Operating System Updates

Windows 8 is well in the hands of developers now. On the 26th of this month, it will move into the hands of everyday consumers with its GA release. If you like your windows with windows in them, this might be a fun time for you. For the rest of us, it feels like a mixed bag of a release.

The app store in Windows 8 is a long time coming, but they didn't totally...get it. Only "Metro" apps can be listed in the app store. So if you have written the next photoshop and want to sell it to all the internet peoples, sorry, so sorry, but this store is not for you. If you've written a desktop switcher or a service, you're out of luck.

Let's talk about Metro apps in general for a bit. The idea isn't all bad. I like that you can easily dock Metro apps on one side or the other of the screen. I like that the program architecture for coding them is generally almost sane. But while trying to make apps generally "work" on the tablet, it seems Microsoft forgot to make Metro apps not suck on the desktop. Most of the UI metaphors in Metro are tablet oriented, and don't make sense with a mouse and keyboard.

The lock screen on windows 8 is beautiful and glorious. The new app launching screen that is replacing the start menu is also glorious, but mostly because it's actually fast, comparable to Quicksilver on OSX. No more waiting for the stupid-ass start menu in Windows 7 to actually search for the app I've got installed on there somewhere. You can also launch command-line apps from the "windows-key" screen just by typing. Awwwwesssome.

I'd like the app tiles more, but let's face it. I don't use any metro apps. I find switching to them to be annoying and slow. The experience isn't integrated with any of my other applications, and it's hard to multi-task. So no. I don't give a crap about app tiles. Give desktop apps app tiles, and the ability to ship some useful summary to that screen? Maybe I'll actually start *liking* Windows 8. But in general? All the stuff I like to do in Windows? Not really affected by moving to Windows 8.

Which doesn't mean you shouldn't switch. Please, god, switch. I'm fucking tired of supporting IE6 because of all you farts who won't move off of Windows XP. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

Well, I know, you've already got one. And its very nice. But seriously, buy a new fucking OS already. Or download a free one and actually learn something about computers. Do you spend 2 or more hours a day on facebook? Then stop posting pictures of cats with limes on their head, and start learning linux. Trust me. It will improve your catpix quality ten-fold.

Unrelated, but I wrote a chapter-ish of a tech-poli-sci-fi book. It may interest you. If not, you could go and play with kittenwar. If you enjoy it let me know, so I can add more.