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Can Windows8 please restore the Start Button? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Without any disrespect to Microsoft, please tell me that locking a desktop user into the Metro interface is a joke.

    If Microsoft really expects me to navigate metro on a daily basis, I'm afraid Windows7 will be the end of the windows line for me.

    Too bad too, because the new "surface" looks like the coolest thing introduced in years.  An iPad with a keyboard and windows?  Perfect!  Never need to bring a laptop traveling again...

    Please introduce an "expert mode" in the control panel or something that brings back the windows look and feel.  If you do, instant hit with "windows 8 and surface", if not, dead end.

    Respectfully,
    Vince

    Friday, June 22, 2012 7:41 PM

All replies

  • It's not going to change, so get over it or goodbye.
    • Edited by AnthonyDa Saturday, June 23, 2012 11:22 AM
    Friday, June 22, 2012 11:02 PM
  • Without any disrespect to Microsoft, please tell me that locking a desktop user into the Metro interface is a joke.

    If Microsoft really expects me to navigate metro on a daily basis, I'm afraid Windows7 will be the end of the windows line for me.

    Too bad too, because the new "surface" looks like the coolest thing introduced in years.  An iPad with a keyboard and windows?  Perfect!  Never need to bring a laptop traveling again...

    Please introduce an "expert mode" in the control panel or something that brings back the windows look and feel.  If you do, instant hit with "windows 8 and surface", if not, dead end.

    Respectfully,
    Vince

    I think they will be a group of people that agree with you but the majority will not care. They will adapt pretty easily to the new method of starting applications. My wife for example never once had an issue with the start button being gone. She never once asked why it was changed. She just figured out that it was different and continued to use her computer. Just saying that Microsoft changing the way people start application is not going to hurt Windows 8.


    Thanks,
    Bobby Cannon
    BobbyCannon.com

    Saturday, June 23, 2012 12:22 AM
  • @SNBLZ

    do not mind Bobby's blabber. He's paid for it by a tablet from Microsoft.


    vjj

    I'm not paid. I got a tablet by attending the Microsoft Build event. So I enjoy using my tablet and using Windows 8 on all my machines. You don't like it but it's all good. I very much enjoy and like W8. It's a great OS now and it'll be even better when it goes gold.

    Thanks,
    Bobby Cannon
    BobbyCannon.com

    Sunday, June 24, 2012 1:54 AM
  • This is an main change in Windows 8. Start Menu should not be restored in RTM..

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012 3:29 AM
    Moderator
  • I remember when we first got Windows 3.1 and everyone complained about the mouse and the space it took up. How much slower the mouse was than Dos... The complaints haven't stopped to this day. Ever year I hear the same complaints about change regardless of the change. At each step during beta from 98 on I've heard this complaints. Yet after people use them and the fear of change and learning something new goes away it's all good and they say they will never leave Windows 95! But you all did. Then you left 98, XP...


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012 3:15 PM
  • I remember when we first got Windows 3.1 and everyone complained about the mouse and the space it took up. How much slower the mouse was than Dos... The complaints haven't stopped to this day. Ever year I hear the same complaints about change regardless of the change. At each step during beta from 98 on I've heard this complaints. Yet after people use them and the fear of change and learning something new goes away it's all good and they say they will never leave Windows 95! But you all did. Then you left 98, XP...


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    This is a great description of what is basically happening with Windows 8. Change is scary sometimes but it's required.

    Thanks,
    Bobby Cannon
    BobbyCannon.com

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012 5:10 PM
  • I remember when we first got Windows 3.1 and everyone complained about the mouse and the space it took up. How much slower the mouse was than Dos... The complaints haven't stopped to this day. Ever year I hear the same complaints about change regardless of the change. At each step during beta from 98 on I've heard this complaints. Yet after people use them and the fear of change and learning something new goes away it's all good and they say they will never leave Windows 95! But you all did. Then you left 98, XP...

    Unfortunately most people including Jensen Harris on the User Experience B8 blog post make this extremely flawed analogy. It shows how the User Experience guys and the senior management has no vision at all, how they are totally clueless and lost. One major difference that is beyond your understanding or Microsoft's is that there was an increase in functionality from Windows 3.1 to 95 or from 98 to XP. Can you tell me if any feature was lost from 3.1 to 95 or from 98 to XP. Sure it was redesigned - the Explorer shell replaced Program Manager but Explorer did everything Program Manager did and more. Whereas there is a reduction of functionality from 7's Start Menu to Windows 8's Start screen. People don't want features taken away from them. Is it SO HARD to understand?
    Tuesday, June 26, 2012 5:16 PM
  • My work around:

    Push the "Windows" button on the keyboard.  (Call it the Metro/Desktop toggle key if you like)

    Right click towards the bottom of the Metro screen, and select "All Apps".

    There is your new Start Menu.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8:15 PM
  • I completely agree.  Metro "MIGHT" be functional on a touchscreen, will be testing that soon, but to think Metro is a good replacement for the traditional start menu in a business environment for standrad laptops/desktops that do NOT have touch screen does indeed feel like a bad pratical joke to me.

    I have been playing with Win8 RP for a couple of days now and its the first new OS that I have tested from MS that I badly wanted to revert within an hour of playing with it.  It is no way shape or form intuitive for a standard mouse and keyboard user.  Sure there are many pre-existing shortcut keys that still work to make it easier but most of our business users I am sure have no idea those even exists.  Case in point:

    To close a running app you can either click with your mouse at the top of the screen and drag downwards to close (or alternatively press Alt+F4).  This is of course if you happen to notice the mouse cursor changes to a hand when placed at the very top.

    Or..hey I want to do something as simple as reboot!  Hmm..let me click around a bit, no dont see it.  Well let me try that "settings" icon in the menu that appears if you hover over the top or bottom right hand corner.  Ahh, so the restart/shutdown option is in the settings menu.  Ehhhhh????  Am I crazy or is that NOT a setting?

    I really hope MS does the right thing and doesn't cram a tablet focused OS into a traditional business desktop/laptop environment.  If they do I smell a VERY slow adoption outside of tablets and touchscreen machines.  :-/

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:22 PM
  • I pray to baby jesus you are wrong..
    Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:23 PM
  • Work around sure, but do you not agree it more cumbersome on many fronts to accomplish the same things you can in Win 7?  OS updates are supposed to makee things faster and easier to work.  Unless you have a touchscreen or a tablet, this logic gets unfortunately reversed.  :-/

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:25 PM
  • Bobby, who would not agree with your statement "Change is scary sometimes but it's required." If it's required and makes sense, who will be opposed to such valuable change? Another thing, unfortunately, is change for the sake of change. Whoever decided that those "negligible" actions like a shutdown could be executed better by a search-and-find game than by the ugly-obsolete-uncomfortable start button, must have experienced a sad childhood or suffered a major trauma during adolescence. "No no, I never will use these traditional methods again. How unconvenient they are! Using just one button to do a multitude of things - forgive me, what a sin. I did forget that using a <Start> button to <shutdown> something is an assault against any designer's principles." Perhaps those heresies should be hidden even deeper - is there no way for any "advanced settings" in the charms bar? "Are you really sure that you want to shut down your computer? Yes/No. Please select advanced settings if you want to continue." Ugh, that would be perfect.

    Understanding Windows is like understanding women.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:04 PM
  • Please, Microsoft, don't forget you've invented Windows, you've inventend the Mouse' optical technology. Please don't forget all the ones, that were praying Microsoft for personal computers. Windows is the OS to work on. We work by hands, we works by fingers. We worked never by touchscreen, but we don't need touchscreen. If you do remove our features for being not touchscreen users, you remove your freak, nerds and geeks to work for you. Don't do this, Microsoft! Do not remove our Windows 7 Start Menu*!!

    I also never did remove Windows Search feature: I only deactivated the service, because there were left (not removed as of uninstall) the search bar within, that searches through all environment paths and is fast also without the deactivated Windows Search Service... So if you deactivate Windows Start Menu, I want do activate it or I keep really on Win7! It was embarrassing enough to promote Vista in days there were no 7!

    • Edited by metadings Wednesday, June 27, 2012 12:47 AM
    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 12:41 AM
  • I don’t know about most of you but how much of the start menu do you use?

    10%, 20%, or 30%?<o:p></o:p>

    Most of the
    icons I click are on pined to my start menu or my last used Programs, I hardly
    go into All Programs. But if I do need a program that is not on the list I just
    use the search box?

    The new start screen in my eye's is far better I can place the applications I
    want on to the screen and place them in groups (Wish I can customise some of
    the icons for old apps) where I want with the most used at the left and less
    used on to the right, and again if there is a far less used application I can
    just start typing?<o:p></o:p>

    P.S Dont point the finger at Microsoft for Vista, you need to look at the OEM and Devlopers for the issues with Vista, MY PC worked perfectly on Vista!
    But microsoft did learn from lazy OEM and Devlopers and you can see this by the Windows 7 version :D

    Smart :D
    Windows Vista = Version 6.0
    Windows 7 RTM = Version 6.1

    Drivers look at the 6 and go ahh well ok install :D


    Technical Beta Tester || Matthew John Earley BSc (hons) || www.o0MattE0o.myby.co.uk

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 8:54 AM
  • I remember when we first got Windows 3.1 and everyone complained about the mouse and the space it took up. How much slower the mouse was than Dos... The complaints haven't stopped to this day. Ever year I hear the same complaints about change regardless of the change. At each step during beta from 98 on I've heard this complaints. Yet after people use them and the fear of change and learning something new goes away it's all good and they say they will never leave Windows 95! But you all did. Then you left 98, XP...


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    This is a silly argument. The Dos environment was still easily accessible in Win 3.1 and win 95 and win2k and winxp and win7 and oh yeah you can still get to the command line interface in win 8. The closest microsoft has ever come to what they are attempting with windows 8 is the switch from 3.1 to 95 and even then no functionality was actually removed it was just a cosmetic change with the additional  feature of the start button and task bar. people could still open folders and navigate mostly the same way as ever if they preferred .

    Don't misunderstand I like the Metro UI for mobile devices but if you are using a mouse and keyboard the old desktop interface is just much more useful particularly as a transitional aid while people get used to the new interface. Eventually people will adapt to the new interface but as they learn it but support for the legacy interface will smooth that transition as people can continue to be productive while learning the ins and outs of the new interface over time rather than having to deal with the cramming of learning a completely new interface from scratch. 

    Not including the Start menu on the Desktop is a stupid decision and should be changed ASAP. People are generally adverse to change, particularly when it's forced on them so forcing said change when it isn't really needed is foolish.

    There is no technical reason to remove the Start Menu, and I suspect it's still sitting buried in the code somewhere just waiting to be re-enabled once they accept the fact that removing it was a bad idea in the first place. 


    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 7:24 PM
  • I don’t know about most of you but how much of the start menu do you use?

    10%, 20%, or 30%?<o:p></o:p>

    Most of the
    icons I click are on pined to my start menu or my last used Programs, I hardly
    go into All Programs. But if I do need a program that is not on the list I just
    use the search box?

    The new start screen in my eye's is far better I can place the applications I
    want on to the screen and place them in groups (Wish I can customise some of
    the icons for old apps) where I want with the most used at the left and less
    used on to the right, and again if there is a far less used application I can
    just start typing?<o:p></o:p>

    P.S Dont point the finger at Microsoft for Vista, you need to look at the OEM and Devlopers for the issues with Vista, MY PC worked perfectly on Vista!
    But microsoft did learn from lazy OEM and Devlopers and you can see this by the Windows 7 version :D

    Smart :D
    Windows Vista = Version 6.0
    Windows 7 RTM = Version 6.1

    Drivers look at the 6 and go ahh well ok install :D


    Technical Beta Tester || Matthew John Earley BSc (hons) || www.o0MattE0o.myby.co.uk

    Not all people use the same 10-30% of their Start menu though also while I too launch my most used programs from the quick bar I use the Start menu when ever I'm looking for stuff I don't use very often and it's a nice intuitive way to get to those via the Start button. In Win 8 I have to go through a far more convoluted process of swiping to the the Metro start screen up then swiping again on a different part of the screen to get the all apps button up (I mean really it's a tiny friggin button how hard would it have been to have simply made a live tile to it?) then look through a several pages of icons and names that are spread all over the place to find what I'm looking for rather than the nice compact context sensitive folder system of the "Start" menu. 

    Once again their is absolutely no reason why MS couldn't have included both means of interfacing with the OS save for some dumb ass in marketing deciding that they'd spent all this money developing this new interface and by god people are going to use it like it or not. (go ask CCP how that worked for them when they tried to force that sort of change on their customer base with their Incarna expansion).

