Microsoft and their idiotic "Cellphone Motif"



  • Continuing the discussion from Skype for Business:

    @Magus said:

    @CoyneTheDup said:
    "FU, desktop users! FU, corporate users! Use your F'ing cellphone to do everything! F your productivity, nobody's going to have a job in this country anyway."

    As for this, many people say it. Apparently rectangles are bad for productivity because "I HATE RECTANGLES PRESCHOOL BLAH BLAH COLORS BRIGHT BLAH!" - but if you want productivity on windows, you use search anyway.They managed to make an easier experience for new users, better touch support, and made it faster to get to things (search is clearly faster than it was before).

    It's not a matter of the rectangles. It's a matter of being able to do work in a real world way.

    I have this spreadsheet I'm working on right now. It has 6 tabs, and two of the tabs have 18+ columns, and two of the tabs have 7,580 rows. That's actually smaller than many spreadsheets my accounting associates use, in this organization, in both dimensions.

    Now, I want you to imagine comparing data from two copies of those spreadsheets...on a cellphone screen where you can see 3 columns at a time in cells that are big and blocky so you can select and drag them using touch. When you must go to an application switcher to switch from one spreadsheet to the other.

    And that's just one task. I'm a programmer: I work on multiple systems and development environments simultaneously, I multitask. It is not unusual for me to have a dozen or so windows open at a time into different apps and environments. Cross comparison and cross-reference, are common.

    Microsoft, in its boundless wisdom, has decided that all API's must be the same. Then they looked at three devices side-by-side: A cellphone, a tablet, and a desktop. Clearly everything must be designed for the lowest common denominator, right? And that, of course, would be the cellphone, with its tiny display and comparatively diminutive processor and memory.

    So now they are, in effect, saying that this powerful desktop that I have...must have one app occupying the whole screen. It must not allow cross comparison. It must handle touch, just like a cellphone. The experience must be identical, so the users aren't confused when changing work from a cellphone to a desktop.

    (Some people like to mention at this point that Windows 8 has a separate environment like the old desktop. I would like to point out that beta Windows 8 came out without this feature and Microsoft "grudgingly" gave it back when everyone complained.)

    Goodbye cross-comparison. Goodbye cross-reference. Goodbye multi-tasking. Now you must use the app-switcher to go from your first spreadsheet to the second. Goodbye mouse, those don't work on cellphones, so you don't need those anymore.

    You didn't want to be productive anyway. Why the F do you need to use a desktop? Just shove that 4 MB spreadsheet on your cellphone, because that's the future.

    Addendum: I've actually speculated that these changes are to meet goals made by an MS executive who has never done real work in his life.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    It's not a matter of the rectangles. It's a matter of being able to do work in a real world way.

    I have this spreadsheet

    Wait before I commit to this...

    Have you ever worked on a real-life spreadsheet?

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Now, I want you to imagine comparing data from two copies of those spreadsheets...on a cellphone screen where you can see 3 columns at a time in cells that are big and blocky so you can select and drag them using touch. When you must go to an application switcher to switch from one spreadsheet to the other.

    So don't use a cellphone for that task.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    And that's just one task. I'm a programmer: I work on multiple systems and development environments simultaneously, I multitask. It is not unusual for me to have a dozen or so windows open at a time into different apps and environments. Cross comparison and cross-reference, are common.

    And you currently use a cellphone, or...?

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Microsoft, in its boundless wisdom, has decided that all API's must be the same.

    We've discussed this before. Apple says iOS and OS X are the same OS. Microsoft wanted to do what Apple does because it's successful. Microsoft didn't realize Apple was fucking lying when they said iOS and OS X are the same OS.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Then they looked at three devices side-by-side: A cellphone, a tablet, and a desktop. Clearly everything must be designed for the lowest common denominator, right? And that, of course, would be the cellphone, with its tiny display and comparatively diminutive processor and memory.

    When did this happen?

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    So now they are, in effect, saying that this powerful desktop that I have...must have one app occupying the whole screen.

    No; the UI that enforces that is for iPad-like tablet apps.

