Windows Threshold: The modern UI takes a backseat for desktop users

Microsoft is hard at work on the next major update to Windows and we don’t mean Update 2. Threshold, as it is currently known, is a wave of updates coming to Windows and other platforms; much like how Blue brought new features across many of Microsoft’s key platforms.

While it is still a little unclear if the Threshold update for PCs will be called Windows 9 or something else, what is starting to become known is how that OS will deviate from Microsoft’s past. For mouse and keyboard users, Threshold will be the update many have been waiting for as Microsoft continues to move away form the Sinofsky vision of hybrid OS.

Threshold will be a further move away from the Modern UI environment for desktop users. In some builds of Threshold, the Modern UI is disabled by default. You have to manually turn it back on but this is situation dependent, if you wish to access the live tile environment. 

If you are on a tablet, the Modern UI is still present and takes precedence over the classic desktop but on traditional PCs, the Modern UI is no longer utilized by default. This is where some of the confusion comes in that we had been hearing about a ‘decentralized’ use of the Modern UI but this is device-specific; for tablet and hybrid device users, the touch-focused UI is still a focal point. The biggest changes are in store for users of desktop-class systems.

How is Microsoft going to move forward without a Modern UI by default for Windows? It’s quite easy to see the path and our sources are confirming this information. Microsoft will still allow Modern apps to run in a windowed mode on the desktop and with the new Start menu (also present in Threshold) having the ability to launch un-pinned Modern apps, mouse and keyboard users can happily live on the desktop without being troubled by Metro-esque menus and screens if they wish. 

By having full control of Modern apps from the desktop with other enhancements brought with Windows 8.1 Update 1, the modern environment is no longer needed for desktop users and is shut off.

Don’t worry though, app snapping is still present in the current builds of Threshold and in fact, there are enhancements in this area too. The details are a bit sparse at this time but snapping has been further refined and may include new positioning for modern apps.

We have also been hearing that the UI is ‘visually distinct’ too, meaning that when you see Threshold, it’s easy to tell that it is not Windows 8.1.

It’s important to note that we are still in the early stages of Threshold and that anything and everything is subject to change. But from what we have been able to gather, Microsoft is once again listening to all the complaints that said ‘let me turn off the Modern UI’.

Image Credit: Zman982 (Neowin Forums)

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244 Comments

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is this the taskbar of threshold? that looks lame. like a gnome 2-3/kde/win7 mashup but with having taken the worst parts of each. thats a bit of a dockbar, a bit of a taskbar a bit of whatever....

"We have also been hearing that the UI is ‘visually distinct' too, meaning that when you see Threshold, it's easy to tell that it is not Windows 8.1."

Ah, hopefully that's meaning they're going to be doing work on the Visual Style again! The one they've had since 8.0 is terribly undercooked at the moment.

I feel like MS will be back to where they started.

If they do the things that the article says, what will be the difference from Windows 'Threshold' and Windows 7. Yes, there were heavy changes in the underlying code of the OS, but why would anybody buy it? And they need to have tablets be able to run the thing too!

The one OS for tablets & desktops approach is way better than taking Apple's approach where they took an already limited iOS and slapped it on a tablet.

Am I crazy, but shouldn't a tablet be able to do more than a phone!

As I asked before, what in Ned are you scared of? The only way that ModernUI applications are going to threaten desktop applications is if developers let that happen. Properly-written ModernUI applications SHOULD, if anything, encourage desktop application development - from what I am hearing, the fear is that it will do the reverse. Are you that pessimistic when it comes to desktop application development? Never mind that very few ModernUI applications are up to the standard of desktop applications (which is something that DConnell and I have been saying repeatedly); they scare a lot of you silly. What I want to know is *why*.

PGHammer said,
As I asked before, what in Ned are you scared of? The only way that ModernUI applications are going to threaten desktop applications is if developers let that happen. Properly-written ModernUI applications SHOULD, if anything, encourage desktop application development - from what I am hearing, the fear is that it will do the reverse. Are you that pessimistic when it comes to desktop application development? Never mind that very few ModernUI applications are up to the standard of desktop applications (which is something that DConnell and I have been saying repeatedly); they scare a lot of you silly. What I want to know is *why*.

There is nothing to be scared about, I am just not happy, I am a developer and I want a proper UI framework, I had to switch from WFP/C# to Chrome Apps / JavaScript just to get a better UI and performance, and had to deal with tons of Google stupidity there as well.

The new full screen apps provide nothing, I waited for the day Microsoft created the Apps store, and waited to get a new framework that I can use in the apps store, and it turns that the only thing that can be done with it is full screen apps, no, limited full screen apps, nice :-)

Nobody says that you MUST write ModernUI applications - remember, Win32/Win64 (traditional-style) applications and games still work. I have been pointing that out since the Developer Preview - has nobody (especially developers) been listening to any of us? If a windowed application is more suitable, you can write one - the usage case for those hasn't gone away.

Anarkii said,
*eats popcorn and laughs at the comments*

And certain people said the desktop was dead.

:p

The desktop can't be dead.

When Modern apps run in a windowed mode... they need to float above something!

And while we're at it... we'll keep running our desktop software too!

Nobody said the desktop was dead (at least those of us that wanted the Start menu to stay gone) - in fact, other than DotMatrix, we all are running Windows 8.1, not RT, as the primary version of Windows. (Even DotMatrix runs Windows 8.1 on his non-primary hardware.) There is a FEAR that ModernUI (and the applications thereof) will kill the desktop - however, from what has been seen on the application side of ModernUI, there is little to no chance of that - and that is something that Dot has said, that DConnell has said, and something that I have been rather vociferous in saying repeatedly. What in Ned are all of you anti-ModernUI fanatics scared of?

Not scared of anything, I just hate Modern UI on the desktop, along with 99.999999999% of other windows users. And FYI Dot DID say the 'the desktop is dead'.

Dot is also the only one of us running RT, not 8.x - however, I get WHY Dot's the exception; other than Office RT, are there any non-ModernUI applications for RT, from anybody? Nobody running 8.x (other than the anti-ModernUI critics) doesn't see a use case for Modern/RT-type applications - even where traditional applications also exist; however, just like traditional applications, each application competing with an existing application must prove itself. (Didn't I say exactly this way back when the Consumer Preview was let out onto the Internet?)

All blanket dismissal says is that your mind was likely made up and that applications are not getting a fair comparison. While few ModernUI applications have survived my use testing, I haven't dismissed ModernUI as a whole - instead, I have whacked individual applications on a case-by-case basis. Some ModernUI applications DID survive the gauntlet - MetroTwit was one of them. All I have asked is that users not let themselves by ruled by fear/FUD - the same applies to developers, of course.

Why is that so hard?

Anarkii - I get that much; however, you haven't said WHY you hate it. Does the despising of ModernUI have a reason, or are you like the infamous Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand (who is responsible for the insensate quotum "I can't define obscenity, but I know it when I see it!")?

Hand was, unfortunately, a REAL Judge of the United States Court of Appeals (Second Circuit) - while liberal and progressive on many issues, he despised pornography (as did many jurists - on both sides of the political fence).

Metro UI, or what ever they call it now is the dumbing down of Windows. I am all for freedom of choice, and to each his own. I prefer a clean desktop and pin my most used programs to the start menu instead of storing and displaying most recently used. Any seasoned Windows user knows his way around the Windows and system32 folders, there is much more to Windows than meets the eye, or the Moderm UI. I have tried 8.1 on a touchscreen laptop I purchased as a gift, and use touch on Windows 7 Pro computers at my place of employment, no thank you very much. Startisback or Classic Shell do fine for me thank you Microsoft. Usually my Windows 8.1 computer, with all its high-end hardware, sits, waiting.

