1. ED the new guy's Avatar
    How can us end users get Microsoft to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee? Windows 10 Tablet mode is seriously broken and is an impediment to Windows' future success. It needs to be fixed and quickly.

    There is little love lost between me and Microsoft, but I want to see Microsoft succeed in the tablet world. Why? For a very selfish reason, competition. Since I use Microsoft's operating system I want it to be the best that there is. Right now it isn't!

    In 2017 the tablet (& mobile) landscape is still almost a monopoly. Apple's iOS dominates. Google's Android is a distant runner up in terms of dollar value (I don't consider old, under-powered or cheap devices running a myriad of versions of Android as constituting an actual threat to Apple's iOS monopoly). Unfortunately Windows 10 doesn't barely registers above a percentage point on the tablet devices scale which doesn't bode well for its future. But, Windows 10 tablet could be better. It could be MUCH BETTER.

    Android doesn't meet my work needs (it's okay as a portable web OS). iOS is way too expensive and doesn't meet my work needs (though, it a great portable OS). Mac OS X mostly meets my work needs, but, I'm now too heavily invested in software that runs on Microsoft's Windows, so, I need Microsoft to succeed.

    Let me describe how I've come to the conclusion that Windows tablet mode is woefully inadequate: by watching my four and six year old sons get frustrated with Windows 10 tablet mode on two separate tablet devices (a two year old 7" tablet, the other a 2016 era 13" 2-in-1 laptop). And, with my own frustrations with Windows 10 on said devices.

    My four year old only knows iPad, Android 5 and Windows 10 tablet. My six year old also knew the BlackBerry Playbook.

    As young children, both boys were capable of manipulating--without any instruction--an iPod Touch 2nd generation. Let me re-iterate that: WITHOUT ANY INSTRUCTION they were both capable of opening apps and operating the device with little frustration. Android 5, same form factor (4" screen), is a worse experience with many more frustrations but still marginally tolerable. The BlackBerry Playbook wasn't bad (though, after it fell down a flight of stairs the cracked screen kind of took the fun out of it :(. Windows 10 Tablet is distinctly worse than all of the above!

    My assessment of a device's/OS's usability is determined by the parent-intervention-required factor. With iOS I don't never really had to intervene beyond things that were simply beyond their cognitive ability. Android required far more parental intervention. PlayBook required some intervention for a 2 year old but not that much!

    They're now much older and Windows 10 tablet mode is just a constant headache. It's not INTUITIVE. And, these boys are pros when it comes to Android and iOS so it's telling to see them be frustrated by Windows 10 tablet mode. Microsoft just hasn't got it right. Though people are nostalgic for Windows 8, its tablet mode was no better.

    I do grant that Windows 10 desktop mode is even better than Windows 7! That's where Windows 10 shines (though, even there Microsoft could stand to learn from Apple's philosophy of "it just works" and it could stand to get rid of legacy approaches).

    Back to the tablet mode frustrations.

    Swipe from right and you get the Action Center. Swipe from left and you get the start menu. Swipe from top and you close an app or snap it to a side. These gestures are frustrating (to me too) and cannot be disabled when you could really stand to have them disabled.

    Then there's the icons and menus. Tablet mode in Windows 10 is an afterthought. It's a way to shoe-horn the desktop paradigm into a touch screen and it shows. Icons are small. Many parts of the interface don't respond as you'd expect from real life (that's the genius of iOS... things "just work" like in real life). Tablet mode should "just work".

    Now, I do get that Apple has a patent on the home button which limits what non-Apple touch device makers can do to make their devices "just work". But, there's got to be better solutions than what Windows currently has.

    For example, try to play any touch game and I'm constantly swearing at the swipe right and swipe left screen edge actions. They're constantly interfering with the game. That's not something covered by an Apple patent and is simply bad UI design by Microsoft. That's FIXABLE without violating patents (unless Apple has a patent on disabling screen edge gestures :).

    Post script: I'm a fairly recent Windows user. For the first 20 years of my computing life I was almost exclusively a Mac user. Now, for the past 10 years I've been a mostly Windows user and exclusively Windows for the past 7. Not because I particularly like Windows (I don't) but because it's what I use at work so there wasn't a compelling reason for me to pay the premium for Mac when I spent half my time finding cross-platform solutions.
    04-30-2017 09:22 PM
  2. davidhk129's Avatar
    I only have one comment to make.

