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About belgianguy

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  • OS
    Windows 7 x64
  1. Now they're chopping up the Start Button's bones

    Unfortunately, the percentage of users who are even aware of such things is extremely small compared to the amount of people who would end up using Windows 8. Not only that, but by being third party it will also mean that it will not be an option in most (if any) installers that a person uses in Windows 8. Up until now the features to add items to the Start Menu came with an installer as the Start Menu was certain to be there as an official part of the OS. In Windows 8, that is no longer the case. And with the vehemence with which Microsoft seems to be willing to push their long-time supporters off a cliff, I wouldn't put it next to them to try and block any other experience than the Metro experience. As they seem to have the deluded belief that an unnatural, cramped and ugly way of interacting with my previous powerful and flexible desktop will make me consider buying another one of their products. It's blatantly obvious at this point that Windows 8 is Microsofts' desperate answer to the iPad (and to a lesser extent, Android tablets), after Ballmer flat out s*** himself when he saw the market getting sedated by yet another product he didn't foresee becoming succesful. The desktop, for better or for worse is an afterthought for Microsoft here, they really couldn't care less if you want to use Windows 8 on the Desktop. If you do, they'll be laughing all way to the bank and at the poor fools who fell for their marketing ploy. They only want one thing from Windows 8: to fish in the pond Apple's been fishing in and they're betting their farm on it that most people will cling to Windows 7 for the desktop until the next 'desktop friendly' Windows comes around. Sadly, where Ballmer and Sinofsky think they can use the Windows mothership to break into the tablet market, I think their Metro delusion will backfire and the bad press of Windows 8 will blemish their core Windows product just like Vista did (where Vista was a fine product running on less than capable hardware, not so with Metro, where the hardware is fine but the software is crippled). They can make amends, but even when the major backlash would occur and they would offer their users a *gasp* choice, they wouldn't even be able to afford to drop Metro completely, as they'd make themselves look bad worse. So even in the best case Metro will hang around like the red-headed stepchild it already is.
  2. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    You won't be able to develop anything but Metro applications, unless you cough up the dollars. Well, it's another bullet in whatever there is left of their foot. I won't be extorted to program for a platform, whatever happened to writing Hello World! in a console FOR FREE? Ubuntu/Eclipse, here I come.
  3. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    Uh-oh... Windows 8 will "disappoint": Analysts cut price targets on HP, Dell and Windows Phone ranks below Bada in worldwide sales While the phone market is still in its infancy, one could argue that kind of news is to be expected for WP7, but because of their "Windows everywhere" strategy, it might very well backfire right into its already hurting new desktop platform as well.
  4. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    Not a day goes by without hearing about another dubious 'feature'. At least they're not spending their money on making an out-of-touch music video for their phone, right? Oops, seems like they did! What the hell were they thinking? In other news, they have decided that IE10 will get access to features other browser vendors will not have access to, making for an uneven playing field. I know Mozilla et al can still make a Metro version, but they can't optimize it, nor rely on the system to provide advanced functionality like Just-In-Time compiling (JIT) and security related features. People cite small market share of WinRT, but Windows is Windows to me. And I just hope they aren't thinking of returning to their anti-trust shenanigans of yore. Even so, the claims that they're doing it for security are absolutely unfounded, they could block/forbid any product that they deemed unworthy, but instead they opt to keep them all out on the premise that "they won't be safe", IE10 isn't infallible either. And of course, as a last line of defense: "Apple does it too" . Great defense, Apple2 err Microsoft. While I'm no longer in the market to buy anything labeled Windows 8, I'm getting more and more bewildered about what it is that they put in the water in Redmond. Sigh.
  5. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    Want to play a DVD in Windows 8? That's going to cost you an extra upgrade according to this article. I knew WMC would become a for-pay upgrade, but DVD playback, really? So if a customer doesn't buy their media pack, he could find himself "upgrading" a Windows 7 pc that plays DVDs just fine into a machine that won't even play them without an extra purchase? What about people who downgrade from any version of Win8 without DVD support to any version of Windows 7, will they magically regain those features? I could understand that they would be trying to cut corners to get the price down, but to remove DVD functionality? That might be a bit too much. In Europe there's no Hulu or Netflix to speak of, so DVDs are far from legacy items.