    Trivia time: if Microsoft were trying to push that idea to everybody, why would they still release both a desktop and a Windows App Store version of Skype? How would that advance this hypothetical vision you seem to think they have?

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    (Some people like to mention at this point that Windows 8 has a separate environment like the old desktop. I would like to point out that beta Windows 8 came out without this feature and Microsoft "grudgingly" gave it back when everyone complained.)

    That's not true. Unless you mean something very weird when you say "environment like the old desktop". You write in riddles, sahib.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Goodbye cross-comparison. Goodbye cross-reference. Goodbye multi-tasking. Now you must use the app-switcher to go from your first spreadsheet to the second. Goodbye mouse, those don't work on cellphones, so you don't need those anymore.

    None of those things are gone or will be in the foreseeable future.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    I have this spreadsheet I'm working on right now. It has 6 tabs, and two of the tabs have 18+ columns, and two of the tabs have 7,580 rows. That's actually smaller than many spreadsheets my accounting associates use, in this organization, in both dimensions.

    Right. But that's for things you use to do work. How does it help you with an application launcher, which can instantly launch anything you want after 3 keypresses?

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    And that's just one task. I'm a programmer: I work on multiple systems and development environments simultaneously, I multitask. It is not unusual for me to have a dozen or so windows open at a time into different apps and environments. Cross comparison and cross-reference, are common.

    None of these are negatively affected by anything Microsoft has decided on for Win8. About all they did was give you taskbars on every screen, which helps.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Microsoft, in its boundless wisdom, has decided that all API's must be the same. Then they looked at three devices side-by-side: A cellphone, a tablet, and a desktop. Clearly everything must be designed for the lowest common denominator, right? And that, of course, would be the cellphone, with its tiny display and comparatively diminutive processor and memory.

    We're still talking about an application launcher, which is still faster than previous generations.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    So now they are, in effect, saying that this powerful desktop that I have...must have one app occupying the whole screen. It must not allow cross comparison. It must handle touch, just like a cellphone. The experience must be identical, so the users aren't confused when changing work from a cellphone to a desktop.

    No, as many as you want. Have you used windows before?

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Goodbye cross-comparison. Goodbye cross-reference. Goodbye multi-tasking. Now you must use the app-switcher to go from your first spreadsheet to the second. Goodbye mouse, those don't work on cellphones, so you don't need those anymore.

    None of these things were done.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Addendum: I've actually speculated that these changes are to meet goals made by an MS executive who has never done real work in his life.

    The changes to the application launcher.



  • @Magus said:

    None of these things were done.

    Jinx! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 FREE COKE!


  • area_deu

    Didn't Windows 7 have a search textbox to launch programs with, too?
    @magus



  • It started in Vista.



  • Yes, just a slower one. Which is part of why my interaction didn't change noticeably, except in speed.



  • @aliceif said:

    Didn't Windows 7 have a search textbox to launch programs with, too?

    Yes, because it was directly brought forward from Vista with zero changes.

    This is also why I think MS was taken-aback about the reaction to removing the Start menu-- people who actually use Windows have been doing text-based launching since 2007, and that hasn't changed one iota between Windows 7 and Windows 8.



  • @Magus said:

    None of these things were done.

    They've been pushing their RT API as "the future", which on Windows 8 and 8.1 only supports full screen applications.



  • It is an infinitely better API. And in Win8.1, you can have at least 3 apps per monitor - but with 10, they're back in windows, which is even better.


  • area_deu

    Slower? Show me proof.

    I have a laptop with a 1TB harddrive and no SSD, and Windows8.1's search feels no faster than Windows7's did on my old laptop.



  • I'll admit, I don't usually wait for the results to show up to launch things, but my experience has always been that the search results came back faster, and are more useful.

    The overall point, though, is that as a programmer, Win8 in no way hurts my productivity.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    So don't use a cellphone for that task.

    That's what I'm bitching about. Microsoft seems to want to turn everything into a cellphone, one app at a time. Refer back to the original article: What did he get when he clicked on the new app? One window, occupying the whole screen, just like a cellphone.

