Poll: Will you miss the Charms bar in Windows Threshold?

During the past couple of weeks, Neowin has been uncovering Windows Threshold with exclusive reports about upcoming features. If you think the fun is slowing down, fret not, as we will have more information to share next week.

But, one of the bigger items of this past week is that Windows Threshold will do away with the Charms bar as we know it and while we don't know all the details (yet), we do know that the experience will be quite a bit different than Windows 8. So the question is, when the Charms bar gets modified and moves inside the modern apps (from what we are currently hearing) will you miss it on the desktop?

Windows Threshold is said to arrive in a preview state later this year with a release sometime in 2015. While the features are far from complete, we are starting to better understand the direction that Microsoft is taking with its upcoming OS.

Poll

When the Charms bar goes away, will you miss it?

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Remove Charms bar. Bad concept. Bad name. There is no visual indicator on how to get the bar to pop out. It takes more clicks to do the same thing in Windows 7. The name could alienate a large portion of users worldwide.

Why dont they ditch Win 8 Pro, Enterprise etc, and have "Desktop", "Tablet" & "Phone" whith the features enabled for the said device, as purly a desktop user I dont want the charms bar but maybe as a tablet user i would.
Or give options on installation for what we want installed, now that would surley please everyone !

Wow, what a concept! It clearly show how Microsoft has lost focus in its pandering to the touch-centric table milieu, at the expense of other users. We can only hope that Windows-9 will fix this glaring UI deficiency.

Why make this article Neowin? You dont know what will happen to the charms. Perhaps we dont have to 'miss' anything. This will only confuse readers.

I suspect I dont have to miss anything, they will just be placed at a different (more mouse-friendly) location. They are very important to using modern apps. So I suspect each app will have the charms in the upperleft corner of the window it will run in when in desktop mode. For those in the modern UI nothing will change.

So add a ''I do not agree with your assessment Neowin!'' option to the poll ;)

I would absolutely miss it for tablets, like my Surface. For the desktop environment? Hmm... I could go without. But removing it for tablets/Modern would be a mistake in my opinion.

It was hidden away - why did MS think hiding away UI elements was a good idea? However, once i was discovered, it proved mighty useful. If they implement a better successor then great!

I have such an incredibly low opinion of those who keep insisting Windows go BACKWARD, which is just what this sort of thing represents. You simply cannot deny it.

I am not sure that the term 'backward' is the correct way to view this change. Sinofsky and crew made some horrible UX design blunders, and really took Windows 8 in a direction that was not ideal for the vast majority of users and devices. They wanted to compete in the tablet market a little too much, forgetting about their customer base. The tragedy of it all is that Ballmer still signed off on the mess that is Windows 8, and Microsoft is still cleaning up the mess left behind. (Notice that neither of those people work at MS any longer, either.)

Most people just don't want UI features that prove to be generally annoying, unused and poorly thought out. Removing charms does not signify a backward move, but MS needs to do something different and more user friendly.

If you go down a dead end street, you stop your car, turn around and go down a different street to begin making progress again.

I'll miss it for sure, it was very handy (both on touch and non-touch PCs). However, from the sound of it, the tweaks seem pretty logical so in the long term I think it's for the best :happy:

I won't miss it. I tried using for a day and got sick of it. It seems like when I wanted it to come up by moving the mouse to the corner, it wouldn't come up (had to wiggle the mouse around); and when I didn't want it to come up, it would pop up all the time.

These "invisible" menus don't work with a mouse and keyboard.

Tell me why I can even use charms on a dual screen without having to target twice? And what's about using Win+C, Enter and then typing a search request?

Jones111 said,
Tell me why I can even use charms on a dual screen without having to target twice? And what's about using Win+C, Enter and then typing a search request?

I don't use hotkeys. I'm not against them, I just don't use them.

As for you not having trouble targeting the Charm bar with the mouse, congrats. However even other people in this thread were having that problem.

Not that it matters now, the Charms bar and the Windows 8 philosophy are dead in the water.

