Common sense fixes to Windows 8


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xWhiplash

Nice generalization there. I wish I was "very young" but as someone commented here the other day, I work in a "grocery store" because we are considering upgrading to Windows 8.

We can have all the discussions we want as long as both sides are willing to discuss alternatives. I want my shortcuts on the desktop and will not even consider any other place therefore...ALIENS! is not really a good starting point.

Holy crap did I once say NO START SCREEN NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! I have TRIED the start screen. I even went to the trouble of naming my sections/groups. I have said this before. After about 16 of my programs pinned, I just say forget it and use my existing workflow.

I just PREFER MY METHODS. Can the Start Screen provide collapsible regions? No? Ok, then I will keep my organizational methods. Again. I have my methods, you have yours. I have my workflow set up a certain way. Do not like it? FINE. But it works for me and the Start Screen / All Apps makes it slower for me than a simple double click.

I have all my desktop shortcuts backed up to various drives, so it does not require ANYTHING for me to set up my workflow on a new computer other than copy/paste.

I have tried what you guys keep saying. I have tried to use the Start Screen. It does not fit my needs and workflow. I do not have to explain why. And you have no right saying I am wrong or incorrect by using something that STILL EXISTS in Windows.

So again, this all freaking started by you guys asking WHY OH WHY would you EVER want an option to boot directly to the desktop. I told you. Then, for some reason, you guys just got on my case saying my methods are wrong or incorrect. Again, the damn option is built into Windows 8. How does using a feature provided to you from the CREATORS make it incorrect or wrong?

What does it damn matter to you if MS provides an option to boot directly to the desktop? NONE. Just leave it unchecked. Some businesses and lots of home users will clearly benefit from this. It is a freaking WIN-WIN situation. But noooooo, you guys just sit there and attack my methods, saying they are wrong and incorrect. That is completely bogus. Windows 8 has desktop shortcuts....it did not require any tweaks to enable the feature. SO again, explain to me how it is wrong?

There are lots of ways to do lots of things on computers. It does not make my methods any more wrong or incorrect as yours. So can we please just stop attacking my methods of using desktop shortcuts?

I have used the start screen. It did not work for me as well as my existing workflow of desktop shortcuts.

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Dashel

While I don't practice your methods, I'll defend to the death your liberty to do so. ;)

The funny part is that I haven't used this many Desktop shortcuts since Win95 because of Win8 SS. (vs going to All Apps)

That is a good point about shortcuts, with this increased user account focus, you can't as easily 'backup' all your pins for SS or Taskbar.

Out of curiosity, do you use jumplists much? The main annoyance of using the Start Screen as 'desktop space' per your example seems to be 1) it can't hold data, 2) the animation is jarring going and coming, and 3) can't be arranged/nested in the way you want. Did I miss anything else?

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xWhiplash

While I don't practice your methods, I'll defend to the death your liberty to do so. ;)

The funny part is that I haven't used this many Desktop shortcuts since Win95 because of Win8 SS. (vs going to All Apps)

That is a good point about shortcuts, with this increased user account focus, you can't as easily 'backup' all your pins for SS or Taskbar.

Out of curiosity, do you use jumplists much? The main annoyance of using the Start Screen as 'desktop space' per your example seems to be 1) it can't hold data, 2) the animation is jarring going and coming, and 3) can't be arranged/nested in the way you want. Did I miss anything else?

Thanks. My methods work, at least you do not sit here and tell me they are wrong or horrible like others :p

Yes I use jump lists all the time. For example, if I know I need to open a Visual Studio project, I can just do Right Click in the task bar, and click that solution file. If I want to create a new project, I will just open Visual Studio the standard way. However, if I am already in the folder, I will double click the solution icon instead of using the jump list.

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Muke451

Sigh.....Do you just forget how to use the computer? So let me get this straight. If I click the Desktop tile, I am stuck staring at a blank wallpaper?! There is NOTHING I can do about it?! What did you do in Windows 7? When I click my desktop tile, I am able to see all my desktop shortcuts and folders (something the Start Screen cannot do). For example. I do not need to have every program of Office clogging up my desktop, so I have a Microsoft Office folder on my desktop. I put all the shortcuts needed in there.

SO yes, I click Desktop tile, but then I click a desktop icon.....I like having things organized this way. If you do not, that is fine. But I do. It might not be a better solution for you, that is fine. But this way is much more productive for me.

I do not think I am the one that needs to use common sense. If you would realize people have things set up differently, you would not simply say things like that. I can fit much more icons on my desktop than the Start Screen can hold WITHOUT needing to scroll for ages.

