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Opening Windows 8: Rethinking the missing Start menu

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You may not realize that Microsoft has actually been a proponent of the tablet PC for more than a decade. In fact as early as 2002 they were releasing a tablet PC version of Windows. For numerous reasons previous generations of the Windows tablet PC simply didn't work for most people. The interface wasn't particularly tablet friendly, the operating system was too power hungry, and PC hardware ...

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#1
Quote:
For example, if you're trying to find a standard built-in Windows program like Notepad you have two choices. Either you switch to the Start screen, change the view to show all the program shortcuts and then click on the Notepad tile or you can use Search from the Charms bar and Windows will drag you to the Start screen automatically
Or you could right click the bottom left of the screen and choose "Run" then type "notepad", you could even pin "Run" to your taskbar, then it is even easier. As a home user I have used Windows and Mac for a long time. I really don't get why people are making such a big deal about Windows 8. Everything can be as easy as you want it to be. People just don't like change.

And for those that miss their start menu, then download one, there are a few good free ones out there.
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#2
Originally posted by bloke2000:
And for those that miss their start menu, then download one, there are a few good free ones out there.

Or save money and hassle and avoid Windows 8 altogether. ;-)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Nov 2012 @ 6:46

#3
Originally posted by nonoitall:
Originally posted by bloke2000:
And for those that miss their start menu, then download one, there are a few good free ones out there.

Or save money and hassle and avoid Windows 8 altogether. ;-)
I Agree with your point, but I am coming from a developers perspective so cannot afford to Avoid Windows 8.
#4
Originally posted by bloke2000:
I Agree with your point, but I am coming from a developers perspective so cannot afford to Avoid Windows 8.

You wouldn't be the first if you did.

#5
Originally posted by bloke2000:
Quote:
For example, if you're trying to find a standard built-in Windows program like Notepad you have two choices. Either you switch to the Start screen, change the view to show all the program shortcuts and then click on the Notepad tile or you can use Search from the Charms bar and Windows will drag you to the Start screen automatically
Or you could right click the bottom left of the screen and choose "Run" then type "notepad", you could even pin "Run" to your taskbar, then it is even easier. As a home user I have used Windows and Mac for a long time. I really don't get why people are making such a big deal about Windows 8. Everything can be as easy as you want it to be. People just don't like change.

And for those that miss their start menu, then download one, there are a few good free ones out there.
Yes, you can manually run notepad...but what if you are like me, with a start menu that has 25 apps pinned to it, many with long path names so I can't just type "photoshop" but instead have to type ""C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5 (64 Bit)\Photoshop.exe"". Yes, I can get a new start menu...but I already have a f**king start menu...it came with windows 7. As for putting them all on the desktop, that doesn't work for me. I use the desktop as a virtual desktop of sorts...it is usually full of the files from whatever project I am working on.

As for this being a good thing because it forces people to customize their UI, I am not sure that is the case. Look at Android as an example...a lot simpler and easier to learn than a PC OS, yet the (slightly) different UIs between manufacturers is one of the biggest user complains when upgrading...and that is with a start menu of sorts.


#6
Quote:
I Agree with your point, but I am coming from a developers perspective so cannot afford to Avoid Windows 8.
That's kind of crock right there, for starters there are numerous other OS clients to develop for. Second, look what happened when developers didn't push behind Windows ME and VITA. We ended up with XP and 7. What will we end up with after 8? I can't see the Metro UI going away anytime soon, but MS will definitely make changes to improve the interface over time like they did with their previous OS's. Sure you can jump on board the Win 8 wagon, or you can be patient and wait to see what upgrades MS can do for you.
#7
BlllG Unverified new user
It seems like any change to Windows makes people whine and run for the hills. The new start menu through Metro is just as fast and useful as the old one. I upgraded both of my computers to Windows 8 for $15 / each and I couldn't be happier with it. Remember when people complained Windows 7 was bloated and hogs system resources. Windows 8 leaves a tiny footprint on your hard drive, it uses hardly any ram, and it boots up twice as fast as Windows 7. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon to complain about changes from Windows 7, how about you actually give the OS a shot. Even with a mouse and keyboard I find it very useful and intuitive.
#8
More and more it's looking like Microsoft looked at an ipod or android tablet from 4 years ago and said "This! Make it exactly like this! This is what people must want!".

