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  (Source: Microsoft)
Is this the start button you're looking for?

Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) "Release Preview" builds of the upcoming free Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 upgrades aired today.  Windows 8.1 represents Microsoft's bid to revive slumping personal computer sales and make up for the misses of Windows 8, which led some to pan the ambitious user interface redesign.

The changes in the Release Preview are pretty much along the lines of what was previously shown in media previews:
  • "Start Button", which switches you to the "Modern UI" Home Page
     
  • Color theme customizations
     
  • Large and Tiny Live Tiles
     
  • Batch Live Tile operations (move, etc.)
     
  • Improved knowledge-enabled global, unified search
     
  • Side-by-side resizable app panes
     
  • Improved Windows Store
     
  • Improved SkyDrive support
     
  • Camera UI and photo slideshow on lock screen


The first change is the most notable -- and probably the most controversial.

After initially saying that customers no longer were using the Start Button and thus it was gone for good, Microsoft took note of the noisy outcry surrounding this topic and changed its mind, allowing the Start Button to make a comeback in Windows 8.1.  

...well, sort of.  Instead of the traditional Start Button, which pops up a menu of apps (on the same screen) in Desktop Mode, the new "Start Button" yanks you out of Desktop Mode and drops you onto your "Modern UI" (aka "Metro") Home Page.

It's clear that this won't be the Start Button many Windows traditionalists were hoping for.  But it does allow faster transitions to the Modern UI, for better or worse.

Windows 8.1 Preview

Microsoft has a full guide on the other new features here, and a Faq on Windows 8.1 Preview here.  Microsoft warns that some systems with 32-bit Intel Corp. (INTC) Atom processors will need to update their drivers before running Windows 8.1.

To get the update itself, go to the Preview page, which will install the necessary updates, then take you to a download link in Windows Store for the main installer.

Microsoft's annual BUILD Conference for developers is kicking off today and runs through June 28.

Sources: Microsoft [download link], [YouTube], [Blog]



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Right Click on Start
By Mitch101 on 6/26/2013 3:08:35 PM , Rating: 5
Right Click on Start Menu
http://www.digitaltrends.com/wp-content/uploads/20...

Customizing Menu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mayxtTEojgs

How to bring the Start button back to Windows 8
http://bgr.com/2012/08/24/windows-8-start-button-f...

The app is free and while it may not come from Microsoft it solves the problem if your able to boot to desktop and use a free app to put start back the way your familiar with.

Let the hate threads begin.




RE: Right Click on Start
By retrospooty on 6/26/2013 3:57:08 PM , Rating: 5
"The app is free and while it may not come from Microsoft it solves the problem if your able to boot to desktop and use a free app to put start back the way your familiar with."

Using startdocks "start8" now for the same purpose. In addition to just adding eht start menu you can alos set it to boot striaght to desktop and not go to the new W8 start menu unless a certain key combo is hit (for example ctrl-start). So now I am running Windows 8 and I dont ever see that god aweful UI at all. Not bad.


RE: Right Click on Start
By Mitch101 on 6/26/2013 4:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
I use that as well and you can have the best of both worlds if you have multiple monitors. Start8 Works like you state on my main monitor and I get the Windows 8 GUI screens on my other monitors which works pretty well for being like an RSS feed on another screen. Its not ideal but its not hurting anyone.

The whole hate around the Windows 8 GUI is easily fixed with Start8 or a free app so Im not sure why most people have to be in an uproar when nothing prevents them from changing it its not mandatory as you and I know and if you don't like it change it and move along.


RE: Right Click on Start
By retrospooty on 6/26/2013 4:46:51 PM , Rating: 3
"not sure why most people have to be in an uproar when nothing prevents them from changing it"

Because they shouldn't have to go find a $5 app to make the UI not suck.


RE: Right Click on Start
By Mitch101 on 6/26/2013 4:55:07 PM , Rating: 2
Do you not install any other apps than what comes with the OS?

Do you not replace notepad with something like Context or Notepad++?
Do you not load Office or Open Office to replace Wordpad?
Do you not install Firefox to replace using IE?

People are competent enough to install alternate applications to replace the apps that come with the OS but completely incompetent at installing an App to replace the GUI?


RE: Right Click on Start
By Mitch101 on 6/26/2013 5:01:29 PM , Rating: 3
Here is 6 FREE apps if you wants a Windows 7 Style start back.

Windows 8 Start Menu replacements: 6 free apps to bring the Start button back
http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/applicat...