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 7:37 PM
  • And I would think that there will be hacks to put it back? :D

    Technical Beta Tester || Matthew John Earley BSc (hons) || www.o0MattE0o.myby.co.uk

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 9:07 PM
  • This is a silly argument. The Dos environment was still easily accessible in Win 3.1 and win 95 and win2k and winxp and win7 and oh yeah you can still get to the command line interface in win 8. The closest microsoft has ever come to what they are attempting with windows 8 is the switch from 3.1 to 95 and even then no functionality was actually removed it was just a cosmetic change with the additional  feature of the start button and task bar. people could still open folders and navigate mostly the same way as ever if they preferred .

    Don't misunderstand I like the Metro UI for mobile devices but if you are using a mouse and keyboard the old desktop interface is just much more useful particularly as a transitional aid while people get used to the new interface. Eventually people will adapt to the new interface but as they learn it but support for the legacy interface will smooth that transition as people can continue to be productive while learning the ins and outs of the new interface over time rather than having to deal with the cramming of learning a completely new interface from scratch. 

    Not including the Start menu on the Desktop is a stupid decision and should be changed ASAP. People are generally adverse to change, particularly when it's forced on them so forcing said change when it isn't really needed is foolish.

    There is no technical reason to remove the Start Menu, and I suspect it's still sitting buried in the code somewhere just waiting to be re-enabled once they accept the fact that removing it was a bad idea in the first place. 


    I think that much of this discussion starts from an essential misunderstanding.  Metro is not just a UI.  Metro is the UI of Microsoft's portable OS, WinRT.  Win8 is essentially a portable OS, WinRT, that runs Win32 (what we used to call "Windows") in advanced emulation as a subtask.  Removing "Metro" from Win8 would essentially mean removing WinRT and falling back to traditional Windows. The Start Screen is the task launcher of WinRT.  If Microsoft has its way, you would be living exclusively in WinRT (which sports limited multitasking, runs apps only full screen, and only installs applications from the Windows Marketplace).  Win32 (the full multitasking, windowing OS) that you have been used to is now "legacy code".  Applications developed for WinRT would only run in WinRT and Win8 (which is, essentially, WinRT).  They would not run in any previous version of Windows. 

    Thus, with Win8, Microsoft is moving Windows to a whole new code base (WinRT).  In fact, it would retail WinRT by itself in tablets with ARM processors.  Eventually, Microsoft hopes that Win32 (everything that has been Windows so far), would atrophy and die. 

    Why?  It is really simple.  Microsoft no longer thinks that the desktop is a viable business model for the company.  It would support the desktop as a task, but it would not enhance it.  Maybe it would continue supporting it in Win9, but I am sure that the company hopes that it would disappear by Win10.  Assuming developers will not start any new projects for Win32 in the foreseeable future, there would not be any updates of Win32 applications after the next couple of years.  Thus, for all intents and purposes, Win7 (Win32) has  been orphaned.  It would be supported in the next two Windows versions, but this is not the code that Microsoft would be enhancing in the future.

    Thus, Windows will be transformed into "Window".  According to Microsoft, Win7 would continue supporting the desktop/laptop and the company would not shed any tears if the desktop users move on to other OSes.  As said, Microsoft (even in its blogs) strongly believes that the future is in portable computing (smartphones, tablets) and the desktop would only be an supporting environment, not the main one.

    Thus, Microsoft would not put back the Start button.  In fact, it is busy removing any code that would make this possible.  The desktop is only there to support the transition.  It is just an interim measure, until everything moves to WinRT.

    If you do not see the future the way Microsoft does, then plan your migration to something else within the next two years.

    Thursday, June 28, 2012 2:32 AM
  • As you know, I don't fully agree with your pessimistic vision. But there are others who seem to share it. From Gartner's (not always the best in prophecies) we hear:

    "While Microsoft is not forcing anyone to eliminate Win32 applications or preventing developers from writing them, Gartner believes that Win32 and the Windows Desktop will become less strategic over time. Most business users who adopt Windows 8 through to 2015 will spend most of their time in the desktop running Win32 applications and the desktop browser. However, by 2020, analysts believe enterprise end users will spend less than 10 percent of their time in Win32 applications. Most applications (including OS-neutral ones) and the browser will be run from Metro. Eventually, most Win32 desktop applications are likely to be run using server-based computing (SBC) or from hosted virtual desktops." (http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=2061815)

    The most horrifying part of this preview is that Win32 programs wouldn't be "orphaned" but moved to the cloud. Seeing all sorts of connectivity problems, server overloads, etc. today, the networking would need a giant step forwards to fulfill this. Fortunately, some wise old men show their reserves against too much "tabletization":

    "Just giving people devices has a really horrible track record [it's about the use of iPads on campuses]. You really have to change the curriculum and the teacher. And it's never going to work on a device where you don't have a keyboard-type input. Students aren't there just to read things. They're actually supposed to be able to write and communicate. And so it's going to be more in the PC realm—it's going to be a low-cost PC that lets them be highly interactive." (Guess who?, from: http://chronicle.com/article/A-Conversation-With-Bill-Gates/132591/)


    Understanding Windows is like understanding women.

    Thursday, June 28, 2012 11:14 AM
  • As you know, I don't fully agree with your pessimistic vision. But there are others who seem to share it. From Gartner's (not always the best in prophecies) we hear:

    "While Microsoft is not forcing anyone to eliminate Win32 applications or preventing developers from writing them, Gartner believes that Win32 and the Windows Desktop will become less strategic over time. Most business users who adopt Windows 8 through to 2015 will spend most of their time in the desktop running Win32 applications and the desktop browser. However, by 2020, analysts believe enterprise end users will spend less than 10 percent of their time in Win32 applications. Most applications (including OS-neutral ones) and the browser will be run from Metro. Eventually, most Win32 desktop applications are likely to be run using server-based computing (SBC) or from hosted virtual desktops." (http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=2061815)

    The most horrifying part of this preview is that Win32 programs wouldn't be "orphaned" but moved to the cloud. Seeing all sorts of connectivity problems, server overloads, etc. today, the networking would need a giant step forwards to fulfill this. Fortunately, some wise old men show their reserves against too much "tabletization":

    "Just giving people devices has a really horrible track record [it's about the use of iPads on campuses]. You really have to change the curriculum and the teacher. And it's never going to work on a device where you don't have a keyboard-type input. Students aren't there just to read things. They're actually supposed to be able to write and communicate. And so it's going to be more in the PC realm—it's going to be a low-cost PC that lets them be highly interactive." (Guess who?, from: http://chronicle.com/article/A-Conversation-With-Bill-Gates/132591/)


    Understanding Windows is like understanding women.

    I know members of these think tanks.  Members of the Gartner group compile their predictions after talking to Microsoft personnel.  Prior to working through any such long-term predictions, they do have extensive discussions with key members of the company and analyze carefully their postings and opinions.  Thus, what I have stated and what Gartner teams report on, is strongly help Microsoft beliefs.  I have interacted with similar groups in other corporate environments and I know how they work.

    So, have no doubt as to what Microsoft is planning.  They have been saying this to many industry analysts and they have been promoting this view to their developers.  Microsoft wants to abandon Win32 and switch all resources to WinRT.  Had I been a developer today, I would be under great pressure to program for WinRT and abandon all efforts to develop anything for Win32.  WinRT is certainly not the environment in which anybody wants to work on productivity applications.  Neither Office nor Adobe's CS environment, can be run in a non-windowing environment.  But Microsoft believes that the few users who have use of these applications would simply sign on to professional web services that would allow them to work in such an environment through a browser.  For example, you have basic services with the web office suite today if you have Office 365.  What Microsoft would do after releasing Office 15 is to enhance the "Web Office Suite" and you would interact with the full functionality of Office 15 (or 16) only if you are an Office 365 user ($7 a month).  Adobe can certainly offer similar subscription services (and it partially does today).

    Thus, complex computing would migrate to the browser and the cloud for the few that need it (at least, this is the Microsoft projection). In which case, Google's Chrome OS is starting to become a real consideration and Windows 8/9/10 just another portable OS side-show.

    I personally think that Microsoft is doing a major mistake.  Instead of using this time to consolidate its hold on desktop computing and extent its tentacles into the portable world (allowing it to run iOS and Android apps), it is now trying to fight Apple and Google for the portable OS market, surrendering the desktop space to anybody who wants to have it.  It is badly placed to win any of these fights.  Nexus 7 by Google running Android 4.1 can become an impulse buy.  Google is not even interested in making profits there.  It is providing a 7''-inch tablet with the best portable OS currently for $199 and the purchase even includes $25 credit for content!!!! Wow.  On top of that, one can have access to all the content and all the apps in the Windows desktop through Bluestacks or other solutions.  What is not to like?

    Thursday, June 28, 2012 12:55 PM
  • IMO - When Vista was released I started to teach users to avoid start-all programs, and just use Start-search because I found the time users spent visually searching and looking around the GUI was a waste. Some users could spend 5-15 minutes checking each subfolder or looking around for something like Remote Desktop or Snippet. Remote Desktop over the years has moved from one folder to another. It's much faster to just click Start-Search then type Remote, Snip....

    So in Metro where all you have to do is click start then start typing is much faster. This search also indexes Metro apps, settings and other programs like the Store.

    All other daily use Apps, Folders, Website locations are all Pinned to Task bar, Explorer or Favorites (Command Bar) in W7.

    So we had already identified Start Menu as a loss of time and money. We work off of a 20 minutes a day lost productivity over a year adds up to thousands depending upon your pay rate. Add that up for an office and you find it's worth it.

    Metro start allows me to only have the main programs I use and if I need something else it's easy to search and find or click all apps.

    Metro Store saves me as an IT staff member tons of time in install/uninstall times (god send)

    So IMO it's a welcome change, I guess if Microsoft (TOP DOG) identifies it as a problem and a lot of the rest of the world is starting to, maybe you should be asking why you aren't. Microsoft has the best and the brightest in the industry and did create the mouse and windows world. Then I've learned over the years to trust them. Do I trust the OEM's that put crapware on my system NO NO NO! I also had vista systems that worked great without all the ****ware. 

    Metro must work for Keyboards, Mice, Voice, Touch, Pens, Tablets, Kinect, Phones, Xbox controllers and Cars.... Which it does.

    Pre-metro Aero worked for Keyboards and Mice.

    I however do not like having two Taskbars, metro and desktop. Those should be combined. IMO.


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:52 PM
  • IMO - When Vista was released I started to teach users to avoid start-all programs, and just use Start-search because I found the time users spent visually searching and looking around the GUI was a waste. Some users could spend 5-15 minutes checking each subfolder or looking around for something like Remote Desktop or Snippet. Remote Desktop over the years has moved from one folder to another. It's much faster to just click Start-Search then type Remote, Snip....

    So in Metro where all you have to do is click start then start typing is much faster. This search also indexes Metro apps, settings and other programs like the Store.

    All other daily use Apps, Folders, Website locations are all Pinned to Task bar, Explorer or Favorites (Command Bar) in W7.

    So we had already identified Start Menu as a loss of time and money. We work off of a 20 minutes a day lost productivity over a year adds up to thousands depending upon your pay rate. Add that up for an office and you find it's worth it.

    Metro start allows me to only have the main programs I use and if I need something else it's easy to search and find or click all apps.

    Metro Store saves me as an IT staff member tons of time in install/uninstall times (god send)

    So IMO it's a welcome change, I guess if Microsoft (TOP DOG) identifies it as a problem and a lot of the rest of the world is starting to, maybe you should be asking why you aren't. Microsoft has the best and the brightest in the industry and did create the mouse and windows world. Then I've learned over the years to trust them. Do I trust the OEM's that put crapware on my system NO NO NO! I also had vista systems that worked great without all the ****ware. 

    Metro must work for Keyboards, Mice, Voice, Touch, Pens, Tablets, Kinect, Phones, Xbox controllers and Cars.... Which it does.

    Pre-metro Aero worked for Keyboards and Mice.

    I however do not like having two Taskbars, metro and desktop. Those should be combined. IMO.


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    I just do not think that you understand what is happening, but please, soldier on!!!
    Thursday, June 28, 2012 6:14 PM
  • I'll leave it at this:

    Source: http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-killed-the-start-button-because-it-wasnt-used

    Windows 8 brings many new features to the table but one thing the platform will remove, is the traditional start button. If you had been wondering why Microsoft made this controversial decision to remove button, we finally have some insight and the news comes from TechEd Europe.

