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Windows 8.1- Desktop lovers rejoice (brief review)

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siah1214    1,432

I just had a look at semantic zoom. It allows you to re-locate blocks of tiles and icons but it still doesn't really offer the same thing as the old start menu structure.

 

 

Hey look, folders! you click on them to show the **** inside of them!  Just like the old start menu. 

 

And I don't have to scroll through a tiny menu and click through a dozen subfolders to find crap.  Did anyone actually do that? 

post-440646-0-95390400-1383434078.jpg

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Stoffel    1,810

I just had a look at semantic zoom. It allows you to re-locate blocks of tiles and icons but it still doesn't really offer the same thing as the old start menu structure.

 

Are you using Win 8.0 or 8.1?

 

If I go to the all apps screen and zoom out I get a nice overview with all the headings, basically all the menu items collapsed

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Javik    3,969

Still not folders. Once you zoom out of that menu and select the category you want it still displays them as icons, at least in Windows 8 anyway, I haven't bothered with 8.1 yet.

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Javik    3,969

Also, horribly unintuitive if you do it with KB and mouse I might add.

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MorganX    1,046

Also, horribly unintuitive if you do it with KB and mouse I might add.

 

I'm trying to understand why you feel so strongly on this particular point Javik and I just can't get there. When you're looking for an app, you're looking for one specific app. The easiest way is to hit the windows key and start typing the name of the app. That process is exactly the same.

 

If you choose to scroll through all the apps for some reason, I'm not sure it's not more intuitive and faster in Windows 8.1. And trust me, I loved the Start Menu. I do miss hierarchical folders, but not so much anymore really. One thing, ModernUI definitely encourages you to organize the things you work with, eliminate unnecessary clutter, and focus on things you "actually" use regularly. I don't know if MS intended that on the desktop, but it is a positive benefit I'm noticing.

 

I'm also noticing while I do keep many windows open, I rarely am active in more than one. Having apps snapped I actually multitask better (assuming I'm using the mail app, and modern ui IE).

 

It took years and much R&D to get the Start Menu as optimized and usable as it is, I think given the same investment, the Start Page and Modern UI can surpass it. Still waiting on AAA apps though.

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Athernar    604

When you're looking for an app, you're looking for one specific apps. The easiest way is to hit the windows key and start typing the name of the app. That process is exactly the same.

 

That's one of the problems, it's not. For that workflow the start menu achieves what the start screen does with far more efficiency of screen real-estate and isn't jarring when you switch to it.

 

Granted the change to allow the desktop background on the start screen somewhat reduces the jarring impact of the transition, but the fact remains the implementation in 8.1 is still inferior to what is offered by the start menu in terms of spatial efficiency and flow.

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Stoffel    1,810

That's one of the problems, it's not. For that workflow the start menu achieves what the start screen does with far more efficiency of screen real-estate and isn't jarring when you switch to it.

 

Granted the change to allow the desktop background on the start screen somewhat reduces the jarring impact of the transition, but the fact remains the implementation in 8.1 is still inferior to what is offered by the start menu in terms of spatial efficiency and flow.

 

That's all just personal opinion, no?

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MorganX    1,046

That's one of the problems, it's not. For that workflow the start menu achieves what the start screen does with far more efficiency of screen real-estate and isn't jarring when you switch to it.

 

Granted the change to allow the desktop background on the start screen somewhat reduces the jarring impact of the transition, but the fact remains the implementation in 8.1 is still inferior to what is offered by the start menu in terms of spatial efficiency and flow.

 

I get your point, and I do use my desktop as my background and thing the transition is pretty slick and cool. But as for workflow, if you're looking for an app down in the lower left, your ENTIRE focus is there. Once you find it, you're back where you started in either case.

 

I do agree if you want to cancel, you can just click away and that transition is more efficient the old way, though you can just press ESC or Win+D, but still the old way wins. But how often do you even do that? If you say a lot, then I'll say yeah, Win 7 is for you. I have no problem with that. And there are many issues and learning on the client and admin end before we can rollout 8.1 Enterprise. And I feel sorry for anyone that rolled out 8 Enterprise that will now upgrade to 8.1 Enterprise. OMG, the horror, lol.

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Athernar    604

That's all just personal opinion, no?

 

No, it's an easily observable fact that for the workflow laid out in the quote, the start screen uses more screen space than the start menu. There is no opinion there.

