We’ve got a ton of stories to talk about this week on the GeekWire radio show and podcast, starting with a discussion of my “grumptastic” assessment of Microsoft’s Windows 8 (as one reader described the piece in an email to me). The story has generated lots of commentary from readers, and we open the show by talking about the implications of the big curve ball that Microsoft is about to deliver to Windows users who buy new computers starting later this year.

Kyle Bartlow and Mariah Gentry, the founders of the startup JoeyBra. (Erynn Rose photo)

From there we delve into one of the more surprising stories of the week, John’s piece singling out RealNetworks as the “unlikely hero” of the Seattle tech community — thanks to former employees of the digital media giant “populating dozens of new ventures and producing some of the region’s most notable entrepreneurial success stories.” Then we return to the Facebook IPO, and talk about the assessment from the head of Silicon Valley Bank, pointing out a silver lining in the social network’s stock slump.

Joining us in the studio are Mariah Gentry and Kyle Bartlow, the University of Washington students behind the startup JoeyBra, one of the more attention-getting innovations to emerge from the Pacific Northwest this year. This is the bra with pockets that can hold a phone, ID or credit cards for a night on the town.

GeekWire’s Rebecca Lovell, who originally broke the story before it hit the national press, joins us for the conversation as Mariah and Kyle tell us how the JoeyBra came to be, what they’re planning for the future, and what it’s like to be student entrepreneurs.

Our App of the Week is Viddy, a video-sharing service that has been getting a lot of attention lately.

And finally, we give the answer to last week’s Name that Tech Tune contest and challenge you with a new tune, with a chance to win a JoeyBra, definitely one of the more unusual prizes we’ve ever had.

Listen to the show above or directly via this MP3 file.

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  • Ken1CEO

    Isn’t there a 2-3 hour learning curve when upgrading from any version of Windows to a new one?  With Windows 8 the seperation of apps and clean interface will be easier and faster to learn then previous versions, in my opinion.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Actually, I don’t think that’s a true statement. Moving from Windows 95 to 2000 to XP to Vista to Windows 7 required little or no learning curve in terms of the basic navigation techniques that I’ve been struggling with in Windows 8. 

      We’re accustomed to this: Double click an icon to open a program. Click the X to close the window. Click on the Start button in the lower left to access advanced settings and controls. And so on. Essentially the same navigation methods and metaphors in Windows for two decades.

      Windows 8 will require people to learn new methods of navigation with keyboard and mouse. Move the mouse to an invisible point in the lower left corner and then slightly up to access thumbnail previews of open programs. Move to an invisible point in the upper right and then down to access advanced settings. And so on — that’s just the beginning of what people will need to learn to do basic stuff. 

      The problem is not only that they’re new techniques, but that there’s no way of knowing what to do if you’re a new user, at least not in the preview versions. 

      Combined with the full-screen approach for the new Metro apps (abandoning the traditional “windows” where you can see the desktop underneath) it’s completely disorienting and frustrating for a new user — not at all the type of intuitive initial experience that people should be having with a new tech product in this day and age.

      Have you tried the Windows 8 Release Preview or any of the earlier previews? If not, I’d encourage you to download it (on a spare machine, not your primary PC) to see what I mean.

      Here’s my earlier post on the topic. http://www.geekwire.com/2012/windows-8-struggling-microsofts-new-thing/


    • http://blog.nordquist.org Brett Nordquist

      You may be right for those who really know their way around Windows or who care to know how an OS works. But for those who don’t care how Windows works and just want it to get out of the way so they can do email or browse the web or edit pictures, it’s a major pain the butt even going from Windows 7 to 8. I would never recommend that my parents upgrade to 8. Then again, Microsoft doesn’t care because 8 is going to sell no matter what, just like Vista did. Microsoft isn’t a player in the two fastest growing markets in tech (smartphones and tablets) and this is their Hail Mary attempt to get in the game. Personally, I think it’s a debacle waiting to happen and will only anger desktop users while not making much of dent in the tablet market. 

      • http://cobaltpm.com/ Ben Ferris

        “I think it’s a debacle waiting to happen and will only anger desktop users while not making much of dent in the tablet market. ”

        So true. 

        I really hope that Microsoft will come to their senses and have a professional edition of Windows 8 that makes Metro and the new start screen fully optional.  I realize you can work around it right now — and I have — but I shouldn’t have to install a third-party tool to give me that Start Menu similar to Windows 7.

        • Bryan Mistele

          I completely agree.  After playing with Windows 8 for months now, I think it will be a worse debacle than Vista for Microsoft for the reasons Todd cites i.e., there was little learning curve from Windows 95 all the way up to Windows 7.  Things worked the same way.  Metro is very different and businesses don’t want their employees to spend hours learning a new operating system or rewriting their internals apps to conform to the new UI.  Moreover the UI is disorienting.  I have a huge monitor and having 4×6 inch tiles to launch an app with is childish and counter-productive.  It works on a phone or a tablet, but not on a desktop.

          If Microsoft doesn’t create a pro version that has Metro turned off from the start and restores the Start button, this will be a disaster for Microsoft and it’s because unlike the past 15 years, people now have alternatives to Windows.  Apple is a very viable threat on the desktop now and Chrome is getting more so every day.  If people have to spend hours learning something new, a lot will consider spending that time investing in non-Microsoft alternatives.

  • http://blog.nordquist.org Brett Nordquist

    Todd said: “Move the mouse to an invisible point in the lower left corner and then slightly up to access thumbnail previews of open programs.”

    Exactly. Well put. It’s a frustrating experience that didn’t feel natural after two weeks. Going from XP or Vista to 7 felt like a breath of fresh air.It was fast and responsive without the constant nagging of Vista. Windows 8 feels like Microsoft shoving a new way of working with my PC down my throat, whether I want it or not. Feels like desperation to me.

    • http://cobaltpm.com/ Ben Ferris

      I find the target even more annoying since I have a 3-monitor setup with my main screen in the middle.  It drives me crazy to try to hit the bottom left corner with my mouse on my main screen and have it slip onto the left monitor.

      • http://blog.nordquist.org Brett Nordquist

        Ben, my coworker running 8 experiences the same behavior with his 3 monitor setup. He’s been running it for several months and the invisible corners dance is still fun to watch. :-)

      • John W Baxter

        With the Release Preview, you should find that the magic corners are now on all the screens of your 3 monitor setup, which should help some. (Untested as I don’t have a multi-monitor setup.)

        • http://cobaltpm.com/ Ben Ferris

          Yes, it is — which is great.  But I still prefer to use the corner on my middle screen, right where the start button was in Windows 7.

  • cory78

    The whole point is: there is a learning curve NOT because 8 allows to do new things in new ways, there is a learning curve because the UI is LESS efficient than in previous versions.
    Real world users have no reason to buy it, period, stop flogging the dead horse, game over for MS that insanely bet the company on it.

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