Confirmed: Windows Blue ditches "Computer" for "This PC"

Back in May, we reported that an early version of Windows 8.1 had ditched the classic "Computer" naming for "This PC", making a minor change from Windows 8. With the Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview now available, these changes have been confirmed, and while it appeared as though Microsoft had completely ditched the Libraries feature, it's now simply hidden by default. Top-level folders are now available under This PC, replacing the primary function of Libraries and making it easier to find your important files.

If you right click in the blank space of the left hand pane, there should be an option to bring back Libraries if you were particularly attached to the feature introduced with Windows 7. Otherwise, expect to see the changes to Computer This PC when you boot up your copy of the Windows 8.1 Preview that's slated for release later this week, or the already-available Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview.

We'll have more tidbits on Windows 8.1 coming later this week, when Microsoft reveals more details about the refreshed operating system at their BUILD 2013 developer conference in San Francisco.

Source: Microsoft-News

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Hopefully they don't actually remove the Libraries anytime soon. I've a fondness for them because of the Vista Beta. They're actually pretty useful.

You expect from a new windows to give you more options to organize your documents, photos, videos, advance voice recognition, whatever..
The new feature is renamed something, wow

Why, is there anything you cant do in Win8.1 you can do in Win8?

Win8.1 seems to be getting a RT explorer. So it will give you a new way to organize your documents etc.

warwagon said,
Please god, think of the people who do phone support!

Wouldn't "My Computer" still be confusing?

"How am I supposed to access your computer?"

"No no, it says "'My Computer', but it's your computer."


It sounds to me that people who would be confused by, "This PC" are no more likely to understand, "My Computer".

warwagon said,
Please god, think of the people who do phone support!

What why, unless you do a fresh install. The name will remain the same as it was before the upgrade.

Hence why Windows 8 users still have "My Computer" cause they always upgrade. From XP>VISTA>7 and now 8.

Cooperate systems usually get upgraded and not with every new release (and especially service packs like this) get complete and full reinstalls.
The average Joe user will just upgrade from 8 to 8.1, and then nothing will change.

What do you mean? Windows dosent work on a root system like Unix. Windows has multiple possible roots based on the physical drives present on the system. I don't really see any conceivable way to do this. Also if the UAC is left on then there is little chance of a security breach reaching the upper levels of the directory hierarchy.

By the time the preview gets released we won't need to install it to see all the new features / improvements because neowin would have given us a full page review of them all so we'd know all about them

I hope it will be easy to make my default Documents location be on SkyDrive. At the moment I have added SkyDrive\Documents to my Documents Library and set it as the default location.

With Cloud becoming so prevalent, I think it would be easier for people to know their files are either on SkyDrive, or on "This PC."

Will we be getting a full in depth change log on the site here to show the differences between 8 -> 8.1 ? I'd like to see that

Wonder if people are going to freak out about this as bad as they freaked about the Start button. We all know how rabid the internet gets when MS changes anything.

in XP you can rename "My Computer" to anything you want to.
BUT can you rename the "This PC" on Windows Blue?
- yes, no big deal then
- no, boo! regressive!

Nice to see those Windows Vista icons are still there in Windows 8.1. They really compliment Metro and the new desktop theme.

Have you noticed that in general, Windows 8.1 is just pure bloat service pack-like.

Apart the simple, logical addition "boot to desktop" there's nothing useful for the vast majority. I guess the failure has been extended. On stand by for Windows 9, when they will seperate the OSes and create 2 distinct, one for PCs and one for tablets. They must remove the vast bloat, tablet-related things from the PC version Windows 9.

PC EliTiST said,
Have you noticed that in general, Windows 8.1 is just pure bloat service pack-like.

Apart the simple, logical addition "boot to desktop" there's nothing useful for the vast majority. I guess the failure has been extended. On stand by for Windows 9, when they will seperate the OSes and create 2 distinct, one for PCs and one for tablets. They must remove the vast bloat, tablet-related things from the PC version Windows 9.

What... Dafuq did I just read?

Edited by Dot Matrix, Jun 25 2013, 12:16pm :

Yes, one wonders when will Microsoft create two OSs--one for tablets and one for laptop/desktop PCs?? This trying to fit a square peg into a square hole AND a round hole just won't work--its a physical thing.

I was already good at organizing my files before libraries so I really never used them. Plus I have kept my files on another driver or storage so I definitely would never use libraries. It is a pain in the butt that most applications do not give you a choice of where to save files so I am always backing up those files too. For example, I switch the location for outlook so that the files are on another drive. I also back up my saved game files regularly. It would be nice if we can set where we want our libraries located. Maybe you can in registry but I never fussed with that either.

