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The return of the Start menu in future Windows 8.1 update: Thoughts?

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JonnyLH    342

As long as the full-screen Metro interface still applies on tablet then I'm happy with this. I liked the metro interface but with the ability to window apps and include them more into the desktop environment is something I'm not going to turn my nose upon. Just MS, please update those f*****g icons.

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DConnell    6,583

I guess I don't understand the point of the ModernUI.

 

Are developers supposed to create Modern versions of their programs?

 

Apparently that's not happening yet (if at all) and people are still using their old programs (from the desktop)

 

And they still want to interact with their old programs the way they've done for years (on the desktop with a familiar Start Menu)

 

That's why I was saying people didn't ask for this change.

 

I'm still on Windows 7... so all my programs are traditional desktop programs.  

 

I never said "boy I wish there was a new way to interact with my computer. Even if I still use a keyboard and mouse... I wish everything looked and worked differently."

 

I don't think anyone said that. That's why it was such a shock when it happened.

 

I'd been wanting a new way to interact with my computer since 1995. I'd always hated the Menu. The best element for me of 8 is not the improved touchscreen support, not the new added program style, it's the lack of Start Menu.

 

So yeah, some people had been wanting things to look and work differently, and were frustrated when every version of Windows was just the same regurgitated design with a fresh coat of paint.

 

The option of a Start Menu is nice for those that wanted it, but for those of us that loathe it, it had better remain an option.

 

I'm going to hold off on updating U1 until I find out if all the "enhancements" can be disabled. I don't want to have to use a Menu again, and I don't want Modern turned into just another variation of the desktop. Let it be its own animal, rather than a desktop clone.

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PGHammer    1,502

I guess I don't understand the point of the ModernUI.

 

Are developers supposed to create Modern versions of their programs?

 

Apparently that's not happening yet (if at all) and people are still using their old programs (from the desktop)

 

And they still want to interact with their old programs the way they've done for years (on the desktop with a familiar Start Menu)

 

That's why I was saying people didn't ask for this change.

 

I'm still on Windows 7... so all my programs are traditional desktop programs.  

 

I never said "boy I wish there was a new way to interact with my computer. Even if I still use a keyboard and mouse... I wish everything looked and worked differently."

 

I don't think anyone said that. That's why it was such a shock when it happened.

Why can't developers create ModernUI versions of their programs?  If they can create versions of their software for Android and iOS, why NOT ModernUI?  Amazon created a ModernUI version of the Kindle reader application; I faulted it because it is feature-incomplete compared to the versions for other OSes - not because there isn't one.

 

I came to Windows 8 FROM Windows 7; the only desktop programs I didn't bring with me were those mooted by features now in the OS proper.  Every other application and game made the trip, and works as well as, if not better than, in Windows 7.

 

Therein lies the difference - pointing-device-centric users were the ones in favor.  Suddenly, with Windows 8, they weren't.  The pointing-device is not the primary means of interaction with Windows 8 - it has equal favor with both touch AND keyboard.

 

Keyboard-centric users migrated with little or no issues whatever - it's the pointing-device-centric users that are screaming.  I specifically said that they WOULD be screaming, too - however, I had no idea how loud the screams would get.

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Thief000    128

Not necessary for me as I'm used to Modern apps and the Start Screen. But I know a few areas where they are superfluous or cumbersome, so I like that the option will be available (which it should have been from the get go as it was too big a change for some).

What I'm happy about is the native windowed ModernUI app support, that's just great!

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wv@gt    2,563

What I am waiting to see is if Microsoft can truly blend the modern experience and traditional experience in a seemless way. Similar to how Apple does launchpad, mission control and spaces. They are getting close, to that though

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PGHammer    1,502

What I am waiting to see is if Microsoft can truly blend the modern experience and traditional experience in a seemless way. Similar to how Apple does launchpad, mission control and spaces. They are getting close, to that though

Not really - they refused to take the next logical step with any of them (at least on portable hardware, such as the MacBook Air/Pro) - why no touch-screen MacBooks, let alone iMacs?

 

Any of it - in fact, all of it - can only gain usability merely by adding touch-screen hardware (as an option, not necessarily a requirement); however, Apple has refused to budge - why?

 

In that respect, Microsoft's hardware partners - especially in terms of WINDOWS hardware partners - are far ahead of Apple (matching the hardware to the OS capabilities).