Not with a comment like that - if anything, you DON'T trust either developers OR users, if you insist on making everything revolve around an arbitrary set-point (whether it be formfactor or any other). I pin my "go-to" applications to the Taskbar - which is still there - or to the desktop - which is ALSO still there. You are plain and simply reliant on the Start menu - which is what is missing; so much so that apparently Classic Shell, StartIsBack, or ANY of the third-party alternatives doesn't suit you. If the third-party utilities worked, why would - or should - Microsoft bring the Start menu back? You are trying to blow smoke up my posterior - and I am having none of it.

I think OS change only upsets the non productive people, those who prefer to stare at a lovely Desktop/Start menu rather than the people who never see the Desktop/Start Menu because they are busy working/using the application that covers it.

You seem to completely misinterpret the notion of the "desktop" which should not be understood as "a wallpaper with a couple of icons". "Desktop" is short for "desktop environment".

agtsmith said,
You seem to completely misinterpret the notion of the "desktop" which should not be understood as "a wallpaper with a couple of icons". "Desktop" is short for "desktop environment".

No I didn't, when I sit at my computer I am looking at the applications desktop not the OS.

Yazoo said,

No I didn't, when I sit at my computer I am looking at the applications desktop not the OS.

Thank you for proving my point. You do not understand what "desktop" means in this context.

Also, if this new Start Menu is tile-based, and will still support the Store, and Metro applications, I'm not sure what you mean by "Turning Metro off". Metro is still very much there.

According to Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott, there will be no optional Start Screen in the desktop version of the OS. It will have the Start Menu Frankenstein which could be "maximized" to feel the screen. Can't say I like this. First of all I got used to the start screen with my custom background. Secondly, this will probably mean the death of the "Interactive Tiles" demonstrated by Microsoft Research wchich I was really looking forward to.

agtsmith said,
According to Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott, there will be no optional Start Screen in the desktop version of the OS. It will have the Start Menu Frankenstein which could be "maximized" to feel the screen. Can't say I like this. First of all I got used to the start screen with my custom background. Secondly, this will probably mean the death of the "Interactive Tiles" demonstrated by Microsoft Research wchich I was really looking forward to.

Not encouraging.

DConnell said,

To be replaced with the malware "Start Menu"?

Last time i checked only things that pop-up and block the entire screen are called malware... which is the squares malware.

If you are on a tablet, the Modern UI is still present and takes precedence over the classic desktop but on traditional PCs, the Modern UI is no longer utilized by default.

Good as that's the way it should have been with Windows 8 to begin with as it don't make sense using a interface that's better suited for Tablets and the like on a Desktop PC. hence, why the vast majority don't like Windows 8 on a desktop and why Windows 7 will be the standard for years to come as Windows 7 is basically the new Windows XP from the looks of things.

Windows 8 is the first OS from Microsoft i just flat out disliked due to the interface (i remember complaining a bit about Windows XP's interface when that first came out but that was not as drastic of a change to the interface like Windows 8's is so i kind of got used to it after a while even though i remember changing it's interface back to that Windows 98/ME/2k looking start menu which you could do if you wanted) and i been using PC's since 1995 and my first PC had Windows v3.11 on it and i have used every Microsoft OS since at some point for a bit besides Windows 8 which i tried briefly and quickly went back to Windows 7.

Lol, how dare you bring pragmatism to this place? It feels like a 'Postcode War' in here, but with 1000x the irrelevance to actuality. Anyways, must get back to trying to figure out the "usability nightmare" of my desktop launcher...

Microsoft shouldn't abandon Metro - they just need to make the Desktop part of that UI (i.e properly Metrofy it) and integrate Metro as a single experience for desktop users - not juxtapositioning two differing paradigms.

http://eiskis.net/windows9

I think most people have asked for this from the start. Metro is cool and all but honestly should have been a choice upon installing windows..

Are you one a desktop? (Keeps metro in background until you wish to use)
Are you on a tablet? (Enabled metro on boot)

Having apps show on desktop is a no brainer always has been a needed feature.

Well, it's about time that Microsoft owned up to its mistake in trying to force the Start Screen on people who do not have touchscreen systems, and give us back the user interface that is more useful and comfortable to deal with in a business environment. And that, folks, is probably the main driver as to why Microsoft is doing this. The last thing they want is to have businesses decide to move to a different OS, one that naturally doesn't force the end user into an interface that isn't intuitive. Since most business software is going to run from the desktop to start, why bother forcing the end user to (flip) desktop (flip) Start Screen (flip) desktop (flip) Start Screen??

The term is "keep it simple, stupid" for a reason... a desktop and start menu keeps it simple, keeps companies happy (come on, you think they're going to drop all of their hardware investment for touchscreens?) and keeps Microsoft happy with the revenue stream continuing.

There won't be Windows 9, I would put 1.000$ on that. It will be Windows 8.2, will be free for Windows 8.1 users and probably will give subscription option for new users. If Microsoft goes for new OS all have to pay again it will be fatal blow for them, they won't do it.

What is wrong with having two compatible OSs? One for tablets and touch-centric devices and one for non touch-centric devices; provided both can easily share data with each other. Or, one OS with two UIs with the user selecting the UI for their device.

Maybe, just maybe, Microsoft has seen the error of ignoring a huge portion of their user base. We'll just have to wait and see just how "device sensible" Threshold (Windows-9?) will be when finally released. Is there a semblance of a user-selectable UI? Ignoring the desktop and full-size laptop segment of the marketplace was such a poor decision.

if the store is "disabled" the future of windows will be disabled with it. because that is the one thing which developers need: a store for windows that is 1 touch/click deploy for everything with 1.5 billion customers (at least potential).

if people disable it, no developers will bother making apps for it, and windows will just die off like a legacy OS for win32 apps nobody wants.

as a reference, there have been no win32 apps from any major company since itunes and chrome, while on the modern UI side, the ecosystem is thriving.

MSFT should call metro "material" then all the google fanboys would love it.

If you read the article you'd see that basically the start menu will be selected as default instead of the start screen. Modern apps will still work and run in a window (which really should have been possible from day 0).

From article:
"By having full control of Modern apps from the desktop with other enhancements brought with Windows 8.1 Update 1, the modern environment is no longer needed for desktop users and is shut off."
That's great news. I thinks this is mostly this separation between "modern" & "regular" side that drive people crazy. By allowing a more "seamless" integration between "modern" & "regular", I think the hybrid Os solution would win more legitimacy.

mrp04 said,
Finally!

I personally don't care, but people who just troll every Windows post can finally shut up!

Trolls? Do you mean, customers that have common sense?.

Im still remember when MS launched the first beta of Windows for the betatester, the first beta had a start menu. Then later, they decided to remove the move and most betatester (several, loyal to microsoft) complained. However, MS didn't hear it and continued with it.

Excluding some astroturfer and others "Yes-Man", most people know what will happen with Windows 8, it is not a surprise.

Brony said,

Trolls? Do you mean, customers that have common sense?.

Im still remember when MS launched the first beta of Windows for the betatester, the first beta had a start menu. Then later, they decided to remove the move and most betatester (several, loyal to microsoft) complained. However, MS didn't hear it and continued with it.

Excluding some astroturfer and others "Yes-Man", most people know what will happen with Windows 8, it is not a surprise.

Yes, trolls. It takes 2 minutes to install a start menu replacement if they can't learn the start screen. Trolls.

mrp04 said,

Yes, trolls. It takes 2 minutes to install a start menu replacement if they can't learn the start screen. Trolls.


Similis ###### similibus... You should send your resume' to Sinofsky. I see a lot similarities in the mindset.

Oh this is truly ridiculous. Enabling and disabling and enabling and disabling... just put in the damn setup wizard DO YOU WANT MODERN? Or start asking every single user what they want from Windows.

For me... Yes I want Modern. I like the 'two environments' feel. I have the desktop for serious stuff and then Modern for lighthearted social/media stuff. I want Modern and I want a Windows 7 Desktop with Start. I want it in one OS. Microsoft keeps promising me this and then taking it away.

Personally I always found the notion of having two sets of environments that work vastly different from one another within the same OS. Even worse the desktop and Metro integrate poorly.

