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Windows 8.1 and the “New” Interface

Windows 8.1 and the “New” Interface

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I’ve just installed Windows 8.1 in a test VM to give it a whirl.  This is supposed to be the version with the return of the start button, but I think in fact Microsoft have just made things even more confusing.

The first image in the gallery below is my desktop as it stands when I first log in.  The tiles scroll left and right as with Windows 8, although the default screen size doesn’t show all of the available desktop as it comes preconfigured.  If I click into Internet Explorer as an example, I lose all my toolbars and navigation and get by default a full screen browser.  To return back to an application I need to activate the bottom left hot corner which returns the start button and I can get back to where I was.

Depending on where the cursor is (and I wasn’t able to capture it), under the yellow desktop tile a downward pointing arrow appears, taking me to another sub-level of menus.  Here I can find all my programs, given little square icons and names.  The whole metro style interface still feels a little forced for the desktop.  Navigation isn’t intuitive, and depending on what options are chosen, the desktop readily appears, reverting back to the old layered windows approach.

I’ve also found one other extremely annoying issue; RDP for Mac OS no longer works.  This thread seems to highlight what other users have already found.

The Architect’s View

Windows desktop continues to disappoint as Microsoft insist that non-touch screen users should be using a touch interface.  The implementation is half-arsed and definitely not completed.  I wonder if Microsoft wanted to change the O/S image, but the windowing functions were far to ingrained in the operating system architecture to make this possible, so the only solution was a poor veneer over the top.  I can only be thankful that I have very little dependence on Windows; I’m dropping use of the Microsoft desktop at every opportunity.

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Copyright (c) 2013 – Brookend Ltd, first published on http://architecting.it, do not reproduce without permission.

About Chris M Evans

Chris M Evans has worked in the technology industry since 1987, starting as a systems programmer on the IBM mainframe platform, while retaining an interest in storage. After working abroad, he co-founded an Internet-based music distribution company during the .com era, returning to consultancy in the new millennium. In 2009 Chris co-founded Langton Blue Ltd (www.langtonblue.com), a boutique consultancy firm focused on delivering business benefit through efficient technology deployments. Chris writes a popular blog at http://blog.architecting.it, attends many conferences and invitation-only events and can be found providing regular industry contributions through Twitter (@chrismevans) and other social media outlets.
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