Why Stardock's Tiles is the killer app for Windows 8

By on September 19, 2011 11:31:54 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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So by now, many of you have probably seen some of the videos of Windows 8.  If you haven’t, let me walk you through it.

The Windows 8 experience is going to be dominated by a new user interface currently called “Metro”. There’s no “desktop” which means no taskbar, no system tray no start menu. You work with Windows in a way that’s similar to the way one would work with their iPad or Android device.

I have to say, I think it’s pretty cool in many respects. Or more to the point, I think it will be cool once they iron out all the usability gotchas in it (which I think may take them a version or two).

Making Metro make sense

That’s where Stardock’s upcoming program, Tiles comes in. A couple of years ago, when I started seeing what Microsoft was doing with what came to be called Windows Phone, I thought about how the current Windows desktop metaphor was pretty long in the tooth.

So I got talking to Neil (the lead on such programs like WindowBlinds and Multiplicity) and sketched out how one might manage their stuff in the future.  We’d already made virtual desktop programs in the past as well as various side-bar programs (Control Center and ObjectBar to name two). 

What we needed was something that made sense in today’s PC world. A world where lots of people have multiple monitors and are increasingly dealing with tasks that involve lots of different programs and are running systems that might be up for days or weeks at a time.

That’s the origin story of Tiles.  And as you learn more about Windows 8 and how it relegates the existing Windows desktop to being just a single “tile” in the Metro universe, I think you’ll find Tiles as being the killer app. 

And don’t worry, Stardock plans to extend the Metro experience for users who are using Metro on their PC (i.e. we don’t want PC users to have to sacrifice usability so that others can use it as a tablet OS).

image

Stardock Tiles Beta

If you want to get access to the next Stardock Tiles beta, get Object Desktop. It’s our full suite of Windows experience enhancements.

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September 19, 2011 11:53:13 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

          

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September 19, 2011 12:34:19 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

        

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September 19, 2011 1:52:04 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Honestly, playing with the Win8 DevPreview makes me wonder if I am the only user left that has multiple windows open and visible on the desktop at the same time.  It used to be easy to tell the barely functional users with their fullscreen window from the power users with lots of overlapping windows.  Guess I'm just a dinosaur with my Windows 7 preference.

Here's hoping that Tiles does indeed Make Metro Make Sense!

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September 19, 2011 4:59:29 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I really don't see what was wrong with windows on PCs. Tablets could use the Metro style, yes (but even then, hardly so because of the lack of compatible programs), but for normal usage, I just don't see the need to switch. In fact, Metro makes TWM look user-friendly.

Also, am I the only one who noticed the egregious difference in visual style between Aero and Metro? It's like they tried to be flashier and flashier, and in the end, they just gave up on design and simply went for basic boxes.

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September 19, 2011 5:26:44 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting GreatEmerald,
It's like they tried to be flashier and flashier, and in the end, they just gave up on design and simply went for basic boxes.

-That you can skin in different ways...Frames etc... I think it will on the contrary be freer for artists to put their stuff in the various spaces and places on, behind and around the different parts of Win 8. (hoping)

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September 19, 2011 5:59:39 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Reading this makes me wanna hang on to Vista even more.....

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September 19, 2011 6:26:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Microsoft
Now tiles are better than icons for a couple of reasons. The have a little more space for the app to show its personality.

Oh god...

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September 20, 2011 1:34:07 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I appear to have the latest version installed and yet my configure dialog looks nothing like the one pictured here.  Why is that?

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September 20, 2011 2:42:14 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

"There’s no “desktop” which means no taskbar, no system tray no start menu. You work with Windows in a way that’s similar to the way one would work with their iPad or Android device."

...Which means the end of Windowblinds? No thanks.

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September 20, 2011 4:57:10 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting az0th,
"There’s no “desktop” which means no taskbar, no system tray no start menu. You work with Windows in a way that’s similar to the way one would work with their iPad or Android device."

...Which means the end of Windowblinds? No thanks.

Precisely, and why would any sane person trade WindowBlinds for that god-awful Metro POS?

I don't care what anyone says - call me old fashioned; a stick in the mud; behind the times; a dinosaur - Metro is the worst thing to happen to the desktop PC and will under NO circumstances ever be used on a computer of mine.   If I had a tablet [which I don't] it could be practical and sort of, maybe tolerated, but certainly not on a desktop, and absolutely positively not on one of mine.

I seem to recall reading an article about Microsoft killing the goose that lays the golden egg, by changing codes/formats that 3rd party developers depend on to conduct business, and this, to me, is another nail in the coffin.  Old school users will not want to surrender that which they are familiar... that which has served them so well for many years.  I still want a taskbar and a start menu to access and organise my apps, not some gaudy looking tile interface with a nauseating,  green background, and millions of other users will agree.  If I need additional shortcuts/access point to my desktop icons, there's ObjectDock and the Winstep suite of apps that more than suffice.

