INTERACT FORUM

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Microsoft Surrenders  (Read 4411 times)

6233638

  • Regular Member
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 5353
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 01:58:27 am »

Looks like you will be able to run metro apps in a window on the desktop too.
Logged

astromo

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 2239
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 02:25:11 am »

I find M$'s penchant for forcing user change arrogant and entirely lacking in understanding human behaviour. A user gets familiar with a certain workflow and in the case of remaining with a desktop work process, the Win 7 format is just fine and dandy for me. I relish this admission of failure.

In any case, why wait?

I've been using this on 8.1 ever since I "upgraded":
http://www.classicshell.net/

I also find desktop gadgets to be quite handy, so I've also added this to my old school looking desktop:
http://gadgetsrevived.com/

This means I can use this little fella that I was oblivious to until a few days ago:
MC Gadget

Sometimes the display of some of the gadgets I've got loaded can go a little skew-whiff but overall it's manageable. The MC gadget seems to be quite stable so far.
Logged
MC31, Win10 x64, HD-Plex H5 Gen2 Case, HD-Plex 400W Hi-Fi DC-ATX / AC-DC PSU, Gigabyte Z370 ULTRA Gaming 2.0 MoBo, Intel Core i7 8700 CPU, 4x8GB GSkill DDR4 RAM, Schiit Modi Multibit DAC, Freya Pre, Nelson Pass Aleph J DIY Clone, Ascension Timberwolf 8893BSRTL Speakers, BJC 5T00UP cables, DVB-T Tuner HDHR5-4DT

cncb

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 2940
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 11:22:47 am »

I found gadgets very useful but they ruined it for me in Win 7 when they took away the docked sidebar for no apparent reason (you could easily have the "floating on desktop" behavior in Vista).  Them inexplicably taking away useful features is really getting frustrating.
Logged
-Craig    MO 4Media remote and player:  Android/TV/Auto | iOS | Windows 10/UWP

astromo

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 2239
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 11:18:41 pm »

I found gadgets very useful but they ruined it for me in Win 7 when they took away the docked sidebar for no apparent reason (you could easily have the "floating on desktop" behavior in Vista).  Them inexplicably taking away useful features is really getting frustrating.

Your gadget is very much appreciated by me and thanks to the 3rd party add on, I can put it to use in Win 8.1. You could give the sidebar from gadgetsrevived a go and see what you think.

Removing user interface features without adequate explanation or a switch to revert to "old mode" is the height of arrogance (in my view). At least offer some mechanism within the software for transition other than an F1 key that boots you out onto the interweb, where you're left to fend for yourself.

On the plus side, it opens up opportunities for the industrious. I don't know how much frustration and time I burnt over the change from Office 2003 to 2007/2010. Thankfully I was able to roll the clock back in true Luddite fashion by employing this piece of kit:
http://www.ubit.ch/software/ubitmenu-languages/
The dumb thing in this case is that the engine driving the software is fundamentally still the same and the code for the old GUI would still essentially be in the library, so offering user flexibility should not be that hard (at least from a simpleton's perspective). Can't be that hard if 3rd party bolt ons pop up the way they do. The gear from Ubit works on 2013 and I've got it loaded because every now and again I get stuck but can recall where to find stuff from 2003.

I understand that various GUI changes have been brought about by the inclusion of mobile platforms but to toss the existing desktop approach for a slick new feel and signficant user learning curve is a recipe for confusion and not real bright. ... stopping now ...

I may have got a little carried away.
Logged
MC31, Win10 x64, HD-Plex H5 Gen2 Case, HD-Plex 400W Hi-Fi DC-ATX / AC-DC PSU, Gigabyte Z370 ULTRA Gaming 2.0 MoBo, Intel Core i7 8700 CPU, 4x8GB GSkill DDR4 RAM, Schiit Modi Multibit DAC, Freya Pre, Nelson Pass Aleph J DIY Clone, Ascension Timberwolf 8893BSRTL Speakers, BJC 5T00UP cables, DVB-T Tuner HDHR5-4DT

kstuart

  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 1955
  • Upgraded to MC22 Master using preorder discount
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2014, 11:19:18 pm »

I find M$'s penchant for forcing user change arrogant and entirely lacking in understanding human behaviour. A user gets familiar with a certain workflow and in the case of remaining with a desktop work process, the Win 7 format is just fine and dandy for me. I relish this admission of failure.
I think in this case, they were swallowing the media-wide conventional wisdom that laptops, keyboards and mice were on the way out, and would be "buggy whips" within a matter of days or even hours.

