Editorial

Windows 8 users still want a Start menu and a Facebook app

It's been over 100 days since Microsoft launched Windows 8 to the general public, along with Windows RT and the RT version of the Surface tablet. On Saturday, Microsoft launches the Surface Pro tablet running Windows 8 Pro. After using Windows 8 for over three months, it seems clear that the people who buy the Surface Pro tablet want to have two things installed.

One is a Start menu replacement for the desktop. The other is a dedicated Facebook app for the "Modern" UI.

Since the launch of Windows 8, Stardock says it has seen over three million downloads of its Start8 program that brings back the Start menu to the desktop. Another developer, Sweet Labs, recently announced it had 1.5 million downloads of its Pokki program that also offers a Start menu for Windows 8. A few days ago, yet another company, Thinix, released a new version of its own Start menu program, RetroUI. The company has not revealed how many downloads it has generated from the program but did tell Neowin that they were "very pleased" with the results.

Those are just three of the many Start menu apps for Windows 8 that have been released. It seems clear that there are lots and lots of Windows 8 owners that want the Start menu returned to the desktop, even if Microsoft does not want to oblige them

As far as Windows 8 apps, users would clearly appreciate if Facebook would come through and launch an official app for the OS. Five of the top 10 free apps in the Windows Store social category are third party Facebook apps and one of them, Facebook Touch, is currently the eighth most popular free app in the store, period.

While there are certainly other apps that Windows 8 users might appreciate (for example, there seems to be a growing trend for touchscreen-based file explorer apps), the two types of apps we have mentioned above are by far the most requested.

For the Start menu replacement, the ball clearly seems to be in Microsoft's court on this one. Microsoft has indicated that they have no plans to update Windows 8 to reintroduce the Start menu, and we can certainly understand the company's stance that they want to move beyond a UI that was created over 15 years ago for Windows 95.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people that are either buying new PCs with Windows 8 pre-installed, or updating their old PCs to the new OS, that are taking the time to download the many third party apps that restore the Start menu. The perfect compromise to this situation would be for Microsoft to do what it did for Windows Media Center; make a Start menu replacement and release it as a paid third party add-on.

People might complain about having to get an add-on but they seem to be willing to give money to other companies for their Start menu replacements. We think this is a missed opportunity.

As far as an official Facebook app, this is something that Microsoft doesn't have much in the way of control. We assume that Microsoft asked Facebook to provide an official app for Windows 8 and we also assume that Facebook has rebuffed their advances. Microsoft did decide to make its own Facebook app for Windows Phone 8.

To the folks at Facebook, we would submit that it is in your own best interests to offer a dedicated Windows 8 app. There are a ton of third party apps that are using your company name and even your logos in the Windows Store. The lesson for Facebook? If you don't make your own Windows 8 app, there will be plenty of others that will do it for you and profit from these apps at your expense.

Will adding a Start menu and an official Facebook app end all of the critics of Windows 8? Nope, but it will please the customers that Microsoft and Facebook need to hold onto and they both need to think seriously of giving their Windows 8 customers what they are getting from others.

Images via Stardock and Facebook Touch | Like image via Shutterstock

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"The perfect compromise to this situation would be for Microsoft to do what it did for Windows Media Center; make a Start menu replacement and release it as a paid third party add-on."

You mean a free third party app!!. Paying for something that is as trivial as adding a Start menu is not only ignorant, but greedy!!.

The whole thing is a mess. I still can't believe MS went live with this. There are some great under the hood changes that Windows 8 brought to the OS, but the whole "Metro" idea, especially on desktop computers, is just a giant unintuitive mess.

Well I would prefer the Metro screen if it looked more adult;. ditto Outlook.
In all, I find the new image that Microsoft is projecting to be inane, sloppy, and patronising; rather like a maiden aunt trying to sound hip........

"Corporations are people, my friend."

Is it just my PC that is malfunctioning, or did everyone else read these same words?

My only complaint with Win 8 is the search. It's annoying that when I hit Win key and type, say 'firewall' I then have to go over and click on Settings before I can see Windows Firewall. Why'd they have to change it from the way Windows 7 just aggregates all results. Other than that the Start screen is fine.

Unified search would be more useful in my opinion too. However you CAN use Winkey + W to open the start screen search directly in settings mode. It just requires remembering more hotkeys.

Windows 8 for Dummies.
It's not a book.
It's a statement of fact based upon some of the replies in every pro/con win 8 discussion.
It's pretty simple. Join the MS Fanbois crowd & stab away at your touchscreen like a 4 year old playing with his pram mobile. Or stick with Win7 Sp1 & enjoy the best windows experience you're likely to get from Microsoft now or in the future.
That's the sad truth - Microsoft wants to go one way for future profit growth via the micropayment route. Hence the introduction of "apps" as opposed to proper software designed with maximum flexibility in mind. If a fool & his pocket money is that easily parted, then that's up-to them.
We all have the choice to stick with what we know & like, or jump onto another fashion band-wagon that is by all accounts failing in the marketplace despite heavy spin-doctoring.
Useless arguement which solves nothing online over an operating system is pretty stupid. Just use what works for you best right now.

foonacha said,
Windows 8 for Dummies.
It's not a book.
It's a statement of fact based upon some of the replies in every pro/con win 8 discussion.
It's pretty simple. Join the MS Fanbois crowd & stab away at your touchscreen like a 4 year old playing with his pram mobile. Or stick with Win7 Sp1 & enjoy the best windows experience you're likely to get from Microsoft now or in the future.
That's the sad truth - Microsoft wants to go one way for future profit growth via the micropayment route. Hence the introduction of "apps" as opposed to proper software designed with maximum flexibility in mind. If a fool & his pocket money is that easily parted, then that's up-to them.
We all have the choice to stick with what we know & like, or jump onto another fashion band-wagon that is by all accounts failing in the marketplace despite heavy spin-doctoring.
Useless arguement which solves nothing online over an operating system is pretty stupid. Just use what works for you best right now.

You do realise that you don't HAVE to use the start screen in Windows 8 right? Grab yourself a start menu replacement which allows you to boot directly to the desktop too and you're good to go.

Windows 8 isn't just Metro, there's a whole OS in there.

I see ClassicShell has had 129,000 downloads in the last week alone.

I think the Start Menu and Aero Glass should be an optional feature.
I also think the new interface for basic content consumption and toy apps (aka Start Screen) should be an optional feature (perhaps enabled by default if touch hardware is detected).

its called the "Windows key" or start button; its been on keyboards since Windows 95.

Give it a try on Windows Vista and 7; it has the same effect on Windows 8.

Press the Windows key and start typing for what you are looking for. Much more efficient than dragging your mouse from anywhere to the bottom left corner; much more efficient.

Put two versions of Windows on the disk/iso.
When installing there will be a.
1: Install Desktop version
2:Install Tablet/smart phone version
Also bring back an option to turn on Aero Tranparent on the desktop version

Or how about just doing what they should have first up, and giving users the CHOICE of what they want? It's not that hard, and would've appeased both sides.

I'm Personally happy with the Modern Start Menu, Functionally is about the same as Windows 7 64bit SP1 was, sure the start screen taking the full screen takes focus off the Desktop applications, but really isn't a big issue in my mind personally

Windows 8 is my daily use Operating System for Gaming, Documents, voice over ip, music listening, medic center enteratainment.

If you want the start menu back then you are afraid of windows 8 or have just never used it or something like that.. /s

I am a Windows 8 user and I want either! So I don't appreciate the title of the news article. Perhaps saying "Some users..."

How is he trolling? Obviously this is a topic of debate. Clearly many, MANY have issues not having the Start Menu, and now apologists are attacking the sales of a Start Menu replacement for some unknown reason.

