Print 45 comment(s) - last by acer905.. on Jun 6 at 7:02 PM

New build removes Start Menu code

It's been called the worst hack job to happen to Windows business users since Windows ME by some; others say it's a huge leap forward for Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and super-intuitive to use.

We're talking about Windows 8, the new Windows operating system from Microsoft that's launching in October and bringing with it the new Metro user interface which Microsoft first developed on its web sites and mobile devices.

The second mass consumption test build, the "Release Preview" is now live, replacing the previous "Consumer Preview".  

You can get it here.

Beware, you can no longer hack your Windows build with third party apps to restore the Start Button and Start Menu in the desktop.  This is because Microsoft purposefully removed the legacy code that drove these features, which lay dormant and non-visible in the Consumer Preview build.

More changes are still in store.  While Microsoft is planning to retain a desktop it's reportedly planning to strip away the icon styles of the Aero UI and the Aero glass look, replacing it with a new desktop with more Metro-like square icons.  While the core aspects of the Windows desktop (other than the start menu) are expected to retained, items like Windows Explorer are expected to be overhauled with Ribbons and Metro-like touches.

Microsoft has a tall task when it comes to Windows 8, following the fastest-selling operating system in history, Windows 7.

Sources: Microsoft [download], [press release]

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By Motoman on 5/31/2012 4:12:20 PM , Rating: 4
When do we get to stop pretending that making our computers look and act like Fisher-Price toys is a good idea?

Putting the Metrosexual interface on a PC is the most wildly retarded idea MS has ever had. They must seriously be trying to abandon the PC market.

Anyone who likes this interface...must be truly retarded. And you don't deserve to have a computer. The key thing to remember is that if you're wrong.

By JasonMick on 5/31/2012 4:22:06 PM , Rating: 3
Anyone who likes this interface...must be truly retarded. And you don't deserve to have a computer. The key thing to remember is that if you're wrong.
It's a brilliant interface for mobile touchscreen devices, the best in my opinion.

I think it looks way better than Apple's mire of faux leather, gradients, flares, glass, and chiclets.

That said I'm with you on the desktop side.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a great conqueror and brilliant strategist. I often wonder when Napoleon had crushed the weak Russian resistance in Smolensk and had offers of support from the serfs what would have happened if he paused and decided he went far enough. He had accomplished something great and perhaps terrible. He could have been satisfied, and prospered, king of a proud new empire.

But instead he refused to free the serfs and vowed to press on all the way to Moscow and met a ruinous end.

Perhaps Metro UI on the desktop follows a similar path.

By sigmatau on 5/31/2012 5:27:06 PM , Rating: 4
I too find Apple's 90's style OS to be beyond boring.

By Starcub on 6/1/2012 7:59:53 AM , Rating: 2
Bonus points for avoiding the nazi analogy and going with something original.

By Lazlo Panaflex on 6/1/2012 3:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
+2 for the analogy, Jason. And, that sh!tty CEO Ballmer is Microsoft's Napoleon ;)

By Cerin218 on 5/31/2012 4:43:08 PM , Rating: 2
We get it Garth Algar, you fear change.

By augiem on 5/31/2012 9:22:59 PM , Rating: 1
Change simply for the sake of change leads to anarchy. Just ask all the victims of the "spring" revolutions. Evolution over time brings improvements building on the successes of the past. Revolution rarely ever bring progress.

By Cerin218 on 6/1/2012 4:09:51 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe it Microsoft realizing that the laptop is going to fall to the tablet PC and working to create a tablet based system in preparation. I sure don't see people whining about the tiles on the Windows Phone or the XBox 360 interface.

By jnemesh on 6/1/2012 7:11:51 PM , Rating: 3
I stopped using my Xbox completely since it got "Metro"...and if you want a GREAT preview of what MS has in store, boot one up, look at all the LOVELY advertising tiles! GREAT!

Someone should tell MS that if we wanted our computers living in a walled garden (or "Crystal Prison"), we would have bought Apple devices!

