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Windows Vista or XP users will need to purchase Windows 8 first

Not too long ago we mentioned that Windows 8.1 would be landing on October 18. All Windows 8 users will be able to download the update at no cost via the Windows Store on that day. However, if you haven't yet upgraded to Windows 8 you can now pre-order Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.1 brings with it several updates that users should appreciate, including a return of the Start button.


The update will also allow users to boot directly to the desktop, bypassing the “Tiles” interface. Microsoft reportedly made numerous other changes and upgrades to the operating system as well.
 
Users wanting to pre-order Windows 8.1 can do so now for $119.99. If you're running Windows XP or Windows Vista, you need to be aware that Microsoft says Windows 8.1 is not designed for installation on devices running either of those versions of the operating system.

People running Windows Vista or Windows XP have to purchase Windows 8 and get the upgrade Windows 8.1 at no cost. Windows 7 users can update directly to Windows 8.1.

Source: Microsoft



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Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 12:03:47 PM , Rating: 5
"Windows 8.1 brings with it several updates that users should appreciate, including a return of the Start button."

People weren't missing the "start button" itself, it was the old start menu that it got you to. Adding the "start button" back and having it take you to the god awful new start screen is nothing but a slap in the face and will do nothing to appease the millions of customers you have pissed off.




RE: Not quite MS.
By inighthawki on 10/2/2013 12:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly I don't think the inclusion of a start button was ever about the people asking for the start menu, and I think people misinterpret it. I believe the primary concern here was for people who use it in environments such as remote desktop where it becomes incredibly difficult to access start, so they added a button for better accessibility. Maybe also a bit of symbolism too.


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 12:21:13 PM , Rating: 5
"Honestly I don't think the inclusion of a start button was ever about the people asking for the start menu, and I think people misinterpret it. I believe the primary concern here was for people who use it in environments such as remote desktop where it becomes incredibly difficult to access start,"

I would highly doubt that even 1% of consumer users use remote desktop. Win8.1 is better in that you can boot to the desktop, but people werent missing the "button" it was the menu FFS.

Way to miss the point entirely MS. ugh... You are slowly turning into HP.


RE: Not quite MS.
By Da W on 10/2/13, Rating: -1
RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 1:37:19 PM , Rating: 5
See, this is where you are wrong. I love MS's products, and always have. I especially loved how they took all the complaints about Vista and made Win7 with a vengeance. A unanimously well received product. Then to see them slip onto a mode where doing what customers want isnt important is a massive letdown. It's not "anti-MS" at all. If I were anti MS I would just go Linux or Mac and be done. I like MS and I want them to fix it.


RE: Not quite MS.
By Da W on 10/2/2013 2:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then to see them slip onto a mode where doing what customers want isnt important is a massive letdown.

Windows 8 and Windows RT is a long term plan to be platform agnostic. *IF* Windows 8.X sees enough success, *IF* enough developpers build Metro apps for it, *IF* office and other popular windows software are translated to Metro format, then in 2-3 years Microsoft will be free of intel and just pick whatever best SoC the market has to offer at that time. Which may or may not be Intel's.

However, in order to do that, Microsoft had to push Windows RT to see widespread adoption, and they had to force Metro down a few peoples' troat in windows 8 desktop. In retrospect, may be they are failling, but they had no choice to do what they did in order to acheive their goal. Otherwise, if intel dies, they die. And yes when you look at the trend, ARM is picking up quickly and charging cheap.

I'm surprised so few people picked that up.

Now, i agree Metro doesn't work on the desktop. And it's not the tiles, i like tiles, it's all the rest. I like it on my surface, but even there i use mostly desktop programs and metro internet explorer. They have to improve Metro by a wide margin, merge it with desktop and open it up. Windows 8.1 is not nearly enough. Then developers need to adapt their software to it.


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 3:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
"In retrospect, may be they are failling, but they had no choice to do what they did in order to acheive their goal."

They had the choice to leave the choice. It could have been an option to use the new touchscreen UI or the old KB/Mouse based UI. Do that and everyone is happy.


RE: Not quite MS.
By Wolfpup on 10/6/2013 1:42:51 AM , Rating: 2
You DO have that choice. The desktop is right there. It's mostly unchanged save for a few tweaks here and there, mostly positive.

Yes, it means the start menu is now full screen and the functionality is different. I'm not sure I like the start screen as well, but it's still a perfectly functional OS that's not that much different to use.

