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The new Task Manager is stressing me like crazy

    General discussion

  • Microsoft, you have NOT fixed all the issues I pointed out in Task Manager. And you have removed the old Task Manager which was present in Consumer Preview and Developer Preview. I HATE THE NEW TASK MANAGER. IT'S SIMPLY HORRIBLE:

    Instead of improving upon the existing Task Manager in Windows like Windows Vista and Windows 7 did, Windows 8 attempts to "re-imagine" the Task Manager. While I understand that the "re-imagination" was possibly required for Metro style apps, this totally DISRUPTS desktop PC users' Task Manager. Rewriting from scratch approach is incredibly bad because it means all of functionality the Task Manager accumulated over the years from NT 4.0 up to Windows 7 must be re-implemented. And yet you omit a ton of functionality and claim it's "improved" and "simplified" and "re-imagined". And then you claimed in the B8 blog post about Task manager that your goal is to not remove features.
     

    Current list of issues with the Windows 8 Task Manager:
    - Performance: It is not as responsive and quick to load as the old Task manager. Certainly not, when some app is consuming CPU or causing Windows to hang.

    - Bug: Last active tab is not remembered. The old Task Manager remembered the last active tab. I DO NOT WANT TO LAND ON THE PROCESSES TAB. I want to the last active tab to be remembered.

     
    - The old Task Manager could be set to run at startup, minimized so it would start up in the notification area/tray. The new Task manager requires UAC elevation so it doesn't run at startup. And even if it is set up from Task Scheduler to run as admin but minimized at startup, it does not minimize properly to the tray.

    - Removed feature: There is no global status bar showing the total number of processes, CPU usage and physical memory and/or commit charge.

    - Removed feature: See this image. Which document is which? The old Task Manager showed the application name from the Title bar. The new one gets its name from somewhere else. The document name is only shown after expanding by each and every instance of the app by clicking the arrow/triangle one by one. Why do you want to make our lives more difficult? Suppose there are 10 windows of an app open and 1 of them stops responding. With the old Task Manager, it was one glance away. With the new one, I must expand the arrow of each window to see if the not responding document is under one of those. Poor usability. Documents names must be shown without making users expand and collapse every instance of the app. This also breaks keyboard usability. In the above screenshot, I could hit L to go through List1.txt, List2.txt, List3.txt. Not possible any more. There is an "Expand all" option but it's state is reset every time Task Manager is closed. It goes back to Group By Type.

    - No default beep/Ding sound on the Processes tab if I press a key and there is no process or app beginning with that name.

    - Unnecessary requirement: New Task Manager requires UAC elevation if UAC level is set to highest. Old Task Manager ran just fine without elevation to show current user processes.

    - Bug/keyboard usability issue: Ctrl+ '+' (Ctrl + plus key) key to auto-resize all columns to fit does not work on Processes, App History,
    Startup and Users tabs.

    - Removed feature: The options for the Networking tab "Show cumulative data" and "Reset adapter history" are removed.
     

    - Limitation: Any column cannot be set as the first column on Processes, App History, Startup and Users tab as it can be in Details and Services tab. This affects keyboard usability too.

     

    - Removed feature: Selection of multiple applications on the Processes tab (formerly Applications tab) is not possible. In the old Task manager, I could use Ctrl and Shift keys just like Windows Explorer to select multiple applications and do actions like group End Task them.

    - Design flaw/regression: Naming and order of tabs is not the same and "re-imagined" according to stupid telemetry. Whatever happened to common sense that UI changes should not be made for sake of change? What was previously the 'Applications' tab is now the 'Processes' tab. Unfortunately, there was also a 'Processes' tab in the old Task Manager which is now the 'Details' tab. Very confusing for those who have used the Task Manager for years. In old Task Manager, the order of tabs is Applications, Processes, Services, Performance, Networking and Users.
    In the new Task manager, it is Processes, Performance, App History, Startup, Users, Details and Services. The correct order should be Processes, Details, Services, Performance, App History (because this is a new tab), Startup (also a new tab), and Users as the last tab.

    - The Startup tab replaces MSConfig but the tab only shows the "Startup type" as "Registry" or "Folder", whereas MSConfig showed the exact registry key (HKLM Run or HKCU Run) from where the app started. Perfect dumbing down example.