DConnell said,
I just want a UI that wasn't designed during the Clinton Administration.

Based off UI's developed from the Regan Administration.

So I'm going to have disable another round of "fixes" for "desktop users"? I use a big stationary computer, but I'm not married to the desktop UI.

Hey Microsoft, we need a "Retain existing settings" button for upgrades! If someone has taken the effort to disable the desktop-UI centric defaults in 8.1.1, we shouldn't have to do it all over again.

Now THAT would be a better idea. If Microsoft is hell-bent on shoving legacy behavior back on us, at least have the update look at our current configuration and allow us to keep those as the default. I spent two hours hitting all of our computers to disable the crap Update 1 did to us.

Looks pretty sexy.

What I wouldn't mind seeing is a wholesale change on desktop dialog windows away from the traditional "3d" buttons etc we have seen since 95, and more on the "flat" design UX. That would be a refreshing change to the ecosystem, but not actually hinder desktop use.

That's just stupid. I AM a keyboard and mouse user. All of my machines are running 8.1 Update 1. I absolutely REFUSE to have anything on my desktop. If it happens to RUN on the desktop, so be it, but I start everything either from the Start screen or I type it in from the Start screen. If Microsoft sets up Threshold to disable the Metro UI just because I have a keyboard and mouse I am going to be PI$$ED.

Robert Wade said,
That's just stupid. I AM a keyboard and mouse user. All of my machines are running 8.1 Update 1. I absolutely REFUSE to have anything on my desktop. If it happens to RUN on the desktop, so be it, but I start everything either from the Start screen or I type it in from the Start screen. If Microsoft sets up Threshold to disable the Metro UI just because I have a keyboard and mouse I am going to be PI$$ED.

Read the article before you start ranting. Anyone will be able to enable all the features of the new ModernUI on a PC. So, you have a PC but you don't run any desktop-based apps? Or by saying you refuse to have anything on your Desktop, you're referring to shortcuts to programs? That's cool; I do the same. Of course, making such a statement like "absolutely REFUSE" for something so innocuous sounds a little over the top. You could just say "I don't have anything on my desktop."

Frankly, based on what Microsoft has done thus far (with 8.1 and Update 1), I think they're going to get most things right in the Threshold update. All I hope is that they finally update the system icons to something that looks more natural with the new interface design. The Computer and Recycle Bin and Control Panel icons from Vista really need to be replaced.

I mean there is nothing on my desktop. If you switch to my desktop all you see is the system tray and start button. Nothing else. Again, if it runs on the desktop, that's the only time I use the desktop. I always opt for Metro apps over legacy programs if a Metro version is available. I've been dissatisfied with some of the changes Update 1 brought because I cannot disable them (title bar on Metro apps, right-click acting like the desktop). And, yes, I understand that I will be able to turn back on the Metro UI. It pi$$es me off that the default will that it's disabled just because I don't have a touch screen. I disabled EVERY change that Update 1 brought that I could when I first loaded it. I was angry that upon first boot I was presented with the desktop, all because I have machines without touch screens.

So, no shortcuts even in your taskbar either? Oh, okay. The thing is, you are a ultra ultra small minority. So don't get too overly upset about these changes. Most people have some shortcuts on their taskbar. I really don't understand what it is you're "rebelling" against by running no legacy apps (as you call them; I wouldn't really call Word 2013 as a 'legacy app', but anyway...) unless you absolutely have to or putting even some shortcuts on your taskbar. Are you really this upset that legacy apps still exist? Frankly, any change that enables me to use the functionality I used to have with my mouse and keyboard on my non-touch screen PC I would welcome.

testman said,
Read the article again - no one is disabling anything.

All this 'Strawman outrage' is quite tedious, isn't it? Can't we leave the feedback until the Preview stage?

I've been saying for the longest time the average users who have both heard of or used windows 8 is that of dislike. I found few who liked it. Most just wanted to go back the way it use to be. Quite a few people here said I was wrong and everyone loves windows 8

Well I think this decision from Microsoft proves it not as many people like Windows 8 as they might think.

warwagon said,
I've been saying for the longest time the average users who have both heard of or used windows 8 is that of dislike. I found few who liked it. Most just wanted to go back the way it use to be. Quite a few people here said I was wrong and everyone loves windows 8

Well I think this decision from Microsoft proves it not as many people like Windows 8 as they might think.

Be more specific, they don't like the start screen. I have yet to run into users that have disliked the desktop side of Windows 8. I have had plenty of users that disliked the modern start screen as you have though. Thankfully, 8.1 made my job easier. With a few settings changed, I can usually make the situation work well for a user with issues.

Also, you mention that those users just want things to go back to the way they were. Well if that is true, it sounds like they are not going to like Windows 9. MS may be disabling parts of the modern UI when using it on a desktop, but they are not bringing back the old start menu. They are working on something new that combines the 'style' of an old start menu with new functionality introduced with 8.

Plus, this article hints that the desktop is getting substantial visual changes from 8, which basically retained the visual look of 7, so it'll be interesting to see if that sort of thing is embraced or rejected.

MS has already included device specific features with 8.1 Update 1, so if they do the same for the start screen, it will nto shock me at all. It only makes sense they have had more time to evaluate usage of Windows 8 and work to mature the APIs on the modern side, they would now work to tailor the experience depending on the device. MS clearly did not have the time to make all of this happen back when Win 8 launched. It was unfortunate, but at least they have weathered the storm and are getting past the rough 1.0 stage for their new platform. Modern is here to stay, its just getting better with changes we know about so far.

"In some builds of Threshold, the Modern UI is disabled by default."

I had tears of joy in my eyes after reading this line. I may be sitting in front of a proper PC again if this vision becomes reality.

For the snapping changes, I'd like to be able to put more apps below each other into a "sidebar", like my new emails, latest skype messages, rss alerts, etc, sort of like Google Desktop was a while back, but with the simple interface of the modern apps, they would be perfect in the corner of my 2nd monitor.

Edited by fLk, Jun 30 2014, 2:39pm :

fLk said,
"In some builds of Threshold, the Modern UI is disabled by default."

I had tears of joy in my eyes after reading this line. I may be sitting in front of a proper PC again if this vision becomes reality.

For the snapping changes, I'd like to be able to put more apps below each other into a "sidebar", like my new emails, latest skype messages, rss alerts, etc, sort of like Google Desktop was a while back, but with the simple interface of the modern apps, they would be perfect in the corner of my 2nd monitor.

seriously? Tears of joy???? The only big difference between Win7 and Win8 is the start screen. All other stuff is still there. Jeez....

I would have liked to see Windows 8 with this, Windows 9 having an option for it, with windows 10 removing it all together.

Not that there is a ton of effort even still, but by allowing this is the OS's moving forward it will really hamper any development work for the unified interface, can hope that won't be the case but it probably will push that back quite a bit.

Thank you!

I don't mind Metro, but in the best of worlds, you'd get that experience when you choose.

It's really a great idea to have a unified development platform for those who WISH to target both platforms at once. NO problem with that. There's just a problem when Microsoft tries to grab the steering wheel and drive their users onto roads of their choices.

Ironically, I think Microsoft's push towards Metro may have caused the opposite effect and less of a push may help make that platform and its apps mature at the pace it needs.

I like modern ui it's the integration that is an absolute mess... it's like a separate OS on top of Windows, the '2 versions of everything' they got going on annoys the life out of me..

goodbytes said,
I like modern ui it's the integration that is an absolute mess... it's like a separate OS on top of Windows, the '2 versions of everything' they got going on annoys the life out of me..

Yup, I really want modern apps to take off (they're so freakin' easy to write), and getting them windowed will be the biggest step to breaking people away from the impression that they're "different" from other desktop apps.

It might also get Hulu to f**king stop this horsecrap where I can't watch content because somehow Hulu metro is distinct from Hulu Desktop.

