Microsoft Making Waves With Tile-Based Interface in Windows 8

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Microsoft Making Waves With Tile-Based Interface in Windows 8

One of the major additions to Windows 8 will be a somewhat foreign tile-based interface.

Microsoft rejuvenated itself in the eyes of PC users with Windows 7 after Windows Vista was pretty much universally disliked. The company may encounter some resistance again with some of the changes coming to Windows 8, starting with a new tile-based interface recently shown off in video form.

Microsoft's director of program management for the Windows user experience Jensen Harris runs us through the video which shows the new start screen for Windows 8. It's more similar to the Windows Phone 7 interface than the PC desktops of yore.

The start screen replaces all those icons filling up current desktops with a bunch of tiles that Harris says represent "apps," referring to the programs on your computer. This "personal mosaic of tiles" will be how Microsoft hopes Windows 8 will improve or simplify PC use. One thing you'll notice is that Microsoft is developing Windows 8 around the concept of touch, but it'll also work with a mouse.

Fortunately, a section of the video shows that this tile-based interface may not be required. A very Windows 7-like desktop is shown at one point, but incorporated with Windows 8's "snap" feature that actually pushes the entire thing aside to add a Twitter "app" to the screen. Harris confirms that your PC's file system will still be accessible, thank the stars.

In one respect the interface looks extremely uncomfortable for those that like to dig into the depths of their PCs and know what a C drive is. However, it does look like it could simplify certain tasks in a helpful way for all types of people. If Microsoft forces the new interface elements on users that don't want them, there could be trouble ahead. If they're optional, Windows 8 could make PC use easier for the more casual while also keeping the hardcore happy.

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Dumbing down desktop interfaces and making them more "user friendly" is not the way to go. Ugh. This looks absolutely terrible, and I truly hope it bombs. Really, ultimately, so long as it can be disabled (as shown in the video) and I never have to even pretend the tile-based crap exists, I'm fine, but I see them eventually forcing it as the new standard, which is what worries me.

All in all, at least M$ is consistent with one thing: they've maintained that every-other-release-is-shit standard for quite some time now.

This isn't very appealing...I want my computer to be a computer. Not a giant smartphone.

I also love how Microsoft assume's we all are caught up with touchpad desktop's when there's another recession/depression looming overhead.

Because Windows 7 didn't have enough gimmicks as it is?

Why don't you just make Windows 8 an updated XP that can use DX10 and other modern stuff.

Windows 8 looks interesting, I just hope they didn't focus too much on touchscreen innovations, leaving aside other important things.

From what I read they made it faster than windows 7, so maybe I am just worrying about nothing. [/hopeful]

I really don't want to buy a 3D touchscreen computer monitor just to use this "service". Because that's what it's gonna require if someone uses this for a PC.

WTB 'non-idiot' version.

Oh thank god, they still have the standard windows layout too. I just wont use the touch screen gimmicky features that won't improve my 'user experience' one bit. I appreciate for computer newbies and/or dullards they'll make things easier though, so good times for them.

However, at least they're trying something new :)

I don't like to touch my screen. That would leave Cheetos marks.

Windows 8 puts the tile in infantile.

uppitycracker:
Dumbing down desktop interfaces and making them more "user friendly" is not the way to go. Ugh.

unfortunately, that's how HCI development works so that even the most low skilled user can perform the most advanced functions. Fear the future.

I guess my tutor was right; apps will be the main feature of Operating Systems.

Sort of reminds me of Stardock's software, the one called Tiles.

Yeah, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Really it looks great for a tablet or phone, but for a desktop PC? No thanks.

I'm a bit worried about how hard they're going to try to shove the new UI stuff down our throats. I'm a software developer - so there's no way I can get away from a mouse and keyboard.

Aeshi:
Because Windows 7 didn't have enough gimmicks as it is?

Why don't you just make Windows 8 an updated XP that can use DX10 and other modern stuff.

Because that would be the smart thing to do, and we can't have that can we?

I hate having touch screens. Especially if I have to type on touch screen.