It's not like this hasn't changed before anyway. 7 ripped out the classic start menu and forces you to use the new menu that's nearly as different as 8's menu/screen, along with changes to the task bar.

Some of the changes required adaptation for 7, and I think by and large it's just the same for 8.

Start panicking if MIcrosoft ever actually DID require metro (or more precisely, start switching to Apple/Linux at that point).


RE: Not quite MS.
By embedded_bill on 10/4/2013 3:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 got me looking to stock up on old Windows 7 licenses.

Windows Vista got me looking at MacOS X!

Funny how MS alternates the hit an misses, reminds me of the old Star Trek movies ;)


RE: Not quite MS.
By dxf2891 on 10/2/2013 1:56:00 PM , Rating: 3
I too like MS products, when they make sense to me. Case in point: the Xbox ONE. IMO, the initial way they were going to release it left a bad taste in a LOT of peoples mouths. So much so, a LOT of die hard Xbox 360 fans have jumped ship to the PS4 with the notion of "I might pick up an XBONE later." MS had the keys to the kingdom and then broke it off in the locked door.


RE: Not quite MS.
By Jeffk464 on 10/2/2013 1:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it will be nice to boot directly to the desktop. I like the start screen but dislike full screen apps, and get irritated that MS uses full screen apps by default for opening files.


RE: Not quite MS.
By YearOfTheDingo on 10/2/2013 1:56:04 PM , Rating: 4
The full screen apps are what I hate the most. Seriously, who came up with this idea that Windows without windows is a good thing?


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 2:02:06 PM , Rating: 2
"Seriously, who came up with this idea that Windows without windows is a good thing"

Exactly... they shouldn't have even called this "Windows 8", it should be called "Screen 1".


RE: Not quite MS.
By xdrol on 10/2/13, Rating: 0
RE: Not quite MS.
By troysavary on 10/2/2013 10:53:12 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently, it is still only a 2. Don't you usually wait for a post to hit 5 before you start calling for 6.


RE: Not quite MS.
By troysavary on 10/4/2013 11:48:07 AM , Rating: 2
Metro apps do not have to be run full screen. You can snap them to the side and run 2 side by side, or more than two depending of screen res with 8.1. Or, you can just run desktop programs. Choice is great, isn't it?


RE: Not quite MS.
By Manch on 10/17/2013 5:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
exactly, the full screen app for connecting my phone drives me insane. I have the choice of either full screen or a sliver on either side. Why cant I have a tiny window sized to my preference? Im not asking for anything new, just what I had. Some of these apps are so simple they dont need a full screen. I dont need these to be 30" f2cking inches.

I like the metro interface on a tablet or a convertible with a touch screen. I hate it on my desktop.


RE: Not quite MS.
By Wolfpup on 10/6/2013 1:38:08 AM , Rating: 2
I think from an interface perspective it makes sense. For one, people are used to the start button, and understand the functionality. For another, it's more confusing to have to know to click on an area of the screen with no button. I think it makes a lot of sense to put there, even if the start menu is now full screen.

As for that...well, it's a weird compromise of melding one OS for tablets and notebooks and desktops, but I really don't think it's that bad, and most of the interface in Windows 8 is the same as always.

Sounds like 8.1 makes things better both for the tablet interface and the desktop/notebook interface.


RE: Not quite MS.
By seeker353 on 10/2/2013 12:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
But the start button has always been there in Windows 8. Hidden but there. If you move your cursor into the lower left corner of the screen it magically appears (though I've never tried it in a remote environment). What people want is the old start menu back instead of the metro screen, it's MS that doesn't understand.


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 12:24:31 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly... People hate the metro UI. Adding the start button and taking you to the hated UI, is nothing but a slap in the face. MS doesn't get a penny from me until they go back to making products based on what people want instead of what drives their internal agendas.


RE: Not quite MS.
By Iaiken on 10/2/13, Rating: -1
RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 12:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
Of course not everyone hates it, but you cant deny a hell of a lot do. I actually think inighthawki explained 1/2 of it very well here "The primary complaint about metro is that it is full screen and takes you away from the context of what you're doing. On mouse+keyboard systems it becomes harder to navigate, and large monitors have lots of wasted space."

The other 1/2 being that you can fit as much, or embed folders in the new menu. For example MS Office. Old menu, 1 folder, open it up and all your MS office stuff is there. New menu? 10 freegin ugly tiles in your face. I do way too many things at once and the Metro UI is just clunky and inefficient... Extremely inefficient.

