The Inexplicable Choices of MS...

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro' started by mitchellvii, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. mitchellvii

    mitchellvii Well-Known Member

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    The more I delve into using my SP and seriously interacting with the Metro interface I am faced with a dichotomy. At times Metro seems brilliant and visionary. At other times the choices made by developers seem to have sprung from some sort of LSD addled hot tub party. Here are some examples:

    1) THE START BUTTON: This is an easy one. Is there anyone actually glad to see the Start Button go? Was the Start Button one of those things Windows 7 users were clamoring to get rid of? Yes you can now add one aftermarket (thank God), but it should be native. Something is seriously wrong with a development team that INTENTIONALLY destroys what was arguably the best most popular feature of their prior OS. Does anyone doubt that W8 sales would have been wildly better had they kept the Start Button? But here's the thing, MS doesn't care about sales, they care about their "vision". Not OUR vision, THEIR vision. They dumped the Start Button because they wanted to make using desktop so uncomfortable we would be FORCED to adopt Metro, and once we did, well then we would all see how lovely it is and thank them for holding a gun to our heads.

    2) EXPLORER 10: That leads me to my next point. If MS wants to force us from desktop so badly, why do they force us BACK to desktop if we want to add to or organize our Explorer 10 favorites? Have you looked at favorites in Metro Explorer 10? There are no folders, there is no alphabetical order, there is simply a list of hundreds or thousands of favorites in the order they were added. Who could possibly make use of that? Also, while IE 10 looks fine on our small, HD screen it looks TERRIBLE on a large monitor. Why? They killed cleartype font smoothing ON PURPOSE. I understand this is because cleartype doesn't work on a rotating screen anyway, but when I am displayported to an external monitor rotation is disabled but I still get no cleartype? Seriously, how does this junk make it out the door?

    3) WORD 2013: Again, looks awesome on our little tablet, HORRIBLE on a big monitor. Fonts are a jagged mess. Same with Outlook 2013. Access 2013 looks great though. Word from MS is that the are using a "new" rendering engine on Word 2013. What is it called, "suck.exe"? Is MS trying to force us to give up our desktops completely by making everything look terrible in a larger format? This font disaster of Word 2013 is not a bug, it is a "feature". How do they even say that with a straight face?

    4)THE KICKSTAND: You can't adjust the angle. What else is there to say? As I don't have eyeballs in the middle of my chest this is an obvious fail, once again done on purpose because having an adjustable kickstand would have denied us the satisfying "thunk" made when closing it. The MS rep explained to me that this creates an "emotional response of attachment" in the user. So usability is not important, we are going for emotional responses. LSD is the only possible explanation.

    5) POWER PEN WHATEVER THINGY: Storing the pen in the power outlet? Considering I am most likely to want to store my pen when I am charging (i.e., not using) this is pure madness. Also have you ever tried to keep the power plug plugged in when using your tablet in bed? You move at all and boom, it falls out and if you don't notice your tablet goes dead when you "thought" you were charging.

    6) ZOOM SETTINGS: Windows 8 intentionally does not allow the user to have different zoom settings for extended monitors. Think about this. They are FORCING us to have 150 zoom on our external monitors if we want to be able to read anything on our tablets. TPTB told us they were working super super hard to fix this - like 2 months ago - how's that going there guys? Too busy looking for ways to break things that worked just fine in Windows 7? No seriously, what do your thousands of programmers do all day that you cant eek out a few hours to fix such a glaring problem?

    There is much to like in the SP. It is a fine piece of hardware as toaster ovens go, but what pisses me off is it could have been GREAT. It could have DOMINATED. But it isn't and doesn't because of intentionally brainless choices made by the MS development team. It's like running a trick play at the 1 yard line and fumbling when a dive across the middle would have worked just fine.

    I would like to hope MS would fix these things in the future but it is pretty clear that is the way MS wants it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
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  2. machistmo

    machistmo Active Member

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    I posted this in another forum and I nominate you for a contest prize for that post about the kickstand in your other ZOOM problem post.

    I agree that Metro is the future. Unfortunately its NOT the present and MS needs to back off shoving it down peoples throats. Most of what I run on my SP is Desktop only. Why act like the Desktop doesn't exist when 2% of everything for windows runs in Metro only? I mean, again, I agree, Metro is the future and if they would design 8 accordingly, more people would like it and stop complaining. As it is now we are being forced to avoid METRO being shoved in our faces, and I have the SP (touch) and the Dell S2340T Monitor (touch). I still avoid metro because the desktop is still the reality of my computing experience.

    I can NOT post paragraphs on this forum unless I run IE in desktop and compatibility mode. To say nothing of posting pictures here and this forum is ALL ABOUT Windows 8 and the Surface. We are in that uncomfortable stage between adolescence and adulthood. I just wish MS would back off a little on forcing METRO on us. I know several people who have upgraded to Windows8 on all the PC's they own and then downgraded and sworn off windows 8 completely. I hear that A LOT. A LOT. Metro is ENTIRELY the reason. I mean talk about a bad move.

