Windows 8 Bleg

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Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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50 Responses

  1. This might be the answer to your first question if you’re just looking to get back to the general Windows UI.Report

  2. Avatar Windows 7 says:

    Format your c drive and get rid of that Shit they call windows 8, and put Windows 7, problem solved..Report

  3. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I’m not sure what resources are out there for your Burt but you aren’t alone in the complaints. And you are correct, it was designed for tablets. I suspect Windows 7 is going to be like XP and remain the OS of choice for quite some time.Report

  4. Avatar DRS says:

    Microsoft should DIAF. Their Apple-envy is out of control.Report

  5. Avatar Roger says:

    Take it back before it is too late and just switch to Mac. Eventually everyone will give up on them. It is just a matter of when.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Roger says:

      You know, as a fellow Mac user, this is why people find us annoying. PCs are somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the price, with the same basic functions, and it’s easier to find games that are compatible with them; I can see why some people prefer them.

      I think that now most people with Explorer just download Firefox or Chrome for free, though.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to KatherineMW says:

        “How do you know when a Mac User is at your party?” “Don’t worry about it. They’ll tell you.”

        Thank you for that, Katherine. Roger, if I’d just bought a Toyota and had an issue with it, a friend saying “You should have bought a Mercedes, your Toyota is a piece of trash” isn’t particularly helpful.

        That’s kind of how Mac users sound when they gloat over Windows users having trouble.Report

        • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Burt Likko says:

          Most Mac users would see it as Toyota (Mac) vs. GM/Ford (PC), but given the price differential your comparison may be the more apt.Report

        • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Burt Likko says:

          Be glad no Linux users have volunteered their help (“If you used Linux, you could just upgrade the window manager. Oh, yeah, that requires the latest version of the kernel, so you need that. And you’d better check if your filesystem needs patches for that. And if all your drivers are compatible — I lost my sound card at first, but then I found this neat utility that lets Windows drivers run inside a kernel sandbox, although it seems to cut off most of the bass, but I downloaded an equalizer utility and configured it to compensate for that. Anyway, you’re an idiot for using anything as inflexible as Windows.)Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Roger says:

      I’ll switch to Macs when they allow me the degree of hardware versatility (and price variability) that Windows does.Report

      • Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to Will Truman says:

        Macs once had a giant usability advantage over Windows, but Windows 7 was very stable and very usable. And, I suspect from their recent releases (including their new Calendar program in MacOS and the new Maps program on the iPhone) that Apple’s usability advantage may not persist into the future…Report

      • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to Will Truman says:

        Now that I’m out of the tech business, I’ve slowly lost my pro-PC zeal. Finally, last year, I decided I needed a laptop and dammit but Apple beat PC again by coming up with a dual-touch trackpad, going a long way toward remedying my biggest hangup against laptops. But holy hell are those things expensive. Cooled my jets right quick.

        I look around at all these people with Apple stuff and think to myself, recession reschmession.Report

  6. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I think this kind of wraps up why Mac people like Macs in a nutshell. When a new version comes out, everyone upgrades and says, “Oh, that’s kind of cool.” When Windows users upgrade, they’re always saying its really terrible.

    Stuff like that make the Mac seem worth the extra money.Report

    • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Windows 95, NT, XP, and 7 were all huge improvements over the previous versions. (3.1 was much better than 3.0, but in the same way that pneumonia is much better than typhoid.)

      So PC users only complain half the time 🙂Report

    • Avatar Snarky McSnarksnark in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I dunno… Lion caused a bit of uproar, when it came out.

      Ironically, as DRS has noted, the issues with this version of the OS come directly from Microsoft’s “Apple envy.” They looked at the simplicity and elegance that could come from a unitarian design aesthetic, and strong commitment to design choices. And in Windows 8, they tried to duplicate this.

      Unfortunately, whoever is leading the Windows redesign effort is no Steve Jobs. Microsoft has made a strong commitment to an inappropriate design. The OS seems well-designed and well-scaled for casual use on a slate computer. But for those millions of us who must work and design on a PC, we’ve kind of been left in the lurch.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      When a new version comes out, everyone upgrades and says, “Oh, that’s kind of cool.”