/I'll beat that dead horse till the end of time
//Hulu's business decisions make about as much sense as slamming a revolving door

YES! This is what I want. Using Metro apps in windowed mode - to preserve productivity of the desktop apps. The Metro apps are great - easy installation and un-installation (no registry access), touch friendly, and they do away with the malware problems, toolbar installations (unwanted), ought such problems. Microsoft just needs to expand the Win RT APIs, so that we can have powerful productivity software as Store apps and then we can say good bye to Win32 apps for most purposes. If apps like Auto CAD, Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite (full), feature-full browsers make it to the Windows Store, most users can leave Win32 apps.

i saw this coming when the first builds of windows 8 appeared - to this day windows 8 is still like a beta client for guinea pigs to use

microsoft saw their mistake and started fixing it by adding the start menu back and the option to disable the start screen from appearing after log-in

i like some metro apps, like Asphalt 8 Airborne, it really plays great with a keyboard
but the start menu works a lot better than the start screen, which takes so long to search for something, and the separate categories of search results make it even slower

windows 7 had it best, except for the indexing service and all that other shenanigans which still dont display all the search results and it takes so long to search even with indexing on

its great how fast windows 8.1 boots, but the solid colors, like on the log-in screen are really out of place, especially if you view them on a resolution bigger than 800x600

one of these wallpapers will suit perfect as a future log-in wallpaper:

http://www.bluewallpapers.net/...20x1200/baby-blue-solid.jpg
http://f0.bcbits.com/z/30/04/3004071851-1.jpg


i have made my windows 7 log-in screen to look like the first wallpaper, but a more azure blue with more expressed gradient in the middle and top (thats because im using the classic theme and i prefer windows 7 over 8 because i wanna use it on purpose, and its missing from windows 8)

im really looking forward to what Windows Threshold is going to look like, as well as the core/kernel changes that are about to happen

Yeah, also damn you Microsoft for doing your big official future Windows reveal as a single illustration in a Neowin discussion article. When will they ever learn, huh?

It just shows how Apple has been on the right track all along.

1. Develop a mobile OS optimised for ARM and touch input based on OS X;
2. Make sure people are familiarised with its concepts;
3. Start introducing iOS concepts to OS X where it makes sense to lesser the gap between both systems;
4. Do this in an incremental manner to prevent alienating their user base instead of dropping a bombshell.

That is what it should have been from the beginning.
I like the idea and I am looking forward to it.
This might very well become my next OS on my desktops and laptops.

Mugwump00 said,
Windowed Modern apps would seem to be the main event, over/above deprecation of the Start Menu, IMO.

It is, that and opening up the APIs to more features etc, setting the stage for more feature rich modern apps.

I meant deprecating the Start Screen - I am a fool! Fully-featured Modern apps would seem to be the glorious future - building or accessing a new PC and having all your apps ready to stream-install on first click.

MS is screwing it again. Modern UI *IS FINE* however it is inferior to "Desktop" (aka real Windows). But how MS sold it: "or pick modern ui or pick desktop" is wrong, ModernMix show that is possible to coexist between Desktop and Modern UI.

Also, i hope that MS stop the XAML nonsense.

Do you even know what you're talking about?

It's all OPTIONS - the default will be dependant on device (and obviously can be changed). That's it - in fact the only new thing(s) will be the Start Menu and the Modern UI apps in a window, which may or may not be enabled depending on device... by default.

Brony said,
MS is screwing it again. Modern UI *IS FINE* however it is inferior to "Desktop" (aka real Windows)

It's only inferior in contexts it wasn't designed for. That's the Windows 8 problem right there: it tries to push both environments always. It's a Windows problem though, not a Metro problem. I'd MUCH rather choose Metro apps than desktop counterparts if I were sitting in front of a tablet. I've played for hours with Windows desktop on a touch display and let me tell you that gouging your eyes out with a fork is less painful.

testman said,
Do you even know what you're talking about?

It's all OPTIONS - the default will be dependant on device (and obviously can be changed). That's it - in fact the only new thing(s) will be the Start Menu and the Modern UI apps in a window, which may or may not be enabled depending on device... by default.

Microsoft with Windows 8 : If you want to eat the dessert (desktop) then first, you must eat your spinach (metro).
Microsoft with Windows 9 : Ok, pick what you want to eat first.

i.e. Modern UI is gone


Northgrove said,

It's only inferior in contexts it wasn't designed for. That's the Windows 8 problem right there: it tries to push both environments always. It's a Windows problem though, not a Metro problem. I'd MUCH rather choose Metro apps than desktop counterparts if I were sitting in front of a tablet. I've played for hours with Windows desktop on a touch display and let me tell you that gouging your eyes out with a fork is less painful.

That's the reason why i choose Android Tablet and a Windows Notebook.

Boot to desktop mode. Problem solved. No need to disable modern UI. Choice is good, but knowledge is better.

Zlain said,
Boot to desktop mode. Problem solved. No need to disable modern UI. Choice is good, but knowledge is better.
If only it were so easy and so obvious that any user regardless of age or experience could control this. Perhaps there should be a 'on-off switch' on the Start screen.

Zlain said,
Boot to desktop mode. Problem solved. No need to disable modern UI. Choice is good, but knowledge is better.

I think what they just mean by "disabling modern UI" is going from the start screen to the new start menu. I don't know if the new slide out menus are going anywhere, I do expect charms to be part of the new menu though and not a bar if you have the menu as the option.

I hope the Windows "Threshold"/9 release comes with a new look on the desktop. I look at OS "ex" Yosemite and I think it looks nice. It looks modern. But the desktop in Windows 8 looks old.

New icons, windows, buttons, drop shadows, transparencies. Eye candy. Make the Windows desktop environment look modern. Fast and fluid.

I agree with the need for a revamp, but would prefer a more 'Metrofied' desktop. I seriously believe they should let the Office-team dictate the visuals, they've always embraced the latest UI styles better than the Windows team, Office 2013 forex.

A340600 said,
I hope the Windows "Threshold"/9 release comes with a new look on the desktop. I look at OS "ex" Yosemite and I think it looks nice. It looks modern. But the desktop in Windows 8 looks old.

New icons, windows, buttons, drop shadows, transparencies. Eye candy. Make the Windows desktop environment look modern. Fast and fluid.

The post above does say that the desktop looks different enough that you know it's not Windows 8.x and that it's Threshold etc. That pretty much says to me that they've done enough to change it finally.

I like how Metro looks, so a "Metrofied" look to the desktop would be cool. Love the drawings (whatever they're called) that Office 2013 has.

As stated above, choice is important. The user will have the final say, and Windows 8 feedback hasn't been as good as Windows 7's. Allow those who like Metro to enable it - simple as that. Yes, I've used various Windows 8 machines over the years but very rarely have I had the need to run Metro apps, or even access the Start screen once apps have been pinned to the taskbar.

I'm also expecting to see a whole lot of Mac OS X Yosemite features (copied) in Windows Threshold.

Edited by 68k, Jun 30 2014, 1:41pm :

Hopefully snaps will divide the desktop into squares(configurable as to how many).

We know what they did and why they did. One of the designs of modern apps is to save on battery life/processor usage by effectively pausing them when they aren't in the forefront. This allowed Windows 8 to far surpass Windows 7 battery life and give your current task the maximum amount of system resources. For a tablet, this is kind of a must.

For desktop users, it's unnecessary and the lack of windows having windows severely dropped down productivity. I use apps all the time on my Venue Pro 8, but besides Music and Video, almost never use an app on any of my desktops. They are basically seeing other users like me through their usage metrics they receive and are adjusting Windows accordingly so it can be best for all cases.

Which, like other people have said, should have been the way to go from the start.. Chances are, someone decided that no one would use a modern app unless it was forced into their face, so that's how we ended up with Windows 8.

FINALLY! This is what they should have done from the beginning itself instead of forcing the Modern UI.

At least Microsoft is learning, not sticking arrogantly to "Our way, or the highway" philosophy. ;)

What drives me nuts is the lack of recently used programs/applications. Also, finding newly installed programs is a pain.

synapse46 said,
What drives me nuts is the lack of recently used programs/applications. Also, finding newly installed programs is a pain.