This started with the Wall Street interpretation of lower PC and laptop sales as meaning that everyone was converting to tablets and phones, rather than the correct interpretation that the average person had absolutely no reason to get rid of their perfectly working dual-core laptop in favor of a 2013 quad-core.

Apparently no one on Wall Street goes to Starbucks, because the ratio of laptops to tablets there is still 20 to 1.

(I think that tablets will be mostly in the past by 2020, since smartphones are gradually replacing all of their functionality...

jmone

  • Administrator
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 14277
  • I won! I won!
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2014, 11:33:37 pm »

As we have 3 touch screen / convertible Laptops, I like that Win8 has 2 UI's, the traditional GUI for Screen / KB and a touch friendly Metro/Modern.  What I hate is:
- Removal of the Start Button in the Traditional GUI
- That the apps are different between the Traditional and Metro, eg the E-Mail app, do I really want to have seperate mail settings for each?  I just want a different Skin over the top.

Lots of work for MS to do.
Logged
JRiver CEO Elect

6233638

  • Regular Member
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 5353
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 12:30:28 am »

I was under the impression that Gadgets had been removed because they were a security risk.
If every new UI change has to include a "classic mode" then huge amounts of resources will be wasted during development, and things will never progress forward.
 
It's interesting to see how on the Windows side, people would rather that things stick to being exactly the same way they were in 1995, but on the Mac side of things most people happily embrace change. (most of the time anyway)
 
Microsoft does a lot of research and testing before they decide to make big UI changes like the ribbon or the start screen.
They don't just make changes for no reason at all - they do it because they believe they are making the user experience better for people, and have data which backs that up.

Now that approach is not always successful, especially if you are not that computer literate and are resistant to change.
I used to be strongly against things like the ribbon, but I'm slowly coming around to it. I think the Ribbon UI in Explorer in Windows 8.1 is a clear improvement over the old Explorer UI.

I think in this case, they were swallowing the media-wide conventional wisdom that laptops, keyboards and mice were on the way out, and would be "buggy whips" within a matter of days or even hours.
I think this is an issue of perception. For some reason, long-term desktop or notebook users of Windows seem to be under the impression that Metro replaces the desktop - or is even trying to.
The only thing that was replaced with Metro was the Start Menu, and now Microsoft are bringing it back.
 
There was all sorts of FUD being spread about how the desktop was going away, to have real desktop programs replaced by Metro apps - which has clearly not been the case at all.
 
All that Metro is, is the option to run tablet apps on your computer, whether it's a tablet, notebook, or desktop PC.
With the recently announced universal apps, you will be able to buy a single app which runs on your phone, tablet, notebook, desktop, and Xbox One.
 
I think that is a huge deal. OK, you might not have any interest in tablet apps - well you can just ignore them.
But when there are a lot of tablet apps which have no desktop equivalent, I welcome the ability to run the tablet app on my PC.
It may not always be a perfect experience, but it is better than no app at all.
 
 
Unfortunately, all this FUD about Windows 8 has meant that adoption has been slow, and the app marketplace is not nearly as varied as Android/iOS. Hopefully universal apps that run across all devices will help that situation.

I think that tablets will be mostly in the past by 2020, since smartphones are gradually replacing all of their functionality...
I'm not sure. Yes, phones are becoming more powerful, but you wouldn't want to watch a movie on a phone or type up a document on one. Those are things which are easy enough to do on a tablet.

I think your phone will eventually be powerful enough to replace your computer, but it would have to dock to a screen or something else - most people don't want a 5" computer.

- Removal of the Start Button in the Traditional GUI
Well that was brought back in Windows 8.1 months ago, and they have now announced that they will bring back the Start Menu.

- That the apps are different between the Traditional and Metro, eg the E-Mail app, do I really want to have seperate mail settings for each?  I just want a different Skin over the top.
Well there is no mail app for the desktop included in Windows - only the Metro app.
Logged

cncb

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 2940
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2014, 09:37:29 am »

I was under the impression that Gadgets had been removed because they were a security risk.