      Well, yeah…

      More seriously, Windows users are whiners and moaners. For the first six months after Windows 2000 came out, my friends did nothing but talk about how terrible it was. Now many of them say it was the best version of Windows ever made.

      Win7 got a lot of positive attention, though. The soft bigotry of low expectations.Report

      • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Will Truman says:

        Do you mean XP rather than 2000? 2000 was an upgrade to NT 4.0, and as such was targeted to the commercial market (the corresponding home version was the abomination called Windows ME). XP was the first version that was intended for both home and commercial users (built on top of the NT kernel) and as such was the first home version whose internals didn’t completely suck.Report

        • I was in college at the time and Microsoft was huge into introducing us to the product. Show your student ID, get a free copy of Windows 2000, and get a free candy bar! Oh, by the way, we have absolutely no verification process… winkwink. This is an exaggeration, but it was flying everywhere. So a lot of people in my very precise age range got Windows 2000 as a consumer product rather than commercial product. (So much so that I didn’t even know Win2k was specifically a commercial product until recently.)Report

          • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Will Truman says:

            Interesting. I recall Win2K only vaguely, as “Yeah, they released a new version of NT that’s mostly compatible, but we still need to run the tests against it.” (I don’t think I ever had W2K-related bugs, but the people who did (because its thread-scheduling algorithm was different, or something equally obscure) cursed a lot.) XP was the awesome ability to play all of the kids’ Win95-based games without crashing every half hour.

            I’m still curious why your friends prefer 200o to XP (which I consider the best ever, though 7 has its points).Report

            • Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to MikeSchilling says:

              Mike –

              I think your memory has betrayed you. Windows 2000 was the Win NT version that had the Windows 95 interface, and was widely used as a consumer OS. ME was the last version of Windows built atop the pre-NT Windows kernel .Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

                The fork isn’t quite that atomic.

                2000 was loosely based on the NT4 kernel philosophy (which was built off of the NT branch of the Microsoft OS history), but there were design considerations that were completely against earlier NT principles, and there was a lot of system stuff that was lifted almost straight from 98 for backwards-compatibility.

                ME was built off of 98 2nd edition (which was built on 95, which was only very loosely built on 3.11, more or less). And yes, it sucked ass, for all the reasons that 98 sucked squared.

                XP was built off of 2000. It really just was 2K with different window dressing and a couple of cosmetic changes (after they dropped the db file system from the development thread, it wasn’t a major upgrade at all, really).

                We’re now more or less all running off of the NT base of the kernel, if you can say that with a straight face.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

                Wiki agrees with me:

                Windows XP, the successor to Windows 2000 and Windows Me, was the first consumer-oriented operating system produced by Microsoft to be built on the Windows NT kernel.

                But since our disagreement is about which were “consumer-oriented” rather than what they contain, it’s all pretty fuzzy.Report

            • Basically Windows 2000 did almost everything XP did but with a much lighter footprint. If you used Win2K for any significant amount of time, XP came across as bloated and slow and you weren’t sure what enhancements occurred to justify it.

              I only stopped using Win2K a couple years ago. I’d switched to XP for most of my computers just due to the enhanced out-of-the-box driver support, but still used 2000 for less robust machines. About two years ago it just became unusuable and I started using Linux for machines that struggled under WinXP.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Trumwill says:

                Hmm. I’d guess the bloat is related to 95/98/ME compatibility, but that’s purely a WAG.Report

              • Maybe. Pat might be able to clarify, but my understanding of XP was that it was simpy layered on top of 2000 without much in the way of added compatibility to 95/98. It was just that by the time XP came out, more drivers and such existed for the 2K/XP layer than had when 2K initially came out.

                The knock on XP was that most of the bloat was caused by cosmetic improvements. Being who we are, blech on cosmetics. But I’m WAGging it here, too, somewhat.

