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Print 37 comment(s) - last by cfaalm.. on Apr 19 at 5:06 PM

Microsoft gets back to its desktop roots

The upcoming Windows 8.1 (code-named "Windows Blue") is rumored to be preparing to win back critics of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFTMetro user interface by reportedly allowing them to skip Metro and boot directly to desktop.

The new option was first spotted as a registry entry dubbed "CanSuppressStartScreen" in a leaked build.  That build lacked a UI element to enable the user to trivially disable Metro, but reportedly such an option will be added to the control panel.

Reportedly hot corner functionality for access to Charms or the (Metro) Start Screen will remain active, even if you set it to boot to desktop, so those on the fence can always still poke around in Metro when they get the urge.  By default, Windows 8.1 will reportedly boot to the Metro Start Screen unless a user tells it otherwise.

And ZDNet's chief Windows expert Mary Jo Foley says her sources indicate a Start Button may be making comeback to the desktop, contradicting previous rumors that it would stay dead:



Perhaps Microsoft is caving to the criticism?

Windows 7 Start Button
The start button may return in Windows 8.1.
 
Windows 8 has been a bit of letdown for Microsoft after the record-shattering success of Windows 7.  Fans blasted Microsoft from over-innovating saying it should have stuck with the same "old-fashioned" desktop model that had long drew it derision and mocking from Apple, Inc. (AAPL) users.

So far Microsoft's license shipments to OEMs have been decent, but Windows 8 has struggled in end-sales.  Worse, some customers are opting for a downgrade, much like they did with Windows Vista.  Microsoft has also struggled on the profit front with the new OS.

The struggles have triggered a leadership change, with the departure of Windows President Steven Sinofsky.  They also prompted Microsoft to switch to a shorter cycle of OS releases, similar to Apple.  The first result of that shift will be seen in Windows 8.1's release this fall.

Source: My Digital Life Forum



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OMFG
By Lord 666 on 4/16/2013 2:33:43 PM , Rating: 5
Totally made my day. Going to start the 8.1 migration plans now.




RE: OMFG
By FITCamaro on 4/16/2013 2:54:05 PM , Rating: 3
Honestly yeah. I didn't view the new interface as bad for touch screens but for a mouse it is a bit cumbersome. If they give me the option to stay with the same interface as 7, I'll consider upgrading.

Honestly though the biggest let down is that in Windows 8 Professional, they removed the built in back up software for essentially a Time Capsule clone. I want to be able to image and restore the OS. Not just create a backup of the registry and file structure.


RE: OMFG
By kmmatney on 4/16/2013 3:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
This might be useful to you:

http://www.itworld.com/consumerization-it/333466/c...

Apparently they still have back up image capability, but have it hidden.


RE: OMFG
By Motoman on 4/16/2013 6:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a big fan of Macrium Reflect. The free version is awesome, and realistically all anyone ever needs.

I never actually used the built-in backup thing in Windows at all. I'd been doing such things since Ghost was new, and have just been evolving along with the market for similar applications.


RE: OMFG
By Wolfpup on 4/17/2013 9:56:39 AM , Rating: 2
Whoa...I had no idea they'd removed that backup image thing...didn't they only just add that to 7? Or maybe it's been there since Vista.

That's weird...how the heck does Microsoft think that people are supposed to restore Windows 8, for the 99% of systems without system discs? I honestly have no idea what they're thinking.

That's awesome and surprising if the start menu's coming back though. They made a huge mistake, and that'll pretty much fix...well, a lot of it (though 8's still missing stuff from 7...more than I realized!)


RE: OMFG
By inighthawki on 4/16/2013 3:32:32 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I would rather see aero glass than anything related to the start menu/screen/button. It bugs me a bit to see that the desktop version is suffering from limitations of tablets.


RE: OMFG
By max_payne on 4/16/2013 10:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
Amen to that ! Win 8 desktop looks like Win 98. What's the big news with the start button ??? There is already 10 third party programs which bring it back and more.


RE: OMFG
By Belard on 4/17/2013 10:27:45 AM , Rating: 2
Hell... Win8 looks more like windows 2.0


RE: OMFG
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 10:45:39 AM , Rating: 2
...have you seen Office 2013? It looks like WordPerfect did in 1990.


Hey Dailytech
By Duwelon on 4/16/2013 6:54:44 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly which users call the replacement of the start button "over innovating"?

The answer, i'm suspecting, is zero, and you should quit calling it that. I like what another user called it on another one of your silly Windows 8 articles, something like "its not innovation when a company invents a square block of rubber and calls it a wheel".




RE: Hey Dailytech
By xti on 4/18/2013 9:32:49 AM , Rating: 2
DT hates any successful company. its even turning on google now.

penis envy.


