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Ex-Microsoft Employee Launches 'Fixing Windows 8' Initiative

By - Source: Mike Bibik | B 147 comments

A former Microsoft employee has launched a "Fix Windows 8" website that provides solutions for the design issues general mouse/keyboard users are experiencing.

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.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    Anonymous , March 14, 2012 11:19 AM
    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
  • 24 Hide
    memadmax , March 14, 2012 11:45 AM
    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....
  • 21 Hide
    jlats26 , March 14, 2012 12:27 PM
    I just don't understand why it isn't blatantly obvious to the Microsoft staff that this OS design is a horrible idea in every way you look at it. I've been testing it since the first developer preview and was praying that they would come to their senses and change EVERYTHING about it before its too late. For tablets, GREAT, I see the value there, but for users with a KEYBOARD and MOUSE, you know Microsoft? you DO sell such devices...its absolutely inefficient in every way. It's actually a giant leap backwards in advancement. How is reading TEXT and a colored tile better than a unique icon that people come to recognize instantly, even if the icon is upside down! Now they have to slowly scan through all these colored tiles reading the names of the app they want. Absolutely horrible. Why not progress the Icon, which hasn't even come close to its full potential. Add animation to icons to make them even more recognizable? Stuff like that, dont destroy all the great features that make Windows what it is (Start menu, min/max windows, close windows with "X" etc etc).

    Can't wait to see Microsoft go down for this
Other Comments
    Display all 147 comments.
  • 20 Hide
    tiang , March 14, 2012 11:12 AM
    Microsoft better fixes all or else will lost all the senior users!
  • 0 Hide
    rpgplayer , March 14, 2012 11:17 AM
    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
  • 27 Hide
    Anonymous , March 14, 2012 11:19 AM
    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
  • 14 Hide
    Antimatter79 , March 14, 2012 11:27 AM
    A new Windows O.S. should be something people like for the most part, not something they just learn to deal with over time. Throw a rock through Windows Metro and start over; that'll fix it. Better yet, just focus on enhancing Windows 7 even further. Maybe some programmable hotkeys with alt & ctrl would be nice.
  • 9 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , March 14, 2012 11:30 AM
    I tried the developer's preview and consumers preview. The consumer's preview does work better than the developer's preview when it came out. That being said, I only spent a few minutes on it before deciding I don't like it. I'm not even sure I would like it on a touch screen. There is a poor flow between the explorer view and the Metro UI. It's not easy to switch back and forth.
  • 18 Hide
    tmk221 , March 14, 2012 11:36 AM
    I agree with him. Most annoying thing for me was that you need MS account in order to run win8. I don't know how common it it in USA and western Europe but here in Poland NO ONE uses Windows Live ID or hotmail... Also I couldn't close metro apps so I gave up after 30 min or so of using win8 preview edition.

    I think that most ppl would prefer using win7 with some kind of application that looks like Metro UI over win8
  • 24 Hide
    memadmax , March 14, 2012 11:45 AM
    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....
  • 19 Hide
    mariusmotea , March 14, 2012 11:46 AM
    tmk221I agree with him. Most annoying thing for me was that you need MS account in order to run win8. I don't know how common it it in USA and western Europe but here in Poland NO ONE uses Windows Live ID or hotmail... Also I couldn't close metro apps so I gave up after 30 min or so of using win8 preview edition.I think that most ppl would prefer using win7 with some kind of application that looks like Metro UI over win8


    Also in Romania noboby use Windows Live ID or hotmail, and i belive that this situation is in many coutries.
  • 12 Hide
    Mike-TH , March 14, 2012 11:48 AM
    Looks like most people will be staying with Windows 7 until Windows 9 comes out. And unless they make 79 more user-friendly, it might well be even longer.

    I love Windows 7

    If they refuse to give people what they really want, instead forcing some vision of the future on them, they will stay with known or switch to Mac.
  • 4 Hide
    Mike-TH , March 14, 2012 11:49 AM
    Doh. Unless they make 9 more user-friendly. typo in my previous comment.
  • 7 Hide
    fruitn , March 14, 2012 11:49 AM
    I haven't tried the consumer preview yet, I don't dare to. Under the developer preview I tried to install flash on IE but couldn't as it wanted IE to be closed. And where the hell do you do that when launched from the Metro UI?
    I consider myself close to a power user, but I simply had to give up on the Metro. Simply not worth the hassle to learn when you have W7 around.
  • 12 Hide
    Mike-TH , March 14, 2012 11:49 AM
    No freaking edit button, really Toms?


    EDIT: AH-HAH!

    In order to edit, you need to be reading the comments in the forums, not under the article itself. At the top of the comments under the article is a link to read them on the forums.

    Hard to find, could be made easier, perhaps.
  • 9 Hide
    memadmax , March 14, 2012 11:52 AM
    Anyone else notice that MS likes to throw out a /sadface OS every 3rd version or so?

    3.0, 95, ME(depending on certain things, I liked it better than 95/98) XP... at first..., Vista(till it got fixed as well but too late, I like it now), and now.... win 8....

    At least the previous failures WERE USABLE!
  • 5 Hide
    kartu , March 14, 2012 11:53 AM
    Hate all these new "improved" UIs. =/
    Sadly Ubuntu is moving in the same direction. I'm completely lost in their latest desktop interface.
  • 6 Hide
    EightyFour , March 14, 2012 11:53 AM
    i tried the developer preview, the desktop was still there and it ran retardedly fast?

    has the public beta been a step back?
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , March 14, 2012 11:55 AM
    After trying to live with the preview, I have to say that I agree with this guy. I am a bit of a MS fanboy, and Windows 8 will most definitely drive me to mac or linux. MS is throwing away their dominance of the desktop to try to get a slice of the tablet/phone market that they may never achieve.
  • 5 Hide
    szaboaz , March 14, 2012 11:56 AM
    Microsoft is playing the long game.
    If people get used to the interface, they'll look for the same experience on their smart phones/tablets.

    *IF*
  • 3 Hide
    cirslevin , March 14, 2012 11:56 AM
    also, with large blocks, it takes longer movement of mice to move through given number of programs.

    MS is making a huge mistake here. But again, I guess windows 8 is likely a experiments and they don't really expect people to switch from win 7 anyway.
  • -5 Hide
    beardguy , March 14, 2012 12:02 PM
    So much for the fancy new UI. It seems they eliminated everything users are used to.

    This is why Mac sales keep going up.
  • 13 Hide
    supall , March 14, 2012 12:04 PM
    This is Microsoft's equivalent of the "New Coke" formula from Coca-Cola. Not only are sales not going to take off, but Microsoft's Board is going to realize that Steve Ballmer is not in touch with consumers and will end up just being a liability for the company.

    Windows 8 is the right approach with the wrong implementation. What's worse is that we power users are going to get an earful from the OSX hippies.
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