From The Forums: The Start menu's return

The rumors had been flying around the Internet for months that Microsoft was going to bring back the full Start menu to an upcoming version of Windows. At BUILD 2014 this week, the company confirmed that the Start menu was indeed returning in a future update for Windows 8.1.

The details surrounding the Start menu's revival have yet to be revealed, such as a specific release date and how it will apparently incorporate the Modern UI of Windows 8 as well. However, that lack of detail didn't stop our Neowin community members from sounding off on the decision to bring back the desktop menu in our forums.

In fact, we brought up the topic in our forums area soon after the Start menu announcement. The message thread quickly went "hot" with lots of comments from our members, both for and against the move. One of the supporters of Microsoft's decision is 'firey" who stated:

 Yay! That's awesome. Been using 8.1 at work due to our partner licensing requirements. I don't know how many times I've accidentally hit the Windows key and been thrown to the tiles.. completely taking me away from what I was doing. It's about time they add it back in.. since 8 came out.. the most used app are start menu replacements.

Neowin forum member "cork1958" is in full agreement, stating:

About freaking time they came to their senses!! Exactly why Windows 8 didn't have the take off they hoped for and exactly why I've had to down grade so many computers! Crap! That's going to take work away from me!!

However some of our readers feel that Microsoft is taking a step back with returning the Start menu to the desktop. One of them is "articuno1au" who writes:

I think it's a mistake. Windows 8 has done really well in retail. Most of the complaints seem to center around there being no desktop anymore.. I'm not kidding, that's what most consumers complain about with it. Once shown and explained why the start screen is the way it is and its benefits, people take to it like a duck to water. The only change I would have made would be a desktop setting that made the desktop versions of the apps the default for PC's. i.e. No XBox Video/Music for opening your files, WMP instead. This addresses the most common returning customer complaint. I legitimately dislike that MS have backpedaled after wearing the brunt of all the annoyance from people for so long. Very derpy..

"Dot Matrix" also thinks that Microsoft should break away with the Start menu UI, citing its tie-ins with older versions of Windows. He stated:

This proves that Microsoft isn't going to get anywhere, in making changes to the OS. Half of this code dates back to the 90's... Why are we still trying to hold onto it? Times have changed, operating systems have changed, it's more than time to let some of this backwards functionality go. Windows is a mess of code, registries, and other assorted outdated paradigms. Metro was that clean break to start over.

Some Neowin community members have expressed some concerns about the Modern UI elements in the Start menu version that Microsoft showed off during BUILD 2014. One of them is "Anarkii" who writes:

Still not 100% sold on the live tiles thou, long as there is an option to turn that off, or cutomise (sic) it in such a way it doesnt (sic) take up so much real estate on my screen then im (sic) sold.

One thing is for certain; the Start menu topic for Windows 8 remains a hotly contested issue on both sides and that will likely continue well after the feature is put back in Windows 8.1.

Images via Microsoft

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Look's great - I would be very happy if it looked like the screenshots above. Don't know why they didn't do that in the first place - i mean with the tile panel attached to it, as the full blown metro interface is just dog awful.

The return of the Start Menu is probably just a stop-gap measure. People aren't thrilled by the Start Screen experience (I know I certainly wasn't, neither have folks who are testing Windows 8 in the company) and the ability to go straight to the desktop on non-touch enabled devices is certainly a fix that should have been in place to begin with. But then the question becomes "how does the average user access his programs?" and once again we start going around over the same set of responses. *Most* users are not going to know anything about keyboard shortcuts, nor why should they? To use the Apple maxim, "it should just work" and the Start Menu provides exactly that. Folks here are NOT the average users, most of us are professionals in the IT world, but John and Jane Doe only understands point and click... they don't want to be bothered with all the steps necessary to do X. Just give them the icon on the desktop/quick launch/taskbar and they're happy.

Eventually people will learn a more intuitive way to design a menu system that can be easily understood and used by the majority, but until that happens a start menu is still going to be the most common way for the average user to access their computer. Maybe as Androids and iPads become more common, then the tile/screen design will work for most (I find it difficult to deal with on occasion, personally speaking). But for me (and speaking just for myself) I find the desktop/windowed screens/no pinned apps/start menu environment easy for me to work in and to deal with. This is in both Windows 7 and Windows 8, and that is the way I've intentionally set up my Windows 8 to perform best in... and that's with a Start Menu and no tiles anywhere in sight.

That is something you might end up looking at more often than the Start Screen or the upcoming mini-Start Screen for some users. :p Hopefully they will put as much emphasis on getting their icon set to be convergent with the rest of their products as they do to this reoccurring UI element. I mean what good is a launcher, any launcher, if it gets filled with obsolete artwork?

Microsoft tried something new with Windows 8 release but they have failed when it comes to the Start Menu business. It doesn't matter whether the Metro UI is a new technology people still expects some old stuffs because it's the ICON of Microsoft products.

Somebody said that one has to cope with new Technology and forget the old styles. Having said that why not Microsoft should change their company name to some "MicroWindows" or something like that. Can't do that right? Then just stick with some Windows very basics and do the customer needs.

Microsoft pulling Windows XP plug out of the customers hands, and they are doing their level best to migrate the XP users to the Higher Windows Edition.

April 8, 2014 is not too far away let's hope that everyone understand the situation and act accordingly.