Classic Shell
StartW8
Start Menu 8
ViStart
Power8
Pokki

Microsoft does not prevent anyone from installing any of these FREE apps.


RE: Right Click on Start
By retrospooty on 6/26/2013 5:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
Great... And now with Win8.1, users dont HAVE to go find a way to make the UI not suck. Its not the couple dollars for the app, or even free apps, its the need to do it. You shouldnt have to, and most users wont.


RE: Right Click on Start
By Da W on 6/27/13, Rating: -1
RE: Right Click on Start
By Mint on 6/27/2013 9:52:51 AM , Rating: 3
I thought win8.1 still doesn't give you the start menu


RE: Right Click on Start
By cyberguyz on 6/26/2013 5:44:01 PM , Rating: 5
You are missing the point.

What we are saying here is that Windows 7 works the way we want it to work with none of the jarring whipsaw back and forth between graphical desktop and almost monochrome-ish full screen applications/start panel (I refuse to call that monstrosity that Windows 8.1 displays a "start menu" -- it takes over the whole freaking screen!!).

Why the hell would I want a single application or even the Metro desktop completely obliterating my view of the desktop I want to work in? Especially when I have a 30 inch screen? I don't even run my games full screen for just that reason! Do I need a 30-inch screen to work with MS Word? I do if I have word in one window, control panel in another, excel in a third, this browser in a fourth, that game, etc at the same time and still be able to monitor all of these windows at the same time? Windows 7 lets me do this. Windows 8.x does not unless I want to install third party applications to change the way it behaves. I should not have to do that!! After all the operating system is called "Windows" not "Walls" or "Doors".

quote:
Microsoft does not prevent anyone from installing any of these FREE apps.


Microsoft would have a really tough time selling their operating system if they did. In fact they are hearing public opinion about their latest debacle now as Windows 7 sales hit an all time high and Windows 8 sales sit at the bottom of the trash can.


RE: Right Click on Start
By retrospooty on 6/26/2013 6:31:42 PM , Rating: 5
"Why the hell would I want a single application or even the Metro desktop completely obliterating my view of the desktop I want to work in? Especially when I have a 30 inch screen?"

Exactly... The bigger your screen, the worse the UI is. I dont get why Mitch keeps defending MS on this. Even MS knows it was a huge mistake and is adding it back, at least partially.


RE: Right Click on Start
By Mitch101 on 6/26/13, Rating: 0
RE: Right Click on Start
By retrospooty on 6/26/2013 10:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
I agree and I did change it. But you and I are not normal. Normal people don't come to sites like this LOL


RE: Right Click on Start
By Reclaimer77 on 6/27/13, Rating: 0
RE: Right Click on Start
By Mitch101 on 6/27/2013 8:55:16 AM , Rating: 2
I don't bother to read your posts through anymore so you should keep them to one to two sentences. You provide nothing of value to this site ever. I have yet to read of you solving or offering anyting of value to its users other than to tell others how moronic they are when they have a difference of opinion than yours.


RE: Right Click on Start
By Reclaimer77 on 6/27/13, Rating: 0
RE: Right Click on Start
By Mitch101 on 6/27/2013 9:09:20 AM , Rating: 4
Im convinced INSERT NAME works for INSERT COMPANY because they like a product that I do not agree with.

Sorry have never worked for Microsoft but I haven't ruled them out as a future opportunity. I do make a good living supporting their products. I am the highest level of engineer on certain products of theirs and when there is an issue have to dial into their support lines. In a few cases Ive worked along side Microsoft Rangers.

While were at it Im also working with Google too with their search appliance.

I also often throw Linux a bone.

I need to stop responding to you because like before I find your posts useless and of no value. If anything you made me dislike Samsung products.


RE: Right Click on Start
By Reclaimer77 on 6/27/13, Rating: 0
RE: Right Click on Start
By Mitch101 on 6/27/2013 7:54:49 PM , Rating: 5
Douchebag says what?


RE: Right Click on Start
By InsGadget on 6/27/2013 4:32:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do I need a 30-inch screen to work with MS Word? I do if I have word in one window, control panel in another, excel in a third, this browser in a fourth, that game, etc at the same time and still be able to monitor all of these windows at the same time? Windows 7 lets me do this

Windows 8 does too. All your old Win7 applications will run fine in desktop mode, and you can arrange the windows however you want them.

It would seem you don't really know how Windows 8 works.