That's one of the reason why I use classic Shell. It also brings "recent files" (associate with the program).


majortom1981 said,
ON the modern ui it shows it with a blue new next to it.

Yeah, but there's no option to "float" these to the top or anything, which makes it cumbersome if you have a lot of programs and apps installed...

Chsoriano said,

Yeah, but there's no option to "float" these to the top or anything, which makes it cumbersome if you have a lot of programs and apps installed...

You could order the all apps menu by date installed or most used. It gives you the same effect depending on what you want.

synapse46 said,
What drives me nuts is the lack of recently used programs/applications. Also, finding newly installed programs is a pain.

The All Apps menu is sortable by most used and by newly installed.

Use Classic Shell. It has the option of Recently used programs or Most used (Frequently) used programs. And newly installed programs are highlighted in a bright color (or a color of your choice if you can edit the skin).

George P said,

You could order the all apps menu by date installed or most used. It gives you the same effect depending on what you want.


Plus, you can change the start screen behavior so that when you hit the start button, it takes you to the 'all apps' section automatically. So if you set it to show recently used or added apps first, your all set. I have mine set to show most frequently used first.

Heck, you can even set that list to show desktop apps first.

Its surprisingly flexible now, but many people are unaware of that.

synapse46 said,
What drives me nuts is the lack of recently used programs/applications. Also, finding newly installed programs is a pain.

How so? You can reorganize the applist in Windows 8 by recently used or recently installed. It's much easier than Windows 7. Again I must repeat what I've said plenty of times before, those that dont like Windows 8 never bothered to try it. Best Windows ever!

Chsoriano said,

Yeah, but there's no option to "float" these to the top or anything, which makes it cumbersome if you have a lot of programs and apps installed...

Yes there is...

synapse46 said,
What drives me nuts is the lack of recently used programs/applications. Also, finding newly installed programs is a pain.

maybe they could add a small sidebar of the width of one or two tiles to the left edge in the start menu ("metro" UI) and have the most resents listed there.
I never had problems finding new programs with the new tags on them. But then again you might have a lot more programs than I did.

Ronnet said,

Yes there is...


Oh wow I didn't realize that, I always thought there was just installed date. Haha, my bad. I've changed my way of working so that I never go to the all apps screen anyway so I guess that's why

This is what it should have been. Desktop for PC's, modern for mobile, and an option to enable/disable as you see fit. Everybody wins.

Max Norris said,
This is what it should have been. Desktop for PC's, modern for mobile, and an option to enable/disable as you see fit. Everybody wins.

It could have been but then the matter of the store and store apps comes into play. If they could just turn it off and not bother with the store then why have the store anyways? In a sense, by forcing it on you early they managed to push the idea of the store. Now with updates, windowed store apps, universal apps and all the new APIs and stuff it'll only be better.

Max Norris said,
This is what it should have been. Desktop for PC's, modern for mobile, and an option to enable/disable as you see fit. Everybody wins.

If they had done that there would be almost no modern apps in the store since no one would but tablet users would have even been aware of it. Development would have been similar to the Widgets of Vista or the Active Desktop of Windows 95. Both of which were dropped in later versions of the OS.

George P said,
If they could just turn it off and not bother with the store then why have the store anyways?

I'm thinking that "hybrid" menu we've seen earlier -- for me anyways, there are a few store apps I use and like, never mind a couple I put together for my own use, it's just the execution that fell through. Plus if you have a mobile device and a desktop there's a much more compelling reason to enable it.. but no matter how much they try some people just won't like having something different crammed down their throat.. better to placate than lose out on that sale entirely.

Max Norris said,

I'm thinking that "hybrid" menu we've seen earlier -- for me anyways, there are a few store apps I use and like, never mind a couple I put together for my own use, it's just the execution that fell through. Plus if you have a mobile device and a desktop there's a much more compelling reason to enable it.. but no matter how much they try some people just won't like having something different crammed down their throat.. better to placate than lose out on that sale entirely.

There's a few key factors to take into account in this, the Store and the API WinRT were both v1s at the time, only now are they adding in more and more abilities and once they can be windowed then that opens up the store and modern apps to a bigger market than originally but the key is that they weren't ready to do that. What good would it have been if only the apps were "full screen and touch first" while the rest of the OS is kb+mouse friendly first?

I'm not saying it was the right move but I do understand the reasoning behind it, besides the best option with modern apps would be for them to be universal and in doing so have a dynamic UI that can take advantage of touch first or kb+mouse first depending on the device they're running on. Nothing in the modern app world stops developers from doing that.

I think it'd also be a smart move for MS to expand the abilities of the store to cover and support legacy desktop apps and games, right now you can post them up, with external links to your own website, but MS doesn't host them on the stores servers. I think they should change this, for a small fee just host them and let them be serviceable like modern apps, maybe by having developers repackage them into .appx if possible or something else.

George P said,
I think it'd also be a smart move for MS to expand the abilities of the store to cover and support legacy desktop apps and games, right now you can post them up, with external links to your own website, but MS doesn't host them on the stores servers. I think they should change this, for a small fee just host them and let them be serviceable like modern apps, maybe by having developers repackage them into .appx if possible or something else.

That I wouldn't mind seeing, especially if it takes care of dependencies and such too like the various versions of the C++ or dotNET runtimes and whatnot, as long as it's an optional thing. (That is, no walled garden nonsense.) Obviously can't cover everything due to commercial software, licenses, etc and just the sheer number of Windows programs available that would be impossible, but for the more popular stuff that would be a nice addition.

Max Norris said,
This is what it should have been. Desktop for PC's, modern for mobile, and an option to enable/disable as you see fit. Everybody wins.

I don't have a "desktop" machine. I have a tower/media server which boots to the Screen and runs a mix of Modern and traditional software. I have a laptop, currently set up as a media center in the living room, which boots to desktop only because it starts XBMC on startup. The desktop is only a jumping point to the media center software and I still have access to Modern if I want to use the laptop regularly.

And I haven't had a computer live on my desk since the early 90s.

I use the desktop and tradtional programs, but it's just a feature of Windows to me these days, not the be-all and end-all of UI design.

I don't, and will never, understand the absolute insistence that stationary computers _must_ have the desktop UI as their primary interface.

And if upgrading to Threshold overwrites my settings for a blended use with desktop-centric, I'll be very annoyed. And if I can't undo those changes, I'll be downgrading back to 8.x. The Modern titlebar is bad enough.

DConnell said,
I don't, and will never, understand the absolute insistence that stationary computers _must_ have the desktop UI as their primary interface.

Which is exactly why I said what I did. It's just a default option that'll probably appeal to most users.. and people such as yourself who prefer the modern version can toggle it and go on with your life. No drama, no third party tweaks, and nothing is lost or removed... it's just a default setting. Everybody's happy.

If you are on a tablet, the Modern UI is still present and takes precedence over the classic desktop but on traditional PCs, the Modern UI is no longer utilized by default. This is where some of the confusion comes in that we had been hearing about a ‘decentralized' use of the Modern UI but this is device-specific; for tablet and hybrid device users, the touch-focused UI is still a focal point. The biggest changes are in store for users of desktop-class systems.

Good. Those who want to use the new UI can, while those who dont can disable it. Should have been done to begin with.

No they are not, the startmenu finaly got a major revamp, as it realy needed. This would be the first time since Windows 95 that the startmenu got updated, and no, the second column in Windows XP is not an revamp.

Studio384 said,
No they are not, the startmenu finaly got a major revamp, as it realy needed. This would be the first time since Windows 95 that the startmenu got updated
WRONG. It was updated in Vista.

testman said,
WRONG. It was updated in Vista.

I was about to say, the Vista/7 Start Menu was a major improvement over the XP one. To the point where the other day I opened an XP VM, hit start and absentmindedly started typing. It took me a second to figure out why it wasn't working.