Shadowzz said,

Every time there's someone complaining about this.

Any idea how many icons are in Windows? You obviously have no idea how big an OS like this is.
That Microsoft rather not waste their resources on designing new icons for the complaining little trolls like you.
If its such a problem for you, go to the shareholder site of neowin (wincustomize.com) and download yourself a fresh new icon pack and get it over with.

I'm glad you're so excited about it. You act as if Microsoft is a tiny organization that doesn't have the resources to change their icons. If you'd developed an app for the Windows 8 Store, you would realize how strict they are with 'Metro' compliance. Meaning, they want your app to follow their UI guidelines.

You'd think that their operating system would follow those same guidelines. The fact is, they are pushing the Modern UI and they are themselves not following it.

But thanks for your valuable input!

Personally I prefer "Local PC" but I guess these days things have to sound warm and friendly for all the grandmas and kids using computers.

"Top-level folders are now available under This PC, replacing the primary function of Libraries and making it easier to find your important files."

The primary function is to consolidate several locations into one location. How do top-level folders replace this function?

Lamp Post said,
"Top-level folders are now available under This PC, replacing the primary function of Libraries and making it easier to find your important files."

The primary function is to consolidate several locations into one location. How do top-level folders replace this function?

They don't, but how many people actually used multiple locations for the same file types and needed libraries? I'd say the majority never did this, they just had the same default top folder/user folders set in libraries and never added more to it, which made the feature pointless.

If you do want to have multiple locations show up in a library as one, well, you do it manually now. Otherwise it's just hidden.

GP007 said,

They don't, but how many people actually used multiple locations for the same file types and needed libraries? I'd say the majority never did this, they just had the same default top folder/user folders set in libraries and never added more to it, which made the feature pointless.

If you do want to have multiple locations show up in a library as one, well, you do it manually now. Otherwise it's just hidden.


I actually used it - I have complete blu-ray rips on one drive and re-encoded video on another. Then I added both folders into the library to be able to search in both of them.

The consolidation was the primary function, even though not many people used it. So what they write in the article is still wrong.

Nashy said,
Why not just have it as the PC name?

HP0731507045

That's why. Many OEM machines come with stupid names like that and bypasses the windows setup where it would normally use your user name to pick a computer name.

Why would you need it to be the name of the PC you are on? It is the PC you are on after all... "This PC" is probably the most accurate thing they could have put.

Nashy said,
And Microsoft can change that while they're at it.

Genius, and how about those cooperate WIM's that use the same system OEM's do to name their devices?

I couldn't care less what they do with the corporate world and their PCs. It's Microsoft, I'm sure they can sort something out.

Never really liked Libraries, but that's because my documents are in skydrive/dropbox/g-drive and anything bigger has it's own hard drive/raid anyway to separate it.

'This PC' is just annoying because it doesn't need to be changed. I can pretty much see the 'How do I get to my computer?' questions coming my way already....

ChristopherSmith said,
Never really liked Libraries, but that's because my documents are in skydrive/dropbox/g-drive and anything bigger has it's own hard drive/raid anyway to separate it.

'This PC' is just annoying because it doesn't need to be changed. I can pretty much see the 'How do I get to my computer?' questions coming my way already....

I feel your problems are far worse if users that open up explorer would open a support ticket to ask you where 'compuer' has gone instead of thinking 'I'll just click on this-pc and see if that's it'

ChristopherSmith said,
'This PC' is just annoying because it doesn't need to be changed. I can pretty much see the 'How do I get to my computer?' questions coming my way already....

Actually, it makes more sense. 'My computer' can throw off people that are using tablets, or other devices, and if they are at a kiosk, or other computer they don't own, they may get confused. 'This PC' shows them that this is only for the current PC they are on. Brilliant.

duddit2 said,

I feel your problems are far worse if users that open up explorer would open a support ticket to ask you where 'compuer' has gone instead of thinking 'I'll just click on this-pc and see if that's it'


I see that you have never worked with average Joe's before.

Find my important files, or find those junk filled jokes Microsoft thinks are where I put my important files?

Isn't very clear in the article as to whether this is a replacement/removal of libraries (and if so, if they can be pointed elsewhere), or libraries just being moved under "This PC".

Hahhaha, if this is what vexes those high paid top scholars MS hires then we are all screwed! Im pretty sure no cares and this change is totally pointless.

Iridium said,
Hahhaha, if this is what vexes those high paid top scholars MS hires then we are all screwed! Im pretty sure no cares and this change is totally pointless.