 

I get your point, and I do use my desktop as my background and thing the transition is pretty slick and cool. But as for workflow, if you're looking for an app down in the lower left, your ENTIRE focus is there. Once you find it, you're back where you started in either case.

 

I do agree if you want to cancel, you can just click away and that transition is more efficient the old way, though you can just press ESC or Win+D, but still the old way wins. But how often do you even do that? If you say a lot, then I'll say yeah, Win 7 is for you. I have no problem with that. And there are many issues and learning on the client and admin end before we can rollout 8.1 Enterprise. And I feel sorry for anyone that rolled out 8 Enterprise that will now upgrade to 8.1 Enterprise. OMG, the horror, lol.

 

My focus is on whatever I'm doing, not the start menu. If you know what you want and you're using the search function as a launcher - you can just mash start, type the minimum string to match your target and hit enter.

 

You can't do that in 8 or 8.1 because it captures the entire screen.

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MorganX    1,046

Hey look, folders! you click on them to show the **** inside of them!  Just like the old start menu. 

 

And I don't have to scroll through a tiny menu and click through a dozen subfolders to find crap.  Did anyone actually do that? 

 

I have to admit, I never use All Apps view and only went there to respond in this thread. I searched for an app in Win 7,  but it was rare. And I have to say, the All apps, zoomed heading view is pretty cool and definitely more efficient than scrolling through the old Start Menu. It just is. Clearly, someone out there looks for apps a lot because they put a lot of effort into this, lol.

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MorganX    1,046

No, it's an easily observable fact that for the workflow laid out in the quote, the start screen uses more screen space than the start menu. There is no opinion there.

 

 

My focus is on whatever I'm doing, not the start menu. If you know what you want and you're using the search function as a launcher - you can just mash start, type the minimum string to match your target and hit enter.

 

You can't do that in 8 or 8.1 because it captures the entire screen.

 

Huh? You can do that in 8/8.1. In both cases you're assuming the first result is the one you want, but mash start, type the minimum strings and hit enter. That process is exactly the same.

 

I give you, you won't be able to keep watching a video in Win 8 as the Start Page will take the screen, but if you're watching something that hard, are you really interested in searching for anything? And you probably have dual screens so you only lose one for a split second.

 

I have dual monitors and it's for multitasking (And Windows 8 is better with dual monitors, or should I say Modern UI). In one I have Modern UI snapped or full screen Netflix or WMC, and Desktop Environment in main screen. Of course with RDP, second monitor is the Full Screen RDP monitors (and the Modern UI RDP app is awesome I tell ya).

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Darrian    217

Do I really like the start screen?  Not really.  If the Desktop were non-existent then I would think it was great, but the Desktop does exist, most of us still spend most of our time on it, and the Start Screen isn't just a new application launcher, it's an entirely different environment.  So much so that the Desktop now, instead of being the core of the OS, is treated as an app.

 

That said, if you are opening the start menu to launch an app then you are not using any other app, you are browsing a menu looking to run something else.  If you are opening the start screen you are doing exactly the same thing.  The difference is that you can see a hell of a lot more apps in a full screen display, even with the larger tiles as opposed to the tiny icons, than you can in a small box in the corner of the screen.  You can organize the contents of the start screen just as you can in the start menu, as well, if you are willing to put in the work, and the methodology isn't even any different, it's the exact same process.  I'm not at my home desktop at the moment, but I plan on posting a screenshot to illustrate what I mean if I can remember when I get home from work.

 

Honestly, I rarely used the start menu because most of my apps were pinned to the taskbar.  In Windows 8 that has not changed one bit.  The only difference is that the new layout makes it a tad more work to find the apps to pin them in the initial setup.  I use the both the menu and the screen.  I have Start8 installed and configured so that if I click the button it brings up the screen, but if I press the windows key it brings up the Start8 menu.

 

The reason I did it this way is because I have never been in the habit of pressing the key to bring up the menu, so if I want the menu I very intentionally have to press a key I am not used to pressing.  This cuts down on accidentally bringing up the menu when I don't mean to.  That also means when I click the bottom left corner I am by default taken to the start screen.  And guess what?  The longer I use the new start screen the less often I am inclined to bring up the menu.  Usually I only bring up the Start8 menu to navigate the control panel, which I have configured to expand as a menu.  I call it the Start8 menu because I'm running Start8, obviously, but the same concept and methodology could be applied to any of the other various start menu resurrection programs available.