Thanks :)

It's so amusing to hear all the whiners, but not amusing to see MIcrosoft listen. They do not seem to have learned yet that Windows users generally love to complain about every single little change. If they change the color of an icon, people will whine about it.

The Start Screen works very well and it is much better than the Start Menu because it is completely under my control. Programs can't add anything I don't want, I can arrange everything just how I like it. Important programs have big tiles, less important ones small tiles. And live tiles are very useful. Of it being fullscreen gives me a lot more space. I am certainly never going back to the Start Menu.
As long at this new Start Menu remains an option (preferably disabled by default like the old classic Start Menu that thankfully has finally been removed), I don't really mind, if it makes more people adopt Windows 8. But they better not force me to change back to the Start Menu. Windows needs to move forwards - and for that things have to change. Win32 has to go eventually - it's ancient, and while WinRT is not yet ready to take its place, it hopefully will be soon. For that, we really need windowed WinRT apps, so that part I'm looking forward to.

All this complaining is especially amusing if one remembers that is how it went with every Windows release. For XP they were whining about the "fisher price" interface, for Vista it was stability and bloat (though that was not Microsoft's fault), for Win7 it was the new taskbar (who would possibly want a big icon that both launches the program and switches to it?). Microsoft didn't do anything there, and today people apparently love Win7...

Finally i hated those live tiles or whatever they were... i also hope you can disable the "live tile" start menu forever too.

The start menu as should be in the first version of Win 8! The design team took very wrong decisions. What happened to "I'm a PC and Windows 7 was my idea". They should have listened to the users in this version of Windows, at least at some extent. They just started to listen after everybody started to complain!

Edited by mjedi7, Apr 7 2014, 4:13am :

Young kids, who seem to be in charge at Microsoft, rarely listen to their elders, who have "been around for a while," know what works, and have made it possible for the young kids to have it so good.

Microsoft needs to stop these "patched" add-ons to a touch-centric OS in a vain attempt to make it more mouse/keyboard friendly. Why not just come out with a "clean UI" for the next OS oriented to mouse/keyboard devices? Call it Windows-9.

I agree that some some people like the metro view while others like the classic start menu, but Someone for the sake of god help me understand, why some people think that windows UI should be the same in a 8 inch tablet which you peg on it while tryig to do stuff, with a desktop computer with super high spects, multiple monitors, and a keyboard and a mous. jees. this is not 2914 yet

Im not a hater or anything, but i dont like to type. I prefer to drill down thru file trees with the mouse. When i go to the start screen, i have to look through multiple pages of programs that are not arranged alphabetically to find what I want. The start menu allows me to focus on one small part of the screen and get to what i want. Certainly more mouse clicks, but it just seems faster, especially when i cant remember the exact name of what Im looking for.

Still thinking Start menu return is a mistake. The example above is killing the initial windows 8 touch&desktop interface coherence. Desktop interface is enough in 8.1 no need to come back so far behind in Windows 7. We are in 2014, touch devices are here. ModernUI is a good interface model for touch (largely better in my opinion than iOS or Android)... This desktop example above is an ugly unusable menu, I don't see me using tiles in this menu. Why not get an entire pane from the edge as a kind start-screen-menu ?
Why people doesn't want Microsoft to bring a touch device interface if they want touch devices (from other manufacturers) ?... Why Microsoft should does exactly as Apple with desktop and touch devices separate (to be treated as copycat, after that)

Edited by Wireless wookie, Apr 6 2014, 8:19pm : grammar

Why is it for some people so hard to understand that touchscreens are a huge tradeoff for mobile devices? Using it on a desktop is just plain silly and in most cases even detrimental for your health. if you have learned on a mobile device how "computers" are used, then you are the problem, not the people who have been working for decades with mouse and keyboard.

It is called corporate arrogance and their refusal to admit they have been shnookered by youngsters who have very little knowledge of how mainstream business works in data entry and content creation. There IS a difference between play and work.

I've adjusted to not having a start menu (per say) on the desktop. I just wonder what will happen on the tablet side. I'm just afraid with all this back pedaling Microsoft is doing, that windows will become a hot mess with even less identity than having 2 separate versions being duck taped together.

How is more opportunity and options equal to that Microsoft isn't going to get anywhere?
For most of us, our desktop computer is not a smart phone or tablet.
I wellcome the return of the start menu and the ability to run modern apps windowed as an option,

I'm really concerned about how the Metro Apps are going to function on the desktop when they get windowed. During the Modern Office presentation, the Office program switched into the Metro File Explorer to open a file. Is this something that would happen on the desktop? Will the Metro Apps switch to desktop utilities when they need to? Most of the Metro apps are self contained I guess. Will they split up the Metro Apps to accommodate a desktop version of the same tablet app? Phone, Tablet, Desktop versions?

I still think the "PC Settings" app should be in the desktop visual paradigm (like the rest of the Control Panel is) if it's a desktop version of the operating system on a desktop computer.

Sheesh Sicromoft, you're doing it all backwards - take look at android to do things.
You put resizeable live widgets on the DESKTOP and apps stay in menu, not the other way around. WORK IT OUT already. Clicking a widget when using a touch-enabled screen with a finger opens a metro app, using a pointer device opens a desktop version of the app. So simple. Android would otherwise work perfectly for a desktop OS but the scaling and convenience is still a bit too much for smaller touch devices so needs a bit more work. All widgets would be there with default install as a nice set like android has and also useful for desktop user. You already had it almost right in Vista, but poor implementation as usual. Get this concept and expand it, the perfect combo. It's not copying android, it's a common thing already. I think that would be the best solution from both/many worlds :) Start menu is one of the most recognizable things in Windows through time and can coexist with new ideas perfectly.