However, a better question would be, do you like Windows 8 better with a Start Menu replacement. I think we all know MS isn't bringing it back. And IMO, Start8, is better than the original start menu. It's configuration UI, the inclusion of Metro apps in the Start Menu, and the ability to go to the Win 8 Start Page with a delayed winkey press. It's worth $5 just to avoid the pitiful Metro Search IMO.

MorganX said,
However, a better question would be, do you like Windows 8 better with a Start Menu replacement. I think we all know MS isn't bringing it back. And IMO, Start8, is better than the original start menu. It's configuration UI, the inclusion of Metro apps in the Start Menu, and the ability to go to the Win 8 Start Page with a delayed winkey press. It's worth $5 just to avoid the pitiful Metro Search IMO.

Personally, I like my Windows 8 just fine with Classic Shell, which gives me a Start Menu, and allows me to stay away from the Metro/Modern/Microsoft UI. I'm much happier than trying to remember how to do X in the Start Screen constantly. I realize that there are going to be folks who will evangelize the Start Screen (which will sound a lot like those who evangelize the Mac OS X desktop), but for *MY* personal use, I'll use what I feel most productive in... and that'll remain the desktop with a start menu.

I have just about had it with the constant whining to bring back the start menu. Microsoft needs to move forward, they can't stick with the start menu forever. If you don't like the start screen - fine, use Windows 7.

I just installed it a few days ago. I had the bata running during the testing phase. I have no need for the start menu and I don't miss it because I hardly used it when it was available on W7. I use Nexus dock for all my frequent apps.

The only tweaks I made was Win8 skin to look more Metro ,Added my own background using Stardock's Decor8 utility and change icons using icon packager, Not all Metro style icons but I like the look.

Desktop Screenshot:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCedBrUCYAA-9Xu.png:large

Metro Screenshot:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BCedfocCIAA6lbJ.png:large


I would love if MS came up with a way for us to run more then two apps at a time while in Metro mode. Having just two apps running on a 24 inch monitor is a waste.

I found this app called Toolbox for windows 8. You can run up to six different little apps in one UI. Just give us the ability to do the same by dragging opened Metro apps into a holder of some sort.
http://apps.microsoft.com/wind...017c-47e4-923b-db71bd9110ba

I have six computers that I use on a regular basis: 2 of them running Win8 (one I upgraded from Win7), 1 win 7, 1 xp, 1 macBookPro and 1 ipad. I have no desire for a start menu on my win8 machine, never missed it. Maybe just need to work/live in a diverse environment.

So about 4% of users should be considered as significant? In what world?

In other anecdotal nonsense, 4-5% of Win95 users replaced Explorer with Program Manager and File Manager, and another 6% of Windows 3.1 and Win95 users booted directly to a command prompt as the shell.

So Microsoft should have just kept DOS or Program Manager then too?

Are you or StarDock introducing a full screen CLI to replace the entire Windows 8 shell, to help the 10-20 users that hate all GUI shells?

**This is also going off a number of 'downloads', with no actual indication of users still using the Start Menu utilities. The reason I mention this, as there are many friends and clients that I know who initially installed a Start menu replacement, and once they realized how freaking stupid it was, they stopped using it.

I don't think people buying the Surface Pro care about the old start menu so much. It's a touch screen computer and Windows 8 works amazingly with touch screen computers.

It also works great on my desktop. I like that the start menu is full screen, I can see 100 programs instead of 25 at once.

When will Microsoft get over its arrogance and respond to customer/user wants and needs? Clearly, Microsoft hasn't learned the lessons taught so well by other huge companies who, in essence, told their customer/users "tough sh**, get over it." At least Windows-7 will give Microsoft time to reflect on their bad decisions and come up with new solutions.

Great news! You can simply use another OS. You are not locked into using Windows. There are alternative OS's that run Windows programs.

Use your freedom of choice, brah.

Microsoft own statistics from windows users show most people don't even use the start menu. A couple of people on some internet forums doesn't mean anything. And everyone knows those start menu replacement "downloads" doesn't mean that many people have a start menu replacement. Just inflated numbers to make them look good.

Unsurprising. They had a Start Menu for 17 years and all other major mobile platforms have an official Facebook app.

Oh, and a Start Menu doesn't make the interface old or obsolete. I think an enhanced one could actually be used to integrate Metro and Desktop better. I.e. launching Metro apps from Desktop. Instead of only the other direction.

Not sure who wants the Start Menu so much after getting used to Windows 8. I'm not gonna lie, I purchased Start8 and used it for a while but the only purpose it serves now is to bring me to the Windows 8 Start Screen and disable the taskbar translucency. Once you get used to the Start screen, there really isn't much reason for the Start menu. I agree the start screen can use some more updates and such but it isn't so bad.

As for a Facebook app, I agree that one is needed particularly for touch devices but I can also care less personally about Facebook so whatever....

Microsoft can't stick with an old fashioned and obsolete UI... They have to go on.
Let's face it, these people doesn't know what they want... Or may be it's a misunderstanding of what numbers say... Numbers say that people wants tablets over PC and that people wants old style UI too... nuts.
Or may be it's a noisy minority Windows 8 users...

I tried switching to Windows 8 but 2 days later I just had to go back to Windows 7. The start screen just isn't developed well enough at all.

Doing things like searching become awkward and are much easier & faster to just do with the start menu search. Trying to organize my apps practically, on the start screen or in the apps list was frustrating.

At times it feels like the guys who work on Windows don't actually use it.

Lamp0 said,
I tried switching to Windows 8 but 2 days later I just had to go back to Windows 7. The start screen just isn't developed well enough at all.

Doing things like searching become awkward and are much easier & faster to just do with the start menu search. Trying to organize my apps practically, on the start screen or in the apps list was frustrating.

At times it feels like the guys who work on Windows don't actually use it.

but a guy who used it for 2 days is the expert.

This is because the new start screen in Windows 8 is so radical of a change for any joe blow non techie, computer illiterate, every day user. Don't blame them at all either, although I can handle that messed up start window!

Have down graded quite a few brand new computers to Windows 7 just for that reason, for some customers!

cork1958 said,
This is because the new start screen in Windows 8 is so radical of a change for any joe blow non techie, computer illiterate, every day user. Don't blame them at all either, although I can handle that messed up start window!

Have down graded quite a few brand new computers to Windows 7 just for that reason, for some customers!

So instead of taking 5 minutes to educate customers, you conned them out of more money to get less functionality.

Do you have a script made up for when they call and are wanting to install the new Win8 Netflix App or XYZ Win8 App, and why they cannot use it and NEVER will be able to use it?

As for 'average' users, the majority of them HARDLY ever go to the Desktop for anything beyond running Word or a Desktop Application directly. Go read the majority of non-tech reviews, they wonder why people still need or want the desktop, which is the opposite of what you find on tech sites.

That's because the non-tech sorts don't care about the OS, all they want is the pretty pictures and their games, Facebook, Netflix, IE and so on, they don't *work* with the computer on a daily basis.

But for people who work on the computer eight hours a day doing programming, graphics work, dealing with multiple spreadsheets or even just typing, the ONLY place you're going to be is in the desktop. Not the Start Screen, not in full screen mode, but the desktop where the real programs are run and the real work is done. And for those people, the Start Screen is either unnecessary (as I see it) or an annoyance (as others see it) designed to be more of a wall to prevent productivity.

But as usual, YMMV.

A wall to prevent productivity my arse.

I concede that many office based pcs will be used primarily at the desktop, but it takes what.. 0.5 seconds to pin apps to the taskbar, and a second to click desktop when the pc boots?