I keep things nice and organized on the desktop with shortcuts and folders (in cases for suites like Office and Adobe CS6). Again, if you want all of your icons visible and scroll and scroll and scroll through dozens and dozens of icons, that is fine. But I prefer my way.

Well actually you can get things nice and organized on the start screen, with shortcuts and folders (in cases for suites like Office and Adobe CS6). WITHOUT needing to scroll for ages.

Just have a look at my start screen. ;-)

post-484798-0-90922200-1363511192.png

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xWhiplash

Except I will need my full monitor taken up in order to get to that.

Geez why does it matter sooooooooo much if I like to use desktop shortcuts? I have all my desktop icons and shortcuts backed up to my other hard drive, so it does not take ANY time at all to set things up. Just copy/paste

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Dot Matrix

Except I will need my full monitor taken up in order to get to that.

And that's any different from the desktop, how?

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Ian W

I have a couple of ideas, though I'm not sure if they were already posted by other members (there's no way I'm going to review 11 individual pages...)

I think it would be useful if certain items pinned to the Start screen (such as the User folder) had a Jump List-like drop down menu. It would preserve space on the Start screen by preventing the need to pin each item.

Idea.png

It would be great if the Windows Store had a more...visual way to search for individual applications. It would be far quicker than manually searching for an item by going through multiple categories.

Idea4.png

While on the subject of search...

Suppose one searches for Internet Options after pressing the Windows key. The Start screen won't return any results because it groups them by category. Having to manually switch to another category by using more than two keystrokes is ridiculous, so it would be most helpful if the Start screen automatically redirected to a category that did contain items that match the query.

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zhangm

While on the subject of search...

Suppose one searches for Internet Options after pressing the Windows key. The Start screen won't return any results because it groups them by category. Having to manually switch to another category by using more than two keystrokes is ridiculous, so it would be most helpful if the Start screen automatically redirected to a category that did contain items that match the query.

Win + W to search Settings.

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Active.
Win + W to search Settings.

Yeah. Windows 8 has extensive keyboard shortcut support (of course you'll have to Google them, because showing them as tooltips or otherwise revealing them in the UI would be cheating). And why combine them when so much fun can be had with several:

Win - Q to show all apps and search FOR apps, unless you're in a Metro app in which case it doesn't show apps but searches WITHIN some apps like Music but not others like Reader

Win - F to search for files

CTRL-F to search WITHIN some apps like Maps or Reader, but not others like Music. And, of course,

Win - W to search but not show systemwide Settings

Win - I to always show some systemwide settings and to show app settings for Metro apps but show more systemwide settings for Desktop apps.

And

Win - Z to show the tool bar of Metro apps which may or may not be visible or stay on screen by default, unless it doesn't even exist (like in Cocktail Flow), in which case nothing at all will happen.

Awesome! Totally obviates the need for visible UI elements! :)

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Dashel

I don't know what is worse, how loudly they campaign for the Start Screen or how badly they actually use it.

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Muke451

Geez why does it matter sooooooooo much if I like to use desktop shortcuts?

Sigh.....Do you just forget how to use the computer?

When I click my desktop tile, I am able to see all my desktop shortcuts and folders (something the Start Screen cannot do).

I can fit much more icons on my desktop than the Start Screen can hold WITHOUT needing to scroll for ages.

I keep things nice and organized on the desktop with shortcuts and folders (in cases for suites like Office and Adobe CS6).

I have no problem with you using desktop shortcuts. I posted this to show you that you CAN use them on the start screen, because you said the start screen couldn't do this.

So use your desktop shortcuts as long as you want. And like you said, if the option to make desktop shortcuts is still there than you are 100% free to use that option.

But don't say that you are not able to put all your desktop shortcuts and folders on the start screen. Other readers could be misinformed by your comments.

Or maybe you just didn't know it was possible to do so...

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George P

On my desktop I use the taskbar pinning option but on my hybrid tablet I use the start screen.

I agree that the start screen needs more to it though and I hope they add it. I expect we'll get the third smaller tile option soon. That helps with saving space in the short term but I think they should add folders in the form of a double wide tile. Think of this, you have the DW tile and it's then filled with small tiles of things in it which can give you a visual hint. They can also add different levels to the start screen itself. What I mean is that using the zooming feature to zoom more in for example you'd zoom into the tile folder to see what's inside then zoom out to the top "start" level. There is also room in the top left where it says "start" right now to do the same they do in the file picker so you see the name of the folder with the option to go up for those that don't have touch and can't pinch to zoom etc.