    PCpro was able to ask Microsoft this question and their response was that the button was no longer being used to the same frequency as previous versions of Windows. Chaitanya Sareen, principal program manager at Microsoft, said that "We’d seen the trend in Windows 7" that users were no longer using the start button but instead pinning applications to the task bar:

    When we evolved the taskbar we saw awesome adoption of pinning [applications] on the taskbar. We are seeing people pin like crazy. And so we saw the Start menu usage dramatically dropping, and that gave us an option. We’re saying 'look, Start menu usage is dropping, what can we do about it? What can we do with the Start menu to revive it, to give it some new identity, give it some new power?

    The evidence that Microsoft gathered stated that keyboard shortcuts and pinning items to the taskbar was reducing the functional utility of the traditional start button. By switching to the Metro start screen, you unlock an entire new set of experiences and avenues to display relevant information. 

    While many may object to this trend, data does not lie. If this is what Microsoft was seeing on their end via the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program, then maybe they were right. But the question is, do you still use the start button or did keyboard shortcuts and pinning items reduce your usage as Microsoft suggests? 

    Source: PCPro

    Thanks for the tip Gregg!


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    Thursday, June 28, 2012 7:18 PM
  • What you, Microsoft, "have seen" is the data from Customer Experience Improvement Program. The data, what most users that know something about computers, do deactivate. In 100% users the 5% power users (of that you see 20%) are going under in your data. You do not see, how power users do use Windows. You introduced Win+X, why? Why don't you simply LEAVE the super bar's start menu for Windows Desktop users!?

    > We’re saying 'look, Start menu usage is dropping

    Of course, the "Superbar" is a thing not wasting space for holding some icons. But the Start Menu was useful for all other things, that can't all be pinned to taskbar. It hold not commonly used applications, simple file links like radio links and any other shell thing, what Metro does not. It was useful for running commands and running commands as Administrator.

    It is much simpler as 'Metro' because of not wasting the full screen!

    As of Win9x, now in Win8, I got back the application's desktop icons...

    "Windows" means not one window. Windows means window's. A Menu is a Window.

    Let Windows be Windows! It is not a toy for dummies !

    P.S: Microsoft did also invent the second and the third mouse button. You found the context menus.
    Where do you want to go today? Three steps back? Create a two fingers gesture for right clicking (press + tap)!

    • Edited by metadings Sunday, July 1, 2012 4:54 PM
    Saturday, June 30, 2012 10:56 AM
  • What's your point Windows 7 has bugs too? You're talking about 90%+ of the computers in the world and you don't expect bugs? Apples on 10% of computers in the world. They control their hardware and still can't get it together much less be safe and secure.

    Nothing in technology is perfect and it will never meet 100% of your needs or be perfect for you. Microsoft is making a platform for the world and since you don't have much of a choice you can like it or you have hate it up to you or you can use Linux or apple. Good luck.

    I enjoy my Microsoft world and learned along time ago you can't win fighting the machine. Skynets already taken over.


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012 2:49 PM
  • I have finally gotten around to testing this since it always blue screened on me in software virtualization environments, and i must say that trying to use windows 8 on a computer/laptop instead of a tablet is like trying to use a desktop or a laptop without a mouse.

    For the most part all of the metro functionality is not useful on a desktop or a laptop and it feels as if you are missing the experience without a touch screen interface. 

    it is clearly designed with tablets and smartphones in mind, the problem is the desktop is not dead yet and it will not be for a long time especially in business environments.

    a suggestion would be to have "Desktop mode" which loads a traditional desktop and "tablet/mobile" mode which loads metro depending on if you are running it on desktop, laptop or docked tablet or smartphone or on an undocked tablet/smartphone.

    it should be relatively easy to accomplish by detecting if it's loaded on a tablet/phone or a desktop, if the tablet or phone is connected to a docking station or not.

    windows 8 as a tablet and smartphone OS seems great, one thing that has slowed the adoption of tablets over laptops for mobile users is a lack of windows apps.

    as a desktop OS though everything new aside from behind the scenes stuff (storage spaces, windows to go, etc.) seems unnecessary in a business environment. 

    with the learning curve of non-technical users this will decrease productivity in the workplace, people will stick to windows 7 until end of life without a true desktop/professional option which strips out the tablet/phone like interface.


    • Edited by mnri Wednesday, July 4, 2012 3:30 AM
    Wednesday, July 4, 2012 2:38 AM
  • Lol this is a deal breaker for me XD. I might get W8 and put it on a flash drive for a week just to see whats new but I'm not gonna use it, When I get a new computer with W8, I''m formatting and putting W7 on it. That is if they don't change it, It would be great if you can just turn off the hole metro thing and it will just boot into desktop mode so you can still use the better power management that W8 has. The start menu I use multiple times every 30 minutes, I don't know anyone who doesn't use it O_o. Lol when I first read about this I thought they meant the physical keyboard button, which makes sense but the button in the corner of the screen is a big no no for me.

    Microsoft needs to not forget the desktop and laptop users, 5 years from now I still probably wont have a touch screen main computer, I simply hate touching my screen and getting it all smudgy, not to mention it's no good for games which windows is strong at. There are a lot of people out there who are like me and I think it would be a wise decision to make new features (and in this case taking away features) completely 100% optional, and even when Installing windows 8 they should make it an option to have a custom install that allows you to not install metro with it at all. Why not put a little more customization and options (something windows is also strong at) to please as much people as possible.


    • Edited by Dataanti Wednesday, July 4, 2012 4:53 PM
    Wednesday, July 4, 2012 4:41 PM
  • What about when Microsoft rolls out "security updates" for Windows 7 that slow it down and make it less stable?  No, they wouldn't do that, would they?

    Eliminate the Start button.  No, they wouldn't do that, would they?

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012 9:52 PM
  • My first thought when I saw metro and all this was why didn't they make it (Click start for normal menu, hold start 2 seconds... get metro menu) It's not a hard solution.

    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 4:16 PM
  • I can live without the Start Button but what aggravates me no end are the four hot spots at each corner of the screen.  I frequently trigger them accidentally. I would dearly love an option to require a mouse click to activate the hot spot rather than simply a mouse over.  I have a current customer with Windows 7 that was frequently triggering the Aero Peek hot spot and it was driving him nuts until I disabled it for him.  I can just imagine the complaints if he ever moves to Windows 8.

    Jerry

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 7:25 PM
  • I agree, I have dual screens so there are 8 of them and it's hard to not hit them, hit the correct one or hit charm when you want. most the time the charm bar is delayed and doesn't load fast.

    I did want to add this link and blog response you might not have seen. It really helped me understand MS and the Start Screen.

    This makes me feel much better about this entire W8 change over. MS did their research and knows what they are talking about.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/11/reflecting-on-your-comments-on-the-start-screen.aspx I'm going to post it here so people will read it. It really talks in details about a lot of the complaints we and problems we've talked about.

    ---------

    Reflecting on your comments on the Start screen

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    Steven Sinofsky

    Microsoft Corporation

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    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 3:00 PM    
        
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    We've been having a lot of discussion regarding the two recent posts on the Windows 8 Start experience. Those of you who have used the Developer Preview are contributing to our understanding of your individual usage patterns and what is easier or more difficult than in Windows 7. As a reminder, we released Windows Developer Preview build with the full product "enabled" even though we still had much feature work to do in the user interface. We did this in order to foster the dialog and we want folks to understand that the product is not done. We've seen some small amount of visceral feedback focused on "choice" or "disable"—a natural reaction to change, but perhaps not the best way to have a dialog leading to a new product. We’re going to focus this post on making sure we heard your constructive feedback around the design as we continue to evolve it. Marina Dukhon, a senior program manager lead on the Core Experience team, authored this post focused on specific comments and the actions we are taking based on what you have said. --Steven

    On behalf of the team, I want to thank everyone for their active engagement on the Start screen blogs over this past week. We have been following all of the comments and responding as much as we can. We know major changes like this can be controversial and we are looking forward to continuing this dialog with you. I wanted to address some of the specific topics that have been brought up so far as they pertain to the design. I know this doesn’t address all of your questions, but rest assured that we are listening and will be continuing this ongoing conversation.

    Does the data support all customers?

    @Andrew wrote:

    "I'd like to point out that this data you collect is most likely from non-corporate users, you're basing all your statistics around home users and not business users. Most enterprises will turn off the CEIP by default in Group Policy as a security precaution and to prevent chatter from the network."

    Andrew, while it’s true that some enterprises choose not to enable the CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program, which gives us anonymous, opt-in feedback about how people are using Windows,) we still receive a huge amount of data from this program, including from enterprise customers. In addition, knowing the region, language, edition, and deployment attributes of the product allows us to further refine the data as needed. We often refer to this data as a full "census" (again noting that the data is opt-in and anonymous) as the number of unique data points is magnitudes beyond a "sampling."

    In addition to the CEIP program, we have a wide variety of channels to our corporate customers to understand their needs. For example, we collect feedback continuously during direct engagement with customers (such as during on-site visits and in our briefing centers around the world), from advisory council and early-adopter program members, and at public events such as TechEd and //build/. We also work closely with industry analysts (via consultations and their research) and execute a wide range of our own research studies directly. From these interactions, we know the kind of functionality and control that enterprises want over the Start menu and we are definitely taking these into account as we are designing and developing the changes for Windows 8.

    When you look at the data, we can see that enterprise customers do, in fact, have some different experiences with their Start menus:

    • While 81% of home users have the default links like Control Panel, Games, and Documents on right hand-side of the Start menu , fewer than 2% of our enterprise customers have this experience.
    • Most people have removed some items in this part of the Start menu (with Games and Media Center entry points most often removed).
    • Enterprise users are launching pinned Start menu apps 68% more often than home users, but the usage of pinned items is still less than 10% of the sessions.
    What are we doing with this information?

    In general, individual enterprise customers are using Start menus that their administrators have customized. Using this research and our engagement with the enterprise community, we are working on special features that can help address the need for customization in the Start screen. For example, enterprises can remove items like Games and Help & Support from the Start screen. For Windows 8, we support deployment scenarios that include Start screens with a layout of tiles that matches their business group’s needs, allowing for an even greater number of pinned apps to be pre-defined for their users. We also support the managed lockdown of customization of the Start screen so that it is consistent across the corporation. These features have been built especially for our enterprise customers, taking into account the existing functionality that we have provided in the past and the needs that we perceive they will have in the future. And as many know, tech-savvy individuals can use these customizations as well.

    Is Start less effective for “at a glance” viewing of my PC?

    @mt327000 wrote:

    "The Start Screen feels like a mess of icons, having all of the problems with the Start Menu you described and adding some of its own. I keep a very neat and orderly desktop, and can see everything on my computer in a glance in the "All Programs" view introduced in Windows Vista. To me, the Start Screen just doesn't work, nor does it have any advantages over the superior Start Menu."

    The comments have been very clear that knowing what’s on your PC and seeing it at a glance is an important aspect of feeling in control. Let’s talk a little bit about how this works in the Start menu and how it compares to the Start screen.

    In the Start menu today, when you expand the All Programs flyout, by default you can see a total of 20 apps without scrolling, regardless of how big your monitor is. In one of our studies, we found users launched an average of 57 different apps over the course of several months. And this doesn’t even include the large number of websites that people use day to day (for the purposes of launching and pinning we believe counting websites is important), some of which may evolve into Metro style apps. So you can see how a little window that shows 20 items does not prove scalable in this scenario. The comments have been clear that this scale is routine for those that are reading the blog, and we believe your usage would skew in this direction.

    All Programs on the Start menu

    Once apps are installed on the machine, you’ll likely need to scroll All Programs view in order to see all app folders

    In addition to the limited real estate, apps in All Programs are buried under folders and subfolders of hierarchy, without any iconography to help you navigate to the right place. To make matters worse, things are often jumping around as you expand and collapse folders looking for the right app, making the experience even less efficient. Some have noted that this limitation is a design regression from the Windows XP Start menu. While technically that is true, we are fundamentally working with a menu, and as such, it is a single column with hierarchy that requires significant dexterity to navigate. The feedback around the scale of the old Windows XP design was resoundingly negative over time and led to the redesign for Vista and Windows 7.