    @blakeyrat said:

    We've discussed this before. Apple says iOS and OS X are the same OS. Microsoft wanted to do what Apple does because it's successful. Microsoft didn't realize Apple was fucking lying when they said iOS and OS X are the same OS.

    Oh, so MS is just gullible? Can they make their own decisions, or what?

    @blakeyrat said:

    No; the UI that enforces that is for iPad-like tablet apps.

    So you haven't seen some of the later apps, like Adobe Reader (now defunct) that came out about five months ago. That did the whole screen one app thing even if started from a Win-8 desktop mode browser.

    @blakeyrat said:

    That's not true. Unless you mean something very weird when you say "environment like the old desktop". You write in riddles, sahib.

    Well, there you may possibly have me. I was a late arrival to Win 8. I seem to recall stories during the beta release that there was no desktop, but I can't find any such story now.



  • @anonymous234 said:

    They've been pushing their RT API as "the future", which on Windows 8 and 8.1 only supports full screen applications.

    Which is what I've been seeing. Which is like a cellphone, right?



  • The Windows Runtime is mostly XAML-based, and prefers everything to be asynchronous. Microsoft would generally prefer that people don't just ignore touch anymore. But what you're saying is along the lines of 'Isn't the JDK for phones?' which only has one response: TDEMSYR.


  • area_deu

    8.1 is OK.

    8 is completely unusable.



  • My desktop still runs Win8 Enterprise from the MSDN account I had 2 jobs ago, and I haven't bothered with updating it to 8.1. I just use that thing for gaming, and it's been alright. But 8.1 is definitely far better. In any case, it'll be 10 eventually.

    Now for something unrelated and better:
    Jet Grind Radio Soundtrack - Grace & Glory – 03:14
    — Zmario116



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    I seem to recall stories during the beta release that there was no desktop, but I can't find any such story now.
    That was Windows "Jupiter" for ARM, later Windows 8 RT, now Windows RT and considered legacy.



  • @TwelveBaud said:

    ...considered legacy.

    And it can stay that way, and good riddance. Now stop dropping whole-page-only apps on me.



  • @aliceif said:

    8 is completely unusable.
    I had 8 installed on my main desktop for quite some time. Granted, I almost never use(d) any metro stuff, but... I didn't have any significant problem with it. Honestly, my biggest complaint is that the start screen searches programs and settings as separate domains, so if you want to search settings you have to press Win + W instead of just Win. (Though I didn't know that for a while so that complaint used to be bigger.)

    I don't necessarily think it was better than 7, but I don't think it was worse for me either.



  • Now that I know how to use Windows 8, my only complaint is the Start Menu search sometimes searches the Internet, and I end up opening some random web page instead of an application already installed on my PC.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    And it can stay that way, and good riddance. Now stop dropping whole-page-only apps on me.

    You've been able to make them half-size since the beginning. Now you can get them down to about 1/5 of the screen. Except in 10, where they are in windows again. If an app developer doesn't make their app work when scaled, that's on them.

    @EvanED said:

    Honestly, my biggest complaint is that the start screen searches programs and settings as separate domains

    And that stopped with 8.1, luckily. That was annoying.



  • Yeah, especially when a program name sounds an awful lot like a website name, like Paint.net.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Paint.net.

    That's the one that's always giving me trouble.



  • Oh my box I just have to type "PAIN!"

    The problem is remembering to stop typing before I finish the name. Ironically, the more characters you type, the less likely Windows is to pull up the app.



  • You still have the whole fucking desktop at your disposal. Which works exactly like in any other Windows, save for the Start menu, which is now bigger and takes the entire screen.

    Have you ever used Windows on desktop? Or are you actually using some cheap ARM tablet without realizing it? You can not only "drop down to desktop", you can pretty much ignore every single change they made to the UI. Except for the aforementioned Start, which works almost exactly the same, but looks different.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    I would like to point out that beta Windows 8 came out without [old desktop]

    Who cares? Are you still on beta Windows 8? Was beta Windows 8 ever a system you had to use?



  • The best part of all, http://paint.net has nothing to do with the application Paint.NET.



