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Please restore the Start Menu

    General discussion

  • After almost a month fulltime on the official release of Windows 8 Professional, I still find that there are too many places where I can't find a workaround that is as fast or faster than what we had previously.

    The Metro Modern UI is an excellent interface for touch devices.  However, it is necessary to understand the characteristics of different devices and optimize accordingly rather than implement a common denominator or be biased toward just one class.

    Touch has tremendous bandwidth.  One swipe of a finger is several tens of Mbps, but it is not precise, and your fingers can't do much else such as typing.  It is a trade-off.  The mouse (or similar pointing devices on the notebook PC) generates a much lower bandwidth, but it is much more precise.  So for touch (and no keyboard), you require huge cartoon icons and can have all on a flat list and swipe the start screen to look for what you want quickly.  For a PC user, laying out giant icons is a pure waste of space, and having them in one flat list across multiple screenfuls makes aiming for the right icon take a much longer time.

    For touch, having cascading menus is harder because the gigantic icons to cater for the huge finger hotspot takes up too much space and leave little room for cascading menus to be practical.  For PC users, we don't want icons (we have since graduated from kindergarten), and often, we use fast keys (because we have a keyboard) to jump to a menu item, and grouping and cascading menus is a time-tested excellent scaling solution.  Textual lists are easier to search as they can be in sorted in alphabetical order.  What is the sort order for icons?  Colors?  Picture complexity? Faced with a 1920x1080 screen of icons, I have a hard time locating what I am looking for.  For the type of work I am doing, the difference between 0.2s and 2s is 10X, a big number.

    I am not asking for removing the Modern UI.  I am all for it, and tablets need it.  I am changing my methods to adapt to it, but there are simply too many situations where I cannot find an equivalent as fast as previously.

    Right now the Metro Modern UI is unsuitable for the PC.  As an example which I face many times a day, I press the Windows key and type in something, the letters I type are shown on the FAR RIGHT of my 1920x1080 screen.  The search results of what I type appear on the FAR LEFT of the screen.  But the thing I want is under Settings instead of Apps and so I have to swing to the FAR RIGHT of the screen to select Settings.  Then my attention has to switch to the FAR LEFT of the screen for the results.  And if I right click an item shown, the context menu is not in context but at the FAR BOTTOM of the screen.  Don't you think this is a giant leap backward if not comical?

    My type of work requires a multi-tasking PC.  I have to monitor several on-going tasks during certain intense periods.  But if I press the Windows key, my desktop is completely blocked.  This is disruptive and affects productivity as I have to re-synchronize my visual context all over again.

    It is wrong to force fit the desktop UI onto a phone, as seen in the big difference between the usability of the iPhone and Windows Mobile.  And it is also obviously wrong to force the phone UI onto a PC or server.

    Microsoft, until the day PCs play a minor role in the world, please bring back the PC desktop for PC applications.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 6:56 AM

All replies

  • have you tried classic shell or start8?  Both work very well with start8 being just like windows 7.  I use classic shell and get 100% of the old functionality.  I personally hate metro and the start screen.  I have no use for it.  And before you say stay with windows 7, windows 8 on my hardware (hexacore) runs about 15% faster on windows 8.  If they would have made 2 versions, one for touch, and one for desktop, I would be hard pressed to find anything wrong (well except the deletion of aero).  

    The sad part is, if they listened to us desktop users, a few tweaks to the start screen for mousing was all that was needed.  

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 12:58 PM
  • You can beg, plead, scream, or even offer them a huge ice-cream sundae with a gorgeous cherry on top. They aren't going to bring it back for this RTM release. Running ClassicShell or Start8 is not supported by Microsoft and may result in Microsoft not supporting ANY of your clients until you remove those third-party add-ons, which make that not an option either.

    I remember Microsoft touting all the studies and group research they did with Windows 95. The millions of hours of testing and focusing on productivity and ease of use. Vista was the same with thousands and thousands of hours of research and millions and millions of dollars spent in perfecting the task bar, start button, etc. Now, Microsoft has just thrown all that out the window in their quest to pursue Apple, Kindle, Nexus, and the rest of the tablet market. It's hilarious, really.

