In Windows 8 build 8220, the start orb is gone…here is where it went

This morning we posted up a few screenshots of build 8220. One major difference between this image and some of the past is that the start orb that we have all grown to love is now…gone.

As you know, Microsoft is going all out with Windows 8, it’s changing the mold and with that comes some new changes.  While some may hate the changes, others may love but at the end of the day, Microsoft gets to make the call.

Now, before we go further, we have not verified this info ourselves but it comes from a heavily trusted source (Canouna and one other individual, neither of whom speak English natively) but we do know that they have builds of Windows 8 in their hands.

From what we understand, the super bar from Windows 7 remains modestly in place. The understanding is that the bar now becomes a place to pin applications (which you can already do) but that it will become more necessary than previously. Essentially, you will want to pin your most used, non-metro apps to the superbar for quick access without jumping to the metro UI.

But what about that start button, how will I get to Metro? From what we were told if you place your mouse in the left bottom corner, the start square will appear. Additionally, there are other actions to initiate the charm bar by placing your mouse in the corners too. Upfront, we heard that this is a great change.

A bit of confusions, mostly because of translation issues, but it was stated that the Charm Bar is used to launch the Metro UI. I would not take this to mean that the classic start menu is there but that it is an additional way to launch the interface, cool?

We suspect that more information about this start button-less task bar, also being referred to as the “Dock Bar” by some, will surface as early as later today.

That’s all that I know folks, now you know what we know.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows 8 screenshots of build 8220 leak, new info surfaces

Next Story

Study claims Android users are more likely to have sex on the first date

135 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Start orb gone...long live Windows-7! (Or, maybe having gotten sick ant tired of Microsoft's playing games with people's productivity, switch to Apple.) Hint: Apple, here is a great business opportunity for you.

Back to the good old program manager eh Microsoft? lol. In all seriousness, I'll be skipping Windows 8; stepping backwards is not the way to the future.

One thing that I found with the Developer Preview that quickly put me off was that Metro didn't seem to work particularly well with a multi monitor set-up. Hopefully that has been worked on somewhat. It's because of that that I quickly dropped Metro for the (admittedly brief) period that I tried Win8.

oh nooooooessss they stole mah orb!!!! this is bad news. seriously.... you don't know what will happen if it falls into evil hands.

Whew-whee! Look at all the opinions from people who've never used the build and have a few articles and screenshots and second-/third-hand stories to base their judgments on!

When windows 8 doesn't sell a load of copies people will start blaming the UI. Only reason alot of people will skip windows 8 is because they are pretty new to windows 7 and they love it. Microsoft should have waited a little longer to release windows 8. Maybe until 2013, but either way I will get my copy as soon as it comes out.

Windows 8 = Tin Man from Oz

No Heart.... Some wizard (lol exe wizard that is) will give it a heart... the start button is the heart of windows! They'd at least better put a search box somewhere on the desktop, I use it all the time to quickly locate files.

From some of the responses here, it makes me wonder why people are adamant on SKIPPING Windows 8 given the tiny bits of information leaking and out of context. In fact, not one of these people who are claiming to skip Windows 8 have even used the beta let alone the RTM. It seems premature, to me at least, to make such decisions based on some leaked pictures. Maybe actually use it first before condemning it? It's kinda like some food that looks messy, and yet, taste amazing. You'll never know, for sure, until you've tried it. Just a thought...

Blah....Windows 8 is turning into a waste of time. I have a feeling Windows 7 will remain very popular on both desktops and laptops. Maybe tablets will be ideal for Windows 8 if people don't mind paying double or triple the price.

Haters gonna hate.
Likers gonna like.

Microsoft's vision for all 3 platforms (PC, Tablet, Phone) is a long term strategy that the company is gambling big on. I don't think that they are about to alienate millions of users.

Whatever you think about Microsoft, at least give them credit for this.
For a company that has engendered and nurtured the Windows platform for nigh on thirty years, they know by now which side their bread is buttered on.

wtf? This is dumb - migrating users are just going to wander round the screen with the mouse thinking "oh I know, Microsoft want to play hide and seek"

DUMB

Personally being a PC and MAC user I think Microsoft should have done away with the Start Button with Windows 7. Mainly because nearly all modern day keyboards these days have a Windows button so there isn't any need to have one of the screen. I think it's a great idea, and a valid one at that.

Although, I just thought about something... I can see the technical calls for Windows 8 to help desks now...