But then didn't pay attention as android and even iOS started developing windows like features;
-sub folders, icon containers that open small windows containing said icons
-a statusbar/notification bar in place of start menu.
-Not to mention droid is years ahead with an army of freelance developers in widgets/gadgets that update and do shit.

They should have stayed with the desktop, it's not a dying market like everyone thinks. Just like the fax machine didn't eliminate paper. People will still want to sit a desk and use something they don't have to hold up all day or fumble with sensitive touchpads/touchscreens/tabkeyboards.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Nov 2012 @ 9:35
#9
Originally posted by Mysttic:
Quote:
I Agree with your point, but I am coming from a developers perspective so cannot afford to Avoid Windows 8.
That's kind of crock right there, for starters there are numerous other OS clients to develop for. Second, look what happened when developers didn't push behind Windows ME and VITA. We ended up with XP and 7. What will we end up with after 8? I can't see the Metro UI going away anytime soon, but MS will definitely make changes to improve the interface over time like they did with their previous OS's. Sure you can jump on board the Win 8 wagon, or you can be patient and wait to see what upgrades MS can do for you.
Please can I come along and skip with you on your fluffy clouds in your perfect world. Sadly the reality is I work for a Microsoft Partner company and we are very much committed to their platform (be that good or bad). We cannot just jump ship to another platform because we don't like Windows 8 as it is today.

As far as ME and "VITA" (Vista) are concerned, these posed a very different issue to Windows 8, Windows 8 is driving forward with a new way of doing things (be it right or wrong) ME and Vista didn't provide anything revolutionary to the product, they just didn't work that well.
#10
Originally posted by bloke2000:
Quote:
For example, if you're trying to find a standard built-in Windows program like Notepad you have two choices. Either you switch to the Start screen, change the view to show all the program shortcuts and then click on the Notepad tile or you can use Search from the Charms bar and Windows will drag you to the Start screen automatically
Or you could right click the bottom left of the screen and choose "Run" then type "notepad", you could even pin "Run" to your taskbar, then it is even easier. As a home user I have used Windows and Mac for a long time. I really don't get why people are making such a big deal about Windows 8. Everything can be as easy as you want it to be. People just don't like change.

While it's certainly not a problem for someone like you or me to use the Run dialog that way, to most people it's really not that simple. They simply don't understand enough about the system to even come up with that idea. In fact in the video I bring up the point that in Windows 8 the desktop has become much more of a power user's UI because there are so many things that are much more complicated if you don't have that level of understanding.

I agree that a lot of the objections are from people who just don't want the big change, but personally I've been frustrated by the Start menu for quite a while now and the changes in Windows 8 don't address my concerns at all.

Quote:
And for those that miss their start menu, then download one, there are a few good free ones out there.

I would go even further and suggest that this is also the solution to the Start menu overhaul Windows desperately needs. In fact I would even say that Microsoft has, completely by accident, set in motion exactly the kind of overhaul the desktop GUI has needed for years. By removing the Start menu Microsoft has motivated users to look for a significant third party add-on to enhance the GUI and also a lot more developers to devote time to creating it.

I'm already starting to like Classic Shell's Start menu better than what's built into Windows 7. I can't wait to see where things go next.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer
#11
I used it and removed it. IT STINKS !!! Slow and Dumb ! Does not allow for nessesary tweaking to get the computer to run correctly. Example: You can't remove transparancy. In Win 8 preview transparancy did not exist. That is why it was so fast. Pass up this garbage. P.S It does not allow you to remove Win 8 and go back to your previous version of windows like older versions. I had an image backup of Win 7 so I was able to go back. So unless you are very computer geeky you are stuck with crappy Win 8 !
#12
I can understand people's frustrations, but if you're talking about running an app it's just

Windows key -> Type name of app -> press enter

The complaint can only be the fact that it's pulling you out of your desktop experience just to run an app. That I can understand, the amount of steps required is about the same unless you are trying to get to the control panel or search for a document or image.
#13
Quote:
Please can I come along and skip with you on your fluffy clouds in your perfect world. Sadly the reality is I work for a Microsoft Partner company and we are very much committed to their platform (be that good or bad). We cannot just jump ship to another platform because we don't like Windows 8 as it is today.
You don't need to be like that. First you said you were a developer without indicating you are a valued MS Partner, so spare me your holier than thou art attitude. I worked in various tech industries and dealt with MS Partners in both distribution and support; had you simply said you were one of them, I would have worded my comment different.