They are not very smart scholars! That screenshot is from Windows Server 2012. Since when was a Server a Personal Computer?

Yes, this is what the market folks spend their time on while programmers do something useful. "My Documents" or just "Documents"? Let's iterate that over ten years.

Iridium said,
Hahhaha, if this is what vexes those high paid top scholars MS hires then we are all screwed! Im pretty sure no cares and this change is totally pointless.

You do realise this would have taken less time that it took you to moan about it don't you?

I can see where "This PC" is coming from, if you use enough connected devices and cloud systems... it is easier to designate what is local and what is cloud and what is an attached device (since drive letters are pretty useless if you are connecting and removing things in random orders).

I like how Libraries worked, though that is on a single-user system.

it's an unnecessary change, probably a poor attempt at trying to sound cooler and more modern. There is nothing wrong with 'My Computer'.

Uplift said,
it's an unnecessary change, probably a poor attempt at trying to sound cooler and more modern. There is nothing wrong with 'My Computer'.

Isn't it time you upgraded from Windows XP? It's been called "Computer" since Windows Vista.

Ideas Man said,

Isn't it time you upgraded from Windows XP? It's been called "Computer" since Windows Vista.

I use Windows 8.. I'm just saying it was fine as 'My Computer' (not Computer, or This PC)

Uplift said,
it's an unnecessary change, probably a poor attempt at trying to sound cooler and more modern. There is nothing wrong with 'My Computer'.

Disagree, this makes more sense now you can have so many different ways of accessing your network/Windows 8

Uplift said,

I use Windows 8.. I'm just saying it was fine as 'My Computer' (not Computer, or This PC)

Then rename it to Computer. Or My Computer. Or John Q. Pubic. Or almost anything really.

Point is, it's merely a default name that can be changed.

Edit: quote

Uplift said,
it's an unnecessary change, probably a poor attempt at trying to sound cooler and more modern. There is nothing wrong with 'My Computer'.

My computer doesn't have to be the current PC I am using. Which is why "This PC" is clearer.

Douglas_C said,

Then rename it to Computer. Or My Computer. Or John Q. Pubic. Or almost anything really.

Point is, it's merely a default name that can be changed.

Edit: quote

Why does John Q. have a computer down his pants?

Well, you can just rename it, of course. As you've always been able to. I've always named mine my computer name, which has been Terminus since 1998.

Uplift said,

I use Windows 8.. I'm just saying it was fine as 'My Computer' (not Computer, or This PC)


Then you've taken an upgrade path from XP, through Vista, 7 and than 8.
Otherwise the default name of My Computer = Computer.

articuno1au said,
Why? O.o

Because they keep losing files - my folks have files that exist in yet if they try to find them by going through the libraries then according to Windows they no longer exist. It is a novel idea that was executed poorly.

I thought Libraries were a brilliant implementation of an idea I had myself years before they were put into Windows, so when they appeared it was like Microsoft had read my mind (because I never requested the feature). I never had any trouble with them and they are a fantastic way to access files in multiple physical locations from one place. If you don't like them there's nothing stopping you from not using them, either. So, since I do like them, I hope they keep the functionality, even they are hidden in the file manager by default.

That's pretty much my experience too.

I have a bunch of network locations bound to my libraries and can organise/watch/listen/whatever directly from the network with it appearing neatly in my explorer panes. Even better downloads etc automatically go to wherever I want them.

Was just curious really >.<

articuno1au said,
Interesting.

I've never come across issues like that. I wonder if it's index related or something..

I've tried forcing a re-indexing but that hasn't fixed it up - end of the day it is things like that that give the impression to the end user that Windows is flakey - when everything is centred around a particular technology working and when it fails the end user assume his or her document is lost. The problem wouldn't be so bad if applications didn't set the libraries up as default locations and place to go to when opening or saving documents but alas here we are.

Libraries are awesome. I have some videos on my C drive, some on D, and also some on E. Libraries make it easy to find what I am looking for.

articuno1au said,
That's pretty much my experience too.

I have a bunch of network locations bound to my libraries and can organise/watch/listen/whatever directly from the network with it appearing neatly in my explorer panes. Even better downloads etc automatically go to wherever I want them.

Was just curious really >.<


How did you manage to add network drives to the libraries?

articuno1au said,
Interesting.

I've never come across issues like that. I wonder if it's index related or something..


Prob they mistaken the public documents for the personal document!

Mr Nom Nom's said,

Because they keep losing files - my folks have files that exist in yet if they try to find them by going through the libraries then according to Windows they no longer exist. It is a novel idea that was executed poorly.