You're assuming that you want to pin apps to the taskbar (I don't) or that you remember to click to the desktop (I don't have to with Classic Shell, it goes straight there without the intervening interruption). But as I said, your mileage may vary. Just because I use a start menu doesn't mean I think everyone should use it... although the folks who use the Start Screen apparently feel that everyone should use it even if I find it a horrid mess to work in.

TCLN Ryster said,
A wall to prevent productivity my arse.

I concede that many office based pcs will be used primarily at the desktop, but it takes what.. 0.5 seconds to pin apps to the taskbar, and a second to click desktop when the pc boots?

I don't agree that the start screen is a "wall to prevent productivity" but equally I do not agree that pining everything to the taskbar is a solution.

I don't want my taskbar to be OS X's dock. I still switch it over to show the full titles of all my open windows rather than just the single icons that you have to hover over to see your actual windows.

well im a windows 8 user and i dont want my start menu back, and the people im showing how to use windows 8 they dont seem to miss the start menu either, so ths article is just bull****

DKAngel said,
well im a windows 8 user and i dont want my start menu back, and the people im showing how to use windows 8 they dont seem to miss the start menu either, so ths article is just bull****

I agree, and if you read the article, they are basing the 'demand' for a Start Menu on 4% of Windows 8 users downloading one of the replacement Start menus. Which is a freaking tiny number, and also gets smaller when you account for all the people that initially panicked and installed a Start Menu application and found it to be silly after a few days, no longer using it.

This is probably my biggest gripe about Windows 8. There are only a small handful of programs I use that I want full screen, and nearly all of them are photography/graphics-related (read Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Daz3D, Vue). Everything else runs in windows that are sized for my convenience and ease of use. Now, the Start Screen and apps that run under the Metro/Modern/Microsoft UI are full screen, which is a show-stopper in my view. You can resize the tiles, but you can't resize the screen application itself.

Tal Greywolf said,
This is probably my biggest gripe about Windows 8. There are only a small handful of programs I use that I want full screen, and nearly all of them are photography/graphics-related (read Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Daz3D, Vue). Everything else runs in windows that are sized for my convenience and ease of use. Now, the Start Screen and apps that run under the Metro/Modern/Microsoft UI are full screen, which is a show-stopper in my view. You can resize the tiles, but you can't resize the screen application itself.

This is a good argument; however, the majority of users, like 98%, run all their Applications maximized, and often close them to switch between applications. It seems crazy, but Microsoft was also surprised when they were auditing usage habits.

The new UI is a 'rethink', but for the 'majority' of users, more are running 'multiple' applications and 'flipping' between applications more often and faster than they ever did with the conventional desktop UI.

This is where the 98% of users like the new UI and are more productive with it - which is why you find articles in the NYT or WSJ questioning why Microsoft even kept the desktop UI in Windows (being non-tech writers).

The trick to 'getting past' the full screen thing is to know the keystroke, mouse gesture to quickly flip between Apps and see that 'Share' is the metaphoric replacement for drag and drop and Application collaboration, and they no longer have to be 'running' or on screen at the same time, both of which are advances.

Also the 'stateless' nature of Apps and moving to a world where content no longer has to be 'saved' or tracked or managed by the user is a big step in the right direction and additional progress that is often overlooked in how Apps and content is managed in Windows 8.

I think that's a mistake, personally. It's one reason why Windows 8 is likely not going to be embraced by corporations, I know far too many users in my work facility alone who use multiple monitors with multiple programs open, and full screen is actually an impediment to their work flow. Having to flip from one program to another to paste data or engineering drawings is not the best way to get work done, especially when you expect the workflow to be a smooth function.

Also from a corporate perspective, content in our environment not only needs to be tracked and managed, it's a *requirement*. Our security controls are already strict enough to begin with, and putting on an OS with a "store" only leads to abuse (as exhibited by our failure to be able to secure the iPhone and keep people from adding unauthorized data and programs). Add to that Microsoft's constant network connectivity within the Start Screen (all those live tiles updating and taking up bandwidth) and you have a recipe for some serious problems.

This is not to say that Windows 8 is a complete disaster, there are things I like about it. But the Start Screen was almost the sole reason why I was about to not install the OS until I found out about Classic Shell, and the functionality it brings back into to the OS.

thenetavenger said,

This is a good argument; however, the majority of users, like 98%, run all their Applications maximized, and often close them to switch between applications. It seems crazy, but Microsoft was also surprised when they were auditing usage habits.

Your quoted statistic here seems entirely made up.

thenetavenger said,

The new UI is a 'rethink', but for the 'majority' of users, more are running 'multiple' applications and 'flipping' between applications more often and faster than they ever did with the conventional desktop UI.

I'd love to see a source on this also. More users are running multiple applications and flipping between them more often AND faster than on the desktop? No way.

thenetavenger said,

This is where the 98% of users like the new UI and are more productive with it - which is why you find articles in the NYT or WSJ questioning why Microsoft even kept the desktop UI in Windows (being non-tech writers).

98% of your statistics are made up.

thenetavenger said,

The trick to 'getting past' the full screen thing is to know the keystroke, mouse gesture to quickly flip between Apps and see that 'Share' is the metaphoric replacement for drag and drop and Application collaboration, and they no longer have to be 'running' or on screen at the same time, both of which are advances.

Also the 'stateless' nature of Apps and moving to a world where content no longer has to be 'saved' or tracked or managed by the user is a big step in the right direction and additional progress that is often overlooked in how Apps and content is managed in Windows 8.

This is entirely backwards. There's a reason computing settled on the window model, it is efficient. We shouldn't be learning how to use computers like we're back in the 80s.

Also for your second point here, content absolutely DOES still need to be tracked by the user it's just being made more difficult. Particularly on mobile platforms like iOS where the iCloud implementation is ridiculous. Paring down programs into these single screen "specialised" apps only means that you are required to open the same file in different programs more frequently, but the only way you are able to do this is by making a copy of it in the app's local space. So now I have versions of this one file floating all over the place instead of in one centralised location.

This is an organisational nightmare.

I'm not want a start menu too. I use Linux 1/3 of time in my job and I'm already beginning trying find the start screen dragging the cursor to left bottom side by habit.

I'm a Windows 8 User... and i do not want a start menu ever.. I refuse To go back to the past and old Fashion ways... i love the start Screen! also.. FB is a waste of time... just sayin

jp.vdvyver said,
I'm a Windows 8 User... and i do not want a start menu ever.. I refuse To go back to the past and old Fashion ways... i love the start Screen! also.. FB is a waste of time... just sayin

What if microsoft switched from an oil based lube to sawdust, would you take that dry too?

Sonne said,

What if microsoft switched from an oil based lube to sawdust, would you take that dry too?

If (and i'm struggling with your left field analogy to say the least) MS made mechanical devices that needed 'lube' then sawdust would irrevocably break them to the point of non-function. That's not he same thing at all since patently *some* of us can use the new Start Screen just fine, which proves the analogy false.

On the up side, at least it wasn't (directly) a car analogy. And nobody mentioned Hitler yet either

Darrah Ford said,
Not too bright are we. He's talking about Metro sheep bending over for ballmer.

Wow, what an intelligent and valuable contribution to this thread you make.

It appears dangel misinterpreted Sonne's comment regarding lube and sawdust,
Darrah Ford clarified it for him.

So far he has made a more valuable contribution to this thread than you and considering he didn't make the original comment merely clarified it then his intelligence holds no relevance to this discussion

My contribution is clarification as well

Darrah Ford said,
Not too bright are we. He's talking about Metro sheep bending over for ballmer.

I suppose my mind didn't go where yours or his did - I'm pretty happy it didn't frankly - I wouldn't take it as a negative
Was there a need to be rude?

