Windows 8 app to bring back Start menu on desktop

Windows 8 may have been downloaded over 1 million times in its Consumer Preview version in its first day of release, however, a large number of long time Windows users on the PC have not been happy that the familiar Start menu cannot be accessed on the desktop version of Windows 8.

One of those people happens to be Brad Wardell, the founder and CEO of Stardock (who also happens to be part owner of Neowin too). So he and the company decided to do something about it. Today, Wardell and Stardock announced plans to release Start8, a free Windows 8 app that will enable the Start menu on the desktop like many old Windows users prefer it; on the bottom left corner of the screen. The app will also have a Run and Shutdown option when you right click on the menu.

In his own blog post describing the app, Wardell states:

I like Metro, I really do – for tablets. But as a desktop user, I need a consistent work flow that lets me have my windows together on my desktop and don’t want to be jerked out of that environment every time I want to start some new program.

The app is not yet available but the Start8 web page has an email form so people can sign up to be alerted when the app is released. It's expected to come out later this week.

Image via Stardock

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

The revolution is upon us in the Assassin's Creed III reveal trailer

Next Story

Windows Facebook Messenger app officially released

183 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Skwerl said,
Jesus, I wish people could learn to let go and try something new for long enough to let it stick.

I wish everyone in the world was Christian. People are people, they all have different ideas, feelings behaviors...

But besides that, the app that Brad wrote also, with the click of a checkbox, restores the full screen behavior.

Is the issue the Start Screen, versus the Start Menu, or that Metro mandates full-screen?

Whether or not the Start Screen and the Metro apps are functional enough to get used to is not my main concern currently. That I must dedicate my entire screen-estate, e.g. on a 1920x1200 17" laptop, is what really bites, for me. Reading emails in 1/2 inch letters seems just ridiculous.

Not being optionally able to view other window activity, including all the legacy MS on-screen notifications inc. Tasktray, Superbar-icons and Gadgets (which I still love), from a "native" Windows 8 app seems to be an abuse of the Windows legacy.

I will definitely try this tool, to see if it makes W8 more palatable on my high-res desktop. But what I'd really, really like is a way to encapsulate the Metro experience in a movable, over-layable desktop window.

I want to be un-immersed!! Anyone think so too?

Oh, and I've embraced every damn thing Microsoft has done to Windows since we stopped using File Manager as the shell, so don't give me none of the Luddite/hater bull. "Change" and "Cohesive" are not the same thing.

Sweet! I've really tried to get used to the full-screen metro-desktop switch but it is distracting... I do prefer the Windows 7 start orb. Looking forward to trying Wardell's app.

I don't want Metro mixing with Aero look on the desktop. Desktop apps are good enough for the desktop, I don't want Metro apps cluttering my desktop app list. Hopefully, that will be configurable in Stardock's Start Menu.

Why not simply use the start menu ? It work great. I wasn't happy with windows 8 until I really started to use the start menu, not only for metro apps (i only use weather and a couple of games) but for my desktop apps. Apps will be more metro aware in the future and we'll have great desktop apps and great metro apps. Then we will not be lost when we'll use our metro apps on a tablet.

People are simply reluctant to change. They should look at themself in the mirror before blaming Microsoft.

Philippe Pomerleau said,
Apps will be more metro aware in the future and we'll have great desktop apps and great metro apps.

And this is when the real problem will start. Metro apps and desktop apps don't play together nicely.

Today on my 27" 2560x1440 monitor I typically have a "main" window open that fills a little more than half the screen, then a chat program in the upper left, and a tertiary app open in the lower left (usually a video, music player, or something of that nature). On top of this I sometimes split the "main" area into a couple windows for comparison or reference.

Then I have the taskbar with usually 15-25 open application windows that I can quickly see and switch between. They can also give me notifications through the functionality added in Windows 7 with overlay icons, and flashing for alerts. They have jump lists that let me right-click and get to useful options and recently used lists.

Now, let's imagine a future where there's a 50/50 split of desktop and metro apps that I want to use. I can put one metro app up beside the desktop. Great, but now I've used the entire vertical space on one side for that single metro app. So I have a chat metro app up on 1/3 of the screen, and the desktop on the other 2/3. Now I want to play a video in the awesome new metro video app......well, I can't unless I cover up the chat app or the desktop.

I also want to quickly switch between open apps...well, desktop apps are only visible in the desktop task bar, so if I'm in a metro app I first have to switch to the desktop, then find the desktop app to pull up. For Metro apps I have to move my mouse to the upper-left and pull down to even see what's open. Can I see activity on the other open apps? For Metro apps I go to the start screen (which actually gives much more information than the taskbar) if I have them pinned, but I have to leave what I'm doing for that. Again, if I'm in a metro app, I have to switch to the desktop to see notifications.

Can I copy an image from a metro app and paste it into a desktop one? Nope. There's awesome search and share functionality in metro, but does it work with the desktop? Nope.

I can browse all my pictures across services from the metro Pictures app, but what if I find one that I want to edit in Photoshop. Sorry, can't do that, gotta go find it in Windows Explorer.

My issue isn't so much with Metro, my issue is the fact that metro and the desktop don't work together at all. In fact, Windows 7 running in Parallels works better with Mac OS X than the Windows desktop works with Windows 8 Metro! It's ridiculous!

Edited by JonathanMarston, Mar 6 2012, 3:58am :

JonathanMarston said,

And this is when the real problem will start. Metro apps and desktop apps don't play together nicely.

Today on my 27" 2560x1440 monitor I typically have a "main" window open that fills a little more than half the screen, then a chat program in the upper left, and a tertiary app open in the lower left (usually a video, music player, or something of that nature). On top of this I sometimes split the "main" area into a couple windows for comparison or reference.

Then I have the taskbar with usually 15-25 open application windows that I can quickly see and switch between. They can also give me notifications through the functionality added in Windows 7 with overlay icons, and flashing for alerts. They have jump lists that let me right-click and get to useful options and recently used lists.

I am a PC enthusiast and never really used more than 2 windows simultaneously in years, yet multitasking can still get better until final version.

As for metro app functionality, I think it's pretty clear that they are very limited in feature for now, that's why they all display a big preview at the top.

Also, nobody say that every application need to be "metro-centric", some power user app may well continue to use the desktop interface.

Having great fun organizing the start menu now

http://cl.ly/06223J3D411L1S2F0P2M

Windows-8, as it now exists, is clearly for those people who use smart phones tablets. Productivity-oriented users, as in keyboards and mice, will continue using Windows-7 or wait until a proper OS is released.

TsarNikky said,
Windows-8, as it now exists, is clearly for those people who use smart phones tablets. Productivity-oriented users, as in keyboards and mice, will continue using Windows-7 or wait until a proper OS is released.

I am a "Productivity-oriented user" and I, for one, welcome our Windows 8 overlords.

Most the people here on neowin, and probably most people in general, simply have a huge aversion to change; most are consciously unaware of it as well. They may even tell you they are open to it when in fact they're not.

The truth is Metro is easier to use with a mouse and keyboard believe it or not. Practically anything you can think of, you can search for in the start screen (even for items within apps themselves) whereas you cannot with the start menu; you can only search for installed software that show up in the menu. The start menu with desktop is more complicated than the new start menu whether you want to believe it. The only difference here is the desktop is what you're use to, so you lash out against change away from it with excuses as "this looks childish", or "it's more complicated". People will try interacting with Metro the way they did with the desktop. When they fail, they become angry.

