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Windows 8.1: actually just a glorified Service Pack?
Thread poster: Michael Beijer

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:22
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Nov 20, 2013

Wow, I just had a look at the list of things that have been added to and changed in Windows 8.1, and can hardly believe that they managed to convince themselves that this warrants an actual release digit.

• The Start Button is back, the Start Menu isn’t. Who cares? I actually kind of like the new start screen, and I don’t mind swiping to the bottom left corner. Now we have a button there, which does exactly the same thing as before.
• Apps view: they changed something, but I don’t care. I don’t use 'apps', I use programs.
• Large and Small tiles on the Start Screen. Woopee.
• Unified search. In 8, search is strangely split into three separate categories. In 8.1 these have been unified. This is a good thing.
• Improved ‘split view’ for apps: As I said above, I don’t use apps, so I doubt I will be using this. I can already put on one program to the left of my screen and another to the right, just fine.
• App store gets revamp but is still filled with junk
• Internet Explorer 11: I use Chrome.
• You can boot directly into Desktop mode instead of the tile-based app user interface (thank god).

I got most of this information here:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/windows-8-1-preview-final-verdict/
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-3121_7-57608058-220/windows-8.1-what-you-need-to-know-faq/

Michael

PS: I should note however that I do like Windows 8 more than 7. I much prefer the look of the new OS. They got rid of all that tacky transparency and made everything flat. Apple could actually learn a thing or two from Microsoft here. Incidentally, when is Apple going to do something about their now very dated looking Dock, e.g.? However, it Apple is starting to take notice of the shift in the design landscape as shown in the recent changes in iOS 7…

[Edited at 2013-11-20 09:30 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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@Michael Nov 20, 2013

Michael Beijer wrote:
• The Start Button is back, the Start Menu isn’t.


People who want to use the Start Menu can install Classic Start Menu, which also works on Windows 7, by the way. I don't use Windows 8 yet, so I don't know how well it works -- perhaps you can tell us?

PS: I should note however that I do like Windows 8 more than 7. I much prefer the look of the new OS. They got rid of all that tacky transparency and made everything flat.


To put it differently: they took away people's ability to choose between flat and transparent, and now only offer flat.

Incidentally, when is Apple going to do something about their now very dated looking Dock, e.g.?


The Apple dock only looks dated to people who have been looking at it for years and years and who believe that new things should look and work different from old things. New users of Apple don't experience the dock as "dated", so it isn't really dated -- it's just not changed yet. If something works and is popular, why change it?


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:22
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Windows 8 works great, just as stable and fast as 7. Nov 20, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

Michael Beijer wrote:
• The Start Button is back, the Start Menu isn’t.


People who want to use the Start Menu can install Classic Start Menu, which also works on Windows 7, by the way. I don't use Windows 8 yet, so I don't know how well it works -- perhaps you can tell us?


8 works great. Just as good as 7, maybe even a little better, though that’s hard to tell. It's very stable.

As long as you just ignore all the touch stuff, it's just like 7. I wish they had a business version that would just do away with all the touch stuff though. It was/is an interesting idea: trying to create a single UI for everyone, but who really needs all the silly little weather/news apps and touch screen nonsense in a work environment. That’s what we have our iPads and phones for.

Michael


 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 20:22
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English to Hebrew
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MS stops releasing SPs and moves to a SaaS type of business model Nov 20, 2013

Although not completely officially confirmed yet, Microsoft plans to stop releasing Service Packs. This doesn't mean that the software won't get updates, it only means that they are (again, most probably) changing their business model to SaaS (Software As a Service), AKA subscription mode. It means that they will release new low cost (this is of course quite a subjective definition) version of their operating system each year (or so), although many of these will be just glorified Service Packs (as Windows 8.1 is), and even useless and unnecessary at times. Exactly like Apple does, similar to the "agile" development cycles of FireFox and Chrome (although those are free of course), and like they are already doing with Office; with the point being that the average user (they think) doesn't care which version they are using, exactly like they don't care with version of web services or mobile apps they are using, and should always be using the most recent version. The incentive from the developer's Point-of-View is that by having everyone on one version it reduces the support and compatibility (and also the user security from some aspects) efforts on the developer(s) side.

For business users there will probably be some extended support version (i.e. the system will get patched regularly but without incorporating any or many UI and UX changes).


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 00:22
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Nope Nov 20, 2013

Shai Nave wrote:
Exactly like Apple does

You have no idea what Apple does, but I do agree that everybody tries to do what Apple does.