You have a point about ME and VITA not being revolutionary, be that as it may, even being a valued MS Partner doesn't mean you have to stay on 1 ship, or not cross over. You choose to be an MS partner, others do as well. Other MS Partners clearly stated Windows 8 is not for them; and in the tech business you support where the people go if you want to make $. What you do is your choice, but don't brush it off as you don't have one, you do; but since you choose to ignore it, than sink or swim until the next OS.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Nov 2012 @ 11:05
#14
I installed Windows 8 and within a few hours restored my Windows 7 backup. A lot of things I like in Windows 7 are not in Windows 8, like the Windows XP virtual desktop. I miss Windows Aero and the start orb and the gadgets. I also found start up items where not starting up or I had to go to my desktop to get it to load, for example my logitech G19 keyboard software. I did an upgrade and not a fresh install and it might be due to that I don't know. Settings I know how and where to change are in different spots or you need to do different steps to achieve what I knew how to do before. The "metro" start screen is not that bad as I thought but if I had a choice I would not use it and stick with the start orb/bar.
#15
Or you can disregard most of this nonsense that says you can only open Notepad 2 ways: Start menu and "change the view to show all icons" or "use Charm to search".

F that and f everyone that rags meritlessly about this OS! Simply Start and even MORE SIMPLY.......JUST START TYPING ANY PROGRAM YOU WANT.

This article review is totally F.O.S. and those nincompoops that choose to upgrade to 8 and then use a 3rd party crap software to "restore the START button functionality" should simply tuck tail, run and hide and revert back to Windows 7.....or better yet.......go back to XP.

Now....those that keep making up excuses to not like the new OS (especially those that have yet to give it a concerted effort).........PIPE DOWN!

The OS is rather slick, quick and very intuitive and even on my standard laptop, it's easy to find everything with a little tiny bit of effort.

So many "IT pros" and "technically savvy" are lazy as HELL and don't want to learn anything so I say GET THE HECK OUT OF THIS INDUSTRY AND PAY PEOPLE LIKE ME TO WIPE YOUR COMPUTERIZED ARSES.
#16
OK, you have that opinion. But for the rest of the world that isn't tech savy how would they know to type "notepad", my grandma still calls it the typewriter program. Or for even more advanced options like changing the screensaver, or finding that program you installed 3 months ago, where will it be on Metro at that point with it's limited "tiles"?

And excuse me because typing more and clicking three times as much is being lazy...
#17
Originally posted by hearme0:
Or you can disregard most of this nonsense that says you can only open Notepad 2 ways: Start menu and "change the view to show all icons" or "use Charm to search".

F that and f everyone that rags meritlessly about this OS! Simply Start and even MORE SIMPLY.......JUST START TYPING ANY PROGRAM YOU WANT.

This article review is totally F.O.S. and those nincompoops that choose to upgrade to 8 and then use a 3rd party crap software to "restore the START button functionality" should simply tuck tail, run and hide and revert back to Windows 7.....or better yet.......go back to XP.

Now....those that keep making up excuses to not like the new OS (especially those that have yet to give it a concerted effort).........PIPE DOWN!

The OS is rather slick, quick and very intuitive and even on my standard laptop, it's easy to find everything with a little tiny bit of effort.

So many "IT pros" and "technically savvy" are lazy as HELL and don't want to learn anything so I say GET THE HECK OUT OF THIS INDUSTRY AND PAY PEOPLE LIKE ME TO WIPE YOUR COMPUTERIZED ARSES.
You must work for Microsoft !
#18
You must work for Microsoft !
Either that, or he's one of the over 4 million consumers who downloaded Windows 8.