I would bet you all if Metro was what we knew since the 90's then had to go to the desktop/start menu in 2012, their would be a far bigger outcry than what we see now. You mean I can't just look at the start screen and tell whether I have mail, the best deals on groupon, the score of the latest Knicks game or my messages on facebook?? You mean I have to actually open up a browser and navigate to each website individually? To much work!

The angry against Metro is really an angry against change.

never,ever take what a vocal minority seriously as to how consumers feel towards a product

before: lol windows xp,looks like fisher price,ill stick to windowz 98
after: windows xp still the most used desktop os even after 10 years

before: iphone lol fisher price user interface, rofl applz wont let me customize it
after: best selling smartphone

before: lol ipad sounds like tampon, oversized iphone rofl epic fail
after: ipad kills anything out there

before: lol wii sounds like genetalia,epic failz
after: wii was a big hit

before: rofl the metroz taketh over my desktopz
after: ???

Here's a comment on the App: It would be better if shutdown didn't require a right click, I'd prefer a button as it is now.

So when Microsoft turns on the 'desktop' start menu again after the CP, what will Stardock do with their 'custom version' of what Microsoft already has planned to turn back on?

People seem to think that the CP is the 'final version' when it is far from polished and doesn't have the corporate features or the non-metro features turned back on, as they want to 'force' users to give feedback on Metro by actually having to use it and its start menu.

Microsoft has stated that Win8 would allow Metro to be disabled/turned off for corporate users, and have the traditional 'start menu'...

What about this is so hard for people to understand, and Brad should know better as he does have some 'inside' access to Microsoft. The only thing I see is he is trying to garner publicity when he knows that 'his feature' is something Microsoft already has planned for upcoming 'pre-release' versions when it gets turned on.


Even the Apps in Windows 8 are 'shells' of the Apps that will ship, as they have less functionality than the developer build did, for a reason. So if anyone thinks the Preview Mail App is what is going to be shipping in Win 8 as well, they are just as misguided.

Even if they do add the functionality in for release you can't do it at the moment so even if this is a stop gap measure it's useful. Don't be so negative just for the sake of it.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I think this would be a decent compromise if they can find a way to minimize the amount of padding for items if it's reduced to a smaller menu like that.

I like how the people who like the metro ui seem to be offended that there is some who don't, or who do (like me), but because 99% of all programs are not using metro i'm on the desktop most of the time and find the start screen to be more of a hassle when doing lots of things. Let those that want it use it. It doesn't effect your life in any way. Jeeze

Touchscreen monitors are coming soon enough. You really need to use it for a few days. A day isn't quite enough. I don't miss the original desktop at all.(laserfloyd)

I have had my touch screen monitor for two years now, also the comments about parents and grandparents, I am a parent and a grandparent over sixty years of age, many of my family come to me for advice on their computers including my son and daughters, sisters and brother and many friends, we oldies are not useless, I have installed windows 8, did so on release date, I like it, I will buy it, I have a windows phone, love that too, I have a Tablet, laptop, netbook two computers and other boys toys, don't write us off, we oldies will adapt. Jim ; )

Ahmed Nefzaoui said,
No thanks! if you don't like "changing" then better keep your Windows 7 and don't think of upgrading to Windows 8

And according to Microsoft, this is NOT accurate, as Metro in future builds can be turned off and the users will have the traditional 'start' and desktop only experience.

They are repeated this time and time and time again... Yet people are 'stuck' on freaking Metro, because in the DP and CP, Microsoft has left it locked on so people would 'try' using it so they could get 'bugs' and feedback on Metro.

They know the Win7 desktop model is good and they don't need feedback on it, and yes it still fully exists in Win8 without Metro.

(Microsoft 'promised' corporations that for transition alone, they would be able to drop in Win8 machines and have the UI virtually identical to Win7, and later move to Metro as more of the company is composed of Win8 machines.)

Wow...

thenetavenger said,

And according to Microsoft, this is NOT accurate, as Metro in future builds can be turned off and the users will have the traditional 'start' and desktop only experience.

They are repeated this time and time and time again... Yet people are 'stuck' on freaking Metro, because in the DP and CP, Microsoft has left it locked on so people would 'try' using it so they could get 'bugs' and feedback on Metro.

They know the Win7 desktop model is good and they don't need feedback on it, and yes it still fully exists in Win8 without Metro.

(Microsoft 'promised' corporations that for transition alone, they would be able to drop in Win8 machines and have the UI virtually identical to Win7, and later move to Metro as more of the company is composed of Win8 machines.)

Wow...


Could you please indicate where MS indicated that Metro can be turned on/off by Joe Smith who bought a desktop PC in a store? Never read about it.
Btw I do not dislike Metro but with W8, at least so far, unusable on a Tablet I am afraid I will have to keep W7.

Ideally I'd like this to be built into Windows 8 (optional of course), but this looks good.

I used Windows 8 CP for a few days and I think it might be preparation for one of the most expensive April Fools jokes of all time.

No one is holding a gun to your head (hopefully...) and making you install this (when it comes out). Haters gonna hate no matter what. Yeah it's your right to B&M about it if you want, just stop trying to convert those who want to try it out. I for one will try it out, if I don't like it, I remove it. No need to go getting crabby on the net over it.

have no issues with the new start menu. Would like custom live tiles, but the start menu isn't a big thing for me. I think its cause i use it full time and have learned to live without the start menu.

After trying out the Metro UI for a day or so, I uninstalled the W8 CP and went back to 7.

I think Metro is a good UI, but it doesn't work well for me on the desktop. It would be an excellent interface for tablets and other touch screen devices, but it feels clunky and unintuitive with a mouse. I remember working with the original Windows desktop (ie Windows 1.0) and even then it at least felt right with a mouse, but Metro feels like a step backward.

With ViStart and now Start8 in the works I may reinstall the CP and give it another go...or when I get a touchscreen monitor.

T

Taliseian said,
After trying out the Metro UI for a day or so, I uninstalled the W8 CP and went back to 7.

I think Metro is a good UI, but it doesn't work well for me on the desktop. It would be an excellent interface for tablets and other touch screen devices, but it feels clunky and unintuitive with a mouse. I remember working with the original Windows desktop (ie Windows 1.0) and even then it at least felt right with a mouse, but Metro feels like a step backward.

With ViStart and now Start8 in the works I may reinstall the CP and give it another go...or when I get a touchscreen monitor.

T

Touchscreen monitors are coming soon enough. You really need to use it for a few days. A day isn't quite enough. I don't miss the original desktop at all.

laserfloyd said,

Touchscreen monitors are coming soon enough. You really need to use it for a few days. A day isn't quite enough. I don't miss the original desktop at all.

Good luck using touch screen monitor all day.

Taliseian said,

I think Metro is a good UI, but it doesn't work well for me on the desktop. It would be an excellent interface for tablets and other touch screen devices, but it feels clunky and unintuitive with a mouse.

I have a convertible tablet (HP TM2) and I must say I'm actually kind of disappointed with the Windows 8 "Metro" interface on a touch screen. It's mostly good, but there are two main issues that just make it awkward to use:

1. Too much stuff is hidden. You always have to swipe up from the bottom to see all the options in an applicaton, and in many applications even just to go back to the previous page/section you have to bring up the app bar because they hid the back button in it

2. Too much horizontal scrolling. Now, this wouldn't have to be a bad thing, but unlike every other touch-oriented OS (including Microsoft's own WP7) there is no concept of snapping to "pages" of content. You have to manually scroll a screen's worth of content instead of simply flicking left/right to go next/previous. It gets very tedious.