    Hopefully someone will come to their senses, but IMO it most certainly won't be this year.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 3:13 PM
  • I don't think eventually they will come to their senses either. Their arrogance is far bigger than you can imagine - far greater than even failure. As long as clueless people working on Windows UX are there who do not understand usability one bit and are only interested in removing functionality to simplify computing for grandma, Windows will remain screwed up. The best days of Microsoft are behind them unless these UX people are FIRED and replaced by people to carefully restore lost and damaged features. Start Menu is just one of the many features damaged, but the most visible. They don't even care much to fix. They will be laughing in glee at users' frustration under the false impression how they know what's best.
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 4:43 PM
  • Was at a Microsoft conference a few weeks ago and nobody...aside from the Microsoft employees themselves...liked the options being taken away from us. When people got vocal about the changes (and they did indeed get vocal...to the point of everyone in the room feeling very uncomfortable) all Microsoft did was respond with something alike to "you are using it wrong".  That's really all Microsoft ever seems to respond with.

    They don't want to give us choice anymore. This isn't about giving end-users a good experience. They want to pursue Steve Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer's jump off a cliff in order to play 5-year-old catch up to the iPad. Desktop users be damned. I remember when Microsoft's slogan was "Where do you want to go today?" Well, that thinking has been killed, burned, and buried. The new Microsoft slogan is "We'll tell you where to go today". Want to enable Aero?...take a hike. Want to have a start button?...get lost. Want to bypass Metro?...go jump off the nearest cliff. Want to window a Metro app?...you are a moron. That's the new Microsoft.

    Microsoft does not care about us anymore. They really don't. Their only goal at the moment is to try and claim some percentage of the tablet market. That's it. Desktop users and experiences don't figure into their plans. You don't need, want, or should ever have the option to enable a Start menu....and that's that. The thinking has been done for you.

    • Edited by SAS71 Tuesday, September 25, 2012 5:27 PM
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 5:20 PM
  • That same thousands of hours of feedback and testing also showed them start menu usage was dropping in Windows 7 because of the taskbar pinning and that led to the menu's removal.
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 5:22 PM
  • That same thousands of hours of feedback and testing also showed them start menu usage was dropping in Windows 7 because of the taskbar pinning and that led to the menu's removal.

    Taskbar pinning in no way eliminates the need for a browsable tree structure or the other features that don't require just dumping all installed apps in a single, flat Start Menu screen "all apps" view. It most certainly doesn't eliminate the need to give the end user the choice to run the OS the way THEY want to either.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 5:36 PM
  • I don't think eventually they will come to their senses either. Their arrogance is far bigger than you can imagine - far greater than even failure. As long as clueless people working on Windows UX are there who do not understand usability one bit and are only interested in removing functionality to simplify computing for grandma, Windows will remain screwed up. The best days of Microsoft are behind them unless these UX people are FIRED and replaced by people to carefully restore lost and damaged features. Start Menu is just one of the many features damaged, but the most visible. They don't even care much to fix. They will be laughing in glee at users' frustration under the false impression how they know what's best.

    There is arrogance there intermixed with hubris.  However, you need to throw there in a good mixture of desperation. 

    Microsoft is now abandoning the enterprise computing sector and tries to become a relevant force in consumer electronics.  Balmer was absolutely clear on this recently.  Balmer clearly stated that Microsoft would be producing its own hardware and services (devices, he called them).  I think that Microsoft is progressively abandoning its previous business model (of producing software that runs in partners' hardware) and would be producing and marketing its own hardware.  The Surface tablets are only the beginning.  I am sure that there is going to be a Microsoft phone (or Microsoft would just buy out Nokia).  Microsoft would also keep retailing its "signature line" of laptops and I would see it striking deals with overseas manufacturers to create machines with its own brand.  In that, it is trying to emulate Amazon and Google more than Apple (but all of these companies are objects of envy).

    As for the other products, much as I predicted, Microsoft is going to force users to subscription and cloud models.  I thought that this would take longer, but the pricing of Office 2013 makes it clear that it is here and now.  Essentially, one is penalized (and severely, may I add) if one, wants to buy Office 2013.  The subscription model appears "attractive" on its face, but if one does not pay the money one year, the software disappears!!!

