Print 155 comment(s) - last by NellyFromMA.. on Jul 5 at 11:23 AM

Data mined from Windows 7 showed users were foresaking the once commonly used GUI element

Notice something missing from Windows 8's Consumer Preview, Release Preview, and the leaked screenshots of the "release to manufacturing" build, which feature a Metro UI makeover?

That's right -- the Start button is gone for the first time.

The decision to not only kill the Start button, but rip out any code that would allow it to be restored was a controversial one, but Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is standing behind it.  Chaitanya Sareen, principal program manager at Microsoft comments in an interview with PCPro:

When we evolved the taskbar we saw awesome adoption of pinning [applications] on the taskbar. We are seeing people pin like crazy. And so we saw the Start menu usage dramatically dropping, and that gave us an option. We’re saying 'look, Start menu usage is dropping, what can we do about it? What can we do with the Start menu to revive it, to give it some new identity, give it some new power?

In other words, Microsoft is arguing that the majority of the users don't want the Start menu, and are showing it via their usage behavior.

The Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program discovered this trend by mining data from Windows 7 users.  Windows 7 introduced the pinning feature, which allowed you to add your favorite apps to your taskbar.  Another cause of users' abandonment of the Start button may be Microsoft's improved search functionality, which can quickly find less commonly used programs or folders.

Windows 7 Start Button
The start button goes the way of the Dodo in Windows 8. [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

In many ways Microsoft's approach mirrors Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) design philosophy.  In OS X you have a single row of pinned icons on the bottom of the screen, which provide your principal app access.  Lesser apps are typically found and opened via the search widget.

That's not to say the change in direction will be without controversy.  Will you miss the start button?

Source: PCPro UK

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But why take away choice for the consumers?
By 91TTZ on 6/28/2012 11:14:15 AM , Rating: 5
I can understand Microsoft feeling that customers didn't want it (which I disagree with) and leaving it out by default, but why would they go out of their way to rip out the code so you can't re-enable it? That doesn't sound like the act of giving consumers what they want, that sounds like the act of forcing something on consumers.

In every other version of Windows you have a default theme for the GUI and then you had others you could choose from. If I wanted to set my Windows look and feel to "Windows Classic" I could do it. They didn't force me to use the cartoonish colors that were default in Windows XP, they gave me the choice to change it. I like the Start Button in the default location but if other people wanted to move it they could. They could drag the taskbar to whatever side of the screen they wanted. It was fully customizable.

With them forcing a certain way to do things it doesn't sound like they're really interested in giving the customer a choice. They want to force things on people.

By geddarkstorm on 6/28/2012 11:29:41 AM , Rating: 5
It's kinda funny. Microsoft listens to its customers only when it comes to totally removing features and consumer choice? Thanks...?

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By MrBlastman on 6/28/2012 2:04:45 PM , Rating: 5
If I wanted my PC to act like a stupid Mac, I'd buy a stupid Mac. I don't want to be forced into it acting like one.

I hate my Wife's Macbook, it is annoying and frustrating to use--not because I don't know the interface--I do, but because it is inefficient and as I see it, not well thought out and has quirks in it that I dislike.

Now, as for the Start button, I dislike how they forced upon me the newer style in Windows 7 versus how I could turn the Windows XP one into a more 98 like button and menu.

These lead to my main point, which is I use a PC because I like to be able to customize and tweak things while remaining compatible with the majority of software out there. I I didn't care about compatability, I'd be using BSD or Linux which I know very well. But because of that, Microsoft in the past has always allowed us to manipulate and modify things to our liking. Windows 8 on the PC platform feels like a step backwards.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By Valahano on 6/28/2012 3:11:17 PM , Rating: 2

I do not believe that having few checkboxes in settings dialogs is that expensive for Microsoft. It seems like MS is being overtaken by rather dumb (but ambitious!) UI designers.

All my future hopes are in 3rd party shell replacements, I hope I won't be forced to use Win8 on the desktop any time soon.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By rs2 on 6/28/2012 7:59:32 PM , Rating: 5
There is a kernel of truth to what Microsoft is saying. I do pin all of my frequently used applications to the taskbar. I do not use the Start menu to access any of those frequently used apps.

However, there are still times when I need to go into the Start menu for something, whether it's to access a less frequently used program that I'd rather not have cluttering up the taskbar, or to get to the control panel or the shutdown options, or to initiate a search. So while I use it less, I still use it, and in my opinion the decision to remove it is not acceptable.

I think Windows 8 will turn out a lot like Vista. There's nothing necessarily wrong with it, but there will still be a lot of people who decide to stick with the previous version of Windows because there's just not enough of a compelling reason to switch and/or too many drawbacks associated with doing so. Personally I think I'll stick with Windows 7 until Windows 9 comes out. I'm quite happy with Win 7, and if it isn't broke, don't fix it.

By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 8:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair here, everything you just pointed out (except maybe shutdown), is pretty much exactly the same in metro.

By Trisped on 6/28/2012 9:47:19 PM , Rating: 5
Pinning is pretty much the same as the quick launch bar. I did not see Microsoft trying to cut the start menu then.

The fact is the start menu provides certain functionality guarantees which are no longer availble on the desktop. For example, you can get to your list of programs, the file system, the control panel.

I do not mind upgrading, enhancing, or even replacing a feature. I do mind when a feature is removed and not replaced. And before all you Windows 8 BSers start ranting, yes I have used the latest build, and no it does not guarantee all those things will be accessible from one menu. The current start screen is fully customizable, meaning everything there can be removed (not that it has what I want/need anyways). Yes, it has a menu where they can be searched for and a menu where the digging can begin.

Just because people are not using it as much as before does not mean it needs to be removed. If I stop using a dictionary every day does that mean it needs to be removed? No, sometimes you need it and sometimes you don't. Just because you only needed it 2-3 times a day instead of 10-20 does not mean it should be thrown away so it can never be used again.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By erple2 on 6/29/2012 3:46:42 PM , Rating: 3
I use the start menu all the time. Well that's not true. I use the start key (aka windows key) all the time. I have started to simply type the app I want to use rather than navigating with a mouse. Heck, I barely ever pin anything to the bottom bar. Its faster for me to hit windows key plus type the first couple of characters of the app I'm going to use rather than use a mouse to click on a clunky icon.

Then again, I also prefer vim to other text editors...

By WalksTheWalk on 7/3/2012 10:27:46 AM , Rating: 2
To me this is more about the switch to the Metro interface than the Start button itself. The Start button is completely gone; it's been replaced by the Metro start interface. This is the interface MS is moving forward with, like it or not. While I don't think that the new Metro start interface is very efficient, I can see where it will be appealing to many users.

I agree with MS mostly when it comes to the taskbar. The Windows 7 taskbar is great. I can pin all of my primary apps to it and they are always in the same spot. I don't have to open apps in a certain order to have them appear in the same spot on the taskbar. I can easily see which apps have open windows and how many they have. There were some tradeoffs with this appraoch, but once I got used to it I found it more productive than the 95/98/NT/2000/XP/Vista taskbar.

I think this is one of those watershed moments for Microsoft who, historically, has supported backwards compatibility instead of drawing a line in the sand and moving forward with newer technology. This is their line in the sand. Honestly, no matter what they do millions of people will not be happy.

By DT_Reader on 6/28/2012 6:55:01 PM , Rating: 1
In the past, Microsoft did all they could to prevent the user from customizing things. They wanted anyone to be able to sit down at any PC and see a familiar interface, not something the PC's owner had customized. They only relented and allowed a pitifully small amount of customization when XP got serious about user accounts. Even then, Tweek UI was a non-supported, under-the-table tool.

If you want to be able to customize your PC, get Linux, where you have a choice of dozens of desktop managers, each fully customizable.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By p05esto on 6/28/2012 10:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
I agree totally. The Win7 Start Menu as not as good as the one in Vista and below. They forced me into using something I still don't like as much (and it's been like 2 years). Just the fact I can't put folders in the start menu sucks bad.

By HeyItsTodd on 6/29/2012 2:37:53 AM , Rating: 4
Just the fact I can't put folders in the start menu sucks bad.

I suppose it would suck if that were true, but it isn't.