When i think about Metro Start Menu. In its essence is Windows 3.11 look and feel in much modern way.
It is one screen; list of application and files are now represented with tiles and concept of Multitasking doesn't exist. Even Windows logo is alike

techguy77 said,
When i think about Metro Start Menu. In its essence is Windows 3.11 look and feel in much modern way.
It is one screen; list of application and files are now represented with tiles and concept of Multitasking doesn't exist. Even Windows logo is alike

Think you mean Windows 1, as Windows 3 had overlapping Windows, the "flag"-logo, and "only" lacked the desktop and the taskbar…

MFH said,

Think you mean Windows 1, as Windows 3 had overlapping Windows, the "flag"-logo, and "only" lacked the desktop and the taskbar…

Yep, i meant Windows 1.

I mean come on, some people can easily turn on an off their pc with charms. But let's face it, my mom is having a bad time turning off windows 8 in metro. It's hard bros. that's why I posted a link to a tutorial earlier that brings back the full windows 7 start menu.

J-CiTy said,
I mean come on, some people can easily turn on an off their pc with charms. But let's face it, my mom is having a bad time turning off windows 8 in metro. It's hard bros. that's why I posted a link to a tutorial earlier that brings back the full windows 7 start menu.

Explain that to the next person who tells you oh using keyboard shortcuts you can do this and that.
UI Principles in Windows 8 fail. That would never pass any design review in any company i worked for.

techguy77 said,

UI Principles in Windows 8 fail. That would never pass any design review in any company i worked for.

Microsoft never checks for UI principles - they don't even follow their own UX guide…

MFH said,

Microsoft never checks for UI principles - they don't even follow their own UX guide…

Microsoft WROTE the UI principles and UX guide... they can change them if they want ;-)

TCLN Ryster said,

Microsoft WROTE the UI principles and UX guide... they can change them if they want ;-)


Yeah they can, but how about following them themselves at least once? Pretty pointless to even write a UX guide if you can't follow it yourself…

MFH said,

Microsoft never checks for UI principles - they don't even follow their own UX guide…

Eh, eh very true.................

AWESOME, now MS, this is when you take note. Now only to dissapear that metro tiles screen on desktops computers...

What's all this craze about 'Start button'. Nobody complains that Linux and Mac doesn't have it!

FMH said,
What's all this craze about 'Start button'. Nobody complains that Linux and Mac doesn't have it!

Did you ever use Ubuntu? They don't have Start Button but they don't take your work flow to entire different thing. I was hoping MS will follow examples of Ubuntu Desktop with Windows 8 if they wanted to change something. Again, there is nothing broken with Windows 7 UI.

FMH said,
What's all this craze about 'Start button'. Nobody complains that Linux and Mac doesn't have it!

bad comparison! Take the "Menu bar" from OSX and Mac users will burn you… It's just part of the Windows UI as is the Menu bar part of OSX…

techguy77 said,

Did you ever use Ubuntu? They don't have Start Button but they don't take your work flow to entire different thing. I was hoping MS will follow examples of Ubuntu Desktop with Windows 8 if they wanted to change something. Again, there is nothing broken with Windows 7 UI.

If it aint broke don't fix it? Stay on Windows 7 then since there is nothing broken with it.

techguy77 said,

Did you ever use Ubuntu? They don't have Start Button but they don't take your work flow to entire different thing. I was hoping MS will follow examples of Ubuntu Desktop with Windows 8 if they wanted to change something. Again, there is nothing broken with Windows 7 UI.


Good luck using Windows 7 on a tablet (if you don't already). What a tenacious PoS it is to use an OS designed for the mouse ground-up. At least Win8 meets the middle ground by providing both a touch-friendly UI (Metro) and mouse-friendly UI (Desktop). No compromises.

DClark said,

Good luck using Windows 7 on a tablet (if you don't already). What a tenacious PoS it is to use an OS designed for the mouse ground-up. At least Win8 meets the middle ground by providing both a touch-friendly UI (Metro) and mouse-friendly UI (Desktop). No compromises.

Interesting, my personal experience is the opposite:

W7, and before it Vista, very good usability on a Tablet; XP Tablet Edition a little bit rougher, no question about it.

W8 so far is unusable on my Tablet; following is a copy of what I posted before
"I use my Portege' Convertible in the Tablet mode, therefore using the pen, there is no way to make the 'Charm Bar" or the bar on the other side, the one showing the running program appear in "Start view"; same in "desktop" view plus I am unable make the "Start" icon appear in the low right corner."

So far, it seems that MS was able to displease a large number of desktop users and frustrate loyal PC Tablet users................
Impressive indeed.

I mean come on, some people can easily turn on an off their pc with charms. But let's face it, my mom is having a bad time turning off windows 8 in metro. It's hard bros. that's why I posted a tutorial earlier that brings back the full windows 7 start menu.

J-CiTy said,
I mean come on, some people can easily turn on an off their pc with charms. But let's face it, my mom is having a bad time turning off windows 8 in metro. It's hard bros. that's why I posted a tutorial earlier that brings back the full windows 7 start menu.

What is so hard about it?

J-CiTy said,
I mean come on, some people can easily turn on an off their pc with charms. But let's face it, my mom is having a bad time turning off windows 8 in metro. It's hard bros. that's why I posted a tutorial earlier that brings back the full windows 7 start menu.

Yep, because that bottom right hand corner of the screen is just SO hard to reach with the mouse pointer.

Why not just stick with Windows 7 then? So many people are complaining, if you are tech savvy enough for this hack then you should have no problem staying with Windows 7. And as for the comment that Metro removes multitasking, that is the typical comment of someone who hasnt even used W8, yet is here complaining.

efjay said,
Why not just stick with Windows 7 then? So many people are complaining, if you are tech savvy enough for this hack then you should have no problem staying with Windows 7. And as for the comment that Metro removes multitasking, that is the typical comment of someone who hasnt even used W8, yet is here complaining.

screenshots say a lot......

efjay said,
Why not just stick with Windows 7 then? So many people are complaining, if you are tech savvy enough for this hack then you should have no problem staying with Windows 7. And as for the comment that Metro removes multitasking, that is the typical comment of someone who hasnt even used W8, yet is here complaining.

screenshots say a lot......

efjay said,
Why not just stick with Windows 7 then? So many people are complaining, if you are tech savvy enough for this hack then you should have no problem staying with Windows 7. And as for the comment that Metro removes multitasking, that is the typical comment of someone who hasnt even used W8, yet is here complaining.

Oh, maybe because Windows 8 brings other advantages? Metro isn't all that's in Windows 8.

SPARTdAN said,

Oh, maybe because Windows 8 brings other advantages? Metro isn't all that's in Windows 8.

According to the metro haters that's all Windows 8 brings, thats why I'm curious why they just dont stick to Win7.

efjay said,

According to the metro haters that's all Windows 8 brings, thats why I'm curious why they just dont stick to Win7.


Where did they say that? I know that Windows 8 has a lot improvements under the hood, yet I hate Metro on the desktop…

CMG_90 said,

screenshots say a lot......

You mean the screenshots that clearly show Alt+Tab still working, or the screenshots that clearly show a taskbar in metro complete with live previews of all your running apps (just like Windows 7 but down the left hand side instead)? Or the screenshots that show two apps running side by side? Or even those that show a metro app running side by side with the classic desktop on the same monitor?

Edited by Ryster, Mar 5 2012, 10:50pm :

To me it's stupid. What do you need the start menu for? The new Metro UI is the start menu. If there is an app you need to have a shortcut too, to open then you pin it as a tile to the new UI.

The problem with creatives of habit is breaking them from one. Instead of adjusting to something new, the old dogs rather not lean a new trick.