When I installed Windows 8, one of the first things that was installed (after a REAL anti-virus program) was Classic Shell. Having read the horror stories about the Start Screen and experiencing it myself (confusing, difficult to use, basic functions buried under keyboard/mouse combinations), I did not want such an abomination gracing my computer. So my system boots up and goes straight into the desktop, where I can work and function with ease and without having to deal with the eyesore that is the Start Screen.

As for a Facebook app, my general view of any and all apps for Windows 8 is "no way is that crud going on my computer." If it doesn't run on the desktop, it doesn't get installed on the computer. I don't care how 'essential' the app is, I'm not turning my tower system into a glorified (if crippled) tablet just to keep Microsoft happy. If I could rip out the Start Screen completely, then the OS would probably be close to perfect (or at least as close as Microsoft tends to get). But since a lot of the folks here have fallen into the idea that a tablet interface is the greatest thing since sliced bread, they can keep their interface. I won't use it, I need to do work, something the Start Screen is not designed to let people do.

[For the record: I don't own a tablet. I don't want a tablet. I don't like tablets. I have no need for a tablet. If it doesn't come with a real keyboard of some kind, then it's useless to me. I type. A lot. The virtual keyboard on tablets are horribly designed, and I find myself having to erase and retype much of what I try to do on a tablet, wasting time.]

Tal Greywolf said,
[For the record: I don't own a tablet. I don't want a tablet. I don't like tablets. I have no need for a tablet. If it doesn't come with a real keyboard of some kind, then it's useless to me. I type. A lot. The virtual keyboard on tablets are horribly designed, and I find myself having to erase and retype much of what I try to do on a tablet, wasting time.]

For the record, some of those virtual keyboards are sheer genius - SwiftKey X on android is unbelievably good: fast and very accurate. In contrast the keyboard on the iPad is absolutely terrible and fits well within your description.

dangel said,

For the record, some of those virtual keyboards are sheer genius - SwiftKey X on android is unbelievably good: fast and very accurate.

there is no software solution for tactile feedback, regardless of how innovative or well developed

Sonne said,

there is no software solution for tactile feedback, regardless of how innovative or well developed

I never proposed there was (haptic is a poor replacement too) - nor did I say it's better than a physical keyboard. I merely followed up his point on accuracy and speed

I realize and recognize that some folks like using tablets and can function with them fine. My RL SO is one, she's getting a new iPad Mini because she wants the newest *shiny*. (And it'll be a late Valentine's Day gift from me, she already knows that.)

But given a choice between a tablet or a notebook/netbook, I'll stay with the notebook/netbook. I grew up typing on typewriters, then word processors, so typing on a tablet is just not going to happen. It also doesn't help that when I do try to type on a tablet, my fingers will press at least two keys at once, while a keyboard I can instantly work without a problem. (My usual typing speed is around 80wpm, on a tablet it drops down by a factor of 4.)

Tal Greywolf said,
I realize and recognize that some folks like using tablets and can function with them fine. My RL SO is one, she's getting a new iPad Mini because she wants the newest *shiny*. (And it'll be a late Valentine's Day gift from me, she already knows that.)

But given a choice between a tablet or a notebook/netbook, I'll stay with the notebook/netbook. I grew up typing on typewriters, then word processors, so typing on a tablet is just not going to happen. It also doesn't help that when I do try to type on a tablet, my fingers will press at least two keys at once, while a keyboard I can instantly work without a problem. (My usual typing speed is around 80wpm, on a tablet it drops down by a factor of 4.)

So - out of curiosity - how do you feel about tablets that have physical keyboards or the raft of convertible devices that now exist? Would you avoid a laptop that had touch at all or is your aversion just to virtual keyboards themselves?

Tal Greywolf said,
I realize and recognize that some folks like using tablets and can function with them fine. My RL SO is one, she's getting a new iPad Mini because she wants the newest *shiny*. (And it'll be a late Valentine's Day gift from me, she already knows that.)

But given a choice between a tablet or a notebook/netbook, I'll stay with the notebook/netbook. I grew up typing on typewriters, then word processors, so typing on a tablet is just not going to happen. It also doesn't help that when I do try to type on a tablet, my fingers will press at least two keys at once, while a keyboard I can instantly work without a problem. (My usual typing speed is around 80wpm, on a tablet it drops down by a factor of 4.)

I was ok with your post until I hit the typing thing.

On an on-screen keyboard, clicking with just the cursor and a mouse, I can get 60wpm, over 80wpm when it has predictive capabilities. .

With a multi-touch screen, like the Surface, I move up to 140wpm. (Not close to the 220wpm I get with my favorite desktop keyboard, but not too shabby either for non-physical keys and typing really fast.)

So even on a tablet, it is not much of a difference from the majority of notebook keyboards for myself.

One reason 'onscreen' keyboards get a bad reputation is that the original iPad had a horrible onscreen keyboard that did not properly deal with multi-touch, and users would confuse the keyboard by trying to type on it normally. This got better with the iPad 2, but it still sucks.

The same is true of Android devices, as the on-screen is horrible on a tablet and using both hands to type.

On phones, they are all more closely related in typing features speed, with the exception of alternative technologies like SWYPE.

However, unlike the iPad or Android tablets, Windows onscreen keyboard is fluid with multi-touch and is what makes the 140wpm possible.

In addition to typing, Windows tablets (with a Stylus) have other advantages like digitizer quality drawing, but more importantly, handwriting.

Myself, like a lot of people like handwriting things, when writing or taking notes and even casual work on a Tablet is a lot more 'comfortable' with a Pen/Stylus than just touch alone.


PS If 'typing' is why you dismiss a tablet, why not just buy a well made Bluetooth keyboard, then you don't have to make a choice between a Tablet and a Notebook?

\Even with the Surface RT/Pro, you don't have to use the keyboard Microsoft sells, go find a really nice full size or mechanical or portable Bluetooth keyboard that you like. Then you can 'always' have your favorite keyboard, even if you are using someone else's computer, as it is just a couple of seconds to pair and go.

dangel said,

So - out of curiosity - how do you feel about tablets that have physical keyboards or the raft of convertible devices that now exist? Would you avoid a laptop that had touch at all or is your aversion just to virtual keyboards themselves?


My work smartphone has a touchscreen. Far more often I'll instead use the scrolling device and the sliding keyboard instead of the touchscreen out of ease of use. I realize that the idea behind the touchscreen was for making the device easier to use, but far too often I find it to be the opposite.

As for the convertible devices, like for instance the Asus Transformer line, or possibly the Microsoft Surface, devices with a physical keyboard would get my attention far more than one that doesn't. But at the same time there has to be something that would make the tablet worth considering that I can't do on a notebook/netbook device. And since what I tend to do can't be done on a tablet (like post-photography touch-up work using Lightroom combined with Nik Software's filters) then I will still look at a notebook first. I can't use the software I've invested in on a tablet, nor do I expect to be able to use it on a tablet anytime soon.

Tablets are just another attempt to make that all-in-one device, the one that does email, browsing and game playing for the home. We've gone through maybe three iterations of previous attempts, only now the hardware has gotten to the point to make it successful. But I still don't see tablets as being productive devices, other than in limited environments such as medical or manufacturing. You won't see the average office worker composing a staff briefing on a tablet, for instance, complete with PowerPoint charts and Excel spreadsheets.

Tal Greywolf said,

[For the record: I don't own a tablet. I don't want a tablet. I don't like tablets. I have no need for a tablet. If it doesn't come with a real keyboard of some kind, then it's useless to me. I type. A lot. The virtual keyboard on tablets are horribly designed, and I find myself having to erase and retype much of what I try to do on a tablet, wasting time.]