    In this grand scheme, Microsoft wants to have Windows for desktop (all that is driven by Win32) disappear as soon as possible to be replaced by its portable OS, Windows RT.  This is why it is bringing its Windows RT tablets a whole quarter earlier than the Windows 8 ones (which may be further delayed).  Microsoft wants its developers to direct all their attention to Windows RT, which is the company's answer to iOS and Android.  Apps developed for Windows RT will run under Win8 Metro (WinRT) but not within any other version of Windows.  Within a couple of years, Microsoft intends to fully face out Win32 software.  The speculation is that if this strategy works, there would not be a desktop mode in Win9 (as it would be redundant). So, those who believe that the next version of Windows would "correct" mistakes, are in for a severe disappointment.

    With Apple, Amazon and Google making substantial gains with portable OSes, Microsoft does not see the business proposition in staying with its current model and keep producing desktop OSes for partner hardware.  It is as simple as that.  Those who believe that there would be some kind of epiphany at Microsoft any time soon, are in for a let down. If this happens, it would be only if Microsoft fails badly in its attempt to get into consumer electronics.

    Thus, if one wants to stay with desktop OSes, one must start thinking of transitioning to something else.  Windows is not coming back...forget it.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 5:43 PM
  • That same thousands of hours of feedback and testing also showed them start menu usage was dropping in Windows 7 because of the taskbar pinning and that led to the menu's removal.

    1. Even if the Start menu was needed 10% of the time, you still need a Start menu!  Even if you need a car for 10% of your journeys, you would still need a car.  Yes, you can go by taxi, just like you can use the Start screen and all its attendant inconveniences and inefficiency.

    2. If you put telemetry on dumb users you get dumb results.  Isn't this obvious?  If Steve Jobs had drank that telemetry data, there would be no pinch zoom and swipe panning.  We will all be using a highly advanced four-button directional keypad.

    3. Taskbar pinning cannot scale.  There is only so many that can go there.  That's why there was the Start menu, which could scale with its cascading menus to take care of all apps installed in a PC.
    • Edited by K.Kong Wednesday, September 26, 2012 1:11 AM
    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 1:01 AM
  • 1. Even if the Start menu was needed 10% of the time, you still need a Start menu!  Even if you need a car for 10% of your journeys, you would still need a car.  Yes, you can go by taxi, just like you can use the Start screen and all its attendant inconveniences and inefficiency.

    2. If you put telemetry on dumb users you get dumb results.  Isn't this obvious?  If Steve Jobs had drank that telemetry data, there would be no pinch zoom and swipe panning.  We will all be using a highly advanced four-button directional keypad.

    3. Taskbar pinning cannot scale.  There is only so many that can go there.  That's why there was the Start menu, which could scale with its cascading menus to take care of all apps installed in a PC.
    Sinofski's observations are forced and disingenuous.  He knows very well that in most corporations, telemetry is blocked.  Thus, he is only receiving information from some consumers and it is not representative of the most advanced users of Windows.  It is only propaganda, designed to "explain" Microsoft's choices and lessen the negative impact.
    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 4:22 AM

  • Maybe the telemetry does show Start Menu use is tapering off.

    And maybe it's because


    • The new jump lists were difficult to predict or explain
    • The user buttons go to Libraries which don't work well
    • Drag-n-drop and other ways to organize it are uncooperative (at best)
    • The hidden All Users versus Roaming categorization is befuddling
    • Discovering and using Advanced Query Syntax in the search box is awful
    • The lack of a default choice for All Programs is obviously missing (in favor of animated bling)


    Maybe MS could have fixed its grubby UX instead of abandoning it, if that's what telemetry said.



    I think that we all suspect that Sinofski's use of telemetry data was biased, selective and self-serving.  I think that it does not benefit anybody to keep discussing this because it is not really a serious subject.  It is totally ridiculous to believe that Microsoft created a whole new OS and runtime (Windows RT and WinRT) which it attached to Windows (to produce Win8) because of the telemetry use data.  "Metro" (or whatever its name is is not only a UI.  It is the front end of the portable OS.