The Start Screen was never a problem, nor the lack of a Start Menu or a Start Button. The main issue is all the nerd rage and computer illiteracy that is so pervasive with Windows users. Not all but a great deal of people.

If anyone wanted a Start Menu, they already could have had one - there are enough third party add-ons to cover their need.

But no, they want it from Microsoft. Why? Because it isn't the Start Menu that they want.

Atlantico said,
The Start Screen was never a problem, nor the lack of a Start Menu or a Start Button. The main issue is all the nerd rage and computer illiteracy that is so pervasive with Windows users. Not all but a great deal of people.

If anyone wanted a Start Menu, they already could have had one - there are enough third party add-ons to cover their need.

But no, they want it from Microsoft. Why? Because it isn't the Start Menu that they want.

^^^ a million times this.
Remember, empty vessels make the most noise.

Atlantico said,
But no, they want it from Microsoft. Why? Because it isn't the Start Menu that they want.
No matter what design MS comes up with they'll always be complaining. Only thing is how long MS will be forced to do the whole "2 steps forward, 1 step backward" dance.

Microsoft should certainly be commended for the fact that they actually listened. The absence of the start menu has not affected me due to classic shell and start8 (for my main machine). I am now looking forward to the update to see what they can pull out of the bag, if I still don't like it what they think suits then those programs will still be there! :-)

I'm glad Microsoft have started putting the Windows back in Windows. Start Menu looks good, I can pin the handful of live tiles that might be mildly relevant to me, and have a nice list of icons to jump to without cluttering up my taskbar with every app I want quick access to.

Can you make a desktop shortcut from the apps list yet? It only gives me an option to pin to taskbar. No make shortcut on desktop option.

Weissmeister said,
I stopped caring after Update 1, which is awful. Can't wait for Windows 9, I doubt it could get any worse than now.

Whats even more awful about Update 1 than Windows 8/8.1?

Weissmeister said,
I stopped caring after Update 1, which is awful. Can't wait for Windows 9, I doubt it could get any worse than now.

What's this nonsense?

Weissmeister said,
I stopped caring after Update 1, which is awful. Can't wait for Windows 9, I doubt it could get any worse than now.

Care to elaborate...?

Almost everything is awful about Update 1. The title bar on the metro apps popping up every time I move my cursor to the top of the screen. The close button on it that doesn't really close the app. The task bar appearing on top of the start screen and metro apps, partially covering them. The clutter that is brought by metro apps that don't close (and were not meant to be closed by user from the beginning). Ugly desktop-styled right-click menu appearing on metro-styled start screen. The delay to show the metro app switcher that appeared after the update (not sure if it's a bug or a feature).
The only good thing about the update is that it finally has a visible shutdown button on the start screen.

I'm glad to see Microsoft bring back the full start menu. A good company is one that listens to the majority, if not all of its customers. The problem stems from them trying to integrate two styles. ModernUI just is ridiculous on a non-tablet or non-touchscreen device. Also, there are still so many apps that are designed for the desktop environment and thus a lot of people will spend the majority, if not all of their time in the desktop mode. Thus, gimping the desktop was not a good idea. Now, I feel that it wouldn't be so bad to start ditching legacy code and operations once everyday computing and more apps become more centered around a modern UI setup. Until then, keep the desktop the way it was. Keep the modern UI for tablets and touch screens and give regular machines the option to not deal with modern UI at all. I realize that some have a preference for modern UI and others the desktop. Microsoft did too much too fast without really considering all the ramifications of its decisions with Windows 8.

Steve B said,
I'm glad to see Microsoft bring back the full start menu. A good company is one that listens to the majority, if not all of its customers. The problem stems from them trying to integrate two styles. ModernUI just is ridiculous on a non-tablet or non-touchscreen device. Also, there are still so many apps that are designed for the desktop environment and thus a lot of people will spend the majority, if not all of their time in the desktop mode. Thus, gimping the desktop was not a good idea. Now, I feel that it wouldn't be so bad to start ditching legacy code and operations once everyday computing and more apps become more centered around a modern UI setup. Until then, keep the desktop the way it was. Keep the modern UI for tablets and touch screens and give regular machines the option to not deal with modern UI at all. I realize that some have a preference for modern UI and others the desktop. Microsoft did too much too fast without really considering all the ramifications of its decisions with Windows 8.

If you don't want Modern, then use Windows 7. But everything going forward is going to be Modern based. The Metro Language has been universally deployed across Microsoft's products and services. Universal Applications are coming to Windows, Windows Phone and XBox. And Microsoft will be doing everything in their power to push the Store forward for users to use.

There is no going back to "the ways things were." That is just not an option.