That is a reason they gave but just like any 3rd-party application, you just have to be careful what you install.  And gadgets are even less of a security risk since you can read all the "source" files with a simple text editor.
Logged
-Craig    MO 4Media remote and player:  Android/TV/Auto | iOS | Windows 10/UWP

cncb

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 2940
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2014, 03:20:00 pm »

Your gadget is very much appreciated by me and thanks to the 3rd party add on, I can put it to use in Win 8.1. You could give the sidebar from gadgetsrevived a go and see what you think.

I'm glad you're still getting some use out of it. 

There is also this: http://nes.bplaced.net/sidebar7.html
I'm just too paranoid to use any of these 3rd-party sources that replace or replicate system files.
Logged
-Craig    MO 4Media remote and player:  Android/TV/Auto | iOS | Windows 10/UWP

dean70

  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 508
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2014, 08:41:12 pm »

That's sure to make a mess of Windows 8.x by chopping and changing their strategies like that.  ::)

There is so much that can be done with the existing Metro screens to make it more usable. Instead of a static "sea of icons" on the application screen, enable collapsing icon group folders, allow hiding unused icons and be able to pin an entire folder to the Start screen instead of individual icons would be a big start.
Logged

6233638

  • Regular Member
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 5353
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2014, 03:34:17 am »

There is so much that can be done with the existing Metro screens to make it more usable.
..
enable collapsing icon group folders
Yes, this might be nice when using a keyboard and mouse.

allow hiding unused icons
You can unpin or delete icons you don't want to see..

be able to pin an entire folder to the Start screen instead of individual icons would be a big start.
Just add the folder to %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ as you would in previous versions of Windows.
Logged

kstuart

  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 1955
  • Upgraded to MC22 Master using preorder discount
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2014, 03:08:13 pm »

Microsoft does a lot of research and testing before they decide to make big UI changes like the ribbon or the start screen.
They don't just make changes for no reason at all - they do it because they believe they are making the user experience better for people, and have data which backs that up.

This is the sort of thing we tell our children, so they obey when we tell them not to run into the street, and so that they don't drop out of school.

In reality, decisions are made because the Director of X has more clout than the Director of Y, or Director Z wants to increase his budget, so he allies himself with Vice President B's idea.

It's portrayed as comedy, but dilbert.com is surprisingly accurate (since Scott Adams worked at Pacbell).  Mike Judge also worked in the industry, so tonight's "Silicon Valley" debut might prove interesting...

InflatableMouse

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 3978
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2014, 03:11:25 am »

And gadgets are even less of a security risk since you can read all the "source" files with a simple text editor.

Honestly I think this is not a very good reason for calling something more secure. While its true anyone can read the source code, it doesn't mean everyone understands it. Most security issues are unintentional bugs, escaping the eye of the programmer himself. While anyone can read code, in reality only a handful of people really look at the code, and even less are needed to sign off on it. I suppose the recent heartbleed bug testifies of that.
Logged

glynor

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 19608
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2014, 12:48:15 pm »

I suppose the recent heartbleed bug testifies of that.

And Apple's GOTOFAIL bug and the GnuTLS bug.  All three were longstanding bugs in widely used open source components.

If no one is auditing it, then it doesn't count.
Logged
"Some cultures are defined by their relationship to cheese."

Visit me on the Interweb Thingie: http://glynor.com/

6233638

  • Regular Member
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 5353
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2014, 01:46:55 pm »

If no one is auditing it, then it doesn't count.
I would say that it's worse than that. If no-one is auditing it, doesn't that actually make it easier for hackers since they have access to the source code?
Logged

glynor

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 19608
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2014, 02:31:46 pm »

I would say that it's worse than that. If no-one is auditing it, doesn't that actually make it easier for hackers since they have access to the source code?

Yes.  And with most Open Source projects (not Apple's in this case, but certainly GnuTLS), they can just check in the bad code themselves (perhaps through a cut-out account for plausible deniability).