Funny how so many self-proclaimed IT experts struggle so much with Windows 8, but ordinary consumers like myself have had no problems with it and been happy with what we consider an upgrade. (Me and the other 4 million people, that is. Of course, it's probably way over 4 million by now -- 4 million was just the first weekend.)
#19
Originally posted by SoTired:
You must work for Microsoft !
Either that, or he's one of the over 4 million consumers who downloaded Windows 8.

Funny how so many self-proclaimed IT experts struggle so much with Windows 8, but ordinary consumers like myself have had no problems with it and been happy with what we consider an upgrade. (Me and the other 4 million people, that is. Of course, it's probably way over 4 million by now -- 4 million was just the first weekend.)
Enjoy It. I hate it !
#20
Originally posted by ronhondo:
Originally posted by SoTired:
You must work for Microsoft !
Either that, or he's one of the over 4 million consumers who downloaded Windows 8.

Funny how so many self-proclaimed IT experts struggle so much with Windows 8, but ordinary consumers like myself have had no problems with it and been happy with what we consider an upgrade. (Me and the other 4 million people, that is. Of course, it's probably way over 4 million by now -- 4 million was just the first weekend.)
Enjoy It. I hate it !
I'm not sure why that made me laugh, but it did. (I don't mean that in a bad way.)

Stepping back, I agree with the general principal that we have entered the era of the touch interface. We use touch screens at the grocery store, gas station, ATM, and even on our phone. The only place we don't systematically use them is the one place you would expect to use them -- your desktop/laptop computer. It is baffling that it has taken this long to have an OS that moves desktops/laptops into the touch era. The mouse era is coming to an end.

As with any major change, there will be growing pains. The desktop in particular presents ergonomic challenges -- even if my desktop screen had touch capacity, my screen is too far back to comfortably use that way. And moving it closer would bug out my eyes. But all evolution presents challenges, and hardware manufacturers will solve them.

For those who want to sit back and wait until Microsoft irons out the kinks, the good news is that Windows 7 remains an outstanding solution. But Windows 8 has clearly charted the path of the future, whether people choose to get on board now or prefer to wait for the next version.
#21
First off, SoTired, I HAVE used Win8, and quite simply disliked it. Your reasons for liking the OS are yours, and yours alone, just like any opinion is for anyone. You can stop trying to act as if you speak for any kind of vast majority, thenkyew.

Second, the mouse is not going anywhere, simply because M$ made a touchscreen-capable OS. Many people don't care to spend a rather significant bucket of money for a touchscreen monitor, don't want to have to clean greasy fingerprints off their monitor, and furthermore, don't want to reach over their desk/work area to swipe at their monitor when the mouse is right next to their keyboard (as you note yourself). Additionally, touch panels are NOT as accurate as mouse input, and won't be for a while, if ever.

Third, your observation about people waiting for the next version hits the nail squarely on the head. There's no reason, currently, to adopt Win8. None. Not one "killer app" exists for the OS! Why should anyone give up a solid, fast, reliable OS, simply to help M$ debug their crappy interface? You think people want to shell out $360-500+ for a new touchscreen monitor? Or to deal with Win8's silly interface kluges for those who don't have touch panels? Really?!

Your rants re: Win8 are quite amusingly similar to similar diatribes by like-minded people over users' refusal to adopt Vista. Sorry, but people who skipped Vista did the right thing! Win7 is essentially Vista done right, nothing more.

I'll wait for Win9, which will hopefully be Win8 done right.
#22
Originally posted by Bozobub:
First off, SoTired, I HAVE used Win8, and quite simply disliked it. Your reasons for liking the OS are yours, and yours alone, just like any opinion is for anyone. You can stop trying to act as if you speak for any kind of vast majority, thenkyew.

Second, the mouse is not going anywhere, simply because M$ made a touchscreen-capable OS. Many people don't care to spend a rather significant bucket of money for a touchscreen monitor, don't want to have to clean greasy fingerprints off their monitor, and furthermore, don't want to reach over their desk/work area to swipe at their monitor when the mouse is right next to their keyboard (as you note yourself). Additionally, touch panels are NOT as accurate as mouse input, and won't be for a while, if ever.

