Yo, Microsoft – one more giant Windows 8 blunder

April 18, 2013

After the post yesterday, a friend (hey, Sandy) asked me how to close the “app” or “tile” or whatever the hell the official term is now for one of the Metro, er, excuse me, touch-enabled apps on the tiled interface that Windows 8 opens when you turn on the PC. You know, you hit Music, find you can stream some interesting bands, start one, and then the phone rings (per Sandy). How do you close the “app” that took over your screen to play the music? You can Control-Tab away from it to your other open applications or desktop, but the music continues.

So Sandy hit Escape. Nothing. Right-click on the mouse. Something (a status bar on steroids?) opened up on the bottom, but no “quit” button. Pause key stopped the music for the phone call, but nothing to close the “window” or “app” or “touch-enabled monstrosity” whatever you prefer to call this Windows h8 mess.

How I close those? Alt-F4, an old Windows trick from back as far as Windows 3.1 if I remember correctly. Really, an obscure keystroke combination from decades ago. Sandy gave up and rebooted, cursing the entire time.

Those with touch screens let me know if you can pinch or swipe or tap or wiggle the screen closed. Those with desktops practice the awkward Alt-F4 key combo.

Yo, Microsoft – two simple changes could have saved Windows 8

April 17, 2013

Nothing like being ravaged as the reason for a hockey-stick drop in PC sales, is there, Steve Ballmer. As CEO of Microsoft, you have to take the ultimate blame for making two small wrong choices that had a major impact on Windows 8 acceptance.

First, why in hell do you force everyone to start with the touch-friendly tile interface formerly called Metro? When I spoke to groups before Windows 8 shipped and showed them screen shots of the release candidates, everyone groaned. Today, when I sit at my own Windows 8 desktop, groans have changed to curses.

Second, why can’t I get a list of application like the reliable pop-up menu on the bottom left of my screen? Now I have to drag tiles around into groups, and they don’t stay still. How hard is it to give me a button or icon to open up an application listing?

Shame that two stupid decisions will cost the PC industry millions and millions and millions of dollars. Even bigger shame that you, Ballmer, made those decisions willingly and against all good advice.