    We all know that Microsoft did this for purely commercial reasons (because it wanted an entry in the mobile market place).  Explanations were then provided in a "forced" way to try to "justify" -to some- what was, from the very beginning, a marketing decision.

    Thursday, September 27, 2012 8:45 PM
  • 3. Taskbar pinning cannot scale.  There is only so many that can go there.  That's why there was the Start menu, which could scale with its cascading menus to take care of all apps installed in a PC.


    Which is why I have re-instated a Quick Launch toolbar on my Windows 8 Desktop.  So it's a case of boot, log-in and hit Enter to go straight to the Desktop, where I stay.  It's very rare I go to the "Metro" Start Screen.
    • Edited by Tony Wise Sunday, September 30, 2012 4:56 PM
    Sunday, September 30, 2012 4:55 PM
  • Microsoft, until the day PCs play a minor role in the world, please bring back the PC desktop for PC applications.

    Too late.  Frankly, it was too late the first day any of the preview versions became available.

    Don't look now, Microsoft no longer gives a damn about how many PCs there are in the world.  They clearly no longer want to power serious computing tasks.

      

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Sunday, September 30, 2012 5:28 PM
  • Microsoft, until the day PCs play a minor role in the world, please bring back the PC desktop for PC applications.

    Too late.  Frankly, it was too late the first day any of the preview versions became available.

    Don't look now, Microsoft no longer gives a damn about how many PCs there are in the world.  They clearly no longer want to power serious computing tasks.

      

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Why would Microsoft care about how many PCs are in the world?  They are not deriving any revenue from these PCs.  MS's interest ends when it sells the license.  As far as PCs go, Microsoft has no particular worries.  If one does not buy Win8, he/she would buy Win7 and it is all the same for Microsoft.  Of course, MS would prefer that no user "downgrades" to Win7 because they more users they have buying apps from the "walled garden of Metro delights" the more income goes to Microsoft.   In this specific scenario, Microsoft cares about how many users have Win8 and only Win8.  These customers are a potential income stream.  Metro/WinRT developers can target those users.  Microsoft would obtain 20-30% of every sale.  Suddenly, the Win8 installed base becomes important and the Win7-Win Vista-Win XP-Win 2000 installed base becomes a clear drag (because these users would not provide an income stream).  

    Thus, Microsoft has strong reasons to ignore all non-Win8 PCs and lavish a lot of attention to Win8 ones.

    Sunday, September 30, 2012 9:53 PM
  • Was at a Microsoft conference a few weeks ago and nobody...aside from the Microsoft employees themselves...liked the options being taken away from us. When people got vocal about the changes (and they did indeed get vocal...to the point of everyone in the room feeling very uncomfortable) all Microsoft did was respond with something alike to "you are using it wrong".  That's really all Microsoft ever seems to respond with.

    They don't want to give us choice anymore. This isn't about giving end-users a good experience. They want to pursue Steve Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer's jump off a cliff in order to play 5-year-old catch up to the iPad. Desktop users be damned. I remember when Microsoft's slogan was "Where do you want to go today?" Well, that thinking has been killed, burned, and buried. The new Microsoft slogan is "We'll tell you where to go today". Want to enable Aero?...take a hike. Want to have a start button?...get lost. Want to bypass Metro?...go jump off the nearest cliff. Want to window a Metro app?...you are a moron. That's the new Microsoft.

    Microsoft does not care about us anymore. They really don't. Their only goal at the moment is to try and claim some percentage of the tablet market. That's it. Desktop users and experiences don't figure into their plans. You don't need, want, or should ever have the option to enable a Start menu....and that's that. The thinking has been done for you.

    what i wonder is this... they think users will flock to the surface tablet and windows8.  What if they dont?  There does not seem to be anyone in a hurry to get a windows phone right now.  I think metro sucks on a phone too. (yes i went there).  If they are putting all their eggs in one basket and burning bridges to the power users that have kept microsoft in the game, can they survive?  At one time I would have been sad to see microsoft go, but now, seriously thinking it may be time to do something else.  Sad.
    Tuesday, October 02, 2012 10:32 PM
  • Was at a Microsoft conference a few weeks ago and nobody...aside from the Microsoft employees themselves...liked the options being taken away from us. When people got vocal about the changes (and they did indeed get vocal...to the point of everyone in the room feeling very uncomfortable) all Microsoft did was respond with something alike to "you are using it wrong".  That's really all Microsoft ever seems to respond with.

