as the startup times on the first iteration of WP7. Honestly my only big beef right now is that the Citrix Receiver app for it doesn't support RSA passcodes yet it seems. I got it thinking it would make a great little portable RDP/Citrix machine when I need it, and it does work well with RDP, and probably will work fine with Citrix too once it's updated. That's an issue with a third party app though, and I imagine it will get fixed.

    I've messed with Windows 8 since the early previews on a tablet though, so I knew exactly what I was getting into. Obviously the one real big issue on the RT is no x86 legacy apps, but that's not the use case I bought it for, and I figured it will probably have better battery life than the Surface Pro or the other x86 tablets. If the Pro ends up actually being really good and they manage to achieve battery life comparable to a Surface RT or iPad, then I may switch if the Pro isn't too huge, but right now I'm perfectly satisfied with the RT. Now, Massassi, do what you do best and tell me how my opinion is wrong and how I'm a horrible person.

  29. #29
    Imon, umon...everymon!
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    What's so disappointing to me is that Microsoft clearly has some extremely talented people. There are plenty of awesome things in products like Windows 8, but it feels as though some know-it-all executive or some stupid PM committee came along and ruined half of it. I know first hand, because I work in Xbox. We are generally much better about this but sometimes it's still frustrating. It's like some things come so close and just barely miss the target, and the root cause is a problem with company culture that goes all the way to the top. So then you get sad because you realize it will probably never improve. Not unless we get a CEO from outside the company, which is virtually impossible.
    Bassoon, n. A brazen instrument into which a fool blows out his brains.

  30. #30
    maybe one day YOU will be the ceo of microsoft, emon
    COUCHMAN IS BACK BABY

  31. #31
    No Longer Homeless!
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    But he's a developer.

  32. #32
    About to lose his freedom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Boxes and text and icons randomly popping up and flying around in my peripheral vision, constantly triggering the part of my hindbrain that evolved to alert me to predators. At best it's doing some serious long-term harm to my attention span.
    Hmm.... I wonder if this could cause a sort of Windows 8 driven PTSD?
    Welcome to the douchebag club. We'd give you some cookies, but some douche ate all of them. -Rob

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ni View Post
    Indeed you can but it's not very intuitive and the UI itself makes it frustrating so to use that it's not worth it. Beyond that, "multitasking" has become dual tasking, which in the real world isn't that helpful. Let me use that sidebar space to dock a handful of apps, IM (why is this fullscreen?!), Weather, music and there might be some benefit to it.
    I was agreeing with you. Docking apps is a completely worthless non-feature that nobody is ever going to use.

    Quote Originally Posted by EAH_TRISCUIT View Post
    While I don't want to upgrade, I will probably end up buying a copy now so I can get it at the $40 price point rather than wait for some game or app that requires Windows 8 to come along and then I'm stuck paying full price.
    Windows 8 doesn't include any interesting technologies for game development, so there will never be a major game that requires it. Metro apps are the only ones that won't run on Windows 7. While a killer app for Windows 8 isn't logically impossible, it's a slim enough possibility that I wouldn't waste the time to install hedging that bet, let alone $30.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Matty View Post
    I should note that Jon`C's comments about the Surface aren't really true ("had the **** thoroughly railed out of it"), many reviews (Ars, Engadget, The Verge, Anandtech, and I stopped looking after that) state the hardware is solid, it's just Windows 8 and poor pricing.
    The kickstand has a sharp metal edge and will scratch furniture. The kickstand disengages easily when you use it on your lap. The screen sucks - 50% preferred the iPad screen when viewing video, and 100% when viewing text. You have to jiggle the power connector to get it to work right. The touchscreen misses input. The hardware can't handle Windows RT and it can't handle Office, struggling to keep up with any typing speed and pegging the CPU in the latter suite. The touch and type covers show skin oil and are difficult to clean. The SD card slot is hidden under the kickstand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emon View Post
    My biggest problem is the separation of the classic desktop and metro UI. It's terribly inelegant that I effectively have two ways of managing windows. It's further worse that the only reason desktop mode exists on RT tablets to support Office, because a metro Office rewrite would take years because of the absurd engineering debt they have in the old Win32 API.
    Microsoft has already spent 6 years rewriting Office without using Win32. It's called Office 365, written in Javascript and HTML which Windows 8 supports natively as a first-class application. They could take the code from Office 365, put it on Windows RT, and end up with something that's 99% of the way there with a rock solid user experience.