1. Click the start button.

2. Right-click on "All Programs".

3. Choose "Open" or "Open All Users".

4. Create, edit, delete, rearrange items as needed.

By xdrol on 7/3/2012 5:28:42 AM , Rating: 2
What the hell are you talking about? You can, of course.

The whole menu just moved under "all programs", and the recently used stuff occupy the rest. And 90% of the time they are what I actually want.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By Ticholo on 6/28/2012 11:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
In a way, I guess it makes more sense to decide to remove it completely than leave it for those who want it, because it would be one more thing to develop and maintain and if less and less people are using it they don't want to be wasting money on that.
But, despite Metro and all that, how much different is W8 that the existing Start button/menu wasn't basically a copy/paste affair with minimal fiddling to make sure it worked right? And then they could add the option to have it show or not.

Your point about customisation is right, though. I suspect they're focusing all that on Metro, but I don't feel I'd want to use it as my primary interface for anything other than a tablet. I also don't think any amount of customisation will help it, for me.

By geddarkstorm on 6/28/2012 11:49:26 AM , Rating: 3
The little third party program, Start8, had no problem making a version of the Start Menu for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. It was metro themed and really dang cool.

So, why's it so hard for Microsoft? And why's it so hard for Microsoft to just ignore and leave in the codes Start8 needed to work? MS had to go out of its way to remove this, not vice versa.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By mcnabney on 6/28/2012 1:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
Because F U, that's why!

By geddarkstorm on 6/28/2012 2:07:42 PM , Rating: 4
Haha, I can't help but imagine that in Steve Balmer's voice.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By HeyItsTodd on 6/29/2012 2:42:44 AM , Rating: 3
So, why's it so hard for Microsoft?

It's not a matter of difficulty for their developers, it's a conscious choice to not increase the number of ways of achieving the same thing on the system, and thus have to support multiple methods. It's a rare time, IMO, that they actually make development easier by reducing the code paths.

And why's it so hard for Microsoft to just ignore and leave in the codes Start8 needed to work?

Because when Microsoft does it, Microsoft has to support it. I for one wish they'd be more aggressive in deprecating API's and modules.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By mindless1 on 6/29/2012 4:43:50 AM , Rating: 2
No. It's just about making several changes to the OS so it can be called a new version, so it will feel different. Different is not always better. We had a start menu back when Win95 could be installed from floppy discs, the idea that it needs to go away to decrease API's and modules for something most people DO use every now and then is laughable given the OTHER bloat in windows today.

By HeyItsTodd on 6/29/2012 11:38:18 AM , Rating: 2
To me, the presence of Metro and encapsulating the Desktop as an application more than qualifies the product as a new version, especially by current standards. Having been through every Windows version from 3.0 onward, I appreciate any effort to make things easier for developers, as it seems like every step forward in the visible surface of the OS has been accompanied by complexity for the developer. While the Start Button is indeed relatively minor, I support efforts to reduce the number of routes to the same destination.

The main focus surely is to create a managed app environment, just like other vendors have done. I'm not sold that it's the right way to go, but it is undeniably the direction Microsoft and others are headed.

On a personal level, I rarely use the start button for anything other than typing in application names, which is what the start screen in Win8 does as well. Most of my program launches are done from the task bar and/or Launchy, so I don't miss the button at all.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By jnemesh on 6/28/2012 11:56:34 AM , Rating: 5
Why? Make no mistake, Microsoft removed the start button and Aero to make the Desktop environment as unpleasant as possible. They want you to be using "Metro" apps and stick to the "Metro" environment. Why? Because software for the desktop makes Microsoft ZERO dollars! Software for "Metro" gives them a 20-30% cut of the gross!

Expect Microsoft to push developers to Metro, HARD. Expect them to continue to depreciate the desktop so that Microsoft has TOTAL control over every app that you run.

I will be moving FAR away from this ecosystem. I suggest everyone else do the same.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By Jahooba on 6/28/2012 12:33:06 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. This isn't about "consumer choice" - it's about money. MS wants to funnel all its users into Metro Apps so they can make umpteen billion dollars like Apple.

"Be Like Apple" is probably posted over the entryway to the MS offices.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By jabber on 6/28/2012 1:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yes indeed it's all about the Apps and nothing else.

Seems so few of us have woken up to this fact.

It's got nothing to do with improving the UI its about pushing users into a new money channel.

Sausage machine anyone?

By geddarkstorm on 6/28/2012 2:10:02 PM , Rating: 2
Whoa, I hadn't realized this. A 20-30% cut of the Metro app sales? So much for the PC as we knew it.

By augiem on 6/28/2012 10:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
I've been predicting this for years. It's the console model. App store software will entirely replace downloading software from websites or purchasing discs in stores over the next 5 years on Windows and OSX. It's just too much money to ignore. If MS had gotten a 30% cut of all the software sold since MS-DOS they'd be bigger than any government in the world.

It's disgusting that Linux is the only way out of this trash. I hate Linux.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By xthetenth on 6/28/12, Rating: 0
RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 3:10:07 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, this is just crazy speculation. Total changes to the desktop are pretty much that there isn't the aero glass (who cares?) and the start menu is gone (and replaced with something that more or less has the exact same features for the majority of users). There is no decreased functionality whatsoever. Last time I used the start menu was XP, search has taken over.

The bottom line for metro vs. desktop apps is that if you're a developer and your app doesn't do anything especially complex, you can make a much higher quality app much quicker if you use metro. If you have a really in-depth program like photoshop or 7-zip or something like that, you obviously wouldn't.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By 91TTZ on 6/28/2012 3:28:57 PM , Rating: 5
There is no decreased functionality whatsoever. Last time I used the start menu was XP, search has taken over.

I'm using Windows 7 right now at my work PC and 12 of my most commonly used programs (along with Search) pop up as soon as I hit the Start button. In less than a second I'm able to start up any of the programs that I use the most. I don't see how removing the Start button and making us use Search can speed that up. Doing so requires more effort from the user and it takes longer to type in the program name in the Search field than it does to select it from a list.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 6:11:24 PM , Rating: 2
Just pin it to the metro menu then?

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By DT_Reader on 6/28/2012 7:04:48 PM , Rating: 3
What you really mean is "pin it to Metro's desktop replacement". OK, let's look at that: How many Windows icons can I fit on my desktop, vs. how many Metro tiles can you fit on your Metro screen? I think I win.

But that's not the point. I don't like icons on my desktop, they cover up my wallpaper. With Metro you have no choice, it's all icons - excuse me, tiles - and you have no wallpaper.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 7:06:37 PM , Rating: 1
? The desktop is still there, and you can put any wallpaper on there you want. The start menu was replaced, not the desktop.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By DT_Reader on 6/28/2012 7:13:14 PM , Rating: 2
But you have to go through Metro to get to the "desktop", which is just another Metro app.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 7:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
Well, sure. I would've liked to see an option to default at the desktop instead of having to hit windows+d, but it seems like a fairly minor point.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By DT_Reader on 6/28/2012 7:23:43 PM , Rating: 4
It's not a minor point, it's yet another unnecessary step between me and being productive.

By StevoLincolnite on 6/28/2012 10:37:09 PM , Rating: 4
They could have done something like...
Right click on the start button = Start Menu.
Left Click on the start button = Metro.
Everyone wins.

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By kmmatney on 6/28/2012 4:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
OK - I haven't been following the whole "Metro" App thing, but are you saying that you can only install Metro Apps through the App store? Are they going to tech savvy people to write/distribute/install their own Metro apps, but push their App store as the default App location for not-so-technical people?

RE: But why take away choice for the consumers?
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 6:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the app store is the only way to get a metro app

By Fritzr on 6/28/2012 11:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
You can either get your app approved by Microsoft and offered on the appstore or you can register as a developer and you will be allowed to install the app on machines tied to your Developer Account.

The days of grabbing a magazine off the rack and typing in a program, getting a bonus CD with a magazine or trading personally written programs with friends and neighbors are about dead unless something changes.

You will probably be able to load user written programs on Win8 x86 edition's desktop, but WOA will be a walled garden modeled on Apple iOS.

By Argon18 on 6/29/2012 12:25:10 PM , Rating: 1
Um, because it's Microsoft? Taking away user choice and locking you in their closed proprietary bullsh1t is what they do best.