Just for the records, I am not interested to proselyte, a Convertible Tablet PC, like the ones I have always used because I am not a fan of the Slate form as well, gives you a physical keyboard and by far more important than Touch handwriting capabilities.

thenetavenger said,

On an on-screen keyboard, clicking with just the cursor and a mouse, I can get 60wpm, over 80wpm when it has predictive capabilities. .

I call BS on this. 60wpm clicking an on-screen keyboard with the mouse? Impossible.

I would love to see a video of this because if true, it would certainly be amazing.

Assuming they are common words he would at best click 120 times to yield 60 words (first letter followed by selecting predictive word) I'm more curious to see the 220wpm on keyboard that's quite impressive

On a smart menu for W8, just grow up and adjust...

Apps: I agree on some apps being more convenient than a webpage.
In the case of FB, just open up the browser on your tablet/pc.
On a phone I can see the attraction, although I always use the People hub for a quick glance..

Have you ever tried using Facebook in a browser using touch? By your comment I'm guessing not. Tiny links, hover overs, etc... all not great with touch (understatement).

Perhaps those who are grown have decided the start menu is best, perhaps it is you who needs to grow and adjust to the idea that you're not always correct and that people may like different things than yourself.

Just a thought.

Given Facebook's crumby support of the Android Facebook app, I'm surprised people want them to create an app for Windows 8. I'd be completely willing to believe that the third party apps do a good enough job while also offering better support.

As for the start menu...well, it's been done to death. At the end of the day there are third party apps that do the job. If people prefer Metro then they can stick to that, but I'll take a start menu please.

AWilliams87 said,
No idea why anyone would want the start menu back.

I think there are genuine reasons - the start screen isn't as finished as it could be. For the majority I'd say it does what's required though. We all have different requirements and for some it's hard to accept a new paradigm, especially when it's so dramatic.

AWilliams87 said,
It isn't actually more efficient.

Speak for yourself and not others. While I do find the start screen more efficient, that is not to say that others do not find it less efficient. Don't do the mistake of thinking everything applies equally to everyone.

And there are improvements that can be done to the start screen - I hope we'll see an improved version with the next major update to the OS.

Lamp Post said,

Speak for yourself and not others. While I do find the start screen more efficient, that is not to say that others do not find it less efficient. Don't do the mistake of thinking everything applies equally to everyone.

And there are improvements that can be done to the start screen - I hope we'll see an improved version with the next major update to the OS.

Usually, statements like mines are meant to be taken generally. Obviously it may apply differently to individuals. This is why I don't understand rebuttals like yours where you say "speak for myself and not others.". You should have intuitively understood I didn't mean it absolutely.

To expand, when taken on a statistical basis, the majority of people would find the start menu more efficient. If a study where to be done on people with no prior computer use, I bet most overwhelming would. This is why I said what I said although it doesn't apply in 100% of cases like you implied I meant it does.

Edited by AWilliams87, Feb 8 2013, 12:53pm :

AWilliams87 said,
No idea why anyone would want the start menu back.

Because there's less cognitive overhead. Unlike switching back and forth to a glorified fullscreen storefront - that takes up the entire screen - to launch another app - that's a break in flow/concentration having going back and forth. Fine for tablets, not good on PC's.

Actually, yes it is. IT professionals like the start menu for many reasons, such as VMWare machines, Hyper-V, Dual-boot Mac's, etc etc etc.

AWilliams87 said,
It isn't actually more efficient.

Shutdown on Windows 8 with mouse:

a) Slide mouse to the top right corner in order to open side menu.
b) Click [Settings] button
c) Click [Power] button
d) Click [Shut Down] menu item.

Shutdown on Windows 7 with mouse:

a) Click [Windows] button
b) Click [Shut Down] button.

So, which one is more efficient?

My only issue is don't make us have to go through the UI before the desktop.

Microsoft should allow us as the people that actually PAY for the OS...the option to bypass the UI and go right to the desktop.

I don't care much about the start menu, with it or without it is ok, but I want Aeroooo ooooooo ooooo :-)

The people want a lot of things and Microsoft is making sure they get what Microsoft wants, the same like Apple.

The OS is becoming irrelevant a bit by bit, I wanted a Windows Phone 8 for example, it is expensive and must sign a contract, so I ordered Google Nexus 4 instead, and after an hour of using the Nexus 4 I realized that I really don't care about Windows, the latest Android on the latest phone is just beauty.

Who knows, maybe Chrome OS once it becomes better will be the same.

Hey Microsoft, you are not Apple, you can't afford the option of not giving the people what they want, others are in the market and will replace you.

I think having "hints" appear on screen would go MILES to getting people comfortable in the beginning. And an intelligent UI sensor that would know when to put them away. The Bing news app has begun to put hints in the UI, and IE 10 touch now puts the address bar up by default when you launch it. Little things like this Microsoft, are not too much to ask, and should be littered all over the UI. Something so simple should not be so hard for you guys to implement. Just a little help instead of literally no help at all.

I think it would be worth having a "stabilisers" option - keep showing the hints on the screen until people are comfortable enough to turn them off and do without.

jimmyfal said,
I think having "hints" appear on screen would go MILES to getting people comfortable in the beginning. And an intelligent UI sensor that would know when to put them away. The Bing news app has begun to put hints in the UI, and IE 10 touch now puts the address bar up by default when you launch it. Little things like this Microsoft, are not too much to ask, and should be littered all over the UI. Something so simple should not be so hard for you guys to implement. Just a little help instead of literally no help at all.

I actually agree with you but I'd counter with my experience of iOS - I had no idea how to switch apps on it when I got my first iPad. How am I supposed to 'know' about those magic multiple digit gestures? It certainly didn't tell me anything - I just got a grid of icons..

I guess the question is - can you learn to use the start screen in 5-10mins? Probably, and perhaps it's even easier the younger your are or given a level of exposure to touch devices beforehand.

dangel said,

I actually agree with you but I'd counter with my experience of iOS - I had no idea how to switch apps on it when I got my first iPad. How am I supposed to 'know' about those magic multiple digit gestures? It certainly didn't tell me anything - I just got a grid of icons..

I guess the question is - can you learn to use the start screen in 5-10mins? Probably, and perhaps it's even easier the younger your are or given a level of exposure to touch devices beforehand.

Have to agree with you there. I recently upgraded all of our machines to Windows 8 - 5 in total - and it was hilarious watching my wife use it for the first time.

Microsoft should have included an interactive tutorial during the installation process instead of just the "Charms bar" animation. My wife kept trying to click it until I told her it was just a "helpful reminder" about the feature. After about a day she was using it like a pro and actually said she likes Windows 8 better than 7.

My son, on the other hand, was up and running without me even having to tell him what to do besides "click and drag from the top to close the metro app". In fact he was able to figure out how to shut down the computer first try albeit in a novel - log off user, shut down from log in screen - approach.

And he's only 8...he can figure it out so I don't understand how grown adults are having such a hard time transitioning.

Sranshaft said,

Have to agree with you there. I recently upgraded all of our machines to Windows 8 - 5 in total - and it was hilarious watching my wife use it for the first time.

Microsoft should have included an interactive tutorial during the installation process instead of just the "Charms bar" animation. My wife kept trying to click it until I told her it was just a "helpful reminder" about the feature. After about a day she was using it like a pro and actually said she likes Windows 8 better than 7.

My son, on the other hand, was up and running without me even having to tell him what to do besides "click and drag from the top to close the metro app". In fact he was able to figure out how to shut down the computer first try albeit in a novel - log off user, shut down from log in screen - approach.

And he's only 8...he can figure it out so I don't understand how grown adults are having such a hard time transitioning.