Yah!
By Ammohunt on 4/16/2013 4:36:02 PM , Rating: 3
+1 for Windows 8 Desktop PC Mode




bravo
By Yofa on 4/16/2013 3:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
<slow clap>welcome to the wiserhood</slow clap>




Finally!
By Cannyone on 4/16/2013 3:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
I will admit that I like many of the underlying improvements in Windows 8. For instance: the kernel is obviously more robust and things like file transfers between drives isn't as sluggish as it was since Vista. But the one thing I never liked was that idiotic Start Screen.

Yes, I know it designed to work with touchscreen hardware. But the vast majority of current computers still use a keyboard and mouse. So the UI formerly known as Metro never made any sense.




uh
By chromal on 4/16/2013 7:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
When does this service pack for Windows 8 come out? Not soon enough.

Or do they expect me to pay them to restore the function I never wanted removed from Windows7 to begin with? Because that's gonna happen over my dead body.




Perception is 90% of reality
By cyberguyz on 4/17/2013 7:00:59 AM , Rating: 2
If you walk down the street and see a paper bag covered in excrement, what would you think that bag contained? Would you expect it to contain gold coins? Would you really want to pick it up and see?

Windows 8 has been perceived to be targeted at tablet and cell phone users by most. The reality of that perception has led Windows 8 to poor sales as those that primarily use desktop systems do not see it as a viable solution for desktop use. I can state confidently that my employer is not even considering Windows 8 as its corporate Wintel platform. An awful lot of people work for my employer, many of whom use more than a single computer on their desk or home office.

Microsoft's removal of the start button, the insistence of using the start screen and the jarring transitions between classic desktop multitasking and 'Microsoft Apps' task switching has done nothing but add fuel to this perception/reality regarding Microsoft's Windows 8 target audience.

The ability to restore a start button and boot straight to the desktop have been available for Windows 8 since the day of its release. I've used them and they do work very well. So Microsoft's move in Windows 8.1 to restore these is really not a big deal.

Here is my perception and thus my 90% reality when it comes to Windows 8.

When the Aero desktop theme, gently rounded and graduated graphics was introduced with Windows Vista, I was amazed and overjoyed when they were carried over (with optimizations) to Windows 7. it gave the operating system a feel of quality and frankly made want to use it.

Windows 8, they replaced this amazing user experience with a flat, squared, non-graduated graphic system that is supposed to look like the primitive graphics used in web programming libraries. I was never a big fan of the look web GUI libraries and even less of a fan at seeing this kind of graphic mentality being carried into the Windows desktop. I am sorry Microsoft, but while your graphics designers may be big fans of this sanitizing and cleanup of your graphics, I am not. To me this is the bag covered in poo tha may or may not be hiding a handful of gold coins.

I may be missing the gold (your under-the-covers enhancements), but being so butt-ugly, I am not interested in Windows 8 up and peeking inside it.




So... Windows 8 is still butt ugly
By Belard on 4/17/2013 10:25:34 AM , Rating: 2
There are other problems to windows 8, besides just those two things.

Even in desktop mode, IT IS BUTT UGLY!!
Win8 preview looked slick... But the release version is nothing more than windows7 basic.

I'm not going to spend $150 to upgrade my win7 to 8.1, I doubt MS has the intelligence to fix windows 8. Besides, metro will still be running in the background... Sucking up resources, certain operations will cause metro to pop it's ugly head out. Charms is still stupid.

Want to fix windows8? Go download LinuxMint for free. Get the Mate 64 bit version. Installs in 10mins. I'm already using Linux because of win8.

LOL, MS has double the decline of windows pc sales because of this stupidy. They designed win8 targeting mobile users, not people who actually use computers. If MS keeps losing 14% every qtr and it takes another 3 before win8.1 comes out, that could be about 56% drop in PC sales in a year. Dell and HP may not survive that.




Better listen to the people...
By Ramstark on 4/17/2013 11:37:33 AM , Rating: 2
Now there is a company that listens to the critics and its user base. Good for Microsoft and their teams.

The "Metro" Interface is innovating, and it is actually very nice, but if someone wants to stay in the 90s, then you should let them, at least give them the option.

Let's hope the rumors are real...




We had a startbutton already...
By cfaalm on 4/19/2013 5:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
It was on your keyboard, the one with the windows logo? I still don't get it why people are so sentimental about ye ole startbutton.




Mixed Feelings
By crispbp04 on 4/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: Mixed Feelings
By ProtonBadger on 4/16/2013 3:21:10 PM , Rating: 5
Some people prefer a different mode of operation than you, that doesn't make them dumb. It is possible to respect people with different opinions or preferences you know, especially with someting this subjective. it just requires a certain level of maturity to realize this.


