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Stardock CEO: Windows 8 is ‘schizophrenic’

Posted at 31 March 2012 13:00 CEST by Justin_Massoud

Microsoft is busy working the kinks out of Windows 8 in time for a big fall release, but Stardock CEO Brad Wardell is in no rush to see the new operating system hit the PC scene — at least as is.

In a scathing op-ed posted at game blog Kotaku, the software developer called Microsoft’s current Windows 8 build a “schizophrenic…usability nightmare” and urged the software giant to head back to the drawing board to make a “non-crazy” version.

Tell us how you really feel, Mr. Wardell.

Is it a tablet OR a desktop OS? It tries to be both…and neither.

Let’s say you’re on the desktop and you want to load up Mass Effect 3 or Microsoft Word. You are expected to move your mouse to the bottom left, wait for a tile to be displayed, click on the tile. That action whisks you away from the desktop to the Metro environment where you can then look for those programs.

The Windows 8 experience involves jumping back and forth between the tablet environment (Metro) and the desktop. They have nothing in common. Metro’s task list won’t list desktop apps and the desktop won’t list recently active Metro apps. They’re separate and yet you have to use both.

Other criticisms include the lack of multi-monitor support and Metro apps requiring the full-screen treatment. Wardell believes pushing touchscreen support for desktop PCs and focusing on the burgeoning tablet market will haunt Microsoft in the coming years thanks to OS options that just weren’t there 10 years ago.

“This isn’t 1999 where [Microsoft] could ship a Windows ME type product and users had no real alternatives,” Wardell wrote. “2012 is the year in which millions of users are using an iOS or Android device.”

Wardell’s harsh criticism belies his company’s vested interest in the Windows platform in general. The company does build Windows software, after all. Stardock has already released a Windows 8 app called Start8, which adds a traditional Start menu to the Consumer Preview’s taskbar.

During a recent interview with Neowin, the developer confirmed more apps are in the works and could be released if Microsoft doesn’t correct some issues itself.

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There are 19 comments

Mirror007
New Member
Posted on: 31 Mar 12 13:16
    One of the simple things I ask myself: You can scroll to the right. If you need stuff from the last menu, then why the big F can't you just scroll to the left? Only because of the scrollbar? If they need a scrollbar, then they should make a desktop OS and not one for tablets.

    I really enjoy the youtube videos where people put their parents in front of Windows 8 and nobody has a big F-ing clue of what to do.
    debro
    Blown to smitherines
    Posted on: 31 Mar 12 16:44
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Mirror007
      I really enjoy the youtube videos where people put their parents in front of Windows 8 and nobody has a big F-ing clue of what to do.
      Are you serious?
      For the developer preview, the first thing I did was go "wtf????".
      The second thing I did was use internet explorer to download firefox.
      The third thing I did was use firefox to google "disable metro".

      For the consumer preview, the metro interface cannot be disabled. I've learned the metro interface, and I have to say "wtf was microsoft smoking when they came up with the totally whacked interface where the screen keeps flashing when you want to launch a program. My desktop is now cluttered with shortcuts, so I don't have to go back to metro.

      I've customised the metro interface so it has about 4 icons - desktop, firefox, control panel & steam.

      Everyone criticised windows 7 for various reasons, but I only saw good ... I love win7.... But windows 8 is going to be brutal for microsoft, if they ship it with metro as default for PCs.

      I like the improvements to the file copy dialogue, and I can understand the rearangement of the task manager (but don't agree with it), but metro is just stupid.

      It has a few under the hood improvements, particularly for owners of recent AMD cpus that are not entirely conventional, so win 7 completely under-utilises, so it will provide a handy performance increment.