By Digimonkey on 6/28/2012 11:29:51 AM , Rating: 5
I think it's just odd they didn't leave a button at all to at least take you back to Metro. People don't even know how to get back to the Metro screen after they went to the Desktop and that's a big issue.

RE: Meh
By MindParadox on 6/28/2012 11:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
People don't even know how to get back to the Metro screen after they went to the Desktop and that's a big issue.

You hit the Start button on your keyboard.

The really confusing thing is closing things, you have to go to Metro, hover in the upper left corner, wait for the little thing that looks like an ALT+TAB interface pops up, then mouse down it, right click on the application you want to close and choose "close" otherwise it stays open in the background, cause they ALSO removed the convenient "X" in the upper right corner(at least for everything that was preinstalled with Win8 RC, and the stuff I've gotten from the "Store" on it so far)

RE: Meh
By Helbore on 6/28/2012 11:49:23 AM , Rating: 5
You hit Alt-F4 on your keyboard.

RE: Meh
By MindParadox on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: Meh
By Helbore on 6/28/2012 12:18:38 PM , Rating: 1
Alt-F4 a stretch for your hand or a two-hand operation? AltGr-F4, perhaps. Alt-F4 only if you have really tiny hands.

RE: Meh
By mcnabney on 6/28/2012 1:33:58 PM , Rating: 3
What if you don't have your Win8Pro tablet docked?

Seriously, Microsoft is so flipping retarded.

I only occasionally use the Start button, maybe 4-5 times a week, but when I do it is to find a lesser used program that I would never have pinned. Usually things installed with a program that aren't the main executable or the various secondary software tools that I don't have enough room to pin - compression utilities, special use video tools, internet explorer, Opera, sticky notes, printer tools, tuner tools, scanner tools....

RE: Meh
By Helbore on 6/28/2012 1:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
Well you can close programs from the switcher or with a gesture. But then I didn't mention that being that the person I was responding to had just told someone they didn't need a start button because they could just use the keyboard - then went on to complain about the lack of a button to close programs. The irony of my response seemed to have gotten lost somewhere.

As for searching for lesser used programs, it works exactly the same. Go to the start screen and start typing. That functionality is not gone.

RE: Meh
By NellyFromMA on 6/28/2012 2:00:02 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft is SO retarded... look at all that money they make...


RE: Meh
By ClownPuncher on 6/28/2012 2:42:19 PM , Rating: 3
I like Microsoft, but... retards can make money too.

RE: Meh
By NellyFromMA on 7/5/2012 11:23:07 AM , Rating: 2
Probably not to the extent MS has as it relates to its peers. I wouldn't say a retard would be help in the same regard as the most successful person on theplanet.

We aren't talking dollars here... its not chump change and its not a fluke...

RE: Meh
By xthetenth on 6/28/2012 2:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
Usually things installed with a program that aren't the main executable or the various secondary software tools that I don't have enough room to pin

That's a lot of the point of the start screen, it gives you a ton more room to pin stuff. I run four wide columns of pinned tiles to allow for easy visual scanning, and I've currently got 38 tiles with room for 11 more without needing to move the screen. That's a lot more room than the start menu or taskbar offers, and a lot of what I like about win8.

RE: Meh
By DT_Reader on 6/28/2012 7:22:15 PM , Rating: 3
My Start menu has 54 items on it, with room for an infinite number of additional programs because the menu scrolls. It's an alphabetical list that I can easily scan to find what I need, not a sea of tiles where I have to hunt down what I need. Most of these items are folders which contain all those secondary tools that come with most software - how am I supposed to remember their names and use Search to find them?

RE: Meh
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 8:27:43 PM , Rating: 2
They're still grouped the same way on metro, group names have replaced folder names. From either metro or the desktop, hit windows + q, and you see them sorted the same way as the win7 start menu

RE: Meh
By sweatshopking on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: Meh
By MindParadox on 6/28/2012 11:59:23 AM , Rating: 5

Chasing? really? that hard to hit the upper right corner of your screen and click? hell, I find it harder to minimize or maximize a program cause I hit that "X" like the back of a prom dates' throat!

RE: Meh
By sweatshopking on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: Meh
By jbwhite99 on 6/28/2012 12:53:41 PM , Rating: 1
Alt-F4 for the win, just like Alt-space then X for maximize or Alt-space then n for minimize

RE: Meh
By Camikazi on 6/28/2012 1:47:55 PM , Rating: 3
Chasing for the X? Thew X is ALWAYS in the same place, top right corner of the window. It hasn't moved in years, what kind of virus do you have that you have to chase the X around?

RE: Meh
By HackSacken on 6/28/2012 6:01:42 PM , Rating: 1
Not sure why you are getting down voted. Maybe the "shouting?"

Regardless, you make a point.

RE: Meh
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/12, Rating: 0
RE: Meh
By HackSacken on 6/28/2012 5:59:55 PM , Rating: 1
Are we being serious? While that works, simply drag from the top to the bottom. Done, it's gone/closed.

I find this faster than aiming for an X in the upper right hand corner - especially if I am not full screened (this is with a keyboard/mouse).

the new start desktop
By vapore0n on 6/28/2012 11:15:24 AM , Rating: 4
I think what they were really looking at was all the people that had every single document and application icon on their desktop.

Some people just need to be more organized.

RE: the new start desktop
By Hakuryu on 6/28/2012 11:26:44 AM , Rating: 3
I use my desktop like a physical one. Everything new I get usually gets put there until I 'file' it away, like images from my camera, notes, and game shortcuts before I add them to Steam (non-Steam games).

No thanks. I'm happy with Win7, and will continue to use it as long as possible.

There must be something in the water - first BF3 gets ruined because snipers ruined BF2 (really?), Diablo 3 gets ruined because people had to assign stat and skill points (again, really?), and now apparently people don't use the Start button (really?). It's like politician thinking - if they aren't actually screwing with something, they have nothing to talk about come next election, regardless if what they are doing is actually useful.

RE: the new start desktop
By Helbore on 6/28/2012 11:47:07 AM , Rating: 2
You can still do that, though. The desktop is still there. In fact, it suggests that you'd love the start screen, as the system automatically dumps every new program on there as soon as its installed.

As for the start menu, I personally don't miss it. It took a while to get used to it, but I don't find my productivity hindered by the new interface now that I know it.

Having said that, I do find it weird that they've decided to strip the start menu out completely. You could still use the old Windows 3.1 program manager in Windows 95 and 98, even though it had been superseded by the start menu. I can only assume its because they want to avoid people just "sticking to what they know," instead of trying out something new. There's still plenty of people who instantly make their desktop look like its out of Windows 2000, just because its what they're used to.

RE: the new start desktop
By 91TTZ on 6/28/2012 3:52:53 PM , Rating: 4
I can only assume its because they want to avoid people just "sticking to what they know," instead of trying out something new.

What's wrong with sticking to what you know? Avoiding having to relearn everything was the entire motive behind moving to a GUI with a common look and feel across programs and OS revisions.

Also, "new" doesn't necessarily mean "better". I could say that you should drink soda instead of water, because soda is newer and water's old stuff that animals drink. Windows ME used to be new, surely it had to be better than Windows 98.

There's still plenty of people who instantly make their desktop look like its out of Windows 2000, just because its what they're used to.

When you consider that a computer is just a tool to enable the user to do what the user wants, doing something "the way you're used to" turns out to be a pretty straightforward way to go about things. A user's effort should be productively spent doing the things they want to do and not spent trying to figure out how to do what they want to do.

RE: the new start desktop
By Helbore on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: the new start desktop
By Helbore on 6/29/12, Rating: 0
RE: the new start desktop
By JediJeb on 6/28/2012 6:38:15 PM , Rating: 3
Also, "new" doesn't necessarily mean "better".

Yup. I still carry a pocket watch. It was made over 120 years ago and keeps perfect time. All I have to do is remember to wind it up each night before bed. My cell phone has a digital clock on it, yet right now it is 2 minutes slow compared to the official time. I still have to remember to charge it so that doesn't make it better over winding.

Sometimes new innovations are great, sometimes something is made that just withstands the test of time. Change for the sake of change is no better than holding on to the past because that is how it was always done. If it is better then use W8, if it is not then stick with XP... I mean W7, but it is up to each individual to decide which is better for their purpose. What upsets most is that Microsoft is taking away that choice, not so much what the choice is.