Technical: Okay sir could you please click on the Start button for me please.
Customer: What Start button... there isn't one...?
Technical: Okay sir, can you then press the Windows Button on your keyboard.
Customer: I don't have a Windows Button on my keyboard because it's an old keyboard...?

Technical: hang up call...
Customer: Hello, hello... is anybody there...? He's hung up on me...?

Oops minor edit

Edited by SYBINX, Feb 3 2012, 9:37pm :

Well, there's always ctrl-esc, which does exactly the same thing. Unless I'm mistaken, the Windows key on a keyboard simply sends the same signal as pressing ctrl-esc.

On one page from MDL, canouna wrote: "The new orb look cool when you put the cursor in the corner, look like a start page." Maybe MS has something up its sleeve. Hopefully more screenshots will be leaked soon.

qdave said,
I am not sure if i entirely like the direction microsoft is going with this.

They are trying to be inovative and at the same time they are breaking everything. For some reason they want to be Apple like but MS does not understand that their biggest success comes from the fact they were everything what Apple was not. Apple for me was dead company until these mobile devices came and they saw their chance. Now, MS should compete them but leave the **** alone Windows as we know it (Desktops, Laptops, Servers). But they decided to **** up what was good about Windows and there is big question mark if they will be ever competitive on Mobile Segment. There is a bit irony that Linux (Ubuntu) as desktop solution is coming to look better better and for sure looks way above Windows 8.

techguy77 said,

They are trying to be inovative and at the same time they are breaking everything. For some reason they want to be Apple like but MS does not understand that their biggest success comes from the fact they were everything what Apple was not. Apple for me was dead company until these mobile devices came and they saw their chance. Now, MS should compete them but leave the **** alone Windows as we know it (Desktops, Laptops, Servers). But they decided to **** up what was good about Windows and there is big question mark if they will be ever competitive on Mobile Segment. There is a bit irony that Linux (Ubuntu) as desktop solution is coming to look better better and for sure looks way above Windows 8.

You sound like IBM after Mainframes went away. Honestly, buddy, if you thought that the taskbar and Start Menu was always going to be there, I have news for you.

Personally, I saw this coming with the release of Vista and the built in search. That killed the Start Menu as we knew it right then and there. It's excess baggage at this point.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Feb 4 2012, 12:41am :

What's next, let's remove Desktop as concept and run everything off Metro Crappola. Let people type by touching screen lol. Apparently there is group of Idiots working for Microsoft (there is no better word to describe them) who lost concept of PC Desktop vs Mobile.

techguy77 said,
What's next, let's remove Desktop as concept and run everything off Metro Crappola. Let people type by touching screen lol. Apparently there is group of Idiots working for Microsoft (there is no better word to describe them) who lost concept of PC Desktop vs Mobile.

I'm willing to bet that "desktops" as we know them, are dead. Apple, Microsoft, and Canonical ALL are moving towards more interactive computing environments.

This has got to be the worst idea ever, the Start Orb ( Start Menu) has been part or Windows since 95 and should continue to be so, to hide it temporarily until the user hovers over a certain location to bring it back defeats the purpose of the feature.

Instead of doing this why not create something like an App drawer, where the Start Orb would be located in the middle of the Task Bar, the user would then be presented with a scrollable list of apps installed and locations for accessing Computer, Control Panel and various other menus, thus creating a feature similar to that of the app drawer in Android.

Running WDP and I, uh, NEVER use the start button. What am I doing wrong? I only use the windows key to go from metro/desktop. In some ways, this makes it easier. If there's no start button, then you don't have to tell someone to click it. It's virtually useless anyway, hence, why I don't use it.

Not a big deal for me, but I can see this confusing novice and average users new to Windows 8.

I guess I just don't see the point in hiding it.

virtorio said,
Not a big deal for me, but I can see this confusing novice and average users new to Windows 8.

I guess I just don't see the point in hiding it.

Indeed. And if it is hidden, then the left justified weighting of the taskbar is no longer necessary. They should at least give the option of center justifying everything now, since that is more touch/mouse intuitive.

Anyone who runs their own computer repair business and does phone support with their customers on a regular basis are crying inside at the moment

Phone support his hard enough just having them find the orb when it went from "Start" to an "orb", but you could usually say click the little circle in the bottom left.

now you have to tell them to touch the bottom left of the screen? Some can hardly find the clock when you say bottom right.

warwagon said,
Anyone who runs their own computer repair business and does phone support with their customers on a regular basis are crying inside at the moment

Phone support his hard enough just having them find the orb when it went from "Start" to an "orb", but you could usually say click the little circle in the bottom left.

now you have to tell them to touch the bottom left of the screen? Some can hardly find the clock when you say bottom right.


