Microsoft Working on New “Andromeda” Desktop Experience for Windows 10 Devices

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Not to be confused with Google’s upcoming Android OS (which has the same exact codename—these guys know that there are other galaxies other than Andromeda, right...), Microsoft is working on unifying the Windows 10 experience with a new interface that is expected to make the OS feel a lot more seamless as you cross from desktops to mobiles and vice versa. If you take a look at the end of the article, you will find out that this is actually a part of a larger initiative dubbed Composable Shell. You have heard of modular web design, right? I think CS is the same exact concept, but for the Windows UI.

    …though Microsoft has been calling Windows 10 a truly universal OS (“OneCore“), that theortically is not really the case. Windows 10 devices have the universal OneCore, but Microsoft still has different shells that the company uses for Windows 10 devices, including mobile devices, the HoloLens, Xbox, IoT, and PCs. Mobile devices, for example, have a shell which is being used by devices such as the HoloLens and devices powered by Windows 10 IoT Core. But with Andromeda, Microsoft is bringing a new desktop experience to Windows 10 — which, in turn, is expected to bring significant improvements to Continuum for phones in Windows 10. This new desktop experience will bring things like multi-window support to Continuum, a full-featured taskbar, toast notifications, and an updated Action Center, along with a user-interface that looks almost exactly like the desktop in Windows 10 PCs.
     
  2. Dekoth-E-

    Dekoth-E- [H]ardness Supreme

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    Seriously? They didn't learn their lesson with Win 8?

    I said it before Win 8 was released, all through release and will continue saying it. A single UI to fit all devices mobile or not DOES NOT WORK AND IS A STUPID FUCKING IDEA. Jesus christ it would be nice if they would get this stupid notion out of their heads and quit trying to force a brick into a round peg hole. Put more succinctly, shit I do with my hands on a 5-6" screen isn't the same shit I do with a mouse on a 30" Screen.
     
  3. jfreund

    jfreund Gawd

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    "Forcing a tablet UI onto the desktop worked so well with Win8 that now people want a desktop UI on their phones with Win10!"

    Said no one ever.
     
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  4. Hagrid

    Hagrid [H]ardness Supreme

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    Maybe if people said they want a tablet OS on their desktop they will do the opposite like they are doing now with us telling them we don't?
    The company was taken over by aliens? I just don't get it.....
     
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  5. Monkey God

    Monkey God Mangina Full of Sand

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    We cant be certain until we see it in the wild but this sounds like a really bad idea.
     
  6. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj [H]ard as it Gets

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    As long as classicshell still works who cares what they do with the "desktop experience."
     
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  7. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    You really have to wonder WTF is going on at Microsoft. Windows Phone, RT, 8, and 10 have all failed by Microsoft's own criteria. They're in trouble.
     
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  8. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim 2[H]4U

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    I have always wanted the same interface on my 5inch phone as my 27" monitor, Brilliant.

    Microsoft, taking Courage to new levels, one bad interface after another.
     
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  9. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    In before the FUD, misinformation and down right li....... Oh wait, to late, nevermind. :rolleyes::eek::D
     
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  10. Shotglass01

    Shotglass01 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm just gonna stay on 7 for now. Not sure I trust these guys. :cautious:
     
  11. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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  12. Madoc

    Madoc Gawd

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    Looks like panes through the looking-glass, darkly, to me.
     
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  13. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    Windows Mobile 5/6 was a desktop OS on a mobile device. Phones, Pocket PC, etc.. Worked great. With a stylus and not a finger. Touch based interfaces have really evolved. Going back to a desktop UI on a mobile device is going back about 10+ years. Huge step back. I loved those old devices, but there is a good reason Windows Phone 7 & 8 were great. They were built for touch. It wasn't the OS that killed Microsoft's phones. It was the shitty apps, Store, marketing, non-flagship devices.

    Windows 8 made the mistake of forcing that mobile UI onto the desktop.

    Microsoft had a decent idea. It just didn't work. Mobile devices require a different input than desktops, and the UI should take advantage of those unique inputs.

    So, fully agree with you. It's not a good idea at all....
     
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  14. -Strelok-

    -Strelok- [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Here's how Windows 8 SHOULD have worked. If it detects you have a tablet, you get that tablet interface nonsense, if it detects you don't have a tablet you just boot into the regular desktop. Wow, what a revolutionary idea.
     