Because the younger you are the more your brain is"elastic" and prone to learn and assimilate new paradigms.
It is like learning a foreign language when you are three or thirty, big difference.

SpyderCanopus said,
I will update to Win8 the moment the add a Start menu. If they don't add one, I'll never update.

Saying this implies you actually haven't used it and are just trying to be "cool" in actual fact you look like a gronk. If you absolutely must use a start menu then, as there always have been. there are many alternatives. Start8 and Classic Shell should get you started.

ingramator said,

Saying this implies you actually haven't used it and are just trying to be "cool" in actual fact you look like a gronk.

Yeah because lets just act completely butthurt and insult people who have gripes with windows 8, thats the mature approach, screw your peers and defend a corporation at all costs. unbelievable.

Sonne said,

Yeah because lets just act completely butthurt and insult people who have gripes with windows 8, thats the mature approach, screw your peers and defend a corporation at all costs. unbelievable.

Corporations are people, my friend.

Sonne said,

Yeah because lets just act completely butthurt and insult people who have gripes with windows 8

He can't have a "gripe", he hasn't even used it.

SpyderCanopus said,
I will update to Win8 the moment the add a Start menu. If they don't add one, I'll never update.

Whew! Now I can sleep at night, now that I know your view on this.

ingramator said,

He can't have a "gripe", he hasn't even used it.

He said he would not upgrade to W8; you are assuming he did not try it. Quite different.
Did he? I do not know it because I do not assume...

COKid said,

Whew! Now I can sleep at night, now that I know your view on this.

As can I after seeing your response to his view thank you so much for your input.

Oh i'm sorry, I didn't realise you had full, non-biased, verifiable access to Microsoft's internal company data.

I don't want the old Start Menu but I would like Google to add an API to Google+ so that we could get it in the People app.

Techno_Funky said,
There is Classic Shell (http://www.classicshell.net/) too, plus it is free as well.

This is the point the Metro apologists are missing -- there are something like 26 different start menu replacements, and the top 5 all report downloads in the multiple millions. That's whole new level of consumer backlash. And thats not even considering technophobic consumers that don't know a start menu replacement exists as an option for them or wouldn't know how to download/install it.

3 million downloads as in tryouts, re-downloads and updates? so why not post a licence count? Stardock sells Sart8 via licencing so they must have an EXACT number of these... of course that would not be impressive at all, i'm sure

as for apps w8/rt users miss, i could write a pretty long list, but yeah, i have to agree: facebook is on top of it

Denial much? MS blows smoke with big round numbers about 60 mil downloads "sold" (most of which are collecting dust in distribution and warehouses) meanwhile several independent start menu replacement companies report downloads in the millions -- um yeah thats a lot of people that are rejecting the one-size-fits-all Metro taking their PC hostage - people that are screaming at MS that THEIR PC IS NOT A TABLET.

MS can keep its head in the sand but the backlash is only going to build momentum. Even 1 million downloads of start menu replacements is 1 million too many for MS.

Start8 is apart of Object Desktop. I don't think they can distinguish whether a object desktop license is taking advantage of Start8

Me dont want a start menue...Im very, very satisfied with the Modern UI, but I do want a Facebook app. I dont understand why Facebook and Twitter (and others) avoid Windows 8... 90% of the PC's are running Windows, so why avoiding it (except its very common to bash MS)???

Very simple reason! 90% of the developers/designer at these startups and companies in silicon valley use macs/iphones/ipads for personal and work uses. They might use linux sometimes and probably for servers too, but these companies like to develop apps for platforms that they personally use themselves a lot. Remember, Facebook basically had to beg its employees to use android to test the latest facebook android apps because most of them were using iphones. This is basically the simple reason.

Even though windows 8 is on desktop computers too, most companies see it the metro/modern apps as useful for tablets. This is where microsoft has a lower tablet marketshare than iOS and android. Facebook made a dedicated tablet app for the ipad, but they didn't make any dedicated app for android. The one on android just stretches and does not make good use of large screens properly. This is the same with twitter releasing apps for iphone and ipad. The twitter app for android is bad and they don't have a proper app for windows phone 8 either.

"Three million downloads"- Yeah OK that including every version update and double downloads, please share how many actual licenses you've sold. I sense a bit of stardock advertisement?

And that was written because of serious - and still unaddressed as far as I'm concerned - issues I had and still have with the way Neowin presents itself.

It is your responsibility as "journalists" to include that link in every article that endorses Stardock. You MUST include a visible disclaimer if you wish to keep your journalistic integrity intact.

rfirth said,

And that was written because of serious - and still unaddressed as far as I'm concerned - issues I had and still have with the way Neowin presents itself.

It is your responsibility as "journalists" to include that link in every article that endorses Stardock. You MUST include a visible disclaimer if you wish to keep your journalistic integrity intact.

Yeah because god forbid we'll all go to hell for reporting a fact. Stardock doesn't fully own Neowin anyway, just 40% of it.

Neobond said,

Yeah because god forbid we'll all go to hell for reporting a fact. Stardock doesn't fully own Neowin anyway, just 40% of it.

Oh - so only 40% conflict of interest then? Nobody said "dont report facts" they said make it clear where there's a potential conflict of interest. There obviously is so why get narky?

In any case I agree this is a fraction of users not the majority and I think it's far more sensible to say people want more functionality in the start screen rather than a plain revert to the old start menu (which had it's problems too frankly).

"After using Windows 8 for over three months, it seems clear that the people who buy the Surface Pro tablet want to have two things installed."

It does? How so exactly? I'm buying 3 (via work) and I don't expect to need either just like on our desktops - it seems even less likely on a surface given it's a touch screen device. Weird assertion. As for FB i gave up using the 'app' on iOS and on Android and just use the web site directly - and again with a 1080p screen perhaps on surface i'll do the same.

I was quite capable without a Start Menu and it wasn't that big of a deal, except for Search. I just got tired of Modern Search and bought Start8. I've never bought that sort of thing before. And Windows 8 is better for it. So, yeah, I believe the numbers.

Even if you don't feel you "need" it, Star8 is a great enhancement.

Hmm, well at the start of Feb, it was reported as 60 million Windows 8 licenses sold, so if ~4.5 million people have downloaded a Start menu alternative, that only accounts for 7.5% of people using Windows 8, which certainly would mean that only "some" people want the Start menu back.

Now lets not forget, that 60 million licenses doesn't accurately reflect what is actually sold to the end consumer, much like 4.5 million downloads does not reflect people actually using those start menu alternatives.

Can't this argument just die now? Surely it must be the most over-reported concept of the last 4 months.

Antaris said,
Hmm, well at the start of Feb, it was reported as 60 million Windows 8 licenses sold, so if ~4.5 million people have downloaded a Start menu alternative, that only accounts for 7.5% of people using Windows 8, which certainly would mean that only "some" people want the Start menu back.

Now lets not forget, that 60 million licenses doesn't accurately reflect what is actually sold to the end consumer, much like 4.5 million downloads does not reflect people actually using those start menu alternatives.

Can't this argument just die now? Surely it must be the most over-reported concept of the last 4 months.

If Startdock released numbers relating to the amount of actual licenses then yes that would be a fair assumption to make. Downloads? Sorry but that's like saying how many updates on Windows Update have been downloaded in total, of course their will be a lot more than the actual number of licenses...

Jaybonaut said,
Crazy how defensive the Neowin guys have been lately.

Crazy how defensive MS fans have been lately.

ingramator said,

If Startdock released numbers relating to the amount of actual licenses then yes that would be a fair assumption to make. Downloads? Sorry but that's like saying how many updates on Windows Update have been downloaded in total, of course their will be a lot more than the actual number of licenses...

The licenses sold would not be better. Start8 (like Windows 8) is surely pirated by lot of people like all apps on PC.

