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Dot Matrix

Windows Start Menu Discussion

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READ BEFORE POSTING: Before I begin, I wanted to layout the purpose of this thread. It is meant as one user

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good read, you made a lot of good points :)

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I quite like your review here. For me it has been an interesting transition from Windows 7 to 8.

I had a Windows 7 laptop and actually own and am using a Mac now, but my parents still use a Windows 7 PC.

In Windows 7 I always found launching programs a bit redundant. There were 5 possible locations for that to happen

1) Via Shortcut on Desktop

2) Via Pin on Taskbar

3)Via Pin on Start Pane

4) Accessing the All Programs Menus

5) Searching in the Start menu

For Me in Windows 7 I had no shortcuts though on the desktop and all my most used apps on the taskbar

The rest were on the Start Pane

In Windows 8 however, I quite like the approach and reminds me mostly of my experience in OSX

My most used desktop apps remain still on the task bar quite like the dock and I have a search option now on the desktop like in OSX

Now for the rest of my apps those will remain on the start screen, most of these will not be a desktop app though. This for me is more like launchpad, but better, Also with this there are no application folders.

For me its a actually a nice transition especially if you start thinking of the "desktop" as an app within the system now

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these unwelcome and unnecessary changes will be the downfall of win 8...and perhaps MS...

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since when did you start respecting others time and opinion that we do the favour for you?

nice review. didn't change my opinion.

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I always thought what would make the current desktop more interesting or useful would be if MS would have gotten on the wagon and allowed for free customization's of our desktops and NOT leave it to pay for services as those of window blinds etc.

I know, I know.. Linux is free open source, but the idea... Linux allows for alot of customizations

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Just wanted to point out theres no reason you cant manage/change the windows start menu.

Sure by default it may be less than ideal.

I have all my apps sorted into categories (folders) like Audio Apps, Video Apps etc.

Easy peasy, create new folder...bit of dragging and dropping later..done

It makes it way more manageable

Good management negates many of the points above, cant always blame the vendor :)

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Nice piece.

And I totally agree with you.

I've been using Win8 since DP and now it feels weird using Win 7 when I have to.

Really like the new start screen, even on my non touch latptop

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Just wanted to point out theres no reason you cant manage/change the windows start menu.

Sure by default it may be less than ideal.

I have all my apps sorted into categories (folders) like Audio Apps, Video Apps etc.

Easy peasy, create new folder...bit of dragging and dropping later..done

It makes it way more manageable

Good management negates many of the points above, cant always blame the vendor :)

Exactly

c04b81db3f114b86f43573c6a4e41.png

I'm still not installing Windows 8. I love the desktop enhancements, but I can't deal with the intrusive Start Screen. (And I'm still trying to understand what Metro apps bring to the table that a simple HTML5 website can't give me) I have no need for a fullscreen Weather App, no need for a limited Mail client, no need for a fullscreen Stocks app, etc.

I'm nos buying/drinking this kool-aid

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I'm still not installing Windows 8. I love the desktop enhancements, but I can't deal with the intrusive Start Screen

see, this is what I don't understand from people like you.

if the start screen is the only thing you don't like why not just install one of the start menu replacers and be done with it? many of them (ok, just 2 right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if that number rises) are starting to allow logging in straight to the desktop bypassing the start screen all together, so I don't see what the problem is, especially if you like all the other improvements.

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see, this is what I don't understand from people like you.

if the start screen is the only thing you don't like why not just install one of the start menu replacers and be done with it? many of them (ok, just 2 right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if that number rises) are starting to allow logging in straight to the desktop bypassing the start screen all together, so I don't see what the problem is, especially if you like all the other improvements.

Its not just the star menu on Windows 8 thats the issue.

Metro is just wrong for a non-touchscreen desktop.

99% of people are going to be using it non-touchscreen

My desktop OS needs to be functional as its primary concern, not pretty with ridiculous tiles that center around social media which is the ar$e end of the internet

I dont need to know when some *celebrity * (which is apparently almost anyone with a pulse (or stupid haircut) these days) does something insignificant, i just want a proper interface

Of course you can disable Metro as well, but then it also disables a lot of the new fucntionailty which was ridiculously linked to Metro, and therefore you end up with something akin to Windows 7.

Windows wants to create its own ecosystem, same interface across desktop (and its ignored its customer base who largely hate Metro, and its also trying to block users from altering the start screen/menu), phone and tablet,, so its trying to become Apple...

If this continues ill switch to Linux full time.

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just a weee error here

The Start Menu was introduced all the way back in Windows 95 (

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snip

Posted on main, good job.

Also corrected the 10 years ago statement to 17.

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It's a nice opinion piece.