    So I will say it again, I agree that Metro is the future. Its just NOT the present.
     
  3. mitchellvii

    mitchellvii Well-Known Member

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    The most frustrating part is that some of these design choices (like making favorites in Metro IE completely useless), survived countless meetings, reviews and planning sessions. Did they focus group a bunch of people who said Favorites should be a jumbled mess?

    I can see it now. Hey Bob hows it coming on Metro IE? It's all done Bill. The guy that was supposed to make Favorites usable is out with the flu but nobody uses Favorites anyway so we're all good...
     
  4. rlon47

    rlon47 New Member

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    Really, the Start button? That's what gets you so worked up? It was really cool 15 years ago but like most users, I grew to rarely use it as the taskbar became better and better. I'm glad you grabbed the third party option, but the Start button is really, truly an issue only with a subset of the folks who hang out on tech sites.

    Now, I am in agreement with you concerning the Metro IE and its favorites bar. I am not however saying, as I suspect you are, that the problem is that this is a touch friendly way of presenting favorites and what you really want is the same menu driven approach in the desktop IE. The problem with Metro IE's favorites bar is the organization of it or rather the lack thereof. Folders are needed, as is an alphabet selection process similar to what was introduced in Xbox Music or on the WP app list. Most commonly used sites sometimes seem to move to the top of the list, but other times don't. There are serious version 1 issues here and I am concerned I haven't seen anything about changes to this in the 8.1 leaks.

    I also don't share your concerns about the kickstand. I seriously doubt that having two or three options would have hurt the emotional response. This isn't an issue for everyone and I find it fascinating that Surface users rant about this while iPad users seem content with their magic covers that also offer just one setting.

    My use of the Surface doesn't involve plugging it in to bigger monitors, but this is a legitimate concern for those who do. While trashing the programmers is probably satisfying, I'm sure they are addressing the question as they promised. I think your other complaints are strictly personal usage issues and I hope you don't really expect any company to cover all of the possible places and postures that users might attempt while using their product.

    Based on the rants I've read from you and others complaining about the Surface, the device should have a power adapter that requires two handed grip to remove, a continuously adjustable and removable kickstand, a second power adapter for the pen or a silo, a screen that is bigger, squarer, and more pixel dense. The Surface should be lighter, thinner, bigger, smaller, have better battery life but also have LTE. There are legitimate version 1 problems with Windows 8 and the Surface. I still love my device. I have both the Pro and the RT. RT travels with me every day while Pro is the second family PC.
     
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  5. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    The issue with the Start button isn't about coolness but, rather, about functionality.

    Because I am "all in" when it comes to moving ahead with Windows 8, I have chosen not to install a third-party app to bring back the Start button so my "workaround" has been to add more icons to my Taskbar.

    However, the Taskbar is not a substitute for the Start button/menu. For one thing, if I had to put all the icons in my Start menu onto the Taskbar, then my Taskbar would probably take up half the screen, without the scrolling functionality! :) The fact is, in Windows 7 I only had my top/most-frequently used apps on my Taskbar, but because there is no Start button/menu by default, I now have added many more icons to my Taskbar that I normally would not have added. For example, in Windows 7, I would put my less-frequently used apps in my Start menu so that they were only two mouse clicks away; the really infrequent ones I would keep in the Start > Programs menu path. This was great, convenient, and extremely functional.

    Today, after I install/upgrade a Desktop app, I go to its Start > Programs folder and I pin all of its icons onto Start screen and make sure I move them all together into the same group. This is completely unnecessary with the existence of a Start button.
     
  6. mitchellvii

    mitchellvii Well-Known Member

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    rlon47 your post is so full of wrong that I feel the need to respond to each comment individually:

    Lol, seriously? No one except geeks care about the missing Start Button? Have you noticed that Windows 8 sales SUCK? As a business owner let me tell you that one of the main reasons enterprises aren't adopting Windows 8 is the lack of the Start Button. StarDock has a HUGE bestseller with their Start8 Start Button replacement. You are making the common logical fallacy that just because something isn't important to you or your circle of friends it isn't important to anyone.

    Perhaps but on the iPad those cases provide the "correct" angle. The angle of the SP kickstand is simply ridiculous unless you happen to be an 8 year old child or are very very short.

    Well if you are saying we can't expect MS to respond to our "personal use issues" then you are correct, they don't. MS doesn't give a damn about our personal use issues. They care only about their vision and jamming it down our throats. However, to imply that my using an extended monitor puts me into some insignificant subset MS can't bother themselves with you really need to get out more. Most business people use multiple monitor setups. Perhaps that is why Windows 8 is a complete fail with enterprise users?