RE: Mixed Feelings
By Da W on 4/17/2013 8:48:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is possible to respect people with different opinions or preferences you know


NOT on the internet.


RE: Mixed Feelings
By kmmatney on 4/16/2013 3:30:19 PM , Rating: 2
The valid argument is that I don't want things I rarely use taking up screen space, but I like to know where I can easily find them. I can also launch Visual Studio and directly load up the project I want to work on. Another example would be accessing help files for my development software and controls. I don't use them very often, but I like to be able to easily find them.

Even if they do bring it back, I like the third party Start menu's better, so I hope you can still disable it and use your own.

I also like having my 5 top most-used programs in the Start menu short list. I'd like the list to go to 10 programs, but I can't see a way to do that yet with classics shell.

Going to the corners of the screen sucks on a 24" LCD, and in my case the hovering of the mouse is flaky, and it takes several tries. I just gave up on it after seeing how flaky the whole process was on my computer.

Although I always use the Start button + E to bring up windows explorer, I never use the Start button to bring up the start menu, since I usually need to use the mouse to click on the program I want, and usually I drill down one more menu item to actually start up the program to load up the project or file I want to work on. There is no way to do that without a start menu.


RE: Mixed Feelings
By crispbp04 on 4/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: Mixed Feelings
By inighthawki on 4/16/2013 5:58:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Your paragraph leads me to believe that you don't understand the concept of pinning to the taskbar yet. This is why I feel Win7->Win8 is easier for people than WinXP->Win8

For me, the first thing I do after installing Win7/8 is set the taskbar to small icons, never combine. I have a hard time using the taskbar effectively while doing a lot of tasks in grouped icon mode. This means a lot of extra horizontal space is taken up by text, which means pinning a ton of stuff to the taskbar is not always a reasonable option.

I pin all my most used applications such as windows media player, firefox, visual studio, etc. Pinning much more than that just won't work very well.

That said, though, I personally like the Win8 start screen. I find it an effective use of screen realestate to pin all the apps I would otherwise commonly use but don't want taking up space, such as an email client, Skype, steam, etc. But I also don't feel like the start menu was inherently worse at doing so, just different. It was one dimensional and you couldn't categorize anything, but that doesn't mean it didn't work for everyone. Some people only ever use like 5 programs anyway, so a small list of 5 items could be plenty, and a full-screen grid layout of tiles might be unnecessary.


RE: Mixed Feelings
By 91TTZ on 4/16/2013 4:45:22 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I'm okay with them bringing back a button to launch the start screen for people who are too dumb to click in the corner or use the start button on the keyboard like most adept users, but if they bring back the start menu it will be a sad day for progression.


How is additional choice a bad thing? People like myself want the Start Button. It's not that I couldn't learn how to use the new method; in fact I learned two things: 1) I learned the new method and I learned that the new method isn't as efficient as the old method when using a mouse/keyboard.

I think that you're confusing "progression" with "change". Sure, they changed it, but most consumers don't find it to be progress.


RE: Mixed Feelings
By crispbp04 on 4/16/13, Rating: 0
RE: Mixed Feelings
By croc on 4/17/2013 12:25:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'd imagine that a lot of people would be rather upset if GM or Ford decided to move the shift lever up to the roof. It is just as easy to use, right? So what's the problem?

Change for change's sake is not often a good option. You are correct in that MS developed the start button / menu over a 18 year (or so) period. You might say that it evolved. And the users evolved with it. Then MS decided it was all well and good to 'disrupt' their desktop users, drag them kicking and screaming into the tablet world of the future. It seems that they somehow forgot to actually ask their user base if they minded. Now, after the fact, they have found out that indeed their user base DOES mind. They REALLY mind. Just like the user base minded when it came to how Vista utilized memory.

The real user base, the base that MS cannot afford to piss off, is the business users. I see a looooonnngg support timeline ahead for Win 7.

Vista wasn't so bad, was it? Enjoy.


RE: Mixed Feelings
By Motoman on 4/16/2013 6:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
You've heard lots of valid arguments. You just choose to ignore them.

We've heard your arguments, and demonstrated that they are lacking. You choose to ignore that.

You can continue to ignore whatever you want. The irrefutable fact of the matter is that Win8 is absolutely sinking the PC market - that's how bad it is.

If MS admits their mistake and puts a real desktop and Start button back, it will of course be a major first...MS, like all such companies, hates to admit they're wrong. But they'll instantly make Win8 a valid choice as an operating system for the vast majority of users out there who are either incapable or disinterested in finding and installing a 3rd party app like Start8 to fix the gaping head wound that MS shipped Win8 with.