  • And now in 10, the start screen is re-sizable, which has never been true before. You can make it large so it can contain more tiles, in case you like to be able to see if you have any new messages without starting your mail client, or whather or not you have anything on your calendar. Or you can unpin them all and pretend you are on 7, crying that they took away your aero.


  • sockdevs

    @Magus said:

    crying that they took away your aero

    If they're that desperate for Aero, then they should head down to their convenience store and just buy a bar or something.



  • @Magus said:

    You can make it large so it can contain more tiles,

    The silly thing is that, the last time MS used tiles was ........ Windows 2. They discarded tiles for the separated window motif in Windows 3 because no one liked tiles. I guess every broken concept comes around again after a while, huh?



  • Seriously, we're debating ghosts in your head? Awesome. I love when crazy people post here.


  • area_deu

    Tiled windows can work just fine if properly implemented ...



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I love when crazy people post here.

    My parents taught me a response that seems to be applicable: "It takes one to know one."

    :smiley:



  • @aliceif said:

    Tiled windows can work just fine if properly implemented ..

    Remember: this is Microsoft...


  • mod

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Remember: this is Microsoft...

    Yeah, and we all know how shitty their products are. I mean, it's a wonder they're still in business. :trolleybus:



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    The silly thing is that, the last time MS used tiles was ........ Windows 2. They discarded tiles for the separated window motif in Windows 3 because no one liked tiles. I guess every broken concept comes around again after a while, huh?

    Yeah, no one liked tiles, and yet 99% of the time you spend on your PC is either with one maximized window, or several side-by-sided. And if you don't, it's mostly because that's how the window opened and you couldn't be arsed to arrange it.

    Go figure.



  • @abarker said:

    it's a wonder they're still in business.

    Seriously, it doesn't seem to me to be quality that drives their business model. I spend a significant portion of my day :wtf: :facepalm: :rage: :wtf: :facepalm: :rage: :wtf: :facepalm: :rage: :wtf: :facepalm: :rage: :wtf: :facepalm: :rage: :wtf: :facepalm: :rage: :wtf: :facepalm: at something some a Microsoft app did. The current big winner, by far, is Microsoft Outlook, which just drives me crazy with endless bugs and ill thought out features.

    Fortunately for them, I have a short memory, because if I remembered everything they'd done, I'm sure I could populate a whole category of topics by myself. But just today and yesterday for example were two big Outlook miseries that I can describe:

    • The current version of Outlook does not play well with other windows. Most often with a Java app I have to use a lot, it continues to control areas of the Java app window, even though it is behind the Java app window in z-Order. I'd be tempted to blame Java for that except...I've seen it do the same thing to Notepad, Excel, and Windows Explorer (though it's not as frequent for those apps).
    • Sometime earlier this week, corporate decided to update Outlook...and one of my message list windows switched from showing message Subject to a 1-line preview of the message itself. So instead of seeing the Subject, which actually tells me what the message is about, I get to see, "Hi, Coyne" (or something similar) down the screen. Absolutely useless...and it took 15 minutes and three web searches for me to figure out how to turn that off again. I don't like message preview...so what is their default? And showing 1 line of the message was just a particularly useless version of preview.

    Yet they are the core of my productivity so it's kind of like, "You might try to make me unproductive but I will succeed with you and despite you."



  • Outlook is a mess, but so is email itself. Some people seem to want their email client to be their whole operating system, and they're paying Microsoft to add all their features. That's an area I intend to avoid ever working in, because it can only be made of :wtf:s.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    The silly thing is that, the last time MS used tiles was ........ Windows 2. They discarded tiles for the separated window motif in Windows 3 because no one liked tiles. I guess every broken concept comes around again after a while, huh?

    Tiles back then were a totally different thing anyway. The way tiles are used now is 'buttons with data' which is not a bad idea by any stretch.

    And yet people apparently still like tiling window managers. Someone here must use ratpoison, right?



