1. Gergolos's Avatar
    Hey WP-Central community,

    this thread is about the desktop UI in the coming windows version (Threshold/9) on ARM devices. Or... about the loss of the desktop UI.

    The news about the ARM-ports not having a desktop UI was mentioned a few times already (like here: Rumor claims Threshold-preview for ARM-Windows Phone devices due in early 2015) and I kind of hoped it would just stay a rumor. But well... it does not seem to be that way.

    So I hoped to find out if I am alone with my wish to have the dekstop UI on my Surface 2.

    For all the "buy a Surface Pro or other full W8 tablet if you want the desktop UI"-shouters:
    I love my Surface 2 for what it is: an awesome tablet with an awesome tablet OS. But I also love how I can use all the advantages (nice battery life, not heavy, cheap and so on) of it being a tablet AND the advantages of an os having a desktop UI. I love the build quality of my Surface, the full HD display, the hdmi+usb port, the kickstand, the typecover and the lightweight body. All of this combined there is no full W8 tablet which can compete with that (and still have the same price range). Surface Pro ist too heavy and too expensive. So: Surface 2 it is :)

    I know that not everyone with a RT tablet uses the desktop mode and, of course, it does not make sense to have it on WP-devices, BUT:

    During the last 9 months (since I bought my Surface 2) I realised how powerful my Surface can be BECAUSE of the desktop UI. A lot of times friends and colleagues of mine were surprised how much a simple tablet (which my S2 is) could do. Most of those surprises were linked to the simple fact that W8 RT is still windows and has a lot of windows' options/settings. I use my Surface for many things, but evry time I work with files, research and so on... I mainly use it in the desktop mode and I love it!

    Here are a few examples why I would hate it to lose the dekstop UI with an update:

    • Desktop Office
      yes, I know that a more touch-friendly version is going to come to W8, but I still love the "normal" versions when I use a mouse+keyboard with my Surface 2. It is way faster and intuitive for me that way.
    • File manager in general.
      There are no good file manager apps (jet) which have all the functionality and settings the "normal" file manager has. For touch-only devices: sure...not perfect. But for other input options the normal file manager is just awesome...
    • Many settings and the general way the desktop UI "works".
      For example: I use quite a few network drives with my Surface 2. For them to be seen as a "drive" in all the modern UI Apps I need windows to save them as such. This can be done in the file manager settings. At least as far as I know there is no other way to implement network drives for "global" app usage.
    • Desktop Internet Explorer
      The normal modern ui IE is just fine for browsing with touch, but there are many things which can only be done with/in the desktop IE.
      For example:
      - a LOT of settings which just do not appear in the modern ui IE...
      - the possibility to actually choose where to save/download files to. Especially when doing some research and downloading many kind of different file types, the modern UI browser is just aweful...
      - simple browsing with a keyboard and mouse (or the attached type/touch-cover). The modern ui IE is made for touch input. Period. If you use anything else but touch, you have to deal with quite a lot of things slowing down the browsing (example: every time a new tab is opened, the "tabs" bar on the bottom will appear and you have to close it manually EVERY time. It does not matter if you are actually on that particular tab or just opened it for later use)
    • And finally: general mouse/keyboard input
      Windows RT may be used on many different devices, but the main device is (I think) the Surface RT line. A lot of users bought a touch/type cover with their S/S2 and use them on daily bases. In addition to that, the awesome USB-port lets us use other input devices (like normal mouse/keyboards), so what I am trying to say, I guess, is: there are many users with that kind of input devices who do not use touch-only. For them the desktop UI is just perfect for file managing, settings (networks, devices manager, control panel and so on...).
    • and many many little things only possible in the desktop UI environment


    I really hope Microsoft will just hide the desktop UI somehow so all the users who actually want to use it can "unhide" it.

    Of course MS could create Apps for all the things only found in the desktop UI/environment, but I am quite sure they will not do that. So I, for example, would be forced to not update to Threshold (if that is possible). I love Windows RT because it is much more than "just" a touch OS. In my opinion that is what makes RT so strong.

    Last edited by Gergolos; 08-27-2014 at 02:30 AM.
    08-27-2014 02:15 AM
  2. smoheath's Avatar
    Just because the desktop is going away in rt doesn't automatically mean that all of those functions will be gone. My assumption is that metro office and ie will gain 99% of their original desktop counterparts functionality. In regards to the file manager, the onedrive app will have to be updated to be a real full featured file manager.

    To me, no desktop really just means converting all (or most of) the desktop features to a metro UI. This has already started to happen transitioning from 8.0 to 8.1. one example is that PC settings in the metro UI show about twice as much info as they used to. I do think that some things will be lost like the command prompt and registry editing. This is how I envision it happening, but I ultimately we will see.

    Sent from my Surface Pro 3 using Tapatalk
    08-27-2014 02:43 AM
  3. Gergolos's Avatar
    Thanks for your input, smoheath,

    as I already wrote myself, It would be totally fine for me if all the functions and settings would be ported to the metro UI. But considering the fact that there are so many I am kind of sure that that will not happen. I know that I am not the only desktop-friendly user, but still most of the normal users will not need all of that... so It would be kind of not wise for MS to put that much ressources in porting everything. Thatswhy: why not just hide the desktop and let the ones who want to use it, unhide it?



    "To me, no desktop really just means converting all (or most of) the desktop features to a metro UI. This has already started to happen transitioning from 8.0 to 8.1. one example is that PC settings in the metro UI show about twice as much info as they used to. I do think that some things will be lost like the command prompt and registry editing. This is how I envision it happening, but I ultimately we will see."

    Word!

    Let us hope :)
    08-27-2014 02:49 AM

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