It is part of just what marketplace is Microsoft targeting. Clearly, they are conflicted. Is MS targeting the "personal computer" used by consumers for games, content consumption, e-mail, surfing the Internet, etc.; or a (newly coined label) "business computer" used by enterprise/serious users for content creation, e-mail, surfing the Internet, etc.? The two marketplaces are not the same while they can share, to a limited extent, the same UI and hardware.

Accessing a common location for app settings was what I used the bar for, along with searching for stuff everywhere.

I never use it, except to get to settings or shutdown the computer, and even using it for that was irritating. If I'd ever gotten a Surface I might have had use for it, but I didn't, so I haven't used it and really can't miss it.

Unlike the guys who can't let go of the start menu, if they replace it with something just as easy and helpful to use, particularly for touch users, than what is there to miss.

I don't like the arrogance Microsoft shows us, their users and paying customers (and paying a lot when compared to Linux or Android etc), by changing the way we have to use our OS to get basic things done 4 times in 6 months. To end up with something probably called Windows 9 but being Windows 7 paid twice.

If you don't use Metro Apps at all I can see that you don't need the Charms.
On my Lenovo Yoga I use them fairly often, both Metro apps and the Charms

I kinda like the idea that everything is in a central place and the swipe from the right makes it very easy to access.

I hope that if they get rid of the charms it is to replace it with a notification center that will include similar functionality as the charms before.

yes of course, i'm used to it. although i'm a desktop user, but i'm using charm to control my brightness, volume, accessing control panel, to shutdown or hibernate my pc. i've muscle memory of it. But i'm sure MS will do right this time, i hope so. i hope they make a better charm, or make something new from scratch. Can't wait for the change and learning again from beginning like win 8 (yeah)

Charms were a good idea, but badly executed just like many other things in Windows 8. It just needs a bit more purpose.

My concept:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8116856/windows9.fw.png

Charms should become Actions. With a swipe from the bottom of the screen (touch users) or pointing the mouse cursor at the bottom of the screen (non-touch users), you can access:

Start Menu
Share
Cortana
Settings

Actions also allows users to see the time and get one-click access to the Desktop. There are reserved spaces for app-specific action buttons as well.

Why should MS move the charms bar to the bottom? That does not make any sense. Our screens have more horizontal space so why should we waste the vertical space? My TaskBar is only sometimes filled by half and I rarely get it filled past 2/3 (after using hibernation for some weeks). If you hold a tablet, your hands are at the side of the screen. If you want to get something done quickly, it should be at your fingertips.

I think MS is moving way too fast with these rapid Windows releases. If they were free it would be one thing, but if anything was a decent replacement for XP it was 7, and they should be spending their time and resources maintaining and encouraging the use of Windows 7. Everybody loves it, it's similar enough to XP to be familiar, there hasn't been one core technology released for Windows 8 (DirectX, .NET, newer version of IE, etc.) that has been released for Windows 8 that does not work on Windows 7, and enterprises especially are not willing to send millions of dollars to Microsoft every 3 or 4 years and deal with system down-time to have all of their computers upgraded. When I worked for the Army, a LOT of our computers were still running Windows Vista when I left in 2012, and Windows 7 was considered the "new" thing that was being gradually rolled out as new computers were purchased, or when old ones had serious problems and needed re-imaging.

Microsoft's insistence on releasing a new operating system with a new price tag every couple of years I think shows that they are more concerned with generating that next big bump in revenue as opposed to making sure that what they've already put out there works well for the consumer. If they had done that, Windows 8 would have never been released and everybody would have been much happier I think.

Aehm... If a company spends money for an OS upgrade, it's doing something wrong. In a contract, you pay for your Windows licenses. You pay one price for a desktop license and then you can choose which supported version of Windows you want to run. With a desktop license, you can currently run Vista, 7 or 8.1. With a server license you can currently run 2003 (up to next june or so), 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 or 2012 R2.

Also, I can't understand why you have problems with re-imaging. We're doing this on a regular basis and I use it at home. If you want to run some software, you should distribute it via SCCM or GPO and not include it in your OS image.