  6. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    If you're interested in just giving Linux a whirl, there are options to create LiveUSB sticks of certain distros. Essentially you create a bootable USB stick which contains a Linux distro and you can then boot from the stick and try it out without installing it. So that in the case you decide against it, you can just turn it off and nothing will have changed. I had to use an Ubuntu LiveUSB (explained here) to to re-organize my Ubuntu/Windows partitions. While Ubuntu itself still suffers from the many problems all Linux distros suffer from (Missing functionality/terrible fragmentation/still too much reliance on terminal once it gets complicated/QA of apps can be so-and-so/...) I quite like the fact that they at least try to get to a common ground upon which a uniform platform can grow, without forking into a bazillion different flavours which all have exactly one user who actually uses it. It's no Windows, but it's user friendly for a Linux .
  7. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    Honestly, I'm not quite sure what you're referring to here besides the few obvious things. The Copy-To and Move-To are good. Also the CMD/PowerShell from anywhere also. These were always reg-hacks since forever ago, but now built in. Show hidden files/extension on the ribbon (notice it was a lot harder to get to Folder Options in Vista/7) Pause/resume on file copy File replace for media files now has a preview thumbnail instead of the file type icon. Task Manager including grouping processes by user. Analyze Wait Chain. Taskbar properties for multimonitor. Multimonitor that allows for stacking, tiling. Those are basically covered on pages 2 and 3 of the Ars link. Yes, these are good points, and if they released all that as a Windows 7 Service Pack, I'd say that would have been a nice addition. But is this the best a completely new OS has to offer? Subtract from that all that is wrong with it, and you'd still end up far in the negative. The gist of the article is far from praising Windows 8, every bit that could be good, is almost countered every time by something that is broken, not intuitive or simply harder than it was in Windows 7. Here's my response.
  8. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    Anyone else heard that loud bang? Seems Silverlight got taken out back and shot. I find it very hard to get to the core of this article, it's so vaguely worded. The applications will still work, but they do seem to hint that people who know Silverlight will have to transition to WinRT. Some say XNA is alive and kicking, others say XNA is not supported... It's a very weird realization to start reading an article and be less informed by the time you've reached the end.
  9. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    cyberpyr8, My displeasure with Windows 8 has eased a little bit since the Consumer Preview came out, as they made some of the functions and utilities easier to get to. But by and large it's still harder to get things done in Win8 than in Win7, and I still have to look at that fugly Metro start screen every so often. Every time I saw XP's default "Luna" theme I expected the Teletubbies to come hopping over the crest, but the Metro screen makes me think I'm stuck in a kindergarten. I wouldn't want that on a phone or a tablet, let alone a 23" monitor. The iPads and Android screens I've seen out there look so much sleeker. That was an excellent promo for Office, BTW -- glad you posted it. If I didn't have Office already, it would make me go out and buy it, no joke. I'll even start poking into OneNote, a program I've never ever opened. --JorgeA OneNote's quite a nice tool, especially for scatterbrains like me. I can categorize my notes (and add contextual arrows and other signs between them) so I can streamline my thoughts as if I were doodling on paper. I even have one tab solely dedicated to a shopping list, and some small financial tidbits (who owns me what, and what I still need to settle). And when I stop doing work and go down a rabbit hole of interest, I can often pin some useful links in OneNote to get back to. I'd never thought of opening it if someone didn't tell me to try it, and I've been using it quite a lot since. So yeah, you should try it.
  10. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    Perhaps the Start Menu (or the ability to uninstall exorcise Metro from your computer) will be available in one of the 9 available versions of Windows 8. Paying a little extra for something you've taken for granted for 17 years, that would sound like marketing. Drug dealer marketing, but marketing none the less. The article doesn't mention that there will be amends for the business user, but I would expect that to be the case. So perhaps the Consumer nomenclature was intentional. Still, I don't see how this is going to help to 'unify' the platforms, nor how the two versions of IE10 will be able to coexist on 64-bits machines (64 + 32?). Well the idea of web standards was nice as long as it lasted. The only market segment I see for Windows 8 doing well in is the #2 spot in the tablet market, with Apple #1. To get that they have to defeat Android. Android on tablets doesn't seem to take off that well. Not to mention the dozens of patent suits between the tablet manufacturers. I'm wondering whether Microsoft will get sucked into these ongoing court battles.