By 1 year into it, Win7 had 17% market share. Win8 has


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 12:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
By 1 year into it, Win7 had 18% market share. Win8 has just peaked 8%. That says alot.

http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-m...


RE: Not quite MS.
By nikon133 on 10/2/2013 4:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
That being said, 7 was replacing grandpa's XP, while 8 was replacing still fresh (and good) 7... so there's that as well.

If 8 came after Vista, I'd expect it would sell much better, regardless of people liking or not liking Metro.


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 6:11:46 PM , Rating: 3
Not really. XP is still 31% as of today. Most of the upgrades are going from XP to 7, because 8 just sucks.


RE: Not quite MS.
By troysavary on 10/2/2013 11:08:19 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that 31% are still on XP shows that Windows 8 can't solely be blamed for the slowdown of computer sales. Those people skipped Vista, skipped 7, and will likely skip 9, unless their old PCs that still do everything they need to do break. PCs have long since passed the "good enough" stage and most people do not upgrade the OS. They generally only get a new OS with a new PC, so if they no longer have a need to upgrade frequently, it is logical to conclude that until they are forced to replace something that breaks, they will stay with XP or whatever they have.


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/3/2013 9:04:18 AM , Rating: 3
"Windows 8 can't solely be blamed for the slowdown of computer sales."

Who is saying that? What is being said here is that 8 has problems, alot of people dont like it and many are still upgrading from XP to 7 becasue they dont like 8. Also, the fact that 8 has far more licenses sold than PC's in use shows that many users that bought OEM PC's with 8 pre-installed have utilized the Win7 downgrade. 8 is in trouble. The whole world knows it, its obvious to anyone and everyone that is paying any attention at all.


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/3/2013 9:05:31 AM , Rating: 2
derp... link (originally posted by Monkeys Uncle).

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/05/14...


RE: Not quite MS.
By troysavary on 10/4/2013 11:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of people are blaming the decline in PC sales on Windows 8. Nevermind that PC sales were already in decline before 8 launched and Mac sales declined too.

I am not saying that there isn't a large group of people who do not like 8. But there are a lot who have tried it and like it. Many of the people who took the downgrade offers did so immediately after purchase without even trying 8, whether because they tried it on other machines and didn't like it, or whether they just read somewhere that it sucked, who knows?


RE: Not quite MS.
By Da W on 10/2/2013 1:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
"The primary complaint about metro is that it is full screen and takes you away from the context of what you're doing. On mouse+keyboard systems it becomes harder to navigate, and large monitors have lots of wasted space."

And, for that mather, i miss the taskbar (both android and iOS have one) to pin frequently used program, show opened programs and show the CLOCK. Poeple need a little "X" in the corner to close a program. It's stupid to use the drag from the top gesture to close programs while this should be used to bring down a ribbon (and menus, you know, so that developpers can port their Win32 software - porting office would be damn simple too). The whole charms bar is only useful on a tablet using your tumbs. Switching apps from the left side and going back in the browser by swiping left but without touching the edge is confusing. Treating Desktop mode as an app is ludicrous! In house apps like contacts and e-mail are nice but incomplete. Tiles should not be in "auto-allign" mode only. You can't manipulate documents and files as easily in metro, which is what 98% of bureaucrats and office worker do with a PC.

They seriously need to move to Windows 9. Mere improvement to windows 8 in not enough. I understand why they want to get rid of Win32, but they need to make the Metro UI more desktop like, then allow easy port of software to metro with touch UI AND mouse UI, them get rid of desktop and use only metro. Desktop worked, there was no need of reinventng the wheel.


RE: Not quite MS.
By DrChemist on 10/2/2013 3:00:38 PM , Rating: 3
Before when Windows 8 came out there were videos and fields of people complaining about the start button not being there. No desktop only boot, etc. Now it's that the real issue is that it only is full screen. At least now they have boot to desktop mode and have the windows button keep the wallpaper as background to make the change more fluid.

Come on people. When you click the start button in Win 7 do you really worry about being able to see what is going on with your other open programs or are you searching for the program you want. They simply did what everyone was already doing at home. MSFT noticed that everyone was placing their programs and most used shortcuts on the taskbar rather than using the start button. In fact the start button was almost never used based on the win 7 and XP use data they collected. In Win 8 the start button goes to a larger version of this that takes up the screen for quick access of a larger numbers of choices of frequently used apps or just getting a glance of info without truly opening something up.