    But, no. Instead they ported Win32 API to the ****ing ARM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emon View Post
    A lot of this stuff can probably be fixed in updates.
    ...to the board of directors and senior management.

    I think Win8 had a lot of potential. The biggest problem I see with Windows as a division is that they seem to have no proper UI/UX designer that properly understands the field. It's not Sinofsky and it sure as **** isn't Ballmer. So you get this half-ass weird **** that looks like a design-by-committee mess instead of anything approaching unified vision.
    ...
    There are plenty of awesome things in products like Windows 8, but it feels as though some know-it-all executive or some stupid PM committee came along and ruined half of it.
    The know-it-all executive you're talking about? That's Steve Sinofsky. Steve Sinofsky unironically feels that he is Microsoft's Steve Jobs, the sole product visionary of the entire company. Steve Ballmer doesn't know enough about his own industry to recognize how harmful he is. Bill Gates probably does, but he doesn't care anymore.

    Steve Sinofsky. The polyester Steve Jobs.

    I know first hand, because I work in Xbox. We are generally much better about this but sometimes it's still frustrating. It's like some things come so close and just barely miss the target, and the root cause is a problem with company culture that goes all the way to the top. So then you get sad because you realize it will probably never improve. Not unless we get a CEO from outside the company, which is virtually impossible.
    You were really close about 3 years ago. Microsoft acquired Groove Networks and started grooming their CEO for the position. Unfortunately Ray Ozzie was given a project that Steve Sinofsky really wanted, so he cried to mommy and daddy (Ballmer and Gates) until he got his way. And then two months later Ray Ozzie quit because he realized that Microsoft has no future.

    Wake me up when Microsoft stops using waterfall.

  34. #34
    Highest utilization I've managed to squeeze out of Word (and this was while typing too fast for the touch cover, so my accuracy was ****) while typing was 19%. Mashing keys like mad I got it to jump to 26%. Holding down backspace and deleting a ****load of text managed to get it to jump up to 30%, and no actual noticeable lag and slowdown from it. Keep in mind, the version of Office that reviewers used was not the current version. It was a preview version and was updated a few days before release.

    I really haven't had any issues with the hardware not being able to handle it right now. Like I said earlier, only performance issue I've seen is that a few apps launch a little slow, but nothing terrible. And once they're running, they seem to perform just fine.

  35. #35
    Imon, umon...everymon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Steve Sinofsky. The polyester Steve Jobs.
    That's a good way of putting exactly what I feel.
    Bassoon, n. A brazen instrument into which a fool blows out his brains.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The kickstand has a sharp metal edge and will scratch furniture. The kickstand disengages easily when you use it on your lap. The screen sucks - 50% preferred the iPad screen when viewing video, and 100% when viewing text. You have to jiggle the power connector to get it to work right. The touchscreen misses input. The hardware can't handle Windows RT and it can't handle Office, struggling to keep up with any typing speed and pegging the CPU in the latter suite. The touch and type covers show skin oil and are difficult to clean. The SD card slot is hidden under the kickstand.
    A. The kickstand that no one else seems to complains about, sure. The iPad smart cover disengages easily when you use it on your lap too, but no one complains about that because it's silly. And the magnet side scratches up the iPad's surface like crazy. It's a kickstand, not a table.
    B. Can't imagine why they'd want a high-res over low res screen! (That's sarcasm) This is a price point problem, not a failing of the tablet. Nexus 7 doesn't get the same complaints because it's got a price point to match.
    C. The power connector is a problem, but a minor one. It's not ruining the entire device.
    D. The touchscreen has to do with Windows lagging, not the screen.
    E. The hardware speed isn't the problem, we know what's inside it and we've seen it work on other devices (see also: Android). The problem was that Microsoft didn't get nearly the optimization of Windows/Office that it needed to to make ARM work. Again, it's software.
    F. Oh god, covers get dirty. That's obviously a mark off the device. I guess I should throw away every other cover I've ever used too.
    G. And now you're really reaching for things to complain about. An SD card under an easily movable kickstand. The way you mention this would sound like you have to dismantle it to get to the SD card. Frankly, I think it's better there. It's protected by the kickstand from the elements, and yet still easy to insert/remove. If you seriously swap SD cards so often (like multiple times an hour) that this is an issue, get an SD card reader. *waits for some ridiculous comment about how some guy cut his chair in half via the kickstand when removing an SD card*

