I had a look at a couple of Windows 8 interface movies on YouTube a few days ago. It is remarkable how many of the ideas are similar to Gnome Shell.
Having run Windows 8 through Gnome-Box, Virtual Box or even testing through retail, I agree. Desktop environments borrow each other ideas. Difference is Windows 8 interface is a pig in term of storage.For instance, there is this notion of slamming the mouse in the corner. All well and good, unless you have a few windows open, each of which has a full VM screen in it. How on earth is one supposed to slam the mouse in the corners there? At least Windows 8 offers traditional desktop in one of the tiles...
Slamming the mouse to the corner is one of methods, pressing Super Key (usually Microsoft Logo icon) is another access the menu. You have different options to access the menu (or Start/Apple depending the system). You do the same motion to access to the very corner expect clicking on that button on the traditional desktop. What about Clicking start button then meticulously try to select one of applications or items inside the menu? What you describe is how you were hard trained to use that paradigm without giving much flexibility to yourself. Traditional desktop layout can still be made on Gnome Shell displaying its flexibility.Ditto keyboard shortcuts, which may not transfer properly over whatever connection method one uses to see the remote side. Confusion ensues - will the workspace locally or remotely be changed? Will we enter tiles here or there? Having GUI that works easily with a mouse is not an option - it's essential.
Keyboard shortcuts work fine though SPICE, VNC. Customization of keyboard shortcut is also available. I think that fear is unfounded without giving a try, list what could be improved. Extensions are a good source to experiment different solution before implementing one of them to the core.Then there is the notion of either working full screen or working with two windows side by side. That's it. As if nobody ever needs more than that on the screen. I mean, haven't people seen the screens of stock brokers on the news?
Gnome Shell has extensions that allow you to work with more than tiles at once on the same screen: shellshape (https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/294/shellshape/). Fullscreen? Reserve one for a workspace and multiple windows to another.Nobody seems to think about real use cases any more.
Each users have different needs, you have one, I have another. Think Gnome Shell nothing more as a base/core, with plethora of option to choose to suit our different tastes. Your example of tiles above is one of them....In a way, it reminds of days when in Red Hat Linux 5.0 lots of little tools were written in TK. Sure, it worked, but it wasn't the best.
That example shows the possibility and an attempt to think outside the box. I leave to that.
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