Interview: We chat with the creator of Classic Shell 4.0

In May, we chatted with Ivo Beltchev, the main developer behind the free program Classic Shell, which had a massive surge of new downloads following the launch of Windows 8, thanks to its Start menu. Recently, version 4.0 of Classic Shell was released, which not only is compatible with Windows 8.1 but also has a new "Windows 7" style of Start menu.

We decided to check back in with Beltchev to learn more about Classic Shell 4.0, how he feels about Windows 8.1 bringing back the Start button but not a full Start menu and more.

It's been a few months since we last did an interview and recently you launched Classic Shell 4.0. First, what can you tell us about the main features that you have put into the new release?

Classic Shell 4.0 is a huge step forward from the previous version 3.6. It took 6 months to develop and 3 more months for beta testing The biggest new feature is the “Windows 7” menu style, which replicates the start menu from Windows 7. You get the All Programs list inside the main menu, search for files and documents, list of frequently used programs, highlighting for new programs, and more. There are plenty of options to customize the look and feel of the new style. The Classic Shell implementation of the start menu has some unique features that set it apart from the competition. It is the only menu that can use the standard start button from Windows 8.1.

It is the only menu that shows when there are new Windows updates to be installed. It allows you to customize the icon, the text and the behavior for the menu items. It is also one of the few programs that still support Windows 7. Another new feature is the addition of a status bar for Explorer in Windows 8. It shows the total size of the selection, the available free space and the security zone. Classic Shell 4 also improves the localization experience. You get a notification when there is an update for your language and you can install new language files directly from the settings. Classic Shell continues to generate a ton of downloads.

Are you surprised that it has continued to be a popular download?

No surprise here. It is obvious there is a need for tools like that. With the adoption of Windows 8.1 I expect the popularity to grow.

What do you think of Microsoft's decision to put in a Start button, but not a full Start menu, in Windows 8.1?

It feels to me like “too little too late”. We were asking for a full start menu on the desktop, which is optimized for precise devices like keyboard and mouse, and can play well with other desktop applications. Instead we got a shortcut to the start screen, which is optimized for touch devices and fat fingers. Both interfaces have their place, but I think the desktop users are being underserved. Which is a great opportunity for tools like Classic Shell :)

What plans do you have for Classic Shell following the launch of 4.0? 

The next few months will be mostly small tweaks focusing on polish, compatibility and bug fixes. There are plans for new big features but they are still in the design phase and will not be announced until sometime next year.

Do you have any plans to develop more programs that are made to bridge the gap between Windows Modern and desktop users?

No such plans. I am already spending an unhealthy amount of time on Classic Shell. I do not have any capacity to take on new projects.

Finally, is there anything else you wish to say about Classic Shell 4.0?

I’d like to thank all my users for their support during the beta. The feedback and participation has been phenomenal. It is because of them that Classic Shell 4.0 is such a high-quality release.

We would like to thank Ivo for answering our questions.

Image via Classic Shell

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It's too bad that ClassicShell is no longer open source. I understand his reasons but freeware is forbidden where I work while supported open source is allowed. I had been hoping to use this when we got around to deploying 8.1. Maybe he'll eventually change his mind.

It took a 3rd party to get windows 8/8.1 to where us desktop'ers want to be.

to be honest, with my daughter and her RT, she'll have to give up her USB port if she wants to use a mouse for the desktop. she still wants to use the desktop for her web browsing and such.

if they could have squeezed one more USB port...

chrisj1968 said,
It took a 3rd party to get windows 8/8.1 to where us desktop'ers want to be.

to be honest, with my daughter and her RT, she'll have to give up her USB port if she wants to use a mouse for the desktop. she still wants to use the desktop for her web browsing and such.

if they could have squeezed one more USB port...

You do realize you can use a USB Hub and plug in several devices, right?

(They even sell ones designed specifically for the Surface that are low profile and add several USB Ports, or additional USB Ports and Memory card Readers, etc.)