The future is smaller more mobile devices, ie tablets and phones. The surface pro is the first hybrid towards that goal of a tablet with computer power. Desktop sales are tanking like the titanic and they need to move to this or lose everything in the next few years. Dinosaurs will always go extinct. You have to adapt and evolve.


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 3:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
Bah... You are missing one simple thing. A touchscreen vs. a KB/Mouse interface is fundamentally different. It needs 2 different UI's. They could have left it as a choice but they took away the choice and forced it. Bad move period. MS is forcing a touchscreen UI on desktops and laptops that dont have touch screens and it sucks for those devices.


RE: Not quite MS.
By Fujikoma on 10/2/2013 6:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
Those of us with real jobs are concerned with having two windows open that we can see at the same time. When you run two different types of software and have to collate data, then it is very necessary. Not all businesses run one database suite for everything they do. I have a proprietary engineering database that I use to populate SAP (or compare to SAP to verify SAP's accuracy with data) fields. I typically have four windows open, across two large monitors, so that everything I need is visually available.
The future for CONSUMERS may be smaller/mobile devices, but it's not in the immediate future for anyone that needs to do real work.


RE: Not quite MS.
By troysavary on 10/2/2013 11:03:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I typically have four windows open, across two large monitors, so that everything I need is visually available.


Which you can still do in Windows 8. In fact, Windows 8 handles multiple monitors better than any previous version of Windows, including 7. Some are minor things, like having the ability to set a different wallpaper on each screen. Others are major, like having a dedicated task bar for each screen and the ability to remember which screen to open which program on.


RE: Not quite MS.
By ipay on 10/3/2013 10:14:17 AM , Rating: 3
He said "windows" not "monitors". BIG difference. Those of us with large monitors with high native resolutions often use multiple visible windows on a single monitor.


RE: Not quite MS.
By troysavary on 10/4/2013 11:50:23 AM , Rating: 2
Which you can also still do in Windows 8. Obviously, there are a lot of people commenting who haven't actually tried it. The desktop did not go away.


RE: Not quite MS.
By inighthawki on 10/4/2013 2:59:41 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I typically have four windows open, across two large monitors , so that everything I need is visually available.


Interesting. Could you provide me with your definition of monitor? I'm having trouble understanding.


RE: Not quite MS.
By wallijonn on 10/2/2013 6:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
everyone was placing their programs and most used shortcuts on the taskbar rather than using the start button. In fact the start button was almost never used based on the win 7 and XP use data they collected.


Not in my world. One of the most used Start Menu items is "My Recent Documents". Then there's "My Documents," "My Pictures," "My Music," "My Computer," "Downloads," etc - "display as a menu" instead of as a link.

They really need to add a preview function to the picture menu list...

Want to know why most people put the programs on the task bar? Because no one told them that they can left click the task bar program and drag it over on top of the Start button and then release the left mouse button. Increase the number of programs available on the start menu through taskbar properties. No one tyold them that they can go to Start Menu -> Programs -> left click the program, drag to the Program pane of the Start Menu.

The taskbar button only takes one click, going to the start menu takes more than one click - but if you're looking for files the start menu is the place to go to first rather than opening up the Documents folder. The reason to go to the Pictures folder (display as a link) is for the preview function.


RE: Not quite MS.
By inighthawki on 10/2/2013 12:43:55 PM , Rating: 3
All I'm saying is that people assumed it was added as a response to people who wanted a start menu, and I'm saying that there are other reasons Microsoft could have chosen to add it back that could have been more related to complaints that may have been voiced from their largest source of revenue - enterprise. I think it's just jumping to conclusions to assume that it is a "slap in the face replacement" for a start menu.

i.e. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. There is no public record from Microsoft which states that it was to appease complaints about the start menu, therefore you cannot logically jump to any conclusions.


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 1:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
"There is no public record from Microsoft which states that it was to appease complaints about the start menu, therefore you cannot logically jump to any conclusions."

??? How about every tech forum on earth? Pretty well documented how many people despise the new UI. IF they put it back for enterprise/remote desktop and not for the consumer market then they still arent listening. If they put it back for the consumers complaints they didnt get the nature of the complaints so they still arent listening. Same effect. Fukem.


RE: Not quite MS.
By inighthawki on 10/2/2013 1:03:56 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say they weren't listening. They obviously aren't. But I'm confused about your statement about tech forums. Those are user complaints, not a statement by Microsoft. I'm saying that there is no disclosed comment by Microsoft that I know of that states "We, Microsoft, added a start button to please the users complaining about the lack of a start menu."