RE: Right Click on Start
By cyberguyz on 6/27/2013 9:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
I certainly do. I've used Windows 8 for a few months and absolutely hated it for two reasons:

Its insistence on switching modes even after I have modified it with add-ins to never show the metro start screens. If I am using the desktop, I do not want the OS yoinking me away from it for any reason. Being pulled to a full-screen control panel or start page (via this new start button) is as annoying as a BSOD.

The UI that Microsoft decided to use is butt-ugly. Sorry, but IMHO Microsoft should have fired their entire GUI design team and got someone in that knew wtf they are doing.

Windows 8 (including this laughable "start button/menu" solution) is fine for tablets and phones, but it is pretty dysfunctional in the desktop world. And it will continue to be that way as long as Microsoft insists on the center of the Windows universe is to pull you away from your Windows and throw you against a metro Wall.


RE: Right Click on Start
By Labotomizer on 6/27/2013 11:50:21 AM , Rating: 2
I think the point is that it's more flexible than before. You have the option of having another start menu, where you didn't before. And I've seen many that are better than the old Win 7 and earlier start menus. So users actually have more choices now, not less.

I do think the Start Screen could have been handled better and I think the changes in 8.1 help. But I don't have a problem with KB/Mouse. When I access the start menu in Win 7, my focus is there. I don't multitask while using it and the vast majority of people are the same way. So if it takes up a corner or the whole screen, the result is the same.

Is it better on a desktop/laptop sans touch? No, I don't think so. But I also don't think it's worse. It's just different. But it is a massive improvement on a touch screen and hybrid devices are the future of computing. MS is smart to get the baby steps out of the way now for the long term goal of having an OS that flourishes in hybrid environments.

I could almost think of Windows 8 as being similar to NT4/Win2k and Win 9x. There was a phase where both were needed. Eventually that was phased out. I think we'll see the same with Win 7 and 8/9. Win 7 will be good for legacy system designed but eventually hybrids will be normal and will move to Win 8/9.


RE: Right Click on Start
By Ytsejamer1 on 6/27/2013 7:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
I just thought I'd plug StartIsBack...It's really slick and I like the fact that it just uses the native MS code that is already in the OS. For a couple bucks, I'm sold. www.startisback.com . I don't work for them or anything, but figure it's worth a mention.

I like the speed of the OS and it seems a bit snappier. I was battling the stupid native metro apps (still haven't figured out a way to close the app other than dragging it down to the bottom), and other things I'm used to doing. It was too much back and forth for me.


RE: Right Click on Start
By parowOOz on 6/28/2013 7:07:14 AM , Rating: 1
I've been a long time lurker on Dailytech but I just had to register to reply to this.

First of all Notepad++, Office, FF actually add and improve on the basic apps you get with Windows. They do not bring core functionalities back. If anything Metro UI is like installing Notepad on a machine that came with MS Word - it's stupid and pointless.

Besides you're missing the point. If you don't like smoething you don't buy it. You vote with your wallet. What you and other MS apologists are doing is actually rewarding MS with your money for bastardising the UI. Saying you can change it is not a valid argument. It's like giving your dog a treat after he/she went on the floor and saying "well I can allways clean up after him/her".

It's a deja vu of the whole iPhone 4 antenna fiasco where people didn't see anything wrong with having to buy a case for their phones to make them work correctly.

You shouldn't have to buy a stupid case to make your phone not drop calls and you shouldn't have to buy/install 3rd party apps to fix MS' blunders. Period.


RE: Right Click on Start
By althaz on 6/26/2013 9:27:52 PM , Rating: 3
The thing is, the start screen is a LOT better than the start menu (although to be fair, the start menu is woeful at finding and launching apps, except for search which is still worse than in 8.1).

There's a small subset of people that don't like it - so they can customise :).


RE: Right Click on Start
By retrospooty on 6/26/2013 10:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
True for small touch screen devices... Not for laptops and desktops and even worse for large screens... Especially if you multi task alot


RE: Right Click on Start
By datdamonfoo on 6/27/2013 10:33:26 AM , Rating: 3
This simply isn't true. I have no problems with Windows 8 on my laptop, my 47 inch tv or my dual 27 inch monitors. And I multitask A LOT. I'm in and out of the start screen in just a few seconds, otherwise my computers all look just like Windows 7.


RE: Right Click on Start
By Mint on 6/27/2013 12:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
With monitors so cheap, most heavy multitaskers have an extra one, and Win8's dual taskbar is much better for that.