I wish him all the success in developing something that Microsoft should have done as part of its new Windows-8.x series. It is indicative of how corporate arrogance can blind them to what the marketplace really wants. It would have been so easy for Microsoft to have created two UIs--one for touch-centric tablets and casual users and one for keyboard/mouse centric laptops and desktops for serious users. The UI to use on installation would be the answer to a single question. Pity, they missed a huge opportunity. However, the marketplace, as illustrated by this developer, is coming out with software that overcomes Windows-8.x's glaring deficiencies. Please keep up with the good work!

maybe u weirdo like to use the keyboard all the time.. maybe that makes you a "power user" but i rather stick to the desktop environment and access my program from a conviently place menu button that be thrown into a big screen just to then find a program that takes me back to desktop.

Also i hate!! these full Modern ui apps.. all this really is a refinement of the old days when we had active desktops (xp) --> Gadgets (vista/w7) which they now gotten bored with and is now replace by fullscreen apps.

so thank goodness for this program.. it brought back useability to W8... now if you dont like it thats fine.. throw your mouse away and type all your commands and be happy!

also biggest complete i have with screen.. you can't drag the screen if the mouse.. No you have to go to the bottom and wait for the drag bar to appear... it should be CLICK, and Flick... as not all have touch screens.

It's not about using the keyboard all the time. If you've ever worked on computers, you've probably experienced times where the mouse wasn't working for whatever reason. In those moments, being able to navigate completely with the keyboard is a pretty impressive feat, as you can get whatever you need to fixed and working back with the mouse.

I realized how valuable this skill was when I was a teenager, and we were having cable internet installed in the house. The guy came in like a wizard, knew his keyboard commands, and flew through the process.

Microsoft hasn't really forgotten us either. The Win+X hotkey is probably one of my favorite new hotkeys in Windows 8. Everything at your fingertips.

I suppose if this is what you prefer then kudos to the third party developer community for producing it - as they do with custom add-ons for OS X. As for me, the Start Menu peaked in functionality with Windows 7 and I agree with Microsoft that a new way was needed to increase usefulness. With Windows 8.1, it's great to learn a new and more robust way of doing things.

Glad to see Neowin isn't Windows 8 biased. Thank you.

This "Windows 8 is better than Windows 7" debate just shouldn't exist.

Can he tell us why can't he create a fully native UI like Startisback and Start8? Does he need VS 2012 or something? I really don't know how this works... but I do know that those custom made UIs aren't the best out there... This is my reason I don't try Classic Shell.

It already has a "native UI". Not sure what you are asking for but I presume you mean the Windows 7 style of All Programs expanding inline. Did you try 4.0?

I actually found a use for the start screen, now it handles my hidden utilities before put on the xLaunchPad: http://www.xwidget.com/...

...but oh god, it fells terrible for daily usage, it distracts me so much that I feel an slap on the face each time I trigger it, hence Start8 for me does the best job of all...

Arceles said,
I actually found a use for the start screen, now it handles my hidden utilities before put on the xLaunchPad: http://www.xwidget.com/...

...but oh god, it fells terrible for daily usage, it distracts me so much that I feel an slap on the face each time I trigger it, hence Start8 for me does the best job of all...

Try 8.1 and set the background to be the same as the desktop. For such a small change it has quite an effect imho..

dangel777 said,

Try 8.1 and set the background to be the same as the desktop. For such a small change it has quite an effect imho..

I thought that it'd help me, since I was made very nauseous when I first started using the start screen with the constant flicking from bright colourful webpages and apps, to somewhat of a solid colour on the start screen.

The reality is, I have multiple applications open and they usually cover the desktop wall paper anyway, so all that's happened is I now have my wallpaper jarring me every time I open the start screen, and I know some might scoff at it and liken the start screen to simply minimising the windows or closing them, but the animations between the two are vastly different.
Personally, I still don't like how the start screen fades to black before showing the desktop again, it's too fast and harsh when the desktop is shown again.

Still, it's much better then it was, but no where near ideal and certainly not an improvement from the start menu (where it provides the 'slap on the face' feel).

Well it's good it had some effect - I can see where your coming from and personally that doesn't really both me much. Of course you can invoke search without the start screen (win + Q) and launch with just a sidebar. Might help

I still don't understand why people would want this especially after 8.1 added the shutdown function behind the start button.