Jump lists and search. And search is even easier in 8.x. Otherwise, every version of the Start Menu was a fresh application of lipstick on the same crippled pig.

This! search made everything better.
It relieved me of the responsibility to remember the location of everything i use.
I was no longer required to navigate through the start menu to launch a program that i know the name of.
just type the name, hit enter.

the same works really well with folders and files. sadly, finding folders and files through start search was severely crippled in win8.

in win 7, i type the name of a folder, select it, enter, i'm there.

in win 8, i type the name of a folder, and some 'related files' appear. i have to go to a full screen search interface, right click one of the files that are in the folder, and select "open location"

search is good. if it's done right. it's done right in win 7. it's not done right in win 8.

also, if i'd just have one wish, i'd wish for universal in-program menu serach like we have in ubuntu and mac osx.

Kushan said,
I was about to say, the Vista/7 Start Menu was a major improvement over the XP one.
I disagree. It was at best a side-step, as confining All Programs to a tiny portion of the screen impeded usability and was one of the reasons Microsoft had to introduce the superbar in Windows 7.

The Start Menu was a usability nightmare for a long time. The Start Screen improved things in some ways but again made things worse in others. The Mini Start Menu looks to be a decent compromise.

Jazoray said,
This! search made everything better.
search is good. if it's done right. it's done right in win 7. it's not done right in win 8.

also, if i'd just have one wish, i'd wish for universal in-program menu serach like we have in ubuntu and mac osx.

I like the Mac OS X spotlight search, but maybe prefer the linux (ubuntu and fedora are the ones I have experience with) search. Windows really needs something like that, but what I want even more is workspaces (or spaces, like they're named in Mac OS X). What is stopping me from moving completely to linux without missing windows is the lack of support for games.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I disagree. It was at best a side-step, as confining All Programs to a tiny portion of the screen impeded usability and was one of the reasons Microsoft had to introduce the superbar in Windows 7.
Nope. It was a usability nightmare having multiple panes of Start menu items, all in tiny font with tiny icons across the screen. Vista's new Start menu was far far far better.

testman said,
Nope. It was a usability nightmare having multiple panes of Start menu items, all in tiny font with tiny icons across the screen. Vista's new Start menu was far far far better.
Confining the Start Menu to a width of just 250 pixels significantly impacted usability, which was especially noticeable on higher resolution monitors. Nested folders were a nightmare, as the names were truncated and the branched nature reduced the available width.

The Start Screen has usability issues of its own but it at least takes advantage of high resolution displays and has substantial customisation options. It is certainly preferable to the Start Menu but the new Mini Start Menu looks like a nice balance between the two. What is clear is that the Vista/7 era Start Menu is not fit for purpose.

badb0y said,
Please, Don't Bring Back "Start Menu".
More like 'don't bring back a Start menu based on Windows Phone's home screen'.

For me it depends.. if it's anything like that prototype "hybrid" menu we saw earlier, a mix of the traditional menu (complete with jumplists, etc) plus pinning live tiles to the side, that would be the perfect setup. The full screen is appropriate on a mobile device, not so much on a desktop, never mind the lost features. Again with the option to set it as you see fit so nobody has a reason to whine.

badb0y said,
Please, Don't Bring Back "Start Menu".

As long as it can be disabled. If Microsoft force a useless start menu back on us, I'll be seriously considering going Apple.


I didn't click all programs once the entire time I had windows 7, why would you with smart search. And yes I allowed Microsoft to collect anonymous usage statistics, so Windows 8 was my idea. Suck it :p

68k said,
More like 'don't bring back a Start menu based on Windows Phone's home screen'.

You'd rather have the DOSShell-inspired one we had for 17 years?

PotatoAlchemist said,
Let's not skip backwards that much. First thing Progman.exe, THEN the DOS Shell. :p

I'd prefer Progman over the menu, actually.

DConnell said,

I'd prefer Progman over the menu, actually.

It's a bit closer to the Start Screen, at least interface and functionality wise, than what the Start Menu offers.

PotatoAlchemist said,

It's a bit closer to the Start Screen, at least interface and functionality wise, than what the Start Menu offers.


Have you watch what was showed at Build? Much more sophisticated than the previous Start menu....

badb0y said,
Please, Don't Bring Back "Start Menu".

Please bring back the Start Menu and remove the squares.
There i fixed it for you.

Sicarius123 said,

As long as it can be disabled. If Microsoft force a useless start menu back on us, I'll be seriously considering going Apple.


That's like saying, I don't like the handbars on my push bike anymore so I'm going to buy a a Harley Davidson.

God dammit. I'm not upgrading of this is true. ###### that. We used to be able to have nice things, but I see that isn't the case anymore.

Dot Matrix said,
God dammit. I'm not upgrading of this is true. ###### that. We used to be able to have nice things, but I see that isn't the case anymore.
Are you weird? If you want the Modern UI on desktop you can STILL have it. If you don't you can disable. Really simple.

^

Yup, that is what I gathered by the OP.

And if you never update, then you eventually will not be supported anymore and not get any more security updates.

Use it if you want, don't use it if you want, that's how it should have always been. Forcing either camp in a direction they don't want to go in doesn't benefit anyone.

Dot, I normally agree with many things you post and defend you where appropriate, but alas I do not agree with you on this post. All your modern apps will continue to be available from the desktop, and you can re-enable the modern UI with the flip of a switch. Don't see the issue here.

(p.s. I'm one of those who DOES like the new interface, though I understand why others miss their desktop.)

Dot Matrix said,
God dammit. I'm not upgrading of this is true. ###### that. We used to be able to have nice things, but I see that isn't the case anymore.
Did you start using Windows with version 8?

Dot Matrix said,
God dammit. I'm not upgrading of this is true. ###### that. We used to be able to have nice things, but I see that isn't the case anymore.

you can stay on your precious windows 8 and not update, but you will lessen your security and functionality.
don't forget MS knows what is best for us.. heheh

Dot Matrix said,
God dammit. I'm not upgrading of this is true. ###### that. We used to be able to have nice things, but I see that isn't the case anymore.

You have a choice on how to use your PC, surely that is the best thing for everyone involved?

No matter which side you are on the PC you own can be used how you desire...

How about a "Retain existing settings" option for upgrades from 8.1.1? That way people who have things set up desktop-centric will stay that way, and those who use a mix won't have to re-enable stuff.

Not everyone who uses a stationary computer prefers the desktop UI. I'm a tower system user, not a "desktop user".

DConnell said,
How about a "Retain existing settings" option for upgrades from 8.1.1? That way people who have things set up desktop-centric will stay that way, and those who use a mix won't have to re-enable stuff.

Not everyone who uses a stationary computer prefers the desktop UI. I'm a tower system user, not a "desktop user".

Obviously it'll retain settings, just like every previous update.

Then why did I have to disable "Boot to desktop" on every machine in the house? Even my Surface RT, since I had the keyboard cover attached . . .

virtorio said,
Use it if you want, don't use it if you want, that's how it should have always been. Forcing either camp in a direction they don't want to go in doesn't benefit anyone.

Sorry, but no one was ever forced to use either or. All a user had to do was use his\her brain to switch between desktop and modern UI. But all we were hearing from were the people who decided not to use their brains and thought they should whine about it instead.

DConnell said,

Not everyone who uses a stationary computer prefers the desktop UI.

But many people do. Here's why:

Windows looked and acted a certain way for 20 years. People's programs looked and acted a certain way too.

Then 2 years ago... it changed. And people freaked out.

Maybe when the ModernUI has been around for 20 years it will become comfortable to the masses.

That's the problem Microsoft has... it has software that a BILLION people have to use.

We know you love ModernUI and think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. However... that sentiment was not shared universally.

I know, I know... we're living in the dark ages with antiquated interfaces.

Well... Microsoft has to keep some order.

That's what happens when you get lazy with UI design. And then stick with the half-baked UI for 20 years.

But you're right - this one design was kept for so long (too long) that a lot of people have known nothing else, and have the idea that this is how it's "supposed to be".