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PGHammer    1,502

Nobody was asking for the change to Modern or Metro. So that was definitely NOT a necessary change :)

 

If you came from Windows 7 or earlier... ALL of your programs were traditional desktop programs.  And the machine you're using is also a traditional desktop or laptop.  

 

So it's only natural to have a meh attitude (or even hate) Microsoft's new focus on Metro and touch-based apps.

 

In a recent video... Windows VP Joe Belfiore said the following:

 

"Windows 8 was a new design for Windows that was created to enable awesome new touch-based tablets and PCs"

 

And then in the very next sentence he says:

 

"we know that many Windows 8 and 8.1 users are still using mouse and keyboard... or don't have a touchscreen at all"

 

Well... no #### sherlock.  What kind of research did you do?  Didn't you know that there are a billion Windows PCs out in the world that don't have a touchscreen?  So why change the UI at all?

 

At least all your old traditional Windows software will still work.  But you gotta wonder what they were thinking.

 

Judging by the way they are putting back old features... their plan didn't work out too well.

Michael - the point I am trying to make is that ALL change there HAS been as far as Windows goes - going all the way back to Windows 95 itself - has been fought against.  If the change-hostile in Windows had their way, we would be celebrating the third decade of Program Manager.  All too many Windows users are HAPPY with "meh" - while a lot of the remainder feel basically helpless, if not powerless.

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Quillz    1,011

And can it be set as the boundary between the two halves of Windows, like the Screen currently is?

I remember using it on Win7, so I dunno if it's been updated for Win8. Hell, I don't even remember the name of the program or where I found it...

 

Google of course isn't turning up anything useful... Although you can use the original PROGMAN.EXE files on Win7. And most likely 8.

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DConnell    6,583

I remember using it on Win7, so I dunno if it's been updated for Win8. Hell, I don't even remember the name of the program or where I found it...

 

Google of course isn't turning up anything useful... Although you can use the original PROGMAN.EXE files on Win7. And most likely 8.

 

The point I was trying to make, is that Program Manager, as it was in 3.x, isn't well-suited for 8.x. It's desktop only, and Windows isn't purely desktop UI anymore. I use some Modern apps, and don't want to have to drop into the desktop just to launch a program. The Screen, OTOH, I see as the boundary between the two designs, since you can easily launch either desktop or Modern programs from it.

 

Nonetheless, if we have to have a purely desktop-oriented launcher, I'd rather have Progman than the textmaze

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Michael Scrip    413

Michael - the point I am trying to make is that ALL change there HAS been as far as Windows goes - going all the way back to Windows 95 itself - has been fought against.  If the change-hostile in Windows had their way, we would be celebrating the third decade of Program Manager.  All too many Windows users are HAPPY with "meh" - while a lot of the remainder feel basically helpless, if not powerless.

Yeah... I know all changes are fought against and hated.  It just seems like Windows 8 was more hated than all the rest.

 

Do you think people will come to accept the Windows 8 style eventually?  If so... then Microsoft should have ignored their dissenters and stayed the course.  But they're not.

 

Microsoft had this grand vision and new interface for Windows 8... but now they are returning features to please people who are happy with the "old" style.

 

That's why I was wondering why they made such huge changes at all... if they end up having to reverse them. This obviously didn't go as planned.  

 

Windows 8 came with no "boot to desktop" functionality.  Then Windows 8.1 brought it back.  Surprise... people have a lot of desktop software that they just want to get to with minimal fuss.

 

Then people still were missing other things... and Update 1 fixed some of those problems.

 

Now... the rumor is that something resembling the traditional Start Menu will be coming back as well.

 

So again... why did Microsoft make all these big changes... if they're gonna have to put it back the way it used to be?

 

Microsoft has a tough job.  They want to innovate and prepare for exciting new computing paradigms in the future.  I get that.

 

But... they've also got a billion existing users that they have to keep happy as well.

 

You're right... people hated Windows 95 and they wanted their old Windows 3.1 back.  Microsoft didn't give them that though.

 

Now look at all the things Microsoft is putting back into Windows 8 and other fixes... is this an admission that Microsoft screwed up?

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zhangm    1,335
Yeah... I know all changes are fought against and hated.  It just seems like Windows 8 was more hated than all the rest.