The charms bar may have been fine for touchscreen and tablet use, but forcing it on keyboard and mouse desktop users was the downfall of the UI choice. Microsoft has been criticized for their decision to use charms for the desktop experience since the release of the Windows 8 betas years ago.

Enterprises had a difficult time teaching users where to go to click on the charms bar because of the fact that there are no real visual cues that make it obvious that there is a menu on the right side of the screen.

One more personal loathing: The charms bar "hot corner" issue is further aggravated when trying to use Windows 8 or Server 2012 in a RDP or VM window. You have to fiddle around sometimes to get the charms bar to pop out, easily overshooting the corner of the desktop with the mouse cursor, leaving the window that the desktop is running inside. Very annoying when trying to get work done on a server inside a window.

The charms bar deserves to be thrown into the dustbin of history and never be revisited.

Can't think of anything more unanccessible in Windows than these drag your mouse to corners to find random hidden features. Hiding the shutdown button in there was a nightmare for all the people who just use their non-tablet computer to read emails, I'm glad it's gone.

Not at all, it only has a few options in it, it's UI is completely different to the desktop and the naming is terrible - If it had been customisable like dock software then it could have been great but as for what was given to us? Let it fall into a long line of features that were not well thought out.

I feel like the charms bar is necessary for tablets, I know I enjoy the charms bar on my surface and even my desktop, but if they get rid of it on my surface that will seriously disrupt my ability to get work done.

Although it was nice to be able to adjust some settings (like brightness for example) I won't miss it. It's hard to miss something that I never had a use for to begin with.

It depends... If MS will replace the Charm bar with something more complete like a Side view on steroids including Live tiles no, I will not miss it.

I think Windows 8 should only have one charms bar, preferably on the left. There's more than enough empty space on the bottom of the left charms bar for the start menu button and a button for the settings menu. Everything else should be accessible via a swipe down from the top just like Windows Phone's Notification Center. Such a layout could work for both tablet and desktop users (with the option to disable both, of course). You could even go a step further and give desktop users a dedicated button on the taskbar to access the Notification Center.

The charm bar isn't that bad. It's way faster than going to control panel for changing simple settings and if they add application extension rather than only limited to the OS then it can be even more useful in many ways for the users. The changes that need to be make isn't removing it instead bolster the functionality.

I'll be very upset if they dork this up in Modern, as its a great idea there and just a fun gesture at that. For the desktop, it needs to go. I can only hope someone over at MS gets that.

It is quite surprising that MS is getting back to its senses and removing all the crap which they had plastered on Win 8. There is no space for metro or charm crap on desktop even I disabled this whole mess on Dell 8 vue pro and strictly use desktop feature.

The charms bar is one of the worst UI design I've ever seen from a mouse user perspective. It's totally awful. I wont miss it a bit.

Note going to vote, only comment on this post/poll.

When did "Windows Threshold: Charms bar is being overhauled" ... "Now what is exactly happening to the Charms bar is still not entirely clear...."

turn into "Poll: Will you miss the Charms bar in Windows Threshold?" ??

Maybe:
"Poll: Will you miss the Charms bar in Windows Threshold if Microsoft were to get rid of it?"

jhoff80 said,
There was a Mary-Jo Foley article that said her sources said that Charms will be removed entirely.

Thank you. Interesting read on CNET about that. Wish it had been linked to in this poll instead of the news from the day before that was fron Neowin just speculating without reference to this source.

No I wish the edge stuff would go away it's nice sometimes bit if you are playing a game with swiping it's really easy to close the app

Yeah, of course. It's not just about settings. It's about search, share and devices.

How do you search something from anywhere? Use right side & search.
How do you send a message about what you're currently viewing or use that in another app? Use right side & share.
How do you print or project or screen? Use right side and devices.

These are things you need everywhere in any program and I was VERY disappointed that Microsoft didn't encourage old desktop progs to use it. Hopefully it's not just: "Hey look! It's your old Desktop!" And in that course dropping these essential features or hiding them where no one will find them.

I promise you: If Microsoft will drop charms, someone will develop a similar behaving prog with a public api and publish that on codeplex. I can see no other way to keep the same level of productivity without it.