By Cerin218 on 6/1/2012 5:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
Tablets are hot, and Microsoft Corp is coming up with a new Windows version just in time, according to Morgan Stanley analysts.

"We expect tablet shipments to exceed notebook shipments in 2013 and almost match total PC shipments by 2015," they said in a Thursday note which also called tablets, "the fastest ramping mobile device in history."

In a way, that's bad news for the PC ecosystem in which Microsoft has long played an important role. Just recently, Dell Inc. acknowledged that sales of tablets and smartphones have taken their toll on PCs.

By Motoman on 6/1/2012 1:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
We get it, Caveman Ted, you're incapable of differentiating between good change and bad change.

Good change: going from command-line to GUI...from horse-drawn carriage to automobile.

Bad change: Deciding that round wheels are too passe...make them square instead. Declaring that pants are "old" - make new pants with 3 legs instead of 2.'s new, right? That means it's better!

By masamasa on 5/31/2012 5:05:54 PM , Rating: 4
Agreed. Useless in a business environment. It's a tablet UI. They should have given users the option to install for business, tablet or both and never have removed the start button. Replacing it with the Metro UI is a joke.

By Motoman on 5/31/2012 5:08:20 PM , Rating: 5
Business environment or not is irrelevant - it's a terrible UI for a computer regardless of whether it's in the office or at home.

Keep it on the phones and tablets. Don't force a square peg into a round hole on actual computers.

By Cerin218 on 5/31/2012 5:46:24 PM , Rating: 5
"When do we get to stop pretending that making our computers look and act like Fisher-Price toys is a good idea?"

Seriously? After working support all day long, people are STUPID. We need to simplify computers as much as possible. I think most people should be restricted to colors instead of password because THOSE are too much for people to understand. A sign in, and then they click a color square.

By BZDTemp on 5/31/12, Rating: 0
By Motoman on 5/31/2012 6:27:29 PM , Rating: 5
No...people are really, really stupid. And frankly, many of them just shouldn't be allowed to touch computers.

Kind of like people who *need* cars that can parallel park themselves. Sorry...if you can't operate your car effectively, you shouldn't be driving.

If all you can do with your computer is bash your face into the screen to click a clownishly-large tile, then you shouldn't be using a computer.

By NellyFromMA on 6/1/2012 7:46:41 AM , Rating: 2

By Cerin218 on 6/1/2012 4:01:30 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you are one of those people I support.

If people were smarter, a company wouldn't rent my brain because it's better then their other users.

I think so other people don't have to, or can't. It depresses me when I hear people ask why they need to be be smarter than the computer. The computer is a giant calculator. It doesn't think. It does math. Fast. If your computer won't do what you think it should be doing, it's probably because you weren't smart enough to tell it what to do correctly.

I cheer the machines rising up and killing the humans.

By Reclaimer77 on 5/31/2012 7:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
Moto that's EXACTLY what I'm saying!

The key thing to remember is that if you're wrong.

lol I see shades of myself in that attitude! But when you're right, you're right.

By vignyan on 5/31/2012 8:05:58 PM , Rating: 2
I like it and I am not retarded.

Now... Go scr3w yourself with all the defensive comments! :P

By croc on 5/31/2012 11:23:51 PM , Rating: 2

Fisher-Price makes some of THE BEST toys on the planet, thank-you-very-much!

That said, I downloaded a copy of the consuner preview, or whatever it was called... And played with it for several hours over a few days. And then tossed the CD's, cleaned the drive and loaded the new ubuntu, I think. I personally don't see this... metro-whatever, I don't see it being very popular at all on the desktop. At least by people that have to use their desktops to make a living, that is.

But my crystal ball is sometimes a bit cloudy. It once told me that no one would pay $.25 to send a message smaller than 160 bytes...

By jnemesh on 6/1/2012 7:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
How did your Ubuntu install go? Last time I tried Linux was with Fedora 5...and it gave me a headache just trying to get Adobe Flash loaded!