The main function of the start button is to open apps, control panel or recent documents. I've been doing that a lot faster since win 7 by just typing in what i was looking for. I consider clicking through a menu tedious and a waste of time now.

"Search everywhere" fixes the only issue i had with this in windows 8.

Can you tell me how you can do this exclusively JUST on keyboard in Windows 8?

I couldn't find out how, so installed Classsic Shell, now I press the Windows Key on my keyboard, type "WORD" as an example to open up MS Word.

I've been doing that method for many years, why should I have to change my method because MS want me to have a touch screen - they've ****ed up and they know it, look at the sales of Classic Shell and Start8, what does that tell you?

Sarm said,
Can you tell me how you can do this exclusively JUST on keyboard in Windows 8?

I couldn't find out how, so installed Classsic Shell, now I press the Windows Key on my keyboard, type "WORD" as an example to open up MS Word.

I've been doing that method for many years, why should I have to change my method because MS want me to have a touch screen - they've ****ed up and they know it, look at the sales of Classic Shell and Start8, what does that tell you?

Um, you just start typing from ANYWHERE in the Start Screen.

(Using your example, from the Windows 8 Start Screen, type WORD and hit enter, it works the SAME.)

As many of us have tried to point out, the break in thinking is people that do not see the new start screen as just a BIG START MENU, as it fundamentally works the same way.

So from ANYWHERE in Windows 8, you hit the Windows Key and Start Typing, just like you did in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The need for a 3rd party App at this point is COSMETIC, so users once again see a 'Start Menu' instead of just taking the intellectual leap and realizing the Start Screen is just a FULL SCREEN version of the Start Menu.

These types of misconceptions about Windows 8 are really sad, and the tech media has failed you.


Side Notes...

Windows 8 'touch' misconceptions and even the comments above about 'touch/fat fingers' come from either an intellectually dishonest viewpoint or people incapable of understanding that just because something looks different doesn't mean it has to work different.

It is also sad that the App author and users see the new UI mechanisms in Windows 8 for 'touch' only.

Windows 8 added more keyboard control and shortcuts to it than any previous version of Windows since Windows 95. These are real commands for keyboard users, NOT touch screen ONLY users. Using the 'search' example and typing from anywhere on the Start Screen, you can navigate to file paths and launch more things than even the Windows 7 Start Menu offered.

The comment that Windows 8 is not for precision input devices is factually incorrect and misleading. Windows 8 extends 'precision' input beyond a 'mouse' with more support for Stylus/Touch/Image input and other higher 'precision' devices than a 40 year old Mouse.

Edited by Mobius Enigma, Oct 18 2013, 10:37am :

Because for Desktop users it s much more convenient to have a start menu without leaving desktop and have it in a small space without a need to hunt shortcuts on entire screen with mouse or the need to scroll through space that equals several desktops, as it is on Start Screen.

Mobius Enigma said,

Um, you just start typing from ANYWHERE in the Start Screen.

(Using your example, from the Windows 8 Start Screen, type WORD and hit enter, it works the SAME.)

As many of us have tried to point out, the break in thinking is people that do not see the new start screen as just a BIG START MENU, as it fundamentally works the same way.

So from ANYWHERE in Windows 8, you hit the Windows Key and Start Typing, just like you did in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The need for a 3rd party App at this point is COSMETIC, so users once again see a 'Start Menu' instead of just taking the intellectual leap and realizing the Start Screen is just a FULL SCREEN version of the Start Menu.

These types of misconceptions about Windows 8 are really sad, and the tech media has failed you.


Side Notes...

Windows 8 'touch' misconceptions and even the comments above about 'touch/fat fingers' come from either an intellectually dishonest viewpoint or people incapable of understanding that just because something looks different doesn't mean it has to work different.

It is also sad that the App author and users see the new UI mechanisms in Windows 8 for 'touch' only.

