Cortana is gimmicky to me.
I have high hopes for Spartan but this is in mystery for now.
I don't have an X-Box so the new features there are useless to me.
--- Longer Post Below ---
While I detest UX details over functional details, I cannot deny that the current UX is not polished. I've been withholding that opinion in that in the grand scheme of development, functional always comes first. Ideally you want to build it right as you go along rather that build something that works then polish it up afterwards. For an OS base that's been in production though, it's often a pipe dream. I do hope that Microsoft will give more love to the UX closer to an RC candidate build.
As much as you may not like it, universal apps appear to be the future of Windows. More and more emphasis is being placed on the Modern design language so users have to start embracing it. If you're unfamiliar with it, here's a sample of a few:
I want to bring attention that only the Word Preview one there can resize down to a phone profile which is a direction MS wants to take. The others are already as small as I can make them meaning they will be an issue for adoption by the general public. The keyword here is "Responsive Design" which is a well known term in the realm of web design. Lots of these can't squeeze down so it's up to developers to learn how to detect window resolutions and adjust the layout accordingly for those profiles.
Another thing I want to point out is that few developers seem to understand and/or be competent with how to use the Modern design language. Take a look at this eye sore for example:
It was built with only touch in mind. It's big, unwieldy, and just not something anyone wants to deal with. Fundamentally it's there to replace Device Manager but this feels more like a companion app than a replacement. Mouse and keyboard users will want to use the traditional Device Manager. Users on a touchscreen, however, will roll heads using the traditional Device Manager due to the small precision needed and may want something like that.
Those 2 are huge dividers between unification of the design path that Microsoft wants to go in. The first one encourages users to stay away and favor traditional programs. The second one forces having two different eco systems needing to manage between touch and traditional. Both are a huge sign that the design library has not been mastered nor perfected.
With that said let's look at a good example out of MS's own apps. Here's the video app both in standard display and in mobile form factors (all done by resizing the window):
Excuse the bigness as my DPI is at 150% due to high-res monitor. If you play any of the items in the mobile mode, the video appears in the center with lots of space on top but on an actual mobile, you would rotate your device at your point to landscape mode. None the less much better execution than above. The main problem here is lack of mentors. This is a new design language and there are no real mentors other than MS to follow upon. We will have to wait patiently for good design practices to emerge.
Notice my lack of talking about new features? This is a much needed catchup for UX by Microsoft for OS elements and what not. There are a lot of small changes here and there that would need a much bigger post to go over. The big ones are Cortana, Spartan, and X-Box integration. I'll touch over them briefly:
1. Cortana - My opinion of this is the same as with any other voice assistant: It's a gimmick. I have yet to see anyone take any voice assistant (Siri, S-Voice, Google Now, Cortana) seriously and use it on a daily basis. The only use of any that I've gotten from these is if I have to use my smart watch to do something (and voice is the only real input here so it's not by choice).
2. X-Box - I don't own a 360 nor to I own an X-Box One so this app is not something I can really use. At best I can look up my Gamerscore for tablet hits like Wordament and that's it. This is more towards a specific audience so it cannot be helped.
3. Spartan - This one I'm interested in. Everyone knows the faults of IE8 and below. Everyone knows the shortfalls of IE compared to Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Everyone is looking for MS to implement an extension framework into Spartan which would put it very viable to a main browser. It would also have OS advantage where MS knows their OS and their power management which gives them an advantage for managing resource usage. I do like their choice to fork Trident into EdgeHTML instead of conforming to WebKit and Blink. Currently the only competitor to either is Gecko (Firefox) and the competition drives innovation in performance and features as long as they keep it to web standards. Currently Chrome is showing severe warning signs of becoming the new IE6 with it's push for "new technology" and trying to force it as a standard as well as Native Client.
All in all, good progress but there is much that remains to be done.
Kind of realized this is probably longer than a summary. I'll include the TLDR as the first thing you read.
[Edited by Neo7, 3/10/2015 9:53:52 PM]
Microsoft will eventually drop support for windows 7, then 8.1 then 10...
It's a hard cold fact... YOU MUST UPGRADE your O/S if you want all the latest support, patches, etc.,
My Dad is the most stubborn hold out from upgrades I know. If it were up to him he would still be using MS-DOS...
Don't be a hold out.. Yes upgrades suck sometimes, but a Freshly installed O/S is quite worth it..
Oh yeah forgot all about it and that's a damn good reason to upgrade.
But till then I think I'll stick to 7.
I totally understand your dad it took me ages to outgrow Norton Commander...
I agree with Kingbob. Al be sticking to win7. Many reasons is for the old games and the trainers that dont work with IE10 or above.
If it does come down to having to get win 10. I might end up trying to figure out two OS use. So I can choose which one I want to use and get the best of both worlds.
But for now al be sticking to win7 no need to change from something that is not broken in my veiw.
* Updated game trainers and cheats daily
* Get notified when new cheats are added
* Request which games get new trainers
* Priority support with any problem