I am hearing good things about the lastest it going to be a viable alternative for most Windows users?

By rainyday on 6/2/2012 2:47:24 AM , Rating: 2
May be your kids will love it. may be you no longer falls in (or will not in near future) the dominant demographics. may be its part of long term strategy. just sayin'.

By HackSacken on 6/4/2012 4:50:21 PM , Rating: 2

Windows 8 ships with (virtually) everything that’s included in Windows 7. It uses the same deployment and management tools, runs the same applications, and it even runs better on the same hardware than does Windows 7. This is all awesome news. Once you understand this, and once you get over the Start screen or at least come to accept what Microsoft calls its “twin” user interfaces—Metro and desktop—you can more clearly evaluate those new and improved business-oriented features and realize, perhaps, that it’s not a shabby update at all.

By xthetenth on 6/5/2012 10:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
You're right, fisher-price interfaces have no place on computers. That's why to this day I haven't used win XP or higher, all those glossy interfaces are just eye candy that distract from Real Work. Quick and easy search right after tapping the windows key? Just a misdirection to hide that they're taking away the best way to find programs, a three deep nested list of 12 pt tall text names with visually indistinguishable icons. I mean really, how can hitting the win key, hitting three or so keys and tapping enter compare to mousing to the corner and finding and mousing through three or more tiny text elements for speed? Don't even get me started on pinning items to the start menu/screen (the damage was done with Vista, don't pretend the Vista/7 start menu and the 8 start screen aren't conceptually identical, with pinned items and search supplanting My Programs.)

Don't even get me started on the colors they've added. Bright colors that can be distinguished at a glance on large tiles that can be sorted into columns of two are clearly inferior to both the tiny grey homogeneity of My Programs and the semi-indistinguishable glob of pixel art on the desktop.

I mean really, all the mouse movements and number of key presses has dramatically shrunk, but I'm a power user and that means comparing my laboriously memorized combinations of key presses unique to my install and current programs on the computer to my first try using something new because I never knew how to reason about the most efficient way to do things. It also means that color of any sort is anathema because how dare my operating system make a mockery of my bland and uninteresting life.

By bug77 on 5/31/2012 4:05:45 PM , Rating: 6
RE: ...
By Brandon Hill on 5/31/2012 4:20:19 PM , Rating: 4
WOW! That's all I have to say to that :)

RE: ...
By inighthawki on 5/31/2012 5:09:20 PM , Rating: 4
I'm not sure this is really deserving of a 6, but good find though, I smiled :)

RE: ...
By Trisped on 5/31/2012 7:46:01 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh, now I miss AOL.
Good find though, I have been doing rounded corners on web page buttons for so long I forgot that the default was square. :)

RE: ...
By Ricardo Dawkins on 6/1/2012 9:10:38 PM , Rating: 2
Flame War
By acer905 on 6/1/2012 12:41:26 PM , Rating: 3
Sometimes its silly how such a little change can spark so much hatred...

RE: Flame War
By HackSacken on 6/4/2012 10:04:29 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I'm not so sure how anyone can label Win8 "less productive." I skimmed through these comment threads pretty well and I'm almost certain there was no actual example.

Metro is great for casual use on my PC easily and the desktop is still the desktop providing the same functions and power use as before. It doesn't get much more simpler than that?

Maybe I haven't used it enough yet and might be overlooking something though. I'd be glad to hear what's difficult or less efficient in Win8.

RE: Flame War
By acer905 on 6/6/2012 7:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
Running the Release Preview of 8 right now. Have been using 8 since the beginning of the Developer Preview, and I haven't had any issues with less efficiency or difficult issues.

By p05esto on 6/1/2012 12:21:56 AM , Rating: 4
I've been such a Microsoft supporter in the past... but with Windows 8 I admit I'm losing the faith quickly and starting to turn on them. There's almost nothing I like about Windows 8, it's an operating system for little kids and idiot adults that know nothing about computers. For professional users of any kind it's a total productivity nightmare. I swear with my last breath that I will not use Windows 8 as it stands now. I will switch to another OS and even possibly to Apple (which I freaking hate) if I have to.

