Microsoft.

Ben Logan
7 May 2013

Microsoft have announced that an updated – and significantly different – version of its Windows 8 operating system will be released later in 2013.  The software giant has admitted that users are experiencing some serious usability issues with Windows 8 and that change is necessary. Windows 8 – too radical a change? Windows 8 launched in 2012 and was intended to move Microsoft into the touchscreen era. Its user interface was, however, radically different to previous versions of Microsoft’s operating system and many users complained that they found it hard to use.  This should not come as any surprise to the usability community, who have long been aware that audiences can…

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Ben Logan
12 April 2013

Research firm IDC’s new data has revealed that shipments of PCs plunged 14% in the first quarter of 2013 – the greatest decrease seen since the firm began tracking sales in 1994. Industry experts are raking over the results as we speak to pinpoint the reasons, and unfortunately for Microsoft, their new Windows 8 computer and tablet operating system is once again under fire. Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, commented in a statement: “At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears…

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Ben Logan
13 March 2013

Microsoft has so far done an impressive job of turning off loyal fans of Windows with the launch of Windows 8, and as a result there have been a number of shell applications made available by third parties to cushion the blow of the radically redesigned interface. RetroUI 3.1.1 is the latest entry into the arena, offering a Start menu replacement that may be attractive to those alienated by Windows 8’s visually busy version. It also comes with a feature called Enforce, which allows users to run modern apps inside of a window, which is something that users of Windows…

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Ben Logan
28 January 2013

Microsoft’s most recent iteration of their Windows operating system is now three months old. As has almost become a tradition, complaints and some harsh criticism met the launch, so let’s see if the much maligned version 8 release can salvage some good will. Sadly, there have been no improvements to the software’s usability. The revised UI throws everything you’d normally expect away, and the lack of the iconic Start button is particularly alienating Microsoft aficionados. Some have gone so far as to say that UI stands for “Unintuitive” in the case of Windows 8, however those who are familiar with…

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Ben Logan
19 November 2012

Despite being faster and more stable than its predecessors, Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system has come under-fire from leading usability expert Jakob Nielson. Hiding features, introducing two separate working environments and the introduction of applications with an extraordinary low information density are just a few of the issues that Nielson, who holds a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction, has highlighted. Top of the list is the confusion caused by having the tablet-orientated Start screen and the more PC orientated desktop screen available on the same device.  Described as “a prescription for usability problems”, Nielson commented on the need for users…

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