    They don't want to give us choice anymore. This isn't about giving end-users a good experience. They want to pursue Steve Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer's jump off a cliff in order to play 5-year-old catch up to the iPad. Desktop users be damned. I remember when Microsoft's slogan was "Where do you want to go today?" Well, that thinking has been killed, burned, and buried. The new Microsoft slogan is "We'll tell you where to go today". Want to enable Aero?...take a hike. Want to have a start button?...get lost. Want to bypass Metro?...go jump off the nearest cliff. Want to window a Metro app?...you are a moron. That's the new Microsoft.

    Microsoft does not care about us anymore. They really don't. Their only goal at the moment is to try and claim some percentage of the tablet market. That's it. Desktop users and experiences don't figure into their plans. You don't need, want, or should ever have the option to enable a Start menu....and that's that. The thinking has been done for you.

    what i wonder is this... they think users will flock to the surface tablet and windows8.  What if they dont?  There does not seem to be anyone in a hurry to get a windows phone right now.  I think metro sucks on a phone too. (yes i went there).  If they are putting all their eggs in one basket and burning bridges to the power users that have kept microsoft in the game, can they survive?  At one time I would have been sad to see microsoft go, but now, seriously thinking it may be time to do something else.  Sad.

    First of all, let me tell you that I agree with you on using "Metro" on Windows Phone.  It is a very shallow, very "flat" and very poor experience.  I played with a WinPhone 7.5 device for some time before deciding to buy an Android phone.  Let's not even talk about many crucial missing apps from a rather barren store.

    Now, Microsoft has indeed put all its eggs in a basket and nobody is excited about the result.  However, Microsoft does not worry because the Windows revenue stream is assured.  If you do not buy Win8, you will buy Win7 and it is all the same for Microsoft. On Microsoft's reckoning, if they do not get you on Win8, they will grab with Win9 which probably would not even have a desktop mode. 

    Microsoft had decided that the market for the traditional laptops and desktops is flat lining and users are moving to tablets.  Thus, while it can, it is leveraging the desktop(forcing the Metro interface on users) to grab sales in the tablet market.  This is what is happening.  One cannot really fault a company for going where the money is.

    So, the question is not what is Microsoft is giving you.  It is giving you no choice because it wants to force upon users the Metro interface of the tablets.  The real question is what you are going to do about it.  Microsoft has a full right to try to increase its sales; if this does not sit well with you, then you must be looking for an alternative.  Microsoft is not a charity to consider the requests of users that do not contribute to the company's bottom line.  You see, once you have bought a license (or a new computer), you are a "has been".  You are no longer an ongoing concern.  Microsoft would only relent if OEMs start buying alternative OSes, not before.  You just do not matter in this calculation.


    • Edited by ADRz Wednesday, October 03, 2012 12:07 AM
    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 12:06 AM
  • Was at a Microsoft conference a few weeks ago and nobody...aside from the Microsoft employees themselves...liked the options being taken away from us. When people got vocal about the changes (and they did indeed get vocal...to the point of everyone in the room feeling very uncomfortable) all Microsoft did was respond with something alike to "you are using it wrong".  That's really all Microsoft ever seems to respond with.

    They don't want to give us choice anymore. This isn't about giving end-users a good experience. They want to pursue Steve Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer's jump off a cliff in order to play 5-year-old catch up to the iPad. Desktop users be damned. I remember when Microsoft's slogan was "Where do you want to go today?" Well, that thinking has been killed, burned, and buried. The new Microsoft slogan is "We'll tell you where to go today". Want to enable Aero?...take a hike. Want to have a start button?...get lost. Want to bypass Metro?...go jump off the nearest cliff. Want to window a Metro app?...you are a moron. That's the new Microsoft.