 

This doesn't mean I like the start screen, I just don't hate it, and even though I am used to having a simple menu I cannot argue that it IS more efficient.  What's going on here, though, is that I am using (and liking) some of the new "metro" apps.  I especially like mail, news and music apps (and yes, I used to abhor the music app, so even though I still don't think it is perfect it is now in a state that I find usable and even enjoyable).  If you do not like using any "metro" apps it is still entirely possible to do 100% of your computing on the Desktop and never look at the Start Screen at all.  It just takes a little bit of effort, and if you are not willing to expend the effort then it obviously doesn't bother you very much.

 

My stance on the Start Screen has not changed since Windows 8 was in beta.  If you like it, use it.  If you don't, take 2 minutes and install one of the (now many) Start Menu replacements and quit whining about it.

 

@Javik: If your start screen is a disorganized mess, your start menu would be a disorganized mess as well.  Manually clean up your start folders and your start screen will look a lot better.  Again, I will post a screenshot in the morning to illustrate what I mean.

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Athernar    604

Huh? You can do that in 8/8.1. In both cases you're assuming the first result is the one you want, but mash start, type the minimum strings and hit enter. That process is exactly the same.

 

I give you, you won't be able to keep watching a video in Win 8 as the Start Page will take the screen, but if you're watching something that hard, are you really interested in searching for anything? And you probably have dual screens so you only lose one for a split second.

 

I have dual monitors and it's for multitasking (And Windows 8 is better with dual monitors, or should I say Modern UI). In one I have Modern UI snapped or full screen Netflix or WMC, and Desktop Environment in main screen. Of course with RDP, second monitor is the Full Screen RDP monitors (and the Modern UI RDP app is awesome I tell ya).

 

No no no no no. You've lost the context.

 

Being able to do the start->search->launch procedure is not what is being disputed here, it's the fact you can do the exact same thing in 7 without the need for the fullscreen GUI AND that it takes a fraction of the space to achieve the same task.

 

This is a question of efficiency, not possibility.

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Darrian    217

I would think efficiency would be defined as how many keystrokes and/or time it takes to complete a task, not how much real estate is taken up by it, at least in this context.  We're talking about launching an app here, not editing a document or writing billions of lines of code.  Since the procedure is exactly the same and takes the exact same amount of time one could argue that they are equally efficient.  But again, if you don't like the start screen popping up and taking up your entire monitor, install Start8 or ClassicShell or one of the many start menu replacements.  You don't need to boycott 8 and miss out on all the other improvements just because you don't like the start screen.

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MorganX    1,046

No no no no no. You've lost the context.

 

Being able to do the start->search->launch procedure is not what is being disputed here, it's the fact you can do the exact same thing in 7 without the need for the fullscreen GUI AND that it takes a fraction of the space to achieve the same task.

 

This is a question of efficiency, not possibility.

 

I get it. And I made the same argument against Modern UI Start Page initially, then with Start8, I upgraded. After a while, I found myself holding down the Win Key for 2 seconds to get to the start page because what I wanted was right there. Yes, I could pin to the Start Menu but only so much before it became inefficient. With 8.1, I've been able to remove Start8 and I just find it doesn't bother me as much as it did when I first started with 8. In fact it really doesn't bother me at all. The biggest bother was the upper left hot corner and you can turn that one off. I'm a happy camper. If after using it for a few weeks it still bothers you, I'm not going to tell you it doesn't, lol. Use Win 7 or a Start Menu replacement. But I can tell you, it probably doesn't bother more people that it bothers. The majority of end user types benefit (in the end) from the Modern UI, and to my surprise no one has rejected it in that class of user.

 

When there are more Modern UI AAA apps, it's not even going to be close. Unfortunately, there's no indication that's going to happen any time soon.

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Athernar    604

I get it. And I made the same argument against Modern UI Start Page initially, then with Start8, I upgraded. After a while, I found myself holding down the Win Key for 2 seconds to get to the start page because what I wanted was right there. Yes, I could pin to the Start Menu but only so much before it became inefficient. With 8.1, I've been able to remove Start8 and I just find it doesn't bother me as much as it did when I first started with 8. In fact it really doesn't bother me at all. The biggest bother was the upper left hot corner and you can turn that one off. I'm a happy camper. If after using it for a few weeks it still bothers you, I'm not going to tell you it doesn't, lol. Use Win 7 or a Start Menu replacement. But I can tell you, it probably doesn't bother more people that it bothers. The majority of end user types benefit (in the end) from the Modern UI, and to my surprise no one has rejected it in that class of user.