RE: the new start desktop
By 3minence on 6/28/2012 3:30:35 PM , Rating: 5
No, they were looking at me and those like me. I hate putting apps and documents on my desktop, I prefer a clean workspace. With XP everything was in my start menu. With Win7 I pinned my most used apps (about 6 of them) on the taskbar. Seeing that, MS thought I didn't want a start menu any more. Unfortunately, they missed the point.

Even though I had the most used apps on the taskbar, the rest of my apps were in the start menu, hence my desktop remained clean. I still used the start menu, just not as often. They have mistaken that behavior for not liking the start menu.

Typical MS, they see 2+2 but come up with 5.

RE: the new start desktop
By JediJeb on 6/28/2012 6:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
What is worse is they only saw what those people who opted in to the feedback program did. Not everyone turns on that program when they setup W7, so is there a bias because of which groups will let Microsoft know what they are doing versus the ones that don't?

RE: the new start desktop
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 6:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
Well, what's the realistic difference in your case between the metro menu and the start menu? Your stuff would still be in either, and still just one button press away.

RE: the new start desktop
By Belard on 6/28/2012 7:03:53 PM , Rating: 2
Where is the jumplist in win8/metrobarf?

RE: the new start desktop
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 7:05:20 PM , Rating: 2
It didn't move, it's in the same spot.

RE: the new start desktop
By Belard on 6/28/2012 11:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
Where? Its on the start menu... it pops out the side of the program icon on the main part of the start menu.

Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By Belard on 6/28/2012 11:48:14 AM , Rating: 5
Microsoft, you didn't GET rid of the Start Button.

You HID the Start Button! Its still there, and now smaller and harder to hit with a mouse or a finger.

What you ALSO did was change it to a START SCREEN that cannot not be customized or cleaned up. There are NO clues to what or where things are.

Microsoft: want to save your ass? Make metro a USER OPTION for desktop computers. Simple as that. I don't WANT to see Metro on the desktop, its a mess. IT BLOWS.

You thought Vista sucked? Your partners are going to be slaughtered with this Metro-crap Win8 OS. I think most of us would have been more than happy with Windows8 AS it is, by itself. Metro for tablets/phones, fine.

But you are FULL of it when you said you removed the Start button. You ONLY made it smaller and hidden.

Seriously, fire the whole development team and any exec who thought this crap was a good idea.

RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By Belard on 6/28/2012 12:00:52 PM , Rating: 3
And another thing!

In the release preview, the tweaks to Aero were nice... less distracting than vista/W7. Now, if its true with the pics I'm seeing of totally UGLY flat buttons... it proves you guys have NO TALENT. Its ugly.

Two different OS type interfaces slapped together. One won't work without the other. constant back and forth.

The shoving of Apps and media to buy from the microsoft store gets old really quickly.

MS' partners (HP/Dell) are already losing money because of Windows8. In a few months, they'll be in severe pain with all the PC returns from piss-off customers.

I can use Windows 7 for the next 10 years... or move to Apple OS or Linux before then. Really, why bother with metro?

RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By p05esto on 6/28/2012 1:00:25 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed, save ASS NOW and allow Metro to be 100% disabled. Seriously, Win8 is going to blow up as a massive failure, much worse than Vista (I liked Vista SP2 very much). I've been programming for 15 years and I can see this in my crystal ball like I've never seen anything before.

RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By mcnabney on 6/28/2012 1:39:51 PM , Rating: 3
1. MS gets a big cut of all Apps sold in the Metro store.
2. ??????
3. Profit

(hint: step 2 is "make everyone use Metro")

RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By Scrogneugneu on 6/28/2012 8:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot a step.

2.5 A lot of people bother to buy cheap, limited apps on a desktop

Which I do not believe will happen, since the market for those limited apps is already taken by limited platforms, such as phones or tablets.

RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/12, Rating: 0
RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By Belard on 6/28/2012 7:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the #1 point of METRO is that all METRO apps go through the Microsoft store...

Since 80% of MS profit *IS* Windows & Office, there IS NO other need for a Windows PC! Gaming? Uh, no. MS done their best to kill PC gaming. The DRM also hurts PC gaming... There are at least 10 titles in the past 4 years I have NOT bought because of SecuROM7. Nevermind everyone of those titles are pirated.

With Metro, it can keep MS alive... if people flock to it. Otherwise, the Windows market can collapse.

RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 7:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt any real (AAA titles) games will be metro, though.

RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By Belard on 6/29/2012 1:49:41 AM , Rating: 2
There are very few AAA games on Windows PC period.

Hence, I get a Playstation... be done with PC gaming.

RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By Exedore on 6/29/2012 11:35:17 AM , Rating: 2
...allow Metro to be 100% disabled

Bingo, you've just invented Windows 7 :-)

RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By DT_Reader on 6/28/2012 7:34:31 PM , Rating: 2
They CAN'T make Metro an option, it's the default and the "desktop" is in reality a Metro app.

Well, they could make Metro an option, but it's way too close to RTM for that. Besides, the whole point of Metro is the App Store, and they're never going to kill that cash cow.

RE: Microsoft - YOU IDIOT!
By Belard on 6/28/2012 11:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
I know what you mean... but that CASH cow only matters if Windows8 flies off the shelves.

It won't.

And yes, ripping out Metro would be easy for MS to do and make it an option. Click on a metro-linked item and it'll go to the metro screen. Remove such things.

Re-instate the Windows7 Start menu... Test for a month to see what is broken and they are done.

Hey, as long as Windows7 is available during the short time win8 will stink up the air, then things should be okay.

Sure !
By igeorgiaboy on 6/28/2012 11:23:22 AM , Rating: 5
That's like taking water away from an athlete because some athletes drink Gatorade more..... If Microsoft would stop drinking "Apple"juice and let the users decide instead of force feeding them (The Apple way), everything would be fine..

RE: Sure !
By JJBladester on 6/28/2012 11:43:18 AM , Rating: 2
Apple juice... That's funny!

I'm not bothered too much by the transition from the Start button to the Start screen. I'm more bothered that if I launch the Weather app, for example, there's no way to close it out and stop it from using memory other than going into Task Manager.

The Weather app uses up ~50MB of RAM on my system and that is A LOT, especially when you don't have an "X" to close it out and free up the memory.

RE: Sure !
By crispbp04 on 6/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: Sure !
By jnemesh on 6/28/2012 11:58:33 AM , Rating: 4
It's easier just to format and install a decent OS than to relearn EVERY SINGLE TASK in Windows 8!

RE: Sure !
By poi2 on 6/28/2012 3:03:28 PM , Rating: 3

RE: Sure !
By JediJeb on 6/28/2012 5:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
click and hold the top of the screen and drag it to the bottom

So in W8 if that closes the program, how do you move the window down the screen? In XP and W7 that procedure will move the active window around your screen.

RE: Sure !
By HackSacken on 6/28/2012 6:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
This only applies to the metro apps. They are either full screen or docked to the side. The desktop style apps like with Win7 is all the same.

RE: Sure !
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 3:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
The memory will free itself automatically eventually (if you haven't used it in a while), or you can grab the top of the app and drag downward to close it yourself.

RE: Sure !
By damianrobertjones on 6/28/2012 12:06:45 PM , Rating: 2
Users don't know 'what' they want until they're told or informed by friends.

A big gamble and a big ballsy play
By Tony Swash on 6/28/2012 1:04:11 PM , Rating: 1
Windows 8 is a daring and almost reckless design choice by Microsoft. They know which way the the wind is blowing and it isn't blowing towards the desktop PC anymore, and they are very concerned because until now Windows has precisely zero foot print in the exploding device market, they have no phone and tablet presence at all. They can see that the only company making big profits in the new mobile markets, the sort of profits that Microsoft has come to expect and depend on, is Apple and a big part of Apple's success is the way they have managed to create an integrated and self reinforcing ecosystem for Apple devices and their old legacy PC business. Microsoft also knows that the one major lever it has, it's best card, is it's old and enormous legacy footprint of Windows desktop.