    Microsoft does not care about us anymore. They really don't. Their only goal at the moment is to try and claim some percentage of the tablet market. That's it. Desktop users and experiences don't figure into their plans. You don't need, want, or should ever have the option to enable a Start menu....and that's that. The thinking has been done for you.

    what i wonder is this... they think users will flock to the surface tablet and windows8.  What if they dont?  There does not seem to be anyone in a hurry to get a windows phone right now.  I think metro sucks on a phone too. (yes i went there).  If they are putting all their eggs in one basket and burning bridges to the power users that have kept microsoft in the game, can they survive?  At one time I would have been sad to see microsoft go, but now, seriously thinking it may be time to do something else.  Sad.

    First of all, let me tell you that I agree with you on using "Metro" on Windows Phone.  It is a very shallow, very "flat" and very poor experience.  I played with a WinPhone 7.5 device for some time before deciding to buy an Android phone.  Let's not even talk about many crucial missing apps from a rather barren store.

    Now, Microsoft has indeed put all its eggs in a basket and nobody is excited about the result.  However, Microsoft does not worry because the Windows revenue stream is assured.  If you do not buy Win8, you will buy Win7 and it is all the same for Microsoft. On Microsoft's reckoning, if they do not get you on Win8, they will grab with Win9 which probably would not even have a desktop mode. 

    Microsoft had decided that the market for the traditional laptops and desktops is flat lining and users are moving to tablets.  Thus, while it can, it is leveraging the desktop(forcing the Metro interface on users) to grab sales in the tablet market.  This is what is happening.  One cannot really fault a company for going where the money is.

    So, the question is not what is Microsoft is giving you.  It is giving you no choice because it wants to force upon users the Metro interface of the tablets.  The real question is what you are going to do about it.  Microsoft has a full right to try to increase its sales; if this does not sit well with you, then you must be looking for an alternative.  Microsoft is not a charity to consider the requests of users that do not contribute to the company's bottom line.  You see, once you have bought a license (or a new computer), you are a "has been".  You are no longer an ongoing concern.  Microsoft would only relent if OEMs start buying alternative OSes, not before.  You just do not matter in this calculation.


    yea... this is exactly why my global company is showing microsoft the door.  We are gradually moving away from microsoft on servers to linux only.  We have a ways to go, but the ship is gaining steam.  Apple is making big inroads into our company. I now have linux as my desktop.  We have moved to gapps from ms office and exchange.  

    I think it is shortsighted to chase the tablets at the expense of desktops.  Remember the netbooks that were going to kill the desktop and laptops?  That did not happen despite all the chatter.  Tablets feel like a fad to me.  Sure they are nice, but you will pry my desktop from my cold dead fingers and I own 3 tablets.

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 3:08 PM
  • I guess they don't really want to be at your business any more DrX69.  Microsoft seems to think that selling to billions of consumers is better than selling to millions of businesses.  It seems like someone forgot that businesses are the ones with Real Money to spend.

    Microsoft lowered the price of a Windows 8 Pro upgrade to $39.95 (on special)...  Seems to be an admission of how much it's (not) worth.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 3:47 PM

  • yea... this is exactly why my global company is showing microsoft the door.  We are gradually moving away from microsoft on servers to linux only.  We have a ways to go, but the ship is gaining steam.  Apple is making big inroads into our company. I now have linux as my desktop.  We have moved to gapps from ms office and exchange.  

    I think it is shortsighted to chase the tablets at the expense of desktops.  Remember the netbooks that were going to kill the desktop and laptops?  That did not happen despite all the chatter.  Tablets feel like a fad to me.  Sure they are nice, but you will pry my desktop from my cold dead fingers and I own 3 tablets.

    I hear you but look at the technical press.  Post PC world this and Post PC world that.  And, while the desktop and laptop remain viable businesses, there is little doubt that it is flattening out and maybe headed for a decline.  For the Microsoft leadership, it does not really matter if it is a viable business and that it would remain so for a long time.  Perception is everything With a stock price that has been stuck between $20-30 for ages, Microsoft needs to be perceived as "riding a growth wave".  Otherwise, its stock would decline.  Thus, it is doing everything it can to become attractive to the "Wall Street" crowd that only value revenue "growth", not a steady, profitable situation.

