Microsoft is about to make big changes to legacy Windows code

Microsoft’s Windows operating system is built upon years and years of code that is continuously rolled forward to maintain interoperability between platforms. But, after doing this for many years, there comes a time when you must go back and re-work the code to modernize it and make Windows a more streamlined operating system.

Thanks to a new job posting, Microsoft is doing exactly that and it’s not a trivial task. The post says that the application will be working in top-level UI surfaces that “are so ubiquitous that even your Mom will understand what you work on”.  Another way of saying this is that this role will be responsible for working on the visual interface of Windows that you are likely looking at right now as your read this post.

The job posting goes on to say:

As a developer on the team you will be responsible for leading the creation of high-quality architecture, design, and implementation of top-level Windows UI surfaces. You will collaboratively make product decisions on how best to deliver on our customer promises and scenarios. You will make engineering decisions to either iterate on legacy UI components or to replace/refactor longstanding pieces of code with new code in new frameworks (such as XAML) to accelerate development. You will figure out how to make UI testable and measurable to allow more agile iteration while maintaining high self-host quality.

We added the emphasis above but it clearly shows that Microsoft's in the process of either replacing legacy Win32 code or will build-upon it, when necessary, to accelerate development of Windows.

It shouldn’t be a big surprise that Microsoft is working on updating the legacy code but what’s notable here is the replacement of this code with new frameworks. If and when this is implemented successfully, it will help to increase the speed at which Microsoft can update its OS at the core level, which is something that is likely slowing down its rapid release cycle at this time.

Is this work part of Windows 9, it would seem likely, but we won't know until that platform launches sometime in 2015.

Source: Microsoft | Thanks for the tip Ma-Config!

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It doesn't take an expert to read between the lines of the job posting.

IMHO opinion, they have realized that they need to touch fundamental APIs UI elements like the File Open dialog box in order to push forward the touch-first nature of Windows 8. Most probably they will hire multiple of these "legacy anthropologists" with each one exploring same components and proposing different approaches, then the central architects team decides where to go.

The best example I could think of is adding a Live Tile for the Desktop. Currently all the Notification area info is lost if you're in the Start Screen. Using a new framework would actually create an iOS like Notification center for the Desktop which could easily be used in a way similar to Windows Phone 8.1.

Ironically, the main problem with all these approaches is that Microsoft uses a top-down structure which basically kills innovation in favor of the tried-and-tested. (aka remember the Longhorn reboot into Windows Vista)

Simple fact of the matter is Windows needs to be cleansed from top to bottom (if it needs it) from old code to old UI elements, end users and developers should be equal in the sense the user experience for both should be clean, modern and easy to use. Things that make the experience antiquated should be removed / replaced with something newer, more efficient and graphically pleasing. But that's just my opinion.

Old code supports old apps, amongst other discrete functions - would you replace your personal and professional computing platforms with PCs based on Windows RT ?

...nobody would. Assured compatibility is a Windows trait. MS has to move carefully.

What is visually pleasing to one person is not visually pleasing to another. I really dislike the flat look of Windows 8/8.1 but others like it. I'd be much happier with 8/8.1 if Microsoft had left me the options to have as much bling as I wanted. Not that I want a lot, but, I really like 3d buttons, borders, etc. It make it pretty obvious what is clickable and what isn't.

Earth shattering. Microsoft is hiring someone that is to use either existing frameworks or new frameworks to develop UI components for windows. Wow this story is really streaching for a hook. Microsoft is hiring developers everyday. When would they not say they want the best tool for the job to be used, when describing what the job applicant would be doing?

I just hope it isn't based on .NET (.NET = slow and resource hungry).

But I agree that most Windows system dialogs need a complete rewrite (have been the same since Windows 95).

68k said,
I just hope it isn't based on .NET (.NET = slow and resource hungry).

But I agree that most Windows system dialogs need a complete rewrite (have been the same since Windows 95).

Why would it be based on .NET?

68k said,
I just hope it isn't based on .NET (.NET = slow and resource hungry).

You don't know.
.NET inside the CLR is just like any bytecode interpreter, slow and resource intensive.
The future of .NET is native.
Your woes have been addressed.

Im glad they are trashing everything and starting again from the ground up. This should be done with every version of Windows. If they did this they wouldn't have flops like Me, Vista and 8. If they start from the beginning with 9. and dropped all 32 bit code, Windows 9 would not only be smaller install size, but would be vastly optimised for current generation PCs to crappy Surface Pros.

Anarkii said,
Im glad they are trashing everything and starting again from the ground up. This should be done with every version of Windows. If they did this they wouldn't have flops like Me, Vista and 8. If they start from the beginning with 9. and dropped all 32 bit code, Windows 9 would not only be smaller install size, but would be vastly optimised for current generation PCs to crappy Surface Pros.

I'm not sure why you'd consider Windows Vista to be a flop. It is the most substantial release of Windows in almost a decade. Out of all the operating systems you mentioned, Windows Vista is the closest to "starting again from the ground up." It introduced completely reworked audio, networking, and updating subsystems, a new display driver model, a desktop compositor (which displays windows differently than all versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista), a new setup routine based on the Windows Imaging Format (WIM), language-neutral user interface, User Account Control (which solved the "should I run as an administrator or use a standard account?") problem in earlier versions of Windows.

they need to keep the legacy code. for international businesses, not everyone has the funding to always upgrade to the bleeding edge technology and some may still be using XP, Vista or windows 7. what if they created a module alot like they do with VC++ redistributables do so businesses can plug in the necessary files for having this as a feature?

this can be a dual-edge sword if care isn't exercised.