People are just so lazy these days, its really sad.
Sorry Stardock, I won't be using your app. I rarely use the start menu in Windows 7. It is useless when you can pin your most common used apps to the taskbar which you can till do in Windows 8, or you can create a folder that has a shortcut on the taskbar that list all your programs.

The start button is really useless overall.

TechieXP said,
To me it's stupid. What do you need the start menu for? The new Metro UI is the start menu. If there is an app you need to have a shortcut too, to open then you pin it as a tile to the new UI.

The problem with creatives of habit is breaking them from one. Instead of adjusting to something new, the old dogs rather not lean a new trick.

People are just so lazy these days, its really sad.
Sorry Stardock, I won't be using your app. I rarely use the start menu in Windows 7. It is useless when you can pin your most common used apps to the taskbar which you can till do in Windows 8, or you can create a folder that has a shortcut on the taskbar that list all your programs.

The start button is really useless overall.

Well its there for those who want it. This is Windows after all, not the mac...

TechieXP said,
To me it's stupid. What do you need the start menu for? The new Metro UI is the start menu. If there is an app you need to have a shortcut too, to open then you pin it as a tile to the new UI.

The problem with creatives of habit is breaking them from one. Instead of adjusting to something new, the old dogs rather not lean a new trick.

People are just so lazy these days, its really sad.
Sorry Stardock, I won't be using your app. I rarely use the start menu in Windows 7. It is useless when you can pin your most common used apps to the taskbar which you can till do in Windows 8, or you can create a folder that has a shortcut on the taskbar that list all your programs.

The start button is really useless overall.

It is not only about Start Button it is about breaking overall flow with new Start Menu. If they kept it within Desktop nobody would bitch about it. People don't bitch why Windows 8 looks flat vs Windows 7 which looks more round but they bitch about breaking the basic flow of operating system

techguy77 said,

It is not only about Start Button it is about breaking overall flow with new Start Menu. If they kept it within Desktop nobody would bitch about it. People don't bitch why Windows 8 looks flat vs Windows 7 which looks more round but they bitch about breaking the basic flow of operating system

That is only an issue so long as there are no apps though. For many of us, when 95% of our apps have metro versions, there will be no breaking of your "basic flow".

don't need it i really like the metro start menu its hard to get used to the old start menu
but it good news for people who want it

JonathanMarston said,
Awesome. Now if only they could figure out how to make Metro apps run inside desktop windows...

What you are referring to as "desktop windows" is actually just another "app" for all intents and purposes. So you want an app to run inside another app?

JonathanMarston said,
Awesome. Now if only they could figure out how to make Metro apps run inside desktop windows...

Are you aware that you can already run metro apps side by side with the desktop docked to the side of the screen?

TCLN Ryster said,

Are you aware that you can already run metro apps side by side with the desktop docked to the side of the screen?

You can run 1 metro app beside the desktop, in a small mode and not the full size applicaton. What if I want to watch a video in the metro Video app, chat in the metro messaging app, and flip back and forth between PhotoShop, Visual Studio, and IE/FireFox/Chrome? The answer is I can't. Not without totally leaving what I'm doing to go do something else. On Windows 7 I can do 3-4 things at once. In Windows 8 I can only do 1.5 things at once.

I realize my use case is not a very usual one, but it is far from uncommon. I spent $1,200 on high-res 27" monitor so I could do crazy multitasking. That's what's always been great about Windows. It can be everything to everyone. No compromises. Now there's all kinds of compromise being built into Windows 8...even though they're marketing it as the "no compromises OS."

winlonghorn said,

What you are referring to as "desktop windows" is actually just another "app" for all intents and purposes. So you want an app to run inside another app?

You're explaination is accurate, and it also very directly points out the biggest design flaw in Windows 8. The desktop and it's applications should not be walled off into a self-contained "app." Desktop applications and Metro applications should be treated as equals. Microsoft says they know the desktop is not going anywhere, so why are they treating it like the red-headed step child of Windows?

JonathanMarston said,

You're explaination is accurate, and it also very directly points out the biggest design flaw in Windows 8. The desktop and it's applications should not be walled off into a self-contained "app." Desktop applications and Metro applications should be treated as equals. Microsoft says they know the desktop is not going anywhere, so why are they treating it like the red-headed step child of Windows?

So they can push their Store, Cloud, Xbox, and the list goes on..

J-CiTy said,
Read this : http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2...art-menu-back-in-windows-8/ and apply the steps., and you will get back the full start menu of windows 7

Hmmm. Well it does indeed work... think I might wait and try the metro themed one that Stardock are bringing out instead though. As I mentioned previous, I really like metro.

Edit: On second thoughts, removed! Horrible little thing. Sure it appears on the taskbar as a start button and is click-able, but I couldn't easily figure out how to pin apps to it (can you?), it also kept jiggling my taskbar every minute or so. It also STOLE the use of the windows key on my keyboard without giving my a choice in the matter. I don't mind having a start menu to click on to easily shut down from the desktop, but I still want the windows key to take me into metro. Grrr.

Edited by Ryster, Mar 5 2012, 10:59pm :

I was curious how well Win8 would work for a desktop. Concerned maybe even.

That is, until I actually tried it. After about half an hour of use on my laptop and another half hour on my multiple-monitor desktop, that concern was long gone. Everything is easy and slick.

nowimnothing said,
I was curious how well Win8 would work for a desktop. Concerned maybe even.

That is, until I actually tried it. After about half an hour of use on my laptop and another half hour on my multiple-monitor desktop, that concern was long gone. Everything is easy and slick.

I had the opposite experience, although it wasn't helped by the laughable features of the metro apps. They were so bare bone feature wise it looked like something some basement developer knocked up on a spare weekend. To be fair I will judge it again when we get the RTM, but at the moment it won't be going anywhere near my desktops

DomZ said,

I had the opposite experience, although it wasn't helped by the laughable features of the metro apps. They were so bare bone feature wise it looked like something some basement developer knocked up on a spare weekend. To be fair I will judge it again when we get the RTM, but at the moment it won't be going anywhere near my desktops

To each their own I suppose.

I find it just as easy to do stuff on the desktop side as I did in Windows 7 (most stuff is the same, the new mouse "gestures" are pretty darn intuitive, in my opinion (kind of like Aero Peek v. Next)), but with the added benefit of having things have the same look and feel between my tablet, laptop and desktop.

This is exactly what I've been waiting for in a tablet/desktop OS.

nowimnothing said,
I was curious how well Win8 would work for a desktop. Concerned maybe even.

That is, until I actually tried it. After about half an hour of use on my laptop and another half hour on my multiple-monitor desktop, that concern was long gone. Everything is easy and slick.

You should try to use it with a......… Tablet PC..... If I use my Portege' Convertible in the Tablet mode, therefore using the pen, there is no way to make the 'Charm Bar" or the bar on the other side, the one showing the running program appear in "Start view"; same in "desktop" view plus I am unable make the "Start" icon appear in the low right corner.

DomZ said,

I had the opposite experience, although it wasn't helped by the laughable features of the metro apps. They were so bare bone feature wise it looked like something some basement developer knocked up on a spare weekend. To be fair I will judge it again when we get the RTM, but at the moment it won't be going anywhere near my desktops

Yeah, but did you happen to notice the "Preview App" label plastered on the top of many of the apps? They aren't done yet! They are test versions of what will become the final apps! Also, have you tried the Slacker or USA Today apps? They are quite full featured and very nice!

nowimnothing said,

To each their own I suppose.