  11. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    JorgeA, glad you like 'em! I'll do my best to keep them interesting. Usually, I'm not that snarky, but Windows 8 becomes more jaw dropping insane every day. On the topic of simplicity and computers, I still have to point my mom and dad to features for which I use short-cuts. I tried teaching them Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V, to no avail. For my dad making a webpage equals using that abomination called Frontpage (he might as well just use notepad, equal frustration but cleaner code). How am I going to tell him when he comes home with a Windows 8 PC that there is no more Start Menu, that everything he thought he knew about computers is now gone? Even if some might be capable to re-learn all that, who says that they will want to? It wouldn't surprise me that for many the Start Menu was one of those critical steps in finding things, and knowing 'where to start' a sequence of actions. All gone, and the replacement isn't an improvement if you disregard the tablet-ification features. CoffeeFiend, what a great PR stunt to declare that they "fixed" the broken VS11-theme and meanwhile also succeeded in stopping to support Windows XP. You can't make that stuff up. Sigh Btw, do you know what 12648430 stands for in Hexadecimal? I just don't get it, my mind is unwilling to accept that this is the reality we're facing. My brain tries to trick me into believing they're just fooling us and that they'll show the real Windows 8 later on. Then we'll all laugh about how gullibe we were! They sure got me! Yeah, then reality kicks in. I can't comprehend why they are doing this, Windows 7 was fine, why not allow for both desktop and tablet systems, a dual approach? Why force Metro on those who do not want it? Could this be just a marketing ploy? Or will the 'Professional' version allow for a 'Desktop upgrade' for a small fee, as Microsoft knows big business, and wouldn't be so dumb to lock itself out of their biggest sponsor, right? Is this just a long-winded joke to get the attention of the tech-crowd? Given that the Consumer Preview addresses a few of the mouse and desktop issues, but by no means offers a workable experience for someone to use it on a professional basis, I'm starting to believe this is what the final version will be like. At the moment, where Windows 7 felt like just doing my work, Windows 8 feels like doing my work and getting a kick in the balls from time to time. When I complain about not wanting to get kicked in the balls, I get told that I'll get used to it, and that after the first kick in the balls, I'll barely notice it from that point onwards. If I keep complaining I get told that I can always install a third-party protector cup so that I won't feel getting kicked in the balls that much anymore. And I'm supposed to accept that over "You don't want a kick in the balls, well just say so!" ? Especially after the previous edition seemed to do just fine without kicking people in the balls. Perhaps those who dislike it just are a vocal minority, or perhaps these issues will explode further down the road. Can't really say what the general public thinks of Windows 8, but I can't see myself getting anything serious done. For example: coding the simplest of dynamic webpages, which requires running 3 different browsers, a database tool and an editor. Something that would be nigh impossible or at least unworkable in Windows 8. How fricking hard could it be to make them run alongside each other, I mean, it's not like it's a freaking phone, right? Sorry if the following image is a bit poor in taste, but it succinctly illustrates my Metro experience thus far:
  12. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    Same here. We had it *so* good. Win7 and VS2010 are a truly fantastic combo. And just like that, they take it all away. Win8 is an abomination, and even VS11 is doing some questionable changes that have its users rather upset (everything is now grey). Yes, they're working on making the interface suck (thankfully 3rd party themes should fix most of it) instead of trying to compete with C++11 support, useful C# features besides async, improving refactoring or anything else that might actually be useful. Right now it doesn't look like it's worth upgrading to regardless of the price. 3 more days until we see if the sky is really falling. Oh, I'm working on a fairly large C# project, but thankfully the only hardware it uses is a USB communication device. So worst case scenario (yes, there's always Mono too), we'll still be able to use Win7 in a VM, passing through the USB device to the VM 10+ years down the road. It's sad that Win8 is forcing us to consider what we'd do without Windows before it's even released. Oh my, I knew they were redesigning VS11, but this is bad! Eclipse looks vivid compared to that. I didn't know colors were forbidden! Using a bland gray, CAPS and :::::: as spacers, what were they thinking? Were they thinking at all? Did they already name the theme? How about "Depression" or "Suicidal" ? A tool that is mainly used by developers to be productive with shouldn't be put in the hands of designers to give it a set of fake boobs and a lip-job. Especially so in the case of VS: under the hood is where the core improvements should be made. A groundrule should be: If an alteration does damage productivity and/or efficiency in the least, that alteration should not be made, especially not in an IDE. For starters, it would be so nice to have VS not flat-out crap itself and crash when I get a bit outlandish with XAML. Styling should be an afterthought and is probably best left to the developer to customize. I don't want to think about what this redesign already cost, what the