Yeah, for users, files/emails always just "disappear" or "get deleted", it's never the user...

Libraries are nothing else than shortcuts to your regular filesystem folders. How on Earth does a shortcut "eat" your files, really?

Mr Nom Nom's said,

I've tried forcing a re-indexing but that hasn't fixed it up - end of the day it is things like that that give the impression to the end user that Windows is flakey - when everything is centred around a particular technology working and when it fails the end user assume his or her document is lost. The problem wouldn't be so bad if applications didn't set the libraries up as default locations and place to go to when opening or saving documents but alas here we are.

I cant see how a library could lose a file, as all it shows is the contents of the actual folders you add to the libraries. One thing did come to mind though - each library has a default save location, and if you have more than one physical folder added then it maybe that files were saved to the default but its not what the user thought was the default.

Anyway, I use libraries a lot, and the only thing that's ever happened to me on a number of machines is the library became corrupt, so you just delete it and create it again (adding the correct folder to it) and its all good again.

-adrian- said,

How did you manage to add network drives to the libraries?

As long as the (mapped) drive is indexed, it will allow you to add it to a library.

I use libraries because I scatter files over two or more computers. If I had the space on one PC, I wouldn't need to do so and would probably not use them.

I used to find the libraries useful. Then one day I booted my PC and found all my libraries corrupted, even the default ones for music & videos etc. I ended up deleting the lot and rebuilding them, only to have it happen again a few months later.

Now I just don't bother.

bviktor said,
Yeah, for users, files/emails always just "disappear" or "get deleted", it's never the user...

Libraries are nothing else than shortcuts to your regular filesystem folders. How on Earth does a shortcut "eat" your files, really?

duddit2 said,
I cant see how a library could lose a file, as all it shows is the contents of the actual folders you add to the libraries. One thing did come to mind though - each library has a default save location, and if you have more than one physical folder added then it maybe that files were saved to the default but its not what the user thought was the default.

Anyway, I use libraries a lot, and the only thing that's ever happened to me on a number of machines is the library became corrupt, so you just delete it and create it again (adding the correct folder to it) and its all good again.

I never said they deleted - the file is still present if you navigate direcly to the file but the file doesn't appear when you navigate to it via libraries - that is the issue. There is an issue between what appears in the physical directory and the library index not being updated to reflect the existence of that file being in the actual directory location.

wingliston said,
Good, I never liked libraries.

Same here. Well not that I never LIKED them because I'm sure they are good for something. But I find that I NEVER use them so I simply don't care about them.

I don't know how many times i saved a file in my documents, then had to hunt to find out it was really in all users. Good riddance libraries.

lkernan said,
I don't know how many times i saved a file in my documents, then had to hunt to find out it was really in all users. Good riddance libraries.

That's obviously a setup error.

lkernan said,
I don't know how many times i saved a file in my documents, then had to hunt to find out it was really in all users. Good riddance libraries.

You could, you know, learn how to use it.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

You obviously knew what I meant - but I guess you get your kicks by trolling forums.

Uh, it's not me trolling, it's you spreading nonsensical FUD.

And no, I have no idea what you mean. Your so-called "physical directory" and "library index" will show the EXACT SAME THING. There's no way they'd be different, since the "library index" is just a "redirect" to your "physical directory".

Yes, there is. Library indexing (in fact, everything that is indexable in a PC) is handled by the Indexing service (formerly Index Server) - it's also the engine behind Windows Desktop Search. It's been a part of *desktop* Windows snce it was added to Windows 2000 Professional, and it's ALWAYS been a part of the server versions since NT Server 3.5 ("Daytona Server" saw the real birth of Index Server). Index Server (and later the Indexing service) is one of those behind-scenes actors that you never notice - until it's broken. It's why I bemoaned that the Start menu was NOT indexable - and I'm quite pleased to see that the StartScreen rectifies this lack.

Except indexing has NOTHING to do with SHORTCUTS. The indexer works on actual folders. Libraries are NOT folders but mere shortcuts to folders.

bviktor said,
There's no such thing as "library index".

You are mistaken.
My library index is over 27GB. had to move its default location off my SSD onto a spindle-based drive.

Same here. I never could figure out to get Libraries to work. File "disappeared" never to be found. Even searches, entering the full file name and extension, yielded "File not found." It goes on and on. Nothing beats a simple and logically set up arrangement of folders and their contents.

An excellent illustration of how Microsoft's attempts at trying to simply things ends up just mucking things up. There was a nice simplicity with MS-DOS.