Well, it is an option since Microsoft is giving its users back the Start Menu. As I mentioned....too much to fast. Microsoft obviously agrees. For the record, I use Macs. ;-)

My original post also talked about how once the most apps and other activities can do without the desktop environment then yeah, lets ditch legacy stuff. However, as I also pointed out, now is not the time for that as most apps and activity requires the desktop mode. So it makes perfect sense for MS to bring stuff back to make Win8 more desktop friendly until such time when legacy material can be done away with. If you're able to wing it with Modern UI, by all means, go for it. However, not everyone is in the same boat as you and thus giving them the start menu again is a good thing.

Dot Matrix said,

There is no going back to "the ways things were." That is just not an option.

Please stop talking. You said constantly that the Start Menu was NEVER coming back, yet here we are. Metro isn't going away, but neither is the Desktop and the Start Menu.

The new start menu looks really pretty, and I'm sure a lot of people will appreciate it. I could really care less about it -- EXCEPT -- I want to be able to hit the start key, type a few characters, like calc, excel, vis (for visual studio), snip and Enter to run it.

Yes, this works with the full screen Start. However, it's a massively jarring screen change to simply run a program that might just occupy just a bit of the screen. And, I can't pin every program that I frequently run onto the task bar.

Jarring: complainers new favorite word since Windows 8. It feels like this whole debacle taught many people a new word since I've never seen it used so much before people started parroting it.

I guess if I was making decisions at Microsoft I would have brought the start menu back long ago. Once people start complaining about one thing they're just not going to stop. Searching works just fine in start screen. Launching Excel for instance takes such a small amount of time that I barely even see the start screen appear and then disappear. I'm thinking "launch Excel" so I do. I'm not looking at something else while simultaneously starting Excel. That's just silly, no one does that. Plus you could just use Win+S if you don't want to go full screen.

mrp04 said,
I'm not looking at something else while simultaneously starting Excel. That's just silly, no one does that.

I do, I constantly look at other things when I launch apps or manipulate something.

mrp04 said,
Jarring: complainers new favorite word since Windows 8. It feels like this whole debacle taught many people a new word since I've never seen it used so much before people started parroting it.

I guess if I was making decisions at Microsoft I would have brought the start menu back long ago. Once people start complaining about one thing they're just not going to stop. Searching works just fine in start screen. Launching Excel for instance takes such a small amount of time that I barely even see the start screen appear and then disappear. I'm thinking "launch Excel" so I do. I'm not looking at something else while simultaneously starting Excel. That's just silly, no one does that. Plus you could just use Win+S if you don't want to go full screen.

You're coming off as very upset that others don't share the same opinion as you do. People find it jarring not because they learned a new word to parrot while the whine or complain or whatever, but because they actually find it jarring. Imagine that. You go from decades of having this little thing pop up on the left side of the screen to this thing that takes up the whole screen. It causes people to have to readjust.

At first, I found the start screen to be jarring, but once it was released as a final product, and apps started coming out with live tile support, I didn't find it to be so jarring any more.

Also, there's something called field of vision. It enables you to click on the start button, and select Exel without having to take your eyes off of your main focus point.

And finally...


...Jarring.

benthebear said,

You're coming off as very upset that others don't share the same opinion as you do. People find it jarring not because they learned a new word to parrot while the whine or complain or whatever, but because they actually find it jarring. Imagine that. You go from decades of having this little thing pop up on the left side of the screen to this thing that takes up the whole screen. It causes people to have to readjust.

At first, I found the start screen to be jarring, but once it was released as a final product, and apps started coming out with live tile support, I didn't find it to be so jarring any more.

Also, there's something called field of vision. It enables you to click on the start button, and select Exel without having to take your eyes off of your main focus point.

And finally...


...Jarring.

You are saying that you can click the start button and then select Excel without taking your eyes off whatever you're watching elsewhere on the screen?

You are either a chameleon or full of it.

Saying you can focus on one thing while doing another, is like saying you can text and drive at the same time. We know people can't do that, so, no, there is no one here digging around the menu while keeping focus on an open application. Humans cannot focus on two things at once. Our eyes just do not work in that fashion, and neither do our brains. We may think we can, but it is far from the truth. I can barely see 20 px beyond this text, let alone focus on the taskbar and start button below.

If your work requires you to eyeball a window without interruption, chances are you never used the Start Menu to launch other applications any way. You would have opened up the run command, and gone from there.

CuddleVendor said,

I do, I constantly look at other things when I launch apps or manipulate something.

No. No you do not. But enough people like you think they do and make a big stink about it that they're adding the old menu back in.

benthebear said,

You're coming off as very upset that others don't share the same opinion as you do. People find it jarring not because they learned a new word to parrot while the whine or complain or whatever, but because they actually find it jarring. Imagine that.

No, people complain just to complain whenever there is ANY change. Look at FB for instance. Every time they change the layout people are always whining. For some reason it just never settles down with Windows. People just really want "every other release sucks" to be true so they just keep whining until the next release.

You two need to stop lying to yourself. You don't focus on #### while also digging through the start menu.

Um. Yes people do. Have you ever been to a website that listed the folders where a shortcut was located? That has happened numerous times. And I go back and forth going to the next folder, and looking at the documentation to know where to go next.

There are also people that use it as the run dialog. And again, if you are following some sort of documentation, it is nice to be able to see it!

Dot Matrix said,
Saying you can focus on one thing while doing another, is like saying you can text and drive at the same time. We know people can't do that, so, no, there is no one here digging around the menu while keeping focus on an open application. Humans cannot focus on two things at once. Our eyes just do not work in that fashion, and neither do our brains. We may think we can, but it is far from the truth. I can barely see 20 px beyond this text, let alone focus on the taskbar and start button below.