That or it's so buried behind the massive numbers of complaints that I cannot find an original statement :)


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 1:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
You are right, they didn't come out and say that officially. They just said they put the start button back. Whichever the reason they put it back they are missing it entirely.

"That or it's so buried behind the massive numbers of complaints that I cannot find an original statement :)"

Exactly... LOL


RE: Not quite MS.
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/2/2013 2:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
The return of the start button is pretty much as expected, even though it is a half-assed effort on Microsoft's part.

This article in Forbes:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/05/14...

discusses that while Microsoft sold about 100 million copies of it Windows 8, a very large portion of those licenses were delivered with new systems having downgrade privileges. Privileges that were exercised by the owners to downgrade to Windows 7 leaving only about 60 million installed copies.

That is a pretty sad statistic. Microsoft has seen the reasons why desktop and laptop users are not using their latest & greatest. They have been told in the only way a major corporation will understand - their customer's wallets.

While they are not willing to completely back away from their single windows everywhere initiative, they are at least hoping this half-assed start button will trick people into buying it. Unfortunately Microsoft is listening to the same people that designed the Metro (or 'Modern' US) - their customers are all of the same technical caliber as Apple users. Stupid smoke & mirror tricks that Apple can get away with won't work with Windows customers.


RE: Not quite MS.
By jimbojimbo on 10/2/2013 1:28:37 PM , Rating: 2
Why exactly do you need the specific Start menu? I've been using Win8 and WinServer2012 for a while now and don't miss it in the last and I customized the hell out of my start menu. Now I just hit the key on my keyboard and type the first letters of what I want and it's right there on the left then I arrow down and enter.
The few things I did miss like being able to right click My Computer and pressing G to manage the computer bothered me until I read about Windows+x. That brings up a list of the very common administrative options so now it's Windows+x, g to manage computer. It's quicker than before!
What exactly are you looking for? It's not that it's not there, it's that you probably don't know how to access it.


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 1:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
Apps, embedded folders, custom links, clean and neat where you want them. Highly useful , especially at work where many people do dozens of different tasks (as opposed to home use where most people only browse the web, check email and play games). ITs also about the full screen screen nature of Metro UI. It kills the whole concept of the once aptly names "Windows". It's now just "SCREEN"


RE: Not quite MS.
RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 8:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... Classic.


RE: Not quite MS.
By sheh on 10/2/2013 1:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
Sites keep reporting the misleading "the Start Button is back!". My impression is that a lot of people now think the Start Menu is back, while it isn't.

But Microsoft's Start Menu is no longer needed anyway. I've tried the various alternatives, Classic Shell is the best. Most configurable, skinnable, tweakable, actively developed.

Most the wrongs in Windows 8 (and NT6 in general) can be fixed with 3rd party tools. But one thing that is still awkward is 3rd party skins. What I'd like to see from Microsoft is an extra default skin that isn't flat and isn't ugly. I don't need transparency or blur, just less square, less flat, more clear divisions between elements. Also, configurability for element colors, fonts, font sizes.


RE: Not quite MS.
By imaheadcase on 10/2/2013 1:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
You can get most of the things in Win 8 on Win 7 with 3rd party tools to :P


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 1:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yup.. Classicshell works great as do several others... The issue is why? Why do people have to download and install a 3rd party app to make the UI not totally suck? And not because these 3rd party apps thought of some great new thing that didn't exist. It's being done because MS decided to take it out. It was there on the Win8 Developer preview and they took it out of the official release to try and force a new agenda.


RE: Not quite MS.
By sheh on 10/2/2013 4:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't hurt to have a better default shell in Windows, but I think the only reason people care about that -- unlike, say, the stock web browser -- is that there aren't alternatives. If there were, people would care far less. Like it's not overly significant how well Windows supports ZIP natively, or ISO mounting, or how comfortable Wordpad is.

Maybe having 3rd party shells is a better long-term goal. It's not that Windows Explorer (uh, sorry, Files Explorer) was ever very good a file manager, for example. As a program launcher it was okay, but some features arrived late. And it was always a moving target. Some good changes, some bad.

I'd be much happier with an independent piece of software that I choose to change or not change when I want to, and that can be carried across OS versions. Better than relying on whatever the shell ended up being according to Microsoft's ever-changing ideas on what's good or important.