This is so true lol, this is gonna be a god damn nightmare.

Chris123NT said,

This is so true lol, this is gonna be a god damn nightmare.

Programs like Teamspeak are your friends...

warwagon said,
now you have to tell them to touch the bottom left of the screen?

You simply tell them to press the Windows key on their keyboard. How hard can that be?

Hmmm...
I'm using both the English version (aligned Left-to-Right) and the Hebrew version (aligned Right-to-Left) on different computers... Not remembering where the start button is located going to be very frustrating...

So they make it take 1 more step to get at the start menu just like every other release of windows something gets buried further to "better the experience".

From the looks of things, Windows 7 is going to be on my PCs for a long time. The best part about it, is i don't mind at all.

"it comes from a heavily trusted source (Canouna and one other individual, neither of whom speak English natively)"

Who is Canouna??

Palpatine said,
"it comes from a heavily trusted source (Canouna and one other individual, neither of whom speak English natively)"

Who is Canouna??

A heavily trusted source.

Palpatine said,
Silly me!

For the record, he tends to be the one who leaks the Windows / Office builds as far as I'm aware.

MS... Completely remove it! We have charm. Also the charm should be on left side for touch systems or desktop. Kapeesh? Keep it consistent. Ppl will get used to it. Make the taskbar a dock like bar and redo aero. When this is done I'll be getting all my friends n family windows 8 !

Dusco25 said,
I have a feeling I will be staying with window 7 till the day it is not an option

Same here. Don't care about Windows 8 at all. MS lost its customer.

Any kind of innovation what leads to better user experience and OS functionality it's always welcome! (Except for metro LOL)

Even if i don't care about the start button (with or without it for me is the same) i think MS overvalued its telemetry about the usage of the start button. "People is not using it, so we'll delete it"... maybe it's too drastic.

Complainers, stick with Windows 7. Not as though any of us posting here dont have the ability to install the OS we prefer, you are not forced to upgrade.

efjay said,
Complainers, stick with Windows 7. Not as though any of us posting here dont have the ability to install the OS we prefer, you are not forced to upgrade.

Not that I am complaining but eventually everyone is forced to upgrade due to lack of drivers for new hardware. Some day they will have to use this.

xpclient said,

Not that I am complaining but eventually everyone is forced to upgrade due to lack of drivers for new hardware. Some day they will have to use this.

Not really cause Windows 8 will die very fast.

techguy77 said,

Not really cause Windows 8 will die very fast.

to be replaced by Windows 9 which would kill desktop title forever

muhahahaha!!!

While novice users might have been able to at at least figure out how to click on stuff in the new start menu, I can't say hiding the "start" button for no real reason is going to help them at all >.<

~Johnny said,
While novice users might have been able to at at least figure out how to click on stuff in the new start menu, I can't say hiding the "start" button for no real reason is going to help them at all >.<

Why would novice users be in the desktop to begin with? They'd be living in metro apps in the start screen. For those that need or want to dive into the desktop, then they will know about it or that the win-key exists.

pack34 said,

Why would novice users be in the desktop to begin with? They'd be living in metro apps in the start screen. For those that need or want to dive into the desktop, then they will know about it or that the win-key exists.

Because most of them will be using Office or using windows explorer or some other application they've been used too for years. Some might adopt over to Metro - but for now most of what they actually buy Windows for exists in the desktop. That, and the desktop tile is the first thing on the Start screen

Edited by ~Johnny, Feb 3 2012, 4:19pm :

~Johnny said,

Because most of them will be using Office or using windows explorer or some other application they've been used too for years. Some might adopt over to Metro - but for now most of what they actually buy Windows for exists in the desktop. That, and the desktop tile is the first thing on the Start screen

Applications as we have known them work just fine in the Immersive desktop - besides, not a single Office application appears as a shortcut on the desktop (or even in the Superbar). Shortcuts to Office applications appear in two (and only two) places - the Start menu (all versions of Windows) and the StartScreen (WDP and later); Office 2000 was the last to have even ONE application (namely Outlook) appear on the desktop by default. (Office:mac, however, puts shortcuts to EVERY application in the Dock.) I don't use the StartScreen for launching ANY Office application - which is still my productivity suite of choice in the WDP - instead, I use the Run box.

PGHammer said,
...

Immersive desktop? You've lost me here... but either way, as soon as you open any Office app by any means you'll be in the familiar desktop environment people recognise - but with no easily apparent visual way to return to the start menu.