So Microsoft took a very bold decision. It would focus the optimisation of the design of Windows 8 on the new devices (where it has almost zero revenues) even though this makes Windows 8 sub-optimal on the desktop (where of course MS existing revenues come from). This is a dangerous game. They could end up pissing off and endangering their old desktop OS base whilst failing to make any in roads in to the world of mobile devices. It's perfectly plausible that Windows 8 will sell in numbers in the old desktop, via the well oiled OEM system, in the process pissing off quite a lot of Windows PC users, whilst Windows 8 phones and tablets could just flop.

Windows 8 is a big gamble and a big ballsy play by Ballmer and co, especially when you toss in the possible disruption that the Surface product could cause to Microsoft's existing OEM partner relations.

I will be surprised if Windows 8 is a success in phones or tablets but stranger things have happened. One thing is for sure, the next couple of years are going to be spectacularly interesting.

RE: A big gamble and a big ballsy play
By Helbore on 6/28/2012 1:51:39 PM , Rating: 3
I will be surprised if Windows 8 is a success in phones or tablets but stranger things have happened.

You mean like Apple not going bankrupt in the 90s? ;)

RE: A big gamble and a big ballsy play
By 91TTZ on 6/28/2012 4:12:42 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, but I don't think it will work out for them the way they want it to.

What Microsoft wants: Force users of their immense desktop user base to migrate to a mobile-optimised desktop OS, and then when those users buy mobile devices they'll prefer to buy ones that use a Microsoft OS that looks and feels nearly the same.

What Microsoft will get: They'll piss off the majority of their desktop users who feel that a mobile OS on the desktop is not a good fit. It's like a restaurant giving you a spork to use for both your soup and your steak. Sure, technically it could work but people will tend to abandon it and seek out better options.

By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 6:17:56 PM , Rating: 3
But see, the only reason people keep calling it a mobile OS is because other people are calling it that. What makes it a mobile OS? What if the start menu had always been full screen, would it have always been a mobile OS?

RE: A big gamble and a big ballsy play
By Tony Swash on 6/28/2012 6:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
I think you nailed it. Their strategy is really very risky but they are huge, have a cash mountain and are very determined - maybe they can pull it of.

By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 6:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm actually curious why everybody is referring to it as a mobile (or mobile-optimized) OS. It had never occurred to me when using it that it would be better on a mobile device (or worse on a mouse+keyboard), but it's mostly what I hear about it on tech sites.

RE: A big gamble and a big ballsy play
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 7:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
I mean I look at it like this. The app concept appears to be that a program or app can register with the OS to let it grab updates and present the user with some data without having to open it up. This is similar to the old gadgets (that honestly were terrible and half-baked). I guess you could say that you could have some sort of desktop integration for this information and leave the start menu intact. But the article is suggesting that the start menu isn't used as often as it used to be, so apparently they decided to just integrate this data display into the start menu instead of the desktop.

Anyway, my point is, how many other ways could there be to display this kind of data. I mean you could argue that you don't need to display it at all. I'm just not understanding where the whole mobile OS thing comes into play here. I get that people associate full screen and large buttons with mobile devices, but how do you have this kind of data tied to an app unless it has more real estate to display it? The line here gets really blurry, but people state mobile OS like it's just an obvious thing.

RE: A big gamble and a big ballsy play
By DT_Reader on 6/28/2012 7:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
We call it a mobile OS because Metro originated on Windows Phone.

Why must every program have a tile that might be dynamic? Why can't the apps that present dynamic data be more like gadgets and let the rest just have static, space saving icons? Why can't icons be dynamic? Oh, wait - some are! Outlook's icon, for example.

RE: A big gamble and a big ballsy play
By aGreenAgent on 6/28/2012 8:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, this is the kind of decision you might choose when making an app, metro or not metro, dynamic, not dynamic, etc.

Metro was from Zune though, actually.

By Helbore on 6/29/2012 10:13:36 AM , Rating: 2
Technically, Metro started with Windows XP Media Center Edition, as it was the basis for the Media Center interface.

Which certainly wasn't intended as a mobile OS!

Is the start button useful?
By marks_01 on 6/28/2012 1:23:43 PM , Rating: 2
I have WinXP at work and use the start button multiple (100s?) of times per day ... because it is VERY useful.

I have Windows 7 at home and hardly ever use the start button because the functionality has changed ever so slightly enough that it now sucks.

Maybe that's the data Microsoft is looking at - that no one uses it anymore. They interpret that as "users don't want it," when in reality they should interpret it as "uh, oh, we broke it."

RE: Is the start button useful?
By In2Boost on 6/28/2012 3:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed (on your XP point).
I find the start button very useful in both OSs, however.
We use XP at work too, and my (global) company is just now beginning a rollout of Win7.

At home, I love the Win7 start button and menu.
I like having my occasionally used items there on the Start menu, with my more frequently used items pinned to the taskbar.
I like having a CLEAN (for the most part) desktop.

I also like Aero. So much better than the non-Aero (b a s i c) blandness that suggests I'm on a dedicated 2k3 VM or old RH box. Personal preference here, I guess.

I liked when you gave your customers a choice, Microsoft.
The freedom for a user to customize their interface to their specific lifestyle has been one of the shining features of your OS. I don't want to use your subway OS.

I don't like the feeling I'm being coerced by a company that thinks they know better than I about what I want.

I'll be sticking with 7 or jumping ship to another OS when the time comes.

Where'd ya go, Bill? I think Ballmer's crew just bought a truckload of turtlenecks!

RE: Is the start button useful?
By kmmatney on 6/28/2012 4:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
I never thought about it that way, but you are right! I use the start button often in XP as it is quick and easy. It's such a pain to use in Windows 7, though, that I just make shortcuts on my desktop for oft-used programs. I still like having the start menu there for looking up an odd program now and then, but for every day use they made it too much of a PITA. I'm happy using icons and folder on the desktop to start programs, but I'd still like to keep the start menu.

RE: Is the start button useful?
By In2Boost on 6/28/2012 5:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
Not trying to flame, but I'm curious as to why it's so much of a PITA for you guys in 7 versus XP.

In 7, I just click the button, hover over all programs, then just scroll with my wheel.

In XP, even with TweakUI menu settings at max, it takes forever for the hierarchical menu to appear, then I have to click the double-chevron to expand if my program group isn't in my most recently used list, then I have to hover/click the single chevron and let it scroll for me at grandma speeds - my wheel doesn't work here in XP.

This is presuming that XP is behaving when I do this and the open start menu has not magically vanished for no reason whatsoever - while I have my mouse hovering over a program group. I do loathe XP, with its right-click menus that take ten seconds to appear, tooltips that hide behind my taskbar - most of the get the picture.

Again, not flaming, just curious.

RE: Is the start button useful?
By JohnWPB on 6/28/2012 5:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure why yours takes 10 seconds to appear. This sounds like someone needs to get into the guts of your "services", and needs to do some serious cleaning up, but I have a MUCH better suggestion.

Take that operating system, and get yourself an image copying software, and put it onto an SSD drive. Trust me, it is an easy migration, that if you take a couple of days to read up on it so you have a good understanding in what to do, it will then only take you less than an hour to completely migrate to a SSD drive system - irregardless of what OS you are using.

I ran time checks for boot ability with both my Win 7 Ultimate 64bit and my XP Pro 32bit, and what was well over two minutes and 45 seconds on both of those systems with standard Western Digital Black Hard Drives, takes 40 seconds with an SSD drive. Oh and that 40 seconds, is from a total cold boot, to when everything is loaded, including operating system, anti-virus software, APC battery backup software, coretemp temps, and all the other junk that is normally done at boot up time. In fact, I would say it is less than 18 seconds from the time it starts loading the operating system to when I have complete control of my system.

If you keep your OS cleaned up, and faithfully backed up on a hard drive, there is no reason everyone can't do this. Just takes a little reading to accomplish.

RE: Is the start button useful?
By In2Boost on 6/28/2012 5:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
Thx for the reply John.

My XP core load is pretty lean, save for a few Office 2010 components.

I will give ya that my XP load is on a Latitude with a 5.4k HDD, while my 7 desktop at home boots off of a Vertex SSD (in similar times to yours, including coretemp and the rest). I have a usable desktop in literally seven seconds after the BIOS run-through. I am a little spoiled.