    I'm sorry if everyone isn't as sycophantic towards MS as yourself. The SP does many things well and many others very very poorly. It's like a beautiful woman who smokes. You love looking at her, but you taste cigarettes every time you kiss.
     
  7. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    Overall, I like and am comfortable with the Modern UI but "brilliant" and "visionary" are certainly not words I'd use to describe it. :LOL:

    The big frustrations that I would add to your list are:

    7) TILE FOLDERS: The only way to organize tiles is to create groups. Thus, you have an ever-expanding, horizontally-scrolling set of tiles on the Start screen. Uggh! :mad: The more organized you get, the more groups you end up creating, the more scrolling to the right you have to do, especially to get the icons of newly-installed apps so that you can move them into their appropriate groups. Awful! Yes, there's a zoom out feature, but it is still a ridiculous implementation. As it stands right now, I could not replicate my old Windows 7 Start menu structure on the Windows 8 Start screen because I'd have too many groups and the horizontal scrolling would be ridiculous, so I'm doing the best I can to minimize the number of groups I have on the Start screen. I'm "okay" with the setup I have, but without a doubt, I wish I had the folder-type drill-down capabilities on the Start screen.

    8) TILE ORGANIZATION: Have you ever tried to organize your tiles? The first time I did, my immediate reaction was disbelief! I couldn't believe that someone thought that it made sense! I should be able to move around and organize my tiles within the group as I please. None of this two columns at a time nonsense or however it works. Totally awful! So I lose folder-organization capabilities and then it becomes an art to organize my application tiles. Absolutely ridiculous!
     
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  8. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    I am an IT consultant and one of the first things that came to mind when I discovered that there was no Start button by default were all the Help Desk tutorials/instructions. So many of them have "Click Start > Programs > ..." in their documentation, so what do you replace those instructions with after you upgrade to Windows 8? Do you really want to re-write all that documentation to say, for example, "Press the Windows button, type 'xyz' on the Start screen, ...?" If not, so then the solution is to buy an additional (third-party) app that you now need to support and include in your rollout of Windows 8? Either option is ugly and unacceptable.
     
  9. rlon47

    rlon47 New Member

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    Ho, ho Mitchellvii:
    Are you seriously suggesting that Windows 8 sales suck because of the Start button? That is an excuse that has to be the most original I've heard. I actually can suggest far more important reasons for disappointing sales: the general suckiness of the economy, the growth of cheap tablet devices, the failure of OEM's to put touch devices on the shelves, Microsoft spending too little on education and training of sales staff and the general public about the radical new look and operation. All of these are the real reasons for slower than expected sales of Windows 8, which will nevertheless still surpass all versions combined of MacOS later this year.

    I suggested nothing to cause you to believe I have a sycophantic view of Microsoft. I expressed my issues with the Metro version of IE and here are some more: I don't like that RT won't just let me install media to SD cards without a stupid hack and speaking of SD cards, the location of the card slot is awful. Both models need better cameras and speakers. Many of the remainder of my complaints appear to be addressed from what I've seen of version 8.1. Yet I am sure there will still be something I don't like. I didn't say the extended monitor issue was insignificant. I said it wasn't relevant to my use of the Surface but I can understand why it is important to others. I just have no reason to believe it isn't really being addressed as was promised. Surface RT has been out since late October and has had 3 firmware and/or software updates. The Pro has only been out 60 days and has already had a software update. It seems Microsoft is working on issues they know to exist.

    The Start button is NOT coming back, sorry. I hope they CAN solve the extended screen issue to your satisfaction. I doubt they will be able to fix the problem of the charging cord being dislodged while using the Pro in bed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
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  10. Talldog

    Talldog Member

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    I was thinking about getting one of those Start button replacement apps, but I decided not to since the Start screen is supposed to replace it and I wanted to give it a chance. A few weeks later I don't miss the Start button at all. Resistance to change is how I see it. Funny how Apple never seems to face that problem. They say jump and the whole world says how high.
     
  11. tonyz3

    tonyz3 New Member

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    For those of you fixated on the start button. You can do this in its place without adding third party app. Add the Quick Launch Bar to the Taskbar in Windows 7 after doing so you can drag it all the way to the left which will leave a toggle screen button which will toggle through all open apps including metro apps ..very handy when using as tablet only...and next to that you will have a small arrow which if pressed will expand all the quick launch apps you pinned in there. I for one don't miss the start button. I refer the full screen metro apps. I can not wait until the complete Office suit is metro and the desktop is completely gone. That being said I agree with much about the favorites in metro ie it needs work at least an option to move or rearrange the favs around.
     
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  12. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    You know the most inexplicable choice that I think MS has made? For devices like the Surface where internal storage drives are at a premium in terms of space, the inability to integrate the SD card is mind-boggling. I mean, come on, to link contents of the SD card to the Libraries, one has to jump through a lot of hoops. Why? Is there a technical reason as to why MS ignored to set this up?
     

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