This is kind of silly. This happens every release, and what's it's saying is that this person will be one of many who make decisions about whether to invest in existing internal-only UI frameworks (i.e. DUI) or push requirements to externally supported ones like XAML and HTML/CSS. In 8.1 more folks leaned toward the latter, which is why it's the first release with XAML-based shell UI.

you are ready too much into it. the job post is simply saying, in MSFT speak that the developer will work on the shell UI and help integrate the store apps with the win32 desktop (which is what MSFT has been showcasing since the last build). The most requested feature for winRT development is interop with win32. This is a job post about that. This doesn't signal a change of any kind towards "modernizing" windows. The modernization, winRT already took place. What needs to happen next is for all the bridges to allow devs to transition to the new thing without throwing away their code investments. this is particularly true of LOB apps which outnumber mobile apps by order of magnitude and no business is looking to replace them with iOS/Android/WinRT apps.

back before windows 7 was released, even before the early leaks, a friend was telling me how windows 7 will have a linux kernel

at that time i wasnt sure if i should laugh at him or be excited about it

now i know such a thing is impossible for many reasons, but i guess the time has come and im really looking forward to this, i just hope it just gets better, because nothing could be worse than windows 8 and 8.1 - what i mean is that on a fresh install of windows 8.1, when i press the windows button on my keyboard and the start screen appears, i start typing for the thing im looking for, and it takes about 5-10 seconds before the search sidebar appears, another 4-5 seconds before the text i typed starts to appear and another 4-5 seconds before i see some results

by that time, in windows 7 i would have launched the program i was looking for and probably working on what i have in mind at the moment

Use Winkey+s (or Winkey+q). Its virtually instant for me. Only if I havent used any of the modern environment (start screen and such) for quite a while and in the meantime play games, it sometimes gets shoved into the pagefile. But once its back in the memory, all is fast.

Also you do not need to wait for UI feedback, you can start typing and press enter. (and not take away focus by clicking or something) and you don't even have to wait for the UI if it has a sluggish moment.

Shadowzz said,
Use Winkey+s (or Winkey+q). Its virtually instant for me. Only if I havent used any of the modern environment (start screen and such) for quite a while and in the meantime play games, it sometimes gets shoved into the pagefile. But once its back in the memory, all is fast.

Also you do not need to wait for UI feedback, you can start typing and press enter. (and not take away focus by clicking or something) and you don't even have to wait for the UI if it has a sluggish moment.

sometimes the application im looking for is on second or third place, and if i install something new, it might change places as well, so its not quite simple and from the tech savvy guy i used to be i turned to a common user, because of all the issues ive had with PCs over the years, i just gave up - install it and never bother with it untill its completely broken and i reinstall again

Allwynd said,
....

On a fresh install this is typical behavior as the base search index is not yet built.

Then some P0W4H Uz4H! goes and disables search indexing and OMGzzzzzzzz this OS Suxx0rZ

deadonthefloor said,

On a fresh install this is typical behavior as the base search index is not yet built.

Then some P0W4H Uz4H! goes and disables search indexing and OMGzzzzzzzz this OS Suxx0rZ

i dont understand how search indexing service has anything to do with the loading of the interface, and in my case i am the only one that manages the computer, i install and reinstall the OS whenever i feel like it, and i dont disable the indexing, because i know it makes searches slower

im having an issue with the interface loading really slow

Back when Whistler was the look for XP instead of Luna... that was nice. Simple, flat, elegant. Then they kinda went bubble gum on XP, which I hated, and all round and glassy in Vista. I'm quite happy with the desktop UI in Win8. Even Office looks much better.

Though I do find it funny that many of the dialog windows, especially in options, have remained exactly the same for 20 years.

Lots of extrapolation going on here. "Making engineering decisions to either iterate on legacy components or to replace/refactor with new code to accelerate development" is an everyday reality of software engineering, whether you're working on the Windows shell or on some ticketing database. Also keep in mind that "replacing / refactoring with new code to accelerate development" is not the same as replacing or adding features. The term "refactoring" specifically means reworking code without changing its functionality.

Be sure to fix the UI to make it truly device oriented and suitable. Trying to make one UI work well on both a tablet/smartphone and also a desktop is not working. Hint: two UIs, user selectable. If the UI doesn't work well for the device on which it is installed, Windows-7 will remain very "alive and well" clearly until 2020.

Device-oriented? In other words, you want MORE modal absolutism - not less? Modal absolutism is a problem with ANY device that has multiple modes - it's been a problem merely in Windows since Media Center Edition and Tablet PC Edition (the first truly multimodal SKUs of Windows), and it's a problem in Android and iOS as well. Computers (of all sorts) are becoming MORE multimodal - not less, and operating systems that are on them are having to adjust to that reality. (Yes - it's equally true of Android and iOS - it's not JUST Windows.) However, you are so used to single-mode operating systems as the default (remember, XP MCE and TPE weren't the default SKUs of XP), that you want things to basically not change (this is despite the fact that SINCE XP, the multimodal SKUs led in terms of SALES of Windows - I'm not even counting 8 forward, but merely Vista and 7; the best-selling SKUs were the Ultimate SKUs of each, which are multimodal by default). Sounds like you want less choice - not more.

TsarNikky said,
Trying to make one UI work well on both a tablet/smartphone and also a desktop is not working.

Surface disagrees. Seriously, nothing is preventing you from using the mouse on a desktop. Not sure how a dashboard changes anything.

Dot Matrix said,

Surface disagrees. Seriously, nothing is preventing you from using the mouse on a desktop. Not sure how a dashboard changes anything.

You just proved his point Dot! The Surface doesn't sell well. We will see if the Surface 3 can change things, but the first two versions of the tablet/laptop bombed and proves TsarNikky's points.

JHBrown said,
You just proved his point Dot! The Surface doesn't sell well. We will see if the Surface 3 can change things, but the first two versions of the tablet/laptop bombed and proves TsarNikky's points.

I didn't prove anything. Like Mugwump00 said above, correlation != confirmation/causation. besides, the Surface 3 is already off to a good start, as reported earlier on Neowin.

What TsarNikki wants, Windows 8.1 already has.

Kindly rephrase so that more readers can understand. "Modal absolutism," multimodal," etc. may make sense to techies, but for the "rest of us...?"