RE: Not quite MS.
By inighthawki on 10/2/2013 6:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
You must admit, though, that if the fix is a few easy to install free third party apps, that it is pretty illogical to not upgrade and gain the perf, stability, and security improvements it brings. Especially the people claiming they will switch to OSX or Linux. I can think of no better way to get the UI you want than by switching to one of several OSs that doesn't even remotely resemble it.


RE: Not quite MS.
By troysavary on 10/2/2013 11:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
Why is downloading a from a third party to fix a flaw on Windows not acceptable to you, but downloading from a third party to fix a flaw in Android fine? Especially since it is far easier to install Start8 or ClassicShell to fix the missing Start button than it is to install CyogenMod to fix not being able to get updates unless the carrier sees fit. I think not getting updates is a much bigger issue than a missing Start button.


RE: Not quite MS.
By sheh on 10/2/2013 4:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
I can't get the low-level improvements, which is the primary thing that's interesting in new OSes


RE: Not quite MS.
By nikon133 on 10/2/2013 4:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
Capability to default START to all apps (instead of Favourites on original 8) and keeping desktop wallpaper behind Start screen (instead of bipolar nature of original 8 backgrounds) do make 8.1 experience closer to classic desktop, even if difference is mostly in perception.


RE: Not quite MS.
By kleinma on 10/2/2013 1:04:07 PM , Rating: 2
No, they were actually missing the start button. People didn't know how to get to the start screen. You likely haven't actually used windows 8.1, but I have been running it since it went RTM on MSDN, and they did fix virtually everything that was lacking on the UI side of things in windows 8.

I really have no idea what you used the start menu for in Windows 7? Did you use it to dig through and find programs? Did you just hit start and then type what you were looking for? What exactly did you use it for when it was there? I don't use mine on Windows 7 except to type in something that is not pinned already. In 8.1, search doesn't take you out of the desktop anymore, it pulls up a side bar on the right with your search query and results. That was my one biggest gripe about how windows 8 worked, because that was the only reason i was ever going into the start menu.

On my surface I use a handful of metro apps, but on my home PC I don't. Since installing 8.1 and setting it to boot to desktop, I have not even been in the start screen once. There has been no need to go in there.

So go ahead and bash something you havent even used, and thanks for telling everyone how they should feel about this product, but then you shouldn't mind me telling you that you are wrong.


RE: Not quite MS.
By retrospooty on 10/2/2013 1:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
"No, they were actually missing the start button."

Good luck with that thought. What people hate, ALL OVER THE INTERNET for the past year is the Metro UI. You thinking its about the button is sticking your head in the sand ans bad as MS is. Look at this little forum here. The OP where I explained my frustration is voted up and the immediate dissenting opinion is voted down. That should show you at the very least I am not alone here.

I have used 8.1 dev prev. Its better in a sense that you can go straight to desktop and have smaller tiles (I actually like that part alot), but its still full screen, still inificient and still awful for a non-touch screen device.

" really have no idea what you used the start menu for in Windows 7"

Obviously you have no idea.


RE: Not quite MS.
By YearOfTheDingo on 10/2/2013 2:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
Bingo. The problem is the whole philosophy behind Modern UI.


RE: Not quite MS.
By troysavary on 10/4/2013 12:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how clicking on a tile is harder with a mouse than clicking on an icon. I get it, you don't like the start screen. Now just explain how it is unfriendly to a mouse yet friendly to fingers. I really don't get that part.

I understand that people like the start menu for some tasks, like programs that have tons of options that can be in nested folders. But anyone who uses software of that nature is also computer savvy enough to know how to install a start menu replacement. For most users, they just want to click some picture and have their Facebook or Netflix come up. For that purpose, the start screen works just as well as the desktop with a mouse.


RE: Not quite MS.
By delphinus100 on 10/2/2013 7:43:38 PM , Rating: 2
As I understand it, the 'modern' interface was meant to replace the classic menus. And for me, that's the problem. While I do want that functionality there, the menus were rarely the first place I want to be after booting up, that's what the desktop is for.

So, why would I want to be at some inane and inadequate 'replacement' for the menus when booting up, either...?


RE: Not quite MS.
By Reclaimer77 on 10/2/2013 8:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Not quite MS.
By crimson117 on 10/3/2013 10:24:50 AM , Rating: 3
The worst part of Windows 8 for me is that they seem to forget that there are non-touchscreen users!

With all the "responsive" design going on in the web world to cater to clients from a variety of devices, MS chooses to ignore anyone using a mouse.