I find it just as easy to do stuff on the desktop side as I did in Windows 7 (most stuff is the same, the new mouse "gestures" are pretty darn intuitive, in my opinion (kind of like Aero Peek v. Next)), but with the added benefit of having things have the same look and feel between my tablet, laptop and desktop.

This is exactly what I've been waiting for in a tablet/desktop OS.

I have news for you. Tablet is not Desktop.

DomZ said,

I had the opposite experience, although it wasn't helped by the laughable features of the metro apps. They were so bare bone feature wise it looked like something some basement developer knocked up on a spare weekend. To be fair I will judge it again when we get the RTM, but at the moment it won't be going anywhere near my desktops

You can't rate the OS based on what apps are available for it, having just emerged from the alpha stage. That would just be irrational.

techguy77 said,

I have news for you. Tablet is not Desktop.

An interface designed for ease of use on tablets doesn't have to be any less easy to use for keyboard/mouse. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. Windows 8 is supposed to be a paradigm shift in the Windows interface. I is supposed to be vastly different and take a lot of getting used to. That's the whole point. Just like the ribbon on Office 2007, and now 2010. When that first came out, people were shouting "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" back and forth all over this website. And now look... the majority of people agree that once you get used to the new ribbon and where everything is, that it is actually more productive to use than the old menu driven interface and helps to expose functionality that was previously hidden away.

Edited by Ryster, Mar 5 2012, 9:46pm :

It is also difficult on hyper-v, especially since you can't just go to the corner. Also hyper-v doesn't respond to the Windows Key to pop it up. What a pain.

Fritzly said,

You should try to use it with a......… Tablet PC..... If I use my Portege' Convertible in the Tablet mode, therefore using the pen, there is no way to make the 'Charm Bar" or the bar on the other side, the one showing the running program appear in "Start view"; same in "desktop" view plus I am unable make the "Start" icon appear in the low right corner.

Stoffel said,
There is no need for a start button!

They took it away for a good reason


Then how will all of are parents and granparents use windows ( I lost without start menu also) .
No touch screen monitor here (excluding iPhone )

blade1269 said,


Then how will all of are parents and granparents use windows ( I lost without start menu also) .
No touch screen monitor here (excluding iPhone )

Well, there is a small learning curve but they only have to click in the right corner to get to their start menu with all the apps they need.
They took the start button away so there would be a consistent way of getting back to the start menu from any where ( Metro app, or desktop)

blade1269 said,


Then how will all of are parents and granparents use windows ( I lost without start menu also) .
No touch screen monitor here (excluding iPhone )

Oh please... hands up in 2012 those who still trawl through the all programs list on their start menu looking for an app. I bet you it's a very low percentage, single digits at most. All the rest who have used Vista or 7 for an extended period have migrated to either pinning apps to the taskbar, or using the search box in the start menu. To say you're "lost" without the old start menu is a bit of a stretch. I do agree the other start menu functions like shutdown and control panel could be easier to find in Metro though, it's not immediately obvious how to find them if you don't know the new OS at all.

That said, the older generation (parents and grandparents as you say) are who Metro is ideally suited for (once Microsoft iron out some of the kinds and obvious omissions). For those who don't know too much about computers, what is easier for them than a screen full of big buttons to click on (you don't need a touchscreen).

(p.s. I also concede that until the apps are in place, that it could be seen as confusing for some people switching between two interfaces).

Stoffel said,
There is no need for a start button!

They took it away for a good reason

And exactly what "good" reason is that? Please, enlighten us!

You are exactly right. And you can achieve the same thing by moving over to the Charms....either start typing the name of the app or simply click on Apps charm and all the programs are right there.

MASTER260 said,
"(who also happens to be part owner of Neowin too)." Lemee guess, he told John Callaham to make this article...

The site is called neoWIN, this would be a valid article regardless what company was making the software

DomZ said,

The site is called neoWIN, this would be a valid article regardless what company was making the software

Indeed, especially given the hoohah surrounding Windows 8 and Metro

If they want to Windows 8 succeed like Windows 7 they should bring back start menu and for tablets they should release difrent version like Windows 8 Tablet Edtition!

WinA said,
If they want to Windows 8 succeed like Windows 7 they should bring back start menu and for tablets they should release difrent version like Windows 8 Tablet Edtition!

Windows has enough editions imo. All they need to do is default to metro for anything with a touch screen (with the ability to turn it off), and do the opposite for anything which doesn't have a touch screen..

WinA said,
If they want to Windows 8 succeed like Windows 7 they should bring back start menu and for tablets they should release difrent version like Windows 8 Tablet Edtition!

They tried making tablet-specific editions of Windows before: Windows for Pen Computing, Windows for Pen Computing 2.0, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, & Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005. They failed miserably. Ever since Vista Microsoft has tried to unify the tablet editions with the main editions of Windows... The only difference is now they're creating that 1, unified edition of Windows with tablets in mind. Not doing so also made Vista & Windows 7 fail on the tablet...

MASTER260 said,

They tried making tablet-specific editions of Windows before: Windows for Pen Computing, Windows for Pen Computing 2.0, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, & Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005. They failed miserably. Ever since Vista Microsoft has tried to unify the tablet editions with the main editions of Windows... The only difference is now they're creating that 1, unified edition of Windows with tablets in mind. Not doing so also made Vista & Windows 7 fail on the tablet...

They did not fail but idea was and still is stupid to have any type of Windows for PC and Tablet functionality in.

Ha ha ha. Just as Paul Thurrott predicted; and a lot earlier than I expected! XD If it helps people to transition to the new UI, then fine, but it would be mad to use this indefinitely.

Meph said,
Ha ha ha. Just as Paul Thurrott predicted; and a lot earlier than I expected! XD If it helps people to transition to the new UI, then fine, but it would be mad to use this indefinitely.

Agreed. As I mentioned above, I am fully welcoming of this tool. I *may* even give it a go myself as I sort of agree that it's a bit jarring to pop back into Metro just to launch an app I dont have pinned, or get to settings, etc.

I do really like Metro though and love the full screen nature of apps, and my end goal is to hardly ever leave Metro. Unfortunately until all the apps are in place though, that isn't currently possible. This tool will help with the transition until a proper suite of apps is available to replace 95% of my current apps. Such as a metro version of Chrome (IE10 sucks and I want plugins like flash, java and silverlight in my browser), outlook metro (current mail app is poor), a better messenger app, steam metro, games for windows live metro, origin metro, office metro. That probably covers most of it.

This actually looks pretty reasonable. If Microsoft are going to be so dogmatic about Metro, this looks like a reasonable compromise.

The core issue is really the fact that Metro forces itself upon you, removing multitasking.

Athernar said,
This actually looks pretty reasonable. If Microsoft are going to be so dogmatic about Metro, this looks like a reasonable compromise.

The core issue is really the fact that Metro forces itself upon you, removing multitasking.

you can multitask just fine on windows 8 with Metro open up a few metro Apps and put the mouse m pointer to the left top corner and scroill down and bam they are right ther you can also just put it in the upper left corner if you wish and just click on the icon to quickly move to another open App also if you want to close a metro app ya can drag them from the switcher Bar and drag them down to the button of the screen and let go and it closes you can do the same with them open and full screen drag from the top of the App left mouse button hold and drag to the bottom of the screen Very Very simple also the fact Many others have told and siad about this many times even Microsoft demoed all this functionality to us .


there is many ways to multitask with Metro so the issue is that you like some dont take the time to learn and just shoot it down assuming Fail because you did not take the time to just look around or play around .

notuptome2004 said,
there is many ways to multitask with Metro so the issue is that you like some dont take the time to learn and just shoot it down assuming Fail because you did not take the time to just look around or play around .