But the thing is, Windows looks different, but doesn't act all that different, especially if your focus is on the traditional desktop. And traditional programs don't act differently at all.

The Screen takes the Menu concept and makes it as logical and as easy to customize as Program Manager was. For the first time in 20 years, launching a program is no longer an exercise in masochism!

Frankly, the change from Program Manager to the Menu was far more jarring IMO. And an undeniable downgrade.

Why do I not want the Start Screen to go away? Because after those twenty years, we finally have a design that works as well as what we had back in Windows 3.x.

DConnell said,
Frankly, the change from Program Manager to the Menu was far more jarring IMO.

Jarring... maybe.

But the number of people who witnessed the transition from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 was nothing compared of the number of people in the Windows 7 to Windows 8 transition. There was A LOT more at stake this time around.

Maybe Microsoft waited "too long" to make a new UI (even though I never once thought to myself "this isn't working" with regards to Win95 thru Win7)

But like I said... Microsoft has to maintain order in their ecosystem. If you do too much too fast... people react... violently if necessary. (Jurassic Park reference)

Michael Scrip said,

Maybe Microsoft waited "too long" to make a new UI (even though I never once thought to myself "this isn't working" with regards to Win95 thru Win7)

Whereas I never thought it did work. Actually, the language that generally ran through my head when I used the Menu would get me banned.

Incremental changes might have gone over better and gotten MS more where it needs to go, I agree. But changes are needed and long overdue. Microsoft spent too many years just freshening up the lipstick on the pig.

Edited by DConnell, Jun 30 2014, 6:55pm :

Dot, since the desktop is dead for you, nothing will change from your perspective. It's a non-issue for you. It's a win-win. Everyone gets the experience they prefer/want.

Dot Matrix said,
God dammit. I'm not upgrading of this is true. ###### that. We used to be able to have nice things, but I see that isn't the case anymore.

Honestly I do not see the problem; the ability to "tailor" Windows to look and act the way a user prefers is, and should have been since the beginning, the right solution. It is clearly stated that people will be able to modify the default behaviour as they like therefore you will be able to set it as you like..... something that the original release of W8 lacked.

Gergel7077 said,

Sorry, but no one was ever forced to use either or. All a user had to do was use his\her brain to switch between desktop and modern UI. But all we were hearing from were the people who decided not to use their brains and thought they should whine about it instead.

And why switching back and forth would be a better solution than just set the OS the way each user like?....

DConnell said,

Whereas I never thought it did work. Actually, the language that generally ran through my head when I used the Menu would get me banned.

Incremental changes might have gone over better and gotten MS more where it needs to go, I agree. But changes are needed and long overdue. Microsoft spent too many years just freshening up the lipstick on the pig.


The real big issue is a psychological one: forcing users to change their habits, well at least Windows users, will encounter much more resistance than offering the option and let people get used to such changes in their terms.

MorganX said,
Dot, since the desktop is dead for you, nothing will change from your perspective. It's a non-issue for you. It's a win-win. Everyone gets the experience they prefer/want.


Yeah, Brad had this article worded in such a way that Metro was going away all together, which set me off. Windows needs the Store and Universal apps if it is to survive. Eliminating Metro from the desktop would be a grave mistake. Even if it's just the Metro Start Menu, and windowed Metro apps, that's better than reverting completely, and leaving the desktop to rot without access to these new technologies.

DConnell said,

Whereas I never thought it did work. Actually, the language that generally ran through my head when I used the Menu would get me banned.

So if I'm hearing you correctly:

Windows 3.0 Program Manager = Good
Win95 - Windows 7 Start Menu = Bad
ModernUI Metro Start Screen = Good

??

I've used Windows from the 3.0 days all the way up to Windows 7 today. But I never though Microsoft was doing it wrong. It never even occurred to me.

Maybe you could shed more light on the issue. What could Microsoft have done differently with the Windows UI from 1995 to 2012 ?

You make it sound like there was a black hole during a significant portion of Windows history.

And yet... most people on Earth are familiar and comfortable with that interface.

Better organization tools than digging deep into the folder structure of your computer. If you had more than a few programs, all messing in the folder structure that comprised the menu did was create a nice little maze.

A better layout choice than a text list - if you have a lot of programs installed and use more than a few regularly, you're stuck navigating a maze. That's why I prefer the flat layout of the screen - I can have all my commonly used programs no further than a scrollwheel roll and a click away, instead of click - click - click - click. Start Screen is the pinned programs list expanded, and is incredibly useful because of that.

Make it so programs cannot steal focus from the menu - I lost count of how many times a running program decided it needed attention "now" and blinked the textmaze out of existence just as I was about to click the program I needed. This was especially bad on startup. Each loading startup program stole focus from the Menu. (Especially bad in XP)

Most people may be familiar with the interface, but most people are also familiar with skunks. Doesn't make them stink any less. ;-)

The Menu was a huge black hole and time sink, and I don't want to ever have to use it on my personal machines again. It's bad enough I have to use it at work.

A logical tree hierarchy is the exact opposite of a maze, and was much easier to navigate than the wall of icons in the All Apps view.

virtorio said,
A logical tree hierarchy is the exact opposite of a maze, and was much easier to navigate than the wall of icons in the All Apps view.

A hierarchy is equally as messy, and easily abused by users and developers alike.

Cosmocronos said,

And why switching back and forth would be a better solution than just set the OS the way each user like?....

You already have that now in Windows 8.1. Start in the desktop or start in the Modern UI. You don't have to switch back and forth. Where is the issue?

virtorio said,
A logical tree hierarchy is the exact opposite of a maze.

And yet the All Programs menu still managed to be just that - a maze. By default, every program/suite was just dropped into its own folder, so you had to go searching for the developer's name or the program folder, then the program, and that's if there weren't any submenus under that (which there frequently were). That's not logic or organization - that's an ever-expanding clusterf**k. And Microsoft did little to help the user impose order on all this mess.

There were times it took me minutes to find the program I needed. Usually at work, with my boss impatiently standing behind me.

Give me a nice flat presentation any day. Even though some of the same "organization" still shows up in All Apps, the flat presentation means you don't have to go digging - it's still just roll the wheel, scan and click.

I don't think there's anything on any of my Win 8.x systems that it takes me more than 15 seconds to launch.

The fact is, Microsoft has addressed all of my complaints about the Start Menu - in the Screen.

Edited by DConnell, Jun 30 2014, 9:57pm :

Gergel7077 said,

You already have that now in Windows 8.1. Start in the desktop or start in the Modern UI. You don't have to switch back and forth. Where is the issue?

You are the one complaining, not me.... Even with Threshold you will B able to do it so... What is your issue?

DConnell said,

A better layout choice than a text list - if you have a lot of programs installed and use more than a few regularly, you're stuck navigating a maze.

That's why I prefer the flat layout of the screen - I can have all my commonly used programs no further than a scrollwheel roll and a click away, instead of click - click - click - click. Start Screen is the pinned programs list expanded, and is incredibly useful because of that.

Funny... I've been pinning my commonly used programs to the old Start Menu for years:

http://i.imgur.com/FA4Dz6p.gif

I, too, agree that having programs buried deep in the menu is no fun.

And that's why I solved that dilemma.

I'm sorry you had to suffer for over 15 years with Microsoft's mistake. But now you can breathe easy... ModernUI to the rescue!

Michael Scrip said,

Funny... I've been pinning my commonly used programs to the old Start Menu for years:

http://i.imgur.com/FA4Dz6p.gif

Yeah, that helped a little, but there's only so many slots.

Honestly, the best solution to the buried programs problem prior to Modern was search. And it's still handy.

Yeah, forget the Start Menu. Just give me the search field. You can keep the rest of it, Microsoft.

