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Microsoft PocketPC Preview

By hattig in News
Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 05:22:26 AM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

There is a preview (with over 50 screenshots) on WiredGuy of the next generation of Windows CE, known as Pocket PC. Microsoft seem to be Palm-ising the interface a lot, but at the expense of making eerything look ugly and clunky (but not as clunky as the previous version). There is still quite a bit of screen estate wastage too.


Microsoft are really pulling away from the Win9x style interface that was one of their reasons for buying a Windows CE device. I can't find a quick jotter program either - surely invaluable for taking quick notes vs. using the on-screen keyboard?

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Microsoft PocketPC Preview | 11 comments (11 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
For some reason, my geek glands jus... (none / 0) (#4)
by pwhysall on Mon Mar 27, 2000 at 11:58:29 AM EST

pwhysall voted 0 on this story.

For some reason, my geek glands just don't get aroused by handheld computers.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown

I wavered between voting 1 and voti... (none / 0) (#5)
by marlowe on Mon Mar 27, 2000 at 12:02:25 PM EST

marlowe voted 1 on this story.

I wavered between voting 1 and voting zero. This is sort of interesting, in a morbid way. Whose user interface do you want us to rip off today?
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

Moving away from "full-blown Window... (none / 0) (#3)
by bobsquatch on Mon Mar 27, 2000 at 02:36:09 PM EST

bobsquatch voted 1 on this story.

Moving away from "full-blown Windows on a 2"-2" screen" is proof that even Microsoft can (sometimes) get a clue. Somebody wake me when they've made something as useful as the Palm UI -- the Palm isn't perfect, but it beats a software "Start" menu any day.

It's interesting how Microsoft can ... (none / 0) (#1)
by Inoshiro on Mon Mar 27, 2000 at 05:21:39 PM EST

Inoshiro voted 1 on this story.

It's interesting how Microsoft can still cling to the vestiges of the Win95 interface on a device which requires a complete rethink. Similarly, it's amazing how far they have progressed from Wince's first design. Although I don't agree with the (marketting division generated) name.

--
[ イノシロ ]

Re: It's interesting how Microsoft can ... (none / 0) (#7)
by Emacs on Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 09:56:14 AM EST

****It's interesting how Microsoft can still cling to the vestiges of the Win95
interface on a device which requires a complete rethink.****

I have to agree with you here. With the enormous amout of money and resources
they have I can't believe they can't make it look any better than that. For
instance the corn-ball windows logo needs to go. ( I know...I know... who
really cares about the logo.. but it's part of the overall apperance and it
does matter) The logo just screams Windows 3.0, one of the most butt-ugly UI's
that I've ever seen. It wouldn't take much to tweak it a bit to make it look
"modern" I've read how MS spends tons of money on reasearch for UI's and do
tons of usability work but I really have to wonder when I look at their
products.

I was playing with an old Macintosh IIse at work (it must be from the early
90's I'm guessing) and although I've never been a Apple fan; I was just blown
away by their interface; especially considering it's about 100 years old.(in
computer years anyways) Now those guys knew how to build a nice looking
interface, simple, clean, soft and friendly. Microsoft even with their enormous
resources builds interfaces that look (to me anyways) klunky, cold and hard.
But to each his iwn I guess.


[ Parent ]
Screen Wastage? The title bar and ... (none / 0) (#2)
by evro on Mon Mar 27, 2000 at 07:07:50 PM EST

evro voted 1 on this story.

Screen Wastage? The title bar and status bar looked kind of tall, but other than that I didn't see too much waste. I think the font should be smaller, but that's just me. And it's probably customizable. I thougt it looked pretty nice, and I have no love for Windows.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"

Re: Screen Wastage? The title bar and ... (none / 0) (#6)
by hattig on Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 07:52:36 AM EST

Screen Wastage? The title bar and status bar looked kind of tall, but other than that I didn't see too much waste

Some of the screens are well laid out, particularly the one with the calendar on it showing every day in the year. I agree that the title bar and status bar are a bit too big (or the font used within them is not tall enough) and they look a bit lonely. I think that the top and bottom areas should have the option to move off of the screen, leaving a small floating icon to bring them back (or something similar at any rate) - this would improve the overall usage of the screen - I don't need to know what application I am running or what the time is all the time!

It is good that Microsoft have declunked their interface - getting rid of the bevels for the buttons etc, although I don't necessarily think the new scheme is a lot better. The use of colour has improved though, and the menus are a lot nicer (and at the bottom, good idea) then the old "Menu in a big clunky white box" system.

On the other hand, the new buttons look like something from a horror movie: dull grey boxes with a black border around them - surely a little colour here would have been useful and more attractive?

[ Parent ]

Re: Screen Wastage? The title bar and ... (none / 0) (#8)
by evro on Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 12:05:25 PM EST

Regarding the dull grey boxes with black border -- They may be designing for both color and monochrome displays, and colorful widgets may display weird on b/w screens... just a guess though.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
[ Parent ]
Re: Screen Wastage? The title bar and ... (none / 0) (#9)
by hattig on Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 12:37:42 PM EST

Nah. Wait a few months...

http://pocketpc.themes.org/

Yes, you don't know it yet, but PocketPC is entirely skinnable. It comes with skins for Aqua and Brushed Metal (who cares about copyright, eh?) built in, as well as the default "Dull Microsoft".

Don't like that dull grey? Make it a textured, bumpy grey with red bits generated in real time by the Environment Bump Mapped graphics subsystem in PocketPC! Feel the heat from the "Lava" theme in real life, as the chips inside start to smoke...

:-)

[ Parent ]

Re: Microsoft PocketPC Preview (none / 0) (#10)
by fatjim on Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 02:16:21 PM EST

This does seem like an improvement; but it looks like it's all been stolen from
previous designs - the PalmPilot and the Newton (menus at the bottom of the
screen to keep the hand from obscuring them? The entire newton UI had that as a
design guideline).

I suppose I'm showing my obsession over my newton (dead platforms really gather
rabid users, eh? :), but I wish the new hand-held designs would take a hint
from the Newton's UI design guidelines. That document is the best comment on
human usability I've ever seen.


Re: Microsoft PocketPC Preview (2.00 / 1) (#11)
by daninja on Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 05:16:43 PM EST

Guess what happens when Microsoft goes after a market where their OS stranglehold gives them little leverage? They have to sell based on the intrinsic merits of the product. That's not their business (never has been, never will).

Q: Why won't Microsoft be successful in the PDA market?
A: Because no one ever got fired for buying a PDA.

Microsoft PocketPC Preview | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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