    Funny thing is, I'm not even being a Microsoft apologist with this. You just irrationally want to hate the Surface because Windows 8 blows so hard. I don't even want a Surface (anymore) because Android's been doing some exciting stuff. But I'm not trying to burn down the hardware for the failings in software. WebOS had a similar problem (except it wasn't UI, it was just performance). The Palm Pre was a damn good little device. It wasn't perfect (there were some joint problems that were fixed rather quickly and covered under warranty), but it was damn good. It had a good screen, a unique body, a great keyboard for the size, incredibly handy inductive charging, and powerful hardware (matching that of the iPhone at the time). But WebOS was asking way too much of it. It wasn't that the hardware was slow, it was the software being un-optimized (and frankly a little early for its time).

    And that's why I keep drilling that home.


    As for the rest (Win8, Office, etc.), yeah, I agree.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth View Post
    Doubt I'll throw Windows 8 on my desktop or any of my laptops any time soon (as I'm not a fan of some of the changes in a true desktop setting), but I did pick up a Surface RT. Enjoying it quite a bit so far. Don't really have any issues with holding it in landscape mode (it's not that heavy, similar to an iPad in weight). Touch cover and stand on it are awesome so far. Build quality is iPad-level or better I would say, with the only complaint being the power adapter plug, because it sometimes requires a little fiddling, but once it's connected it stays connected. Haven't had any performance issues so far other than some apps take a little bit more time to start up than they would on an iPad say, but nothing bad, just a few more seconds. Nowhere near as bad as the startup times on the first iteration of WP7. Honestly my only big beef right now is that the Citrix Receiver app for it doesn't support RSA passcodes yet it seems. I got it thinking it would make a great little portable RDP/Citrix machine when I need it, and it does work well with RDP, and probably will work fine with Citrix too once it's updated. That's an issue with a third party app though, and I imagine it will get fixed.

    I've messed with Windows 8 since the early previews on a tablet though, so I knew exactly what I was getting into. Obviously the one real big issue on the RT is no x86 legacy apps, but that's not the use case I bought it for, and I figured it will probably have better battery life than the Surface Pro or the other x86 tablets. If the Pro ends up actually being really good and they manage to achieve battery life comparable to a Surface RT or iPad, then I may switch if the Pro isn't too huge, but right now I'm perfectly satisfied with the RT. Now, Massassi, do what you do best and tell me how my opinion is wrong and how I'm a horrible person.
    Your opinion is wrong.

    Well, not really, but let's be honest. Based on your post, you bought a glorified thin client. You're not even using Windows RT really, except to launch RDP. I imagine the keyboard cover would be handy for that, but otherwise just about any laptop could fill that need easily for you (both Android and iOS have amazingly solid RDP clients).

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Matty View Post
    Your opinion is wrong.

    Well, not really, but let's be honest. Based on your post, you bought a glorified thin client. You're not even using Windows RT really, except to launch RDP. I imagine the keyboard cover would be handy for that, but otherwise just about any laptop could fill that need easily for you (both Android and iOS have amazingly solid RDP clients).
    That's not the only reason I bought it, that's just one of my more important use cases. It fills its role as a regular tablet as well just fine for me. But keep telling me I'm wrong.

