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The return of the Start menu in future Windows 8.1 update: Thoughts?


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#346 George P

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:25

Like some have said, the complexity of modern apps is more to do with the target for them at this point, which is still touch first but once we can have Windowsed modern apps this thinking changes.  Since the store already shows you desktop apps, it's not an issue of a developer to list that their app needs a mouse+kb to work.  You'll see more "beefy" apps in time, I have little doubt.




#347 Mark

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 12:01

Add a few little extra little lighter blocks on the titlebar and we'll finally have the watercolour theme which was part of the Whistler betas :)



#348 PGHammer

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 15:26

Like some have said, the complexity of modern apps is more to do with the target for them at this point, which is still touch first but once we can have Windowsed modern apps this thinking changes.  Since the store already shows you desktop apps, it's not an issue of a developer to list that their app needs a mouse+kb to work.  You'll see more "beefy" apps in time, I have little doubt.

George P - I don't buy that.  I think the REAL reason that ModernUI apps are largely so simple is that they were designed largely by mobile-app developers - who are used to thinking in terms of uncomplicated apps. MetroIRC and MetroTwit, for example, are two of the more complex ModernUI apps - and both were designed as UX-neutral from the beginning; further, neither excludes any method of interaction - unlike HootSuite for example, MetroTwit didn't require a mouse at all, or touch for that matter.  (Yes - you could use MetroTwit using strictly a keyboard alone.)  Simple works in mobile - it's why you don't see many complex Android or iOS apps - it has nothing to do with touch at all.  Complex mobile apps, in fact, usually fail, and fail rather badly - KISS (Keep It Simple, Son) is the mantra for mobile developers.  Desktop-targeted applications (regardless of what GUI they are targeting) can get rather busy - in many ways, they are EXPECTED to be *busy* (almost to the point of near-absurdity).  How many light (utilitarian practically) desktop applications have been dismissed as being too LIGHT?  (I can name two disc-burning applications that have been disparaged for committing just that "sin" - ImgBurn and CDBurnerXP - and both are freeware.  I personally use ImgBurn because of the lack of frills - it does what it needs to and nothing else.  It also works with any type of CD/DVD/BD drive Windows supports - if Windows sees it, ImgBurn can use it.  If BD burners hit DVD burner prices - and they are nearly there now - ImgBurn is ready.)  There may be a use for heavy - however, there is also a use for utilitarian.

 

Also, why must even a Win32 application rely on JUST a mouse and keyboard?  Office 2013 certainly doesn't - like all versions of Office before it, it can be navigated using a keyboard alone (the Alt-key shortcuts are STILL usable - and throughout Office) as well (for the first time) as there is actual touch support (again, it's Office-wide) - supporting touch didn't kill mouse support any more than it killed keyboard support.  ModernUI is a truly neutral UX - it works however you choose to.  It LOOKS like an uncomplicated (in comparison to Win32) UX because it largely is - unlike Win32, it makes no assumptions.  ModernUI - as a UI - is like ImgBurn - practically utilitarian.  That's certainly different compared to Win32 - and it's typically been seen only in mobile (where utilitarian makes sense).  That may be why there is that assumption - which I STILL call entirely wrong - that ModernUI is a touch-first (if not touch-only) UI; it's no more true of ModernUI than it is of Android.



#349 +devHead

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 15:39

I will definitely welcome this if only for two great features of the Windows 7 Start Menu:

 

  1. Jump lists (I used this extensively when I had Word and Excel pinned to my Start menu)
  2. Control Panel and My Documents expandability.

 

To me, those two features are a great reason to bring back the Start menu for non-touch computer users.  I know, you can pin Word and Excel to the taskbar and get the jump lists, but it's easier on the Start menu (at least for me).

 

Now all they need to do with the next update is remove and replace the Window Vista / 7 style icons for the Desktop (Computer, Recycle Bin, Control Panel, etc.) and the update them on File Explorer's ribbon.  Then it will feel more coherent.



#350 PGHammer

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 16:39

I will definitely welcome this if only for two great features of the Windows 7 Start Menu:

 

  1. Jump lists (I used this extensively when I had Word and Excel pinned to my Start menu)
  2. Control Panel and My Documents expandability.

 

To me, those two features are a great reason to bring back the Start menu for non-touch computer users.  I know, you can pin Word and Excel to the taskbar and get the jump lists, but it's easier on the Start menu (at least for me).

 

Now all they need to do with the next update is remove and replace the Window Vista / 7 style icons for the Desktop (Computer, Recycle Bin, Control Panel, etc.) and the update them on File Explorer's ribbon.  Then it will feel more coherent.

devHead - the very fact that Taskbar pinning - which came in with Windows 7 - did NOT go away is why the loss of the Start menu mattered extremely little to me at all.  I was able to use Taskbar pinning to avoid the Start menu, which is why I never really missed it.



#351 shall_i_cut

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 10:37

I will definitely welcome this if only for two great features of the Windows 7 Start Menu:

 

  1. Jump lists (I used this extensively when I had Word and Excel pinned to my Start menu)
  2. Control Panel and My Documents expandability.

 

To me, those two features are a great reason to bring back the Start menu for non-touch computer users.  I know, you can pin Word and Excel to the taskbar and get the jump lists, but it's easier on the Start menu (at least for me).