    - Removed feature: Window management functions (Minimize, Maximize, Cascade, Tile Horizontally and Tile Vertically) on the Processes tab (formerly the Applications tab) and "Windows" menu are removed. Why are these important? Because in Windows 7, the Taskbar removed the ability to select multiple taskbar buttons using Ctrl+left click when buttons are ungrouped and therefore group actions on window buttons in the taskbar are no longer possible. The Task Manager's Applications tab offered an alternative and now they have taken that away as well. I can no longer maximize for example 4 IE windows at once.

    - Regression: The column on the "Details" tab are not persistent across a reboot!!!!!! (I see this particular issue only on some Windows 8 Release preview machines, not all)

    - Broken: "Show full account name" isn't working either. It is supposed to show the full UNC path in \\MachineName\User or \\Domain\User format.

    - Bug: It can't even terminate a process properly. When I ended a process like Notepad, it terminates but I get this error message: Operation could not be completed: Access is denied

    I just don't see Microsoft fixing these (they are just not that good any more). But I reported them after DEVELOPER PREVIEW. I'm sure MS will pass them off as "by design”.

    Yet somehow, they claim their goal was not to remove any functionality and that they didn't. It is silly to re-implement an application without providing the features the old one did. The old Task manager was included up to Windows 8 Consumer Preview but removed in Windows 8 Release Preview and now this cartoony Task manager is the only gone I'm stuck with! Massively disappointing.

    And BRING BACK THE OLD TASK MANAGER AND KEEP IT AS AN OPTION LIKE YOU DID WITH CONSUMER PREVIEW AND DEVELOPER PREVIEW! WHOEVER WANTS TO USE THIS NEW ABOMINATION WILL USE IT BUT THE OLD ONE HAD A LEGACY AND YOU DELETED IT!!

    Edit: Toned down some wording used out of frustration.

    • Edited by xpclient Sunday, June 03, 2012 3:36 AM
    Saturday, June 02, 2012 10:35 AM

All replies

  • I agree with most of what you've said, and I too was disappointed to see the old Task Manager go, but I do have one small suggestion that *might* help you feel about 0.56% better about the new Task Manager:

    For most of the screens there are columns that are not shown, probably deemed too geeky for mass market users, but which you can make visible by right-clicking on any of the column headings.

     

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBook:  
    In development:

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    • Edited by Noel Carboni Saturday, June 02, 2012 5:35 PM I can't ever seem to make a post look just right the first time
    Saturday, June 02, 2012 5:34 PM
  • While I wouldn't support all complaints made by xpclient, I don't understand who and why reported this post as abusive. Maybe there is a need to prevent the abuse of the feature "marking posts as abusive". This isn't an instrument for controversies, it should be preserved for off-topic, out-of-conduct posts. Even if xpclient's post may be considered controversial to some, there is something like "freedom to speak, have an own opinion", etc.

    Understanding Windows is like understanding women.

    Saturday, June 02, 2012 9:15 PM
  • xpclient, if I ever see you, I want to buy you a beer!  You are fighting the good fight.
    Sunday, June 03, 2012 1:09 AM
  • I think perhaps the strong wording he used in the subject may be offensive to some.

    Controversial wording or no, I'll get the second round of beers.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBook:  
    In development:

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, June 03, 2012 1:11 AM
  • It's obvious they won't fix it now because they had 2 releases to fix it (Consumer Preview and Release Preview) so unless I get the old Task manager back, my Windows journey will end here. For now, I have copied Taskmgr.exe and Taskmgr.exe.mui (the older ones) to Windows 8 RP and IT WORKS!!! Sanity is restored for now.
    Sunday, June 03, 2012 10:47 AM
  • - Unnecessary requirement: New Task Manager requires UAC elevation if UAC level is set to highest. Old Task Manager ran just fine without elevation to show current user processes.

    again, you don't have the required knowledge to understand this. New Taskmanager uses Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) to get the Disk and NEtwork IO data and this requires elevated rights to capture the data.

    But I agree that some things like no longer showing the document name when running several notepad instances is painful.