Shalom,

Hans


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:22
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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Flat? Nov 20, 2013

Interesting if they do away with transparency. MS learned that from the Mac and started to make things shining through in XP, if I remember right. So you think it is an achievement that MS stops using this feature? So MS would once be ahead of Apple?

 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:22
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
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the whims of fashion Nov 20, 2013

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Interesting if they do away with transparency. MS learned that from the Mac and started to make things shining through in XP, if I remember right. So you think it is an achievement that MS stops using this feature? So MS would once be ahead of Apple?


Hi Heinrich,

Yeah, kind of. However, flat or transparent, dock or no dock, it's all just fashion of course. These things will always change, back and forth and back again.

Michael


 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 20:22
Member
English to Hebrew
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This is exactly the problem with Windows 8 (and planned future versions) Nov 20, 2013


It was/is an interesting idea: trying to create a single UI for everyone, but who really needs all the silly little weather/news apps and touch screen nonsense in a work environment. That’s what we have our iPads and phones for.

This dual interface schizophrenia is the the big UX problem with Windows 8 and in my opinion the main source for criticism and dissatisfaction. I think that if the UX was more logical, intuitive and consistent, most people would have adapted (there will be always those that complain).

Different types of hardware have different uses and the user interacts with them differently. I like the Modern interface and think that it is great on relatively small touch screen like smartphones or tablets; it is even great for a home HTPC on a big screen TV. These systems have one thing in common: they are mainly used to consume content. Conversely, that Modern Interface results in a very poor (although this is subjective) user experience on a production machine (desktop computer and laptop) that are mainly used to create content.
Therefore, the Modern interface has no place in a traditional production machine (at least for most), and the classic desktop has no place in a handheld device. To make things even worse, there is a UX inconsistency and MS insists by default on switching back and forth between the interfaces (for example, the default file association switches the user to the Modern Apps for displaying picture, playing music and video, writing emails; even some setting screens are part here and part there) and this creates one big mess and a poor user experience.

The idea of having a unified experience, no matter what device one is using, is nice. I think that MS is overshooting with their assumption that it is desired by all users, but even if assuming that the vast majority is interested in that experience it doesn't mean an exact same UI and UX across all devices, while ignoring the differences in screen size, intended use and input method.


 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 20:22
Member
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How I love comments such as yours Nov 20, 2013

Meta Arkadia wrote:
You have no idea what Apple does, but I do agree that everybody tries to do what Apple does.

What was the value of your comment (except for trying to portray me as someone who doesn't know what he is talking about) for the purpose of this discussion?

When it comes to new OS version release, Apple already pretty much does what MS is now planning to do. Drop the traditional development cycle and switch to a more subscription-like business model. In recent versions Apple released a"new version" of their OS every year and half-two years or so, these updates were relatively cheap and not always could be considered as a new major version. I don't think that this is going to change anytime soon, and it is not unlikely that at one point it will turn from the current semi subscription kind of a thing (people can still choose not to upgrade) to a full-on subscription based plan.

The SaaS business model is becoming more prevalent (I don't say that this is necessarily a good thing, but this seems to be the direction). I mentioned Apple and other "recognizable" products just as an example for this trend.


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 00:22
English to Indonesian
+ ...
SaaS? Nov 20, 2013

Shai Nave wrote:
e SaaS business model is becoming more prevalent (I don't say that this is necessarily a good thing, but this seems to be the direction). I mentioned Apple and other "recognizable" products just as an example for this trend.

Which is complete bull. Apple doesn't sell an OS. It comes with the hardware. You can't buy it. Until Mavericks, you could buy an upgrade, but nowadays that upgrade comes for free. Nothing to do with SaaS. Neither has the now free iWork.
The difference between Apple and the would-be Apples (and who doesn't want to be Apple?) is that Apple has a philosophy. It's vertical, whereas MS, the Thieves of Mountain View, the Korean criminal organisation and all the others are "horizontal." They want to become "vertical" like Apple, but they can't get it up.

Cheers,

Hans


 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 20:22
Member
English to Hebrew
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Yes, SaaS Nov 20, 2013

Call it SaaS, call it subscription based, or call it any other name, the bottom line is the same. The current one-off payment for a "standalone" software/product is being gradually replaced by a subscription based model in which all subscribers will use the latest and greatest software from the developer. I make a lot of sense for the developers, and sometimes even for the users..

Apple, MS, Google, Samsung all have different business models. I didn't want to go into that because this is not the topic of the discussion, but with Apple, their business model is indeed focused on selling an experience based on a specific combination of hardware and software, while tying the users down to their closed Ecosystem in the process. One could also argue that their hardware release cycles are becoming subscription based (with the software sometimes serving as an upgrade catalysator).