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  15. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    When the website rating Gods at Google decided that only mobile designed sites would get good scores, this is the result. Bad mobile UI everywhere ideas get a second chance.
     
  16. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    ^Hang him for his heresy!
     
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  18. DPI

    DPI Nitpick Police

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    Talk about watering a dead plant.

    Since this is all rumor mill stuff, it sounds more like something they were considering once upon a time, before they abandoned Windows Mobile - and Continuum by extension.

    Either that or it highlights how truly nonexistent communication is between divisions at MS.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  19. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    The problem with the hybrid UI approach wasn't the idea but the execution. From the very beginning I said that full screen elements would be problematic, like store apps and the Start Screen. Windows 10 addressed those problems pretty well. And Windows 10 does have options to differentiate between tablet and desktop operation, full screen versus non-full screen Start, full and split screen windowing versus free floating, drag to close versus close buttons which is consistent across store and desktop apps and even an autohiding of the taskbar bar in tablet mode separate from autohiding in desktop mode.

    The biggest functional issues have to deal with tiles. I get that a lot of people don't like them because but ultimately this Start is just a way to setup shortcuts and launch apps. The Creators Update brings tile folders which have been on Windows Phone since 8.1, that goes a long way to organizing the Start Screen which difficult to do well currently. I think it's better to have one adaptable UI that can work effectively across multiple devices and input types that to have one just for legacy reasons that was designed over two decades ago for small, low resolution screens with keyboard and mouse only input.

    I think it's getting there but not as quickly as it should have been. It's not that hard to see exact options that would solve the bulk of outstanding issues. Tile folders, that's good, but they should be nestable and there should be a tile type that looks like a classic Start Screen shortcut. Just those two things gets you to essentially 90%+ of the basic classic Start Screen plus a much more flexible UI for non-keyboard and mouse use.
     
  20. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    It needs work. It could be a good thing. It's just that there is no one size fits all. I like how I can change from desktop to tablet mode. And I really like the tiles, they work very well for me. The Windows 10 start menu is excellent. There should be a way to not use tiles for those that don't like them, though.

    Give me a Surface and I like the desktop mode. Undock it and tablet mode is available, but I usually use the desktop mode. Just because it's consistent. I don't want to switch modes on the same device. Give me an 8" tablet, and it'll be in tablet mode most of the time. Phone? Mobile UI all the way (unless I'm using Continuum or something). For me - it's based on size or function, not dock/undock configuration. But, with those hybrids.... depends on how I'm using it. I turn off the auto switching for tablet mode. There are times when I use it, but I'm 95% using the desktop. Even without the keyboard attached. I think Microsoft did well with it as they gave the user the option.

    You going to be at the Beam webcast for the Bug Bash today?
     
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  21. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    Thus something I've been giving feedback on to Microsoft for a long time, a tile type that looks like a classic Start Menu shortcut and hierarchical folders. Those two things would fix 90% of all the complaints I've seen in my estimation.

    This sounds very much like how I do things.

    Thanks for reminding me, 5 PM to 7 PM EST, will be there.
     
  22. Shotglass01

    Shotglass01 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Window control doesn't seem to be as good as it had been in 7. I'm on the W10 test group for our team. I've noticed, almost every time, while installing a program as a standard user the box asking for elevated permissions seems to get hidden. It doesn't appear to pop out as it had in 7. I think they still need some better focus control. Nothing show stopping.
     
  23. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    I've noticed this as well. The prompt will flash in the taskbar but not always come up automatically. It seems like it's trying to prevent focus stealing but I'm sure.
     
  24. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I was going to make the same point concerning Windows 8 and Server 2012 which were horrendous with regard to their interfaces.
     
  25. Hallucinator

    Hallucinator Gawd

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    One OS for ALL devices - from PC to Watch?

    No.

    Like Win 8 did?

    Just.....no.

    Those tiles on a Watch?

    EEeeewww.

    End of discussion.
     
  26. SGTGimpy

    SGTGimpy Limp Gawd

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    I see no one here has actually read up on Microsoft’s Composable Shell project. This isn't one UI for all devices, it is one UI shell system that adapts to the device/display it is being used on. Desktop will remain desktop UI, tablets will remain tablet UI and phones will remain phone UI. Unless you plug your phone or tablet into a keyboard, mouse and Monitor and then it becomes a desktop UI.

    This is to allow Microsoft to remove the added coding overhead needed to maintain the separate UI’s for Desktop, Mobile, Xbox and any other UI they have and just have a single UI shell that will automatically adapt the UI as needed to the devices it is being used on.