    In Windows 8 we assume that there are even more apps (and sites) than the XP/Vista/7 eras and so we needed even more scale. We also wanted to provide an at-a-glance view and a navigation model that requires much less dexterity. By using the full screen, we can now show more apps without the need to scroll or navigate hierarchy. By flattening the hierarchy, we provide a way for you to leverage the iconography of the apps and remove the burden of clicking through folders trying to find an app under its manufacturer’s name. Over time this will also address another common complaint, which is that when renaming, combining, or reorganizing folders (which you might do in order to keep the menu from wrapping) you would lose the ability to uninstall cleanly, and thus subject yourself to a periodic garbage collection of your Start menu to avoid dead links.

    As we will talk about later in this post, the dexterity required to navigate a very large menu interface is inconsistent with good user interface design. Even if the items you wish to target are rarely targeted, the whole experience is degraded when constrained to a menu. Some have suggested that using XP-style menus that wrap around the screen, or increasing the size of today’s Start menu would “solve” the issues we are working to solve. Below we will talk about Fitts’ Law and how no increase in size or wrapping will address this. As DPI and monitor sizes increase, it becomes increasingly difficult to zig-zag around the menu to hit narrow buttons. Here is a screen shot submitted via a comment by @Bleipriester, where you can see the mouse “path” required as well as the additional navigation aid of the down/up chevrons. Keep this in mind as we discuss Fitts’ Law below.

    @Bleipriester’s Start menu proposal, with 3 columns of navigation

    @Bleipriester’s evolved Start menu, showing several columns of navigation

    Thus as your monitor gets bigger, the Apps screen (an all-apps view of the Start screen) becomes more powerful. Here is how the number of apps that show up in the Apps screen grows across different monitor sizes in our latest builds:

    Likely form factor

    Size
    (inches)

    Resolution(s)

    # Tiles on 1 page of Apps screen

    # of Items on 1 page of All Programs

    Laptop

    12.1

    1280x800

    36

    20

     

    13

    1366x768

    40

    20

     

    13.3

    1440x900

    42

    20

    Desktop

    21.5

    1920x1080

    80

    20

     

    23

    1920x1080

    80

    20

     

    27

    2560x1440

    150

    20

    Estimated number of apps visible on the Apps screen across different monitors

    Your comments have been clear and we agree with many of the design issues you’ve raised. Some of you have mentioned how it’s difficult to find an app when its folder name is no longer available and how completely removing the folder structure has made it difficult to find an app that came in a suite.

    To cite @aroush:

    The current metro-list of all apps is not suitable, since that lists everything alphabetically and I don't know the names of all those additional programs."

    We are working on addressing this feedback as we speak. Here is our latest design of the Apps screen, which would add back the structure that you’re used to with folders in All Programs today.

    Redesigned Apps screen with suites of apps organized in groups

    You can see here that, as in the Start menu, suites of apps are now organized in groups, instead of in one alphabetical list. This way, if you are looking for something that you know came in your Visual Studio suite, but can’t recall the exact name of the app, it should be much easier for you to find. And your alphabetical list should no longer be cluttered with app tiles that have obscure names because the developer was relying on the folder name to convey the actual name of the executable.

    In addition to adding folder structure to this screen and organizing apps within their respective suites, we are also making this view denser. Fitting even more content helps you see what your computer has installed at a glance and decreases the need to scroll. It also decreases the need to navigate a wrapping menu structure or maintain folders or nested folders of programs.

    With this design, we improved the scannability of your system, giving you confidence about what is on it at any given time.

    Does the new Start support the kind of customization I require to be productive for my work?

    @Ed1P wrote:

    "While I can see that the Metro style Start replacement works well for touch screens on small form-factor computers it will dramatically reduce my productivity on a desktop with a large widescreen monitor. I have 50 apps+folders that I visit regularly during the course of a working session. I do not now use my customized Windows 7 Start Menu (yes you CAN customize it, and do all the things Alice says are impossible, just by right-clicking on 'All Programs' at the base of the start menu and rejigging the Program Folders), Instead I now use the free Stardock Fences app which allows me to group these as immediately accessible tiles on the screen.

    I recognize the similarity between my groups of Stardock Fences and Metro Start Screen 'pages', however the one big difference which makes Fences more productive than Metro is that I can have them grouped and pinned vertically on the left hand side of my screen, leaving the right hand side free for live update gadgets and the center as a very workable 1200x1024 area --- I can happily code or 3D model in this area and instantly switch what I'm doing while still keeping an eye on Live updates. I rarely use the taskbar, it just becomes an autohide alert area.

    Metro would be much more usable for my desktop layout if it were possible to use it vertically and pin it to the side. Even better, if it can be split in two vertically scrollable areas - Live updates/gadgets in one area and app, folder/file launching in another, leaving me a large area of working screen real estate in the center."

    Thanks for writing this up. You’ve obviously taken a lot of time to customize your machine to get it how you like it. This is a good example of how Windows is able to provide flexibility to our wide breadth of users. We will continue supporting such flexibility in Windows 8 and we expect there to continue to be a wide array of 3<sup>rd</sup> party launchers available to users to meet their specific needs. A good deal of obvious extensibility was intentionally omitted from the Developer Preview and will be there in the final product—colors and backgrounds, for example. But let’s focus on this advanced level of customization.

    The level of customization that you have applied to your machine is certainly something that we consider an “advanced” user might do. Your level of advancement is also apparent in your app and folder usage within a working session. The table shows what we see people doing on their machines during the course of a working session:

    Peak number of open windows

    % of sessions

    0-5

    20.40%

    6-9

    49.30%

    10-14

    21.30%

    15-19

    4.60%

    20-24

    2.69%

    25-29

    1.30%

    30-39

    0.23%

    40-49

    0.08%

    50-59

    0.03%

    60-79

    0.03%

    80-99

    0.01%

    100+

    0.03%

    The maximum number of windows people have open at a given time during a session

    So you can see that your numbers are certainly beyond our “average” user, but we do have users of all levels using our system. At the low end, some folks might say this represents a “quick” session where you log on to do one thing and then log off (and even professionals do that). At the high end, this data might also include people who inadvertently launched malware and had tons of open windows. That’s why when looking at the data in aggregate we are confident that the averages tend to work out to be realistic. We know that there’s a tendency to try to use data to make one point or another—that’s why we want to provide the full context of the data here and make sure any limitations are understood. We provide this data to illuminate choices in the design, not to prescribe them.

    While some might say we design the system for the low-end, that is not the case at all. At the other end of the spectrum, we hope everyone can see that designing the system for the high end would put a conceptual burden on broad set of customers. Our design point is to focus on a sweet spot and to provide the flexibility for the high end. There's nothing new to our approach here and it is how we approach Windows design overall.

    One of the popular aspects of Fences is that you can group your items together in a logical manner and even name your groups. But you also pointed out the difficulty in this design – the groups are on the desktop, which inherently sits underneath all of your open windows, making it difficult to get to while you’re in the midst of working on something. Since I don’t know what your setup looks like, it’s hard to know if my assumptions below are correct, but perhaps I can assume what at least some with this approach might have to manage around routinely (though from the sound of things you work hard to find a careful balance). One would spend time reorganizing the workspace to allow open windows to sit next to your launcher, allowing yourself to quickly access the launcher and keep an eye on the live updates, but at the cost of less screen real estate and more manual and fragile window management.

    The value of arranging content on a 2-D plane

    Another important aspect of Fences is the spatial arrangement that you can use to organize shortcuts. We know that remembering where something is located is much easier in a 2-dimensional space than in a 1-dimensional list. Our brains are naturally inclined to remember location, in addition to other properties like color and size. So finding an item that you already remember is in the top right of your screen is often faster than scanning through an alphabetical list. Another common critique of Start menu folders is that they all start with the same letter and differentiating requires reading several words in (for example, graphics professionals have a lot of folders starting with "A" for one manufacturer of those tools).

    There is a large body of research to support that having multiple characteristics or attributes makes it easier to locate a specific item quickly and efficiently.  Windows already takes advantage of this, by showing details about files or search results, or showing both a thumbnail and a title for windows you have open.  We designed the Start screen to take advantage of characteristics of human cognitive processing. These characteristics are basic neurological patterns baked into the evolution that got us to using computers in the first place:

    • Human spatial memory - Your ability to remember where you put something or where something will appear.  This also includes taking advantage of spatial relationships, how different items are located in space relative to each other.
    • Muscle memory - A motor task that becomes automatic and can be performed without conscious effort.
    • Chunking – Grouping of items to make them easier to recall later.
    • Signal detection theory – Your ability to identify an item of interest even when there is lots of ”noise” or items which are not of interest.

    We wanted to create a design that capitalizes on these attributes. With the All Programs view and the Most Frequently Used (MFU) or Pinned lists in the Start menu, we were very limited in terms of space and layout. It is impossible to develop a rich spatial framework with a one-dimensional list.  With the Start screen we can take advantage of a two-dimensional space. Microsoft Research has demonstrated in a series of different research studies, including their work on spatial memory for document management, for information retrieval, and on the Task Gallery, that it is possible to improve retrieval of items, even after 6 months of disuse, by adding richer organization over one-dimensional visual text lists. We wanted to take advantage of this effect to make it faster to locate specific apps on the Start screen. 

    Many have mentioned using large monitors or multiple monitors. While the immediate reaction has been that the Start screen is less optimal for this approach, our design goal has been precisely to bring enhanced functionality for this environment. As with many cases, it should be no surprise to learn that the development team comprises a large number of very high tech power users with multiple HD+ screens running many Win32 applications all the time. The Start screen on a central monitor allows for the most rapid “in and out” of launching and switching when you are using a large number of apps and sites. And at the same time, the ability to have a heads-up display of status across a variety of (yet to be written) business applications will provide a new level of functionality.

    Taking advantage of spatial arrangement on the Start screen

    The grouping of tiles in the Start screen was designed with these principles in mind. We know that sizes of groups will naturally vary based on the kinds of items that you’re throwing together. Not only does this flexibility help with organization, but it also helps by creating a heterogeneous layout where shapes and sizes vary from group to group. This makes it easier to find a tile when you know it’s in a small group with an uneven edge on its right side or in a large group that looks like a full rectangle.

    A schematic representation of the Start screen layout

    Start screen layout takes advantage of position, shape, co-location, and color to help you find apps

    In addition to group sizes and shapes, I can leverage several other factors to find my tile. Whether it’s because it is at the top right of a group (the red tile), next to the wide green tile in the big group (the black tile), the first square tile at the top of my big group (light blue tile), or the last tile in my Start screen (yellow tile), I have several attributes I can now rely on to find something. The same thing happens when you look at groups of tiles – I can use general color and group shape to identify the group that contains my games or the group that contains my news apps as I scroll through the screen.

    Explaining spatial recognition through evolution

    From an evolutionary perspective, this type of recognition is rooted in our most basic survival skills in our subconscious. Humans use more than one sense to map a stimulus. You need to locate each stimulus (where is it?) and triage it (will it eat me?). You also need to remember it for future processing and comparison. The key to making this fast and fluid is to present enough information that you can select correctly and remember your selection, without taking so much processing that your brain needs to pause to interpret what it has just perceived.

    If all of this sounds familiar, it is basically why iconic presentations tend to be more efficient. It is also why irregular patterns can provide visual cues that reduce the need to process information, and rely just on sensory-motor skills. And of course, it is why large blocks of similarly formatted text in a menu (or graphical buttons) can take the most time and brain processing power. Here's a good layperson's article on elements of visual perception and of course there are many deep technical articles as well.

    Incidentally, some folks have suggested we use less spacing, more transparency, or rounded corners to add more visual "candy" to the design. The clarity of spacing, solid edges and backgrounds, and rectangles is a significant improvement in the ability to identify your programs and to prevent overloading your brain causing headaches and the like (see this University of Massachusetts examination of the edge enhancement illusion and this one on the value that colors provide). Essentially these aesthetic additions trick your brain into thinking it needs to spend more time "understanding" the stimuli rather than just reacting to what it perceives.

    How we are  making customization better

    In terms of customization, you are definitely correct in saying that today you can customize the existing Start menu. The method that @Ed1p mentioned allows you to rename folders (breaking uninstall), move around files (breaking per user and per machine setup) and basically reorganize the tree of apps that exist on the system. For those brave souls out there who want to use drag and drop within the Start menu, this is also possible (albeit highly error prone).

    However, these are very advanced ways of customizing your system, and unfortunately do not scale to a broad set of customers even if we initially intended them to. Not only do they take a lot of time, but the method is indirect since you’re not actually working within the Start menu. So it requires a lot of burdensome back and forth between Explorer windows and menu flyouts to get to the final result.

