Thursday, 10 April 2014

Windows 8 Metro screen makes me angry

The stupidity of Microsoft Windows 8 and 8.1 Metro screen.

I, like many others, am not a great fan of the Metro screen of Windows 8 or 8.1. Apart from the childish appearance and buggy apps on a PC (they might work on a phone) the Metro screen is buggy and illogical. Most of Microsoft Windows programmes are. Even the illogical ones something that can be learned and still do what you expect.

I was a little amazed when I first got Windows 8 which I have updated since to 8.1 that the metro screen is illogical. Apart from the obvious difficulties with this operating system (OS) such as the switching between screens, moving from metro to desktop and back again by moving the cursor to the edge corner of the right hand side and all the other modifications that Linux have been using for many years.

So I was left a bit incensed with the update feature for the Metro screen and the presentation of “your apps”. 

Firstly, the update of the metro apps is done automatically, apparently, and can be adjusted in the metro screen by pointing at the right edge and getting the secret menu up and clicking on settings, under settings is update. This is most reassuring especially when you get a notice stating that 2 applications have been installed.  No mention what they are or whether you instructed the installation.  In the age of heightened computer security this is a clear error of programming, which puts Microsoft in control and you the user not in control.

The second annoyance is is just stupid to me.

To get to the store, click on the store tile on the metro screen.

Screenshot 2014-04-10 17.58.06.png

You are then presented with the Metro screen store screen:

Screenshot 2014-04-10 17.58.25.png

The joy about this screen is there is no information on what apps I have installed, only adverts for more apps to download. So you have to right click on this screen to get:

Screenshot 2014-04-10 17.58.36.png

So you need to click on the middle green rectangle at the top of the screen and then you get a few minutes of this:

Screenshot 2014-04-10 17.58.51.png

This, like all Microsoft updates take ages, and is nothing like the instant Android or very fast iOS updates.  After a long wait you finally arrive at your desire page “your apps”:

Screenshot 2014-04-10 17.59.25.png

So here are “your apps”, apart from they are not your apps after all, they are the apps “not installed on your computer”! Why would Microsoft default to this screen? If i wanted to know what apps I had not installed I would have clicked on a button marked apps not installed.  So I now need to click on the dropdown menu to highlight “apps installed on my computer” and low and behold:

Screenshot 2014-04-10 17.59.48.png

I finally get the apps I have installed on my PC… along with a lot of apps I have uninstalled. Why are these there? Why are Microsoft forcing me to look at apps I have not got installed on my Metro screen? Are they under the impression that most people will never uninstall an app because it fails to meet expectations or is buggy?

Screenshot 2014-04-10 17.59.54.png

I know this is a petty annoyance and I should get a life, but it is really very poor design and exemplary of the rather poor overall look, feel and user experience that people updating to the latest Microsoft OS are experiencing. It is also made worse by the user experience of Android and iOS mobile devices. Usability is critical and easy of use and not having to go through hoops to achieve and action are central to design, so why is this still in Windows 8 and 8.1? Let's hope with Windows 10 these issues will be addressed as they are a real bugbear.