If your work requires you to eyeball a window without interruption, chances are you never used the Start Menu to launch other applications any way. You would have opened up the run command, and gone from there.


In all fairness there have been scenario's where I indeed had to keep focus and start a different program. But that went with blind typing "winkey+program name". Yeah this exact process can not be done on Windows 8.1 (and impossible unless dual monitor on Windows 8). But with the return of the one and only lovable feature the start menu had, it shouldn't be a problem anymore. As Winkey+S completely replaced any particular usefulness the start menu once had.

I'm confuse!
Back in the time they announce Windows 8, they said that they were going to 'innovate' the platform, steps forward steps merging the Desktop UX and Modern UX together for both touch and non-touch user and somehow they hoped that the users would get along with the changes after several version.
Now that, they adding the start menu back, this is a step forward in responding the users' voices but also, this is a step backward in merging the 2 UX, they are making desktop and modern more more different.
The only thing they are trying to merge together with these changes is the store apps and desktop apps, now that non-touch users will find it much easier to run store apps on their desktop.

You have missed all the backfire and amount of flaming/hating on Windows 8?

I like the direction MS is taking but somehow "most" (the _most_ loudest) people seem to hate it. While basically very little has changed. So Microsoft has little choice to appeal to these "most".

By the most, you mean the vocal minority who eventually switched to a Linux distro or Mac OS X, because of the lack of Start Menu in Windows 8/8.1? But of that's true, they why would their opinion on the matter be relevant at all? Kind of seems a self-defeating approach to me.

PotatoAlchemist said,
By the most, you mean the vocal minority who eventually switched to a Linux distro or Mac OS X
In my years of experience, despite all their bi**ing very few people who claim or "threaten" to do this actually go through with it. Most of these people cannot handle Linux anyway and are too cheap to pay Apple's tax.

Romero said,
In my years of experience, despite all their bi**ing very few people who claim or "threaten" to do this actually go through with it. Most of these people cannot handle Linux anyway and are too cheap to pay Apple's tax.

Every operating system has its advantages and disadvantages and they are good at their own things, but to switch from one operating system to another mainly because of a reformed user interface element is silly at best. Besides the price, usually the application support and compability comes in mind. And yet again, nothing stops them from installing a third party application to bring out a Start Menu based user interface option.
Besides within the Linux ecosystem, every sort of graphical shell is third party. Nothing is tied down there to a Linux distro officially, only they have defaults or preferences to go for.

PotatoAlchemist said,
Every operating system has its advantages and disadvantages and they are good at their own things, but to switch from one operating system to another mainly because of a reformed user interface element is silly at best.
Most definitely, yet I see people claiming how they're going to dump Win8 and switch to OS X or Linux instead. Yeah, that's going to be far less of a transition as opposed to learning to use the Start Screen or taking 5s to install a Start Menu replacement. :rolleyes: Not to mention an average Windows user is not going to go down the Linux route anyway. My point was most people making such rage-quit threats are simply blow-hards.

Or even if they do, some will just return to Windows (either 7 or 8.1 or even XP for that matter), Especially that the whole Win32 fiasco, in which case, it will stay intact for a couple of iterations before getting replaced or upgraded altogether, so it gives much more time to run the popular but yet the highly specialized applications too.

Win32 isn't going nowhere until <95% of the Windows users use it, even then (MS usually supports things until 99% of the people have moved on).
MS even made internal agreements IIRC where they told themselves even questioning whether or not Win32 should go anywhere won't be done until 2020.
And if people watched BUILD, the way you can soon import old apps (even from the 90s) into a WinRT one with very little effort and almost no knowledge required, shows the WinRT is maturing quite rapidly.
Yeah it will be a while before WinRT is fully mature to even consider replacing Win32, but its coming.

Start menu is something that most of the Windows 8 users is missing and that's one of the reason that some people are not liking the Windows 8 / 8.1. Let's see how much difference it makes in to people

PS: Going one step back is good for something good to happen.

Cheers :)

I wouldn't say it's going a step back, i'd say it's offering a choice to consumers that wanted and expected it...

prathaprabhu said,
Of course yes, because the customers who buy the Microsoft Genuine Product have full rights to share their opinions. Right?

Correct.

LUTZIFER said,
I can't wait. Finally being able to get to Programs faster with less clicking.

OK we've probably done this a thousand times but ... same amount ... blah... pin... blah... search blah... you get the point.

LUTZIFER said,
I can't wait. Finally being able to get to Programs faster with less clicking.

Sorry, it takes the same amount of clicks and time in 7 as it does in 8. Just looks different. I'm guessing you're one of those people who never actually used it yet complained.

mrp04 said,
Sorry, it takes the same amount of clicks and time in 7 as it does in 8. Just looks different. I'm guessing you're one of those people who never actually used it yet complained.

I love having to switch from applications to a full screen "launcher" just to launch an another application.

It makes complete sense on a triple screen system.

CuddleVendor said,

I love having to switch from applications to a full screen "launcher" just to launch an another application.

It makes complete sense on a triple screen system.

Takes the same amount of time and fits more shortcuts. Works fine for my dual 30" setup.

CuddleVendor said,

I love having to switch from applications to a full screen "launcher" just to launch an another application.