I think you've nailed it there. The issue with charms wasn't so much the bar itself, rather, that the charms for the desktop only responded to Windows Explorer (Which was the application's host of sorts). Essentially, it didn't matter what you had running, because desktop applications couldn't interact with the Metro model, so all the charms bar ever did was enable options for Windows Explorer, which, considering it's just an app host of sorts, could only ever be very generic and not particularly specialised or useful.

DeusProto said,
There are indications this functionality will be in Threshold via a titlebar button
Concept by Winbeta: http://www.winbeta.org/sites/d...iles/news/charmsconcept.png

Even though that may be true, it's not related to charms in Windows 8. How would anyone know that the charms bar is now three bars in a circle? The problem remains: A developer can put anything in a window or can draw it by himself without buttons for maximize, minimize, close and whatever addition will exist in W9. W8 is straight forward: If you want to print, the app collects data and gives it to charms that draws a preview and offers options regardless of the input. If you want to exchange data, the app will give that in an open format to charms which forwards it to mail or any other app. If you want to change settings, the app publishes them to the charms bar.

These scenarios are going to be as bad as they were in W7. Want to print? Look in the manual. Sometimes there's a preview, sometimes not. Sometimes there's a button that prints on your default printer, sometimes it does not print but saves the content to a pdf. Sometimes you go there via files and print, sometimes it's hidden behind a gear. With settings and data exchange it's the same.

I hate the charmsbar and the startbutton. I used a tool to remove the charms bar and the startbutton, but on the bottom left edge of my screen, there is always a small start button fading in when i move my mouse down to click on a icon.

YES :*(

Windows needs centralized app management. This system of "anything goes" GUI design really sucks, and needs to be fixed. ASAP!

Dot Matrix said,
YES :*(

Windows needs centralized app management. This system of "anything goes" GUI design really sucks, and needs to be fixed. ASAP!

Your opinion. :)
And no...I will not miss the charms bar or metro...both of which have been an ultimate failure (with regards to the desktop)

jjkusaf said,

Your opinion. :)
And no...I will not miss the charms bar or metro...both of which have been an ultimate failure (with regards to the desktop)

Metro isn't going anywhere in Threshold.

Dot Matrix said,

Metro isn't going anywhere in Threshold.

It will have the option of being buried and unseen...an option if you will.

Dot Matrix said,

Metro isn't going anywhere in Threshold.


Neanderthals were humans, just not homo sapiens... Who knows how Metro will evolve...

jjkusaf said,

It will have the option of being buried and unseen...an option if you will.


No it won't, the startscreen can be minimized into a startmenu like format, but Metro itself - which is a design language - will be even more in Threshold then ever before.

jjkusaf said,

It will have the option of being buried and unseen...an option if you will.

You can bury it all you want, but it's not going anywhere. Threshold is rumored to be something completely different. I wouldn't be surprised if you had limited options.

Dot Matrix said,

You can bury it all you want, but it's not going anywhere. Threshold is rumored to be something completely different. I wouldn't be surprised if you had limited options.

Considering how often you are wrong....I'll take your comment with a grain of salt.

...though it is disappointing how pro you are against choice and options.

Dot Matrix said,

Metro isn't going anywhere in Threshold.

"Boot to desktop will never happen"
"Disabling the Hot Corners will never happen"
"The Start Button is never coming back"
"The Start Menu is never coming back

Now it's "Metro isn't going anywhere in Threshold".

If by "Metro" you mean the Live Tiles being jammed into the START MENU (which you said was dead) and being able to run Metro apps on the DESKTOP in RESIZABLE WINDOWS, then yeah, Metro isn't going anywhere.

The real answer though is that the Windows 8 vision and experiment is dead and the last few usable pieces are being INCORPORATED into the DESKTOP.

jjkusaf said,

Considering how often you are wrong....I'll take your comment with a grain of salt.

...though it is disappointing how pro you are against choice and options.