Doesn't matter. The point is a lot of people find the Start Menu useful and to them, more efficient. I'm not sure what the problem with that is. There are also others, not just Start8. I think that people who use the Start Menu, should use a Start Menu and move to Windows 8.

Windows 8 with a Start Menu replacement is better than Windows 7.

Neobond said,

Yeah because god forbid we'll all go to hell for reporting a fact. Stardock doesn't fully own Neowin anyway, just 40% of it.

If Stardock owns that much of Neowin then you have to mention it every time you report on them or do opinion pieces like this.

Right and who do you complain to about that? Not Microsoft.

You tell Facebook and Google that you want Windows apps. It's not Microsoft's job to make the apps and promote these other companies services.

you mean "some" of windows 8 users want start menu .
i don't need start menu i need more features for start screen

subcld said,
more features for start screen

Definitely agree, the start screen is actually pretty great at the moment but there if definitely a lot of room for improvement!

Matching the functionality of the start menu would be a nice start.

I'd 'prefer' a start menu for my desktop for keyboard and mouse, but I can live with the screen, I open apps with search anyway so it doesn't make a lot of difference.

Tbh my bigger preference as a default option would be having a start button to open the start screen...-_-

Well, the only reason I want a start menu is because the start screen lacks some features as you guys said. So I would agree that if the start screen is improved, then I would have no need for the start menu.

ChristopherSmith said,
Tbh my bigger preference as a default option would be having a start button to open the start screen...-_-

Why? First, there are already two software start buttons and likely one or more start buttons on your hardware. And second, you can open the start screen blindfolded using the existing start button... isn't that good enough?

The only reason why I would have left the start button is to aid discoverability. The first time you encounter Windows 8, it can be hard to find. But you... you already know where it is. What use do you have for it? Or are you just concerned about others? Because yes, I can understand that.

One feedback I got from a lot of Windows 8 users -- and I agree -- is the fact that the start screen takes the focus out of what the user was doing before. In Windows 7 one can press the WIN key, type CALC (or any other application name one may fancy), find it on the list and then click on it to run it, all without taking their eyes off what they are currently doing. But in Windows 8, as soon as you press the WIN key, your screen is completely covered by the start screen.

It would be nice if Microsoft could add some new shortcut where the user could press <KEY> and then start typing the application name and choose it from a semi-transparent, overlaid screen, rather than covering the entire screen with a search for the application. Such functionality alone would make me miss the Start Menu a lot less.

Huh ? Have you used windows 8 at all? When you go to the start menu position start pops up. when you click it goes to the metro start .When you press your windows key it also goes to the metro start menu

Are people who want the Start Menu even aware you can just right click in the bottom left corner? You'll get a new menu with shortcuts to:

Control Panel,
System,
Device Manager,
Disk Management,
Command Prompt,
Power Options,
Event Viewer, and more...

So it's actually quicker in Win 8 to access many popular tasks.. And for everything else the new Start Screen is better (especially searching).

pmdci said,
One feedback I got from a lot of Windows 8 users -- and I agree -- is the fact that the start screen takes the focus out of what the user was doing before. In Windows 7 one can press the WIN key, type CALC (or any other application name one may fancy), find it on the list and then click on it to run it, all without taking their eyes off what they are currently doing. But in Windows 8, as soon as you press the WIN key, your screen is completely covered by the start screen.

It would be nice if Microsoft could add some new shortcut where the user could press <KEY> and then start typing the application name and choose it from a semi-transparent, overlaid screen, rather than covering the entire screen with a search for the application. Such functionality alone would make me miss the Start Menu a lot less.

Thats ALREADY in Win 8...

Press Win key + R to bring up a small Run window in the bottom left corner. You can type CALC for Calculator and press Enter to launch it, just like Win 7, and all other commands are the same too.

Or as i monetioned above, you can right click where the Start Menu used to be, and you'll get a new menu with tons of stuff including the "run" option.

Complaints like yours are so common yet these options are already there 99% of the time. Win 8 is always just as fast or quicker if you know how to actually use it. It takes like 10 mins on Google to find out all this stuff and you'll never have to learn it again.

Edited by 1Pixel, Feb 8 2013, 1:29pm :

Are you for real?

1. RUN isn't the same as the WIN-KEY search. Run will only work to execute files that are in the PATH environment. Any noob should know that.

2. We all know about right-clicking the bottom-left corner. So what? that isn't the point.

Yup, no desire for a start menu here. Facebook app would be nice but I'm not losing sleep over it. I think this is just yet another biased Windows 8 article.

pmdci said,
RUN isn't the same as the WIN-KEY search. Run will only work to execute files that are in the PATH environment. Any noob should know that.

You was talking about application files - "type CALC (or any other application name one may fancy)" ... So i mentioned a way how to launch them on Windows 8 thats just as fast.

pmdci said,
We all know about right-clicking the bottom-left corner.

Oh so you talk for every Win 8 user on the planet? Ok sorry, i didn't know you was telepathic.

pmdci said,
One feedback I got from a lot of Windows 8 users -- and I agree -- is the fact that the start screen takes the focus out of what the user was doing before. In Windows 7 one can press the WIN key, type CALC (or any other application name one may fancy), find it on the list and then click on it to run it, all without taking their eyes off what they are currently doing. But in Windows 8, as soon as you press the WIN key, your screen is completely covered by the start screen.

It would be nice if Microsoft could add some new shortcut where the user could press <KEY> and then start typing the application name and choose it from a semi-transparent, overlaid screen, rather than covering the entire screen with a search for the application. Such functionality alone would make me miss the Start Menu a lot less.


still the same if you are on desktop just press windows key then start typing your Application Name

1Pixel said,

You was talking about application files - "type CALC (or any other application name one may fancy)" ... So i mentioned a way how to launch them on Windows 8 thats just as fast.

NO I WASN'T. I was talking about the start menu/screen search feature that show the name of shortcuts within the start menu/screen. And again, WIN+R (run) will NOT run executable that aren't found within the PATH environment variable (you know what the PATH environment variable is, don't you?)

SCOOBY_666UK said,
Do you mean something like this? (whilst still giving the feel that you haven't left the desktop).

That would help, yes. But perhaps something smaller. At the moment we press WIN and start typing the application name, which will be searched through all the applications in the "all apps" section. If we had another key combination that would instead bring a smaller overlay (also with transparency) that would be cool.

subcld said,

still the same if you are on desktop just press windows key then start typing your Application Name

Jesus F* Christ. Do you people READ before hitting reply?

Nope, they don't bother reading or attempt to understand jack ****. Its ridiculous that novices like Derp and 1pixel are continued to make the entire site dumber.

subcld said,
you mean "some" of windows 8 users want start menu .
i don't need start menu i need more features for start screen

No, MOST do. My PC is not a tablet. Thank you.

1Pixel said,

Thats ALREADY in Win 8...

Press Win key + R to bring up a small Run window in the bottom left corner. You can type CALC for Calculator and press Enter to launch it, just like Win 7, and all other commands are the same too.

I seem to be missing this "Win Key" on my touchscreen, my Win Surface, my Bootcamped Mac, my Hyper-V server, and my VMWare machines. Glad you thought about everything there.

Why are they complaining to MS about Facebook app? That is 100% up to Facebook!

Article should say, "Facebook, Windows 8 users want an app!"

And the start menu isn't going to happen because MS wants people to learn to use the start screen and apps. If someone wants to retrofit a start menu they can do that, but that does nothing to help move Windows forward into the modern era of computing which revolves around apps and touch.

Darrah Ford said,

No, MOST do. My PC is not a tablet. Thank you.