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Dashel

Or maybe you just didn't know it was possible to do so...

Ahhh, another Mr. Helper...

I'm sure Whiplash is quite aware of how to (horribly) customize the Start Screen as you did. You however didn't even put in the effort to read or understand his qualm (no nested containers) before jumping 'to the rescue'. We have enough misinformation from such types around here already.

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+warwagon

In my opinion the difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8 is like the difference between the Movie maker that came in Vista and the one that the new Windows Live Movie maker

Vista Movie Maker (Windows 7)

86747171_640.jpg

Windows Live Movie Maker (Windows 8)

WindowsLiveMovieMaker_interface_610x373.png

I'm curious, Dot Matrix, which version of Movie make do you prefer? the one that came with Vista or the new Windows Live Movie maker.

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Brandon H

i'm sorry warwagon but that's a horrible comparison. the new live movie maker is an incredibly stripped down version of the old movie maker missing half if not more of the features that it used to have.

the same can not be said about windows 8. nearly all the features are still there in one form or another, you just have a slight learning curve on learning the new place of a few things

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+warwagon

i'm sorry warwagon but that's a horrible comparison. the new live movie maker is an incredibly stripped down version of the old movie maker missing half if not more of the features that it used to have.

the same can not be said about windows 8. nearly all the features are still there in one form or another, you just have a slight learning curve on learning the new place of a few things

It was more of a UI comparison. With Movie maker live they basically DUMB'ed the UI down.... apparently they thought the old movie maker was to complicated.

I know they removed most of the features from the new movie maker, but what if they had given all the features of the old but with the new UI? It would still suck balls because of the removal of the old timeline.

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articuno1au

Having used modernmix and start8 for a bit now, here's how I think a number of suprisingly simple changes each could make Windows 8 quite a bit less confusing, easier to learn, more discoverable, much more useable and enjoyable and powerful for Desktop users, without Microsoft having (or seeming) to regress or run the risk of inconveniencing touch users in any way.

For the App Screen aka "Start Screen":

- Remove the useless "Start" header, take advantage of that newly available space by putting the user name there instead

- Put a magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner, activates the search charm/ all 'app apps' view

- remove the "all apps" entry from the app bar

- put a Settings/power icon in the lower right corner, activates the settings charm (which includes power options)

- Put an option to boot directly to the desktop into the App Screen Settings (turned off by default, I guess)

post-5569-0-62965500-1363090771.png

post-5569-0-47023000-1363090870.png

Benefits: Takes one click to show all apps or search or reach the settings and power menu, all easily discoverable. Give the user the choice as to whether he or she wants to skip the Apps Screen after a system start.

For Metro apps:

- Button and Keyboard shortcut for putting apps into a a window (possibly enforce minimum window size equal to minimum resolution for Metro apps, or equal to a minimum resolution as specified by the app creator ? promote responsive design)

- put full-screen button in a modern app's title bar to set it back into fullscreen mode

- Make an app-specific search field or button mandatory, always in the upper right corner of the app

- Make a settings button in the lower right corner of an app mandatory

Benefits: Searching and app settings easily discoverable and clearly pertaining to the current app, improved multitasking due to windowed usage

For the Desktop:

- Put a settings/power icon on the bottom or far right of the task bar, activates the global/Desktop settings charm

- Put a magnifying glass icon in the upper right or lower left corner, activates a windowed search menu

- remove windowed Metro apps from the multitasking bar on the left

- show active/most recently used/pinned modern apps in the task bar

- Charms bar applies to the active app

- allow the 'Charms' bar and its hot corners to be deactivated

- the Share charm can be activated by clicking on a window title

- Allow integration of the Share charm into Desktop apps

post-5569-0-42442100-1363090927.png

post-5569-0-98899500-1363090919.png

Benefits: Settings/Power options easily discoverable / task bar can be used to switch between any kind of app / Charms bar hot corners don't interfere with Desktop usage / share charm becomes more useful and usable

For the Charms bar

- (optional:) remove the Search/Settings/Devices/Start charm, integrate the functionality of the Devices charm into the Share charm

Benefits: Sharing (to/with people or devices) always just one finger slide from the right away. Search and Settings reachable via the app itself, Start button unnecessary

For the new windowed search 'not quite Start' menu :

- Make a link to the App Screen the first item (as Start8 already does)

- Allow the user to select between a list of either recently used or frequently used apps or files

- put a button next to the search box to go fullscreen - activates the 'all apps' view/search charm

post-5569-0-69551400-1363090933.png

Benefits:

Windowed search option and most recently/frequently used apps/files list brings back important search menu functionality / user's choice whether fullscreen or windowed searching is preferred

1 like on your post.