~Johnny said,

Immersive desktop? You've lost me here... but either way, as soon as you open any Office app by any means you'll be in the familiar desktop environment people recognise - but with no easily apparent visual way to return to the start menu.

Which matters exactly *why*?

The Start menu has *never* been the be-all and end-all in Windows that people seem to think it is - not even on desktops. The be-all and end-all is (surprise!) the desktop itself. The *Start menu* in the form it is with Windows 7 originally showed in that much-maligned Windows Vista (which a lot of you claim to have avoided) - so why is it that suddenly you can't compute without it?

techguy77 - have you been running Windows 7 without mods (such as skins or other mods to change how Windows 7 looks)? If so, then you just perforated your own argument - because that would mean that you came to computing with Windows 7 (not XP) as the menu in Windows 7 is *that different* from that of XP. Also, nobody has said that the Start menu is gone for good in Windows 8 (even the Consumer Preview) as we don't know what hardware those screenshots came from. If they came from a tablet or slate (or even someone that prefers the StartScreen) the picture that we all are getting is Decidedly Skewed.

PGHammer said,
....

Not entirely sure what you're getting at - but people know if they want to launch any program, the start menu is the place to go. They also know that generally, to get to any form start menu - whether it's classic, 7 or the start screen, you go to the bottom left and click on that nice icon. Now there's no icon, they get confused and slightly lost.

For people reluctant to change, I'm sure someone will create a program that can be pinned to the taskbar, with an orb icon, that when clicked either starts the Metro start screen, or a replacement for the traditional start menu.

As for me, I'm fine with the change, At least this will leave more space on the taskbar for actual programs.

This whole obsession with minimalism is going too far. You can only reduce the interface so much before it starts to get impractical.

Xinok said,
This whole obsession with minimalism is going too far. You can only reduce the interface so much before it starts to get impractical.

Yet at the same time people are complaining about the ribbon UI for explorer being too complex.

If the orb is indeed appearing upon hover as the article wonders, there is no place for it to appear unless the whole of the taskbar icons shift to the right.

They seem to be determined to make Classic Shell (http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/) more popular than ever. Btw it is called "Start Menu" not "Classic Start Menu". CSM was the one which Windows 7 removed which debuted in Windows 95. But at least we should listen to their logical reason before ranting as to WHY they removed it in an upcoming B8 blog post. And of course expect a Group Policy to *disable it all* and return the familiar interface. No worries.

They should actually just remove the orb completely, because it provides no functionality that the Charm Bar doesn't already provide.

I freaking hate this idea. I use multiple monitors so I'm going to have to accurately navigate over a like 10 pixel blank spot, then pause a moment to get to the windows button.

The Vista/7 orb was just the right size before, why would they do this

CGar said,
I freaking hate this idea. I use multiple monitors so I'm going to have to accurately navigate over a like 10 pixel blank spot, then pause a moment to get to the windows button.

The Vista/7 orb was just the right size before, why would they do this


Just use the Charm Bar instead of the orb?

CGar said,
I freaking hate this idea. I use multiple monitors so I'm going to have to accurately navigate over a like 10 pixel blank spot, then pause a moment to get to the windows button.

The Vista/7 orb was just the right size before, why would they do this

Just use the Windows key on your keyboard. Problem solved. Besides, after opening the start menu, you'll probably want to type immediately after to search for the program/app to launch, so your hands will already be on the keyboard.

Edit: Neowin.... Y U DO THIS TO ME

CGar said,
I freaking hate this idea. I use multiple monitors so I'm going to have to accurately navigate over a like 10 pixel blank spot, then pause a moment to get to the windows button.

The Vista/7 orb was just the right size before, why would they do this

This is nonsense. Being at the bottom left corner of the screen, the start button has always been effectively infinitely wide and infinitely tall, since you can just throw your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen and not worry about overshooting it. Making the button hidden will make the new target space (infinity-40) x (infinity-40). Essentially negligible.

I feel sorry for the "laymen" office workers who upgrade from XP all the way to 8. Oh boy are they in for a surprise.

warr10r said,
I feel sorry for the "laymen" office workers who upgrade from XP all the way to 8. Oh boy are they in for a surprise.

My dad's gonna have a cow. He couldn't do the transition from XP to Vista and asked me to put XP on his (then) new PC. With XP's support gone, I have no idea how he's going to cope with Windows 8.

greenwizard88 said,

My dad's gonna have a cow. He couldn't do the transition from XP to Vista and asked me to put XP on his (then) new PC. With XP's support gone, I have no idea how he's going to cope with Windows 8.