Oh look, a Microsoft shill.

I'm not interested in your simpering apologetics, run along now.

notuptome2004 said,

you can multitask just fine on windows 8 with Metro open up a few metro Apps and put the mouse m pointer to the left top corner and scroill down and bam they are right ther

How many exactly? 8 maybe? I do not remember for sure but I know that there is a limit.

notuptome2004 said,

you can multitask just fine on windows 8 with Metro open up a few metro Apps and put the mouse m pointer to the left top corner and scroill down and bam they are right ther you can also just put it in the upper left corner if you wish and just click on the icon to quickly move to another open App also if you want to close a metro app ya can drag them from the switcher Bar and drag them down to the button of the screen and let go and it closes you can do the same with them open and full screen drag from the top of the App left mouse button hold and drag to the bottom of the screen Very Very simple also the fact Many others have told and siad about this many times even Microsoft demoed all this functionality to us .


there is many ways to multitask with Metro so the issue is that you like some dont take the time to learn and just shoot it down assuming Fail because you did not take the time to just look around or play around .

What you just described is not called multitasking. Obviously you people have no idea to what extent Windows or any OS can be used. Can you put two windows in Start Menu next to each other? No, you cannot!

Edited by techguy77, Mar 5 2012, 8:07pm :

techguy77 said,

What you just described is not called multitasking. Obviously you people have no idea to what extent Windows or any OS can be used. Can you put two windows in Start Menu next to each other? No, you cannot!

Correct me if I didn't understand you correctly, but did you just ask if you can put two windows side by side next to each other in Metro?

techguy77 said,

What you just described is not called multitasking. Obviously you people have no idea to what extent Windows or any OS can be used. Can you put two windows in Start Menu next to each other? No, you cannot!

It is multitasking. The other night I was watching the severe weather roll into our area on a weather app that was side by side with the desktop. When I had the radar app maximized I could still see activity taking place on the desktop. It was quite useful to be able to do those two things more or less on the same screen. I know that's possible in Win7, but in Win8 it's more elegant looking.

techguy77 said,

What you just described is not called multitasking. Obviously you people have no idea to what extent Windows or any OS can be used. Can you put two windows in Start Menu next to each other? No, you cannot!


Yes you can put 2 windows side by side in the start screen on the desktop multi ways of doing it take a look i took some images the other day for another forum images below uploaded to image shack


http://yfrog.com/mdmetro1nj
http://yfrog.com/j4metro2nj
http://yfrog.com/jjmetro3j
http://yfrog.com/j4metro4sj

notuptome2004 said,

Yes you can put 2 windows side by side in the start screen on the desktop multi ways of doing it take a look i took some images the other day for another forum images below uploaded to image shack

What a horrific, clunky waste of space. Are you trying to evangalise 8 or make it look worse?

Athernar said,

What a horrific, clunky waste of space. Are you trying to evangalise 8 or make it look worse?


No i am doing neiather just proving you can have 2 Apps side by side in windows 8. and for your information this things you can do in windows 8 many different combinations can be done even if you are lucky if you can get it to do it have a Metro app on both sides of your desktop same time with it in the middle i got it tyo do that one time

notuptome2004 said,

No i am doing neiather just proving you can have 2 Apps side by side in windows 8. and for your information this things you can do in windows 8 many different combinations can be done even if you are lucky if you can get it to do it have a Metro app on both sides of your desktop same time with it in the middle i got it tyo do that one time

I don't care, it's a total waste.

Athernar said,

I don't care, it's a total waste.


wow Really yes so come back and replay when you have actually used windows 8 CP and then leave a proper opinion rather then a ( i dont care wast of space on a product i have not yet used )

Athernar said,

I don't care, it's a total waste.

Then don't use Windows 8, Windows 7 installs won't spontaneously combust just because Windows 8 is out.

notuptome2004 said,

wow Really yes so come back and replay when you have actually used windows 8 CP and then leave a proper opinion rather then a ( i dont care wast of space on a product i have not yet used )

How do you know if I have or haven't used the CP? Oh wait, you're just an ignorant little fanboy. Come back when you have an opinion that hasn't just been given to you by a third-party.

neo158 said,

Then don't use Windows 8, Windows 7 installs won't spontaneously combust just because Windows 8 is out.

This is such a poorly thought out, cookie-cutter response. Windows is the dominant OS, there will be a point when 7 is no longer supported or capable of running efficiently.

Until such time as Microsoft is forced to completely open-source the entire Windows codebase or Windows becomes the minority share, I will very much care and continue to speak out if Microsoft is driving their product into the ground.

I am finding Windows 8 to be greatly missing when installed on a computer with multiple monitors. Why can't I show 2 metro programs at the same time? Why not allow metro programs to run in a window? Why not allow docking a metro program to half of a monitor? All I seem to get with Windows 8 is questions. What are they thinking?

notuptome2004 said,

you can multitask just fine on windows 8 with Metro open up a few metro Apps and put the mouse m pointer to the left top corner and scroill down and bam they are right ther you can also just put it in the upper left corner if you wish and just click on the icon to quickly move to another open App also if you want to close a metro app ya can drag them from the switcher Bar and drag them down to the button of the screen and let go and it closes you can do the same with them open and full screen drag from the top of the App left mouse button hold and drag to the bottom of the screen Very Very simple also the fact Many others have told and siad about this many times even Microsoft demoed all this functionality to us .


there is many ways to multitask with Metro so the issue is that you like some dont take the time to learn and just shoot it down assuming Fail because you did not take the time to just look around or play around .

notuptome2004 said,


No i am doing neiather just proving you can have 2 Apps side by side in windows 8. and for your information this things you can do in windows 8 many different combinations can be done even if you are lucky if you can get it to do it have a Metro app on both sides of your desktop same time with it in the middle i got it tyo do that one time

Can't you have two, actually multiple windows open since Windows 3.XXXX? Actually multiple windows, of different sizes and positioned wherever you want on the screen......

Athernar said,
This is such a poorly thought out, cookie-cutter response. Windows is the dominant OS, there will be a point when 7 is no longer supported or capable of running efficiently.

Until such time as Microsoft is forced to completely open-source the entire Windows codebase or Windows becomes the minority share, I will very much care and continue to speak out if Microsoft is driving their product into the ground.

It's the truth though, if you don't like my response then it's not my problem. The fact is if YOU don't like Windows 8 then YOU don't have to use it, I suppose Microsoft is holding a gun to your head and making you upgrade are they?

Microsoft run Windows into the ground, I don't think so as it's their flagship product. I seriously doubt Microsoft will be FORCED to open source the Windows codebase.

As for the line about a point when Windows 7 no longer supported or running efficiently that hasn't stopped people from continuing to run XP, has it?

Edited by neo158, Mar 6 2012, 11:43am :

neo158 said,

It's the truth though, if you don't like my response then it's not my problem. The fact is if YOU don't like Windows 8 then YOU don't have to use it, I suppose Microsoft is holding a gun to your head and making you upgrade are they?

By holding a monopoly position in the desktop OS market, yes they are.

Don't be so short sighted.

And yes, it has stopped people from running XP. Now you're just being plain ignorant.

Athernar said,

By holding a monopoly position in the desktop OS market, yes they are.

Don't be so short sighted.


and why would any tech savvy person want to run Windows XP in 2012 and on 2012 Hardware it be pointless and stupid and ther be nothing but problems as XP would not utilize every peace of hardware properly .