To me, Microsoft has regressed to the Fisher Price look and therefore has lost me as a new OS purchaser unless things radically improve on the GUI front.  I used to await the release of a new OS in great anticipation and with bated breath, but not this time.  I could have downloaded the Win 8 preview the other night, but when I saw the screenshots there was an immediate aversion to doing so.  Hopefully, between now and the 1st public beta, Microsoft will reconsider its current course and NOT make Metro the default interface.  Users should have the option to install the preferred GUI at setup, and IF they want specific tile to appear for convenience sake, they do not need to enable the whole Metro thing

Microsoft prided itself for listening to users as it was in the final stages of developing Win 7, so let's hope their ears and eyes are open this time

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September 20, 2011 5:50:12 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The good news is that it's just a simple registry edit to enable windows 7 style start menu in windows 8.

The funny thing is I just installed xp on my sons computer and it seemed so ancient I had to upgrade it to vista just to be able to use it. Yet  a few years ago there was no way I was going to migrate to vista or 7 and now in the present thats pretty much all I know.

We all tend to stick to what we know But 5 years from now we will be saying exactly the same things about win10, so go with the flow I Say.

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September 20, 2011 7:23:35 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

-8 Seems VERY skinnable if it´s anything like "Tiles"

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September 20, 2011 7:46:08 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Snowman,
Reading this makes me wanna hang on to Vista even more.....

I understand the sentiment. I just think W7 (and agree with Jafo here but also XP which worked well after extensive patching) as the first fully operational (and crash free) OS MS produced.

Quoting piers38,
The good news is that it's just a simple registry edit to enable windows 7 style start menu in windows 8.

If one feels uncomfortable doing the regedit, a new (and first) app created by The Windows Club can do that and more for W8:

http://forums.wincustomize.com/412073

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September 20, 2011 8:09:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, Windows 7 was finally an OS from Microsoft that worked pretty well out of the box, although I did hear that there were some teething problems with the 64-bit version.  I think the fact that Windows 7 was pretty good, MS-wise, has made many wary of making a big change to an OS with lots of changes and thus much room for all sorts of things to go wrong.

Best regards,
Steven.

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September 20, 2011 8:28:59 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

well i personally think tiles ROCK........  and didnt we all have this previous opinion about vista? 5 people hate it, so everyone else hates it too...

it hasnt even come out yet, and the previews we saw were probably extremely raw beta.......

open your minds guys.......

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September 20, 2011 9:37:01 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Vampothika,
it hasnt even come out yet, and the previews we saw were probably extremely raw beta.......

open your minds guys.......

She's right, you know....

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September 20, 2011 9:37:11 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting gevansmd,
I appear to have the latest version installed and yet my configure dialog looks nothing like the one pictured here.  Why is that?

It's a beta that isn't released yet.

 

Quoting piers38,
The good news is that it's just a simple registry edit to enable windows 7 style start menu in windows 8.

You really don't need that, the desktop and the "Aero" look are still present under Metro.

 

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September 20, 2011 9:44:13 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Island Dog,
You really don't need that, the desktop and the "Aero" look are still present under Metro.

 

But you do if you want the Start Menu (or at least if you want it to be reached via the Start Button).

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September 20, 2011 10:27:51 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I haven't downloaded the Developer Preview because I only have one machine, it's mission critical and I can't risk it. However I have been working with an easy to use program called NewGen from the CodePlex site. It simulates a Metro Tile interface fairly well and although it is not Windows 8, it lets you experience working with a Tile interface rather than a Desktop. I've been using it for about 2 months and once I got it organized the way I wanted it to be, I find I don't use the Desktop or Start Menu much at all. I recommend this highly as a way to experience Metro without loading Win 8 Dev Preview. I agree with Vampothica, Win 8 is going to be massively skinnable.

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September 20, 2011 11:44:47 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting JoDa,
Win 8 is going to be massively skinnable

I'm going to put my head on the block here, and share my personal view on that:

I couldn't give a hoot about skinnablity if it's shitty to use, and will annoy you all day long.

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September 20, 2011 12:06:51 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

If I ever get an overwelming urge to turn my PC into an overpowered, overweight, furniture bound tablet..........nah, not going to happen.

My prediction (although I'm no scientist but that's another thread,lol) is that on launch,Windows8 will be the next Vista. Backward compatiblity? Drivers? Older hardware? Who cares? Release the OS first and sweat the details later. Sure,MS will fix the bugs but by the time Win8 SP2 is out to fix things, Windows9 will be out.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

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September 20, 2011 12:25:09 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Amen Wizard. 

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September 20, 2011 12:49:22 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Wizard1956,
Windows8 will be the next Vista.

That's the most possitive statement about Win8 I've heard so far.

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September 20, 2011 12:59:23 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I agree with you Snowman, Newgen allows me to have the taskbar and system tray visible on the fancy tile screen. If Win 8 makes it difficult to see or access  these then I'll have a BIG problem with it. Wizard1956 makes a good point. I got Win 7 cause I needed a new box. I suspect preloaded on a system will again be the easiest route. If it will use Win 7 drivers things should be managable. Big IF. Safest thing is probably to watch the comments on the Dev Preview, then the Beta, maybe try the RC.

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September 21, 2011 10:59:36 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I went to the CodePlex site and they have something called Mosaic, that looks like Metro, but didn't see NewGen.

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