I am envisioning 20 years from now... me calling my son... "Isaac!!! I can't figure out how to get this damn MS Neural Implant upgrade to work!"

I hope there is an option for "classic" Windows, because this is absolute garbage. Without it, just looks like OSX dock, and it's a terrible UI design.

tsupersonic said,
I hope there is an option for "classic" Windows, because this is absolute garbage. Without it, just looks like OSX dock, and it's a terrible UI design.

So what your saying is that having the windows logo in the bottom left is great UI design, not having it there is bad UI design? Not quite with you there, don't see what's so great about the windows icon...

tsupersonic said,
I hope there is an option for "classic" Windows, because this is absolute garbage. Without it, just looks like OSX dock, and it's a terrible UI design.

So instead of it hogging 1 application space atleast, it's only there when you mouse hover over the corner?

First you bitch that Metro leaves too much white space, now you bitch it leaves too little? Good logic.

Xerax said,
So instead of it hogging 1 application space atleast, it's only there when you mouse hover over the corner?

First you bitch that Metro leaves too much white space, now you bitch it leaves too little? Good logic.

If it's there when it hovers, it's better then not being there at all. It's all about usability. If it takes one space, then so be it. I like minimalism, but taking functionality away = not good. The metro design works so well on WP7, and Zune HD. On a computer, it's difficult to get right, since you have so many possibilities.

Not just "move your mouse"; also "move your fingers" - touch screens...... ring a bell? LOL.
btw, you can bring it up also by
1. win+C
2. Ctrl - Esc, for keyboards that doesn't have the win key.

"The understanding is that the bar now becomes a place to pin applications (which you can already do) but that it will become more necessary than previously. Essentially, you will want to pin your most used, non-metro apps to the superbar for quick access without jumping to the metro UI."
And so it becomes the OS X Dock...

.Neo said,
"The understanding is that the bar now becomes a place to pin applications (which you can already do) but that it will become more necessary than previously. Essentially, you will want to pin your most used, non-metro apps to the superbar for quick access without jumping to the metro UI."
And so it becomes the OS X Dock...

Every windows ver since win 95 has been able to do this in one form or the other. so no its not the OSX bar . Look up quick launch if you dont believe me.

majortom1981 said,

Every windows ver since win 95 has been able to do this in one form or the other. so no its not the OSX bar . Look up quick launch if you dont believe me.
Quick Launch is(/was) nothing like the OSX dock. It was a list of shortcuts on a toolbar and nothing more.

The Superbar works pretty much exactly like the OSX dock.

No, thanks. And I hope there will be a hack.

I don't even use Superbar. I find it annoying not being able to see the window titles. I like to select my crap without hovering over the icons. I like being productive, in short.

cralias said,
No, thanks. And I hope there will be a hack.

I don't even use Superbar. I find it annoying not being able to see the window titles. I like to select my crap without hovering over the icons. I like being productive, in short.

People can claim many things about the Superbar... Unproductive I've gotta say is a new one. LOL

cralias said,
No, thanks. And I hope there will be a hack.

I don't even use Superbar. I find it annoying not being able to see the window titles. I like to select my crap without hovering over the icons. I like being productive, in short.


There'll probably be a GPO to re-enable it. And to disable anything Metro-related, too.

cralias said,
No, thanks. And I hope there will be a hack.

I don't even use Superbar. I find it annoying not being able to see the window titles. I like to select my crap without hovering over the icons. I like being productive, in short.


To claim that the Superbar is unproductive is just ridiculous. The feature improves the productivity if you just care to get used to it. Did you even give it a chance?

cralias said,
No, thanks. And I hope there will be a hack.

I don't even use Superbar. I find it annoying not being able to see the window titles. I like to select my crap without hovering over the icons. I like being productive, in short.

You can see the Window titles in the super bar if you enable them - just right click the task bar, go into properties and disable combining of task bar buttons. Job sorted. You'll also probably want to change the icon size to small as well.

And I agree, the "Superbar" doesn't aid productivity at all with it's grouping of windows in to small icons. Set it back to Vista style with the above steps, and you can appreciate the addition of jumplists and reorganise-able windows at a lot more. I hope there'll be a setting in the properties window that allows you to see the Windows button too.

Edited by ~Johnny, Feb 3 2012, 3:13pm :

I often have many folder windows and many windows from the same program open to sort my workspace. Superbar requires an extra step - to hover (or click) on the icon before I see a list of window titles. Often, window titles is the only way I can differentiate between windows.
And then it Aero (which I like as such) starts to wooble if I hold on a thumbnail for too long.