The start screen is a launcher for infrequently used apps (frequently used ones are pinned). It's designed to let you go in and out as fast as possible.

Honestly, I think Win8 is better for heavy multitaskers. It's the light multitaskers that don't care about the second monitor not having a taskbar, that didn't have a bunch of programs to navigate through in a tiny start menu, that didn't adopt pressing the Win key and typing as a result, etc.

If other programs put so many options into a nested menu, it would be considered poor UI. Chrome gives me a few items to go back to in a menu, but for more items it covers what I was looking at with a history page. Office 2010 covers my work with a load screen when I click on "File".

There's nothing moronic or unconventional about a start screen. Where MS made the mistake was in underestimating how comfortable people were with the start menu, and removing the option of bringing it back.


RE: Right Click on Start
By Breakfast Susej on 6/27/2013 3:12:56 PM , Rating: 2
While this is true, and my first thought about Windows 8 in general and the start menu apps, something occurred to me today.

That is despite the success of android, and my overall like for it, I use a pay app (nova launcher) to make the ui not suck on my nexus 4 (I also use start8).

Microsoft isn't the only guilty party in this regard.


RE: Right Click on Start
By max_payne on 6/26/2013 4:21:26 PM , Rating: 2
I think it will be renamed "start8.1". Don't forget that Stardock also brought back the "aero" effect to Windows 8 with their brand new Windowblinds 8 release.


RE: Right Click on Start
By retrospooty on 6/26/2013 4:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... Is it still a subscription model, or can you just buy the app once? I stopped using it several years ago because I don't like the subscription model they put in place.


RE: Right Click on Start
By max_payne on 6/26/2013 5:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
no as you can check, you buy them only once.


RE: Right Click on Start
By cyberguyz on 6/26/2013 5:49:50 PM , Rating: 2
They still run a subscription model for updates only. They got rid of the old app manager they used to use in favor of something else (forgot both names - it's been a while since I used WindowsBlinds), but it is pretty much the same old setup.

If you license their products, you can access them even after the subscription ends. You don't have to maintain the subscription unless you want the get later versions of the program after your subscription renewal date.


RE: Right Click on Start
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 5:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
The effect in windowblinds 8 is hardly comparable. It just draws its own theme which allows basic transparency. This has been doable with other utilities for ages now. Glass does not exist at all.

If you want real glass do a search for bigmuscle's reimplementation on msfn. He actually hooks into DWM to provide the blur effect used by glass.


RE: Right Click on Start
By max_payne on 6/26/2013 5:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
what ever you say man but the effect is the same. See through with texturing ... may not be full w7 blur, but good enough for me ! The original w8 framing is dull and horrible, looking like windows 98. Btw no one as done it in W8 before.


RE: Right Click on Start
By retrospooty on 6/26/2013 5:41:14 PM , Rating: 2
Windowblinds Aero interface worked pretty damn well even years ago in Windows XP. At least if you had a decent system. It was totally seemless, smooth and stable.


RE: Right Click on Start
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 5:49:55 PM , Rating: 2
Plain transparency doesn't work very well with text unless the transparency is very minimal. After that, it blends in too much with the background. I enjoyed setting the transparency in aero glass almost all the way down - nearly completely transparent, and it looked amazing. This is not even remotely doable with alpha blended transparency. If you do not apply special effects like the blur, the background and foreground layers become indistinguishable and text is unreadable.

Go try bigmuscle's mod and you'll see the difference between it and the junk that stardock released is not even on the same playing field.


RE: Right Click on Start
By max_payne on 6/26/2013 6:51:26 PM , Rating: 2
inighthawki, who care how it is done ? bigmuscle snitzel or not, just try it out (30 days trial). The framing is beautiful and light years nicer then what you get with windows 8. Basically I have jumb to w8 because, with third party start buttons and windowblind, it looks more like w7. I don't ever have to deal with modern ui idiocy but enjoy the improvements of the w8 desktop. I certainly won't move to 8.1 if I cannot do that anymore.


RE: Right Click on Start
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 7:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Why would I waste my time installing a third party app that probably sits open and installs a service on my pc which will then cost money after a free trial when I can just run the patch and get full aero glass (native running inside DWM, with full hardware acceleration) and then install any theme I want on top?