The industry is moving in a way that all computers and monitors will have touch screens. Touch screen all-in-ones are amongst the best selling PCs. You can buy touch screen monitors that work with any Windows 8 PC for a fee hundred dollars. Intel has mandated touch screens for all next-gen ultrabooks. It is not just tablets that will be expected to have touch screens, but all PCs in a few years. Microsoft has to build the OS that makes the transition possible.

pmdci said,

Jesus F* Christ. Do you people READ before hitting reply?


rising your words won't help you with anything
and yes i did read your freaking comment your whole problem isn't a problem couple of seconds wont take your attention away from what you are doing

Darrah Ford said,

No, MOST do. My PC is not a tablet. Thank you.


your Pc will be everything your desktop and your tablet and you get to choose if you want to use it as desktop or tablet or both but if you don't like the future stick with the past like it or not everything going to be touchable

Dashel said,
Nope, they don't bother reading or attempt to understand jack ****. Its ridiculous that novices like Derp and 1pixel are continued to make the entire site dumber.

oh mr. albert anishtain talking how about you shove a stick in your a$$ and get back to your cave

The full screen UI & the solid background helps user focus on the task at hand, rather then being distracted by ANYTHING which might be running in the background. This way it's easier on the eyes as well specially over extended periods of computing.

subcld said,

oh mr. albert anishtain talking how about you shove a stick in your a$$ and get back to your cave

Actually dude, stop embarrassing yourself in public. Your comments are cringy. Your 'wise-a**' reply to my comment didn't solve ANY of the issues I have mentioned, in fact your 'brilliant steps' for the solution were already outlined in my original comment when describing the issue.

AGAIN, READ BEFORE HITTING REPLY. Your comment outlines the problem, not the solution. The problem is that witting the WIN key covers the entire screen.

Kelxin said,

I seem to be missing this "Win Key" on my touchscreen, my Win Surface, my Bootcamped Mac, my Hyper-V server, and my VMWare machines. Glad you thought about everything there.

If your using a touchscreen you have literally no point to say Windows 8 is worse for navigation and search, if you preferred trying to tap the little orb then the little search field then you clearly haven't used either. As for your Surface you claim to have, you would know there was a big capacitive button with a white windows flag on it... As for your "bootcamped" Macs which you obviously don't have you would find that the "command" key acts as a Windows key and more often then not you find you keyboard with two of these... As for virtual machines... they use the keyboard from the host so please stop embarrassing yourself...

pmdci said,
One feedback I got from a lot of Windows 8 users -- and I agree -- is the fact that the start screen takes the focus out of what the user was doing before. In Windows 7 one can press the WIN key, type CALC (or any other application name one may fancy), find it on the list and then click on it to run it, all without taking their eyes off what they are currently doing. But in Windows 8, as soon as you press the WIN key, your screen is completely covered by the start screen.

It would be nice if Microsoft could add some new shortcut where the user could press <KEY> and then start typing the application name and choose it from a semi-transparent, overlaid screen, rather than covering the entire screen with a search for the application. Such functionality alone would make me miss the Start Menu a lot less.


Unless you can somehow look at the start menu with one eye and keep focusing on your current workspace with the other, you still have to shift focus from what you're doing to the start menu to find Calc. So really it's not that much different launching a full screen menu.

Shannon said,

Unless you can somehow look at the start menu with one eye and keep focusing on your current workspace [...]

I can, and I do. And so do traders, researchers and other knowledge workers. Sorry, I don't need Microsoft to second-guess how I should work.

pmdci said,

I can, and I do. And so do traders, researchers and other knowledge workers. Sorry, I don't need Microsoft to second-guess how I should work.

I would argue then that people who have trained their eyes to be able do that just to save a few millesconds of lost productivity, would have their frequently used programs pinned to the desktop taskbar anyway.

I get what you're saying, but it's a quite a small thing to nitpick over considering all the other improvements in Windows 8.

pmdci said,

Actually dude, stop embarrassing yourself in public. Your comments are cringy. Your 'wise-a**' reply to my comment didn't solve ANY of the issues I have mentioned, in fact your 'brilliant steps' for the solution were already outlined in my original comment when describing the issue.

AGAIN, READ BEFORE HITTING REPLY. Your comment outlines the problem, not the solution. The problem is that witting the WIN key covers the entire screen.


again couple of seconds to hit windows key then type your app name click it wont take your attention even with full gigantic menu i don't see it as a problem like you do

Edited by subcld, Feb 9 2013, 5:53am :

My work place Win8 is missing WIN+R cuz of Group Policy, so Start Screen is quite a bit more interrupting than Start Menu.

I totally agree with pmdci. I find being taken out of the context I'm working in jarring when the start screen pops up. It disrupts my workflow. I'm not sure why everyone is all over him about it. If it works for you, great, but it doesn't work for everyone.

On the other hand I'm not that bothered by it. I just installed Start Is Back and it functions the way I want it to. Windows 8 is great in so many other ways that it doesn't bother me to have to install what is essentially a productivity tweak to suit my own preferences. I also still have the option of bringing up the start screen with Ctrl-Windows for other tasks if I wish. Best of both worlds for me.

I don't see why everyone's impression of Windows 8 is so tied to the start screen. There's more to the OS than that.

Thanks IgorP. I like the start screen but this issue needs to be addressed. Switching focus just to start an application is an affront to the concept of multitasking.

Sure we can install Start8 or some other start menu application. But that is a sign that the the start screen is not perfect.

leojei said,
My work place Win8 is missing WIN+R cuz of Group Policy, so Start Screen is quite a bit more interrupting than Start Menu.

Also you owuldn't be able to execute with WIN+R an application that is out of your PATH environment. So for example, Photoshop, 3ds, Mathematica, MatLab, uTorrent, Chrome, etc.

subcld said,

again couple of seconds to hit windows key then type your app name click it wont take your attention even with full gigantic menu i don't see it as a problem like you do

So if you don't get it, you never will and therefore there is no pointing in talking to you. Off we go then.

1Pixel said,
You was talking about application files - "type CALC (or any other application name one may fancy)" ... So i mentioned a way how to launch them on Windows 8 thats just as fast.

I said application NAME, not the file name of an executable file. Jesus...

pmdci said,

So if you don't get it, you never will and therefore there is no pointing in talking to you. Off we go then.


its the same effort with the same amount of focus but you seems to be whining just for whining anyway you are a waste of time off to ignore list

The start screen is an inadequate replacement for the start menu. 1) it covers your whole screen. 2) the searches are broken up into 3 categories. To you content consumers that probably doesn't matter. You guys have accepted the "phone / tablet" way of multitasking, if you can even call it that. To each his own. Regardless Microsoft made a mistake IMO. We'll see in a year how things play out and settle down.

abysal said,
The start screen is an inadequate replacement for the start menu. 1) it covers your whole screen. 2) the searches are broken up into 3 categories. To you content consumers that probably doesn't matter. You guys have accepted the "phone / tablet" way of multitasking, if you can even call it that. To each his own. Regardless Microsoft made a mistake IMO. We'll see in a year how things play out and settle down.

Exactly. But apparently for the new generation of Farmville idiots, this is more than enough

pmdci said,

Exactly. But apparently for the new generation of Farmville idiots, this is more than enough

Really, so those of use who like Windows 8 are all "Farmville idiots" are we?

If you don't like Windows 8 then just be a luddite and install Windows 7 and leave Windows 8 to the rest of us.

neo158 said,

Really, so those of use who like Windows 8 are all "Farmville idiots" are we?

If you don't like Windows 8 then just be a luddite and install Windows 7 and leave Windows 8 to the rest of us.

1) As mentioned before, I am using Windows 8 you fool.
2) Google for "non sequitur". You might learn something about yourself.