As opposed to desktop computers ONLY supporting keyboards and mice, more started supporting touch, even prior to Windows 8. (The same was true of portable PCs as well.) Instead of clunky overlays from third parties, the overlay was replaced with built-in support for touch - however, nothing stopped you from using keyboards and mice - overlay or no overlay. Nothing stops you from using keyboards and mice with Android or iOS, either - and I'm far from the only person that has used them with both OSes in question. Why do you insist on pinning Windows down when its no more needed than it is with Android or iOS?

I've pointed out exactly what I meant by "multimodal" in previous postings - it's the standard definition when applied to computing; supporting more than one method of interaction. On the other hand, you want an operating system (and apparently ANY operating system that Microsoft produces) to only support keyboards and mice. Would you banish voice-control from Windows (which has been a third-party option since Windows 95)? The problem you face there is that it would be illegal - such an operating system would be a deliberate violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Microsoft cannot do such a thing - and they know it. Android and iOS were crafted in the TEETH of the ADA; thus, they are multimodal (as in "supporting multiple methods of interaction") by design. Only iOS can't be scaled up to run on desktops - such is not true of Android. (Could iOS be ported to x86? Only Apple can answer that - however, they aren't talking.) Windows has been quite capable of being a multimodal OS since (at least) NT4. (While Windows 9x WAS a multimedia-based OS, a true multimodal OS is greater than simply supporting multimedia, and NT's core - not the DOS-style 9x core - is a better fit - which XP MCE proved.) The OS needs to be a better fit for the world of multimodal hardware - both portable and non-portable alike. Are you seeking to cage Windows in so that alternative OSes to Windows can catch up? What precisely IS your motive for shackling down Windows as an operating system?

Thank the gods.

The Windows fan in me says this work should have begun years ago. Apple has continued to innovate in the desktop UI for OS X while Microsoft has removed features and let desktop apps and tools wither away and languish.

As much as I appreciate and respect the work Microsoft has done to make Windows a viable tablet OS in Windows 8.x, I think it's clear they let the pendulum swing too far in one direction. With the new regime at Microsoft, it feels like some of the more puzzling decisions are being revisited.

I think a pairing back of the UI is necessary.
It takes a power user to use windows competently these days and that can't be right (everything from fixing the odd registry issue to managing folder permissions, default apps etc.)

Windows is to complicated and it's not necessary for 95% of users. Fixing a problem with can be nigh impossible.

Too complicated? Hardly. However, Windows IS becoming more multimodal - however, that is because the hardware on which Windows runs has ALSO become more multimodal. Way back when XP MCE was an OEM-only product, do you know what the focus of the niche/specialized version of Windows XP was? The home theater and media center PC - they were being built by DIYers and OEMs alike. What replaced XP MCE? Surprisingly, it was Vista Ultimate - it did everything XP MCE did AND supported running on on a domain - and all by both default AND design. Like XP MCE, it was based on the Professional SKU of the default OS - Vista, in this case. However, unlike XP MCE, it didn't require hacking the Registry to run as a domain client - it actually kept a feature that MCE had removed by default. 7 Ultimate did the same (and was, naturally, the direct successor to Vista Ultimate). The followup to 7 Ultimate was 8 ProWMC; like 8 Pro, Hyper-V was an add-on (replacing XP Mode). However, having better touch support in the operating system was something that had been in demand since - believe it or not - Windows 7 - and not alone in the portable-hardware space. (Have we forgotten about the HP TouchSmart series? This group of touch-supporting desktops and AIOs - a subset of HP's Pavilion series of desktops, AIOs, and HTPCs - goes back to the launch of Windows 7. Adding touch support didn't kill mouse and keyboard support with these OEM PCs - any more than it did with any other PCs that include touch support. What changed was touch being a real option - not an afterthought requiring a clunky OEM-only overlay - like the much-despised Motoblur or HTCSense in the Android device space.) In other words, it sounds like what some folks REALLY want is LESS choice - not more.

And how many folks will gripe about changes FROM that legacy code? (Yes - I'm heart-attack serious.) How many folks have complained and complained (and complained) merely about the UI changes from 8 forward - and that is with few changes to the core code (remember, there was very little, if any, application or game breakage from even XP-era software, let alone Vista-era or 7-era software, in 8 forward). Now we are actually portending far GREATER changes - and now to the core of Windows' core code - which WILL create application breakage; how much breakage was there between XP and Vista? Do we - as users - REALLY want another Vista?

PGHammer said,
Now we are actually portending far GREATER changes - and now to the core of Windows' core code - which WILL create application breakage; how much breakage was there between XP and Vista? Do we - as users - REALLY want another Vista?

Converting existing stuff to use new APIs and such doesn't mean they're doing away with or changing the old ones. With a handful of exceptions most old legacy stuff still runs on current versions of Windows, and most times there's an easy workaround without having to restore to virtualization.. shoot I even have a few Windows 95 era programs laying around for giggles that still work. Their track record for backwards compatibility has been excellent overall.

The source of this article seems wide-open to interpretation, and some people seem to be applauding the apparent pruning of 'legacy code', but I wonder, of all the functionality encompassed in Windows 8.1, what functionality can be jettisoned that won't cause even more obstacles to large-scale adaptation by the Windows-running masses?

Max - I'm not one of those objecting to the changes in Windows; if I were, I wouldn't run Windows 8.1, let alone Server 2012R2 (and both sans third-party Start menu bring backs). However, there are LOTS of those that object to precisely those changes (even though only the Start menu - and reliance on same - was affected; they can't even point to any application breakage). This is bigger than 8, and threatens to be at least as large as Vista (which, unlike 8, WAS a near-complete rewrite, and did indeed result in some application breakage). The "too far in one direction" mantra is uttered by those that work entirely in one mode (or mostly in one mode) because either their hardware or workflow (or both) is not really conducive to multimodal operations - it's not unique to desktop computing. On the other hand, I haven't worked in just a single mode since XP Media Center Edition (which replaced XP Professional on my PC) immediately after Service Pack 2 - in other words, multimodal computing has been MY default since then. XP MCE was followed by natural (and equally multimodal) successors Vista Ultimate, 7 Ultimate, 8 ProWMC, and now 8.1 ProWMC - did all those "too far in a single direction" folks stick with the Business or Professional SKUs of Vista and 7? Or did you buy Vista and/or 7 Ultimate and not use a good third of the operating system?