MS has a completely different approach, calling it horizontal is quite right, and other companies have their own business model. However, this is not the topic of this discussion and in the context of this discussion I just mentioned that MS is not alone in that approach, which seems to hit a nerve with you for some reason.

By the way, not everyone wants to be Apple, and Apple are not the inventors of all things or the one universal truth. They brought innovation at some points in time and much less in others; they borrowed inspiration from competitors and previous work of others just like about anyone else in that business. So with due all respect, Apple is not the topic here.

[Edited at 2013-11-20 17:34 GMT]


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:22
Member (2008)
French to English
Frustrating navigation with a mouse Nov 20, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

People who want to use the Start Menu can install Classic Start Menu, which also works on Windows 7, by the way. I don't use Windows 8 yet, so I don't know how well it works -- perhaps you can tell us?



Just what I did, I got very frustrated with my new Windows 8 machine and after 2 days added Classic Shell. Thank goodness I can now get to my programs without having to change screens!

I can see Win8 would be useful on a touchscreen machine, but mine isn't and trying to "swipe" with a mouse is MOST frustrating - I could never get it right and it would take several pokes into an unmarked part of the screen to find the right spot.

Aside from the start pages I don't see things a whole lot different from Win7. The OS appears to be the same, just the way of navigating to new programs. I think they save some computing power with the flat look - complex images, especially animations, consume computing power for no real reason.


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:22
Member (2009)
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TOPIC STARTER
Totally agree with Shai… Nov 20, 2013

Although this is way off topic, I will say this: Hans, Apple, is just another company. Just because you like their philosophy, this doesn't mean that other companies don’t have a philosophy. Do you really think that a company the size of Microsoft doesn't have a philosophy? And as far as who is a criminal (I think you mean Samsung, but you always speak in tongues, so it's hard to tell), that’s just plain silly. Most large companies, and I mean really large, have to do some pretty dodgy stuff somewhere along the way to stay at the top.

And to get back to the topic, and what John Fossey said about Windows 8 being difficult to navigate with the mouse ... I don’t really agree. Sure, they made some really stupid decisions when designing the UI, but it is actually quite easy to turn the Start Screen into just another place where you can store and click on shortcuts to launch programs. Just remove all of the crap that MS installs (all the pointless, distracting News, Weather, etc. apps) and it will soon start resembling a rather useful second desktop of sorts. You can even make little groups in your Start Screen. For example, I have groups like: Internet, Translation, Terminology, Settings, Security, Search. However, I actually hardly ever use the Start Screen, as I just click the Windows key, type the first few letters of the program I want to launch, and it will pop up automatically. Who needs a start menu, or start screen, anymore these days?

As far as those swipes are concerned, all you really need to do is move your mouse (or Wacom pen, in my case) up or down into a corner. I actually find these large, rough movements easier to make than clicking through the menu structure in the old Start Menu.

Michael

[Edited at 2013-11-20 21:44 GMT]


 

Luiz Barucke
Brazil
Local time: 14:22
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
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Compatibility between Windows 8 and CAT Tools Dec 7, 2013

Hi all,

I found this topic and maybe you could help me.

I'm looking for a new notebook and it's hard to find an updated one with Windows 7 (actually, I consider XP the best Windows version to work, but this one is impossible to find these days). All the notebooks I'm interested come with Windows 8.

My question is: Do you know about any problem between Windows 8 and the CAT Tools: Trados 2007, Trados Studio 2011, MemoQ and Wordfast PRO?

I don't want to buy a problem.

Thanks.

[Editada em 2013-12-07 00:09 GMT]


 

Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:22
Finnish to French
memoQ & Windows XP Dec 7, 2013

Luiz Barucke wrote:
actually, I consider XP the best Windows version to work

See this letter sent by Kilgray about Windows XP and learn why XP would definitely not be recommended, at least if you intend to use future versions of memoQ.
Luiz Barucke wrote:
My question is: Do you know about any problem between Windows 8 and the CAT Tools: Trados 2007, Trados Studio 2011, MemoQ and Wordfast PRO?

They all work fine under Windows 8 as far as I can see. For Trados 2007, you'll want to make sure you install the 32-bit version of Office 2010/2013, even if you get the 64-bit version of Windows 8 (as you probably should): the template from Trados Translator's Workbench (trados8.dotm) is not compatible with the 64-bit version of MS Word.


 
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