I have considered that swap with my work PC, however the powers that be frown on these turbulent times, I don't want to risk giving them an excuse. :)

RE: Is the start button useful?
By JohnWPB on 6/28/2012 6:30:40 PM , Rating: 2
And thank YOU, for the nice reply to my posting. One thing I found out early is that MS likes to put it's stuff in STARTUP, so I would do a quick "msconfig" and look in your startup tab and uncheck all the MS stuff. That in itself will probably speed things up.

I do have to say that when I posted my initial posting about Win 8 and Win 7 in relation to XP Pro, I thought I would get flamers coming out of the woodwork, but it seems that when MS moved on from XP to Win 7, most people were forgivable to MS for some of the bad moves that they made. But it seems with them getting even worse with Win 8, that maybe a lot of people are saying enough is enough.

Win 8
By JohnWPB on 6/28/2012 1:04:20 PM , Rating: 3
This is absolutely hilarious. I never did use Vista because of all the dumb stuff they did with that OS, and then they bring along Win 7, which was supposed to be the saving grace for MS. Now just few years later and they now want you to buy Win 8.

There will always be sheep who buy the latest, cause if it's new it must be better........ yeah, right.

I have two SSD hard drives, one having Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit, and the other XP Pro 32 bit. I took the time to install the same programs on both systems, and to this day, I have yet to find anything that MS did with Win 7, that made it better or faster than XP Pro.

What they did do was make sure to rearrange everything and rename most of the stuff, so that you had to learn Win 7 practically from the ground up ( probably one of the reasons why I still prefer XP ).

So now they come out with Win 8, and MS is again going to dictate to everyone how you WILL conform to the way THEY want you to use your computer. Well good luck with that one, as I will happily sit here and use my XP Pro, that runs just as fast as your Win7 machines. When MS in it's infinite wisdom decided that they will dictate how my icons work in Win7, versus how I can arrange them in XP, that sold me on the fact that I will use XP till the cows come home.

Oh, and don't give me the you know what about MS updates. I haven't downloaded a MS update in years!. What I do rely on, is a very good anti-virus program to protect my stuff.

For years I used to laugh at the Apple fan boys, and how they let Apple tell them what they can and cannot use on their machines. Well boys and girls, MS is taking you down the same road.

Flame away, I sit here laughing my head off.

RE: Win 8
By Valahano on 6/28/2012 3:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you that usability-wise Win7 was a downgrade.
* Searchable Start Menu? I had that long ago with Launchy. I use Start Menu primarily for applications I don't even remember the names of, or when I can't type. Win7 Start Menu was a major downgrade for me. Well, at least until I installed Classic Shell, it was.
* Taskbar functionality of WinXP is better as a window manager. Just try to use the default Win7 taskbar in vertical mode - when it's full, it adds another page lol.
Also you can't disable window button grouping (they're always near each other). "7 Taskbar Tweaker" helps a lot here though.
* Pins? I don't see impovement over old quicklaunch + Launchy. At least I'm not forced to use them.
* Also, I will never forgive Microsoft for removing the Up button/changing its shortcut in Win7's Explorer. Oh btw, Up is back in Win8...
* I also hate the new Control Panel of Vista+, it has weird sorting.

Having all that said, at its core Win7 is better OS than WinXP. It is quicker to install, and it definitely is faster in my experience.

I would praise Win8, if it had WinXP, or at least Win7 classic option. I really like performance (quicker boot) improvements of Win8.

Anyway, it looks like MS is bent on making Windows into an OS for browsing lolcat pictures and not much else.

RE: Win 8
By DT_Reader on 6/28/2012 7:12:00 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, they're hell-bent on making Windows 8 a platform for buying lolcat pictures.

Excuse me, make that renting lolcat pictures. "Pay again if you want to view it again" is the new business model.

If you want to make lolcat pictures, buy a Mac.

RE: Win 8
By Belard on 6/28/2012 7:12:46 PM , Rating: 2
responding: In general, I prefer the Win7 taskbar. But I use text on my tasks. Your opinions on the negs are valid for your uses...

- Yeah, removing the UP button in explorer is a pain in the ass. Its another step. But also, copy and paste is a bit screwed up since Explorer may try to OPEN 200 pasts if you hover over a EXE file bar... not the icon itself ARGH!

- PIN to task bar is better than Quick Launch... You click on Photoshop or browser, it doesn't suck up additional space... its running already.

- Control panel is a single click away from Classic mode... but since they renamed a few items, its still throws me for a loop.

Windows8, by itself is quite nice... but they want to rape us with Metro.

The Real Reason
By Silvio on 6/28/2012 12:51:34 PM , Rating: 2
That they see that is because anyone who is technologically inclined opted out of Microsoft's data-mining program.

RE: The Real Reason
By kittleson on 6/28/2012 1:33:44 PM , Rating: 3
That is exactly what I was thinking!! It's a pretty obvious bias in that data.

Personally I don't pin anything to the taskbar. I normally have lots of windows open and I want to be able to see them in the task bar, so don't want to waste precious task bar space with pinned apps. I also hate the way pinned apps move around on the task bar. I actually enabled the XP-style Quick Launch toolbar and put a few of my most common programs there, right next to the start menu. Some other slightly less often used programs are pinned to the start menu. Simple and efficient (imho). Yes my task bar looks a lot like XP, so throw me into the "resistant to change" category. I don't like change just for the sake of change. I haven't seen any compelling benefit to having Metro on the desktop, so therefore I don't want it.

RE: The Real Reason
By Valahano on 6/28/2012 3:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking the same too :)

RE: The Real Reason
By Ramstark on 6/29/2012 2:20:43 PM , Rating: 2
OMFG I so regret ditching my votes on Tony now, you are RIGHT mate., that is obviously one of strongest reasons why they are taking such a "techies insult" centered decision.

Don't use the Start Menu? Riiiight
By MindParadox on 6/28/2012 11:51:05 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, I don't "pin" anything, I use my taskbar in "Never Combine, show text" mode, and with only my Recycle Bin and whatevver game I happen to be playing the most currently having an Icon on my desktop, my Start Menu gets used all the time! (I have 4 things pinned at the top of my Start Menu, 10 "Most Frequently Used Programs" in the list below those) usually by hitting the Start button on my keyboard, then typing the name of the program I want to use, then hit Enter.

The most jarring thing for me with Win8 RC is, you turn the Metro thing off and on by hitting the Start button on your keyboard, so I couldn't figure out how to type the names of programs I wanted, till I went online and did a bit of searching(now it's one of the more popular results, at the time, almost no one knew how to do it; you just start typing while in Metro, without hitting the Start button)

By kingmotley on 6/28/2012 12:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
I have all my major applications pinned, and rarely use the start button to launch anything anymore.

You don't like it their changes, but I do, and I'm guessing a lot of others do as well. I suspect removing the start button was for more than just cosmetic purposes, like not having to cache the program list for when you want to see it, not having to load the load the list on boot up speeding the boot process, stop wasting memory that could be used for better things, stop having installers having to have to option to create/update the start menu as things are installed and removed (How many people have crap in their start menu that no longer actually exists on their machine?) -- the API to do those things date back all the way back to Windows 3.0 or perhaps earlier.

By Belard on 6/28/2012 7:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
I do pin a few items on my Win7 task bar. So they DON'T move around. But I also use "Combine with full" - which shows text. I have a 24" screen so there is room for 10 major running tasks. I don't use chrome or IE so it doesn't fill up with multiple tasks, wasting space.

To be honest
By althaz on 6/28/2012 11:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
I have to be honest here...I use the start menu so little that I often forget I'm using Windows 8 and don't have it. The only time I ever use it is by hitting the windows key and typing in something - that still works in Win8 btw. I'm logged in to Win7 atm, but now that's I've gotten over my outrage, I think I like Win8 more, so it's usually what I use.

RE: To be honest
By cyberserf on 7/4/2012 12:37:02 AM , Rating: 2
that's fine if you have like 5 apps installed but what if you have hundreds of apps/games and utilities. you get it?
You want us to memorize what we have installed? with the Start button you can just look at everything that is installed all at once and choose what you need.
this is like going back to DOS where we type in to load stuff but with a GUI on top. LOL
still using XP here because of the dumbing down of the newer OS's.

