|Windows 8 desktop mode, Office 2013: touch-unfriendly|
|By Thom Holwerda on 2012-09-01 21:15:21|
|The Verge published a video demonstrating how desktop mode and Office 2013 - a desktop application - work on Windows RT, the ARM version of Windows 8. The video showed a desktop mode that clearly didn't work well for touch, and even Office 2013, which has a rudimentary touch mode built-in, didn't work properly either. It looked and felt clunky, often didn't respond properly, and even showed touch lag.|
|What is it?|
|By Ringheims Auto on 2012-09-01 22:12:00|
|Is it a tablet? Is it a laptop? I don't know...|
|- Score: 2|
|Comment by ephracis|
|By ephracis on 2012-09-01 22:13:44|
|I really, really hope that they will split Windows into two in the future.|
|- Score: 19|
|By Nelson on 2012-09-01 22:20:10|
A few things: |
I've actually used Office on a Touch device. It is nowhere near as frustrating as he made it look. Im guessing he ran into preproduction Windows RT issues with touch sensitivity.
But I agree that in the long run Desktop mode should not exist. However, I think it'll go farther than Windows RT. I can envision the Desktop being obsoleted across all form factors in the long term.
Obviously for now given that Office 13 isn't full on Metro we need it, but over time we'll need it less and less.
|- Score: 2|
|By Jason Bourne on 2012-09-01 22:26:09|
|With the release of Windows 8 and Office 13, Linux distributions have got a never-seen-before case scenario of a window opportunity to take over and this will be much more bigger than the Vista fiasco. It remains to be seen whether the geek community will do something about it or cross their arms.|
|- Score: 5|
|RE: Window opportuniry|
|By Nelson on 2012-09-01 22:27:14|
|- Score: 4|
|RE: Window opportuniry|
|By Drumhellar on 2012-09-01 23:15:42|
|- Score: 5|
|It's like watching a great whale die|
|By Tony Swash on 2012-09-02 00:28:33|
It's like watching a great whale die. Sad, a bit embarrassing but I can't stop watching. They really have no idea and just panicked because of the iPad led tablet wave and tried bolting everything together into a weird mess. It's not so much you can see the seams where everything is glued together but the fact the seams come apart before your very eyes. |
I have no idea how the average Windows consumer will cope with all this let alone enterprise IT. If MS had had the courage to just go with Metro as a new and separate OS and developed a new completely redesigned for touch set of productivity suites they may have stood a chance to make it work. They could have just focussed on making a feature limited but well designed touch versions of Word and Excel (with file compatibility with their desktop versions) and with Metro minus the absurd desktop mode it might have looked good to the IT depts who are uncomfortable with Apple i-Devices. But they just couldn't do it.
The Innovators Dilemma indeed.
|- Score: 6|
|RE: It's like watching a great whale die|
|By Nelson on 2012-09-02 00:35:48|
|I think enterprises are much more interested in full Windows 8 tablets because of the superior enterprise management capabilities.|
|- Score: 3|
|RE: Window opportuniry|
|By darknexus on 2012-09-02 00:53:32|
> With the release of Windows 8 and Office 13, Linux distributions have got a never-seen-before case scenario of a window opportunity to take over |
You're dreaming if you think that will ever happen. There's only one category of Linux that has gotten anywhere with the average consumer and that is called Android. If the "geek community" as you call it want Linux to take over they must do at minimum the following:
1. Consolidate and agree on which distribution should target the end users.
2. Target said end users rather than just themselves and those who want to tweak. That means, among other things:
* Ditching X.org for a working graphics stack (Wayland does look promising)
* Fixing the audio subsystem (ditch ALSA, Pulseaudio, and the rest of that mess and put your resources into OSS 4 which actually works)
* Providing API and ABI compatibility (yes, the Linux lovers say it's unnecessary but it damn well is necessary for commercial software)
* Stop trying to tell every commercial developer that they need to GPL everything or open source their drivers
* Thoroughly test all updates to insure that a simple software update won't result in the login screen of death
* Document all system APIs in a consolidated mannor and publish that for third party developers
We'll start with that list. If the Linux community is willing to stop breaking everything and do the remaining 20% that isn't fun, then just maybe they'll have a chance. As for me, I'm betting my money on none of this happening. Oh well, FreeBSD already has most of this and they could always make a stab at the desktop or a FreeBSD tablet. The *BSD folks know what needs to be done to make an operating system rather than a mishmash of components that come apart at the first opportunity.