      Also the move to replace shutdowns with hibernation, I don't like. I often install drivers/programs before I shutdown the Pc for the night, but windows 8 will require a restart, and then a "shutdown".
      olddancer
      MyCE Senior Member
      Posted on: 31 Mar 12 22:28
        Unless the "Metro" interface can be permanently disabled and replaced with a "Classic" desktop, Win 8 isn't good enough to share the same nail as last years Sears Catalogue (ask an old Farmer about the metaphore).
        Wasted 3 hours downloading this crap and a further 1.5 hours to install it. Win 8 spent a good 15 minutes on my machine before I formatted the drive to rid myself of it.
        BradWright
        MyCE Member
        Posted on: 01 Apr 12 07:54
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by olddancer
          Unless the "Metro" interface can be permanently disabled and replaced with a "Classic" desktop, Win 8 isn't good enough to share the same nail as last years Sears Catalogue (ask an old Farmer about the metaphore).
          Wasted 3 hours downloading this crap and a further 1.5 hours to install it. Win 8 spent a good 15 minutes on my machine before I formatted the drive to rid myself of it.
          Technically, no, Metro cannot be disabled and replaced with a classic desktop. But that doesn't mean you have to use Metro. Just click on the "Desktop" tile in Metro when you boot Windows 8, and there you go - "Classic" desktop view. The only difference is there's no "Start" button. Just make sure you have desktop icons for every program you generally use, and you will never have to use the Metro view. I know, because that's pretty much what I do. But I've downloaded a couple pretty fun games from the Microsoft Store for Metro, so I do go to the Metro view in order to play those. Plus sometimes I'll just mess around using the Metro view if I want to look around, experiment, and learn the new Windows 8.
          CharmedonWB
          MyCE Member
          Posted on: 01 Apr 12 10:07
            I am sure there is a registry hack that can disable Metro; afterall, the entire OS is driven by the registry. The shortcoming of MS here is the fact that they have erroneously predicted that tablets will be the future.
            debro
            Blown to smitherines
            Posted on: 01 Apr 12 10:16
              Quote:
              Originally Posted by CharmedonWB
              The shortcoming of MS here is the fact that they have erroneously predicted that tablets will be the future.
              After seeing the metro interface and assuming that tablets ARE the future, Microsoft will not be a part of that future
              RTV71
              MyCE Member
              Posted on: 01 Apr 12 17:29
                Several anti-metro fixes have been announced. One is by a former M$ engineer.
                Im a PC
                MyCE Junior Member
                Posted on: 01 Apr 12 19:16
                  People freak out every time MS changes the interface. They did it when the changed the Start Menu in XP and again with Vista and 7.

                  There is a method to Microsoft's madness. When you get a tablet in your hands and can actually touch the interface, you will see the point to all this.

                  For the rest of you.. go back to using XP.
                  debro
                  Blown to smitherines
                  Posted on: 02 Apr 12 02:21
                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by Im a PC
                    There is a method to Microsoft's madness. When you get a tablet in your hands and can actually touch the interface, you will see the point to all this.

                    For the rest of you.. go back to using XP.
                    Yurck ...
                    XP is useless for any modern hardware ...
                    • CPU threads aren't scheduled correctly for modern CPU's.
                    • Native SATA support is missing for modern HDD's / SSD's.
                    • 4K block addressing is not supported for modern HDD's.
                    • Security is lacking, ie; doesn't prevent epileptic criminals from using your PC .....
                    paulw2
                    MyCE Senior Member
                    Posted on: 02 Apr 12 09:20
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Im a PC
                      People freak out every time MS changes the interface. They did it when the changed the Start Menu in XP and again with Vista and 7.

                      There is a method to Microsoft's madness. When you get a tablet in your hands and can actually touch the interface, you will see the point to all this.

                      For the rest of you.. go back to using XP.
                      If you want a tablet OS for a tablet fine but don't ram it down the throats of folks with PCs..
                      Zod
                      MyCE Resident
                      Posted on: 02 Apr 12 17:15
                        It seems I use every other windows OS anyways. (after win95 anyways).

                        3.11, windows 95, 98, XP, Windows 7.

                        Millenium had that annoying memory leak bug. Vista wasn't quite refined enough like windows 7 was.

                        I think what windows XP taught us was that we don't need a new OS every 2 or 3 years. XP had long legs. It seems Windows 8 might be a fail, so Windows 7 might need legs just as long
                        Dennis_Olof
                        MyCE Member
                        Posted on: 03 Apr 12 13:56
                          Zod, I agree.