RE: To be honest
By cyberserf on 7/4/2012 12:40:13 AM , Rating: 2
plus why is Microsoft trying to cater to 5% of the user-base who likes to type to run programs. that is lame.
metro needs to be an option not the main GUI.

8 is for touch
By Gunbuster on 6/28/2012 12:52:50 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 is designed for touch where your screen size is limited and you don't want a start button taking up space 24/7. Windows Phone 7/8 and Windows 8 are very intuitive in touch interaction.

You all act like a SWAT team is going to bust down your door at the end of 2012 and install 8 on your windows 7 rigs...

RE: 8 is for touch
By DT_Reader on 6/28/2012 7:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
No SWAT team, but when my old laptop died I was forced to take Windows 7, which turned out to be so much better than Vista on my son's PC that I don't mind. What worries me is that when this laptop dies I'll be forced to take Windows 8, and Windows 7 won't be available even if it could be installed, which it won't because of UEFI. Unlike the "downgrade" from Vista to XP that most people took if they could, there will be no "downgrade" path from Win 8 to Win 7.

Disaster approaching
By lol123 on 6/28/2012 8:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
These Microsoft attempts at sounding like Apple (like totally hip and out-of-the box) are just getting more and more pathetic. I predict massive layoffs (starting with Ballmer and Sinofsky) once the shareholders realize what a huge failure Windows 8 is.

RE: Disaster approaching
By p05esto on 6/28/2012 10:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. There's a reason Apple only has 10% marketshare...because they SUCK and anyone who truly knows tech does not buy Apple products. If MS tries to copy Apple with their stupid interfaces the rats will abondon ship. Stop fixing what isn't broke MS.

Tech's and power users don't join that dumb program
By TheJian on 6/28/2012 10:20:57 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody with half a brain in their head reports any usage habits to anyone. Privacy 101. You don't need to know what I'm doing on my PC. PERIOD.

They're lying, or I'd have the option to put it back. I will anyway, probably via 3rd party, just like you have to fix explorer via something like xyplorer or total commander; both EXCELLENT windows explorer full replacements. Microsoft in this case, actually spent the time/money to inconvenience us. They could put the code back in 10 minutes. That's the backup plan anyway, if we all FREAK and boycott WinBLOWS 8. Nuff said.

For those of you who believe you're being forced into this and are about to jump off a bridge or something: You can still run XP corp (32 or 64) and get full updates even at their update site until mid 2014...LOL. You really don't have to go off XP until you want to. Binsearch (insert news search site here...LOL) BIE XP. Nuff said? :) Or get a job in an IT dept if you can't be bothered to set up an account at XSusenet for free 25GB/month of usenet news (FOREVER! - Or pay for usenetserver etc). The same can be said for Win7, but until 2019 or something (can't be bothered to check the EOL right now) ;) Tell Microsoft to stick it! Load what you want. MS can come get me if they want, I own all my lics :) (no comment of if they've ever been activated or not).

By hood6558 on 6/29/2012 1:02:43 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with you, MS is full of it, and only morons let them see anything they're doing. I've used XP Pro corporate for about 10 years, just recently switching to 7 because DX11 works better with newer games and video cards. I like 7 because it's faster and just works better with most hardware and software. It runs my old Pentium 4 550 on a G41 MB better than XP did, so there ARE a couple of good reasons to switch to 7. The driver database on 7 is also a huge improvement over earlier versions. 7 still let's you customize the user experience as well as XP did, so I'm satisfied. Like everything else you could name, though, they couldn't leave it alone until they "improved" it to death, all in the name of justifying the ridiculous salaries of software butchers. I will continue to install XP on older machines, and will now install Win7 on any that can handle it. As for Windows 8, be prepared for another Vista-sized debacle. I feel sorry for the vast majority of users who aren't tech savvy enough to choose their OS and configure it to their liking. but stupidity is the norm wherever you look. Some of the brainiest people in the IT world have no common sense or other skills at all, so it's no surprise they've got tunnel vision, or that the average user is lost when it comes to anything technical. As everything gets more complicated, the tendency is to simplify the user interface until the dumb-but-happy consumer has no choices left and all is taken care of behind the scenes. That's fine for the dummies but leave the rest of us a "God Mode" that will open up every imaginable tweak so we don't have to follow the herd.

Note to MS!
By lexluthermiester on 6/29/2012 3:12:12 AM , Rating: 2
Thank You for your consideration with your "Windows 8" experiment. While the Metro UI will work very well for touch screen based devices, it is a complete failure for standard Desktop/Notebook devices/systems.

Power Users, like myself, in particular feel ignored and abandoned by your seemingly complete inability to acknowledge our requests and needs to customize the UI to our liking. Windows Vista failed because it was little more than your attempt at forcing everyone to change to "your" way of thinking and doing things. This is why many of us stuck with[and frequently still use] XP. Then you cleaned a few things up a perfected a few other things and repackaged Vista into 7. While some of this was good, you continued to ignore the Power User. Windows Explorer in 7, for example, is not nearly as easy to customize as it is in XP and requires replacing systems files just to make it workable. And now you've gone and done it again, but this time, on top of making Windows Explorer[the OS file manager, not to be confused with Internet Explorer the web browser] even less Power User friendly, you've gone and done away with Aero and the ability to use themes to any viable effect, deleted the start menu entirely, and even removed the ability to install a third party version. I, and many of us Power Users, organize the start menu in a very ordered way. I/We use it very often and have no desire to abandon that method of organization[developed and perfected over the past 12 years] just because you say so. We all have to ask; "Are you TRYING to piss us off?"

So hindsight being 20/20 and whatnot, don't you think it would be wise[very] and indeed profitable to learn from your mistakes? To appease us Power Users, rather than annoy us and force us to ignore yet another of your products? We want/need to customize and do things OUR way, NOT your way. Think hard about this one... Really hard... You are losing ground on so many fronts because you have failed to LISTEN to us. You have effectively lost the web browser war for failing to listen. We could go on, but you get the point.

Pull your collective heads out from where the sun rarely shines, and give us what we ACTUALLY want, not what you think we want. Full customization access! Full control of when and how the system behaves!

Let the MS fanboy flaming commence...

RE: Note to MS!
By johnsmith9875 on 6/29/2012 10:31:13 AM , Rating: 2
What's sad is IOS would work just fine with a mouse too.

By Autisticgramma on 6/28/2012 11:57:46 AM , Rating: 3
Making huge sweeping changes, based on a loud minority.

Sounds like an apple article.

MS doesn't stand to profit from apple like stances. Allow for customization, the resistant to change fuddy-duddies are legion.


By chromal on 6/28/2012 12:29:55 PM , Rating: 3
Keep crankin' up that reality distortion field, microsoft, but don't expect it to brainwash us. You can spin it any way you like, it's still change for change's sake, and for those of us who multitask, your full-screen 'start menu' (metro launchpad) is a travesty and an insult.

By p05esto on 6/28/2012 12:58:13 PM , Rating: 3
Sure I pin stuff to the QuickLaunch (not task bar), but you can't pin all 50 of your apps there. I only pin the ones I used all the time. That doesn't mean I want to switch interfaces just to launch a program!

And let's be honest, most power users disable the "send feedback to MS" option, these are also the people that tend to have a lot more apps installed and use the start menu more. Novice users have a few apps and hardly need it.

And what about CHOICE? Make everything optional, let people customize. I'm seeing more and more limit of choice and more "this is the way it is, suck it up". That's BS, computers are fun because you can customize your experience and make them work YOUR WAY.

I'm a MS fan to be sure, but I do NOT like Win8 from what I've been playing with. It's harder and slower to do just about everything. In some cases I can't even figure out what the hell to do and have to power off the VM and start over. Seriously.

So Windows 8...
By mmatis on 6/28/2012 3:43:28 PM , Rating: 3
is going to be Vista II? Even Coca Cola was smart enough to stop after screwing up with New Coke. Microsoft? Not so much...

It was "dropping" not gone
By GatoRat on 6/28/2012 11:43:52 AM , Rating: 2
What baffles me about Microsoft's design philosophy for the past several years is that they completely remove options, rather than allow those users who want them to have them. IE did the same thing when they ripped out customizing the toolbar. Office removed the ability to even have menus.