 

When there are more Modern UI AAA apps, it's not even going to be close. Unfortunately, there's no indication that's going to happen any time soon.

 

I don't care for installing 3rd-party apps to do what the OS should be offering in the first place, thankfully Win+S offers the discussed workflow at the cost of a keystroke. It's still not ideal but it works.

 

However, that doesn't really accommodate people that also wanted the MRU functionality.

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MorganX    1,046

I don't care for installing 3rd-party apps to do what the OS should be offering in the first place, thankfully Win+S offers the discussed workflow at the cost of a keystroke. It's still not ideal but it works.

 

However, that doesn't really accommodate people that also wanted the MRU functionality.

 

I'm with you on 3rd party apps for OS functionality, including icon replacers :). And yes, 8.1 fixed one of the MAJOR FLAWS in Windows 8 RTM which was the horrendous search.

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Darrian    217

Just because you want the start menu doesn't mean that Microsoft should be offering it in the first place.  They have an OS that has a start menu built in: Windows 7.  Windows 7 is a very good OS.  Windows 7 is not as good as Windows 8.  So you have a few choices: stick with Windows 7 until it is so outdated you can no longer tolerate it, upgrade to Windows 8 and beyond and get onboard with the future of computing as Microsoft sees it, upgrade to Windows 8 and beyond and install a 3rd party app to restore some legacy UI functionality and fight the "modern UI", or switch to another operating system like OS X or Linux.  It is little trouble to install a start menu, though, so it sounds incredibly petty and entitled to demand that Microsoft regress simply so you don't have to take a couple minutes out of your day to install a program that will easily and seamlessly restore functionality that you prefer.

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Dot Matrix    7,131

It's still sloppy compared to the way the proper start menu sorts things. Whichever way you do it, it's still just a bunch of icons slapped across a screen.

Compared to a bunch of icons (that you can barely see) compacted together in a box less than 1/4 the size of your screen?

 

How is operating the Start Screen different from operating the Start Menu? How is it unintuitive with a mouse? All Apps is always going to be a big list of things. Why do you need to drag yourself through that when it's easier to A) Search for the thing you're looking for, or B) pinning it to the main Start Screen? 

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siah1214    1,432

No, it's an easily observable fact that for the workflow laid out in the quote, the start screen uses more screen space than the start menu. There is no opinion there.

 

 

My focus is on whatever I'm doing, not the start menu. If you know what you want and you're using the search function as a launcher - you can just mash start, type the minimum string to match your target and hit enter.

 

You can't do that in 8 or 8.1 because it captures the entire screen.

Windows 8.1, hit Winkey + S, bam, stop complaining. 

 

I have to admit, I never use All Apps view and only went there to respond in this thread. I searched for an app in Win 7,  but it was rare. And I have to say, the All apps, zoomed heading view is pretty cool and definitely more efficient than scrolling through the old Start Menu. It just is. Clearly, someone out there looks for apps a lot because they put a lot of effort into this, lol.

Yeah I never use it either, I'll just type in the search bar til I find it.

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Athernar    604

I'm with you on 3rd party apps for OS functionality, including icon replacers :). And yes, 8.1 fixed one of the MAJOR FLAWS in Windows 8 RTM which was the horrendous search.

 

Indeed, the search fix makes 8.1 tolerable for my workflow with the usage of Win+S, but I do also acknowledge others are not quite so lucky.

 

Really there is/was nothing stopping Microsoft from accommodating everyone with 8, while also including Metro and it's related components. But between the clueless executives and sychophantic fanboys, the opportunity for positive change was lost.

 

It's a shame really, because if they had been accommodating it would of even helped their Metro initiatives too.

 

Windows 8.1, hit Winkey + S, bam, stop complaining.

 

Neowin forums, view latest posts, bam, stop making useless posts.

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siah1214    1,432

 

Neowin forums, view latest posts, bam, stop making useless posts.

You said this:

You can't do that in 8 or 8.1 because it captures the entire screen

And I told you how that wasn't the case anymore.  Care to tell me how that's useless? 

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Athernar    604

You said this:

 

And I told you how that wasn't the case anymore.  Care to tell me how that's useless? 

 

Try reading post #66.

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Dot Matrix    7,131

Try reading post #66.

The All Apps list has MRU functionality. 

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Athernar    604

The All Apps list has MRU functionality. 

 

That's great, too bad I wasn't talking about the All Apps list.

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