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Sunday, June 03, 2012 7:32 PM
  • Thanks for taking the first opportunity to point out that my knowledge is half-assed and for deliberately misinterpreting what I mean. To clarify, by "unnecessary", I meant that the design should not have been like that. The Task Manager can start without UAC to display the Processes for the logged in user. Terminating those doesn't require UAC, right? For seeing processes of other users or to access other system areas that require UAC elevation, there can be a button to elevate like the old task manager had. I never said everything should be done without UAC elevation, that may not be possible with a system tool like Task Manager. But the fact that the team which wrote the new one didn't consider a damn about the usage scenarios of people who load it at startup minimized to tray is disappointing. Also, note that they have designed it expressly for the default UAC level where it silently elevates some tasks. But if you set it to highest UAC level (the real secure UAC level), then it requires UAC prompt to start. It also means that if you are a standard user, not an administrator, and the UAC level is set to highest on that system, you can't terminate processes.

    Monday, June 04, 2012 3:10 AM
  • ... But the fact that the team which wrote the new one didn't consider a damn about the usage scenarios of people who load it at startup minimized to tray is disappointing. ...

    Not to fuel your frustration but seriously. How many people do you really think does this on a daily basis? 0.00000001% aka you and maybe a few more. Not trying to be a jerk but come on. You're just being silly if you think this is a normal thing that the average user is going to do.


    Thanks,
    Bobby Cannon
    BobbyCannon.com

    Monday, June 04, 2012 12:52 PM
  • - The old Task Manager could be set to run at startup, minimized so it would start up in the notification area/tray. The new Task manager requires UAC elevation so it doesn't run at startup. And even if it is set up from Task Scheduler to run as admin but minimized at startup, it does not minimize properly to the tray.

    I thought I'd bump this to make a note about getting it to run properly on startup, which is still an inexplicable problem in RTM. Nircmd to the rescue, though I imagine someone will eventually come up with a better way.

    http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/35897-Task-Manager-No-longer-possible-to-minimize-to-tray-(only)-on-startup?p=611032&viewfull=1#post611032

    Sunday, August 12, 2012 4:25 PM
  • The "solution" is to restore taskmgr.exe and taskmgr.exe.mui from Windows 7 and kick the new Task manager out if you don't run Metro style apps. That its design is not backward compatible is enough for me to dump it.
    • Edited by xpclient Sunday, August 12, 2012 4:33 PM
    Sunday, August 12, 2012 4:29 PM
  • The new one has a lot of nice aspects to it though.
    Sunday, August 12, 2012 4:32 PM
  • Microsoft, you have NOT fixed all the issues I pointed out in Task Manager. And you have removed the old Task Manager which was present in Consumer Preview and Developer Preview. I HATE THE NEW TASK MANAGER. IT'S SIMPLY HORRIBLE:

    Instead of improving upon the existing Task Manager in Windows like Windows Vista and Windows 7 did, Windows 8 attempts to "re-imagine" the Task Manager. While I understand that the "re-imagination" was possibly required for Metro style apps, this totally DISRUPTS desktop PC users' Task Manager. 
    Winodws 8 is like poking the eyes out of people and then telling them to get used to it by getting a braille reader and a guide dog. And then going on about how great dogs are and that braille readers improve your touch senses.
    Monday, August 13, 2012 7:41 AM
  • Personally, I like the approach used in Preview versions, where both task managers could be used...

    Either by different file names, or by cancelling (old task manager)/accepting (new task manager) UAC prompt

    The new task manager is cool, but the old one should also be there...

    During installation, if you open the task manager, it's the old one that will appear.

    Best regards

    Thursday, August 23, 2012 1:34 AM
  • Did you notice that there are also visual styles on the buttons during the installation?  The installer clearly uses an older version of Windows that hasn't been folded, stapled, and mutilated.  What a sad joke Windows 8 has become.

    VeryBoringNickname's description above is a bit extreme, but I like it.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Thursday, August 23, 2012 3:35 AM
  • I see Task Manager in RTM still has an old bug from at least Consumer Preview: if you've customized it (e.g. adding columns to Details view, or checking "Hide when minimzed"), and you have a system crash (or, for whatever reason, taskmgr.exe is killed--you can even simulate this by using Process Explorer to kill it), Task Manager loses its settings. Nice.
    Thursday, August 23, 2012 6:17 AM
  • I see Task Manager in RTM still has an old bug from at least Consumer Preview: if you've customized it (e.g. adding columns to Details view, or checking "Hide when minimzed"), and you have a system crash (or, for whatever reason, taskmgr.exe is killed--you can even simulate this by using Process Explorer to kill it), Task Manager loses its settings. Nice.