  • @Magus said:

    And yet people apparently still like tiling window managers. Someone here must use ratpoison, right?
    Awesome representing. ;-)

    I actually really like tiling WMs; it is actually a significant factor in why I prefer using Linux for work. (Awesome can both tile and float, and you can move/resize floating windows around with the mouse. You can even move tiled windows from one tile to another with the mouse, which is something I think some of the more "hardcore" tiling WMs can't do.)



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    Seriously, it doesn't seem to me to be quality that drives their business model. I spend a significant portion of my day at something some a Microsoft app did. The current big winner, by far, is Microsoft Outlook, which just drives me crazy with endless bugs and ill thought out features.

    Like...?

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Fortunately for them, I have a short memory,

    Oh how convenient.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    The current version of Outlook does not play well with other windows. Most often with a Java app I have to use a lot, it continues to control areas of the Java app window, even though it is behind the Java app window in z-Order. I'd be tempted to blame Java for that except...I've seen it do the same thing to Notepad, Excel, and Windows Explorer (though it's not as frequent for those apps).

    Hahaha no. This is Java's fault.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Sometime earlier this week, corporate decided to update Outlook...and one of my message list windows switched from showing message Subject to a 1-line preview of the message itself. So instead of seeing the Subject, which actually tells me what the message is about, I get to see, "Hi, Coyne" (or something similar) down the screen. Absolutely useless...and it took 15 minutes and three web searches for me to figure out how to turn that off again. I don't like message preview...so what is their default? And showing 1 line of the message was just a particularly useless version of preview.

    So someone at your corporate pushed out a settings change and that's obviously a bug in Outlook.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    Yet they are the core of my productivity so it's kind of like, "You might try to make me unproductive but I will succeed with you and despite you."

    I dare you to spend one week with Lotus Notes, then come back to Outlook and see how you feel about your "bugs". ONE WEEK.

    @Magus said:

    And yet people apparently still like tiling window managers. Someone here must use ratpoison, right?

    I do, every time I track down one of my enemies.



  • Rat poison is a window manager built in lisp, for Linux. It's probably poison to you in several ways.


  • area_deu

    Why would you use a window manager with no mouse support?

    tiling WM + sloppy focus + touchpad is a great combination on laptops.



  • @EvanED said:

    I actually really like tiling WMs; it is actually a significant factor in why I prefer using Linux for work.
    Is pressing :fa_windows: :fa_arrow_left: / :fa_arrow_right: really so incredibly difficult?



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    So you haven't seen some of the later apps, like Adobe Reader (now defunct) that came out about five months ago. That did the whole screen one app thing even if started from a Win-8 desktop mode browser.

    Adobe Reader? That thing made by Adobe?
    How is it Microsoft's fault that Adobe can't do shit correctly?



  • My biggest gripes with Windows 8.1 are that the start menu is full screen (seriously?), I ended up having to install a (buggy) third party extension to fix it, and the charms bar frequently getting in my way because my cursor strayed just a bit too close to the corner of the screen.



  • @TwelveBaud said:

    Is pressing / really so incredibly difficult?
    It's not just putting one window to the side. First, apparently you can't even snap to the top or bottom of a monitor with Windows (without third-party software), so that's "fun."

    But it also maintains the tiling. Which means:

    • If I open a new window, it resizes all existing windows to remain tiled
    • If I close a window, it resizes all existing windows to keep the screen covered
    • If I resize a window, it resizes the other windows along with it (where's your Windows keyboard shortcut to change where the split between left/right happens?)
    • It can tile more than two windows

    There are also some incidental benefits that are technically orthogonal to being a tiling WM -- in particular, how well they manage virtual desktops -- but in practice seem to correspond.

    (I think I will leave the @discoursebot moment in the quote)



  • @EvanED - Days Since Last Discourse Bug: 0

    <!-- Posted by SockBot 0.13.0 "Devious Boris" on Sat Apr 25 2015 01:10:02 GMT+0000 (UTC)-->

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    He said Adobe. What he was REALLY talking about was the built-in PDF reader by Microsoft...



  • What I like best about 10 is that that is now an option, rather than forced.



  • There is no company worse at displaying pdfs than Adobe.


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