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Jakob Nielsen just castigated #Windows8 . Not everybody agrees that he's is a user-interface genius, but he is meticulous and I think his judgment here is mostly on target. I'm not quite so negative on it, but I dread what to do with my mother-in-law's computer upgrade.
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Paul Rumelhart's profile photoMatti Järvinen's profile photoOscar Goldman's profile photoStephen Shankland's profile photo
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Sometimes change is necessary. I was generally supportive of the big change Microsoft made to Office when they moved to the ribbon--even if IMO some of the concepts were better thought through than the actual implementation. But at this point in history to make jarring disruptive change to the desktop OS that's most used by non-power users? It really seems as if Microsoft felt it was so important to create a bridge from their current desktop to tablets that they convinced themselves that this was somehow OK.
 
I've grown tired of the whining about the split interface; once you understand how to use it, it's simple -- like learning how to use a refrigerator.  You can still pin two program windows, and you can still flip through open programs ... 
 
This entire article is completely off-base, especially with it's poke at a lack of support for multiple windows.

Have you even used Windows 8 yet?  Even from the new UI you can split-screen windows.  I've got my email up right now in a column on the right and playing Angry Birds Star Wars at work.  

I haven't had a bad experience with Windows 8 on any machine I own.  Even my MacBook, on which it was a bitch to install due to lack of mouse support out of the box, it's a dream once setup and configured.  I'm so sick and tired of +CNET 's constant banter about the superiority of Apple products.  Your articles are pointless, your authors uninformed, and your comment threads are as frustrating as the articles themselves because of the constant "android vs apple" arguments.  

Why can't I find just one tech news site that reports tech news.  No opinions, just news.  And if comments are allowed on this imaginary site, they are heavily monitored for trolling.
 
+Clay Knight I've been using Windows 8 most days for several months now. Please note that the research in question is from Jakob Nielsen, so only a modest amount of shooting the messenger is appropriate. Personally, I like Windows 8 performance, but the user interface is a huge difference. I almost never use it but stick in desktop mode, because I need more than a sliver of split screen when using multiple apps, and though I use apps full-screen a lot, it's often a browser where I want to see the tabs all the time. Just my opinion, though -- not trying to generalize this to everybody's situation.

You may disagree with Nielsen's findings, but he carefully followed some users performing various tasks and wrote a report about it. Nielsen has been doing this for years. Thus in our opinion it qualifies as tech news. I'm glad you haven't had a bad experience with Windows 8, but please don't generalize too much to suppose this means nobody will have trouble with Windows 8. I help people with their computers all the time, and even with operating systems they've been using for years, people can't figure out how to get things done. Computers are not universally easy for everybody. My mother-in-law is an example. She loves being able to look at family pictures and to send e-mail, but it's a constant struggle for her. Her first instinct when she gets lost is to click on on various menus to see if she can find what's missing. Invisible menus in Windows 8 are a lot harder to click on to root around.
 
No no, +Stephen Shankland , this has nothing to do with you.  I appreciate the fact that you take time the time to put others "in the know."  I'm referring to the author of the article its self, the host providing the article (+CNET  in this case) and whomever this Nielsen hack is.

The OS isn't perfect, and I've never been one to "drink the kool aid" of any particular company, but the changes and improvements from Windows 7 to 8 are astoundingly great.

The way we consume content and create content is evolving.  It's time to break away from the past.  Microsoft created a great transition point here to move away from the standard "desktop" and move to something that makes more sense on not only a mobile device, but future stationary devices that contain touch technologies.  I agree, it's certainly different from instinctively moving your mouse cursor to the lower left hand corner and clicking "Start," but I feel like for the first time in a long time, Microsoft knows what they're doing. :)
 
+Clay Knight Actually, you are referring to me, because I work at +CNET, saw the article this morning, thought it newsworthy, suggested we write about it, then publicized our article on Google+. So even though I didn't write either the story or the original article, I'm involved. Also I think +Michael Bernstein was griping about your use of "whomever" not "whoever." :) I long since learned not to carp much about grammar and spelling mistakes -- I view them as mostly a reflection that our rules aren't well adapted to our brains. Let's all move to Esperanto and the world will be perfect!
 
touché sir.

And do they have vodka in Esperanto?  If so, I'm in!
 
I question Microsoft's whole concept of "one OS on every device".  I'm a heavy desktop user, mostly programming but I delve into all sorts of different areas to play around in.  I don't want a tablet OS modified to graciously allow me to do what I need to do, I want an OS focused on making me a more effective power user.  Which is why I mostly work in Linux.  If I'm on a tablet, I don't want a desktop OS dumbed down to work on a tablet, I want an OS designed just for the tablet.  Cut all the extraneous features.  The same goes for a phone.  That's why I'm skeptical of Windows 8, on all platforms.
 
Out of curiosity +Paul Rumelhart , what would be the best Linux-based OS for a tablet?  I've got an Acer w500 and currently running Windows 8 on it.

And the first person to respond "iOS" to my question gets a gut punch...  
 
+Paul Rumelhart For me, that's the big question. The adjustments required from Windows 7 on a PC (which are apparently either big or small depending upon your perspective) are just a symptom of having a unified interface. I do consider it an open question; tablets and PCs could reconverge at some point. However, the history of trying to develop unified interfaces across divergent interaction models provide grounds for skepticism. (interactive TV, convertible tablets...)
 
Yes, it was the 'whomever'. No, it had nothing to do with grammar. 

If you don't know who Jakob Nielsen is, you don't have any business critiquing his findings on usability.

That isn't an argument from authority, BTW, because occasionally I've found his findings questionable (and I'm not an authority myself), but you really ought to at least be aware that he is an authority in this field, and has been for over 15 years.

Calling him a hack was just icing on that cake.
 
+Clay Knight I don't really know.  I like the latest Ubuntu releases on my netbook (where I actually like Unity), although Ubuntu is going down this path on the desktop and I'm not so happy about that.  I don't have any experience with Linux on a tablet, though.  I suspect that Ubuntu would be fine, but I've been meaning to look at alternatives like Linux Mint and haven't yet had the time to do so, so I don't know which distro would be better suited for a tablet.
 
I hope that it's not really true that the UI restricts users to a single window.  I can't begin to describe how unusable that would be.
 
Hmm... I have 7 windows running in my Windows 8 right now. I really don't get what Nielsen is trying to prove by presenting touch only usability test results with desktop computer when there is something like Win7 desktop available too.
 
Not wondering about; deriding and making fun of.

Tagging words is unnecessary in 2012.  See: Google
 
+Oscar Goldman Deride hashtags if you want, but I'd suggest you take a closer look at hashtags on Google+. I for one plan to keep using them and am glad others do (in moderation).

On Google+ a hashtagged word links to a search for that hashtag, a feature I use quite often. You can also convert the search quickly into a Google+ circle, which is handy if it's a subject you're interested in. Judging by the fact that so many of Google trending topics are hashtags, they clearly have continued relevance. And while I don't know for sure, I suspect that a tagged word gets extra relevance in the signal analysis in Google search.
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