Also Game developers are and have been dropping XP support same with hardware manufactures if you want to run XP run it in a VM XP on 2010 hardware a Bad thing XP 11 years old or near that not ment for todays microprocessor architectures or GPUs

And yes, it has stopped people from running XP. Now you're just being plain ignorant.

Athernar said,

By holding a monopoly position in the desktop OS market, yes they are.

Don't be so short sighted.

And yes, it has stopped people from running XP. Now you're just being plain ignorant.

I'm not being short sighted or ignorant, however, YOU are!!

neo158 said,

I'm not being short sighted or ignorant, however, YOU are!!

Don't have a response - reply with "NO U". Classy.

notuptome2004 said,
<snip?

See, even this little fella agrees with me. He's just so out of it he doesn't realise that he's reinforcing my point about being forced to upgrade. Thus justifying my position.

Oh, good grief. Bunch of sissies can't get with the new meme. Die, desktop, DIE DIE DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ScubaDog said,
Oh, good grief. Bunch of sissies can't get with the new meme. Die, desktop, DIE DIE DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think you're using the term, "meme," incorrectly...

ScubaDog said,
Oh, good grief. Bunch of sissies can't get with the new meme. Die, desktop, DIE DIE DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

laserfloyd said,

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

It's "cultural memory". People have grown so accustomed to the who desktop concept (it permeates virtually every type of desktop OS as a design). It's a paradigm shift to break free of a sea of simple icons, a mouse and a keyboard and move to something wildly different. People seem to be scared to death of dropping their blanky.

simrat said,
One " usable " product from stardock atlast, gonna use it for sure.

Fences is pretty good, too, though these days I mostly use it to quickly hide/unhide my desktop icons by double-clicking.

simrat said,
One " usable " product from stardock atlast, gonna use it for sure.

Give them time to fill it with bloat.

este said,
Dont like this. They are moving away from their new vision. So much for progress.

It's not by Microsoft

UndergroundWire said,
It's a step in the right direction. Hopefully another update will come and get rid of the tiles.

It did, it's called Windows 7.

ah microsoft, get it? people want it back. it doesn't matter how smart you guys think you are over at redmond. you're wrong to take that start menu and button away from desktop users. just give it back. It will in no way slow windows 8 tablets down.

neonspark said,
ah microsoft, get it? people want it back. it doesn't matter how smart you guys think you are over at redmond. you're wrong to take that start menu and button away from desktop users. just give it back. It will in no way slow windows 8 tablets down.

So some = everyone now?

neonspark said,
ah microsoft, get it? people want it back. it doesn't matter how smart you guys think you are over at redmond. you're wrong to take that start menu and button away from desktop users. just give it back. It will in no way slow windows 8 tablets down.

What about those of us who don't want it back and prefer the new way of doing things?

Callum said,

What about those of us who don't want it back and prefer the new way of doing things?

It should be an option, not a complete removal. By all means they can default to the Start screen with a fresh install, but at least give the rest of us the OPTION of getting the old start menu (or a familiar variation) back.

Callum said,

What about those of us who don't want it back and prefer the new way of doing things?

Well, who is not interested will not download the app.......... I do not see what is the problem.......
PS I do not think I will install it.

Callum said,

What about those of us who don't want it back and prefer the new way of doing things?

The don't install the app, it's pretty straight forward for those that DO want it back WILL install it, we get it you like it the way it is, OTHERS don't..... clear enough for you?

Callum said,

What about those of us who don't want it back and prefer the new way of doing things?

Callum, as you've seen elsewhere I am a big advocate of Metro. I really like it and am heartily looking forward to the day where all the apps I need to use are Metro apps. Until that time though, there will be some inevitable use of the classic desktop, especially as Microsoft's "preview apps" are so astoundingly poor at the moment

While I have no issue using the new start screen personally, for those that plan to stay at the desktop all day (I don't agree with them on a long term basis, but desktop use now is unavoidable), it is a bit jarring to jump back into metro just to launch apps, then jump out again.

While I may not use this tool myself as I plan to stick with, and continue to get used to metro, I think it's right that people have the choice to use the desktop and this Start8 tool rather than not use Windows 8 at all (which some are threatening). I think it's probably better in the long run for the platform as a whole if the naysayers get this option now. At least then, Microsot get a windows 8 sale and a potential future Metro convert once that user does finally come around to our way of thinking regarding Metro. Them having this app won't affect you and me in any way, and they're welcome to it

Callum said,

What about those of us who don't want it back and prefer the new way of doing things?

Don't download and use the app, easy realy. you get what you want and I get what we want.

Fritzly said,

Well, who is not interested will not download the app.......... I do not see what is the problem.......
PS I do not think I will install it.


I don't think you read the comment of the person I replied to. He was demanding that Microsoft return the Start Menu to Windows, so I asked "what about those of us who love the new Start screen." Nothing I said was referring to the app mentioned in the article because I was replying to what the commenter said.

TCLN Ryster said,

Callum, as you've seen elsewhere I am a big advocate of Metro. I really like it and am heartily looking forward to the day where all the apps I need to use are Metro apps. Until that time though, there will be some inevitable use of the classic desktop, especially as Microsoft's "preview apps" are so astoundingly poor at the moment

While I have no issue using the new start screen personally, for those that plan to stay at the desktop all day (I don't agree with them on a long term basis, but desktop use now is unavoidable), it is a bit jarring to jump back into metro just to launch apps, then jump out again.

While I may not use this tool myself as I plan to stick with, and continue to get used to metro, I think it's right that people have the choice to use the desktop and this Start8 tool rather than not use Windows 8 at all (which some are threatening). I think it's probably better in the long run for the platform as a whole if the naysayers get this option now. At least then, Microsot get a windows 8 sale and a potential future Metro convert once that user does finally come around to our way of thinking regarding Metro. Them having this app won't affect you and me in any way, and they're welcome to it


I understand what you're saying but I think some people have been mistaken about what I was referring to. My comment wasn't referring to the app mentioned in the article because I was merely replying to what the commenter above me said. He was demanding that Microsoft return the Start Menu to Windows, so I asked "what about those of us who love the new Start screen." Nothing I said was referring to the app mentioned in the article because I was replying to what the commenter said

I think it's great that Stardock have made this app for those who wish to use it, but my comment wasn't referring to the app in any way.

silky said,

Don't download and use the app, easy realy. you get what you want and I get what we want.


I don't think you read the comment of the person I replied to or my comment in context. He was demanding that Microsoft return the Start Menu to Windows, so I asked "what about those of us who love the new Start screen." Nothing I said was referring to the app mentioned in the article because I was replying to what the commenter said.

Callum said,

What about those of us who don't want it back and prefer the new way of doing things?

Then... don't use it? Geez louise, what a crazy concept!

rpsgc said,

Then... don't use it? Geez louise, what a crazy concept!


I would have to use the Start Menu if Microsoft brought it back as the only way to access programs, and if they removed the new Start screen in favour of the old Start Menu. The comment I was replying to was demanding that Microsoft bring back the Start Menu. I wanted to find out what he wants Microsoft to do with the Start screen, so I asked him.

Callum said,

I would have to use the Start Menu if Microsoft brought it back as the only way to access programs, and if they removed the new Start screen in favour of the old Start Menu. The comment I was replying to was demanding that Microsoft bring back the Start Menu. I wanted to find out what he wants Microsoft to do with the Start screen, so I asked him.

Then you could use a app to remove the start menu/button.

To be honest, Microsoft should have had separate builds for Desktop and tablets.