"Microsoft's Windows operating system is built upon years and years of code that is continuously rolled forward to maintain interoperability between platforms. But, after doing this for many years, there comes a time when you must go back and re-work the code to modernize it and make Windows a more streamlined operating system."

This gives the impression that the code just keeps getting pushed forward as-is for compatibility. Microsoft has refactored and streamlined much of the OS code already through it's "MinWin" initiatives. The resulting work is what has given us things like Server Core (Windows without the GUI). It's also ditched a lot of older code, especially in the 64bit versions of the OS where many legacy subsystems were removed as part of the 32->64bit transition. The Windows code isn't as bad as that opening paragraph would have you believe but this does appear to be a "MinWin" style project targeting the UI code specifically.

Asmodai said,
"Microsoft's Windows operating system is built upon years and years of code that is continuously rolled forward to maintain interoperability between platforms. But, after doing this for many years, there comes a time when you must go back and re-work the code to modernize it and make Windows a more streamlined operating system."

This gives the impression that the code just keeps getting pushed forward as-is for compatibility. Microsoft has refactored and streamlined much of the OS code already through it's "MinWin" initiatives. The resulting work is what has given us things like Server Core (Windows without the GUI). It's also ditched a lot of older code, especially in the 64bit versions of the OS where many legacy subsystems were removed as part of the 32->64bit transition. The Windows code isn't as bad as that opening paragraph would have you believe but this does appear to be a "MinWin" style project targeting the UI code specifically.

Yes, but MinWin has not been about the UI. This seems to be a similar initiative but for the interface.

Silversee said,

Yes, but MinWin has not been about the UI. This seems to be a similar initiative but for the interface.


Isn't that what I just said?

Agreed, this will be amounting to widespread changes to old UI elements like tabbed dialogs, controls including those ubiquitous things like buttons, boxes and dropdown menus, and common dialogs like Save and Open. The implementation of these bits have changed little from Windows 95 except for the patina of the skinning engine, so I can definitely see a need for some reworking here.

AtriusNY said,
It is also possible than MinWin was not about the UI but this initivative is.

ROFL, I'm pretty sure that's what both Silversee and I were saying.

Asmodai said,

ROFL, I'm pretty sure that's what both Silversee and I were saying.

I am just making sure you understand MinWin was not about the UI but this initivative is.

they already changed the legacy code. windows 8 uses more gpu acceleration then windows 7, which in a way broke legacy apps that depended on different code.

Better integration of desktop programs into Modern, I hope. I'd rather not have to drop into "virtual Win 7 mode" just to run a single desktop program maximized.

Lord Method Man said,
A lot of lessons have been learned from the failure of Metro.

Metro is the design language that Windows 8 uses. I believe you are referring to the Windows 8 UX, which has gotten better dramatically over the changes in Windows 8. The Metro design language itself has not changed.

Dot Matrix said,

Where has Metro failed?

You mean aside from being the Frankenstein OS that didn't know if it was a tablet or a desktop and is almost universally hated? I know you're living in your own little bubble of reality but Windows 8 was and still is a huge market failure. Even Microsoft admits that mistakes were made.

Edited by Rigby, Jun 16 2014, 6:37pm :

Bonfire said,

You mean aside from being the Frankenstein OS that didn't know if it was a tablet or a desktop and is almost universally hated? I know you're living in your own little bubble of reality but Windows 8 was and still is a huge market failure. Even Microsoft admits that mistakes were made.

Does it have to be one or the other? Has Microsoft has shown us, it open up the OS to more devices, and more usage scenarios. It's one OS for multiple devices.

Uhm, you do realise that Microsoft has been using Metro since Windows 95, right? Every version of Windows contained more and more of this design language, Windows Vista was the first one to take a more major step in this, so was 8.

Studio384 said,
Uhm, you do realise that Microsoft has been using Metro since Windows 95, right?

No, they haven't. Metro made it's very first appearance in WMC in Windows XP.

Studio384 said,
Uhm, you do realise that Microsoft has been using Metro since Windows 95, right? Every version of Windows contained more and more of this design language, Windows Vista was the first one to take a more major step in this, so was 8.

The Metro design as it's is now did not start until the Zune.

Lord Method Man said,
A lot of lessons have been learned from the failure of Metro.

How does the "failure of Metro" have any relevance to this article? Metro as a design language is perfect for XAML; it is clean and simple as it lacks what are often considered unnecessary design elements (gradients, etc).

Ian William said,

What failure? Metro as a design language is perfect for XAML; it is clean and simple as it lacks what are often considered unnecessary design elements (gradients, etc).
I believe he is referring to the reception of Metro from consumers and businesses. Years later, it still hasn't caught on. People are bypassing it like a plague.

JHBrown said,
I believe he is referring to the reception of Metro from consumers and businesses. Years later, it still hasn't caught on. People are bypassing it like a plague.

Perhaps consumers and corporations do not like the interface, but I fail to see how adoption has any relevance to these "big changes to legacy Windows code."

"Almost Universally Hated" by people who don't use it, made zero attempt to learn it, and haven't updated their opinions since the Windows 8.0 release (Windows 8.1 Update 1 is very nice to use on a desktop, thanks).

I'm so tired of mindless people parroting this nonsense.

pmbAustin said,
"Almost Universally Hated" by people who don't use it, made zero attempt to learn it, and haven't updated their opinions since the Windows 8.0 release (Windows 8.1 Update 1 is very nice to use on a desktop, thanks).

I'm so tired of mindless people parroting this nonsense.