Third, your observation about people waiting for the next version hits the nail squarely on the head. There's no reason, currently, to adopt Win8. None. Not one "killer app" exists for the OS! Why should anyone give up a solid, fast, reliable OS, simply to help M$ debug their crappy interface? You think people want to shell out $360-500+ for a new touchscreen monitor? Or to deal with Win8's silly interface kluges for those who don't have touch panels? Really?!

Your rants re: Win8 are quite amusingly similar to similar diatribes by like-minded people over users' refusal to adopt Vista. Sorry, but people who skipped Vista did the right thing! Win7 is essentially Vista done right, nothing more.

I'll wait for Win9, which will hopefully be Win8 done right.
You don't even see your own hypocrisy?

Your first paragraph chides me for acting as if I speak for others, but your second paragraphs purports to tell us about what "many people don't care" do to. What a joke.

Putting your hypocrisy aside, my feelings are in line with the 4 million people who upgraded to Windows 8 in the first three days after release. No OS in history has had that many people upgrade in the first three days after release. Including Windows 7. You are welcome to live in denial and pretend that Windows 8 will be another Vista. But the sales figures aren't supporting your speculation. (And neither is Microsoft's stock price -- up 5% since the October 26 release date, while Apple's is down 5% despite Apple releasing the iPad Mini. Apparently the analysts are betting that my opinions do, in fact, represent the majority.)

I also got a chuckle at your claim that people don't want to have fingerprints on their monitors, and that people don't like the inaccuracy of touch interface. Apparently you have been living in a cave the last several years. There's this new device called the "tablet" which uses -- gasp -- a touch interface. Complete with fingerprints on the monitor and whatever "inaccuracy" is inherent in the touch interface. None of that seems to bother people. Except you. Which is fine -- it's cute that you to have an opinion and all that. But clearly your opinion is not in line with the rest of the world that has decided touch interfaces are just fine, notwithstanding the problems your describe.
#23
I say "many people don't care to spend a rather significant bucket of money for a touchscreen monitor", because many people have said so, including me. Observing that fact is not hypocrisy, bub.

As for the adoption of Windows 8: I'm pretty sure the fact that M$ is offering the OS for $15 has a LOT to do with it, silly boy; it's the cheapest any M$ OS has ever been.

Next, I challenge you to run a CAD program with a touchscreen, just as one example. Go for it. You can go ahead and take "inaccuracy" out of those quotes now =) . The (lack of) ergonomics of reaching out/up to your monitor constantly is no joke, either; if you don't think that's going to cause serious repetitive stress injuries over time, YOU are living in denial.

Furthermore, tablets have a big advantage over desktop monitors, when using (or cleaning!) a touchscreen: It's just plain easier! Don't think so? Try picking up your 24" monitor like you'd hold a tablet, then think again - lol. That's kind of the purpose of a tablet computer, after all.

And last, I'll have you note that I *never* said a touchscreen-capable OS is, itself, a bad thing. I merely maintain that the current, klugey compromise M$ has come up with in Win8 has serious issues, and it DOES. You may feel it necessary to gloss over those issues, but I'll simply wait for the next iteration of the OS, where they're likely to do much better, as has been the pattern for M$ for a long time now.

It's cute that you have an opinion and all that. But clearly your opinion isn't well thought-out. Funny, how your rather condescending line also works so well for me, isn't it?
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Nov 2012 @ 6:34
#24
In duplicating Apple's strategies of bloated prices, walled gardens and form over function, I think Microsoft has managed to also duplicate its own Apple-esque flock of zealots. I don't ever recall such passionate defense being mounted for Windows 7, or even Windows Vista for that matter.

#25
I have talked to a bunch of devs and alot are not going to touch win 8. they know it wont last long. Keep the tablet os's in the tablet world, why make a tablet os on a pc? you really think big business are going to use windows 8. If they do, they will most likely fall back to vista or 7. or even Linux. ive seen people make a move to linux when vista came out. And they are still using it company wide.

i dont and never will have a use for a tablet, Im a Android fan and big linux fan. I use them both more than i do windows.

windows 8 will be there biggest OS fail.
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