It makes complete sense on a triple screen system.

Not sure what you mean. It works fine on my dual monitor system. What does having a home screen prohibit on a tri-monitor setup?

Dot Matrix said,

Not sure what you mean. It works fine on my dual monitor system. What does having a home screen prohibit on a tri-monitor setup?

According to the complainers it's "jarring". Because everyone focuses their attention on something on their screen while they launch things from the start menu. When I go to launch a program I'm doing so because I want to do something in it and am not looking at something else in the 2 seconds it takes to open.

Dot Matrix said,
What does having a home screen prohibit on a tri-monitor setup?

Because it's extremely unintuitive to switch from your running applications to a full screen application just to launch a new one or search for something.

If you want to see how it's done properly, look at the open source KDE's KRunner - ALT+F2, launch/search anything you want (applications, mail, music, whatever) without having to switch from your running apps.

Another great example of how it's done properly; Alfred on Apple OSX, a launcher that doesn't force you to switch but simply creates a small popup window that allows you to launch, search or manipulate applications, media, drives, whatever.

CuddleVendor said,

Because it's extremely unintuitive to switch from your running applications to a full screen application just to launch a new one or search for something.

If you want to see how it's done properly, look at the open source KDE's KRunner - ALT+F2, launch/search anything you want (applications, mail, music, whatever) without having to switch from your running apps.

It's not unintuitive, it's just different. And you don't like different. Plus you could just use the small side-search with Win+S for the past 7 months. Works exactly like your ALT+F2 thing you're describing.

I and nobody I personally know actually cares that it overlays your stuff for a couple seconds. Who is actually even looking at other things while simultaneously opening a new program? No one.

CuddleVendor said,

Because it's extremely unintuitive to switch from your running applications to a full screen application just to launch a new one or search for something.

If you want to see how it's done properly, look at the open source KDE's KRunner - ALT+F2, launch/search anything you want (applications, mail, music, whatever) without having to switch from your running apps.

Another great example of how it's done properly; Alfred on Apple OSX, a launcher that doesn't force you to switch but simply creates a small popup window that allows you to launch, search or manipulate applications, media, drives, whatever.

How is it "unintuitive"? It's the *same process* used to operate the Start Menu. Just because it's full screen doesn't mean you have to take additional steps to launch an application.

mrp04 said,
And you don't like different.

I went from Windows to Linux, I'm pretty sure I can adapt myself better to different systems than your 'average user'.

mrp04 said,
I and nobody I personally know actually cares that it overlays your stuff for a couple seconds. Who is actually even looking at other things while simultaneously opening a new program? No one.

Considering people return Windows 8 boxes and demand 7, I would say a lot of people seem to 'care about it'.

Dot Matrix said,
How is it "unintuitive"? It's the *same process* used to operate the Start Menu.

Start Menu switches me to a new full screen and blocks me from seeing all my applications while I launch or search for something?

mrp04 said,

According to the complainers it's "jarring". Because everyone focuses their attention on something on their screen while they launch things from the start menu. When I go to launch a program I'm doing so because I want to do something in it and am not looking at something else in the 2 seconds it takes to open.

... Which is exactly what happens when you use the Start Menu too. If you're launching an application, that's where your focus is, no matter how hard you try to deny and fight against it.

Humans only have one point of focus. You're either focusing on your applications, or your not. There is no "in between."

CuddleVendor said,

Start Menu switches me to a new full screen and blocks me from seeing all my applications while I launch or search for something?

You just said you had a three monitor setup... How is it blocking all your applications?

CuddleVendor said,

Considering people return Windows 8 boxes and demand 7

Do you have a source for that? I have yet to see anything stating that OEMs are seeing high return rates.

Dot Matrix said,

Do you have a source for that? I have yet to see anything stating that OEMs are seeing high return rates.

LOL? I would like to see your sources instead. Every customer I LET DECIDE what to take, will take Windows 7. And yes, I am honest enough to not talk them into crap they regret later.

Dot Matrix said,

... Which is exactly what happens when you use the Start Menu too. If you're launching an application, that's where your focus is, no matter how hard you try to deny and fight against it.

Not really. I still see my open applications. With Start Screen - I don't. It *is* distracting *for me*. That being said, I learned to avoid the "Win" key. If I want to launch notepad or calculator I use Win+R. I only use the Start Screen to launch "occasional" programs - uTorrent, Quake III etc. The rest is either on my taskbar or available thru Win+R.

coolhund said,

LOL? I would like to see your sources instead. Every customer I LET DECIDE what to take, will take Windows 7. And yes, I am honest enough to not talk them into crap they regret later.


Sure, no influence what so ever. And its nothing new, I know plenty of people who at first turned in 7 to get back to their precious Vista. To each their own and people are afraid of change.

love having to switch from applications to a full screen "launcher" just to launch an another application.

It makes complete sense on a triple screen system.


Open up the start screen on one of your other 2 screens. Or are you focusing on every bit of screen real estate on the 3 screens 24/7?

CuddleVendor said,

Start Menu switches me to a new full screen and blocks me from seeing all my applications while I launch or search for something?

If you Win+S a little search bar pops out of the right of the screen.

Shadowzz said,

Sure, no influence what so ever. And its nothing new, I know plenty of people who at first turned in 7 to get back to their precious Vista. To each their own and people are afraid of change.

