- Fair enough. I still think having a unified charms bar makes more sense because it reduces UI clutter. I think you are overthinking discover-ability. The right-mouse-click context menu IS not obvious even today to novice users, hell even double click drives many people crazy. It just takes some time to learn and understand new UI metaphors. (I am not saying current charms are perfect just that they are not any more difficult than say right-click or double click).
Fair point. It definitely reduces clutter and is incredibly consistent and predictable for Metro apps. That's fantastic! The question really becomes whether it's worth the (fairly) steep learning curve and whether the Charms bar is a successful UI concept once you've learned it, or more successful than e.g. search fields and settings buttons consistently implemented in apps (I can only hope that's what Microsoft's user testing showed). I actually don't see any major issues there in the Metro environment (as long as your users are up for learning this new UI concept), moreso when you have to switch between the Desktop and Metro environment
- As far as I know, there are no app/system separation in charms. They are always in context. So if you used settings on start, you can tweak its settings but if you did that in an app then you will reach app's settings. I would trade consistency for a bit obviousness. It takes couple of attempts to remember charms but once you know, you are good.
You have to differentiate between Metro apps and Desktop apps. Metro apps, you'll get the app's settings, Desktop apps, you'll get the Desktop's settings, i.e. Control Panel, Personalization, PC Info (which are all more or less actually in the systemwide context). Also, the lower part of the Settings charms always contains system settings, including a link to (what used to be called) "more" settings, now "Change PC settings" (which is actually a subset of the control panel settings, plus a few other items)
Charms are not designed to work with desktop apps. Should they?
That is not actually what I'm saying. My argument is that the Charms bar is currently almost useless on the Desktop (with respect to the app-specific charms), and becomes superfluous once you integrate a Search and Settings button into the Desktop UI, whether as part of a Start menu replacement apps or as individual buttons. So you might as well deactivate it on the Desktop. But once you allow Metro apps to be shown in a window on the Desktop, you would then need to integrate widgets for searching and entering settings into their window's UI. Which makes a lot of sense, since this is how Desktop apps have always worked on Windows (though, with respect to Settings, interestingly, not on the Mac's OS)
They have not extended to desktop. I can not change any "desktop" settings in the settings charm. It just launches control panel from there.
My point is, the Charms bar and hot corners can't be disabled on the Desktop and are currently largely useless. Worse than that, where you might expect the Charms to apply to Desktop apps, they actually apply to the Desktop itself (which, like you say, doesn't really have any functionality to offer. ModernMix actually makes the Charms bar apply to windowed Metro apps, which arguably makes things a little more confusing when it works for some apps on the Desktop, but not others.
- Start button was not a bad idea but system tray icons and the "show desktop" button introduced in Win7 are surely are. "It's simple, just add a button to taskbar" is a bad design - think years of system tray abuse, weird toolbars by everyone including Microsoft.
Could "just remove a button from the task bar" possibly be bad design, too