Clearly common sense ideas. For the record, just because you think they're good ideas, does not common sense make.

Lastly, this should never have been front paged. Half assed journalism at its best. <s>I wonder who front paged it..</s>

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insanelyapple

This:

windows_8_for_desktops_by_rvanhauwere-d5c0fvh.jpg

(some people may have already seen this random pict thread)

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articuno1au

^ Good idea, but I personally don't like the lack of taskbar icons on the bottom right (whatever you want to call them).

The thing that amazes me, is that Windows allows for so much customisation. If you want something you can do it. I'd have said the start bar has become far more powerful and useful than it has ever been not that it has been removed.

The stupid thing is people are so busy bitching about it's removal, they appear to have missed the progeny of an old technology rethought.

That start bar implementation makes me happy in the pants if I could tweak it a little.. I'm betting I can >.>

Bitching about the removal of the start bar is just about the silliest thing to do on a tech orientated forum like this. If you want it back, double click the executable and install your start bar of choice..

Or **** and moan instead of easily fixing it.

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zhangm

(some people may have already seen this random pict thread)

The Modern UI and the Desktop should be separate environments, since they follow completely different design aesthetics. Here you can see that the tiles may contrast jarringly with, or completely disappear into whatever dominant color the user has set with their desktop wallpaper.

Or **** and moan instead of easily fixing it.

Always reminds me of the Font Dialog debacle starting with Vista's UI. Pages and pages, threads and threads bemoaning how ugly it was. They updated it in 7, and all of a sudden, no one gives a ****.

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BajiRav

It was more of a UI comparison. With Movie maker live they basically DUMB'ed the UI down.... apparently they thought the old movie maker was to complicated.

I know they removed most of the features from the new movie maker, but what if they had given all the features of the old but with the new UI? It would still suck balls because of the removal of the old timeline.

That's a nice comparison in one manner. The new movie maker kicks old one's ass because it supports H.264 natively. For my own use, I'd rather trade in some finer control over audio (and others) for H.264 support.

You lose some, you gain some. Same is the case with start screen and start menu. Sometimes trade offs are worth it and in the Win8's case, it is worth it.(subjective obviously, it requires improvements but nothing "breaking" as they say).

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Dot Matrix

In my opinion the difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8 is like the difference between the Movie maker that came in Vista and the one that the new Windows Live Movie maker

Vista Movie Maker (Windows 7)

Windows Live Movie Maker (Windows 8)

I'm curious, Dot Matrix, which version of Movie make do you prefer? the one that came with Vista or the new Windows Live Movie maker.

Windows Live Movie Maker, it might not be as powerful as the Vista version, but it suits my needs (editing cell phone video), and features the Ribbon UI.

Windows 8 is by not comparison, and still features many powerful tools. Metro does not take that away.

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zhangm

That's a nice comparison in one manner. The new movie maker kicks old one's ass because it supports H.264 natively. For my own use, I'd rather trade in some finer control over audio (and others) for H.264 support.

You lose some, you gain some. Same is the case with start screen and start menu. Sometimes trade offs are worth it and in the Win8's case, it is worth it.(subjective obviously, it requires improvements but nothing "breaking" as they say).

Microsoft seems to have always been a bit uncomfortable with the concept of core OS functionality. How much can they integrate without treading onto the domain of independent developers and being anti-competitive? Media player? Anti-competitive. Web browser? Anti-competitive. Mail? Calendar? Barebones only (this excludes the Live Essentials optional download), and no cross-integration with other software or services. Movie Maker has always struck me as a lack of serious effort for people who wanted to spend 60 seconds or fewer to adapt a video file for YouTube.

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Dot Matrix

Microsoft seems to have always been a bit uncomfortable with the concept of core OS functionality. How much can they integrate without treading onto the domain of independent developers and being anti-competitive? Media player? Anti-competitive. Web browser? Anti-competitive. Mail? Calendar? Barebones only (this excludes the Live Essentials optional download), and no cross-integration with other software or services. Movie Maker has always struck me as a lack of serious effort for people who wanted to spend 60 seconds or fewer to adapt a video file for YouTube.

Frak that. This is a new day and age, Microsoft really needs to go all out in core functionality.

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articuno1au

Literally every consumable document I generated while I was working for Microsoft went to legal for approval.

Microsoft is very literally run by the lawyers. Until Microsoft can compete without the fear of anti-trust they will continue to behave like that >.<

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