Windows 8 added more keyboard control and shortcuts to it than any previous version of Windows since Windows 95. These are real commands for keyboard users, NOT touch screen ONLY users. Using the 'search' example and typing from anywhere on the Start Screen, you can navigate to file paths and launch more things than even the Windows 7 Start Menu offered.

The comment that Windows 8 is not for precision input devices is factually incorrect and misleading. Windows 8 extends 'precision' input beyond a 'mouse' with more support for Stylus/Touch/Image input and other higher 'precision' devices than a 40 year old Mouse.

^ This, right here - Quoted for truth. The Start Screen isn't just touch only, and works well with a keyboard and mouse. It only takes a few minutes research, and learning to adjust to it.

Sarm said,
Can you tell me how you can do this exclusively JUST on keyboard in Windows 8?

I couldn't find out how, so installed Classsic Shell, now I press the Windows Key on my keyboard, type "WORD" as an example to open up MS Word.

I've been doing that method for many years, why should I have to change my method because MS want me to have a touch screen - they've ****ed up and they know it, look at the sales of Classic Shell and Start8, what does that tell you?

It tells us you didn't take the 5 minutes required to learn how to use the Start Screen, because to search using JUST the keyboard is no different than in Windows 7. Here, let me show you.

Windows 7: Windows key > Type in your search query here.
Windows 8: Windows key > Type in your search query here.

The motions are no different.

Yogurth said,
Because for Desktop users it s much more convenient to have a start menu without leaving desktop and have it in a small space without a need to hunt shortcuts on entire screen with mouse or the need to scroll through space that equals several desktops, as it is on Start Screen.

I dunno - I hated navigating in such a confined space with the mouse. TBH though instant search on either made them mostly useless. In 8.1 the searching is much improved though and I really like the integrated web search too. I don't miss the old SM from 7 at all now.

My partner and parents do NOT get the start menu, they look at it and don't know what to do. For some reason they can't make the "jump" to try to click around and figure it out. They know what to do, click here, click there, and it works for them, but with computers, they just need a lot of hand holding. Saying "change" is OK for me, I work with computers, but for them, that's not what they do, they just want it to work and don't care. Having that "button" with the menu they have been used to, is essential to their using it, or they won't use it at all! I'd rather them be on a MODERN system than POS Windows XP SP3 (if on SP3 at all!). My partner told me that he wanted me to put Windows 7 back on the Windows 8 system as he hated to back and forth with the Start and the Charms Bar. He hated that his windows would "go away" and I got it! That is obnoxious when you want a small window to be open but it takes up the WHOLE screen and they don't know to DRAG it down to get it to go away.

Matthew Carter said,
My partner and parents do NOT get the start menu, they look at it and don't know what to do. For some reason they can't make the "jump" to try to click around and figure it out. They know what to do, click here, click there, and it works for them, but with computers, they just need a lot of hand holding. Saying "change" is OK for me, I work with computers, but for them, that's not what they do, they just want it to work and don't care. Having that "button" with the menu they have been used to, is essential to their using it, or they won't use it at all! I'd rather them be on a MODERN system than POS Windows XP SP3 (if on SP3 at all!). My partner told me that he wanted me to put Windows 7 back on the Windows 8 system as he hated to back and forth with the Start and the Charms Bar. He hated that his windows would "go away" and I got it! That is obnoxious when you want a small window to be open but it takes up the WHOLE screen and they don't know to DRAG it down to get it to go away.

Then install 8.1, and get them to use the new Help app. It'll take all of 5 minutes to learn the new features of Metro.

Personally,
I've NEVER used the search "feature" in any version of Windows and most of the time actually disable it.

Between the number of computers I've downgraded from 8 back to 7 and the number of people I've talked into actually trying 8 with the start button back, people just aren't catching onto this Windows 8 thing!

cork1958 said,
Personally,
I've NEVER used the search "feature" in any version of Windows and most of the time actually disable it.

I gotta ask - why?

dangel777 said,

I gotta ask - why?