    The personalization of the Start screen is one of the features that we want to make great, and we’re still iterating on it and to make it better. In the Windows Developer Preview, you can already try flexible group sizes, unpinning tiles, and resizing wide tiles to square tiles. And in the Beta, you’ll also be able to use other improvements based on this dialog, in addition to creating, naming, and rearranging groups.

    @drewfus pointed out:

    "When i said 'The list of apps (and hence tiles) on a PC is neither known nor fixed', i was alluding to the fact that this list is not constant - it grows over time, but more importantly that the chronological order of additions in no way matches the importance of new additions (except by coincidence), resulting in a constant impact on the users existing Start layout."

    This is a good point – your set of apps is likely going to continue to grow and change over time and you may find your new favorite apps months after you first organized your Start screen. Our goal is to balance your ability to keep control over your Start screen (i.e. not impacting what you’ve already organized when you acquire new apps by putting them at the end), while also making it simple to change it when you want. Group rearranging helps enable the particular scenario that @drewfus mentions – as you get more apps over time, it’s quite possible that your new favorite apps are now at the end of your Start screen. With group rearranging, we make it easy for you to move an entire group of apps to the front, without having to move them one tile at a time and you can just as easily demote a group of apps and put them at the end.

    The Developer Preview was obviously incomplete in this regard, and given the importance we attach to this, we fully expect to land on a solution that combines flexibility with overall improvement that justifies the change from previous products.

    The ability to put apps where you want them in a spatial layout, to use groupings to better enable recognition, and to move the tiles around on the screen should be a vast improvement over the Start menu. We believe this opens up a whole new world of organization and customization that will dramatically improve working with extremely large sets of apps and shortcuts.

    Did you just make us invest in jump lists and then take them away?

    @tN0 wrote:

    “Implement Jump Lists to the Live Tiles at the Start screen. Swiping up on a tile or right click could bring up a Jump List.”

    Having a way to quickly access content within an app is a great feature and we're happy to see the enthusiasm and increasing usage for jump lists in Windows 7. We have developed something new for Metro style apps that builds on the jump list concept. We think it will be even more powerful for end-users and an even richer opportunity for app developers. But first, some background on jump list usage in Windows today.

    Current usage of jump lists

    Though jump lists are often referenced with positive energy by our enthusiast users, the fact of the matter is that the usage of jump lists in the Start menu (most recently used documents for an app, for example) has not really gained as much traction as on the taskbar. To compare, 20% of sessions record a click to open a taskbar jump list, while only 1.2% of sessions record a click to invoke a Start menu jump list. People also use hover to invoke the Start menu jump list (and drag to invoke the taskbar jump list), but it’s difficult to use these numbers because we can’t tell whether the menu was opened intentionally or simply because the mouse was hovering over the item long enough to trigger it. Either way, even with accidental activations via mouse hover, at best, the Start menu jump lists are used half as often as those of the taskbar.


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 8:13 PM
  • Part 2

    Applying this to Metro style apps

    Given this data, we knew it was important to keep jump lists on the taskbar for your most commonly used desktop apps. But, we wanted to build something more customized for Metro style apps. The downside of existing jump lists is that they’re limited to what Windows understands best– files. This is great for file-centric apps, but apps today are moving away from the notion of files and turning to hosted content, which makes the concept of document jump lists less relevant.

    Instead of building on and promoting file structure, our view for Metro style apps is more app-centric. The apps know better what kind of content they host: whether it’s an RSS feed, an album, a score tracker, or a person’s profile, and they can do a much better job exposing quick access to this content to the user. This content doesn’t involve files on the system that Windows knows about – it’s knowledge within the app. We’ve expanded the jump list concept to provide semantically richer links.

    But we don’t want to have to manage several lists of our favorite stuff. One of the promises of the Start screen is that it is your personal place to host the apps that you love. We based the secondary tiles feature, on the notion that people want fast access to app content that they require for work, and they want a single, predictable place to access it. With this feature, any Metro style app can allow a user to pin a new tile to their Start screen that can navigate them to any part of the app. The tile can even be live, providing updates for that specific content. There's no reason a file-centric app would not provide this same functionality for files. We know from usage data that people are fairly meticulous and deliberate in reusing common documents—MRUs composed of pinned files are extremely popular in Office apps and on the taskbar. The support we provide for developers makes this straightforward.

    For example, I can have a social tile of my best friend pinned to my Start screen and keep up to date with her updates. Or I can track the XKCD feed from my RSS reader. Or quickly jump to a playlist that I like to listen to in the morning the same way I would have from a jump list. We expect line of business applications to allow this “deep linking” to specific machines for monitoring, account information, or other exception handling (as we described with our bug tracking application). All from the Start screen. All of these organized among other apps that I like to use, so they are fast to access and get me quickly to the content that I want to consume.

    Building on secondary tiles

    We’re continuing to invest in enabling Metro style app developers to provide personal and rich content to their users through live tiles. Secondary tiles will be a big part of making your machine feel more useful and personal, and something that you love to use. To help, we’re building even more live tile templates into our catalog so that developers can enable more scenarios for their users.

    Overall, isn't this a real usability problem?

    @mt327000 wrote:

    "All the requests for a return of the classic Start Menu are not just complaints about change. To me, the new Start Screen actually feels less efficient than the Start Menu. I will admit, some commenters on this blog have gone too far and resorted to mudslinging to make their point, but from a scientific perspective, if you measure usability of Windows 7 and of Windows 8 in terms of click counts, Windows 7 wins hands down. This is not simple complaining, but a real usability problem that Microsoft will hopefully fix."

    We do have to assert that efficiency, that is, time to accurately complete a task, is of paramount importance in design. We never say "most important" because we consider a broad range of attributes in designing how a feature works (resource utilization, reliability, accessibility, localizability, security, training, discoverability, and so on). As we work to improve our products, both in terms of efficiency and usability, we consider several factors for user interface approaches, such as mouse mileage, target size, loading time, parsing time, and mouse click counts (among others). It’s likely that in any change, there are efficiency gains and sometimes efficiency losses, but we take great pains to achieve a net gain in efficiency when all of these are considered.

    One common theme in the comments has been an immediate rejection of change with the assumption that any change will reduce productivity so much that it will never be regained. One analogy we use looks at improvements in roads or traffic flow—for example, a new lane or exit. These types of projects might take years and during construction, we all might get frustrated at how much time we lose. But once the project is done, our use of the road is improved every single day, and so is the usage by everyone else—the net gain is to the whole universe of travelers, present and future. This comes at some near term cost to current users, but the net is an improvement for everyone. Yet we know that during construction we're all the type of folks who sit and calculate whether we will ever make up for the time lost—this is the concern we hear. Unlike road construction, we design our changes to Windows so the payback comes for everyone in the span of hours, days, or perhaps weeks. If improving traffic flow started from the premise that no one would be interrupted even for a little bit, then there would never be any improvements and everyone’s usage would gradually decay. With Windows we see the same challenges—we need to improve the product for new uses and new hardware capabilities, and as such, there is always some transition. Much like engineering roads, you don’t keep both paths open and operational in parallel. But fortunately, unlike construction, you can control your own PC and can choose to switch when you want. This is especially the case for businesses as we commit to a 10-year minimum lifecycle.

    One small example of this net gain is the ability to press the Windows key and immediately start typing to search for an app. Even though the search box doesn’t appear on the screen, we did extra work to make sure you can type right away, thus protecting the efficiency of searching for apps. Our design choice means that there is a short period before people discover this feature, but once they do, they see a huge efficiency gain. As a practical matter, the discoverability of this feature usually happens within hours of usage of Windows 8, as we have seen in the tweets regarding usage of the Developer Preview. Even if it doesn't, the search command is in fact still there—the edit control is two clicks away. And we make things better for everyone by not having the UI clutter.

    Mouse distance and mouse clicks

    There has been a common thread in the comments when discussing efficiency that focuses on number of mouse clicks and mouse travel distance. Though these are important measures of efficiency, another factor that strongly plays into this equation is the target size. Many of you already know about Fitts' Law, but let’s do a quick summary of what this is and how it applies to software.

    Fitts' Law is named after Paul Fitts, a psychologist at Ohio State University, with expertise in aviation. He developed his research to model cockpit ergonomics and created a model that was formulated to project how quickly a human can point at a physical button. Soon after, people started applying this model to software, tracking how quickly someone can target something on the screen with a mouse.

    The mathematical formula is somewhat complex, but the basic premise is as follows:

    • The farther away a target is, the longer it takes to acquire it with a mouse
    • The smaller a target is, the longer it takes to acquire it with a mouse

    So the speed with which a target can be clicked on with a mouse is a factor of both size and distance:

     Small square: This is close, but small, so more accuracy is required to target it; Large square: This is further away, but large, so less accuracy is required to target it, thus making it easier and faster to click on.
    The closer the target, the faster you can hit it. The larger the target, the faster you can hit it.

    One common formula that can be used to compare two hit targets more mathematically is the Shannon formulation:

    T = a + b log 2 (1 + D/W)

    Where:

    • T is the average time taken to acquire the target.
    • a and b are empirical constants determined through linear regression.
    • D is the distance from the starting point to the center of the target.
    • W is the width of the target measured along the axis of motion (how close to the target you need to get to acquire it.)
    How does Fitts’ apply to Windows 8?

    One of the most obvious ways to apply this in Windows 8 is with the Start button. Although we optimized Charms for touch (with the Start button accessible with a swipe from the right edge of the screen,) we preserved the notion of a control in the far left corner for mouse users. The corners are considered infinitely wide when it comes to Fitts’ Law, which makes UI in this location the easiest to target. It was important to keep the efficiency of the Start button high for our users, so we were adamant about making sure that this is not something we lost as we created a new UI paradigm.

    The other obvious example of Fitts’ Law in action is the Start screen. In general, tiles are further away from your mouse cursor than entry points in the Start menu, but they are also larger in size, which helps negate the efficiency loss that was introduced with distance, and even brings efficiency gain.

    We took a look at desktop monitors, and by controlling for constants a and b because we’re on the same device, and varying D and W based on the targets in the Start menu and Start screen, we calculated the speed of acquiring an app link. We then applied a heat map to show the results and see the following comparisons:

     Start menu overlaid with a heat map. Items at top (farthest away from mouse) are red, items in middle are yellow, and items at bottom (closest to mouse) are green.
    Heat map of time to reach items in the Start menu from the Start button
    (green items are the fastest to get to, red items are the slowest)

     Heat map of time to reach tiles in the Start screen from the Start button. Green tiles are in lower left corner, closest to mouse, yellow tiles in middle, red tiles in upper right, farthest from mouse.
    Heat map of time to reach tiles in the Start screen from the Start button
    (green tiles are the fastest to get to, red tiles are the slowest)

    If you count the number of items that show up as green (delineated with the white line,) it is considerably larger on the Start screen (about 17 square tiles) than on the Start menu (2 apps). So there are many more items that you can reach more quickly on the Start screen.

    In the Start menu, the top item (which is usually the most frequently used app or your favorite pinned app) is closer to the darker red, which is unfortunate. Lists are generally ordered top-down, which is why the Start menu used this logic, but to really emphasize efficiency, it would have been better to flip the order here and put it at the bottom of the list. Whereas in the Start screen, the bottom left tile is the easiest thing to get to with the mouse and even easier than any item on the Start menu.

    Items at top of Start menu are red, indicating it takes more time to reach them; items at bottom are green, indicating less time required. Items in lower left corner are green, indicating easy access; items in top right are yellow, indicating more time needed to reach. 
    The app that you’re using most frequently is further away on the Start menu than on the Start screen

    It took us much iteration over the course of many months to get to the final size and shape of the tiles. As you can imagine, we iterated through many possibilities and tried many of them out in the lab. We asked test subjects to target a variety of buttons, much as you could imagine Fitts optimizing an air force cockpit design. Mouse distance (and touch target size) is just part of the story. In addition to these, we also considered the following factors when coming up with the tile size:

    • Screen size – How many apps should be visible on one page of the screen across monitors?
    • Form factors – How does your usage of different form factors affect your need for something to be smaller or larger (e.g. when you’re sitting on the couch with a slate vs. sitting further away from a large monitor on your desk)?
    • Efficiency of scanning – How do we provide enough breathing room to make it easy to scan the content, while also providing enough density and useful information?
    • Layout – What layout works best for scanning a grid of content, and how should different tile sizes relate to each other for easier parsing?
    • Space for live content and app branding – Tiles need to be big enough to provide useful information, but not so large that the amount of information displayed is overwhelming. And this also needs to be balanced with being able to actually launch your apps without requiring a lot of scrolling.
    • Visually pleasing shapes – The tiles need to be visually pleasing, and the shapes that they create when laid out on a page also need to appeal to the eye.