Removing the concept of desktop to fit tablet without paying the desktop any notice is borderline stupidity, we're talking about a multinational and multimillion corporation, I'm sure they could pick up the system type and enable/disable a start button pretty easy don't you?

Hell they've always been fond of disabling features with one registry entry, think even the task manager/run disabled by malware with one registry entry...

Majesticmerc said,

It should be an option, not a complete removal. By all means they can default to the Start screen with a fresh install, but at least give the rest of us the OPTION of getting the old start menu (or a familiar variation) back.

You have the option of staying with Windows 7. Microsoft doesn't have to cater to anyone that's going to be nitpicky

Callum said,

I don't think you read the comment of the person I replied to. He was demanding that Microsoft return the Start Menu to Windows, so I asked "what about those of us who love the new Start screen." Nothing I said was referring to the app mentioned in the article because I was replying to what the commenter said.

I read it, I read it but because the original question was about the downloadable app I kept the focus on it.
About what MS should do, well they had a "Classic" GUI option forever and I think they should stick with this strategy; like it or not they control what, 90% of the PC market? Surely a strategy that satisfied the broadest possible audience was a successful one, wasn't it?

Callum said,

I would have to use the Start Menu if Microsoft brought it back as the only way to access programs, and if they removed the new Start screen in favour of the old Start Menu. The comment I was replying to was demanding that Microsoft bring back the Start Menu. I wanted to find out what he wants Microsoft to do with the Start screen, so I asked him.

Now they have this new system, just implement an option to switch between it and the windows 7 start menu.

Of course I don't think you needed this explaining, you were just being difficult.

Minimoose said,

Now they have this new system, just implement an option to switch between it and the windows 7 start menu.

Of course I don't think you needed this explaining, you were just being difficult.


What a lot of people appear to not understand is that it probably isn't as easy as that for Microsoft, otherwise they of course would allow users to choose. There is a reason Facebook are likely not going to allow people to opt-out of Timeline (which I don't mind, as I love Timeline), just like they didn't allow people to opt out of other redesigns. That's just one example. There are reasons few technology companies support entirely different interfaces that achieve the same tasks in one product. I'm not saying it definitely isn't easy for Microsoft--I don't know--but I suspect it isn't easy, especially if they plan on the Metro experience completely replacing the Desktop mode in some way (that could be the plan; we don't know).

With that in mind, that is why I asked the commenter what he wanted Microsoft to do with the new Start screen concept. It's clear that Microsoft would like just the one main interface for people to access programs, whether they're using the Desktop experience or the Metro experience, so I asked him with that in mind.

I was not being difficult. Asking someone to expand on their opinion so one is sure of what they're proposing isn't being difficult.

neonspark said,
ah microsoft, get it? people want it back. it doesn't matter how smart you guys think you are over at redmond. you're wrong to take that start menu and button away from desktop users. just give it back. It will in no way slow windows 8 tablets down.

Again, I'm not surprised that people genuinely think that bringing back old functionality in a caricatural way actually improves your usage of a newly designed OS that asked for millions to spend on research and development...

Where has intelligence gone in this world?

Tekkerson said,

You have the option of staying with Windows 7. Microsoft doesn't have to cater to anyone that's going to be nitpicky

You're right, and everyone else can simply vote with their wallets. Microsoft are going to disrupt the workflow of millions of people, literally millions, mine included. I don't have anything against Metro, I really don't. I think it's a good look for Microsoft, but the focus on tabletising the desktop experience isn't working for a great many people. The usability of Windows 8, compared to older versions of Windows

Coming from a former employer that had to deal with ICT issues from people who were practically allergic to computers, I can only imagine how many tears are being shed in anticipation of the support calls when (or if) they ever move over to Windows 8. At the same time I can imagine a hell of a lot of people who are rubbing their hands together with glee when they realise how many millions of $$$ they're going to make retraining an entire generation of rookie computer users.

The start menu is probably the first thing anyone ever gets taught about Windows, and soon it's going to be gone. Sure you can reel off the old "learn to Metro" excuse, and us on Neowin will adapt fine, even if we have to do it kicking and screaming. But what about my parents, or my grandparents? They didn't want a computer in the first place, and it took years for them to understand how it worked, and now they're going to be in the dark again if they ever upgrade. My parent's will probably just buy a Mac since, "everyone's raving about them".

What the Metro bandwagoners don't get is that we're the minority on Neowin. We're the tech pros (to varying degrees), and even we're split about it. What about the poor sods that barely have a clue about computers to begin with? There's a real danger that Microsoft are going to get a whole generation of customers turn around and say "**** this", and go buy a Mac, since hell, the (re)learning curve is about the same.

Again, don't get me wrong, I like Metro, but providing us with the option to use a start menu (or a variation of it) would work much better than simply dropping it and saying "deal with it".

devHead said,
This definitely looks like something I would install with Windows 8. Not a bad idea.

To me, Windows 8 looks like something I would install with this.

wojtekmaj said,

To me, Windows 8 looks like something I would install with this.

Reminds me of the SLED Menu a bit, as well as Mint Menu.

Do want.

Interesting. It seems they got the whole Metro UI to run in a small window. I didn't know what was possible.

mrp04 said,
Interesting. It seems they got the whole Metro UI to run in a small window. I didn't know what was possible.

Or rather it's likely something that looks like it.

mrp04 said,
Interesting. It seems they got the whole Metro UI to run in a small window. I didn't know what was possible.

Do you mean one can actually see all the installed applications using only a fraction of the available screen space? How far fetched!

Anyway, it is still 1000x better than Windows 7 while considering touch based systems. To me, this would be the only feasible reason to upgrade. Any old school 'mouser' can skip this version altogether. When the initial 'wow' effect fades, that new classic desktop theme starts to look really, really ugly...

a1ien said,
Thanks so much. The metro tiles just become stupid when they're a sea of small utility programs.

Everyone's missing the point. There's not going to be any live tiles on this. It's purely icons only. It's used as a quick application starter. You know, what the start menu is currently used for?

People on desktops don't want to be 'jerked' out onto live tiles every time they want to launch something or find a file. No doubt there will be a 'metro' icon on Start8 to allow you to jump into it when you see fit

DomZ said,

Everyone's missing the point. There's not going to be any live tiles on this. It's purely icons only. It's used as a quick application starter. You know, what the start menu is currently used for?

People on desktops don't want to be 'jerked' out onto live tiles every time they want to launch something or find a file. No doubt there will be a 'metro' icon on Start8 to allow you to jump into it when you see fit

That was his point . . .

DomZ said,

People on desktops [who can't adjust] don't want to be 'jerked' out onto live tiles every time they want to launch something or find a file. No doubt there will be a 'metro' icon on Start8 to allow you to jump into it when you see fit

Fixed.

Hallelujah! With a bit more refining, Start8 could help make Windows 8 a much more viable desktop platform for many of us.

comecon said,
Hallelujah! With a bit more refining, Start8 could help make Windows 8 a much more viable desktop platform for many of us.

Pity that third-party companies are needed; instead of Microsoft doing it right the first time.

TsarNikky said,

Pity that third-party companies are needed; instead of Microsoft doing it right the first time.

Third parties are needed for a lot of things Microsoft removed after XP. MS no longer care about backward compatibility of user interface, they did in the 90s.

Bit pointless as scaling it down, then you'll either hardly be able to see the live tiles... or be doing more scrolling than needed.

Possession said,
Bit pointless as scaling it down, then you'll either hardly be able to see the live tiles... or be doing more scrolling than needed.

I think the point of this hack is to bring back the old, static start menu, viewing info in the live tiles is not what they are going for here.