I've never used it either. I honestly don't know why but it feels "wrong". My best guess is that I'm OCD or something and I like to organize my "All Programs" EXACTLY how I want it. I know where everything is and it's in it's "proper place". The notion of not knowing where things actually are and just letting search show me the exe to click on honestly bothers me. I'm the same way with the file system. I know what directories everything is in, I don't just save documents wherever and then search for them everything is carefully organized. Just letting things go anywhere and then using search feels sloppy, lazy, and wrong to me. I know I'm in the minority in that and I'm not trying to be insulting to anyone but you asked and I'm trying to honestly explain how it is for me. Also while I've no doubt I'm in the minority I'm also sure I'm not alone and many of those with like mind are also power users so we tend to be both vocal and influential to non-techy people around us. That's the best I can to for an honest answer if you really wanted to understand why.

cork1958 said,
Between the number of computers I've downgraded from 8 back to 7 and the number of people I've talked into actually trying 8 with the start button back, people just aren't catching onto this Windows 8 thing!

I've had the opposite, I show them how to use it, how it syncs files to their online storage, saves wifi settings etc and they love it. Its all in the approach, "its different, but here's what you can do with it".
Classic Shell has been out forever, why downgrade an entire OS just for a start menu/charms when everything else works the SAME? Its been a year now, we've had more shocking things that a full screen start menu to deal with.

Asmodai said,

I've never used it either. I honestly don't know why but it feels "wrong". My best guess is that I'm OCD or something and I like to organize my "All Programs" EXACTLY how I want it. I know where everything is and it's in it's "proper place". The notion of not knowing where things actually are and just letting search show me the exe to click on honestly bothers me. I'm the same way with the file system. I know what directories everything is in, I don't just save documents wherever and then search for them everything is carefully organized. Just letting things go anywhere and then using search feels sloppy, lazy, and wrong to me. I know I'm in the minority in that and I'm not trying to be insulting to anyone but you asked and I'm trying to honestly explain how it is for me. Also while I've no doubt I'm in the minority I'm also sure I'm not alone and many of those with like mind are also power users so we tend to be both vocal and influential to non-techy people around us. That's the best I can to for an honest answer if you really wanted to understand why.


I also have very structured folder layouts for everything.

However this breaks down when you have over 500,000 documents, finding a conversation about a product from 15 years ago or a client's name mentioned in documents, messages, emails, etc can be scattered in multiple locations as you can't use relational database models with a hierarchical folder system.

This is where Vista, 7, 8 have been a life saver. I can be talking to a client/friend/coworker that references a specific topic from years ago, and I can just start typing a couple of keywords and see every bit of information I have instantly.

This is something that you start to notice when talking to someone at their computer, and they are trying to find information on a subject. If they use search in Vista/7/8 they have the IMs, emails, contracts or anything related to reference immediately.

If they are NOT search users, they have no freaking clue what they are talking about and at best get back to you with a follow up email after digging through several folders a few days later.

As you learn to 'trust' and use search, it can make you seem like a genius with eidetic memory.

I can be on a call and using Skydrive or the 'history' feature in WP and have every bit of information from notes, emails, documents, messages, etc in front of me in a couple of seconds and reference any and all specifics being discussed by the person I am talking with.

This type of information retrieval would have been magical in the 90s, let alone being able to do it on any of your devices, PCs, or phones.


Instead of teaching folder organization and the 'docucentric' concepts of 1995 (which I used to teach), it is far more beneficial to teach users how to use search properly and let them through all their junk in one big junk drawer.


We have moved beyond the folder models, although it appears that getting users to change their habits will take time to catch up.

Mobius Enigma said,

I also have very structured folder layouts for everything.

However this breaks down when you have over 500,000 documents, finding a conversation about a product from 15 years ago or a client's name mentioned in documents, messages, emails, etc can be scattered in multiple locations as you can't use relational database models with a hierarchical folder system.

This is where Vista, 7, 8 have been a life saver. I can be talking to a client/friend/coworker that references a specific topic from years ago, and I can just start typing a couple of keywords and see every bit of information I have instantly.

This is something that you start to notice when talking to someone at their computer, and they are trying to find information on a subject. If they use search in Vista/7/8 they have the IMs, emails, contracts or anything related to reference immediately.

If they are NOT search users, they have no freaking clue what they are talking about and at best get back to you with a follow up email after digging through several folders a few days later.