    Microsoft has admitted that the Windows 8/8.1 UI choice was a train wreck that was poorly implemented in a hurry to try to fend off Apple and Google in the mobile sector and they are not going back down that road again with this project.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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  27. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    Yup, adaptable UI. Similar to Windows 10 (tablet mode vs. desktop mode) and Continuum (to a degree). Just make sure there is an option for manual change rather than automatic. That's how I really like it with Windows 10 on my Surface. I'll use tablet mode rarely, but I love it when I use it. :)
     
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  28. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    A UI that can scale across input types and screen sizes. That seems like a lot better idea that sticking with a 20 year UI that was designed for small, low resolution screens and keyboard and mouse only input. It's also a lot more challenging. There's really no way to get around doing this, that's just what technology demands as well use computers differently and with much better hardware. I know I get called a big Microsoft fanboy, but I've agreed with many criticisms of Windows 8/10, I've not gone apeshit about it. However, this is one where I think Microsoft has to stand some ground on.

    People have often made the point about how the steering cars has never changed, that it the way is just works and doesn't need to change. Yet cars are starting to drive themselves. With something that as old as Windows change can get messy and difficult and anything short of perfect execution can make it that much worse. But eventually, circumstances around you can force the issue. The world is littered with tech products that were awesome at one point they got left behind because they couldn't adapt. While I do agree with a lot of criticisms of Windows, a lot of it does seem to be focused on why things are like they were 10 or 20 years ago. If you are a tech company, you want to listen, but that kind of feedback at some level has to be troubling because you know eventually, the way it was done 10 or 20 years ago is going to be left behind. Change for the sake of change, sure that's bad. But change is going to happen, it's inevitable.
     
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  29. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    I think they learned after Windows 8, though. A single UI isn't going to work across multiple platform. It worked excellent on smaller tablets and phones (damn, I love the Windows Phone!). Just wasn't a great desktop OS. It worked, but it wasn't great. I think Windows 10 does a great job with it, though. Either tablet mode or even desktop mode and hit the start menu tiles. Works great. There really is no complaint I have with Windows 10 UI. Maybe I'd like to see Aero Glass as an option, but even then it's not a huge request. Windows 10 Mobile is amazing, too.

    They took the feedback from Windows 8 and really made things a lot better. Did you make it to the bug bash? It's things like that, along with many other things, that really show me that Microsoft is listening to consumers and wanting to make the best product they can.
     
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  30. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    Agreed. With Windows 8 Microsoft was trying to push a monolithic UI and they knew they were taking a lot of risk. Obviously a lot was said about that UI and I do think it ended up costing Steven Sinofsky his job. I think he was eyeing being the next Microsoft CEO but the word seemed to be on him that he was not very flexible. Microsoft knew the problems from day one but I guess figured they'd work through it somehow till the next version. I think this part of Windows 8 also pressed them to go with the iterative model with Windows 10 so that they could address big problems like this faster than in a three year cycle.

    Yeah, I caught most of it, a pretty good amount of participation, didn't anything I asked specifically addressed. The main issue with Windows these days is that I think Microsoft is listening and gets what's going one but not all of the answers are simple. A tabbed file explorer, that's the #1 request they said they were getting and they were pretty honest about it not going very fast because it's a complicated thing and that's probably true, File Explorer is probably spaghetti at this point.

    I did try to bring up telemetry and delaying updates for the Home version like they are doing in the Creators Update for Pro and above. No response on those was I would have expected. They clearly get the backlash on these two issues. The interactive model makes it tough to skip OS updates. The telemetry stuff, that gets all kinds of FUD. There's long been a certain amount of it, you can't turn it off entirely and have Windows Update, Defender or the Malicious Software Removal Tool work. They say that are scaling it back in the Creators Update, getting rid of enhanced and not collecting as much in basic and full. But "Off" totally is the only thing that's going to make some people happy even though "Off" totally never existed in Windows 7 unless you handle updates and malware tools on your own.
     
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  31. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Damn near everyone replying here is an idiot. If anyone had bothered to read the article you would have seen that this is an update for contiuum making it more desktop like when your windows phone is being used in tablet mode. Bringing mobile devices closer to the desktop experience and allowing more functionality.

    If you are not using a windows 10 phone and using contiuum on it then you won't see this change and it means nothing to you. If you are using those two things you will appreciate the added features.
     