I suspect that, over the next few years, open and non-controlled security suites like GnuTLS will have to implement some kind of restrictions on who can commit changes, as... If there wasn't before, there's going to be now, an "edit war" between NSA and other countries' versions of the same.
Logged
"Some cultures are defined by their relationship to cheese."

Visit me on the Interweb Thingie: http://glynor.com/

Hendrik

  • Administrator
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 10786
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2014, 02:35:26 pm »

I know of no open-source project where any random person can just commit their changes.
If a stranger wants to contribute, they typically have to send their changes to a mailing list, or using a "Pull Request" like system on a website. This way it has to get reviewed by at least one established developer before it enters the code base.

Anything else would be total anarchy and wide open to trolling and vandalism, that would never work.
You can of course try to hide "bad" things in a valid-looking change, but you have to be somewhat clever at least to get by a project maintainer with your change, without him spotting any intentional "open doors".
Logged
~ nevcairiel
~ Author of LAV Filters

InflatableMouse

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 3978
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2014, 02:46:50 pm »

I can imagine a lot of some project maintainers get burried under commits and no longer pay a lot of attention to what they approve.

Funny ... just now I receive an update ... gnutls-3.3.1-1.

Glynor are you trying to prove a point? ;).
Logged

Hendrik

  • Administrator
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 10786
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2014, 02:49:34 pm »

I can imagine a lot of project maintainers get burried under commits and no longer pay a lot of attention to what they approve.

That depends on the person of course, but any good open-source developers would just let the backlog grow instead.
Its not like they get payed by commit, or anything (or at all, in most cases)
Logged
~ nevcairiel
~ Author of LAV Filters

glynor

  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
  • *****
  • Posts: 19608
Re: Microsoft Surrenders
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2014, 03:24:22 pm »

I know of no open-source project where any random person can just commit their changes.

Well, unless you count Wackipedia.   ;) ;D

But, I wasn't suggesting otherwise.  The process you described is EXACTLY how we now know the Heartbleed bug was introduced into OpenSSL, though.  A college kid wrote the heartbeat extension and submitted it, it was "looked over" by one other established developer, who didn't see the issue (and probably didn't look hard, since the student had contributed a bunch of valuable code previously).

The problem is that (especially with C code) it is so easy to hide intentions.

Yes, if you commit a change that is clearly labeled as backdoor.c or whatever, then, yes, it'll get rejected.  But, a conveniently placed missing curly brace?  Forgetting a bounds check?  Maybe someone will catch it.  Looks like from the track record, though, it is more likely to get missed.  Even if they catch a few, so what?  If you're the bad actor, you submit HUNDREDS of them, under a variety of "online personas"...

Plus... The other big problem with many open source projects is turnover.  Many of the contributors are, for obvious reasons, college students who graduate and go onto other things.  This is the same stuff that causes the "old code" problems revealed in the recent phase 1 TrueCrypt audit*. And, for a determined (and funded) bad actor, like one working for a government or a big business, it wouldn't be difficult to become a "trusted contributor".  Spend three months submitting great code... Then, oops... Did I do that??

The NSA can certainly afford to dedicate 3-4 developers to an essential open source project full time.  So can China.  So can Russia.  So can Samsung, or whatever other huge multinational corporation that might want exploits in security software for their own reasons.

So, you dedicate a handful of people.  Most of them are "clean" (or, at least, the personas they use online are clean), and they submit only good code.  Then, after a while, they become "one of the trusted devs" and they can accept changes from their buddies (or themselves using a separately created online persona).

I'm not saying it is indefensible, and I still think open security code is overall a plus (because the same thing, or worse, could exist in IIS's TLS system and we don't know if Microsoft isn't telling us).  And, it isn't like NSA hasn't already shown that they're willing to pay to get stuff inserted...

But still, we haven't seen the last of the fallout from all of this.  There will be more discovered (they're just getting going with the audits now), and there will need to be process changes to compensate.

A brave new world indeed.  Play time is over.

* Note: Not that I'm knocking TrueCrypt.  I was a little relieved by those results, though that was an extremely limited phase of the audit and didn't look at core encryption code at all).  It will be very interesting to see the results from phase 2.
Logged
"Some cultures are defined by their relationship to cheese."

Visit me on the Interweb Thingie: http://glynor.com/
Pages: [1]   Go Up