Metro is only going to get better and better. There is no reason to disable it if the apps will allow to be windowed. After that, and getting the sizing down, I think Metro will be liked more than the desktop, maybe by everyone. Aren't they already working on redesigning Metro to accommodate negative feedback? As long as there are principles learned from the previous iteration (Desktop), the next step (Metro) will find it's footing. Getting high-end programs to accommodate this is hopefully what Microsoft is already working on. They are probably working with Adobe on that. I hate the subscription model though.

DConnell said,

...

All perfectly valid points, but it doesn't suite everyone (like me), which it why offering a choice is the best approach.

Cosmocronos said,

You are the one complaining, not me.... Even with Threshold you will B able to do it so... What is your issue?

How am I the one complaining if I use and love Windows 8.1? My issue is that people whine and complain that they are being forced to use Modern UI in windows 8, then they whine complain that they don't have choice when they are given the choice in 8.1. People are going to constantly whine and complain about everything because it doesn't meet their individual criteria. If people want to whine and complain, fine. They should create their own OS they way they see fit and leave Windows, probably the most customizable OS, to the people that can truly appreciate it.

Edited by Gergel7077, Jul 1 2014, 1:47am :

I thought you Metro fanboys kept saying the Desktop is dead and the Start Menu is never coming back, and Modern UI is the future of MS....aren't you tired of being wrong all the time?

I've been fighting for the desktop, since this whole debacle started. But if the metro apps can be windowed and they redesign the Metro apps to at least correlate with what the desktop is, then I think "Metro" could be very useful.

Dot Matrix said,
God dammit. I'm not upgrading of this is true. ###### that. We used to be able to have nice things, but I see that isn't the case anymore.
Most users don't share your passion for Metro. In fact, most desktop users seem to dislike it. I have no interest in a simplified and restrictive alternative to the desktop and am glad that Microsoft has realised that Metro isn't suitable for desktop users.

DConnell said,

<snip>
Why do I not want the Start Screen to go away? Because after those twenty years, we finally have a design that works as well as what we had back in Windows 3.x.

We still have that. It's called a sh!tload of icons on the desktop. I can't fathom why installers put icons on the desktop anymore. It's 3.1 and it's maddening.

To me that's even worse than Menu. I hate a cluttered desktop. One or two rows of frequently-used programs is all I put on the desktop. I'm as OCD about keeping my computer tidy (according to my own specifications) as I am lax about cleaning the house.

DConnell said,
To me that's even worse than Menu. I hate a cluttered desktop. One or two rows of frequently-used programs is all I put on the desktop. I'm as OCD about keeping my computer tidy (according to my own specifications) as I am lax about cleaning the house.

Same here. A messy desktop is very unproductive. I also keep a row of system shortcuts and important folder shortcuts, and a row or two of app shortcuts. I do like having it as a temporary holding area as well. It's easy to get to from explorer dialogs. The desktop and taskbar are still infinitely more useable than the Start Page. I don't mind the Start Page, just don't have a whole lot of use for it on the desktop.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Most users don't share your passion for Metro. In fact, most desktop users seem to dislike it. I have no interest in a simplified and restrictive alternative to the desktop and am glad that Microsoft has realised that Metro isn't suitable for desktop users.

Define most users. You can't because nobody knows what most users want. You have no supporting evidence to make such a claim. Individually you can say what your opinion is. I can easily say that most users prefer the Modern UI because I like it. But then I don't have anything to support that claim either.

Gergel7077 said,

Define most users. You can't because nobody knows what most users want. You have no supporting evidence to make such a claim. Individually you can say what your opinion is. I can easily say that most users prefer the Modern UI because I like it. But then I don't have anything to support that claim either.

Uh, Microsoft has the data on what users want, and as a result we're getting these changes.

virtorio said,

Uh, Microsoft has the data on what users want, and as a result we're getting these changes.

Uh, MS is only appeasing the whiners out there. I for one am not one of those. But you still can't prove your claim about most users. Most users is your opinion, not a fact.

You're quite incorrect if you think Microsoft is making such a huge change to their original vision to appease a few vocal whiners.

virtorio said,
You're quite incorrect if you think Microsoft is making such a huge change to their original vision to appease a few vocal whiners.

Show me your proof.

Microsoft are the only ones that have the "proof" you so desire, and they're not going to share that information. The proof is in their actions. If you choose to ignore it, that's up to you.

virtorio said,
Microsoft are the only ones that have the "proof" you so desire, and they're not going to share that information. The proof is in their action. If you choose to ignore it, that's up to you.

It's not the proof I so desire, it's the proof you so desire you had, but do not. I choose to ignore unsubstantiated opinion over cold hard facts any day.

Speaking of proof (or unsubstantiated claims), where's your proof that "MS is only appeasing the whiners out there" exactly?

Dot Matrix said,
God dammit. I'm not upgrading of this is true. ###### that. We used to be able to have nice things, but I see that isn't the case anymore.

Which begs to differ, if you just get a desktop then why leave 7? No reason to leave means no one will upgrade.

8 love it or hate at least tried to do something new. Why XP and now 7 will continue to be used for years to come.

We need innovation

virtorio said,
Speaking of proof (or unsubstantiated claims), where's your proof that "MS is only appeasing the whiners out there" exactly?

I never made a claim that you did. But here is what I did say...
" I can easily say that most users prefer the Modern UI because I like it. But then I don't have anything to support that claim either."

Remember?

Yes I do, but I mostly remember the thing I quoted from you above.

And for the record, I've didn't make any claims except to say that Microsoft is the only one who actually knows the situation with their product and their likely to make adjustments based on that data. I shouldn't need to provide evidence of that, but if you require some, I suggest a beginner business class.

virtorio said,
Yes I do, but I mostly remember the thing I quoted from you above.

And for the record, I've didn't make any claims except to say that Microsoft is the only one who actually knows the situation with their product and their likely to make adjustments based on that data. I shouldn't need to provide evidence of that, but if you require some, I suggest a beginner business class.


You most certainly did support the "most users" claim. If MS has this so called proof you say they have, then if you don't know what that so called proof is then you can't possibly support that claim. It's not that you "shouldn't need to provide evidence" as it is that "you can't provide evidence" to support your claim. So, maybe you need to take a beginner course in factual representation instead of making unsubstantiated claims because you stink at it.

virtorio said,
Uh huh, let's just agree to disagree, because neither one is going to convince the other.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything. I let the facts speak for themselves.

Please don't speak for me. I run Windows 8.1 on a 52" tv... I'm not complaining...

I'm 33 years old and starting from DOS 5 days... Used XTreeGold and all that good stuff from when I was just a child. I don't need others telling me how I should use my computer.

DConnell said,
Then why did I have to disable "Boot to desktop" on every machine in the house? Even my Surface RT, since I had the keyboard cover attached . . .
Didn't switch for me. I have two logins on my laptop and only one has "Boot to Desktop" set. Installed 8.1 Update and it didn't change it. In fact, when I installed 8.1 before that it STILL didn't change it.

virtorio said,

All perfectly valid points, but it doesn't suite everyone (like me), which it why offering a choice is the best approach.

<Offers handshake> Agreed.

The start screen is nice, but everything else full screen? that is stupid, it is very smart for tablets, but everything else? just stupid!

The world declared it is stupid too, this is why the Microsoft App Store is full with wonderful business apps, and so many productivity apps, etc, etc.

Dot Matrix said,


Yeah, Brad had this article worded in such a way that Metro was going away all together, which set me off. Windows needs the Store and Universal apps if it is to survive. Eliminating Metro from the desktop would be a grave mistake. Even if it's just the Metro Start Menu, and windowed Metro apps, that's better than reverting completely, and leaving the desktop to rot without access to these new technologies.


Maybe if you only read the title...

DConnell said,
Then why did I have to disable "Boot to desktop" on every machine in the house? Even my Surface RT, since I had the keyboard cover attached . . .

I had to also -- and the always show address bar and tabs in IE. VERY annoying.

testman said,
Obviously it'll retain settings, just like every previous update.

8.1.1 reverted to the desktop by default. It didn't ask and didn't explain how to switch back to Modern if you wanted to.