re-redesign is going to cost, let alone what the end-user eventually will have to pay for this unholy mess. I don't get Microsoft's sudden infatuation with giving up so much in the domain of efficiency and productivity to satisfy some designer's temper tantrum. Unification of design is nice and all, but it should never come at a cost of productivity and/or efficiency. And it's that capital sin Metro is guilty of. Metro works for simple things, single-use applications. Like stepping through a set of picture, or cycling through a set of Twitter messages. When things get complex and advanced, Metro is far too clumsy with its big texts and its gluttonous usage of screen estate. It are those complex programs one cannot use with touch in mind. As I've said before, in my eyes Metro doesn't bring anything useful to the desktop. On the contrary even. While I thought they'd be open for criticism, the main trend I see is that everybody who doesn't outright adore Metro is considered to be an outcast, someone who "doesn't get it", the Windows version of a leper. Microsoft might be getting cosy with the prospective tablet owners, but someone is going to have to code these apps for said tablets. And those who code for a living aren't doing it on tablets as far as I know. Your hands would be reduced to bloody stumps in a moment's notice due to the verbosity of XAML alone. Good luck getting an app ecosystem started if you treat your developers like dirt. The last thing they should be doing is flipping off the guys and girls who do their programming. At the moment they're making their life that much harder by being obsessed with some sort of Cupertinian fetishism. It sure as hell isn't going to make programmers flock to the platform. I've been looking around for other options. All in all, I feel the people who want to use their computer to get something done are getting the Milton Waddams (Office Space) by Microsoft.
  13. Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions

    I just don't get what they are thinking in Redmond. I've been developing by using Microsoft tools for all of my young life (but have picked up Ubuntu/Eclipse/NetBeans along the way). Wasn't it Ballmer who yelled "Developers, developers, developers"? I get why Microsoft is doing this. Mobile markets are flooding with iPads and Androids, and they needed to do something. Yet, instead of going with a sound strategy, they decided that desktop users and efficiency are second class citizens to tablets and touch. I've developed with the Kinect SDK, I've developed with the Surface 2.0 SDK, I've developed with .NET 4.0's Touch SDK (WPF and XAML, what a waste of time in retrospect). While these human computer interactions sure have their uses in their specific context, they by no means are a better alternative for every action. Yet Metro does just that. I can't understand Microsoft is betting the farm on some stupid user interface gimmicks. While they probably see this as a way to leverage the flagship Windows platform as a last-ditch attempt to break into the phone/tablet market, in my eyes they did nothing else than 'infecting' something that was healthy before: Windows for Desktop. Now, Windows 8 tells you it's the Metro way or the highway. But when the highway allows for easier travel than the Metro way, I won't hesitate. Especially since backwards compatibility seems to be out of the window (pun intended), there should be even less friction to switch to another OS entirely or force those unconvinced to just sit out the Windows 8 disaster-in-progress. How could they do this to their loyal userbase? What has gotten to them that their shills online representatives are pushing changes that are a net decrease in productivity and at best arrive at a draw in ideal circumstances? At the moment, to me, buying Windows 8 means paying to become less efficient, more constrained and having to navigate through a cluttered mess touch-based user interface with hardware (mouse and keyboard) that doesn't complement the software. Hardware that is capable of pixel-precision (you know, not suffering from the fat-finger problem), able to drag and drop over multiple monitors (let's see them do that by touch). While Touch and Kinect are interesting novelties, and shine in 'bursty' usage scenarios like games and entertainment (fatigue being the limiting factor), I don't see myself programming by touch, nor by Kinect. I absolutely hate what they have done. Synofski seems to be Microsoft's attempt at their own Steve Jobs, yet with twice the arrogance and none of the brilliance. Something I thought I'd never say: If they don't change course, I'm well willing to ditch Windows completely. Sitting it out isn't an option for someone who works in IT. Never was I this happy with what I had on Windows 7, Visual Studio (+addins) is a joy to work with, and the OS just works. I hope they realise that if Windows 8 falls flat, their mobile branch dies along with it. No use for a tablet or a phone that shares the UI paradigm with something nobody buys/uses/wants. And flipping the bird to people who like to get something done (and maybe even develop for said platform) is something that doesn't sit well with me. Is a tablet user (solely consumer) really that much more worthy than a desktop developer (consumer + producer)? With the usage statistics of IE6 proving to this very day that corporations hate change and have a turning circle larger than the biggest cargo freighters, this change in user interface will anger that part of the market that provided so much support for them in the past. I've been a loyal fan since Windows 95, but now I just don't see it. And it seems it's not just me who thinks that Microsoft is too much into, or for that matter, too out of, touch.