I am very much looking forward to new methods of computing. Something that will make my PC feel more personalized, and alive. Something that will actually excite me when I sit down at it, other than a "dumb" desktop, with "dumb" icons, that does nothing to inspire or excite users.

Microsoft is investing heavily in a new UX, so I would not expect it to die so quickly. Not when they've surrounded themselves with that branding. The Metro UX is evolving to fill the desktop space, and I for one, couldn't be more excited. Hopefully, it leads to bigger and better things. I'm glad the desktop of the 90's is finally dead.

Dot Matrix said,

I am very much looking forward to new methods of computing. Something that will make my PC feel more personalized, and alive. Something that will actually excite me when I sit down at it, other than a "dumb" desktop, with "dumb" icons, that does nothing to inspire or excite users.

Microsoft is investing heavily in a new UX, so I would not expect it to die so quickly. Not when they've surrounded themselves with that branding. The Metro UX is evolving to fill the desktop space, and I for one, couldn't be more excited. Hopefully, it leads to bigger and better things. I'm glad the desktop of the 90's is finally dead.

So that's you're new propaganda? It went from "The desktop is dead and never coming back!" to "I'm glad the desktop of the 90's is finally dead". Please don't get a job working in public relations or for a politician.

Here's why you're wrong:

1. The "90's desktop" (if there ever were such a thing, that's like saying "ZOMG, you're using a 90's mouse with click buttons instead of a touchscreen LOL"), is more alive now than it's ever been.

Metro is for all intents and purposes is dead and buried. Microsoft is basically taking the few good ideas of Metro (Live Tiles, Microsoft Store apps, etc) and putting them into the DESKTOP. The desktop isn't being redone to the Metro; Metro is being redone to fit the desktop.

Studio384 said,

No it won't, the startscreen can be minimized into a startmenu like format, but Metro itself - which is a design language - will be even more in Threshold then ever before.

Besides the fact that we do not know, not yet, how the start menu will be implemented the Metro language... has been here since the introduction of Media Center. What lately people refer to as "Metro" is not just that but the paradigms launched with W8. How these paradigms will evolve and will be implemented is something that, hopefully, we will see in the Autumn when, again based on the current rumors, MS will release a Build of the OS for "testing".

jjkusaf said,

Your opinion. :)
And no...I will not miss the charms bar or metro...both of which have been an ultimate failure (with regards to the desktop)

And that's another opinion.... ;-)

Dutchie64 said,

And that's another opinion.... ;-)

That I won't miss both the charms and metro start screen....yes. That Win8 has been a failure....no. That is a fact supported by its abysmal adoption rate.

jjkusaf said,

That I won't miss both the charms and metro start screen....yes. That Win8 has been a failure....no. That is a fact supported by its abysmal adoption rate.

If you really hate the Metro Start Screen, then you're not really going to like the Metro Mini Start.

Dot Matrix said,

If you really hate the Metro Start Screen, then you're not really going to like the Metro Mini Start.


Have you emailed Myerson and informed him that the "correct" name is " Metro Mini Start"? When he talked about it he did not use the name you just invented...

Cosmocronos said,

Have you emailed Myerson and informed him that the "correct" name is " Metro Mini Start"? When he talked about it he did not use the name you just invented...

Internally, the project was labeled as "Mini Start"

Dot Matrix said,

Internally, the project was labeled as "Mini Start"

So you just added "Metro". I see....
Seriously speaking we can call whatever will come whichever way we want.... because MS itself keep changing its own, internal plans so who knows, with certainty, what will Threshold/Next will look and have.

Dot Matrix said,

If you really hate the Metro Start Screen, then you're not really going to like the Metro Mini Start.

Not entirely sure why you assume that I will "hate" the "metro mini start" as you've coined it. As long as I can open programs without opening a full screen program launcher...I'll be happy.

Dot Matrix said,

If you really hate the Metro Start Screen, then you're not really going to like the Metro Mini Start.

"Metro Mini Start"? Yes, the project was initially called "Mini Start", but that's just some internal development name (like how Vista was called "Longhorn"). It's totally irrelevant. And YOU added "Metro" to that name just to make your case sound better.