But I will give them the benifit of the doubt until I try it.

World's biggest phone. EVER.
Oh wait, that's a COMPUTER!? Wow. I'm going to stick with Windows 7 for a while...

I'm so sick of the term "app". Everyone making a new product seems to try to cram that buzzword in as many times as they possibly can.

Also, if I were going to get an experimental new OS, I'd get a Google Notebook. Windows 8 does nothing that I need to do that I can't do easier in Windows 7.

It looks like a fucking iPhone

Stealing from apple is not going to sell well

Still using Vista.

I'm too stubborn to upgrade.

Finally something that will work on tablets, thank goodness. This looks amazing, cue the luddites whining about touchscreen and how it doesn't run like a 10 year old piece of software...

Awful idea. Definately will not be making the jump to 8 unless it can seriously impress.

mcnally86:
I don't like to touch my screen. That would leave Cheetos marks.

You're going to have start thinking about washing those Cheetos fingers.

HerbertTheHamster:
It looks like a fucking iPhone

Stealing from apple is not going to sell well

How does it look like an iphone? grid icons vs tiles is two separate worlds.

I think my OS use bar just swung a bit closer to Mac/Linux with that presentation. Yeah this is something I do not want in my house at all. I'm all for being user friendly but this is ridiculous. I think this is Microsoft's development cycle. They produce an OS that's utter trash and release a good one after to lull the public back into a false sense of security.

I hate this concept for the same reason I hate OSX. It tries to hide the system's plumbing away. I want the nuts and bolts to be exposed. It shouldn't take any more than two clicks to let me, for example, reconfigure my network interfaces. Windows 7 is bad enough in this regard. Let's not make it worse.

Fuck MS, I've been using Win7 for little over a year, and I'm not upgrading for some stupid fucking gimmick.

I said stupid fucking gimmick because that's what they're showcasing - not something like DX12 support, some post NTFS format or an even more stable 64-bit OS.

And anyone who can't grasp Windows-based interface doesn't exist because natural selection has weeded them out already. I mean, seriously...

This looks... stupid. I could see it working on a tablet or as an app, but as a OS on my computer? Nuh uh.

Still doing just fine on XP with my display set to "Windows Classic". I don't hate and fear advances, but I'm the sort of person who uses a lot of audio and graphic software that is always a bugger to migrate to a new environment.

Edit: To clarify, in addition to the newer audio and graphics software I use, I also favor OLDER applications that don't play so well under new OS's and who's developers aren't still updating or sometimes still even in business. Basically, it sucks when tools you've come to cherish don't work when you upgrade.

You know what would be a HUGE leap forward in PC interface? Something that actually works.

I am more-or-less indifferent to Windows 8.

However, I do have one question:

Didn't we just upgrade to Windows 7? Y'know, all of a couple of years ago. Seriously, how often do they expect us to pay for a new one?

I wish there were more options OS wise for a gaming PC, Linux and Mac just don't work for gaming so you're bottlenecked into Windows, which as far as XP and 7 are fantastic but if they start pulling this bullshit and make it the norm I will not be pleased.

[sarcasm] And it will only requre a measly 8 GB of RAM to run this new UI. [/sarcasm]

this is what i think everyone is thinking

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

i dont like that, i like when i can organize my deskopt how i want and those apps just make it look like an iphone, they must have an option to disable or else i'll be very dissapointed

Meh, you can gussy it up any way you want, just leave me my command prompt

Zhukov:
However, I do have one question:

Didn't we just upgrade to Windows 7? Y'know, all of a couple of years ago. Seriously, how often do they expect us to pay for a new one?

Win 8 is still a while off, I personally won't expect open beta until late next year and another 8 or 5 months for testing.

Touchscreen what touchscreen what what.
Touchscreen. What.

How far in the future will touchscreens be standard so this is actually usable?
I also like how he says tiles are superior to icons cause you can fit more into them and then it shows only room for 9 per screen.
Also wtf "Apps". What is this? An Iphone?

I'm glad I still have XP...

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