Funny, you guys still cling onto that presumption "youre such Neanderthals! Cant even adapt to new things".

Actually, as you can easily and quickly find out, Windows 7 was adapted very, very quickly and was was liked from the beginning. But its nothing you for you guys ignoring facts.

Edited by zhangm, Apr 7 2014, 12:51am :

CuddleVendor said,

Because it's extremely unintuitive to switch from your running applications to a full screen application just to launch a new one or search for something.

If you want to see how it's done properly, look at the open source KDE's KRunner - ALT+F2, launch/search anything you want (applications, mail, music, whatever) without having to switch from your running apps.

Another great example of how it's done properly; Alfred on Apple OSX, a launcher that doesn't force you to switch but simply creates a small popup window that allows you to launch, search or manipulate applications, media, drives, whatever.

ok so if alt-f2 is your shortcut key of choice guess what win+x does :p

coolhund said,

Funny, you guys still cling onto that presumption "youre such Neanderthals! Cant even adapt to new things".

Actually, as you can easily and quickly find out, Windows 7 was adapted very, very quickly and was was liked from the beginning. But its nothing you for you guys ignoring facts.


Yeah Windows 7 was so visually different from its ancestors.

I agree with Dot Matrix that it should have been a complete break, all new, little legacy code. While it has always been for Windows to support the past, this time it has bit them hard. I don't mind the Metro environment but it was forced on people. Many can't deal with change easily. Finally with the next update (Threshold) it should be how it should have been.
Microsoft usually takes till the 3rd version to get it right.

I think they should really update the Windows desktop icon set at this point if they're trying to offer a blended experience.

Enron said,
I think they should really update the Windows desktop icon set at this point if they're trying to offer a blended experience.

I don't think they would do such thing in a minor update.

LaP said,
Any news if the rt mail client will support pop 3 so we can finally ditch live apps?

pop3 is awful, get a better mail provider.

What provider i use is none of MS business. pop 3 should be supported in the consumer oriented rt mail client. I wont change my isp because it uses pop 3 i'll continue to install live mail client.

LaP said,
Any news if the rt mail client will support pop 3 so we can finally ditch live apps?

Even the non-rt version doesn't support pop3 so it is unlikely to happen anytime soon. My ISP has enabled imap support (albeit unofficially) so you might want to push your ISP to do so as well.

shinji257 said,

Even the non-rt version doesn't support pop3 so it is unlikely to happen anytime soon. My ISP has enabled imap support (albeit unofficially) so you might want to push your ISP to do so as well.

The non RT mail client does support pop 3. I have my isp pop 3 mail account added in Windows Live Mail and iOS mail client. Can't add it in the RT mail client.

LaP said,
What provider i use is none of MS business. pop 3 should be supported in the consumer oriented rt mail client. I wont change my isp because it uses pop 3 i'll continue to install live mail client.

I agree with the fact that a consumer oriented mail client should probably consider POP3, or at least explain why its not supported.

Despite that I would encourage you (and others) to not rely on ISP email, if you leave the company it makes things difficult. I know they often allow you to keep your email indefinitely, even after leaving. But it does make things tricky, as well as brings up issues such as no IMAP support and no web interface, usually if there is one it isn't that great either.

LaP said,

The non RT mail client does support pop 3. I have my isp pop 3 mail account added in Windows Live Mail and iOS mail client. Can't add it in the RT mail client.

Windows live mail isn't the same as the Mail Metro app in Windows 8.1... >.<

http://windows.microsoft.com/e...indows-8/pop-email-accounts
"The Mail app, which comes with Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, doesn't support adding email accounts that use POP (Post Office Protocol)."

On the note of RT users they got this to offer on the same document.
"You can send and receive email from POP accounts using Outlook which is free as part of Windows RT 8.1."

Edited by shinji257, Apr 7 2014, 4:12pm :

I'm glad they're improving on multitasking in apps.

I'm holding judgment on the change until I try it out, but it might be nice for it not to resemble a menu as much (albeit while not taking up the entire desktop).

Dot Matrix said,

What is inherently wrong with live tiles that people don't want them?

They look a total mess, and when you have a screen full of random coloured tiles, all randomly changing its not very pleasant to look at.

I like Windows 8, however personally don't agree tiles are the future at all.

Dot Matrix said,

What is inherently wrong with live tiles that people don't want them?

What's NOT wrong with live tiles that anyone WOULD want them?

See, we can make comments without any grounds that state an obvious dislike or like also.

I own a pc support business. Of the 783 computers I've built in the year ZERO of them were requests for Windows 8. (9 of them were requested for Windows xp, which later 6 of them were changed to Windows 7). Beyond that, of my clients laptops purchased with Windows 8 preloaded, 178 of 185 were formatted and changed to Windows 7 (I've become REALLY good at finding those pesky drivers for the odd hardware bits).

The world has spoken, and the majority hate the interface. Some like it, but they ARE the odd ball fanatics out there.

InsaneNutter said,

They look a total mess, and when you have a screen full of random coloured tiles, all randomly changing its not very pleasant to look at.

I like Windows 8, however personally don't agree tiles are the future at all.

Can't see how random icons are better. :p Surely they are even dumber than Live Tiles considering that they are just static pixels and act as launchers, whereas LT at least show some minimal pieces of information.

