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3/14/2012
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Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says

Mike Bibik, now an Amazon designer, says he hopes Fixing Windows 8 website will convince Microsoft to make changes to its new operating system.

Windows 8 Beta: Visual Tour
Windows 8 Beta: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
A former Microsoft employee has launched a website that outlines all of the problems he sees with the forthcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Fixing Windows 8, as the site is called, outlines the bugs, quirks, and design flaws that Mike Bibik, who was a Microsoft program manager, says detract from the Windows 8 user experience. "Microsoft made it very clear that Windows 8 will work fantastically if you are using touch, mouse, or keyboard. Unfortunately, that's not entirely true," wrote Bibik, in his initial post on the website.

Most of Bibik's complaints center on Windows 8's new Metro interface. Bibik says the Metro UI will be a navigational nightmare for users who aren't tech savvy. "Windows 8 just dumps you into the Start screen. No tutorial, no help icon on the main screen, nothing. This will be fixed by launch or Windows 8 will fail."

Bibik may be biased. He's now a user experience designer at Amazon, a company that is moving into competition with Microsoft on a number of fronts. Amazon's AWS cloud services group competes with Microsoft's Azure platform, and Windows 8 touch tablets will go head to head with Amazon's Kindle Fire when they launch later this year.

[ Will Win 8 tablets be locked out of the enterprise? See Windows 8 Tablets Could Be Risky Business. ]

Still, some of Bibik's points will doubtless resonate with Windows users who are used to the old Explorer interface, which will still be an option on PCs and laptops, and who primarily use a mouse and keyboard to navigate.

"The Start screen presents you with a bunch of colorful tiles to launch your apps. This isn't the entire collection of apps, just the default collection that Microsoft decided upon," wrote Bibik. "Getting to all of your apps is completely undiscoverable."

Bibik also gripes that Windows 8's new full-screen apps, which can only be downloaded from the new Windows Store, will cause problems for average users.

"The user might be able to figure out that their scroll wheel, used for years to scroll up and down, will now scroll left and right ... If not, the user sees a very small portion of the full app and is very confused. This confused user wants to go back to Start and try something else, maybe that will work."

Despite his barbs, Bibik insists his Fixing Windows 8 site is meant to attract constructive feedback that he hopes will convince Microsoft to make some tweaks to the OS. "Over the next few weeks, I hope to explore these issues deeper and maybe even come up with solutions Microsoft can use. This website is meant to be informative, not just negative."

Microsoft launched the Windows 8 Consumer Preview last month. The company has not announced a ship date for the final version, but it's widely expected to be released before year's end.

Predictive IT analytics can provide invaluable insight--vital if a private cloud is in your future. Find out how in the new, all-digital Predictive IT Analytics issue of InformationWeek. Also in this issue: Randy Mott named CIO of General Motors, how Dell is pushing into the enterprise data center, and eight key features in Windows 8. (Free registration required.)

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ANON1245867443530
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ANON1245867443530,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2012 | 11:14:01 PM
re: Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says
Exactly. It's the pathetic, lazy dereliction of design duty. How many more apologists do we need to hear floating this strawman: "Who cares if the Start menu sucks? Just search for the program you want to use."

So now we're supposed to remember the name of every application on our computers and TYPE them in to run them? You know what that's called?

THE COMMAND LINE. That's not a GUI.
ANON1245867443530
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ANON1245867443530,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2012 | 11:11:16 PM
re: Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says
Long-running? Microsoft advanced the state of GUIs more throughout the '90s than anyone else, easily eclipsing moribund Apple. While Microsoft has clearly lost its way (along with its design talent), this problem has only degraded the Windows experience since Vista.
ANON1245867443530
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ANON1245867443530,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2012 | 11:08:59 PM
re: Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says
"where Apple seems to know what you want before you do"

Ugh, same old fawning. This is a crock, which any look at Lion will tell you. Both Apple and Microsoft are regressing at an alarming rate, forgetting basic UI design principles that have made computers accessible to everyone. Great example: Hiding UI controls until the user accidentally rolls the cursor over them. The sheer stupidity of this tactic reveals the fraud of Apple's "elegance" and the sorry decline of Microsoft's once-efficient and standard-setting UIs.
ANON1245867443530
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ANON1245867443530,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2012 | 11:05:08 PM
re: Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says
The program organization in Windows has steadily gotten worse since the advent of the Start menu, which violates Microsoft's own UI guidelines for cascading menus (they shouldn't be more than three deep).

The old Program Manager groups on the desktop (before Windows 95) were, by far, the most efficient organization of applications.

The mess got even worse after XP, when it became impossible to organize your applications into groups that cascaded from the Start menu. And software vendors now litter the Start menu with crap without permission, not bothering to ask WHERE you want the shortcuts to go. Who organizes their applications by PUBLISHER? Heaven forbid you want all your graphics apps, audio apps, general-office apps, or utilities in separate groups.
ANON1245867443530
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ANON1245867443530,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2012 | 11:00:29 PM
re: Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says
What a lame assertion, that he's biased because he happens to now work with a company that happens to have some overlap with SOME of Microsoft's business.

If he thinks Windows 8's UI will fail and he wants that to be true, then he would have no interest in providing free advice.

Think it through.
Prshnt_khnl
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Prshnt_khnl,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/1/2012 | 7:45:54 PM
re: Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says
I own a Lenovo G460 and I faced a problem on my Wi-Fi. Everytime I put my device on hibernate mode and when I start it later the network connection showed limited availability and I had to restart it everytime. After sometime the network did not even connect and what life is it without an internet.

So, unless they resolve this matter I ain't gonna switch to Windows 8 Consumer Preview
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/18/2012 | 11:57:58 AM
re: Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says
Interestingly, that site no longer works. Did Microsoft send the lawyers to break some bones and servers?
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/17/2012 | 3:29:40 PM
re: Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says
Maybe...but on the traditional desktop with the much smaller icons there was no need to scroll around (despite it being possible under specific circumstances). The majority of tiles in Metro are not live tiles, so having them use up ridiculously amounts of screen space is totally insane. Yes, you can change the size of tiles, but that requires tweaking, which is only available from a context menu activated by right-clicking. How do you right-click on a touch screen? With the default size of the tiles the screen fills up quickly and constantly having to scroll in whatever direction is getting old really fast. Especially for novice users, because what they don't see is not there, the main reason not to have invisible hot spots - which use up space on the screen that cannot be used for anything else, so it might as well be a button and thus be more obvious and intuitive.
Tony A
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Tony A,
User Rank: Strategist
3/15/2012 | 3:12:35 PM
re: Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says
Oh, sorry Paul, it's not you, there are lots of contributors to this insipid new standard for leadoff articles in IT ezines. I get the same thing from LinkedIn, "5 Qualities of Great Employees", "7 Secrets of Successful CIO's", etc.

Since I was no fan of the interface in Vista, or Windows 7, or Office 2007, it is not like shocking news that the Windows 8 interface bites it. Counting on the ingenuity of users to figure things out is a good way of avoiding the effort of making them work intuitively.
Tony A
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Tony A,
User Rank: Strategist
3/15/2012 | 3:03:45 PM
re: Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says
Wait, isn't there something wrong with the title of this column? Shouldn't it be "8 Problems with Windows Mobile Platform", or "4.7 Reasons to Stick with Android" or "17 Ways to Hold the Attention of Readers with ADD" - that is, the usual standard for Paul's byline? Why does he suddenly expect us to wrap our minds around a story where the paragraphs are not enumerated? Did everybody here suddenly get a high school diploma or something?
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