RE: Right Click on Start
By max_payne on 6/27/2013 12:10:40 AM , Rating: 2
Because I look at bigmuscle project. He is just a hacker. It was more an experiment. It is buggy, was never release and no install/interface available. It will cost money if ever does get released. Now that will bring only aero look but you will have to chase your themes and hacked windows to get them installed. There is nothing there for the regular joblo here who want a turn key solution and a "setup.exe" which WBlind bring. At least you will get support and update after.


RE: Right Click on Start
By inighthawki on 6/27/2013 12:55:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because I look at bigmuscle project. He is just a hacker. It was more an experiment.

How else are you going to hook in unsupported functionality?
It started as an experiment but now he's finishing it.

quote:
It will cost money if ever does get released.

No, it's not goingt o. It was speculation but he claimed he never had any intentions on selling it
quote:
Now that will bring only aero look but you will have to chase your themes and hacked windows to get them installed.

The uxtheme patch is probably way more stable than installing a service on your computer to hijack the theming API


RE: Right Click on Start
By SAN-Man on 6/27/2013 5:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, not an option for me and a lot of corporate users.

If I need to modify the OS out of the box to get basic functional which the previous version had and customers want, something is wrong.


Start Button
By Dr3amCast on 6/26/2013 3:30:06 PM , Rating: 5
Is it just me...or does the return of the "start" button seem kind of redundant in the way they're using it. I have only just dabbled with Windows 8, like many of you I didn't like the interface. But when I hit the start button in Win7, it's typically because it's a small unobtrusive window (depending on amount of programs) that I navigate quickly to get the the program or folder I want.

This Win 8.1 Start button seems awful to me because it throws you full screen into the same full-screen metro style interface. Which, to me, makes it seem like its hardly there at all.




RE: Start Button
By EnzoFX on 6/26/2013 3:40:09 PM , Rating: 5
Out of those of us who complained about the lack of the start button, I don't know who would consider this fixed with the solution they've gone for. Pretty ridiculous. It wasn't the mere issue of a button being there... oh MS...


RE: Start Button
By aGreenAgent on 6/26/2013 4:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
The good thing is that in 8.1, you can hit Win + Q from the desktop and search for the program/setting/file you want without leaving the desktop. This is more or less the equivalent of the Win7 start menu, with the way I used the start menu.


RE: Start Button
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 4:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, I'm very excited to use the new search box. If I could find a simple way to remap the windows key to Win+Q I'd just do that :)


RE: Start Button
By Mitch101 on 6/26/2013 4:50:49 PM , Rating: 3
C:\Users\user_name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\ WinX\Group2

Right Click on search and Add Pin to TaskBar. - Change the icon. ;)


RE: Start Button
By Mitch101 on 6/26/2013 5:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
If you make it the left most icon you can consider this a ghetto start menu.


RE: Start Button
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 5:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
But I don't actually want a button, I just want to remap the windows key itself ;). I rarely if ever actually use the button or the win8 hot corner to access the start menu.


RE: Start Button
By Mitch101 on 6/26/2013 5:08:41 PM , Rating: 2
As a shortcut go to properties and change the shortcut key to F1 and enjoy. ;) Sorry cant get you much closer than that.


RE: Start Button
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 5:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
Doable, but by the time I reteach myself to hit F1 instead of the windows key, I probably also wouldn't have any trouble hitting win+Q instead...


RE: Start Button
By Mitch101 on 6/26/2013 7:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
Hey I tried. Just wait it out till Microsoft backtracks in Windows 8.2 or 9? Its not like there is anything necessary on Windows 8 that Windows 7 cant do.


RE: Start Button
By inighthawki on 6/27/2013 2:52:20 AM , Rating: 2
And it's a clever solution. I actually don't mind the start screen, though. I just pretty much only use it to launch a program, which 99% of the time is via search. But I also like the new interface (the flyout menu) for search in 8.1. It would just be convenient if I could replace the behavior of the windows key with the function that I actually use it for :)


RE: Start Button
By Mitch101 on 6/27/2013 9:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
I like the way you think and that would be better. On the windows phone if you remove all the tiles the makes the menu of apps the default screen until you pin an application. For the heck of it I tried removing all the pinned apps to see if that would happen but it didn't got a blank start menu. I think the small icons they added to 8.1 will help but its nice to have the text name next to them. They should make the menu more skinnable or customizable would be a good feature.


RE: Start Button
By EnzoFX on 6/26/2013 4:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
Unified search is only one aspect of the. This really shouldn't have to be elaborated on in every Win article =P.