As you learn to 'trust' and use search, it can make you seem like a genius with eidetic memory.

I can be on a call and using Skydrive or the 'history' feature in WP and have every bit of information from notes, emails, documents, messages, etc in front of me in a couple of seconds and reference any and all specifics being discussed by the person I am talking with.

This type of information retrieval would have been magical in the 90s, let alone being able to do it on any of your devices, PCs, or phones.


Instead of teaching folder organization and the 'docucentric' concepts of 1995 (which I used to teach), it is far more beneficial to teach users how to use search properly and let them through all their junk in one big junk drawer.


We have moved beyond the folder models, although it appears that getting users to change their habits will take time to catch up.


Somehow I doubt the average user has over 500,000 documents or searches for things from 15 years ago. I'm a power user and I have nowhere near that. I have no reason to store ANYTHING for more than 7 years (I believe that's the tax requirements) and that's only a very few (tax related) files. Typically I do a complete system wipe every time I buy a new computer or do an OS upgrade on an existing one. I doubt I have 10,000 documents on my computer at any one time and I have no problem at all keeping them organized. While you may need to keep things for that long and have that many if that's common at all (which I doubt) my guess is that most common users never actually used that stuff and they just have it because they never created any sort of retention and archive methodology.

Sure search is great for those users who aren't organized and have no idea where there files are going when they save things. To them 'trusting' search to find their work is great because they are disorganized and have no idea where everything is. I actually agree that's the majority of users but I see 'search' as a tool that enables their ignorance (I don't mean that in a mean way, I just mean lack of knowledge) on where things save. Joe User doesn't need to be a computer expert so that's fine for them but I'm a computer programmer and I know the in's and out's of my computer so being uninformed on where programs save their files and just 'trusting' search to find things for me doesn't appeal to me personally at all.

I don't expect the average user to be taught to work the way I do but they don't have to be mutually exclusive either and again I'm not the only one who works this way, a lot of power users like to know where programs are sticking files on their system. The problem is Microsoft is taking away the tools we use to force us to work via search. What does it hurt to keep the organization structures that we use, joe user can just ignore them and use their search. Microsoft seems like their going out of their way to force us to work the search way.

Asmodai said,

Somehow I doubt the average user has over 500,000 documents or searches for things from 15 years ago. I'm a power user and I have nowhere near that. I have no reason to store ANYTHING for more than 7 years (I believe that's the tax requirements) and that's only a very few (tax related) files. Typically I do a complete system wipe every time I buy a new computer or do an OS upgrade on an existing one. I doubt I have 10,000 documents on my computer at any one time and I have no problem at all keeping them organized. While you may need to keep things for that long and have that many if that's common at all (which I doubt) my guess is that most common users never actually used that stuff and they just have it because they never created any sort of retention and archive methodology.

Sure search is great for those users who aren't organized and have no idea where there files are going when they save things. To them 'trusting' search to find their work is great because they are disorganized and have no idea where everything is. I actually agree that's the majority of users but I see 'search' as a tool that enables their ignorance (I don't mean that in a mean way, I just mean lack of knowledge) on where things save. Joe User doesn't need to be a computer expert so that's fine for them but I'm a computer programmer and I know the in's and out's of my computer so being uninformed on where programs save their files and just 'trusting' search to find things for me doesn't appeal to me personally at all.

I don't expect the average user to be taught to work the way I do but they don't have to be mutually exclusive either and again I'm not the only one who works this way, a lot of power users like to know where programs are sticking files on their system. The problem is Microsoft is taking away the tools we use to force us to work via search. What does it hurt to keep the organization structures that we use, joe user can just ignore them and use their search. Microsoft seems like their going out of their way to force us to work the search way.

Wow, this is strange that someone would argue to not have technology advance and complain when it does.

A normal user might not have 500,000 documents. However, anyone that has been using computers for a few years, information does add up. This includes a LOT of emails, a LOT of messenger/ICQ/Skype conversations, a lot of file attachments, a lot o pictures and a lot of artwork/documents/scans used in a normal professional person's day to day work.