    This is just a sample of some of the questions that we were asking ourselves when designing the size of tiles and the density of the Start screen. The end result is our attempt to balance efficiency of mouse movement, mouse targeting, parsing, and ability to see live data at a glance across various form factors and screen sizes to make the system feel powerful and efficient to use.

    So, how many clicks does it take?

    As Alice mentioned in a previous blog post, the current Start menu is primarily used for launching infrequently used apps, while users continue to launch more frequently used apps from the taskbar and Explorer. In fact, 88% of app launches are from outside the Start menu today. Instead, most launches are from the taskbar (41%) and the remaining are split between Explorer and the desktop (47%). So it was clear to us that the Start menu was trending away from being useful and we had an opportunity to redesign it to make it more useful and valuable. We want to be careful in this dialog of spending a lot of energy debating what amounts to a “long tail” usage case.

    However, once we left that old paradigm, the next question was – how can we complete the same tasks without requiring more clicks? We kept this in mind throughout the design process, and once we had a design, we picked a couple of different tasks to compare click-to-click.

    Launching an MFU or pinned app

    How many clicks does it take to launch an app on the left side of the Start menu?

    In Windows 7, if we assume your favorite program is in the left pane of the Start menu, it takes 2 clicks: one for the Start button and one for the app itself. It was important to us to keep this parity for the Start screen, so if an app is in the first page of the Start screen, it also takes 2 clicks to launch it.

    However, the number of apps that gain this “2-click” benefit varies across the two UIs. By default, the Start menu provides 2-click access to 10 of your favorite apps, plus 10 special folders that Windows adds for you – few of which are used frequently. The highest usage item here is the Computer folder, with about 8% of sessions using it, and the numbers for the rest of the items drastically drop off. Also, while this area of the Start menu allows some limited customization, 81% of home users keep the default behavior.

    In comparison, the Start screen provides 2-click access to many more apps and allows you to control the full layout of the screen. If you don’t want a link to Help and Support, don’t put it there – instead, use the space for your favorite app. And the number of apps that get this ability only increases the larger your monitor is. Incidentally, we made the customization much easier and you will no longer break out add/remove programs when you organize things. You can see below how many more tiles you get on one page as your monitor size increases.

    Form factor

    Size (inches)

    Resolution(s)

    # of tiles in 1 page of Start screen

    # of items in Start menu

    Slate

    10.1

    1366x768
    1920x1080

    12 wide or
    24 square

    10

    10.6

    1366x768
    1920x1080

    12 wide or
    24 square

    10

    11.6

    1366x768
    1920x1080

    12 wide or
    24 square

    10

    Laptop

    12.1

    1280x800

    16 wide or
    32 square

    10

    12.1

    1366x768

    20 wide or
    40 square

    10

    13

    1366x768

    20 wide or
    40 square

    10

    13.3

    1440x900

    25 wide or
    50 square

    10

    Desktop

    21.5

    1920x1080

    36 wide or
    72 square

    10

    23

    1920x1080

    36 wide or
    72 square

    10

    27

    2560x1440

    42 wide or
    84 square

    10

    How the Start screen scales with larger monitor sizes, compared to Start menu

    In addition to the difference in the number of apps shown, the logic for what you see after you click the Start button has changed. The Start menu uses heuristics to calculate the MFU (most frequently used) apps that appear there. Unfortunately, these complex heuristics are sometimes wrong, and so the set of apps that you see here changes over time, adding a level of unpredictability into the launcher. On the other hand, the Start screen puts more value on user control and predictability, encouraging customization and increasing confidence about where things will be—a design goal that we followed as we designed the taskbar as well.

    Launching an app from the All Programs list

    The number of clicks to launch from the All Programs list varies depending on what you’re launching (is it closer to A or to Z?) If we were to generalize to a user who has some apps installed on their system, the most likely workflow is something along these lines:

    Start button –> All Programs button –> Scrollbar button –> Expand the folder of the app I’m looking for (cross your fingers it’s the right one!) –> App = 5 clicks

    In the Start screen this flow is different, but looks like this for the same scenario:

    Start button –> Hover in corner –> Search button to launch Apps screen –> Scrollbar –> App = 5 clicks

    This comparison leads to the same number of clicks when using the All Programs feature as when using the Apps screen, assuming you expanded the right Start menu folder the first time. Also, since you’re using more of your monitor with the Start screen, it is more likely that you won’t need to use the scrollbar to find the app, decreasing this to 4 clicks in Windows 8. You can see how other tasks, like launching one of the items in the right side of the Start menu (e.g. Control Panel or Computer) would also show the same number of clicks between the 2 UIs.

    We would find the same results relative to keystroke counting as well. We have been careful to at least maintain parity and often improve relative to these measures.

    Launching from other parts of the system

    As I mentioned previously, 88% of app launches don’t actually originate from the Start menu. The rest of the launches are from the taskbar, Explorer, and the desktop, and the math here does not change in Windows 8. In order to be complete, however, it’s worth mentioning that there is a one-time additional click to get to your taskbar or desktop when you start up your machine, since we boot the machine to the Start screen. In the grand scheme of things, with all of the clicks that you do throughout your working session, one additional click to get to the desktop does not impact your overall efficiency, but since some people are asking about this, I thought it would be worth talking quickly about why we do this.

    Since the Start screen is a launcher (and can also be the switcher) for both Metro style apps and desktop apps, we take you directly to the Start screen when you first turn on your machine. It is your new home base. This allows you to make a choice in terms of what app you want to launch first – it may be a desktop app or a Metro style app. It also provides an opportunity to see the dashboard of latest updates from your favorite apps without requiring you to launch them before you get into your day-to-day tasks. I know many folks have commented on not wanting to ever see such notifications or a dashboard. We would note two things.

    First, even from above comments you've told us about the importance of apps that do report notifications or gadgets.

    Second, given that this is a Developer Preview release, we all have to recognize that we simply don’t have many Metro style apps available yet, so our natural inclination is to always go to the desktop – making it seem silly for us to start here. But once your machine is packed with apps that you love, this should make a lot more sense. And if your main goal is still to use desktop apps, you can easily do this by clicking the Desktop tile and using the taskbar, or you can customize the Start screen to put your favorite desktop apps at the beginning of the Start screen and launch them directly. It is important to keep this in mind—today you might be going to the desktop so you can immediately get to the task bar. You can always put the taskbar apps on the Start screen and launch (or switch) from there, or just put the first one you always use right there in a Fitts-friendly location. And of course we should not forget that there are substantial savings yet to be had in logging on from a lock screen (in terms of number of clicks), and so there's an immediate savings to overall workflow which fully accounts for the extra key.

    How are we continuing to improve the efficiency of Start?


    As we continue to build upon what we’ve shown in the Windows Developer Preview, we are keeping efficiency close to heart. Based on your feedback, one of the things that we’re doing to make it faster to get to All Programs is to take you directly to the Apps screen when you click Search in the desktop. This potentially removes another step from this task, making it even more efficient in Windows 8 to launch an app from the desktop relative to Windows 7. Another thing that we’re doing is increasing the number of rows of tiles that you can see on large monitors so that you can fit even more of your favorite apps closer to your mouse and make it faster to launch apps than before.

    In conclusion, we are striving to help you gain efficiency with the new Start screen. This sort of analysis is generally difficult since we’re not comparing apples to apples. In some cases, there is a loss because of mouse distance, while in other cases there is a gain because of target size. In some cases, spatial arrangement or color can make it easier to find an app, in other cases having an app right under your mouse makes it really easy to click. The efficiency gain of the Start screen may not be in all of the same ways that you’re used to, and there may even be some efficiency gains that you don’t expect (for example, having a live tile tell you the latest stock quote so you don’t need to take time to launch the app is a great efficiency gain that is hard to measure quantitatively.) We are continually testing the efficiency of the new UI and we will continue to improve it.

    If you've made it this far, you might be wondering why we put all of these issues in one really long post, and yet we still have more feedback and questions to answer. Our intention is to build on the unprecedented transparency we provide in building Windows and to bring you inside the development of the product. By now you can see that building Windows 8 is a complex endeavor with tons of variables and choices to be made, lots of data, and in considering all that, we go through a great deal of work when making even the smallest change. We simply love the dialog we're having with you, and the opportunity to describe the depth of the work we do to bring you Windows. All of us on the Windows team are devoting our professional careers to building a great product, and so the opportunity to talk with passionate and informed people about the details of what we do is itself an added bonus.

    --Marina Dukhon


    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 8:13 PM
  • Let me say here is that this post has been read time and time again and still does not make much sense.  It is based on totally questionable telemetry, cherry picking of data and other distortions to make much sense. In fact, if anything was even just close to what Sinofsky is claiming, the Metro start screen would be now a celebrated part of Windows.  Just because Sinofski is claiming these incredulous things, it does not mean that they are correct.  I think regarding usability in the desktop/laptop, the overwhelming number of reviews clearly indicates that the Start Screen interferes, rather than helps, operations.  So, despite these voluminous comments, the Start Screen is not efficient.  And this is the truth.
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:03 PM
  • After 10 years of using windows, I am now using w7. All that time I have been using the start button for one thing, to shut down my computer. On w8 I cant find out how to shut down my computer!!!!! As soon as I have the money saved I will move to a MAC!!!!!!! TO HELL WITH MICROSOFT!!!!
    Thursday, August 2, 2012 12:22 AM
  • After 10 years of using windows, I am now using w7. All that time I have been using the start button for one thing, to shut down my computer. On w8 I cant find out how to shut down my computer!!!!! As soon as I have the money saved I will move to a MAC!!!!!!! TO HELL WITH MICROSOFT!!!!
    Have fun learning a completely new OS rather than figuring out how to shutdown your computer. BTW, I did a test and it only took my wife about 15 seconds to figure it out. LOL, and she's not even an advanced computer user.
    Thursday, August 2, 2012 12:24 AM
  • No thanks.  I'll stick with Vista.

    Errr... really Vista. What are you doing here in the forums. I'm mean you obviously got it all figured out by still using Vista. :P
    Thursday, August 2, 2012 1:18 AM
  • Lol, indeed.

    I remember all the whining of how Xp looked like a "fisherprice cartoon" very vividly.

    Now, half the world pc's STILL runs on it and even worse, most of those people continue to yap about how it was the "best windows ever" and how it is "much better then 7, which sucks".

    Until they move to 7 and after a few weeks, 7 is "the best windows ever".

    It's pretty funny actually.

    Thursday, August 2, 2012 8:19 AM
  • Lol, indeed.

    I remember all the whining of how Xp looked like a "fisherprice cartoon" very vividly.

    Now, half the world pc's STILL runs on it and even worse, most of those people continue to yap about how it was the "best windows ever" and how it is "much better then 7, which sucks".

    Until they move to 7 and after a few weeks, 7 is "the best windows ever".

    It's pretty funny actually.


    Lot of funny posts here. You hit it on the head Aroush. I remember it too. I saw an article about this a bit back but I cant find it. I'll keep trying, it was good.
    • Edited by JPain Thursday, August 2, 2012 1:07 PM
    Thursday, August 2, 2012 1:07 PM
  • I loss so much time fixing XP and Vista PC's... If you're on Vista you're insane. Do you drive a kia too?

    Vote for Freedom - Vote to Protect our Country

    Thursday, August 2, 2012 2:29 PM
  • Calling other people "insane" is a bit nasty, don't you think Jbenisek?  I for one don't appreciate it.

    By reading the comments here one would think peoples' choices in operating systems are open to abusive criticism, akin to being picked on in elementary school.

    Vista was a very nice system - if you were intelligent enough to set it up well (it definitely needed some changes from the out-of-box configuration).  I still have it running on a workstation here, which is now primarily just a high-functioning file server.  It just runs and runs without complaint, as it did when I was using it actively for development.  It was one of the first Microsoft OSs that wouldn't run itself into the ground and need rebooting occasionally, and it pre-dated most of the progression of dumbing things down for the masses.

      

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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


    Thursday, August 2, 2012 4:46 PM
  • In the meantime, I think I'll just stick with Vista.

    (At least, until the Windows7 Explorer bugs get fixed.)


    Windows explorer ---- forget it, it doesn't matter which MS os. They simply do not get it.


    • Edited by karlx Saturday, August 4, 2012 5:59 AM
    Thursday, August 2, 2012 5:32 PM
  • Calling other people "insane" is a bit nasty, don't you think Jbenisek?  I for one don't appreciate it.