    Thus, it is going the tablet way.  Even if this policy does not work very well, it has fall back positions.  But the aim here is not to serve users at all.  The aim is to jump to a new market, to be perceived as a "leader" and get the stock price moving.  Because, if this does not happen, then Ballmer and Sinofski would be looking for a new gig.

    Yes, I own two tablets myself but most of my work is done on powerful desktops and laptops.  Anything else would be unacceptable.  But since we are really coasting OS-wise since Vista, the need to get more powerful hardware is fast declining and this is reflected in actual sales (and fewer MS OS licenses).  If Microsoft were to push the state of the art, people would have had stronger reasons to buy new equipment; with that, MS partners would have seen their sales go up and MS would have sold more licenses.  I do not have to tell you that this conversation happened inside Microsoft and those who lost are now writing their memoirs. 

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 5:09 PM
  • I guess they don't really want to be at your business any more DrX69.  Microsoft seems to think that selling to billions of consumers is better than selling to millions of businesses.  It seems like someone forgot that businesses are the ones with Real Money to spend.

    Microsoft lowered the price of a Windows 8 Pro upgrade to $39.95 (on special)...  Seems to be an admission of how much it's (not) worth.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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


    The Google, Amazon and Apple model is what Microsoft wants to emulate.  If "consumers" constitute a better market and if this market quintuples the stock price (as it happened with Apple), who really would give a damn about businesses???  If you were the CEO of Microsoft, would you not have done the same thing?  Or would have preferred to get stuck with your old customers and have a stock price that is going nowhere???
    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 5:12 PM
  • I would have considered remaining as one of the only companies developing and supporting the serious use of computers.  Perhaps I'm more of a "Bill Gates" than a "Steve Ballmer" at heart.  :-)

    Greed is not a friend of the advancement of civilization, though the two can cohabitate sometimes.

      

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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


    • Edited by Noel Carboni Wednesday, October 03, 2012 5:20 PM
    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 5:19 PM
  • I would have considered remaining as one of the only companies developing and supporting the serious use of computers.  Perhaps I'm more of a "Bill Gates" than a "Steve Ballmer" at heart.  :-)

    Greed is not a friend of the advancement of civilization, though the two can cohabitate sometimes.

      

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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


    Noel, I have been working in the corporate environment for some time.  The CEO of the company is really obliged to increase the worth of the company in any way possible.  Employees and customers do not figure in this equation.  If a business model is not delivering an increase in the stock price, then another must be sought.  If you were the CEO of Microsoft, you would have been under the same pressures and, probably, reaching the same answers. 

    Ballmer's strategy would be successful if he can carve a slice of the market away from Apple, Amazon and Google.  If not, if this effort is a bust, he would be retiring and Microsoft would undergo the same process that HP is undergoing these days: Huge write-offs and concentrating on core businesses. 

    I still  believe that there is a substantial possibility for a company (not Microsoft necessarily) to develop an exacting and technically superior OS that moves beyond the so-called "maturity" of OSX and Win7.  One can go on to support much higher resolutions, do inventing things with the computing power that we have under the hood and provide support for applications that can be "smart" and inventive.  This would unleash a great wave of hardware improvement.  Unfortunately, we are now playing with tablets and with the "cloud", all not very hardware intensive processes.

    Let's see how this plays out.

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 8:47 PM
  • It's not quite so cut and dried, because a tactic to increase stock value now might lead to a brick wall later.  I've seen far too many top executives take the "get rich quick" way, causing the loss of entire companies.  See the film "Company Men" some time.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 11:49 PM
  • It's not quite so cut and dried, because a tactic to increase stock value now might lead to a brick wall later.  I've seen far too many top executives take the "get rich quick" way, causing the loss of entire companies.  See the film "Company Men" some time.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    I could not agree with you more about taking the long view.  However, my guess is that Microsoft is taking a gamble because it does not think that it is very much of a risk.  If you do not buy Win8, you will buy Win7 and thus Microsoft is not losing revenue.  This is well outlined in the following article:

    http://betanews.com/2012/10/02/windows-8-is-not-about-desktop-market-share/

    I am sure that you know very well that the typical horizon for an US business is the next quarter.  It is all "what you have done for me today".  Companies that take the long view are very few.