Would it really have been so hard to add a right-click menu to the tiles on the start menu to let you delete items?


RE: Not quite MS.
By Argon18 on 10/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: Not quite MS.
By troysavary on 10/4/2013 12:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
Not one of those companies listed was nearly as ubiquitous in people's lives as MS are. Blackberry had a near lock on the business smartphone use, true, but it was still a niche market. Every other one of those companies was extremely niche. If you think MS, which the world of business runs on, will disappear because of a poorly received UI on one product, you are delusional.


Windows 8+
By kmartshopper on 10/2/2013 12:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
I recently installed Windows 8, with modifications, of course.

Windows 8 + Classic Shell and completely removing Metro's existence from the product makes it tolerable.

A start menu sending me to metro is about the exact opposite of what I want. They should add the Metro interface to the Programs and Features list so users can uninstall it. The same goes with all the Metro apps.




RE: Windows 8+
By inighthawki on 10/2/2013 12:49:32 PM , Rating: 3
I think the solution is not to remove it, but make it integrate better with all usage patterns. The primary complaint about metro is that it is full screen and takes you away from the context of what you're doing. On mouse+keyboard systems it becomes harder to navigate, and large monitors have lots of wasted space.

Doing something akin to Stardock's ModernMix is a great step forward. Why not harness the power of the new runtime APIs in desktop-grade applications? Why cannot I not write an explorer shell replacement using XAML for UI layout, D2D and DirectWrite for graphics, etc, but keep the look and feel of a desktop app. If done correctly, the two should be completely indistinguishable except use different underlying sets of code.


RE: Windows 8+
By sheh on 10/2/2013 1:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft aren't concerned much with easy APIs for replacement shells because sadly, practically no one writes them. But you still can write a replacement shell that uses whatever you want for layout or rendering.

I'm still hoping Windows 8 would spur more complete 3rd party shells.


RE: Windows 8+
By inighthawki on 10/2/2013 1:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But you still can write a replacement shell that uses whatever you want for layout or rendering.

But you can't :) Microsoft doesn't expose XAML in native desktop apps, only metro and to some degree old .NET WPF apps at the time being. The particular example of a shell replacement was just that, an example. I was trying to point out that something like explorer (the windows, not the shell as a whole) cannot be done with DX and XAML. To do it in native code, it requires you to manually use D2D and/or GDI and you must write your own layout API with DPI scaling, etc.

I want to be able to utilize the new tech in Windows 8+ without the requirement of metro or the windows store.


RE: Windows 8+
By sheh on 10/2/2013 4:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
If you don't want to reimplement, digging into undocumented APIs is an option. :)


RE: Windows 8+
By inighthawki on 10/2/2013 5:03:27 PM , Rating: 2
That's also a great way to make your app break with every new version of the OS. :)


RE: Windows 8+
By sheh on 10/2/2013 5:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
It is an option, if it's less work than reimplementing. And you can have comform in knowing that undocumented APIs sometimes do end up becoming public.


RE: Windows 8+
By inighthawki on 10/2/2013 6:45:23 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I would consider it a bad practice that nobody should do, as it introduces unstable builds that can break at any time without notice.


RE: Windows 8+
By Argon18 on 10/3/13, Rating: 0
TIles are great on a phone
By Denigrate on 10/2/2013 11:44:44 AM , Rating: 1
Just don't get them on a PC. Granted, I only messed with the RC, and don't have it on any of my computers currently.




RE: TIles are great on a phone
By michal1980 on 10/2/2013 12:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
tile = big rectangular icon.


By YearOfTheDingo on 10/2/2013 2:38:28 PM , Rating: 3
They are not. Tiles are more like desktop widget, system tray icon, and task bar icon rolled into one. On the phone they're great. Their dynamic contents really makes WP a joy to use. There's a place and time for this kind of stuff though.


RE: TIles are great on a phone
By Argon18 on 10/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: TIles are great on a phone
By troysavary on 10/4/2013 12:06:59 PM , Rating: 2
And move to Apple, with less choice? No thanks.


Tiles are stupid on desktop and laptops...
By SAN-Man on 10/2/2013 12:19:32 PM , Rating: 5
This isn't Star Trek where an interface has a bunch of blue and green shapes and you tap a few with your fingers to "work" on the system. Maybe some day we will have this, doubtful.

In the mean time, Tiles are stupid on desktops and traditional laptops and so is the Metro environment.