Yes, mind you, I've given it countless chances while fixing other people's computers. I always strive to return their workspace as it was before, mostly default. I could get used to it like everyone else does. That doesn't mean I have to like it and I hereby express it.

I concur that this starts to smell like OS X Dock. DO NOT WANT.

~Johnny said,

And, indeed, I have done that. And I hope it will be similarly configurable in RTM of W8. I've also re-added Quick Launch because that way I can stuff more icons in a smaller screen space.
Of course, I do recognize that as screen resolutions grow larger, it will eventually get uncomfortable even for an oldfag like me...

cralias said,
No, thanks. And I hope there will be a hack.

I don't even use Superbar. I find it annoying not being able to see the window titles. I like to select my crap without hovering over the icons. I like being productive, in short.

You do realise you can have the Superbar act like the old Taskbar, right?

cralias said,
No, thanks. And I hope there will be a hack.

I don't even use Superbar. I find it annoying not being able to see the window titles. I like to select my crap without hovering over the icons. I like being productive, in short.


You can be just as productive with titles hidden. Surely you know the icon of apps you use regularly. . . .

Unproductive compared to what he's used to is all. It's easy to work fast in an environment you're used to. Thankfully, Microsoft allows you to change this behavior. I personally like the titles in there better too.

@Callum, yes, but that's not the problem. The problem lies with folders having the same icon unless you go and customize an icon for each particular folder which is incredibly tedious when you're working with multiple windows open, especially if they're only one time changes you are making... It's just easier to simply navigate between folder names.

Secondly, given the state of more people having wider screens and even dual screens or better, I see little reason why we're suddenly needing to push inconveniences when we have plenty of space within the taskbar between what it provides and the option of having like-items collapse together once the bar is too full anyway.

dead.cell said,

@Callum, yes, but that's not the problem. The problem lies with folders having the same icon unless you go and customize an icon for each particular folder which is incredibly tedious when you're working with multiple windows open, especially if they're only one time changes you are making... It's just easier to simply navigate between folder names.

Secondly, given the state of more people having wider screens and even dual screens or better, I see little reason why we're suddenly needing to push inconveniences when we have plenty of space within the taskbar between what it provides and the option of having like-items collapse together once the bar is too full anyway.


My monitor is 1600x1200. With Vista I had 2 row taskbar, but it often wasn't enoght. Thanks to the Superbar I now only need one row (thou it's fiilled). If I get a second monitor, I don't want to drag my mouse to another screen just to bring up some app.
Grouping and previews make it much easier for me to open the right instance of an app when many are opened. When there aren't many instances of an app, I see previews and don't need to learn what button is what (buttons don't show a lot of text.). And when there are many instances, it's easy too since I see a stack of long title texts (with file paths etc.). It's much easier to select the right window with Superbar when with the traditional taskbar buttons with truncated text.

RealFduch said,

Snip.

Combine when taskbar is full basically covers for that though. If it was to get that full, then yes, I can see where it's useful. I'm talking about regular usage for myself though, not criticizing how you do things. Even under a full load, I typically don't have enough windows open for the taskbar to combine like items (would need over 13 items just for it to combine).

Intrinsica said,
So wait, the Start orb hasn't been removed, it's just been hidden?

Ok, I can live with that.

Yeah, same here. That's a rather big difference.

It's sounds pretty stupid to hide the thing. It must go against basic GUI principals (which are increasingly being ignored these days).

a1ien said,
It's sounds pretty stupid to hide the thing. It must go against basic GUI principals (which are increasingly being ignored these days).

Not stupid at all, very clever in fact. I know many people that tried the Dev Preview and found it quite jarring pressing the start button they all know and love expecting a start menu to appear, and it didn't.

By making the taskbar in Win8 purely a taskbar and pinned app launcher, and not a host for the start menu, it eliminates this confusion. It also means that when you dock your classic desktop alongside metro apps, you don't have a separate start button sitting there to confuzzle you.

TCLN Ryster said,

By making the taskbar in Win8 purely a taskbar and pinned app launcher, and not a host for the start menu, it eliminates this confusion. It also means that when you dock your classic desktop alongside metro apps, you don't have a separate start button sitting there to confuzzle you.

That is a good point. But when you hide features too well, people have trouble discovering them.