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  32. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    For the few others here that own a windows 10 phone and actually use contiuum (so maybe 1 other person) with this you will finally be able to run multiple programs at once in windowed mode, be able to pin things to the task bar and right click on stuff in the task bar for context menus like you do a computer. So basically you can use contiuum closer to how it was planned from the start as a little more of a low end laptop replacement.
     
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  33. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    But that touchscreen optimized interface worked so well on the server platform.....:rolleyes:
     
  34. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    The idea of OS unification across devices just doesn't work. Microsoft want it to work from a marketing perspective, but there's unacceptable trade offs.

    It either works great on mobile devices, but is bloated and confusing on desktop devices with two completely different UI's as well as a Control Panel and a Settings Panel. Or the UI works great on desktop devices but not so well on touch devices due to an interface that's just too difficult to navigate on a touch device due to everything being so tiny. Even Apple haven't gone as far as to integrate iOS and macOS together as it just doesn't work.

    If you install Windows on a desktop, the installer should be able to detect a desktop and install a desktop operating system with none of the touch interface bloat and confusion. If you install Windows on a mobile device, the installer should be able to detect mobile device and install the OS with an interface more suited to touch application.

    Stop trying to cram the whole lot together in one god awful mess - Basically, tell the marketing department to fuck off.

    Windows Server 2012 [shudder].
     
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  35. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    I always find it interesting to see all of these references to Windows 10 "bloat", yet it needs no more hardware than Windows 7 to run, indeed it probably runs better on lower resource devices. I've not seen any examples of anyone trying to run Windows 7 on a modern Atom tablet, 7 never officially supported Atoms starting with CherryTrail. But these sub $100 and under tablets with Windows 10 run pretty well these days.

    As for the Control Panel. That's nearly as well laid out as some claim it to be. It's the result of sticking all kinds of crap into something over 20 years. Settings is FAR cleaner and works just as well with touch as keyboard and mouse. Sure I get the duplication, like that's a new thing in Windows. There are a lot of apps that to still interface with Control Panel, so getting rid of it is difficult for compatibility reasons, indeed a lot of the messiness in Windows steams form the need to be compatible with so much stuff.

    The actually a lot of people like Windows Server 2012, it's not like the UI on a server is going to be anyone's daily driver.

    Whatever the case, the UI in 10 is much cleaner across devices types. People can argue how much better Windows 7 is on a desktop, multiple monitors, high DPI monitors, window snapping, on the desktop in the real world with people that are comfortable with either one, it's at best a wash when it comes to efficiency or ease of use. And 10, when using touch aware apps, works fine on a tablet. Overall I think 10 has it close with a hybrid UI, good enough so that there's really no real confusion about how to use the UI on a desktop or tablet and pretty much like any other desktop or tablet OS in the major areas.

    I know debatable but I've not seen anyone really confused by Windows 10 on a tablet or desktop, some learning curve but nothing close to 8.
     
  36. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    The issue is that you wrongfully assumed that by mentioning bloat I was talking about resource usage, whereas the fact of the matter is that I was referring to a touch OS and a desktop OS muddled together in a mishmash of crap resulting in a bloated UI. The Control Panel worked just fine and I think off the top of my head there's been perhaps another four icons added to it since XP? The Settings panel is completely unnecessary, even duplicating settings in the Control Panel with a little dumbing down added for good measure. Piss it off, the settings panel is not necessary on a desktop device.

    But, as I always say Heatlesssun, you're entitled to your opinion.
     
  37. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

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    The Control Panel is mostly a mish mash of options of which many have multiple ways of accessing that's been around a long time, not is really grand, it's just been there. Settings is cleaner and is more focused on more routine and common tasks.

    In any case. it's not an either desktop or tablet with Windows, it's running on more and more devices that work as both.

    And we're all expressing opinions.
     
  38. BulletDust

    BulletDust [H]ardness Supreme

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    The control panel suits a desktop machine, the settings panel suits a touch machine. You could hack half the crap out of Windows 10 and the OS would still run fine.

    That's my opinion, is that ok?
     
  39. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    Of for fuck's sake please don't start this back and forth BS once again, 20+ pages (and I have 40 posts per page) from that Windows 10 alternatives thread was really enough, don't you think? :)
     
  40. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    That's right, folks. Microsoft doesn't think you need the control panel, it's just a mish mash of options that have been around a long time.

    Based on that language I expect it won't be long before a major 10 update strips it out, just like group policies.
     
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