|- Score: 9|
|Windows touchscreen confusion|
|By aftermath on 2012-09-02 01:06:36|
It's very important to understand that a technology like a passive digitizer is just one form of touchscreen technology. There are others. Thus, the claim of complete touch-unfriendliness on the basis of how well a passive digitizer is supported is not very rational or sincere. Active digitizers, like those provided by Wacom, are another form of touchscreen technology, and from my experience, Windows 8 desktop mode and Office 2013 makes better use of these types of touchscreens than any other operating system of software. I guess it's convenient to pretend that things like handwriting recognition aren't driven by touchscreens if it fits an agenda of discounting Windows on touchscreens (or a perhaps just lifestyle of general intellectual carelessness), but it's not accurate. |
It's also very important to understand the relationship between the DPI of your desktop environment and the PPI of your display panel when making use of human fingers on a slate Traditionally, Windows has defaulted to 96 DPI which is LOWER than the PPI of most display panels. The "PI" in both of these settings stands for "Per Inch". When your DPI is lower than your PPI, you are lying to your operating system. You are telling it to use fewer pixels to render an inch worth of graphics than are actually required for your panel to display it. This is why fonts "appear smaller" when you drop the DPI. You have mislead your operating system, convincing it to under-deliver. If instead you set your DPI to a value higher than the PPI of your display panel, then you are telling a different lie. You are forcing your operating system to render an inch worth of graphics using more pixels than your panel has available in an actual inch. Thus, graphics take up more room on your panel than they otherwise would.
Most people who complain about the "touch friendliness" of the Windows desktop and its applications are completely ignorant of the above issues. You can't in good faith allow the operating system to render an inch worth of graphics using fewer pixels than your display needs, thus creating smaller physical targets on your screen than there should be, and then complain about the results. Sure, Windows should do a better job of taking care of this, and Microsoft should do a better job of educating people on the issues (as we all should). Still, I can't imagine a website that reviews cars complaining about how terrible the driving experience was because the car was delivered with the parking brake engaged, and they just never bothered to change that before getting started. Car reviewers aren't that stupid, but today's technology reviewers are (which is probably true because today's technology consumers are a relative idiots when it comes to technology).
As a veteran of tablet computing (as in actual tablet computing, as in using actual tablet input hardware in actual tablet usage scenarios with actual operating system and software support, and not the stupid little touchscreen slates that gadget noobs and tech shopping sites call "tablets), I can assure anybody who will listen that setting the DPI of your operating system equal to the PPI of your panel will result in a highly useful, satisfying, and finger friendly experience in the traditional Windows desktop. In fact, cranking up the DPI to something above parity does an even better job of this. Even if you disagree with my claims after doing so, you will at least put yourself in a position to have your complaints be taken seriously (since you at least removed the parking brake before whining about the car).
Microsoft would be wise to provide a "quick DPI boost toggle" button somewhere in the user interface that would switch between a low-dpi "mouse and keyboard" mode and an equal/high-dpi "touchscreen mode". The old Sony Vaio P series, with it's 1600x768 panel squeezed into an 8 inch horizontal, had a hardware button that did exactly this, although it was offered in the spirit of providing greater readability. In fact, given that many slates are used more for content consumption than for creation, a "quick DPI boost toggle", would be doubly useful: enhancing readability and touch-ability.
|- Score: 4|