    I have managed to figure what's wrong with TaskManager here.

    TaskManager in Win8 stores its configuration unter HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TaskManager .


    But, when started it actually DELETES current configuration and stores it when application is quit.


    So, if TaskManager is quit forcefully (for example, during shutdown) or if Windows crash, the configuration will be lost.


    This is simply terrible.

    Saturday, September 15, 2012 7:11 PM
  • That explains a lot, thanks. I'd given up on customizing it, and the realization that merely restarting your system with it open is the equivalent of crashing it, doesn't make me want to use it extensively.

    But, I guess what I could do is customize it once and for all, back up that key, and then add a reg import line to the batch file that I use to start it properly minimized (see above). This is progress, I guess.

    What's MS going to do next to make our lives easier, do something crazy like remove the Start menu from the desktop?

    Saturday, September 15, 2012 7:54 PM
  • merely restarting your system with it open is the equivalent of crashing it

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a system restart normally supposed to try to shut things down gracefully if at all possible?  I should think this should include Task Manager.  This strikes me as a pretty egregious bug on several fronts.  Do you suppose they made it do this on purpose, in some twisted attempt to try to make it more sure that a system can recover from being irretrievably screwed up by a user?

    It's a bit sad to think that even the imaginations of the current developers (keying on the term "reimagination") aren't even as good as the deliberate designs of the folks who programmed earlier versions of Windows.

    Have we seen the golden age of computing come and gone?

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, September 16, 2012 1:00 PM
  • Untested here, but apparently a pretty nice way to get old TM back:

    http://winaero.com/blog/how-to-restore-the-good-old-task-manager-in-windows-8

    Monday, December 03, 2012 7:58 PM
  • The tm.exe he provides does seem to run.  I tested it on a throwaway VM snapshot.

    I don't know that I'd be ready to trust that it's not loaded up with malware just yet.  Windows 8 itself doesn't like it, claiming that it's unrecognized, though you can run it anyway.  I scanned it with Avast and it found nothing amiss.

    You don't actually have to hack the registry (per that article) just to run tm.exe.  You just have to extract the TM folder from the zip file onto your hard drive and run tm.exe.  I just put a shortcut to it on the desktop.  It's a nice option to have.

     

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Monday, December 03, 2012 9:35 PM
  • The point of that trick is that without replacing any files, you get the TM back and even Ctrl+Shift+Esc opens the old one, while the new one remains available just in case. Don't worry, it's safe. The TM.exe was extracted from Windows 8's boot.wim. But like everything else, the future of Task Manager is now endangered. You never know when the old one will break on a future version of Windows. Total deal-breaker if the old one doesn't run.
    Tuesday, December 04, 2012 6:31 AM
  • Given your endorsement I have to assume you personally verified that the tm.exe that he's included in the zip is identical to the one from the boot.wim.  I haven't found the time to do so.

    Not just Task Manager, but looking at Windows 8 in total it's clear the very future of computing itself is in danger.  I'm imagining the pilots letting go of the stick and the plane suddenly diving while everyone has a big argument in the cockpit. 

    Microsoft still has time to reverse this nose dive, and now they even have an excuse with the retiring of Sinfosky, but will they continue to dive the plane into the dirt anyway without even pulling back a little on the stick?

    Windows Blue could be what Windows 8 should have been.  And it doesn't have to come out right away.  They can take the time to get it right.  We'll wait.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Tuesday, December 04, 2012 4:15 PM
  • One thing  I have noticed in the Win8 Task manager is that it deletes it's configuration when you run it. It is stored in the registry at; HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TaskManager

    Then when Task Manager gets closed, the configuration is saved again. I don't see the point in this and configuration is lost if the computer hangs while Task manager is open. The solution is to configure it how you like, close it so config is saved. Then open regedit and export that thing. Then you can easily restore the configuration if it ever gets lost.

    I also don't like the lack of detail in the 'basic' mode ("fewer details"). Indeed it should show windows titles, there is room to display that. Also like you said it won't save what tab you used last. Also that it does take a second to load, it takes more CPU cycles. But on a modern computer it doesn't matter.

    But otherwise it's useful (for me) and Windows 8 in general I think of as Win 7 Second Edition, as long as I hide Metro with Start8.


    • Edited by danwat12345 Sunday, January 27, 2013 7:45 PM
    Sunday, January 27, 2013 7:43 PM