RE: Start Button
By spamreader1 on 6/26/2013 5:03:10 PM , Rating: 5
I prefer a hierarchy system over this anarchy system. The concept of random apps being randomly placed on tiles just still doesn't work, I used to make fun of people with their screen full of icons that they could never find what they wanted. I've also only met 2 users who knew about win+q out of the several dozen who have asked me how to get their new pc to windows7. of course win+q only really works if you know what app you want, what happens when you don't remember the name of the app?

Been using Win8 for a few months now. Still hate the interface changes. I've finally settled on several add-ons to make the ui more efficient (or copying the win7 ui to some degree). I'll have to try 8.1 to see if it's been improved, so far what I've read about it doesn't seem promising.


RE: Start Button
By aGreenAgent on 6/26/2013 7:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
It fixes a lot of annoyances, but only takes a semi-step towards the things you're talking about.


RE: Start Button
By jeepga on 6/26/2013 5:20:31 PM , Rating: 2
Even that isn't really necessary. Press the Windows key and it'll open the metro UI. You can then start typing to search for your application.


RE: Start Button
By kmmatney on 6/27/2013 12:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
I use the heck out of Win+E to pull up explorer, but on my 24" Monitor Win+Q is a bit of a pain as it puts the search box on the extreme right of the screen, and the results in the extreme left. It also puts the Apps on the screen in alphabetical order, so if you have a lot of programs like I do, you have to scroll sideways, so that portion of the window is useless. The sudden jump to full-screen really doesn't do it for me either, as I usually have a few windows open at the same time, like an Excel spreadsheet, a Database, or Visual Studio. Maybe this works well with a small screen, or casual use, but I'll stick to searching with ClassicShell to find my app.


RE: Start Button
By thurston2 on 6/28/2013 4:03:37 PM , Rating: 2
My keyboard doesn't have a Windows key.


RE: Start Button
By lexluthermiester on 6/30/2013 1:01:45 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly! The entire GUI is cumbersome, ugly and annoying. MS, WTH is wrong with you? This is the worst selling OS you've ever released and yet you still don't get it? We DON'T like it! Full stop! Go back to Windows 7 and try again. This time, try to keep things from looking like a throwback to Win 3.1.

Seriously MS, get a damn clue! We're NOT going to pay money to DOWNGRADE our computing experience. Heck, you people gave me a copy. It's on a shelf, unused. And that is where it is going to stay, collecting dust with the Vista box...


RE: Start Button
By jeepga on 6/26/2013 5:24:06 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
because it's a small unobtrusive window (depending on amount of programs) that I navigate quickly to get the the program or folder I want.


Small and unobtrusive is an opinion. I find it the opposite. That's especially true if you have more than a trivial number of applications installed.

I find the metro UI a little jarring, but it's laid out better and I don't miss navigating through different program folders. I can have the programs I use most frequently right there ready to run. And I can use All Apps if I need to get to the ones I use infrequently. For me it's a big time saver.


RE: Start Button
By Motoman on 6/26/2013 5:31:20 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, this is a useless update, and isn't going to fool anybody.

People will continue to stay away from Win8 in droves. And Stardock will continue to sell lots of copies of Start8.


RE: Start Button
By max_payne on 6/26/2013 6:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's interesting. Now that MS has put back a button, how do the other third parties are going to yank it and put their own ? I suspect that MS bolted it in with tough security to make sure it stays there. MS INSIST that you go to modern UI for your applications.


RE: Start Button
By DigitalFreak on 6/26/2013 6:52:18 PM , Rating: 2
Nope. Start8 has an update coming out today for 8.1


RE: Start Button
By tamalero on 6/26/2013 9:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
hope classic-shell too.
seems Microsoft wants the modern ui BS almost as bad as the Xbox drm.
and they wonder why they are hemorrhaging money.


RE: Start Button
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 10:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
Last I checked they were doing fine. Stock price was recently (and is still pretty close to) the highest it's been in 5+ years.


RE: Start Button
By BRB29 on 6/27/2013 11:11:47 AM , Rating: 3
http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/stock-b...
quote:
and they wonder why they are hemorrhaging money.


I think they're gaining money.

MS is a monopoly. Putting out a bad product doesn't hurt the bottom line all that much when you can force people to pay for it.


RE: Start Button
By Motoman on 6/27/2013 12:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that whole "forcing people to pay for it" thing doesn't seem like it's worked out too well, granted that Gartner, Forrester, and all the major OEMs are blaming Win8 for the massive drop in PC sales.