RE: lame
By augiem on 6/1/2012 3:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I won't support them anymore if this is what the future holds. Microsoft lost sight of who they were and what made them the leader in the industry and they've become just another kid in the room screaming "me too" to whatever Apple does. I guess that's what trying to always get only the biggest slice of the pie does to you. You just change with the wind if there's a little more $$$ to be made in that direction. Say what you will about Gates as a businessman, but he was way smarter than this.

RE: lame
By NellyFromMA on 6/1/12, Rating: 0
Metro Fail....
By NateB on 5/31/2012 5:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure why they insist on forcing this shity interface on everyone, but it looks like I'll be riding Win7 right to EOL status. I really hope that Win8 sales are horrid to serve as a FAIL notice to MS.

RE: Metro Fail....
By Ammohunt on 5/31/2012 10:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
I am with you! i will be waiting for Windows X

Windows 8 - metro = Windows 7
By armageddon51 on 5/31/2012 6:48:26 PM , Rating: 2
Someone at MS must have a lot of power to push that OS like it is, unphased by the torrent of critics. But if you think about it, if you strip metro, the desktop is basically the same as 7! How would they convince the vast majority of 7 users to upgrade (and make money) if there is no difference? I think that even if metro is ludicrous on a desktop, a lot of people will go for it just to have the latest and surely all the new computers will also come with it. You will have no choice basically for a new machine.

RE: Windows 8 - metro = Windows 7
By augiem on 5/31/2012 6:57:28 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe after 5-6 years you won't have any other choice, but I loaded up on discounted Win7 licences when it came out and will be skipping the 8 gen entirely. Even if I buy a laptop, I can certainly wipe 8 off and put 7 on it.

I generally skip generations of Windows have suffered no ill effects. I skipped from DOS to Win 3.1, 95 to 2000, XP to 7 (though I admit I did get one copy of Vista RIGHT before 7 came out :( )

But does it run my apps well?
By dnoonie on 5/31/2012 6:49:55 PM , Rating: 1
I own a computer to run the applications that I want and need to run. There is WAY too much emphasis put on the operating system. As long and I can run my applications quickly and efficiently that's good enough (that means the OS must be stable, crashing isn't efficient). I certainly don't care about the consumer oriented applications built into the OS, I'm very happy to purchase 3rd party file management, professional graphics editing, professional video editing and even pro-sumer video editing software to get the job done quickly and efficiently.


By hero_of_zero on 6/1/2012 12:22:16 AM , Rating: 2
There is WAY too much emphasis put on the operating system?Really?Without the emphasis on the operating system you would have a blank screen when you press the power button .Os is the backbone of everything you run on your computer period.

I really don't know
By MarioJP on 6/1/2012 3:03:01 AM , Rating: 3
The thing is. This is not about vista or me. This time its all about looks. I agree getting rid of aero on win8 is a big mistake on MS part. After comparing 7 to OS X. Win7 looks fresh clean cut and easy on the eyes. As for Win8.. I really can't comment its all new and MS did state this is a risky move with Win8. If it succeeds, then i guess its a risk worth taking. If they fail. Its back to the drawing board and have win7 to ride on. Plus win7 has plenty of life left. Win8 is too soon. I think this is why it may flop but then again could succeed. Will see when it releases.

Active Tiles
By Nautical on 5/31/2012 11:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone who has not used the metro interface may not appreciate that the tiles are active. I personally really like having icons/tiles that convey useful information and are not just clickable dumb images. With Win7 I have all my active programs pinned to the task bar and only use the start menu for infrequently used programs. Time will tell how it translates to a PC but I'm looking forward to the improvements.

Windows 8 release
By Taurus229 on 5/31/2012 11:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone really care? Windows 8 must be a big joke, presented by Microsoft! Windows 7 must be the real operating system.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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