Yeah blame it on user for not buying in to MS vision. You perfectly fit in to Sinofsky bandwagon. I hope you are not running any business with that kind of attitude toward your consumers.

No, I blame it on users parroting things "They heard" out of ignorance and bandwagoning. It's "cool" to hate on Windows 8, without actually knowing anything, as you can see clearly by the people ragging on it... by claiming things that aren't true any more (or never were).

When people bash things based on a completely false premise, or a completely out-dated and obsolete notion... yeah, I'm going to call them out. And everyone else should too.

Educate yourself instead of parroting mindless stupidity and making a fool of yourself.

pmbAustin said,
No, I blame it on users parroting things "They heard" out of ignorance and bandwagoning. It's "cool" to hate on Windows 8, without actually knowing anything, as you can see clearly by the people ragging on it... by claiming things that aren't true any more (or never were).

When people bash things based on a completely false premise, or a completely out-dated and obsolete notion... yeah, I'm going to call them out. And everyone else should too.

Educate yourself instead of parroting mindless stupidity and making a fool of yourself.

Your arrogance and sheer ignorance is abominable. Many others, like me, had tried your Metro crap interface and detested it. There is the reason of popularity of Start menu programs but you keep blaming users and live in your bubble. LOL.

You need to educate yourself about customer satisfaction and demand rather than spilling your ignorance on forum.

Popularity of the start menu program? You mean that same program that according to Microsoft's own data from the customer feedback experience from Vista and 7, showed that the start menu usage degraded and 95% of the users rarily used it?
Vista degraded that whole menu into a fancy search box.

You are forced into using modern? Weird, I've been using Windows 8 since the dev previews and all the time I've spend in the modern environment still hasn't gone over 1 hour total. Start screen is just a collapseable fullscreen taskbar for quick program launching. as was the job of the horrible catastrophic start menu with its infinite sub-folder and help file structures.

Yeah I'm glad they finally upgraded the start menu, if you claim you love it. I hate to break it to you, but there might be something wrong with you. The start menu is a horrible relic of the past designed to be used in such a way, that it was never meant to support more then 20 installed applications at any given time.

Not sure how you use your system nowadays, but I have over 50 installed programs and games (install quite young, give it a few months and it'll easy hit 100+). But have more then 10 applications and the start menu (if you actually use it besides the quicklist and search) is useless.

And better yet, nothing in the start screen is new. All Microsoft did was combine the desktop background and the start menu.

Shadowzz said,
Popularity of the start menu program? You mean that same program that according to Microsoft's own data from the customer feedback experience from Vista and 7, showed that the start menu usage degraded and 95% of the users rarily used it?
I'd love to see real data on this. However, I don't believe Microsoft would ever release such information. "Nike told me that user data showed most people weren't using shoelaces, thus the removal of my shoelace on my new running shoes." I believe Nike pulled that one out of there $$$!

Shadowzz said,

You are forced into using modern? Weird, I've been using Windows 8 since the dev previews and all the time ------I've spend in the modern environment still hasn't gone over 1 hour total-----.

so basically Microsoft wasted all that time and effort in creating the new start screen " the best thing since sliced bread" ,all the metro apps etc.. for you to only use it for less than 1 hour in about 3 years of use, that is funny. and you're defending win 8?

Shadowzz said,

Yeah I'm glad they finally upgraded the start menu,

why would you be glad if you yourself said that you have only used it for less than 1 hour in about 3 years.

Auditor said,

Your arrogance and sheer ignorance is abominable. Many others, like me, had tried your Metro crap interface and detested it. There is the reason of popularity of Start menu programs but you keep blaming users and live in your bubble. LOL.

You need to educate yourself about customer satisfaction and demand rather than spilling your ignorance on forum.

Knowledge isn't arrogance. And I'm not ignorant, I actually know what I'm talking about. Your insults aren't justified by anything, sorry.

You prove my point when you say "we tried the metro crap interface".... why? WHY are you assuming you have to or need to? Did you even read my post? I use Windows 8.1.1 on a desktop with keyboard and mouse EVERY DAY and never see anything "metro". Those bashing Windows 8.1 because of 'metro', like you, are completely ignorant and don't know what they're talking about.

Which is my whole point. Thanks for proving it.

You need to educate yourself about Windows 8.1.1 (which clearly you've never made the slightest effort to even try).

JHBrown said,
I'd love to see real data on this. However, I don't believe Microsoft would ever release such information. "Nike told me that user data showed most people weren't using shoelaces, thus the removal of my shoelace on my new running shoes." I believe Nike pulled that one out of there $$$!

Percentage wasn't released but
"We'd seen the trend in Windows 7," said Chaitanya Sareen, principal program manager at Microsoft, referring to the telemetry gathered by the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program. "When we evolved the taskbar we saw awesome adoption of pinning [applications] on the taskbar. We are seeing people pin like crazy. And so we saw the Start menu usage dramatically dropping, and that gave us an option. We're saying 'look, Start menu usage is dropping, what can we do about it? What can we do with the Start menu to revive it, to give it some new identity, give it some new power?'"

Superboy said,

so basically Microsoft wasted all that time and effort in creating the new start screen " the best thing since sliced bread" ,all the metro apps etc.. for you to only use it for less than 1 hour in about 3 years of use, that is funny. and you're defending win 8?

why would you be glad if you yourself said that you have only used it for less than 1 hour in about 3 years.


Yes I'm defending Windows 8. I use modern apps all the time on my phone. But on my PC, don't need it.
Few tiled apps are handy for quick info, but I've had no reason to use a modern app,
Just because its part of the OS, doesn't mean I'm forced to use it. There's a ton of crap in Windows I never have used.

So yeah I'm defending the usage of an OS I've been using for ages. How horrible of me not using every goddamn feature the OS provides me....
Grow up dude.