The prime example is the Office 2007 orb. People just didn't realize that it was clickable. The message boards were overflowing with comments at the time -- people who were used to doing things through the menus just couldn't figure out how to print, or open, or even save as. So finally, Office 2010 slapped a "File" label on the orb -- and the complaints magically went away.

If Jensen Harris had any sense, and had learned anything from his previous experience on Office, the start orb would only be removed on tablets, where you could use the dedicated hardware start button. On desktops and laptops, it's just too radical a change.

TomJones said,

That is a good point. But when you hide features too well, people have trouble discovering them.

The prime example is the Office 2007 orb. People just didn't realize that it was clickable. The message boards were overflowing with comments at the time -- people who were used to doing things through the menus just couldn't figure out how to print, or open, or even save as. So finally, Office 2010 slapped a "File" label on the orb -- and the complaints magically went away.

If Jensen Harris had any sense, and had learned anything from his previous experience on Office, the start orb would only be removed on tablets, where you could use the dedicated hardware start button. On desktops and laptops, it's just too radical a change.


Pretty sure we have dedicated hardware start button on our keyboards too.

While change is inevitable and necessary, when you try to throw in too many new concepts, your users are going to rebel. Just look at the outcry over the changes that Vista brought, and Windows 8 is shaping up to be an even more drastic change in the way things work.

roadwarrior said,
While change is inevitable and necessary, when you try to throw in too many new concepts, your users are going to rebel. Just look at the outcry over the changes that Vista brought, and Windows 8 is shaping up to be an even more drastic change in the way things work.

Don't forget though that alot of those new changes that "Vista brought" were also put into Windows 7 which users love. It wasn't necessarily the changes in Vista that people hated, but that the sluggishness of the OS, lack of drivers, etc. It also could just be that people need time to get used to changes, and also Microsoft needs time to refine new things.

TCLN Ryster said,

Don't forget though that alot of those new changes that "Vista brought" were also put into Windows 7 which users love. It wasn't necessarily the changes in Vista that people hated, but that the sluggishness of the OS, lack of drivers, etc. It also could just be that people need time to get used to changes, and also Microsoft needs time to refine new things.

Yes, I know that, and you expanded on what I was talking about. It took people YEARS to get used to the changes that came with Vista, and by the time they did, 7 was out with much better support from OEMs.

roadwarrior said,

Yes, I know that, and you expanded on what I was talking about. It took people YEARS to get used to the changes that came with Vista, and by the time they did, 7 was out with much better support from OEMs.

I thought most people skipped Vista? That would make what you said irrelevant.

roadwarrior said,
While change is inevitable and necessary, when you try to throw in too many new concepts, your users are going to rebel.

And yet people are transitioning to Google Chrome, which functions so differently from any other browser on Windows that you'd think your users would have taken one look and said "NOPE".

Joshie said,

And yet people are transitioning to Google Chrome, which functions so differently from any other browser on Windows that you'd think your users would have taken one look and said "NOPE".

How exactly is Chrome that different than most other browsers? It seems to work about the same to me.

roadwarrior said,

How exactly is Chrome that different than most other browsers? It seems to work about the same to me.
This.

Everything Chrome did that was different is now pretty much standard in PC browsers. They all have the same interface now, so anything they did do differently has been integrated by the borg. Same goes for accelerated browsing.

VERY TRUE

a1ien said,
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Windows neeeeeeddsss aaa start button!!!!!!!

MASTER260 said,
Metro haters are gonaa b*** over this...
The reason being that they simply don't like change rather than it being a questionable interface change. I can see why they made the change, but others might not be so keen to adapt. I finally got my mother to upgrade to Windows 7 less than a month ago because she had been stuck on Windows XP. She said, and I quote, "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." to which I replied, "Oh, but it is."

if its just a "dock bar" I can see Apple getting all up in a twist about it... but maybe not... who knows with them anymore

neufuse said,
if its just a "dock bar" I can see Apple getting all up in a twist about it... but maybe not... who knows with them anymore
I don't think they could say much as it is an existing feature from Windows 7, minus the Start button.

Personally, if they are doing away with the Start menu, as the Developer Preview showed, then I prefer this change anyway. With that said, I am afraid of losing the Start menu because I do use it regularly (particularly when installing a new application), and I would rather avoid installing the with a desktop shortcut just so that I can quickly launch it, then pin it. I imagine that they have an intended workflow for this, but that is actually my biggest and only real concern (beyond bugs cropping up) with Windows 8. As a developer, I doubt that I will be using the Metro UI my PC for the majority of the time.