Only in very specialized situations like kiosks and roving workstations which service specific function (medical carts, factory production control carts, MAYBE and big MAYBE data center crash carts). For the vast majority of us this is stupid.

I think it's telling MS is still pushing this crap and it shows a fundamental disconnect with how people actually use the product and how those people work day to day, what they actually DO, and the way Microsoft perceives it. I think the push is because these executives making these decisions don't actually DO a lot of real work at their desks, they don't hunker down with 2,3 or 4 monitors and DO WORK.

Windows 7 and Office 2010 are perfect for me, no reason to change. Plus I have Linux Mint as well which is exceptional. Microsoft can go insane all they want, I'll stick with these.




By Azethoth on 10/3/2013 5:36:03 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, why don't you buy an iPad or tablet. These all have the star trek interface where you tap on the screen. Obviously not the exact interface, because its probably copyrighted, and is for use on like starships but you get the idea.


By ssnova703 on 10/2/2013 12:00:06 PM , Rating: 5
Just like in the past, MS was pretty good with that... before you say it's backwards and archaic. Clearly the tiles idea was inefficient in itself for a desktop.

The fact that it would go to the tiles instead of the desktop would make a routinely user click more than they should.. as most desktops are turned off and/or revolve around a desktop environment rather than a tile environment!

Also, even shutting down, the multiple steps involved compared to windows 7.

Don't get me wrong, I like the speed tweaks and scheduler among other things under the hood that they improved on Windows 8. It's just that the a user interface optimized for tablets/phones is not ideal/efficient for a desktop environment... and same goes the other way around (I'm looking to you Windows CE/WinMo 6.5 and below...), you would've thought that they would've learned from their mistakes, but it's the same thing all over again, except the other way around... (back then they give you tiny icons on a tiny screen, after pinpointing the start button... now they give you massive tiles on a huge screen that you have to sift through-which is a waste of real-estate space).

/rant.




By troysavary on 10/4/2013 12:12:56 PM , Rating: 1
Shutting down takes the same number of steps in 7 and 8. Seriously, stop making shit up to make your point.


Only through App store?
By kmmatney on 10/2/2013 11:54:25 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like they are only making this available through the App store, and not as a regular service pack update?




RE: Only through App store?
By sheh on 10/2/2013 1:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure it will be available as a simple download from their site.


By Monkey's Uncle on 10/2/2013 1:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
And for those that don't like it and want to go back to Windows 8 way of doing things, this is for you:

http://winaero.com/comment.php?comment.news.215

From developer's site:
quote:
After release of Windows 8.1 I found its Start button useless. Seriously, there are no issues for me if that button is not shown on the taskbar. Sure, I miss the old good Start menu. Menu! Just one button can't restore the classic UX. So I decide to restore the behavior of Windows 8, with blackjack and hookers.


Enjoy!




By Beavermatic on 10/2/2013 1:56:06 PM , Rating: 2
If you right click on the start button in Windows 8, it shows most of the options in classic Start Button Style.

In Windows 8.1, if you right click on the start button, you will see even more options, all of them back except for the "Programs" list.




Most comments
By Florinator on 10/2/2013 5:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
It's funny how any article about Microsoft and/or Windows 8 has the higest number of comments for that day, by a wide mile :-)




By EricMartello on 10/8/2013 2:55:14 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 as a media OS for a living room PC connected to a TV is actually pretty good; even better than Win 7. I prefer the tiles interface. Why? Because they are easy to see from the couch, their large size makes them easy to click with a wireless mouse and I don't really want to use my keyboard when I am using my HTPC so it's nice that the you can operate the system 99% keyboard-free using only the mouse. Windows 8 works for this, and if/when there are more programs that make use of the live tiles it will get even better.

Windows 8 as a desktop/productivity OS is crippled because it's effectively bringing the LIMITATIONS of a tablet/handheld and imposing them on the more versatile desktop platform. When you have a keyboard and mouse, you design the user interface taking those peripherals into consideration - absent those items you work with the limitations of the device.

Windows 8 is an excellent media, tablet or smartphone OS where touch and tap is the primary interface method...but MS is really going off the rails thinking that every device should have an identical user interface and uniform appearance.

There needs to be a desktop-optimized version of Windows 8 that sticks with what works - the old icons and windows paradigm that hasn't really been improved upon in decades. I would have no problem if they used "tile layers" were you have live tiles in the background of your screen, that you can scroll through horizontally and vertically...but it should not the be primary UI method for a desktop system.




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