Shadowzz said,

Yes I'm defending Windows 8. I use modern apps all the time on my phone. But on my PC, don't need it.
Few tiled apps are handy for quick info, but I've had no reason to use a modern app,
Just because its part of the OS, doesn't mean I'm forced to use it. There's a ton of crap in Windows I never have used.

So yeah I'm defending the usage of an OS I've been using for ages. How horrible of me not using every goddamn feature the OS provides me....
Grow up dude.

This is what everyone keep saying, Metro on PC is not needed and they can continue their experiment on WP or tablet devices but Metro has no place on PC and should not be there to begin with.

Auditor said,

This is what everyone keep saying, Metro on PC is not needed and they can continue their experiment on WP or tablet devices but Metro has no place on PC and should not be there to begin with.

Saying Metro has no place on a PC is like saying it has no place elsewhere either. How does having different input methods change things? You need to move past the narrow minded vision that desktop PC's need to suffer through Explorer shell only UI, and can't have anything else. There is nothing wrong with Metro on desktop PC's, tablets, or phones.

Auditor said,
.... Metro has no place on PC and should not be there to begin with ....

Next thing you'll tell me is Hyper-V has no place being in the client and should be dropped from all client SKUs for Windows 9.

Auditor said,

This is what everyone keep saying, Metro on PC is not needed and they can continue their experiment on WP or tablet devices but Metro has no place on PC and should not be there to begin with.

You keep saying that. But I know a lot of people who use metro stuff on their desktops and laptops. Including myself. I LIKE being able to run anything I can run on my tablet on my PC as well. I LIKE having something like 'weather' just hanging out in the background that I can easily flip to for an update, and then flip back to my desktop. I LIKE being able to dock the music player to the side of my desktop.

There's no reason to not include the entirety of Metro in Windows. None.

pmbAustin said,

You keep saying that. But I know a lot of people who use metro stuff on their desktops and laptops. Including myself. I LIKE being able to run anything I can run on my tablet on my PC as well. I LIKE having something like 'weather' just hanging out in the background that I can easily flip to for an update, and then flip back to my desktop. I LIKE being able to dock the music player to the side of my desktop.

There's no reason to not include the entirety of Metro in Windows. None.

there is one : Anything you can do in metro you can do it better on the desktop, so why waste resources in metro instead of making the desktop even better.

Because not everyone uses exclusively desktop applications, maybe? While I use MOSTLY desktop applications, the key operand here is "mostly" - there are indeed some ModernUI apps and games that I use/play, and by choice. (Yes - this is on a desktop computer that doesn't support touch.) It's my computer, and thus my choice - even on a desktop, it's not ALL desktop applications all the time. Windows is not, and never has been, a cage - if anything, Windows 8 made it less of a cage than ever. However, that wider variety has apparently become off-putting to some - not enough control. (That has been very apparent, given all the talk about locking things down in Windows 8 that weren't even in Windows 7 at all - apparently the extra freedom/choice scares some people.)

Superboy said,

there is one : Anything you can do in metro you can do it better on the desktop, so why waste resources in metro instead of making the desktop even better.

There's a number of things Metro does better than the desktop. The Metro side of Windows 8 is more efficient on system resources. Second, the desktop isn't the end all to computing. Third, it just would be prudent to create multiple SKUs, for what is the same OS. Microsoft is trying to unify their products and services, not tear them apart.

Dot Matrix said,

There's a number of things Metro does better than the desktop. The Metro side of Windows 8 is more efficient on system resources. Second, the desktop isn't the end all to computing. Third, it just would be prudent to create multiple SKUs, for what is the same OS. Microsoft is trying to unify their products and services, not tear them apart.

If MS is not scared of Metro fail and forcing it on everyone why don't they build a different SKU one like pure desktop version and other Win 8 with Metro tablet edition like they do it with MCE. But MS won't do that because they just want to shoehorn this crap like they wanted to do Kintect with XBone. We will see how long MS can keep this insanity going on.

All I know is that absolutely everyone I know that has Windows 8/8.1 on their machine has a Start Menu replacement installed. No a one of them uses the Start Screen. And only a couple have tried apps from the app store.

Auditor said,
..... why don't they build a different SKU ....

Because they're not going back in time.
ever since unifying consumer / business on NT Kernel each new version has less SKUs than before.

MCE is not a different SKU in Windows 8. It's deprecated and added as an add-on pack. I predict W9 will drop MCE suppport altogether.

I prefer knowing that the Windows experience is consistent across all x86/x64 deployments.

Superboy said,

there is one : Anything you can do in metro you can do it better on the desktop, so why waste resources in metro instead of making the desktop even better.

No, that's not a reason to REMOVE it. And that's also a "temporary" assumption... that's not always true. For example. IE11's "Reading Mode" is currently metro-only, and works great. And I cited some other examples where the Metro stuff can be of value to SOME PEOPLE even on desktops and laptops. So no, there isn't ANY reason to remove it. And there's a lot of reasons to keep it in place... easier to develop for, larger potential audience of apps, more options for users, etc.

sadsteve said,
All I know is that absolutely everyone I know that has Windows 8/8.1 on their machine has a Start Menu replacement installed. No a one of them uses the Start Screen. And only a couple have tried apps from the app store.

Nobody I know uses that kind of crutch. Because it's just not necessary. It speaks to a complete laziness to learn the new way and take a few minutes to customize the taskbar and start screen for their use. It's "just wanting it to work like it always has" which makes one wonder why they ever upgrade anything. There's no NEED for a start menu replacement, and anyone who says there is is a lazy liar.

Dot Matrix said,

There's a number of things Metro does better than the desktop. The Metro side of Windows 8 is more efficient on system resources. Second, the desktop isn't the end all to computing. Third, it just would be prudent to create multiple SKUs, for what is the same OS. Microsoft is trying to unify their products and services, not tear them apart.

like I said, if Microsoft would have put as much effort on the desktop side of things and not waste time with metro they would have made the desktop more efficient too.

no one said the desktop is the end all computing it's just that metro does not belong on the desktop or rather make metro an app you can run if you want to instead of making the desktop an app that you can run if you want to.

you can unify without making them look the same or making compromises on one to make the other one look like the lesser one "the desktop has big screen unlike windows phone, desktop does not need big squares, so now you are compromising the desktop for a look a like interface" why do that if you can just program the apps to talk to each other without having the same GUI.