Dot Matrix said,

What is inherently wrong with live tiles that people don't want them?

Do seriously sit around all day looking at the Start Screen watching the "live tiles" update? Having the option to have a start menu is the way to go, regardless of what you say. I don't want anything to do with or need anything Metro related. I do not like full screen apps, I do not like a full screen program launcher...etc...etc.

One of your countless arguments of wanting to force people to adopt your start screen is this legacy code argument. In the grand scheme of things (referring to the install size and performance of Windows 8), that "legacy code" has zero impact. Microsoft would not have done wrong by originally including the start menu (as an option) but instead Windows 8 adoption as suffered greatly due in part to their arrogance. Thankfully, they are realizing their past mistakes (even though you aren't) and listening to the end users.

Dot Matrix said,

What is inherently wrong with live tiles that people don't want them?

For those of us that don't use them they waste memory and CPU cycles. And don't pull me that "powerful modern computers" crap. As a gamer I still want every spare cycle I can get.

Javik said,

For those of us that don't use them they waste memory and CPU cycles. And don't pull me that "powerful modern computers" crap. As a gamer I still want every spare cycle I can get.

As do I, but you can easily end application's processes...

elenarie said,

Can't see how random icons are better. :p Surely they are even dumber than Live Tiles considering that they are just static pixels and act as launchers, whereas LT at least show some minimal pieces of information.

Icons look cleaner to myself personally, i dont feel i have a rainbow effect of colours across my screen. Its hard to explain however to me its just really not nice to look at.

InsaneNutter said,

Icons look cleaner to myself personally, i dont feel i have a rainbow effect of colours across my screen. Its hard to explain however to me its just really not nice to look at.

Perhaps. At the end, everyone has a different taste.

elenarie said,

Perhaps. At the end, everyone has a different taste.

Indeed i agree, i know that i like the ribbon interface, yet a lot of people don't appear to. Thats why im all for choice when it comes to the start screen / start menu.

Dot Matrix said,

As do I, but you can easily end application's processes...

Perhaps so but doing that every time you boot your computer is patently stupid.

Javik said,

Perhaps so but doing that every time you boot your computer is patently stupid.

Not sure what you mean. When I boot my computer, I have very little running to begin with.

Kelxin said,

I own a pc support business. Of the 783 computers I've built in the year ZERO of them were requests for Windows 8.

Although I agree with you, I do have to wonder how many people didn't want Win8 simply due to bad press, in the same way people scorned vista, or in the same way people stick to XP.

Kelxin said,

What's NOT wrong with live tiles that anyone WOULD want them?

See, we can make comments without any grounds that state an obvious dislike or like also.

I own a pc support business. Of the 783 computers I've built in the year ZERO of them were requests for Windows 8. (9 of them were requested for Windows xp, which later 6 of them were changed to Windows 7). Beyond that, of my clients laptops purchased with Windows 8 preloaded, 178 of 185 were formatted and changed to Windows 7 (I've become REALLY good at finding those pesky drivers for the odd hardware bits).

The world has spoken, and the majority hate the interface. Some like it, but they ARE the odd ball fanatics out there.

I think you shouldn't take your opinion as serious as you seem to be.

People that prefer tiles that are dynamic and give you relevant information without having to open an applications over static icons which we are looking at for over two decades, aren't oddball fanatics.

Also I do believe that your experience at some PC shop is hardly representative.

also it doesn't really matter how great the next windows people will always ask for what they know, which is why many asked for XP and not for 7, even though 7 is faster, more reliable and more secure.

sjaak327 said,

I think you shouldn't take your opinion as serious as you seem to be.

People that prefer tiles that are dynamic and give you relevant information without having to open an applications over static icons which we are looking at for over two decades, aren't oddball fanatics.

Also I do believe that your experience at some PC shop is hardly representative.

I work at another some PC Shop and I can confirm the numbers mentioned (well, not the exact numbers but percentages). People specifically request Windows 7 and we need to talk for a long time to convince them to go with Windows 8 and Classic Shell instead. Also we have to change default programs to Photo Viewer and WMP instead of the Metro-equivalents. People just don't seem to want the tiles on a normal pc/laptop regardless of whether or not it's better.

Dot Matrix said,

What is inherently wrong with live tiles that people don't want them?

We all have our own opinions but in my case I have no need or use for "Live Tiles" nor do I want them. I also find them rather ugly and distracting; they remind me of those annoying banner ads.

rvdv said,

Also we have to change default programs to Photo Viewer and WMP instead of the Metro-equivalents.

This is one thing that I have to agree, I mean the start menu is an issue for some but getting flung to the MetroUI when opening an image is a freaking PITA! Default rule should be is metro interactions, by default, are carried out by metro apps, and desktop actions respond with desktop apps. That way you maintain the supported format and features for RT and tablet users, whilst still maintaining functionality and fluid interactions when using x86 installs.

One thing to keep in mind is that the final will probably not look like the above. I think that's something they put together quick just to show people as a rough example and not something that's actually working code.

I really really hope you're right. As Dot Matrix pointed out the other day showing the Jay Machalani concept, it is absolutely possible to have something both beautiful and functional. :)

dead.cell said,
I really really hope you're right. As Dot Matrix pointed out the other day showing the Jay Machalani concept, it is absolutely possible to have something both beautiful and functional. :)

I think this start menus look nicer.