                          I used Win 3.11, moved onto Win98 OSR 2.0 (I think not sure). Then I stayed there and moved over to XP SP1, and been on that like for ever. Then I did try Win7 SP1 didn't like it so much. But I stayed with it. And I think it is not that different from WinXP. It took a while getting used to the changes they made, but it wasn't to bad and most of the things where good changes

                          Now that I am used to that, why would Win8 remove the old Win7 GUI and opt for a new one, it's one thing if you can select the typ you want, new or old, but removing the old win7 GUI all together is just stupid. Let people decide what to use. A new GUI should be in win 9 if that ever gets out.

                          There might be programs that can fix this, but it is still odd, that MS wants to remove it so you have to fix it with third party programs. I will not move over to Win8, I will stay with Win7 just like WinXP. Becaus that worked great. Why should I move over to a new OS if I don't need to.

                          P.S. In my case, I needed a better computer with dual core, so Win7 was a good upgrade as it had new tech, better hardware support, and over all lots of nice upgrades from WinXP era.
                          olddancer
                          MyCE Senior Member
                          Posted on: 03 Apr 12 20:46
                            Quote:
                            Originally Posted by Im a PC
                            People freak out every time MS changes the interface. They did it when the changed the Start Menu in XP and again with Vista and 7.

                            There is a method to Microsoft's madness. When you get a tablet in your hands and can actually touch the interface, you will see the point to all this.

                            For the rest of you.. go back to using XP.
                            How would you react if your favorite Auto Maker suddenly shifted the sterring wheel to the other side of the car, and you had to shift and signal with different hands?
                            Metro is worse! They've removed the steering wheel and replaced it with a touch pad, and the shifter and signal lever are now in the trunk (boot for those of British decent).
                            Those of us in the "Real Working World" need that which works plain and simple.
                            Our brains work on a slightly higher level than "New, shiney, shiney, shiney, must have, don't care how it works, must have shiney".
                            Hemispasm
                            Retired Senior Moderator
                            Posted on: 03 Apr 12 21:26
                              Quote:
                              Originally Posted by debro
                              After seeing the metro interface and assuming that tablets ARE the future, Microsoft will not be a part of that future
                              Not sure about it debro, MS might hit it of with win8 in the tablet industry (it's more user friendly for touch screens than win7 for sure) but I am pretty confident that with this interface in PCs it's gonna hit rock bottom.
                              MJPollard
                              MyCE Junior Member
                              Posted on: 03 Apr 12 21:57
                                Quote:
                                Originally Posted by Im a PC
                                People freak out every time MS changes the interface. They did it when the changed the Start Menu in XP and again with Vista and 7.

                                There is a method to Microsoft's madness. When you get a tablet in your hands and can actually touch the interface, you will see the point to all this.

                                For the rest of you.. go back to using XP.
                                If I had a Windows tablet, I'm sure I'd love the Metro interface. However, since I have a PC that DOES NOT HAVE A TOUCH SCREEN, the Metro interface is worse than useless, and actually gets in the way of getting any real work done. So p*ss off with your "go back to XP." If all you have to offer is snarky b*llsh*t, do everyone a favor and shut the h*ll up.
                                silver30
                                MyCE Member
                                Posted on: 04 Apr 12 17:04
                                  Why cant they create 2 versions of Windows 8? One with the metro designs for tablets and one with the win 7 design.
                                  mciahel
                                  Senior Moderator
                                  Posted on: 04 Apr 12 22:02
                                    Why should they?

                                    Michael
                                    silver30
                                    MyCE Member
                                    Posted on: 05 Apr 12 20:58
                                      To please the consumers. Most of the reviews for windows 8 UI have been horrible.
                                      debro
                                      Blown to smitherines
                                      Posted on: 06 Apr 12 01:50
                                        Quote:
                                        Originally Posted by MJPollard
                                        If all you have to offer is snarky b*llsh*t, do everyone a favor and shut the h*ll up.
                                        I agree with the sentiment, but not the phrasing.

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