Superboy said,

like I said, if Microsoft would have put as much effort on the desktop side of things and not waste time with metro they would have made the desktop more efficient too.

no one said the desktop is the end all computing it's just that metro does not belong on the desktop or rather make metro an app you can run if you want to instead of making the desktop an app that you can run if you want to.

you can unify without making them look the same or making compromises on one to make the other one look like the lesser one "the desktop has big screen unlike windows phone, desktop does not need big squares, so now you are compromising the desktop for a look a like interface" why do that if you can just program the apps to talk to each other without having the same GUI.

Why? What does Metro do differently that it does belong on the desktop? What's different about it and desktop elements that you interact with?

Superboy, dude... Microsoft DID put a ton of effort into the Desktop with Windows 8. Lots of new support for Multiple-Monitors, vastly improved File Manager (and file management with copy/move/delete functions working a lot better and more intuitively), vastly improved Task Manager, improved new "File History" backups, "Storage Spaces" for managing pools of external USB drives, lots of new hot-key short-cuts, the "power users" menu (Windows-X), and dozens of other features, including OneDrive integration and synchronizing settings across PCs and devices you may use.

To claim they didn't put any work into the Desktop is ridiculous.

pmbAustin said,
To claim they didn't put any work into the Desktop is ridiculous.

They didn't change the icons, so they didn't change MY desktop. Doesn't matter they added a bunch of features I don't use.
/S

deadonthefloor said,

They didn't change the icons, so they didn't change MY desktop. Doesn't matter they added a bunch of features I don't use.
/S

That's the most ignorant thing I've ever read in my life. If you don't use File Explorer, you don't use the desktop.

pmbAustin said,

That's the most ignorant thing I've ever read in my life. If you don't use File Explorer, you don't use the desktop.

Notice the "/S"....

deadonthefloor said,

Thanks for defending me yet again.

Not many know that I'm second only to you as an MS enthusiast.

Sorry I missed the /S and its meaning. It's not difficult though when the individuals you are parodying sound exactly like the parody... :-/

pmbAustin said,
Superboy, dude... Microsoft DID put a ton of effort into the Desktop with Windows 8. Lots of new support for Multiple-Monitors, vastly improved File Manager (and file management with copy/move/delete functions working a lot better and more intuitively), vastly improved Task Manager, improved new "File History" backups, "Storage Spaces" for managing pools of external USB drives, lots of new hot-key short-cuts, the "power users" menu (Windows-X), and dozens of other features, including OneDrive integration and synchronizing settings across PCs and devices you may use.

To claim they didn't put any work into the Desktop is ridiculous.

I know they did put some stuff in there but can you imagine what else they could have improved if they hadn't wasted time in metro.
an example instead of making 2 so so IE, just make the desktop IE the best, and the same goes for all the modern apps with desktop versions too.

Superboy said,

I know they did put some stuff in there but can you imagine what else they could have improved if they hadn't wasted time in metro.
an example instead of making 2 so so IE, just make the desktop IE the best, and the same goes for all the modern apps with desktop versions too.

You're really not getting it, and I'm not sure how to help you get it. But you're wrong on all counts. Microsoft did what it HAD to do to remain competitive in this new world, and is continuing to do so. Metro IE, btw, is now fully functional and is really good... not just 'so-so'. The initial "Mail" app wasn't great, but the current one is quite usable. The forth-coming touch-versions of Office promise to be amazing (OneNote already is).

They actually did more Desktop work in Windows 8 than they did in either Vista or Windows 7, so I still don't think you really know what you're talking about. I also don't think you really use Windows 8.1 Update 1 ... if you did, you'd understand that your complaints are all obsolete.

deadonthefloor said,

Thanks for defending me yet again.

Not many know that I'm second only to you as an MS enthusiast.

That bad huh?

A new look to the desktop would be cool. The Windows 7 look is nice, on Windows 7 -- but it's time for a new coat of paint made for Windows.next.

I meant a coat of paint, a new look to the UI. Make desktop apps look more, ahem... "modern". Windows, icons, screensavers, wallpapers, that sort of thing.

i skip the win 8 and 8.1, i dont want to my PC looks like tablet. i really hope that new windows will be better. Yes, i use the old win 7 start menu, LEAVE IT IN THERE.

I can asure you, that updating to Windows 8.1 doesn't make your PC changes its appearance. If it does, I recommend you to check the inside of it, as it might be broken.

8.1 Update 1 works perfectly fine on a Desktop. I use it every day on a dual-monitor desktop with mouse and keyboard. it doesn't look anything like a tablet. You really shouldn't parrot things that aren't true and that you clearly don't understand.

Tibor Kanjo said,
i skip the win 8 and 8.1, i dont want to my PC looks like tablet. i really hope that new windows will be better. Yes, i use the old win 7 start menu, LEAVE IT IN THERE.

Hmm. Why is having a dashboard all of a sudden a tablet only feature?

Dot Matrix said,

Hmm. Why is having a dashboard all of a sudden a tablet only feature?

Because in reality it is, and if not, then why it is both on touch and non touch interface.

About time to be honest... some of that stuff is rather old. Works, sure, but dated. They should make sure the concept of consistency gets pounded into the developers heads too... stop with the multiple GUI styles for everything already. Bad habit that started with XP and just kept on snowballing.

Dot Matrix said,
Nice! Looking forward to a Modern Windows! :D

Nah I don't think it is going to be Modern (crap ) Windows but more along the line of phasing out 32 bits code and moving toward 64 bit exclusively.

Auditor said,

Nah I don't think it is going to be Modern (crap ) Windows but more along the line of phasing out 32 bits code and moving toward 64 bit exclusively.