    And to elaborate on Surface's advantages over other tablets for RDP, Citrix, etc., being able to support an actual mouse (be it on the touch cover or a USB mouse) is a big deal to me. I know the iPad can't do that, the closest thing you can do is hook up an iPhone and use it as a trackpad with some apps I think. I dunno about Android, it probably can, but Android has never interested me in the slightest. Either way though, I have an iPad as well, and honestly I'll probably be using the Surface a whole lot more now.
    Last edited by Darth; 10-26-2012 at 04:26 PM.

  39. #39
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Matty View Post
    A. The kickstand that no one else seems to complains about, sure. The iPad smart cover disengages easily when you use it on your lap too, but no one complains about that because it's silly. And the magnet side scratches up the iPad's surface like crazy. It's a kickstand, not a table.
    Yeah, good thing Microsoft has never implied that you can use the Surface on your lap with a touch cover.



    B. Can't imagine why they'd want a high-res over low res screen! (That's sarcasm) This is a price point problem, not a failing of the tablet. Nexus 7 doesn't get the same complaints because it's got a price point to match.
    No, this is a failing of the tablet. The Nexus 7 has a comparable screen resolution in a smaller size (216 dpi vs. 148 dpi). Microsoft cheaped out on the screen, end of story. (They probably had to decrease the screen cost to offset the higher cost of the magnesium alloy vs. aluminum. What would you rather have, though? A tablet that shows scratches on the back, or a tablet with a ****ty screen?)

    C. The power connector is a problem, but a minor one. It's not ruining the entire device.
    No, it's a huge problem. It means the power connector was not designed or tested adequately. How many cycles do you think they put their prototypes through if they had to have someone testing it manually, jiggling and reseating it to make a connection? I don't think it's going to cause fires, like the first-generation magsafe connectors, but it's not a good sign.

    D. The touchscreen has to do with Windows lagging, not the screen.
    E. The hardware speed isn't the problem, we know what's inside it and we've seen it work on other devices (see also: Android). The problem was that Microsoft didn't get nearly the optimization of Windows/Office that it needed to to make ARM work. Again, it's software.
    The Surface is an integrated system. Yes, you could eke better performance out of the hardware by running a more efficient operating system, but the entire point of the device is that it runs capital-W Windows. Microsoft deliberately chose hardware that can't handle it.

    It's not a problem of "optimization". iOS and Android are aggressively designed to handle mobile device workloads from the ground up, and include lots of tricks and hacks to make the user experience look more fluid than it really is. You can't optimize the desktop out of a desktop OS.

    F. Oh god, covers get dirty. That's obviously a mark off the device. I guess I should throw away every other cover I've ever used too.
    If the covers show skin oil and are difficult to clean, it means they chose poor materials for a device that is meant to be handled frequently. Yes, this is a mark off the device. Why would you ever think otherwise?

    G. And now you're really reaching for things to complain about. An SD card under an easily movable kickstand. The way you mention this would sound like you have to dismantle it to get to the SD card. Frankly, I think it's better there. It's protected by the kickstand from the elements, and yet still easy to insert/remove. If you seriously swap SD cards so often (like multiple times an hour) that this is an issue, get an SD card reader. *waits for some ridiculous comment about how some guy cut his chair in half via the kickstand when removing an SD card*
    I mentioned it because this was brought up in a review. I don't even own an SD card. You're the one who said that the reviews were all positive about the hardware.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth View Post
    And to elaborate on Surface's advantages over other tablets for RDP, Citrix, etc., being able to support an actual mouse (be it on the touch cover or a USB mouse) is a big deal to me. I know the iPad can't do that, the closest thing you can do is hook up an iPhone and use it as a trackpad with some apps I think. I dunno about Android, it probably can, but Android has never interested me in the slightest. Either way though, I have an iPad as well, and honestly I'll probably be using the Surface a whole lot more now.
    Android can. For no useful purpose, I've paired a Microsoft Bluetooth mouse with my Galaxy Nexus. I suspect Android mouse support is still relatively new, because I couldnt find any settings to change pointer size, acceleration, ect.

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