    By reading the comments here one would think peoples' choices in operating systems are open to abusive criticism, akin to being picked on in elementary school.

    Vista was a very nice system - if you were intelligent enough to set it up well (it definitely needed some changes from the out-of-box configuration).  I still have it running on a workstation here, which is now primarily just a high-functioning file server.  It just runs and runs without complaint, as it did when I was using it actively for development.  It was one of the first Microsoft OSs that wouldn't run itself into the ground and need rebooting occasionally, and it pre-dated most of the progression of dumbing things down for the masses

    I think that Vista was one of the most notable OS releases.  First of all, it was an OS that really advanced the state of the art in computing.  It was far more secure and far more intelligent than Windows XP.  Windows 7 is essentially an elaboration on Vista. 

    However, Vista was badly mishandled by Microsoft.  Many of the device drivers were missing (a good number of my peripherals were lacking drivers at the time of Vista's launch).  I remember the total confusion in "Vista ready" PCs.  It was a disaster all over.  However, by the time Microsoft released SP1 for Vista, it became a solid OS. 

    Thursday, August 2, 2012 11:21 PM
  • As stated in the FAQ, the Start Button has been Replaced with a new Start Screen, and complaining about it here will NOT be very help full.
    Friday, August 3, 2012 7:49 AM
  • Maybe Microsoft ought to listen to their customers (complaining) as you call it.

    I feel that Microsoft is making a huge mistake by not giving users the option of having a traditional desktop and start button in Windows8 like they are used to. I work IT for a very large British-US oil company and my wife works IT for a large aluminum comnpany and both companies have already decided against ever upgrading to Win8 due to this issue. The reasons are:

    1. We are not going to spend the money to retrain IT and our users how to navigate Win 8. Especially when we shouldn't have to. This would be a huge cost, besides the tousands of Win8 licenses. I have gotten very frustrated myself trying to navigate around Win8, so just think how frustrated the users will be. And this frustration will lead to lost time just doing our jobs.

    Microsoft needs to give the users the traditional desktop and start buttonand application menu back that they are used to. And give the users and IT the option to have the computer boot up to the traditional desktop rather than the metro desdtop. The metro desktopo may be great for phones, X-boxes, and tablets, but it is not suited for desktops or laptops.

    This also goes for my personal view. I have no desire to move from Windows 7 to 8 on my desktop unless we are given this option.

    just my 2 cents worth

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012 7:30 PM
  • there are several complain on several forums about this issue!well you can't just force users to a drastic change like this,i respect the facts that some guys like it but hey most people dislike it if you do a survey after you release it officially you should know that users would have a hard time using metro and franckly i don't use touch screen!there are many app out there either use them! i guess this would be the first thing people would do after upgrading to windows 8 install a  third party app to restore windows start button! and yes i agree with most of the guys here how would it administrators or people who works in it field use something like that,either give an option to use start button and those who want metro can turn it on or it could be off by default those who want it back can  make so by control panel!
    • Edited by House_Maniac Wednesday, September 26, 2012 7:39 PM
    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 7:38 PM
  • It's kind of too late to complain now.  ;-)

    But you're right, virtually everyone is going to use one of the (several now) available free packages to restore the start button.  ClassicShell is even implemented better than Microsoft's own start menu ever was.  So Microsoft gets away with removing functionality and saving support costs because the world just adds it back anyway.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 11:10 PM
  • It's kind of too late to complain now.  ;-)

    But you're right, virtually everyone is going to use one of the (several now) available free packages to restore the start button.  ClassicShell is even implemented better than Microsoft's own start menu ever was.  So Microsoft gets away with removing functionality and saving support costs because the world just adds it back anyway.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    I would not bet for these utilities in the long run.  Microsoft would certainly try hard to make them inoperative.  In addition, they are not an enterprise solution in any way.  They are only enthusiast tools.

    Users should be more wary of further developments down the line.  A series of events (and newspaper interviews) allowed Ballmer to expand on his vision of Microsoft going forward.  If I (and the press) reads these announcements together, Microsoft is trying to transform itself to a hybrid of Google and Amazon.  Ballmer made it clear that Microsoft's game plan moving forward is to provide "services and devices" (Bezos would have given the same speech).  He no longer sees Microsoft as simply producing software running in partners hardware.  Microsoft would be in the business of hardware moving forward.  Thus, I anticipate that Microsoft would produce its own phone (or buy Nokia), and that it will start contracting with overseas manufacturers to produce laptops and desktops..and lots of tablets, of course.  All of these will be "hooked" to Microsoft services which will be branded Xbox (Xbox Music, Games, Books, etc). 

    In fact, Windows is now delegated into a very minor part of Microsoft's futureIt will serve the device needs (very much as iOS serves the device needs at Apple).  I will not be surprised if Win8 is the last Windows OS that one can install him/herself.  I expect future versions, including Win9, to drop the desktop altogether and transform into the Microsoft equivalent of iOS and Android.  For Microsoft, and its main team of planners, this future cannot happen soon enough.  The longer it takes, the more Apple, Google, and Amazon solidify their gains.

    As with Apple, where the Macs and OSX is now a very minor part of the equation -and they can be dropped, if necessary-, Microsoft  plans for the same transition.  It is quite likely at a certain point, both OSX and Windows will be span off to smaller companies who may be happy eking some smaller gains in the margins.  The rest of Microsoft's software is moving to the subscription model that I outlined before.  Microsoft now penalizes you for purchasing Office 2013.  It has more than doubled purchasing costs, and made licensing very appealing (the fact with licensing is that the software disappears when you no longer pay the fee).  This transformation will continue.

    I strongly advice users to start planning a real transition from Windows; to put pressure on Adobe to provide a Linux-based Creative Suite; to put pressure on hardware manufactures to provide factory-ready Linux machines; game developers to provide major ports to Linux.  This is an OS that is in the hands of the users, not in those of any corporation. It is not capable in supporting most users today.  What happens tomorrow really depends on a confluence of interests of hardware manufacturers and users wanting to escape the future that Microsoft has divined for them.

    Thursday, September 27, 2012 4:07 PM
  • they are not an enterprise solution in any way.  They are only enthusiast tools.

    Why do you think so?  Because they're free?

    If anything, open source projects like ClassicShell, grepWin, Quero Toolbar, etc. actually can be completely vetted, unlike proprietary commercial software that enterprises most certainly buy.  An enterprise that ignores the many good tools available for augmenting a Windows OS to make it into a usable work environment would be stupid indeed.  But alas, yes, I do know that enterprises are quite often stupid.

    I don't disagree with your advice for users and enterprises alike to start planning to move away from Micrsoft.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Thursday, September 27, 2012 6:04 PM
  • they are not an enterprise solution in any way.  They are only enthusiast tools.

    Why do you think so?  Because they're free?

    If anything, open source projects like ClassicShell, grepWin, Quero Toolbar, etc. actually can be completely vetted, unlike proprietary commercial software that enterprises most certainly buy.  An enterprise that ignores the many good tools available for augmenting a Windows OS to make it into a usable work environment would be stupid indeed.  But alas, yes, I do know that enterprises are quite often stupid.

    I don't disagree with your advice for users and enterprises alike to start planning to move away from Micrsoft.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Usually, the IT departments try to limit (and limit drastically) service calls.  Providing tools that require additional support and training is not their idea of doing business.  I think that if Win8 is adopted by corporations, it would be adopted "as is", without modifications or additional shells.  I work(ed) for large corporation(s) and they strongly lean towards "plain vanilla" because of support and training.  I can see these tools being used in small tech-savy companies, but I do not think that they would make any inroads in major companies.

    I see a substantial trend among many medium-sized companies right now to move over to Google Docs and Google cloud offerings because of their simplicity and the ease of maintenance.  More and more, Google's Box is gaining momentum, although the Microsoft's SharePoint may be technically superior.  I think Microsoft, by making Office 2013 so expensive, may be shooting itself in the foot.  I can see small companies abandoning Office in droves. 

    I think that Microsoft, in its desperation to move its valuation and stock price, is going to get quite the opposite and shoot itself in the foot.  Somehow, I keep thinking that if Gates was still there, all these stupidities would not have occured...

    Thursday, September 27, 2012 8:37 PM
  • Somehow, I keep thinking that if Gates was still there, all these stupidities would not have occured...

    I know exactly how you feel.  I've thought the same things myself.

    Regarding how many companies might adopt something like ClassicShell...  It's one thing to not augment Windows with a fancy Start button replacement when it already has one.  It's another thing entirely when the functionality has gone utterly missing.  We'll see how it goes.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Saturday, September 29, 2012 5:45 AM
  • Somehow, I keep thinking that if Gates was still there, all these stupidities would not have occured...

    I know exactly how you feel.  I've thought the same things myself.

    Regarding how many companies might adopt something like ClassicShell...  It's one thing to not augment Windows with a fancy Start button replacement when it already has one.  It's another thing entirely when the functionality has gone utterly missing.  We'll see how it goes.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    My guess is that for most IT departments, Win8 may prove just a "bridge too far". 

    I think that for general enterprise computing, there is nothing of any value in Windows 8.  In fact, again from the same standpoint, everything is on the "minus" column: more training, more costs, more support without getting any enhanced functionality.  Otellini's comments that Win8 is really buggy have not helped. 

    I would find it next to impossible to justify the costs of an "upgrade" to Windows 8 because I cannot make an ROI argument at all.  I do not think that anyone can.  Can you???

    Saturday, September 29, 2012 10:02 PM
  • I would find it next to impossible to justify the costs of an "upgrade" to Windows 8 because I cannot make an ROI argument at all.  I do not think that anyone can.  Can you???

    Not really, no.  I've already been all down that path, a complete investigation which led to my book, and I've decided to keep my business running on Windows 7, save for in VMs where I'll be able to test products.  Maybe re-evaluate in a year.  Even the intangible benefit of "keeping current" has become questionable, since the direction of the tech is decidedly away from "business" and toward "toys".  Possibly the single biggest clue is that Microsoft no longer directly supports directly disabling UAC.

     

    -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 12:27 AM
  • I would find it next to impossible to justify the costs of an "upgrade" to Windows 8 because I cannot make an ROI argument at all.  I do not think that anyone can.  Can you???

    Not really, no.  I've already been all down that path, a complete investigation which led to my book, and I've decided to keep my business running on Windows 7, save for in VMs where I'll be able to test products.  Maybe re-evaluate in a year.  Even the intangible benefit of "keeping current" has become questionable, since the direction of the tech is decidedly away from "business" and toward "toys".  Possibly the single biggest clue is that Microsoft no longer directly supports directly disabling UAC.

     

    -



    This seems like the right strategy right now.  Suddenly, the criticism of Win8 is increasing from main-line CEOs both of media, gaming and computing companies.  I was amazed to see Dell making rather negative comments on Win8/RT tablets.  In the past, these guys would have been singing hymns to the latest OS by Microsoft.  This is not happening right now.  Microsoft looks remarkably alone.

    The problem with Microsoft's partners is that they do not have a coherent answer: Intel, Acer, Dell, HP look like deer in the headlight.  They just do not know what to do.  They do not have any non-Microsoft solution for the masses that makes any sense. Now that Microsoft has decided to kick them in the groin, they are totally "naked".  There is little doubt that with the Surface tablets, Microsoft is taking an aim at the ultrabooks.  Intel would have dearly wished that it had an alternative right now. 

    In any case, the landscape may be clearer 1 year from now.  I think that it is a smart decision to defer all possible considerations for Win8 deployment for a year. 

    Sunday, September 30, 2012 9:00 PM
  • Is it any surprise?

    How'd you like to be Dell, having just put millions into developing the next generation dual Xeon Precision workstations, and now be wondering what OS people will want to buy with them, or whether they'll even want to buy them at all since Windows 8 is making a lot of people "wait and see"?  For a long time, in the time of Vista and early on with Windows 7, Dell sold a lot of their high-end systems with XP downgrades.  I'm assuming that will be the case (with a Windows 7 downgrade) once Windows 8 releases to the public.

    The difference is that with Vista, it was more about technical problems (poor driver support, inefficient operation, etc.), and things looked to be heading in kind of the right direction.  Today the new OS works okay - for what it does - but is simply moving away from what's needed by people who buy high-end systems. 

    Maybe Dell just doesn't want to shift to become a toy company.

    Your "deer in headlights" comment implies impending disaster, though I'm not sure I'll go quite so far as to predict disaster.  Perhaps the deer will all miraculously jump out of the way, and Big Change is on the way.  With change comes discomfort, certainly, but also opportunity.  The world may choose to move on in the advancement of computing without Microsoft, and that might be a Good Thing.