People *don't* have to buy Win8. And lots of them aren't, and in fact the only reason that MS is changing anything at all is because of that fact.


RE: Start Button
By BRB29 on 6/28/2013 8:42:45 AM , Rating: 2
Almost every single PC that sold have win8 whether people like it or not. Yes sales have been down but win8 still makes money along with their other cash cow called "office".

Historically, every bad OS sold and made profit. They just didn't sell as much. But that gives MS the opportunity to release a "newer and better" OS quickly after instead of the 5-7 year cycle. Overall, people will need to replace their PC and MS will make their money. We considered win8 an utter failure but MS will still make billions in the end.


RE: Start Button
By Motoman on 6/28/2013 1:55:31 PM , Rating: 3
It doesn't matter how you try to frame it now - the irrefutable fact of the matter is that MS (and all the OEMs) would have made a lot MORE over the lifespan on Win8 so far it it either didn't have the Metro UI, or if it also included the option to use the standard Start menu/desktop.

You can declare Win8 a "success" if you want. But there's no doubt they cost themselves, and the whole industry, enormous amounts of money in lost sales.


Evolution ?
By wavetrex on 6/26/2013 3:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
Still looks/feels like crap.

Win 2 -> Win 3.x ( Icons, 16-color bitmaps, Larger memory access )
Win 3.x -> Win 95/98/ME ( Start Menu, Taskbar, 32-bit color support, scalable icons, 3D-ish look, 16/32bit independent OS not on top of DOS )
Win 95 -> Win XP ( Windows NT integration, Fancy skinnable interface )
Win XP -> Win Vista/7 ( New GPU accelerated interface, tranlucency effects, 64 bit, DOT.NET integration )
Win 7 - Win 8.x ( Back to Windows 3.x like graphics, flat, boring, with gay colors, with minimal or no changes in the OS core )

Excellent work Microsoft, managed to turn 22 years of evolution of mouse-driven interface back to the past in one shot !




RE: Evolution ?
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 3:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Win 7 - Win 8.x ( Back to Windows 3.x like graphics, flat, boring, with gay colors, with minimal or no changes in the OS core )

The flat graphics (being highly subjective) aside, there are far more improvements, especially under the hood, from 7->8 than you think.


RE: Evolution ?
By SAN-Man on 6/26/2013 5:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and none of those under the hood changes (for me) are beneficial enough to warrant an upgrade to Windows 7.


RE: Evolution ?
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 5:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't say it did, I just said you were wrong in that respect. Your post implied as if nothing changed in Win8 except a UI which people don't like, which is not true in the slightest.


RE: Evolution ?
By SAN-Man on 6/27/2013 5:09:40 PM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about?

I said the changes weren't worth getting the under the hood stuff. Maybe you replied to the wrong person...


RE: Evolution ?
By inighthawki on 6/28/2013 11:34:35 AM , Rating: 2
No what I meant was that I didn't try to imply that they were good enough for you to warrant an upgrade, but I disagree with your initial thesis stating "with minimal or no changes in the OS core" is completely wrong.


RE: Evolution ?
By timothyd97402 on 6/26/2013 7:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
And none of those under the hood improvements required Microsoft to jam Metro down our throats. If Metro is so damn good then make it optional.

In previous releases we could revert back to earlier themes and versions of the start menu if we chose. We could turn the Sidebar off in Vista/7 if we wanted.

My business customers won't be using the kiddie apps. They will be running their proprietary, line-of-business, desktop programs. They have no use for start screens or much of the rest of Metro. Why can't we just turn it off?


RE: Evolution ?
By kmmatney on 6/27/2013 12:23:34 AM , Rating: 2
The changes under the hood are nice, but nothing is really "must-have". I bought Windows 8 over Windows 7 only because it was a lot cheaper. I'd say the cheaper price was more of a draw than any new features it has.


RE: Evolution ?
By Stan11003 on 6/26/13, Rating: -1
This is what Microsoft has come to...
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/26/2013 3:00:45 PM , Rating: 5
..release a terrible new UI, then bring back components of the old one to applause.




RE: This is what Microsoft has come to...
By Spuke on 6/26/2013 3:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
After initially saying that customers no longer were using the Start Button
I would be one of these people. I use it sometimes at work but rarely at home. As a matter of fact, I don't know when I've used at home since I moved to Win7.


RE: This is what Microsoft has come to...
By othercents on 6/26/2013 3:42:10 PM , Rating: 2
I use it everytime I use the computer...