    Why are you saying these to us ?
    Shouldn't you be presenting you case to Microsoft ?
    Don't convince us. Convince Microsoft.
    04-30-2017 11:10 PM
  3. anthonyng's Avatar
    @ED the new guy welcome!

    I have kids using my surface 3 and the older one gets to use a Lumia 625 on occasion. One's a 4 year old boy and the other is a 7 year old girl. Windows is all they know so it's a bit different for me :) My biggest complaint is the 4 year old currently hits ads too often. I only buy if I feel it's worth to unlock all the other levels for him. Start center is ok for him, he see's his section on the start menu (my login) and knows what to do. I give it to him in quiet mode so that my notifications don't bother him.

    The 7 year old can navigate fine with her own pin login, start menu set up so she sees exactly what she has and seems fine going to one thing to the next and using the hardware windows button.

    the action center, they both just swipe it away if they accidentally swipe it out.

    I'm not sure how you get start menu with swipe from right, I get the running tasks zoom out, showing every window I'm running.

    I love locking down their screen time with family account.

    Maybe I don't have them playing very active games on the tablet so don't find much edge problems :) What kind of windows tablet do you have?
    04-30-2017 11:57 PM
  4. ED the new guy's Avatar
    @davidhk129 I present my ideas here so people can borrow them and lobby Microsoft. I don't have any ins with Microsoft and it seems like they don't "get it".
    05-01-2017 07:42 AM
  5. ED the new guy's Avatar
    You are right. Swipe from left is the open windows list.

    Contrast Windows 10 with other tablet OSes and you will see how poorly designed it is. It is not intuitive, and, the thing about touch is that it's the perfect opportunity to implement things that are intuitive.

    As for the integration with Microsoft accounts--that's its achilles heel. Microsoft is not at all perceived as strong on privacy so having to use Microsoft accounts for a good percentage of the useful features of Windows 10 is a bad idea. It deters people from using Windows 10.

    And, as you mention, the ads. The ads. The ads. The operating system--the heart of all your activities on a computer--is infused with ads at every step of the way. Microsoft even dared to put ads on the lock screen!

    On so many levels Microsoft has failed to learn from its competitors.

    Google knows far more than Microsoft about us, yet, their privacy terms indicate that they take that knowledge seriously. Microsoft reserves the right to snoop on your device if you agree to use services like Cortana or Windows Store.

    To access built-in kid protection features in Windows you have to create a Microsoft account for each child that you want to grant an account to. And link it through a family. All mediated by a Microsoft account and Microsoft now gets to know who's in your family, what they do, when they do it, and they get to track that through time. The irony is that you have no choice if you want to restrict your kid's use of the computer.

    Anyway, Microsoft's moves in recent years are so bone headed on many levels. Tablet mode is poorly thought out. To use basic features of the OS you have to relinquish your privacy. And, advertising is infused in everything Microsoft does (you have to have an Enterprise install of Windows 10 if you want to limit advertising--not even the Professional version of Windows 10 restricts advertising).
    05-01-2017 07:51 AM
  6. anthonyng's Avatar
    Hmm the ads I was talking about is in the "free" game, ad banners.

    I read from others about seeing ads but I don't normally see ads throughout the system. I did turn off the show suggestions things on my SP3 and my S3 doesn't have the option because it's the home version.... The biggest ad would be when you open chrome or firefox for example and there's a suggestion to use Edge instead.

    Some cortana lists seems to show options from the store for apps you could install when searching for app to run, but I don't get that for everything or I'm just not noticing them.

    Would be interesting to see what others see.

    The kids computer restriction, that's what I'm doing, I have hours of the day restriction and also how much daily screen time. Kid gets a prompt saying they are outside whatever time, they get warning too saying they are almost out of time. They can hit a button asking me for permission for more time. It's great.
    Last edited by anthonyng; 05-01-2017 at 09:34 AM.
    05-01-2017 09:24 AM
  7. anthonyng's Avatar
    Or maybe I already bought the stuff they want to sell haha, like office 365... Anyways maybe this will help you with ads management?