                What say you, Pat?Report

          • Avatar M.A. in reply to Will Truman says:

            Are you sure you aren’t talking about Windows Millenium Edition as the thing everyone hated? That was supposed to be the consumer edition AFAIK. Article seems to indicate that XP may have been rushed out the door for fear of Millen. Edition crashing their home user market.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Will Truman says:

        Windows 2000 was the first time Microsoft launched an OS without updating their outstanding driver database.

        So it was the first time that people bought a Microsoft OS that didn’t work with all of their existing equipment.Report

        • The driver support was an issue. Not just the driver database, but a lot of part-vendors weren’t caught up (I couldn’t use video in-out). The big thing I remember was “10,000 bugs.” Some group said they found as much and that was considered proof of how terrible 2000 was and how Microsoft sucked. Then people started realizing the notably fewer BSOD’s and – unlike ME – its reputation was rehabilitated with my cohort.Report

  7. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    While I get all the hate aimed at OS manufacturers, I also want my cursor to stop jumping around on me while I’m typing something. This happened to me over twenty times last night while I was trying to write something for work. Why why why does it do this? Am I the only one this happens to?Report

  8. Avatar jason says:

    downgrade to win7. M$ is sticking with the historical model of absolute crap with every other generation of OS.Report

  9. Avatar dhex says:

    haven’t used win 8 yet but can’t you just bypass the start screen and all that jazz?Report

  10. Avatar Navin Sivanandam says:

    Let me preface this saying I too and a Windows 8 virgin, and much of the following is just stuff I’ve stumbled on in the last couple weeks. There’s probably a better way to do almost everything.

    That said, here are some quick and easy fixes/tips:
    – On the Start screen there is a button that takes you to the Desktop (by default in the far left column). I’ve moved mine to the bottom left corner so I know where it is.
    – You can get back to the Start screen by pressing the Windows button on the keyboard, moving the mouse pointer to the bottom left corner and clicking on the start icon that pops up, moving the mouse pointer to the right corners and clicking on the central icon in the pop-up toolbar
    – To launch an application that isn’t on the Start screen, go to Start screen and start typing name of application
    – Windows Key+X gives pop up menu in bottom left that’s like the old Start Menu without the programs – very useful for changing settings
    – I had problems with my touchpad, issues with included driver with Windows 8 – it doesn’t seem to turn off the touchpad when the keyboard is being used (this should be a standard feature in touchpad drivers). Fixed this by installing Windows 7 driver, to do this you’ll need to poke around on the laptop manufacturers website or (if that fails) the touchpad manufacturer’s website. It took some fiddling to get this to work but once done the cursor jumping should stop. Let me note here, that this is a huge failing from Microsoft, no OS should ship without a proper generic touchpad driver.

    For what it’s worth I like the new UI in Windows. It’s far from perfect but the blending of tablet and desktop interfaces works for me. I can live without the Start Menu, but it would be nice if you could at least launch Desktop apps from the desktop (actually can do this if you create quick launch icons for them on the taskbar) and also if you had a hot corner (and hot key) that allowed you to reach the desktop from anywhere (there is a way, using the hot corners on the left of the screen and sliding up or down along the edge gives a pop up sidebar of running programs, but its less than ideal).

    Good luck.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Navin Sivanandam says:

      You can get back to the Start screen by pressing the Windows button on the keyboard, moving the mouse pointer to the bottom left corner and clicking on the start icon that pops up, moving the mouse pointer to the right corners and clicking on the central icon in the pop-up toolbar

      Gotta love that intuitive interface 🙂

      Seriously, this is an awesome comment, and should solve Burt’s problem without having to install any 3rd-party stuff. The only think I’d add is that, to the best of my knowledge, there’s no way to boot directly into the desktop, so Burt will need to apply Navin’s first point every time he restarts the computer. (I’m not going to take Snarky’s bet; I suspect that very quickly there’ll be a Windows 8 patch that lets you bypass Metro entirely.)Report

    • I second Mike — this is a super helpful space awesome comment, Navin!Report

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