    Thursday, October 04, 2012 2:17 AM
  • Wish you could:

    • Boot directly to Windows 8's Desktop rather than to the "Modern" Start Screen?
    • Have a versatile Start button (customizable) on Windows 8’s Taskbar?
    • Have a convenient Shut Down, Restart, Sleep, Switch User, Log Off, etc. button?
    • Have access to Apps, Control Panel, and Search Functions from the Desktop?
    • Download and install: Pokki brings back the Start Menu - Free

    Carey Frisch

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012 6:31 AM
  • There is some mostly intangible value to "keeping current" that has traditionally increased as time goes on (or rather, the value of keeping an old system decreases).  Today, for example, a choice to run Windows XP denies users access to new features.  The question boils down to whether Microsoft, clearly a different company than it once was, is still providing that value.

    • They have actively devalued Windows 8 as compared to its predecessor with the degradation of usability of the desktop (e.g., Start button removal, Aero Glass removal) and the deletion of some other features (e.g., Previous Versions) some find useful.
       
    • It's true that they have also provided a (very) few specific "gee whiz" new features that add value.  For those who need them (e.g., HyperVisor) a reason for upgrading becomes clear.
       
    • Time was, a new version would fix old long-standing design flaws that were costly, increasing the value of the new system.  I don't see a lot of evidence of that having been done in Windows 8.  A number of legacy (File) Explorer bugs remain, among others.  And there are apparently a fair number of new bugs.
       

    Then of course all the hype is flying, which is no surprise when it becomes difficult to detect real value...  Things like "it's faster" (it isn't), "it's cooler" (says who?  Someone you respect?), "it's more secure" (sounds great; just try to nail down "more" and "secure").

    I encourage everyone to find a way to evaluate Windows 8 for yourself.

    Microsoft provides time-limited installation images with which you can do so free of charge.

    Get a virtual machine environment or a test system you don't need for production work or whatever it takes to be able to evaluate the software for yourself without having to disrupt your working environment or walk through a one-way door.  If you find you can use it, and you like it, by all means upgrade.  Just don't assume that since Microsoft has released a new version that you automatically want and need it - "past results are no guarantee of future performance". 

    If you DON'T choose to upgrade, it's no sin (and certainly not worth marking posts as "abusive" over).  Be prepared to re-evaluate the decision again in the future; the balance of value may change over time.

    Good luck to us all.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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


    • Edited by Noel Carboni Friday, December 14, 2012 7:42 PM typo
    Friday, December 14, 2012 7:40 PM
  • There is some mostly intangible value to "keeping current" that has traditionally increased as time goes on (or rather, the value of keeping an old system decreases). 


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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


    I do not think that the notion of "keeping current" applies to Win8 and I will demonstrate why.

    (a) All future improvements would be in the "Metro/WinRT" part of the equation.  The best users can aim for is keeping the desktop as it is, (and it is not as good as in Win7)

    (b) Improvements in Metro/WinRT are not "compatible" with the desktop experience.  I would expect that in the next version of Windows ("Project Blue"?), all OS services and controls would be in "Metro/WinRT" and the desktop would be only utilized for Win32 applications.

    Thus, desktop users will be forced to abandon Windows sooner or later.  One has to decide when to get off, I guess.  One can stay with Win7 for the long haul; one can adopt Win8 + ClassicShell.  It hardly matters, because the next version of Windows would likely be incompatible with desktop use.

    Now, it is possible (but not probable), that Microsoft would relent and change course.  I personally doubt this.  Microsoft is in all the way with Win8.  I do not see the company retreating from this position.  Thus, desktop users would eventually have to face the inevitable demise of Windows from the desktop space.

    Saturday, December 15, 2012 11:23 PM