I would bet that most average users have 100,000-200,000 documents/emails/etc on their computers.

Why on earth would you throw away your documents after seven years? Unless you doing a lot of illegal things, what does it hurt to keep a logo drawing from 1995 that is 34kb, or a contract in Word from 1993 that is 40kb?

As the progression of storage space has increased, the older stuff we have takes up a tiny amount of space to keep, as there was less information stored in the documents/emails/files from those timeframes.

Sure we could argue I don't need my lecture notes on CPU design or Assembly programming from University, but considering that one picture I take with my phone is larger than 1000 of these documents, it would be silly to destroy that information, even if I just want to reference something for fun or look up a classmate name that was in a group with me 20 years ago.

Maybe it is my degree in CIS, but information is important and cheap to retain.

The concept of a well designed Search technology is as I mention before, a modern miracle. It is something a user like my mother can access to find an email from a friend 10 years ago, and it is something that an advanced user like myself can add SQL-like structure and pull out very specific and detailed items from a large repository of information that was stored without pre planned structure.

Microsoft isn't going out of their way to 'force' you to use search; however, they are helping people to no longer have to rely on an organized system of information to be able to access that information easily.

It is an evolution from the docucentric models, but it doesn't do away with the older models, it just makes them obsolete. A candle is still nice to have sometimes, but the light bulb does work better.


Mobius Enigma said,

Wow, this is strange that someone would argue to not have technology advance and complain when it does.

I'm not complaining about technology advancing. I thought I was pretty clean in saying that I understand that Joe User doesn't realize where their files go and nor should they have to and so for them search is great. For those of use who do know where our files go and actually use and like organization schemes we'd like to not have to use Search to get to our files. Removing the Start Menu takes this capability away from us. I'm not married to the idea of the Start Menu specifically but no alternative organization system was presented. Instead you are being pushed to search for everything. You can't pin everything you ever want to the start screen, it would be a huge mess and become hard to find and you can't organize the All Apps to anywhere near the degree you could the start menu.
Mobius Enigma said,

A normal user might not have 500,000 documents. However, anyone that has been using computers for a few years, information does add up. This includes a LOT of emails, a LOT of messenger/ICQ/Skype conversations, a lot of file attachments, a lot o pictures and a lot of artwork/documents/scans used in a normal professional person's day to day work.

I would bet that most average users have 100,000-200,000 documents/emails/etc on their computers.


I seriously doubt that's true. I suspect most users have ZERO emails on their computer for example as most have gone away from local email to web based email (gmail, outlook, yahoo, etc.) so their email is all stored in the cloud (including attachments). What is stored locally while not necessarily a tiny amount I doubt rises to the level of hundreds of thousands of documents.

I would like to clarify though that I DO find great value, even personally, on search when searching for things OFF SYSTEM. It's nice to have a search box that will look online as well as locally and even I use that. When I said I never used search I should have been more clear as obviously I search the internet and my hotmail account etc. I never use search to find an executable or a saved document on my local hard drive as I know where all of these things are.

Mobius Enigma said,

Why on earth would you throw away your documents after seven years? Unless you doing a lot of illegal things, what does it hurt to keep a logo drawing from 1995 that is 34kb, or a contract in Word from 1993 that is 40kb?

Are you asking me personally or in general? I personally do zero work from my personal computer. I have a work computer and my work doesn't like our business related documents being on our personal machines. I can check my email from my personal machine but that's through Outlook Web Mail so nothing really stays on my PC. I upgrade my computer more often then 7 years typically and I don't go through and try to copy every document I've ever made to the new HDD or System. The most notable exception to this is tax documents which I'm required to keep for 7 years so I need to make sure I move to the new system (although that's not even true anymore as I've taken to storing my tax documents on SkyDrive) I suspect I do a better job moving stuff them most users though as from my experience non-computer savvy people have ZERO backup policy and now you can save your pictures and music to the cloud very little data moves from local system to upgraded local system.

Certainly a huge endorsement for the much-needed utility. Should be sending a strong signal to Microsoft, if they care to listen and think about a long-term future.