 

Search in the Start menu, the search indexer, and UAC were absolutely hated when first introduced in Vista.

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dvb2000    633

Horsepuckey.

 

The issue with the Start menu is pointing devices in general - if not mice in particular.

 

horsepuckey yourself

 

the start menu and mouse/keyboard are the ideal way to drive a computer that is actually used to do productive work.

 

Anyone who thinks the metro interface is good, obviously does nothing more than browse information and consume media (and use it like a toy, which is basically what metro is).

There is no way it can be used in a productive way for business purposes or by (power) users who need to get things done.

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dvb2000    633

Michael - the point I am trying to make is that ALL change there HAS been as far as Windows goes - going all the way back to Windows 95 itself - has been fought against.

 

Rubbish, change has only been fought when its a backwards step, and Microsoft has done it twice now, because they didn't listen to their customers.

 

Vista was a massive fail, as was Windows 8.

 

The sooner they completely dump metro, and bring out Windows 9 with full desktop/mouse/keyboard support, as it is in Windows 7, the sooner I'll be buying my next version of Windows.

No way I'm wasting any money on Windows 8.

 UAC were absolutely hated when first introduced

 

And still is today, despite it being pretty much neutered, due to Microsoft not listening to its customers, and making windows harder to use.

At least there was always the option to totally disable it, which is what I've done in every version of windows since it was released.

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Ian W    2,331

Vista was a massive fail, as was Windows 8.

 

The sooner they completely dump metro, and bring out Windows 9 with full desktop/mouse/keyboard support, as it is in Windows 7 . . .

Slightly off-topic, but how can you bash Windows Vista in one paragraph and praise Windows 7 in the next? Windows Vista introduced most of the features that Windows users are currently clamoring for (such as Windows Aero, Windows 7-style Start menu, etc.) Doesn't Vista also offer full support for the desktop paradigm, mouse, and keyboard?

 

And still is today, despite it being pretty much neutered, due to Microsoft not listening to its customers, and making windows harder to use.

At least there was always the option to totally disable it, which is what I've done in every version of windows since it was released.

Edit: Microsoft didn't listen to customers when modifying UAC in Windows 7 . . .? I thought the consensus at the time was that the feature was too annoying or intrusive?

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McKay    3,696

horsepuckey yourself

 

the start menu and mouse/keyboard are the ideal way to drive a computer that is actually used to do productive work.

 

Anyone who thinks the metro interface is good, obviously does nothing more than browse information and consume media (and use it like a toy, which is basically what metro is).

There is no way it can be used in a productive way for business purposes or by (power) users who need to get things done.

 

These exact same arguments were made AGAINST the start menu when it was introduced in 1995, by people who swore by the Windows 3.1 Program Manager, calling anyone who liked the Start Menu "kiddies" etc, and saying "professionals" were "more productive" with the program manager.

 

Plenty of people are able to get work done using the Start Screen, saying otherwise is nonsense, It's just a program launcher. Me launching Office from the Start Screen or the Start Menu doesn't make a lick of difference. 

 

Every feature will be complained about by a certain group of people, and the ones who complain about it are always more vocal than the ones who dont mind it. 

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Dot Matrix    7,437

Nobody was asking for the change to Modern or Metro. So that was definitely NOT a necessary change :)

If you came from Windows 7 or earlier... ALL of your programs were traditional desktop programs. And the machine you're using is also a traditional desktop or laptop.

So it's only natural to have a meh attitude (or even hate) Microsoft's new focus on Metro and touch-based apps.

In a recent video... Windows VP Joe Belfiore said the following:

"Windows 8 was a new design for Windows that was created to enable awesome new touch-based tablets and PCs"

And then in the very next sentence he says:

"we know that many Windows 8 and 8.1 users are still using mouse and keyboard... or don't have a touchscreen at all"

Well... no #### sherlock. What kind of research did you do? Didn't you know that there are a billion Windows PCs out in the world that don't have a touchscreen? So why change the UI at all?

At least all your old traditional Windows software will still work. But you gotta wonder what they were thinking.

Judging by the way they are putting back old features... their plan didn't work out too well.

Nobody asked for the Ribbon, either. So what? Nobody has asked for any change, but we still get it regardless.