In what universe is the Metro Start Screen similar to the new Start Menu? First of all the Start Screen is an entire SCREEN and the Start Menu is just a popup MENU. Second of all, all the new Start Menu is basically the old Start Menu with Live Tiles jammed into it. If anything everyone who hated the Start Screen will love it, and everyone who loved the Start Screen will hate it.

You're trying so desperately to cram you square-peg arguments into the round holes of reality.

jjkusaf said,

Not entirely sure why you assume that I will "hate" the "metro mini start" as you've coined it. As long as I can open programs without opening a full screen program launcher...I'll be happy.

The Menu is Metro based. It features the live tiles.

Dot Matrix said,

The Menu is Metro based. It features the live tiles.

Lives Tiles were never the problem. The Start Screen, the Charms bar, and hot corners, and no boot to desktop were the problem. And those are all G-O-N-E!

The Desktop and the Start Menu won the war vs the Start Screen and the Live Tiles (one of the few decent things about Windows 8) are the spoils of victory!

Dot Matrix said,

The Menu is Metro based. It features the live tiles.

I guess you are next going to say that you will be unable to unpin live tiles from the start menu.

I used it maybe the first time I turned on Windows 8, and then forgot about it. The only time I remember exists is when I close a maximized window and it pops up.

I'm sure it's useful when people use the apps, but I don't use the apps, so no, I won't miss it.

gb8080 said,
Lose it. Bring back Gadgets instead!

Oh please no. As cool as some of them were, they were a security nightmare. Turn the lives tiles in to a "gadget" type thing on the desktop, but no gadgets please.

Nah. It's not a bad idea, it was just extremely poorly executed when almost nothing supported it yet the icons were available only to give you nothing when clicking.

How can something be poorly executed when the only thing that's missing is the lack of developer support? The API was there months before Windows 8 came.

Yes, I will miss charms, especially on my tablet.

However, if Microsoft replace them with something just as good or even better, they will be forget easily.

Won't miss it on desktop as long as there's an easy way to bring up "settings" on modern 'apps'

Works great on touch though. Hopefully they don't mess with that.

Can't remember ever using it so no I won't miss it. Then again I don't use any modern apps either, if I did I guess I would have used it a few times.

It always looked like a pretty pointless way to do things though so I am not surprised it is being killed off.

I will say I won't really miss the charm bar at least you still can get to places with the new start menu. don't see the use for a charm bar with Windows 9 anyway.

Mugwump00 said,

And you'd know this how...?

I really like the charms bar... but if it's removed, I'd assume they'd have a pretty good replacement. And if that's the case, he'd be correct... you won't really need it.

Not sure how they are going to pull if off, though.

Same, got used to it, and it made sense in the context it was designed for... no matter who wrote the app you accessed the settings/tasks/etc in the exact same way, very consistent.

But eh, will reserve judgement until we actually have real information on how it's being changed.. right now it's just assumptions so really can't make an informed decision either way.

A little. I really wish it was easier to bring them up when you're using dual monitors; that was my main issue with it. I still like it though.

dead.cell said,
A little. I really wish it was easier to bring them up when you're using dual monitors; that was my main issue with it. I still like it though.

Windows Key + C

yeah me too. although a desktop user, i'm using charm to control my brightness, volume, accessing control panel, hibernate and shutdown my pc. man, i've developing muscle memory out of it

Jose_49 said,

What I would be truly missing is that huge clock.

That clock was an eye sore. Hence I will miss it. Actually, I will miss all of Windows 8's clunky Modern UI.
Looking forward to public preview of Windows 9. Hopefully it will be in our hands by the end of this fall.

Jose_49 said,

What I would be truly missing is that huge clock.

Never have figured out why anyone had that stupidly huge clock on the desktop! :x

Never used, so won't miss it. Thought it was ignorant anyway!

I liked it a lot because I watch videos from a far, and it is pretty nice to just move the mouse to a corner and up to see the time.

i'm not afraid of change, but i don't like it. for a company like Microsoft, consistency is everything, and i think they just always changing things. where is the UI team vision?