I don't happen to totally agree with all of it. I've said before (and i'll say again) : There are places for Metro, and there are places not for it. My non-touch based desktop computer falls into the latter category.

Personally, I can't see why Microsoft didn't give people the choice to use Metro or Classic. XP has such a [classic] choice. So does Vista. What caused Microsoft to suddenly force Metro on Windows 8 users? I won't understand that decision, and personally I think it's a bad move. Today's world should be about freedom and choice. Not the opposite. Yes, Windows 7 is an option. Yes, classic start menu hacks are an option. But they're not exactly freedom of choice...

That all said, I'm not going to knock Windows 8 (yet), as it's still to be seen how it gets taken up and what it will mean for both touch and non-touch devices. Time will tell...

Edited by Raa
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Excellent analysis, Dot Matrix.

What many fail to see is how the Windows 8 UX is primarily aimed at 'PC+' devices like the MS Surface or touch-enabled hybrid ultrabooks. To me it looks as though Microsoft are considering traditional desktops and laptops legacy devices which will sooner or later be superseded by next-gen devices. Is it a risky bet? Yes. Will it pay off? Time will tell.

Personally I'm not fully sold on Windows 8 yet. It'll take some more getting used to. Will I be upgrading to Windows 8 once it RTMs? More than likely yes. The under-the-hood changes and improvements to the desktop experience alone make it worth it imho.

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I've not posted in a while, busy semester of 17 units but side issue.

I enjoy Windows 8 on my HP dv7-1270us laptop I won't lie. I've made the RP my only OS as of now until it hits RTM. It LITERALLY is faster than Windows 7 in nearly all areas such as boot time, shutdown time, load times for programs, not to mention Windows Installer-based programs don't have that stupid delay like they do in Vista and 7. It is instantaneous as it was on Windows XP. Minor details aside, the USB 3.0 is gonna be especially welcomed for my new build coming as soon as I get my Core i7-3770k processor, I've already gotten everything and am waiting on my Asus Sabertooth Z77. Can't wait til this sucker hits RTM so I can get my new rig running, Windows 8 on a Crucial m4 128GB SSD, 16GB RAM, 2TB RAID 1, CM Storm Scout, Intel HD Graphics (Until I can afford a dedicated GPU, tight budget and I'm making this by running my own small business repairing computers).

This Start Menu/Metro ordeal is a controversial one to me. On one hand, I like how Metro is set up. On the other hand, I don't want it engulfing my whole 1920x1080 screen. The idea behind Start8 should AT LEAST be made an option in Control Panel but to each their own. I personally could care less for the start menu as I have everything I need pinned to the taskbar but that's not always the case. There are times where I need an application that I barely use, yet I don't want it pinned nor as a desktop shortcut. The Start menu was a neat place to hide that crap and maintain minimalism. But then there is another issue, and that is that again the point of the folder + subfolder awkwardness is there. Don't forget those extra needless shortcuts like "Uninstall PowerISO"; "PowerISO Website", "Order PowerISO". I wholeheartedly admire the Windows Store approach because it eliminates the needless extra crap shortcuts but it can't be fully done away with either. Look at Mac OS X Lion and Launchpad with those needless additional icons installed by Adobe Creative Suite for example. Hell even Adobe Flash Player makes a stupid additional Uninstall shortcut, I mean really that isn't needed there! Launchpad-Control is a must-have in that case to alter and organize it otherwise Apple chugs it down on you.

I prefer the Metro approach to at least being able to remove the extra icons, not perfect but it is better than Apple's Launchpad. Metro can still be given some options though. The colours are rather restrictive. I have the red colour scheme set but me personally I want Black and White, or at least Black and Red to match my new Rig's LEDs with the Black CM Storm Scout and the Red LED fans + lighting I have inside. Bypassing the fullscreen metro screen should also be a given under the Control Panel because it is pathetic that I have to stare at the tiles EVERY time I restart. Given on my new rig, its pretty much going to be on 24/7 so that won't be an issue but on a laptop going back and forth and with a battery life of ~100 minutes, it does make a world of difference. My mother is extremely computer illiterate and being used to Windows 7 isn't too helpful. I WISH she would want to learn more formally so we can avoid the confusion barrier of basic functions such as using the internet and email.

At least on Windows 7, Shutting down was a matter of 2 clicks. In Windows 8 especially for someone like my mother, good luck having her go to the top right corner, catching the side menu (this is someone who is VERY incapable of using a touchpad steadily), figuring that you go to Options > Shutdown. 3 Clicks but to do that function can be hellish when you can't use a touchpad or even regular mouse without a little precision effort. One caveat there too of Windows 8, not everyone owns a touchscreen, let alone multitouch. Make the delay a few hundred ms longer for that right-hand sidebar and save newbs some hassle.