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vcfan    2,338

Now look at all the things Microsoft is putting back into Windows 8 and other fixes... is this an admission that Microsoft screwed up?

hundreds of millions of modern apps are being downloaded in an app store that's one and a half years young. adding features and options to aid in the transition is not screwing up.

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blerk    316

What's wrong with searching? It's not like you have to sit there and type the EXACT application executable name anymore. Type in a few characters, click the icon that appears, and be on your way.

The Search function would be more useful if it had better autocorrect/suggest functionality. 

 

I don't have this problem but I've seen people type the names of programs (and files, etc) wrong, and it the search function is not particularly intelligent - the correct program/file might not show up at all, instead all you get are the internet search results which are not particularly helpful...

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Michael Scrip    413

Nobody asked for the Ribbon, either. So what? Nobody has asked for any change, but we still get it regardless.

That's a good point.  Microsoft knew the ribbon would be better than digging around through sub-menus. And they've kept the Ribbon... despite the hate.

 

I'm guessing they also thought the Start Screen would be better than digging through the old Start Menu.  They even got rid of the start button just so you'd forget about it.

 

But here we are... first the return of a button... and now rumors of a start menu.

 

People didn't ask for the change... but it doesn't matter because many of these changes are being reversed.

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Quillz    1,011

These exact same arguments were made AGAINST the start menu when it was introduced in 1995, by people who swore by the Windows 3.1 Program Manager, calling anyone who liked the Start Menu "kiddies" etc, and saying "professionals" were "more productive" with the program manager.

 

Plenty of people are able to get work done using the Start Screen, saying otherwise is nonsense, It's just a program launcher. Me launching Office from the Start Screen or the Start Menu doesn't make a lick of difference. 

 

Every feature will be complained about by a certain group of people, and the ones who complain about it are always more vocal than the ones who dont mind it. 

Take it one step farther... Back when Windows was first released, "GUIs are for kids. Real men don't use mice."

 

And I'm sure when computers were first being invented, purists were talking about how much more productive they would be on typewriters.

 

All these arguments are nothing new. And I find that I am just as productive on Win8 as I have been on any previous version of Windows. And I do "real things" like research papers, Illustrator usage, etc.

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Michael Scrip    413

adding features and options to aid in the transition is not screwing up.

They're adding some features and options that they took away in the first place.

 

That tells me that Microsoft didn't do enough research on how people actually use their computers.

 

I'm sure there were many meetings like this in Redmond:  "Let's take this feature away... nobody will miss it..."

 

oops... 

 

If you have something in one version of Windows... and then you take it way for the next version of Windows... then you put it back in the following version of Windows.... isn't that considered screwing up?  :)

 

Maybe "screwing up" is too harsh of a term... but you get the idea.

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McKay    3,696

Take it one step farther... Back when Windows was first released, "GUIs are for kids. Real men don't use mice."

 

And I'm sure when computers were first being invented, purists were talking about how much more productive they would be on typewriters.

 

All these arguments are nothing new. And I find that I am just as productive on Win8 as I have been on any previous version of Windows. And I do "real things" like research papers, Illustrator usage, etc.

 

Im hoping this new Start menu lets me choose how wide it is, one thing that bothered me about the old Start menu was you could only make it taller, couldn't take advantage of my horizontal screen real estate, the thing people have most of.

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Jim K    13,735

Good...hopefully it comes with a "legacy" option.  I absolutely hate Metro and the start screen.  One other option I would like to see added is the ability to see text clearly on dark themes.  One of my other major gripes.

 

 

post-21852-0-86533000-1396659303.jpg

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Dot Matrix    7,437

Im hoping this new Start menu lets me choose how wide it is, one thing that bothered me about the old Start menu was you could only make it taller, couldn't take advantage of my horizontal screen real estate, the thing people have most of.

This. The old Windows XP era Start Menu wasn't scalable at all. It was never updated to take advantage of bigger monitors and resolutions. Just one of the many issues with it.

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Quillz    1,011

Good...hopefully it comes with a "legacy" option.  I absolutely hate Metro and the start screen.  One other option I would like to see added is the ability to see text clearly on dark themes.  One of my other major gripes.

Yes, this is very annoying for me. This wasn't an issue on Vista/7, no idea why the text won't just automatically go white if you have black window chrome. It's a shame, too... I *want* to use black window chrome, but I can't, for this very reason.

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