That's not what it sounds like to me. Considering Microsoft is still going strong with Windows 8 development, I very much expect them to re-work areas of the OS that have been neglected.

I think its more of phasing out GDI+ internally to WPF or WinRT. MS has said they have some exciting things for WPF coming soon and maybe this is related to that.

BannanaNinja said,
I think its more of phasing out GDI+ internally to WPF or WinRT. MS has said they have some exciting things for WPF coming soon and maybe this is related to that.

^This.
Aim for 95% AppCompat running legacy binaries on Win9, with XAML rendered desktop instead of GDI+

It's nice to see them working in this direction, as apposed building multiple versions of the same Windows. (I'm looking at you Mac OSX with your 11 versions).

jordanspringer said,
It's nice to see them working in this direction, as apposed building multiple versions of the same Windows. (I'm looking at you Mac OSX with your 11 versions).

OS X supported legacy PPC code until 10.7.
10.9 and 10.10 are free, and the upgrade been is $30 a pop.

Jason Stillion said,

OS X supported legacy PPC code until 10.7.
10.9 and 10.10 are free, and the upgrade been is $30 a pop.

10.6 was the last release that included Rosetta translation layer which is why my sister held off from upgrading to 10.7 because she still required support for her old PPC applications.

Really interesting! "Threshold" (Windows 9) is really looking out to be something epic and new. Since they are merging Windows RT and Windows Phone, this obviously has to be done. I can't wait!

Windows 8 was epic and new, and we see how resistant to change people can be. They'll do better to rehash the same old stuff in windows 9...just like they did with Windows 7. Suddenly, everyone will love it.

The vast majority of users didn't find it "epic" at all, myself included. New and useful features can't be appreciated when so many other things are broken or clunky to use. It should have been intuitive and useful to all users at any level, they shouldn't have to figure out or workaround so many things. It's this very attitude that's been the undoing of a lot of companies, MS is fortunate to have such a foothold to survive so many colossal failures. Even management can admit it's failures and try to move forward, so yes, now you're allowed to admit that your beloved MS makes mistakes and it's not the users that are the problem.

Hahaiah said,
The vast majority of users didn't find it "epic" at all ...

What nonsense , you speak for the 'vast majority of users' do you?

Not sure if it's willful ignorance or just the bubble you seem to be in, but yes, EVERY indicator (outside cheer leading outlets) shows very negative feedback.

If Windows 8 was epic it was an epic failure. It had a gran plan, but a very poor execution. It focused on what peopled ignored, and ignored what people most people focused on.

It attempted to be an iPad, without really being one; Windows 7 with all the good things left out; and Windows Phone without being a phone.

Microsoft tried to convince people that Windows 8.1 was all the greatness without the stubbornness and it backfired. Silently they released Windows 8.1 Update (really 8.2) quietly backtracking on most things they pledged not to do.

Windows 9 might be epic, but I'm sure most people will ignore it. Why? Because, "there's never a second chance to give a first impression".

Get them all too please.. not half-ass it with some new, some Windows 95 leftovers. Give me a version where I don't want to change them myself.

Yeh but, how many people are looking at the registry? The same goes for basically all of the legacy icons in Windows, they're in places normal users shouldn't be - why waste time making stuff pretty for a crowd (developers) who would happily use Notepad to do most of their work? They may even have been left intentionally to discourage normal users from messing around.

JustAnotherTechie said,
Yeh but, how many people are looking at the registry? The same goes for basically all of the legacy icons in Windows, they're in places normal users shouldn't be - why waste time making stuff pretty for a crowd (developers) who would happily use Notepad to do most of their work? They may even have been left intentionally to discourage normal users from messing around.

There is something to be said about having an eye for detail. Even going into these "developer crowd only" apps and refreshing their appearance would show a new level of care about these details. Right now these things communicate that MS really doesn't care about the details.

JustAnotherTechie said,
... how many people are looking at the...

Desktop recycle-bin? That's bin the same since Vista beta - 9 years ago!

Here here! I'm all for making things look nicer. If one guy can do icon packs for all sorts of OSes on his time off, is it really asking too much to update a few icons from a multi-billion dollar company who could hire someone to do the work?

Microsoft isn't starving here...

JustAnotherTechie said,
Yeh but, how many people are looking at the registry? The same goes for basically all of the legacy icons in Windows, they're in places normal users shouldn't be - why waste time making stuff pretty for a crowd (developers) who would happily use Notepad to do most of their work? They may even have been left intentionally to discourage normal users from messing around.

Well for one that crowd is the one who writes most of the software for that platform and the ones that write reviews and blogs and are generally most vocal and have a lot of influence over normal users and... need I go on?

Phouchg said,
No, that's plain laziness. And these excuses reply - plain gullibility.

Sir, your brevity makes you hard to understand. Are you saying a make-over of the icons isn't enough? Fine, if that's your opinion. I don't see anyone making any excuses to support that it is - it's just a popular sentiment that the icons are incongruously pre-Modern and need attention.

If you've read the Steve Jobs biography, that was something that mattered a great deal to him. It was all about craftsmanship and following through on your plans: you would change or alter even the things that people would never know were there or would never touch.

And that's what Microsoft has been doing: they have updated a few icons, sure, but they still leave behind dozens of legacy icons, UI designs and other legacy things. And it's what makes Windows look very inconsistent sometimes.

Mugwump00 said,

Sir, your brevity makes you hard to understand. Are you saying a make-over of the icons isn't enough? Fine, if that's your opinion. I don't see anyone making any excuses to support that it is - it's just a popular sentiment that the icons are incongruously pre-Modern and need attention.


Aimed at JustAnotherTechie. Didn't click Quote, clicked Reply. I'm actually sort of agreeing with you.

Oh, and anyone or anything who's name is preceded by Just Another (or Yet Another) is to be discredited immediately as... just another.

And new (used/free space) pie chart in Properties dialog for disk drives too thanks - it's been the same since Windows 95!