However, on my planned future tablet and phone, I love it.

neufuse said,
if its just a "dock bar" I can see Apple getting all up in a twist about it... but maybe not... who knows with them anymore

They can **** and moan all they want, but they won't do anything. Not after we've had this in Windows 7 for almost 3 years now.

pickypg said,
I don't think they could say much as it is an existing feature from Windows 7, minus the Start button.

Personally, if they are doing away with the Start menu, as the Developer Preview showed, then I prefer this change anyway. With that said, I am afraid of losing the Start menu because I do use it regularly (particularly when installing a new application), and I would rather avoid installing the with a desktop shortcut just so that I can quickly launch it, then pin it. I imagine that they have an intended workflow for this, but that is actually my biggest and only real concern (beyond bugs cropping up) with Windows 8. As a developer, I doubt that I will be using the Metro UI my PC for the majority of the time.

However, on my planned future tablet and phone, I love it.

And you need the Start menu when doing installs *why*?

The Start menu really hasn't been needed for that - ever.

If you know where the installer is, you can use WinKey+R (brings up the Run box) and type in the installer's ful path, if known. If unknown, you can launch the install from Explorer. If you're using an open commandline (or PowerShell, for that matter) session, you can start the install from either. None of it requires Windows 8 - any of it can be done from Windows 7 or earlier (even PowerShell works with Windows as far back as XP). It's just that doing it *that way* is *what you're used to*.

pickypg said,
I don't think they could say much as it is an existing feature from Windows 7, minus the Start button.

Personally, if they are doing away with the Start menu, as the Developer Preview showed, then I prefer this change anyway. With that said, I am afraid of losing the Start menu because I do use it regularly (particularly when installing a new application), and I would rather avoid installing the with a desktop shortcut just so that I can quickly launch it, then pin it. I imagine that they have an intended workflow for this, but that is actually my biggest and only real concern (beyond bugs cropping up) with Windows 8. As a developer, I doubt that I will be using the Metro UI my PC for the majority of the time.

However, on my planned future tablet and phone, I love it.

Pretty much this, you don't even need it in the dev preview. You are better off using the start button on your keyboard or putting your mouse in the bottom right corner (past the button) to bring up the charms bar. Apparently this is being moved to the left corner in the beta so that will be a slight transition but not a big deal. From the touch side of things not much is changing as the charm bar is still a drag in from the left side and they will also have hardware windows buttons per MS requirements.

PGHammer said,

And you need the Start menu when doing installs *why*?

The Start menu really hasn't been needed for that - ever.

If you know where the installer is, you can use WinKey+R (brings up the Run box) and type in the installer's ful path, if known. If unknown, you can launch the install from Explorer. If you're using an open commandline (or PowerShell, for that matter) session, you can start the install from either. None of it requires Windows 8 - any of it can be done from Windows 7 or earlier (even PowerShell works with Windows as far back as XP). It's just that doing it *that way* is *what you're used to*.


why go through the trouble of entering the full path in the run window, when you can use the 'run' box in the start menu and have to type allot less to get the same result.

Dot Matrix said,

They can **** and moan all they want, but they won't do anything. Not after we've had this in Windows 7 for almost 3 years now.


While actively pinned applications showed up with Windows 7, even that was just a unification of the more than ten year old quicklaunch bar from Windows 98 and taskbar buttons representing open applications. The opinion that the superbar had anything to do with the Mac OS dock is founded on so much ignorance about the history and nature of operating systems, it's a wonder these people feel confident enough to voice their opinions in the first place.

neufuse said,
if its just a "dock bar" I can see Apple getting all up in a twist about it... but maybe not... who knows with them anymore
Apple doesn't own the rights to the dockbar concept. There are examples of this that predate Apple's use of it. See Stardock circa 1998.

Shadowzz said,

why go through the trouble of entering the full path in the run window, when you can use the 'run' box in the start menu and have to type allot less to get the same result.

Because the Start menu box doesn't index the whole disk so it wouldn't work.

testman said,

Because the Start menu box doesn't index the whole disk so it wouldn't work.

Nor should it. But if you want to add a location yourself, you can add it to the index that way you still don't have to type in the full address.

neufuse said,
if its just a "dock bar" I can see Apple getting all up in a twist about it... but maybe not... who knows with them anymore

I fail to see how removing a single button suddenly makes it something apple can sue them over.

ahinson said,
Apple doesn't own the rights to the dockbar concept. There are examples of this that predate Apple's use of it. See Stardock circa 1998.
And Stardock stole it from Amiga who probably stole it from someone else. At this point it is common trade.