     

    -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 Monday, October 1, 2012 4:39 PM clarified wording
    Monday, October 1, 2012 4:36 PM

  • Your "deer in headlights" comment implies impending disaster, though I'm not sure I'll go quite so far as to predict disaster.  Perhaps the deer will all miraculously jump out of the way, and Big Change is on the way.  With change comes discomfort, certainly, but also opportunity.  The world may choose to move on in the advancement of computing without Microsoft, and that might be a Good Thing.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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



    I did not mean the "deer in the headlight" comment to indicate disaster.  Not, not at all.  I think that Microsoft's partners are all at a loss of how to respond.  Intel is a good example.  Dell is another.  It seems that Nokia is getting the shaft.  Rumors persist that Microsoft is building its own phone.  So, the "partners" are getting to be very cautious and not all that happy.

    Despite the fact that Microsoft would sell tens of millions of Win8 licenses (they go to OEMs) immediately after release, the measure of success here is how many tablets would Microsoft manage to sell.  If MS tablets are not a success, then this whole strategy would be a failure.  The stock price would collapse and Microsoft would be in search of a new model.  This can happen even if the revenue marks a good increase.  The main issue that drives the stock price is not actual performance, it is anticipation of future performance.  If the analysts do not think that Microsoft is established in growing markets, then all the success in the world in desktop and laptops and a robust revenue would not be enough to stop the stock from tumbling.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012 11:45 PM
  • Hi, did you try to understand or learn how the Win 8 is working? My opinion NO, because you have exactly the old windows on Win 8, but they changed only the presentation. You have to use a little your brain to understand and think how it's working, once you understand that you'll prefere the new one. I'm saying that because on first I was totally lost, but now it's just cool, and I do thinks much faster than with old wins, just 2 or 3 thinks to understand and it will be so natural. Hope you'll learn these 2 or 3 thanks soon. :)
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 7:24 AM
  • Hi, did you try to understand or learn how the Win 8 is working? My opinion NO, because you have exactly the old windows on Win 8, but they changed only the presentation. You have to use a little your brain to understand and think how it's working, once you understand that you'll prefere the new one. I'm saying that because on first I was totally lost, but now it's just cool, and I do thinks much faster than with old wins, just 2 or 3 thinks to understand and it will be so natural. Hope you'll learn these 2 or 3 thanks soon. :)

    Do not make assumptions about things not in evidence.  I know better than you how Windows 8 is working (and I know that you are totally wrong in your statements).  Now, you, yourself, should do some learning. Just check the architectural models of Win8 and you will find out that it is definitely not "old Windows" (with a different face).  Maybe you should have been reading Sinofski's blog.

    I find it funny that the only advantage Win8 fanboys can point out are the "faster booting times", which really are of no importance in modern machines based on SSDs or hybrid drives.  Guys, find another song to sing.  Win8 is a total usability disaster on the desktop.  If you want to waste your time on it, well, good for you.  Just do not try to drag the rest of us in this bog!!

    Saturday, November 24, 2012 5:14 AM
  • I do have to agree that Windows 8 has signification reduced my productivity. I have been using windows 8 for over a month and still i am not used to it. Most of the application I use are desktop only to I have to keep going back into the Tile Window to start them. And even if they were Win8 apps, I often require having multiple windows open at once which Win8 Apps can't really do (I know you soft of can but it it only specific layouts).

    Don't get me wrong, I actually like the idea of the Tiles and the way they are 'alive' but I feel it was designed quickly and implemented even quicker. The main issue is that the Tiles part of it is actually an application itself, and doesn't really feel integrated into the rest of Windows.

    I feel it would have worked so much better if they has kept the desktop as it was, including the Start button, and actually placed the Tiles directly on the desktop. Best of both worlds then! At the end of the day the Tiles screen is really just a fancy Application Launcher with live shortcuts! So why not keep it on the desktop?

    I cant help but feel they have rushed it and done another Windows Vista.... so hopefully Windows 9 will get it right.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:26 PM
  • I do have to agree that Windows 8 has signification reduced my productivity. I have been using windows 8 for over a month and still i am not used to it. Most of the application I use are desktop only to I have to keep going back into the Tile Window to start them. And even if they were Win8 apps, I often require having multiple windows open at once which Win8 Apps can't really do (I know you soft of can but it it only specific layouts).

    Don't get me wrong, I actually like the idea of the Tiles and the way they are 'alive' but I feel it was designed quickly and implemented even quicker. The main issue is that the Tiles part of it is actually an application itself, and doesn't really feel integrated into the rest of Windows.

    I feel it would have worked so much better if they has kept the desktop as it was, including the Start button, and actually placed the Tiles directly on the desktop. Best of both worlds then! At the end of the day the Tiles screen is really just a fancy Application Launcher with live shortcuts! So why not keep it on the desktop?

    I cant help but feel they have rushed it and done another Windows Vista.... so hopefully Windows 9 will get it right.

    I had to smile reading your post, because Microsoft did just what you described with Vista!!!  It had "tiles" on the desktop.  It was called the "active" desktop and you could have placed self-updating web "slices" or programs and gadgets that kept on updating all the time.   Of course, the gadgets of Win7 still keep doing exactly the same.  This is why Microsoft had to "kill" them.

    But, as I keep on telling people, you can have all the Android apps on your desktop if you install Bluestacks!!  Why bother with a few, mostly poor, "Metro" apps when you can have the whole Android ecosystem in a window????

    This seems elementary to me!!!

    Anyway, if Win8 is sapping your productivity, why stick with it?  Is there some kind of "Gospel according to Ballmer" that necessitates giving money to Microsoft in order to work less efficiently?

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:10 PM
  • But why should people have to jump through hoops to recover what SHOULD HAVE REMAINED there to begin with?!
    Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:44 AM
  • But why should people have to jump through hoops to recover what SHOULD HAVE REMAINED there to begin with?!

    My point exactly!!  But even jumping through hoops still does not enable the full desktop as it was in Win7.

    The only reason to get Win8 is to access the "Metro/WinRT" apps.  These apps are just about the same (or likely inferior) as the ones available in other mobile OSes such as Android or iOS (or the new Blackberry OS).  They contribute just about zilch to the state of computing today.  If you have an iPhone or a Droid, you already have these apps.  If there is anything "new" that would be developed for "Metro/WinRT", this would also be available to competing platforms.  No developer of such apps is likely to forgo income from the iPhone or Android for any kind of exclusivity on Windows.  

    Thus, if one wants to have the most-up-to date computing solution, the following constitute the best answers:

    (a) Win 7 Professional or Ultimate (as having the best and most functional desktop

    (b) IPad, or Nexus 7/10 tablet (Nexus 7 is my favorite) as iOS 6 and Android 4.2 are far more advanced than "Metro/WinRT" and have a fully developed ecosystem.  For example, the self-updating widgets of Android are far more capable, visually interesting, customizable than anything by "Metro/WinRT".  This is the reality that Win8 fanboys cannot digest.

    (c) A smartphone co-fluent with the tablet OS This, one cannot achieve with Windows at all.  Win Phone 8 is incompatible with Windows RT (the Surface OS) and Win8 (The Surface Pro OS).  In Android, you would only need to purchase your apps just once!!!  You would have to double-pay in Windows.

    It is thus, clear, that the "Windows" solution is hopelessly out of date and hopelessly fragmented.  Until Redmond comes out with something that makes sense, I recommend staying out of Win8.

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 6:32 AM
  • No developer of such apps is likely to forgo income from the iPhone or Android for any kind of exclusivity on Windows.

    Microsoft may feel that their user base is just so incredibly huge and the allure of sales to hundreds of millions of users so attractive that many developers may choose the Microsoft App Store and just ignore the others.  It DOES take additional skills and effort to write software for different environments.  Perhaps they are banking on developers being lazy and settling into just their environment.

    Microsoft seems to be "full steam ahead" on this heading.

    Frankly it seems like a few too many serious oversimplificiations to me...  From the pretense that a business desktop user will be as likely to buy a copy of Angry Birds 74 - Pigs on Europa as a kid with a tablet, to the idea that people are going to stay hunched over their Microsoft system no matter what and thus need to be herded into the places Microsoft wants them to go (vs. making things actually attractive so they choose to go their themselves), to the concept that the meat of the system can be neglected and intelligent users abandoned so as to put more resources on fluff.

    Those of us on the outside (i.e., not privvy to Microsoft's inner workings) are left to wonder, why not run development on multiple fronts?  Continue to fund serious OS development at the same time as toy development?  Is that task just too complex?  We've seen some initiatives in the past fail on that score...  The various galleries, for example, that wanted to grow up to be App Stores, all of which just stopped getting attention.  How many of us developed innovative applets or gadgets, submitted them in hopes of being listed, just to hear back...  <nothing>?

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 4:16 PM
  • No developer of such apps is likely to forgo income from the iPhone or Android for any kind of exclusivity on Windows.

    Microsoft may feel that their user base is just so incredibly huge and the allure of sales to hundreds of millions of users so attractive that many developers may choose the Microsoft App Store and just ignore the others.  It DOES take additional skills and effort to write software for different environments.  Perhaps they are banking on developers being lazy and settling into just their environment.

    Microsoft seems to be "full steam ahead" on this heading.

    Frankly it seems like a few too many serious oversimplificiations to me...  From the pretense that a business desktop user will be as likely to buy a copy of Angry Birds 74 - Pigs on Europa as a kid with a tablet, to the idea that people are going to stay hunched over their Microsoft system no matter what and thus need to be herded into the places Microsoft wants them to go (vs. making things actually attractive so they choose to go their themselves), to the concept that the meat of the system can be neglected and intelligent users abandoned so as to put more resources on fluff.

    Those of us on the outside (i.e., not privvy to Microsoft's inner workings) are left to wonder, why not run development on multiple fronts?  Continue to fund serious OS development at the same time as toy development?  Is that task just too complex?  We've seen some initiatives in the past fail on that score...  The various galleries, for example, that wanted to grow up to be App Stores, all of which just stopped getting attention.  How many of us developed innovative applets or gadgets, submitted them in hopes of being listed, just to hear back...  <nothing>?

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Noel, you make perfect sense but, unfortunately, the economy actually defies "common sense".  If I recollect, it was Mark Twain that noted that "the problem with common sense is that it is not common enough". 

    I know that in Microsoft, the issue was discussed passionately.  Below is what I know and some speculation around the things that I know:

    There were many (now among the departed) that strongly advocated that Microsoft should have entered the tablet market much, much earlier with a variety of products without dragging Windows into it.  Among these, there was the "Courier" group, that had, what many believed, an outstanding product that would have not only pre-empted the iPad, but it would have made Microsoft the undisputed leader in this market segment.  Then, there were others who passionately believed that Win Phone 7.x should have been the Microsoft tablet OS.  We know that these groups were "defeated" and pushed aside.

    Rumors are that Sinofski, heading the Windows group, up-ended all that and set the current course.  His success with Win7 made him the undisputed "leader".  He convinced Ballmer that anything that happened that took the edge of Windows would have been counterproductive for Microsoft.  For example, if MS sells a Win8 license, it pockets on average about $50-75.  If it sells a Win Phone license, it gets only $15.  Thus, it was on Sinofski's insistence that tablets should be regarded as PCs and get a fully blown Win8 license so that Microsoft can increase its revenues.  It was only about a couple of days ago that Ballmer stated that, yes, indeed, Microsoft should have been out earlier with a tablet.  This admission was made a couple of weeks after Sinofski was expunged.  I believe that Sinofski was thrown out because of these bad decisions, although the blame should be fully on Ballmer, who took his advice.

    So, what propelled this "Frakenstein" solution (of merging a mobile and a desktop OS) was a policy to preserve Windows revenue and nothing else.  There was never any "usability" rationale, there was never any "keep all interfaces the same" reason (these were post-facto rationalizations for consumption by fanboys).

    Friday, November 30, 2012 12:02 AM
  • Every time I read about the nonsense these "business executives" have done I can't help but keep coming back to the thought that Microsoft has shot itself so badly in the foot that it may just bleed out.  That thought truly hurts.

    Ah, well, if common sense isn't, at least we know that change is opportunity.

      

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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

    Friday, November 30, 2012 1:33 AM
  • Your problems with the user interface in Windows 8 are now over. take a look at this:

    http://pedrofln.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/how-to-recover-lost-start-menu-in.html
    Thursday, May 16, 2013 11:29 AM