Software developers, if you don't want your software to go through Microsoft's Windows Store then don't cram bulls*** shortcuts down our throats anymore because it ruins the consistency of Metro. You need to understand that as well, no more uninstall shortcuts and links to ordering. Figure out how to do those things through your application, not through peoples' menus because it really is pathetic. My $0.02

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I always thought what would make the current desktop more interesting or useful would be if MS would have gotten on the wagon and allowed for free customization's of our desktops and NOT leave it to pay for services as those of window blinds etc.

I know, I know.. Linux is free open source, but the idea... Linux allows for alot of customizations

There are downsides to that though, and that's too much customization. Windows is a pretty standardized OS, in use by billions of people, having it all look reletively the same makes support easier, and keeps costs down.

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I'm accustomed to using the Start Menu in "Windows 95 mode" since the first days of my Windows experience, I find the Windows 7 menu less useful (and pretty annoying) because it isn't customizabile like before and I hate the Windows 8 "Start Screen" with all my heart.

There are different Windows users in this world, and this particular user wants to have nothing to do with this plague called Metro UI on his computers. I'm almost regretting purchasing a damn Windows Phone right now....

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Excellent analysis, Dot Matrix.

What many fail to see is how the Windows 8 UX is primarily aimed at 'PC+' devices like the MS Surface or touch-enabled hybrid ultrabooks. To me it looks as though Microsoft are considering traditional desktops and laptops legacy devices which will sooner or later be superseded by next-gen devices. Is it a risky bet? Yes. Will it pay off? Time will tell.

Personally I'm not fully sold on Windows 8 yet. It'll take some more getting used to. Will I be upgrading to Windows 8 once it RTMs? More than likely yes. The under-the-hood changes and improvements to the desktop experience alone make it worth it imho.

I don't think desktops and laptops are legacy devices, however, they're moving in a new direction, augmented by new technology, which is already happening with AiOs and Transformer type PCs. I think we're going to see some interesting things happen with touch and motion technologies.

Also, I just realized that my blurb about the power options in Windows 8 didn't make it over here. Must have gotten lost when I copied over from Word. :/

Anyway, I had meant to say that the power options in Windows 8 are a litle awkward at first, and I'm still not sure if I like them hidden away in the Settings Charm. I do think they would work better if there was a dedicated Power Charm that users could easily toggle. Also, I'm not sure people are going to easily find the "Lock", "Log Off", etc options under the user tile on the Start Screen. So there are some trade-offs with the change, but these changes have brought about some awkward changes itself, but I feel that having the new refreshed Start Screen is a nice start, and I'm thrilled to have a cleaner layout.

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Has anyone seen banding on individual non metro app tiles? Microsoft cannot even do something right.

GW4gl.png

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the W7 start menu feels good, it isn't an eyesore (flashing of the animation) like in W8 RP. I want my menu in W8 to transition from different directions/orientations, as in taskbar to the left, with left hand orientation for menu layout as an example. The traditional W7 menu has its flaws, like too many icons make the start menu look huge. But I like the changes to the W8 start menu interface, although give more options for colour, layout orientation, layout editing etc to adress any transition issues. Also, I think MS should keep the start button as a concept. You click it and W8 metro menu opens. Simple, they retain current W7 users, and phase in their intended new start menu for metro. I don't like having to click on the fringe of a corner to get my menu to pop out... just retain the reflexive behavior involved with going to one place without any prior knowledge of the OS on a whole, to know exactly where to open the start menu. Its a solution that can make both parties happy. Now just choose the start button design to fit into metro and viola.

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Great post OP - it's good to see someone highlighting both the shortcomings of the start screen and the original start menu at the same time. I agree that in 7 the expand-o-matic mess of all programs was horrible to use but I don't think they've entirely solved it in 8 because legacy apps don't recieve any automatic grouping. I really hope they add this in the final build because doing it by hand is a PITA. In fact, if they could make the management of groups in semantic zoom better overall plus sort out the size of the icons for legacy apps (they're way too small and hard to skim with the eyes) it would answer my only real gripes with it.

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You are complaining about banding in an beta software really? lets wait until it gets released to say that MS doesn't do its job right.... A 200 Billion $ company

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Sorry, banding? :huh:

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Personally, I can't see why Microsoft didn't give people the choice to use Metro or Classic. XP has such a [classic] choice. So does Vista. What caused Microsoft to suddenly force Metro on Windows 8 users? I won't understand that decision, and personally I think it's a bad move. Today's world should be about freedom and choice. Not the opposite. Yes, Windows 7 is an option. Yes, classic start menu hacks are an option. But they're not exactly freedom of choice...

Personally, to me, it looks like they're making a clean break across all their platforms and services. They're sheding the past and moving towards the future.

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