    Funny how they classify people as either really bothered by them or don't notice them. I guess I'm the latter!
    05-01-2017 09:41 AM
  8. Drael646464's Avatar
    I've used tablet devices extensively. Windows 10 is clearly superior in many ways, like swipe gestures, auto windows arrangement, real-time multi-tasking and the vastly more powerful software. Android and iOS are simply big smartphones. A windows tablet is a proper PC. For the most part the touch intergration is pretty well conceived and quite powerful. Gestures on android for example are not as well implemented.

    Windows tablets are by far the fastest growing segment of tablets. iOS and Samsung have been losing growth for many years now. So much so, apple has released both a budget tablet, and a windows copycat "hybrid" (it's least popular ipad by far incidently), in order to try and stem the bloodletting.

    I think the age of the "simple tablet" is waning.

    Personally I don't use tablet mode though. There's no point when you can full screen your start menu. For me, in desktop mode, I find the gestures intuitive, and very helpful. Like swiping from the left to get out of a full screen desktop game - couldn't live without it.

    I'm not even really sure why there is a tablet mode.

    Everything in windows 10 can be scaled to 300% or more (can't remember). Between resolution and scaling, you can make everything on a windows 10 tablet massive.

    Maybe it makes sense on an eight inch device, but that's a size that's pretty much falling out of favour. I preferred the rare 8.9 size to 8. That's better for windows especially and can still be held in one hand.

    That's my 2cents.

    Maybe you are right about too many gestures in tablet mode. I love gestures on mobile and tablet, its so easy and intuitive, but if they trigger when you don't want them, I could see how that would be an issue. I used to hate that in windows 8.

    PS There's a feedback app in windows 10. Type feedback into the Cortana search field. From there you can submit ideas, that might actually make it to Microsoft (if people upvote it, or its deemed important)
    Last edited by Drael646464; 05-11-2017 at 07:13 AM.
    05-11-2017 06:56 AM
  9. Drael646464's Avatar
    This BTW is the desktop on my 9.7 inch tablet:

    Attachment 135028

    I used massively scaled icons, as well as live tiles and other shortcuts via a fullscreen start menu. I think I have it scaled at something like 250%? Or 225?

    As you can see, desktop mode can be perfectly touch friendly.
    Last edited by Drael646464; 05-11-2017 at 07:14 AM.
    05-11-2017 07:03 AM
  10. Drael646464's Avatar
    Also, I have no idea what ads you are talking about, I don't get any ads on mine, just an app that they are promoting in the windows store on the live tile (there's not a store, let alone an app store that doesn't use suggestions/promotions).

    I did delete some tiles when I loaded it though? *shrugs*

    Either way, in the creators update there's a section on privacy settings, under settings where you can set what level of access you give Microsoft to your data. The main purpose of data collection is for Cortana, software feedback, and targeted suggestions via the store. Nothing nefarious there. It's not sold to any third parties.

    As a company that doesn't actually make money from out data, it's not really motivated to datafarm as much as google. Google to me, with its in app pop up ads, in built google search, and datamining via apps even things like google maps, felt MUCH more filled with advertising/spyware. So much so, I left the whole ecosystem.

    Maybe its the apps I use on a tablet, but I don't really know what your talking about there w/ windows.
    05-11-2017 07:10 AM
  11. chain13's Avatar
    I got your idea. First time I used tablet mode, I also experienced some frustations as you. First thing was swipe from left edge. In android most of "swipe from left edge" will bring up hidden side menus while in windows's tablet mode it will simply bring you into task view. I mostly miss-swiped it anytime I want to access my humberger menus, maybe that's why humberger menu is a button (not swipe enable). But time by time it gets me used to.

    The same also goes for swipe from top edge or right edge. On android top edge swipe will drop down the notification bar while on tablet mode it should be from right edge swipe (action center). Both need a simple adaptation and I don't think it is a deal breaker. You just need to differentiate between swipe left/right and "swipe from edge left/right". Edge swipping has specifics built in feature in tablet mode. Also feel free to put your suggestion through your feedback app, it accessible in start menu. Everything you suggest could make them built even better experience.
    05-14-2017 12:30 AM

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