Ex-Microsoft Employee Launches 'Fixing Windows 8' Initiative

It seems that Microsoft's latest version of Windows is receiving a mixed reaction: some people like it, and some people don't. Naturally you can't please everyone on the planet, but we really haven't heard this much negativity since Windows Vista. The biggest issue thus far is that Microsoft seemingly caters to the new touchy consumer and brushed aside the old, making Windows 8 difficult to manage using the typical mouse and keyboard setup.

"During the MWC keynote, Microsoft made it very clear that Windows 8 will work fantastically if you are using touch, mouse or keyboard," says former Microsoft employee Mike Bibik on his just-launched website fixingwindows8.com. "Unfortunately, that's not entirely true."

His initial rant, which went live on March 2, goes into a thorough deconstruction of Windows 8 and its blocky Metro UI. His first big beef was in launching apps that require the user to have a Microsoft account, essentially either a Hotmail account or Windows Live ID. He then complained that the scroll wheel -- which for years allowed the user to scroll up and down on the screen -- now moves everything horizontally.'

"Metro apps do not have window controls. How does a user know how to exit a Metro app? They can’t minimize, they can’t maximize, they can’t exit," he wrote. "I'm pretty sure this is where 75-percent of first-time users will simply give up. This will be so frustrating, people won’t even try to fix it. We are going to hear a lot of 'I just want it the way it used to be!'"

Most of what he found "broken" in Windows 8 were within the first hour of using the Consumer Preview. Granted things will likely change before the final version arrives on store shelves later this year, now is the time to throw complains out to Microsoft before code is etched in stone, hence the need for sites like fixWindows8.com to point out glaring design issues. Bibik is drawing upon his UX designer experience to offer potential solutions to these issues.

On his website, Bibik links to a video uploaded to YouTube recorded by Chris Pirillo which shows his father trying -- and failing -- to use Windows 8 Consumer Preview. As Bibik points out, power users should be able to figure out how the mouse works in Windows 8; novices and new users will be completely lost. As seen in the video, the "dad" couldn't even figure out how to get back to the tiles after opening Windows Explorer.

"Who puts this out," the dad says after four minutes. His son says it's by Microsoft.

"They trying to drive me to Mac?"

In Bibik's post called "Fixing Metro By Mouse," he provides three possible solutions: Start+Charms, Apps+Charms, and an actual Metro Bar. The latter option would be visible at all times as a thin bar at the bottom of the screen. On the left would be a button for the Start menu and on the right would be a button for the Charms menu. When the Desktop is visible, the classic Start bar will need enough left and right padding so the Metro bar can fit on top of it.

At this stage, it's highly unlikely Microsoft would even consider implementing his suggestions. Has Microsoft completely taken the wrong direction with Windows 8? Is Microsoft so intent on taking on Apple in the tablet sector that it's completely lost track of the desktop consumer? We have a while before Windows 8 goes gold, so it will be interesting to see what will happen to the new OS before then.

How Real People Will Use Windows 8

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
147 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • Anonymous
    I adore the Metro UI on my phone but having tried out the Win8 preview, I have to say it's just goddamn awful on my laptop (the fact the I couldn't just close my programs alone ignited a full blown rage attack after the first hour)
    Vista was bad for MS - this is going to be a nightmare
    27
  • memadmax
    Microsoft needs to just come out of the closet and say it's Windows Tablet Edition and call it good... It's obvious that that is what it is made for and not a desktop....

    The fact that they are indeed trying to sell it as a desktop OS AND a Tablet OS is beyond belief...

    What's even worse? They made a frickin windows SERVER edition THE SAME FREAKIN WAY...

    M$ has either lost its mind or they are bored and just screwing around with win8....
    24
  • ubercake
    It almost seems like they are expecting people to learn two distinctly different interfaces in the same OS:
    1- The one with the boxes
    2- The one that looks like older versions of Windows without the functionality

    Why would you make an OS that is less mouse-friendly? I want all my junk in one place with as few click as necessary. Wouldn't this line of thinking even help simplify the touch interface?
    21
  • Other Comments
  • tiang
    Microsoft better fixes all or else will lost all the senior users!
    20
  • rpgplayer
    Once I got used to how the Metro UI works it's not as bad as it first seemed. I still do not like it, but I can use it. Other than that so far Windows 8 seems to be stable, now if I could just get my logitec controller to work with my steam apps I would be golden. Under windows 7 there is an xbox 360 controller Xinput emulator, it doesn't work on Win 8
    0
  • Anonymous
    I adore the Metro UI on my phone but having tried out the Win8 preview, I have to say it's just goddamn awful on my laptop (the fact the I couldn't just close my programs alone ignited a full blown rage attack after the first hour)
    Vista was bad for MS - this is going to be a nightmare
    27