Yes, this is a rant. It’s not politically correct. This one perhaps more so than most of mine. If you want to complain, that’s nice. Send all of your complaints here.
Microsoft is the new tabletard.
Microsoft just released the hounds on the Windows 8 NDAs and I think it’s well and good to finally admit that we have a new word: Tabletard. For those unfamiliar with this word, please see commentard, twittard, celebritard, ad nauseum. And no, I do not mean people who are stupid about tables. I mean people who are stupid about tablets. Of which, now, apparently Microsoft is one of them.
Why do I say that Microsoft is a tabletard? Simple, look at what Windows 8 is. Take Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7, mash them together in the worst possible way, and tada! You now have Windows 8.
When first announced that Windows 8 would have a Metro mode and Windows 7 mode (which within this rant I will refuse to use as a term and will from now on call Phone, because that’s all it is), I rather figured that the Phone part would be something gimmicky that you can on the side. Like how Windows 7 has that Windows XP Compatibility mode. Call me crazy, but I had rather assumed that Microsoft was rational enough to comprehend that PC users use PCs. That Windows was the primary OS people want on their Windows box. That the Phone part is just there to run “apps”.
Apparently Microsoft doesn’t get it.
I guess I can’t entirely blame them. Ubuntu obviously missed the boat on that one as well. More so than Microsoft, by a mile.
Still, it’s rather ludicrous to suddenly assume that every device you ever install your OS on is now a tablet or phone, and that it has no keyboard or mouse. You’d have to be a flipping moron to make that assumption. I mean you would literally need to be mentally retarded to assume that. Hence why Microsoft now joins Canonical (the folks responsible for Ubuntu) amongst the ranks of tabletards.
I’m already sick and tired of Windows 7’s Start Menu. I didn’t like it any better when it was Windows XP’s. The “Classic” Start Menu is what I vastly prefer, because as someone who actually works for a living, I have a lot of applications which I use. There’s simply not enough room in the psychic ever-failing-to-predict Start Menu that Microsoft has been trying to replace the classic Start Menu with forever. I am constantly using the “All Programs” button any time I can’t have my Classic Start Menu. Which is really freaking annoying.
I do not want my icons hidden. I do not want my Start Menu shrunk. I have a lot of icons that I need. I have a lot of programs that I regularly use. Stop trying to make me click a lot of extra times to do everyday tasks, Microsoft!
Now enter Windows 8, which replaces the bad Start menu with something even worse: Phone! (Remember, I am not calling it Metro.) Yes, that’s right, now a bunch of tiles make up your Start Menu. Tiles which will mostly lack any and all useful information for people like me who will be using Windows to run applications, not Phone “apps”. It takes up even more room. It’s uglier. And it’s even less useful. Huzzah?
Likewise, you get a schizophrenic experience in Windows 8. If you run a Windows application, it operates just like you’d expect. It’s the Windows experience that you know and love. But if you run a Phone app, it runs fullscreen, and with all of the finger-swiping interactivity that you’d come to expect from apps. Will people be able to figure out what to do when the run an app instead of an application?
And the bigger question is, how well will the dichotomy of application/app … aka app(lication) even work when navigating Windows. So far that’s one that people have been keeping rather quiet on. Will Alt-Tab even work at all? How does Aero handle applications vs. apps? Will navigating from within an app be like apps? Will navigating from within an application be like applications? Frankly, even if these questions are answered right now, until the final binaries hits the silicon, I’m not going to believe for a minute that tweaks and refinements won’t happen, or features of navigation change entirely. It’s a messy messy world that Microsoft is creating by treating apps as apps within Windows. And it’s a mess the way that Microsoft is cramming Windows Phone 7 into Windows 7 and calling it Windows 8.
Seriously, is it so hard to comprehend that most people are not going to find Phone in any way useful on a desktop PC? Now if you want to enable some goofy Phone interface, as an option, I’m all for that. After all, tablet PCs like my Viliv S5 could very well use some finger-friendlier navigational aid. (Something Viliv tried to accomplish with Cube UI, but failed badly.) But again, Phone should be an option, not forced upon everyone. Not everyone has a touchscreen. Not everyone even owns a smartphone, let alone wants to navigate their PC like it were one, using a mouse instead of a finger no less. In fact most do not! A phone is a phone and a PC is a PC and never the twain shall meet in many people’s minds. So any defaulting to phone behavior or navigation on a PC’s operating system is A Bad Thing! The kind of thing that only a tabletard would design.