RE: Mixed Feelings
By stevend on 4/17/2013 3:14:11 AM , Rating: 2
What arguments, so far the only one I've heard so far that deserves any listening to is that you don't get a choice.

I remember now why I didn't revert to XP after switching to Vista. The option to hit the start button, type a few letters and hit enter to start your program was the only thing that I really missed when trying to switch back to XP. After getting used to typing to get what I want in a few seconds going back to searching through the tree till I foud what I was looking for felt like trying to plow a concrete field.


RE: Mixed Feelings
By Da W on 4/17/2013 8:58:14 AM , Rating: 2
They made a mistake, it's getting corrected. What will trolls complain abut now?

The goal was to force people to use Windows Runtime (metro interface and apps) so it would be worthwhile for developper to storm the market with metro apps. In a way it worked, there are a lot of cool apps after only 6 months.

They should try to merge the start screen and the desktop though. I would see keeing the taskbar in metro (or make it like a dock), keeping the desktop background in metro and have multiple start screen pages to hide the apps you don't use enough on another page.That's what i used the start menu for: keeping things clean. Also run metro apps in windows desktop. You can do most of that with 3rd party apps, so it's doable.


RE: Mixed Feelings
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 10:49:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They made a mistake, it's getting corrected. What will trolls complain abut now?


Trolls will always find something to complain about. For myself, I'll probably still chuckle about the sheer stupidity MS just demonstrated, but after a while will forget about it. The vast majority of people will too...Windows/PC sales will come back to normal and in all likelihood the Metrosexual UI will become the next Microsoft Bob. Just an oddball footnote in the history of software that ultimately flamed out and went away.


Why the bashing?
By jharper12 on 4/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: Why the bashing?
By cmart on 4/17/2013 9:43:47 AM , Rating: 3
Win8 user: "You people don't know how to use the three seashells? How silly."

The Win8 adopters are the minority. It's not an improvement in it's present form. Hence the ".1"


RE: Why the bashing?
By Belard on 4/17/2013 10:12:38 AM , Rating: 2
Damn, too bad we can't rate when we posts. Hopefully most people will get the reference,

That describes windows 8 quite well.


RE: Why the bashing?
By Belard on 4/17/2013 10:10:08 AM , Rating: 1
You are not me or most other people. The start button IS still there in win8, but some fracking retard decided that making a button a hidden 1x1 pixel makes life easier , hell why not make all buttons invisible 1 pixel thingies?

Besides, what you said about press windows and start typing... You do that in windows7 too. Duh.

It's very fracking stupid to take a start menu and make it into a whole fracking screen... That you have to use more energy to view and scroll. MS said nobody used the start menu... So make it into a whole screen that nobody wants it to use? That is retarded.

Most people cannot remember what they are looking for... They Need visual clues... So typing can useless for some people.

Desktop real estate? win8 wastes a lot of space. Metro tells you nothing. Time, battery, status... All you get is tiles. Unless your are in desktop mode.

Win8 is still a crappy design. The charms is stupid. All settings are in it on 8.1, so who knows what kind of mess that will be. It's a pain in the ass to get charms (what a stupid ass name) to pop up, sinces it's another STUPID hidden button... Or it pops up when you don't need it.

Windows 8 can be summed up in a single word, Shit.

Metro is ugly. The win8 desktop is ugly.


RE: Why the bashing?
By Belard on 4/17/2013 5:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like MS has some PR Staff here to down vote people.

What *I* said, while maybe an opinion, its valid... and is how Win8 is viewed by many. MS publicly said that "people were not using the Start Menu, so we made it bigger"

You are not me or most other people. The start button IS still there in win8, but some fracking retard decided that making a button a hidden 1x1 pixel makes life easier , hell why not make all buttons invisible 1 pixel thingies?

Besides, what you said about press windows and start typing... You do that in windows7 too. Duh.

It's very fracking stupid to take a start menu and make it into a whole fracking screen... That you have to use more energy to view and scroll. MS said nobody used the start menu... So make it into a whole screen that nobody wants it to use? That is retarded.

Most people cannot remember what they are looking for... They Need visual clues... So typing can useless for some people.

Desktop real estate? win8 wastes a lot of space. Metro tells you nothing. Time, battery, status... All you get is tiles. Unless your are in desktop mode.

Win8 is still a crappy design. The charms is stupid. All settings are in it on 8.1, so who knows what kind of mess that will be. It's a pain in the ass to get charms (what a stupid ass name) to pop up, sinces it's another STUPID hidden button... Or it pops up when you don't need it. Metro is ugly. The win8 desktop is ugly.

Windows 8 can be summed up in a single word, crap.


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