It is a design arrogance that I despise.

(My experience beta testing Visual Studio 2012 shows that there is a powerful faction inside Microsoft which doesn't care at all about the customer; they are interested only in their own ego. No matter how bad their decisions, they stick to them. If Microsoft continues down this path, they are going to collapse much sooner than they think. See Novell for an example.)

On OS X...
By EnzoFX on 6/28/2012 12:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
via the search widget? Do you mean spotlight? Quite a difference there. Also, what I'd find annoying, IIRC, is that MS Win8's search is within the start screen, so that would make it feel annoying. Noticed I said feel, it'd feel very much like going between two different programs, rather than it feeling built in to the desktop interface as well. If you can search another way, then I guess my point is moot.

By MonkeyPaw on 6/28/2012 12:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
Lesser apps are typically found and opened via the search widget.

Last time I used OS X, there's an Applications icon in the dock that provides access to all other unpinned apps. No search needed.

MS wants you to click on an invisible button in the corner now. What bugs me is that MS thought that since many users pin, that all do. I didn't pin many apps, and the start screen still makes everyday use cludgy.

Keep it up Microsoft....
By espaghetti on 6/28/2012 1:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason I use Windows is because I don't like using game consoles. I'm near-sighted an enjoy FPS using a keyboard/mouse. You only have my business because of that.
Quit your ego-filled apple-envying goal of 'Metro" on my PC. Most people don't want it. I tried it for about 20 minutes and removed Windows 8 from my hard drive. One more thing...


Start Menu... meh..
By Gurthang on 6/28/2012 3:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
While I don't care so much abotu the loss of the start menu button. As the metro interface can and does work ok for that need. It does annoy me that there is not visual indication that moving the mouse ortouching in the corner will do anything for you which I consider crappy UI design. I'd be satified with a small triangle that reflects the "zone".

I am also annoyed with other feature reductions like DVD/MPEG2 playback and no WMC outside the pro edition.

Now the new task manager and boot times now thats awesome stuff.

Are you stupid Microsoft?
By AggressorPrime on 6/28/2012 4:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
Unless if I pin every program to my taskbar, I am still going to need a Start Menu. If you really wanted to know how we feel about the Start Menu, why didn't you ask us whether it would bother us if you took it away? The purpose of the taskbar is to open highly used programs. The purpose of the Start Menu is to open everything else. In fact, for me, I only put Office programs, Windows Media Player, and my browsers on my taskbar. All my games, system management programs, and everything else is in my start menu, which I still go to often. I don't put everything I use on my taskbar because it would defeat the purpose of the taskbar, to easily spot what you need when you need it.

So no, we, the majority of Windows users, as in the 99%, still want the Start Menu. If you take that away, you will lose your notebook and desktop sales and only be successful in the tablet market in which a high powered, fully capable PC is unnecessary. I will not buy another copy of Windows until Microsoft brings back the Start Menu, and preferably makes the normal desktop the default desktop (vs. the tile desktop that only works well with tablet PCs). Forcing change on customers and then telling us that we wanted it is like slapping us in the face. Please listen to us next time Microsoft and don't make up what you think we want.

Won't miss it
By DT_Reader on 6/28/2012 6:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
I won't miss the Start button because I'm never going to use Metro.

If I ever lose the Start button it will be because Linux desktops don't have one - they have alternatives that are also far superior to Metro. Yes, I said desktops, not desktop, because with Linux you have your choice of dozens, not just the one the disto forces on you.

Sampled Behavior?
By FredEx on 6/28/2012 7:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
Who were those people? When I get a call and get asked to help fix a problem (I don't work in IT, just a guy a lot of people call) it is probably the ones I see with their whole freakin' desktop full of Icons! You can't find anything! God forbid if they have a 22"+ monitor. They love it, more space for more icons!

I've been asked more than once to help somebody since they had a storage problem. I go to help them and find out what their problem is, they ran out of room on the desktop, so they must need more memory or a bigger hard drive, they think.

Microsoft's Theory Of Progress
By hood6558 on 6/28/2012 11:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone else feel a sense of deja vu? Remember New Coke? Give the people what they DON'T want while taking away the tried and true, and you create a lot more "buzz". Like ME and Vista, the very bad makes the adequate (XP and 7) seem much better. Of course, it's ALL self-serving bloatware designed to keep your pockets empty, and now they're getting better at it. Look at the culture of today's young people and it's not surprising that everything is being dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. If all you do is text, tweet, IM, and wear earbuds all day, you have no time or need for a real computer. Only the young feel obliged to buy every new gadget they see their friends using or see on TV, and to be connected to everyone & everything wherever they go. Tablets are only the latest in a long line of useless crap that's been pushed down our collective throats for years. My cell phone is only used for phone calls, so I don't feel a burning need to get the latest 4G smartphone with it's huge monthly charges and 10,000 available apps.
Even though it seems like MSFT is betting the farm on the mobile side, I don't think the desktop will ever die. Oh, it will get smaller in form factor, but there's a large subculture of modders and performance freaks (me included) who spend a lot of time & money playing with their kits (desktops, that is).
I predict that despite the Microsoft Kids best efforts, Win7 will be like XP, with die-hards hanging on long after the next iterations of Windows. I just recently switched to 7 myself and never once used Vista, though I did buy a computer with ME on it back in 2000 (to my regret, but Win2K saved the day). I also tried the consumer preview of Win8 for about a day before I formatted my hard drive and reinstalled 7. Enough said.

They are what they are
By mindless1 on 6/29/2012 1:25:44 AM , Rating: 2
MS idiots are idiots.

MS blames everyone.
By Belard on 6/29/2012 10:08:13 AM , Rating: 2
MS blamed mostly everyone over the failure of vista.

MS blames their partners for not coming out with a tablet worth buying (for an MS OS that didn't exists)

And now MS blames the users to remove a function that wasn't a problem to begin with?

Microsoft, go buy a mirror... point at it. That is where the blame is.

is change good and do you want change ?
By muy on 6/29/2012 10:16:06 AM , Rating: 2
personally i am all for companies improving their software AS LONG AS IT DOESN'T CHANGE ANYTHING FOR ME. changing something like an user interface is a big no-no for me. why should i spend time learning something new if the old modus operandi did just fine ? microsoft is forcing people through a period of reduced (learning) productivity for no reason.

i hate change shoved down my throat. change should be an option, not a default. anything new in an user interface should be an option which should be enabled for it to work, not a default that can be disabled to keep the normal way of working, or even worse, a default that can not be disabled.

i wouldn't mind if a new version of a program showed me in popup boxes (which one should ofc be able to disable in the first place) how to enable new functionality and more important, how enabling the new functionality would benefit me. i hate it when i have to start search how i have to do my normal tasks with a new version of a program because some programers think they reinvented the wheel and that the whole world was waiting for new wheels.

By johnsmith9875 on 6/29/2012 10:27:24 AM , Rating: 2
The Apple GUI layout hasn't changed much since 1984. The bar is still at the top the little apple is still on the left and you do pretty much the same basic things to move files around. Apple merely built on the foundation.

Contrast this to Microsoft, which has blown away and re-invented its GUI multiple times since 1985. Every time the poor user has to sit down with an 1100 page book and re-learn what they already knew...the Microsoft hunt for existing functions that moved to new places.

Apple emphasizes usability, Microsoft's GUI was written by different programmers that apparently never met with each other or must have stayed on differen ends of the building during the development cycle. Even buttons aren't lined up properly and requester boxes look like afterthoughts. I'm still annoyed that the Access 2010 import screens use fixed modal windows. I would think they would address this problem that has been around since 1997.

start button
By !rw! on 6/29/2012 10:51:42 AM , Rating: 2
I think all PC users like to create short cuts. Even in windows 8 I pin my frequently used programs to the task bar. That doesn't state I don't like any start menu. Unless a good programing reason can be given it should be a customer choice. I don't like moving my mouse over to the right of the screen to get a menu to come up to shut down my computer. Ref a desktop environment. I also don't like the metro IE10. Though I still can enjoy metro apps they are full screened and I don't view that as "windows". Windows allows better mult tasking as more then 1 program can be open on the screen "windows"

By Motoman on 6/30/2012 7:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
...f%ck Microsoft.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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