 

Now all they need to do with the next update is remove and replace the Window Vista / 7 style icons for the Desktop (Computer, Recycle Bin, Control Panel, etc.) and the update them on File Explorer's ribbon.  Then it will feel more coherent.

The jump lists can be replicated by search function, just search .xlsx or something (not sure, I dont have MS Office on my new laptop yet)



#352 francescob

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 10:48

Oh noas! They knew this would have happened back in 1995!

 



#353 Rickkins

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 11:54

I disagree.   Everyone I talk to is seriously reconsidering "cloud storage" in light of everything disclosed by Snowden, etc.  At this point businesses especially are probably looking at how fast they can reverse course and get control of their data back because the reality is that the only truly secure storage IS local storage.

Absolutely. One would have to be completely out of his/her mind to rely on the cloud. It's just another load of rubbish that has been sold to a certain section of computing society that simply believes everything that ms corpco says, without thinking it thru for them selves. The myriad of potential issues are so immense that it boggles the mind how thinking individuals could miss them.

 

I realize that this might be hard to understand... but ms does NOT have YOUR best interests at heart... they have their OWN.



#354 Dashel

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 14:53

PG, you can keep droning on, but Metro is still crap with a keyboard.  How such a 'fan' misses this confounds me.  Toss in no voice, mobile, or controller support (thanks XBone) and you don't have anything close to UX neutral.



#355 Dot Matrix

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 17:33

PG, you can keep droning on, but Metro is still crap with a keyboard.  How such a 'fan' misses this confounds me.  Toss in no voice, mobile, or controller support (thanks XBone) and you don't have anything close to UX neutral.

Really? Then how did I just type an email in the mail app? I also just posted a Tweet to Twitter through Tweetium.... So, what do you mean? Please elaborate, because the keyboard works just the same as it does on the old desktop.  



#356 neo158

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 22:30

As long as it's optional then I don't care, if it's forced on me then hello Linux. It's bad enough that Update 1 screwed my settings over upon install by forcing me to return to the desktop after using a modern UI app, but forcing a decade old UI paradigm on me is a step too far, and don't even get me started on that stupid title bar in modern UI apps with no way to turn it off. Why not bring back XP and IE6 while their at it!!!!

 

This is a regression simply because of luddites who can't be bothered to learn a new way of doing things, if that upsets you then tough!!!



#357 Ian W

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 23:15

This is a regression simply because of luddites who can't be bothered to learn a new way of doing things, if that upsets you then tough!!!

The Start screen, while offering many improvements to the Start menu, was also a regression in a few ways.

As for the Start menu, how is it a regression if you don't have to use it? If they were replacing the Start screen with the menu, then I would not be happy, but everything revealed so far suggests that the menu will be optional.

It'd be nice if you'd lose the attitude.



#358 PGHammer

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 16:07

PG, you can keep droning on, but Metro is still crap with a keyboard.  How such a 'fan' misses this confounds me.  Toss in no voice, mobile, or controller support (thanks XBone) and you don't have anything close to UX neutral.

Why is it crap with a keyboard - and in what applications?  If an application is crap with a keyboard, it's badly designed - and ModernUI applications - not games - are not alone in committing THAT sin.  (For example, how many of you are pointing-device-driven BECAUSE all too many of your applications are also pointing-device-driven for the most part?)  No voice support is again application-specific - Windows 8 actually DOES support voice control (there's an applet in Control Panel for it) - why are applications that will leverage it missing?  (Yes - it's the same question that has been asked with regards to Kinect - and voice-control has been at least possible with Windows far longer; I pointed out that it's been available via third parties going back to Windows 3.x - in fact, Dragon still provides that third-party support today.)



#359 PGHammer

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 16:19

Absolutely. One would have to be completely out of his/her mind to rely on the cloud. It's just another load of rubbish that has been sold to a certain section of computing society that simply believes everything that ms corpco says, without thinking it thru for them selves. The myriad of potential issues are so immense that it boggles the mind how thinking individuals could miss them.

 

I realize that this might be hard to understand... but ms does NOT have YOUR best interests at heart... they have their OWN.

Rickkins - again, you are referring largely to employees using personal clouds to store business data.  That IS a bad idea, and that is also why the United States government has disallowed the use of personal storage devices in classified work spaces.  (That is actually both law AND several regulations - and predates Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA.)  However, all too often, convenience trumps law - and you wind up with a Bradley Manning situation - or worse, Johnathan Pollard.  NSA simply took advantage of that fact.  (In other words, it's not new, not news, and has, in fact, largely been public knowledge.)



#360 Dashel

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 16:50

If an application is crap with a keyboard, it's badly designed.

Windows 8 actually DOES support voice control

 

Then 90% of Modern apps are then badly designed and MS has completely failed to remind them and their own devs.  They aren't navigable with the keyboard alone. For all your bitching about how the Desktop isn't friendly to the keyboard.  Metro is even more reliant on a blah blah blah pointing device (precise mouse or coarse touch).  You can play the 'blame the app' game, but that only works in open ecosystems.  Living in the walled garden that no one is maintaining.  Loverly.

 

Win8's voice support isn't a shadow of what is on Xbone or with Cortana.  Which is arguably willful crippling of Win8 as a HTPC.