START>SHUTDOWN


By The Will on 6/26/2013 5:13:50 PM , Rating: 3
At least now in 8.1, you can right click the start corner/button and quickly sleep,restart or shutdown.


"Improved Windows Store"???
By jnemesh on 6/26/2013 3:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
Unless they miraculously found at least 100,000 useful apps somewhere, I doubt the Windows Store is "improved". Last time I looked there was not a SINGLE app worth downloading.




RE: "Improved Windows Store"???
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 3:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible to improve the store app without improving the content itself. Improvements to the layout and ability to find apps and related content, for example.


By TakinYourPoints on 6/26/2013 3:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it isn't replacing Steam or other sources for me anytime soon.


view desktop app and meto at the same time
By valkator on 6/26/2013 5:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
Still not fixing the viewing a legacy desktop application and metro ui or a metro ui app at the same time on the same screen. The rest is not as important as this. If I like the mail client in metro and using an app on the legacy desktop to compare things in my email at the same time, I can't do that. In any other modern OS I can view any opened software with any other opened software at the same time, but NOOOOO not with windows 8.

Unless someone knows, please advise me.




RE: view desktop app and meto at the same time
By datdamonfoo on 6/27/2013 10:35:05 AM , Rating: 2
You can resize the metro app to be 1/4th the screen.


By BRB29 on 6/27/2013 11:06:41 AM , Rating: 2
lol we have something like that but much better for a long time. It's called windows mode where we can freely adjust the size however we want. Let's go backwards and have only 1/4 or full screen mode :)


Start button was never the problem
By ilkhan on 6/26/2013 4:30:02 PM , Rating: 3
I never touch my start menu, but still hate win8. The start "button" was never the issue. The issue is metro as a whole.




Windows 8.1....
By Erudite on 6/26/2013 4:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
Changing what Microsoft thinks we think is wrong with Windows 8...

Don't get me wrong, there are some good things that will come with 8.1. Unfortunately, it won't fix everything.

But at least we'll have decent search functionality back again, and at least to me, that is most important.




By WinstonSmith on 6/26/2013 6:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
Does Start8 or any of the other shells used to somewhat convert Tiles v1.0 (aka Win8) back into a windowing OS allow multiple apps to be used simultaneously within independently resizeable windows that can be moved anywhere on the desktop?




DPI scaling
By mik123 on 6/26/2013 10:52:13 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, 64 comments about Start button, and yet no one mentioned by far the most important feature in 8.1: better DPI scaling for high resolution screens.

In fact, it's not even mentioned in the article.




The Problem is Microsoft's strategy
By just4U on 6/27/2013 6:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's strategy is to have a all in one solution across the line. Unfortunately, it's very unforgiving for traditional computers which is where their base is. They foolishly expect all of us to just roll over and go with the changes rather than thru a gradual process. It's poorly thought out and poorly executed since the benefits of Win8 for their traditional user base isn't all that great. Add in their new security features which makes setting up a ready to go computer for other's damn near impossible and you have your recipe for disaster.

Thanks Microsoft.. THANKS ALOT..




By Wolfpup on 6/28/2013 10:45:56 AM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why they didn't do this to begin with. 15 years of having a start menu, most people know where it is and sort of what it's for, at least. And the thing is it's still really there in 8.0, it's just...not a button. Makes much more sense to have the trigger be an actual button instead of "well, sort of hover in the button right and then click" lol

I mean really, why didn't they think of that to begin with?

As for the change in functionality, I'd say it's worse, but really they've changed the Start menu multiple times over the years, improving some things, making others worse. This is just another instance of that. It still functions as a start menu.

I've taken to using a folder filed with links, pinned to my task bar to replicate functionality I used to have in the Start menu, which the Start screen doesn't do. Actually works just fine.

Really my biggest problem with 8 is I've found Explorer remarkably unstable. I mean by Windows standards that means it works 99.9% of the time, but still at least once or twice a week I'll have an Explorer window quit responding, and I'll have to force quit that window. Not the end of the world, but I'm not used to a bug like that in NT (it's the biggest bug I can actually recall seeing in NT), and I hope it gets fixed in 8.1.

Mostly I honestly like 8 fine. They randomly changed the look-they do that every time, so who cares. The "apps" are actually occasionally useful, like I'll run some programs like that because they're sandboxed and can't (I assume) goop up the rest of my system. I've got the weather channel program running like that all the time, for example. I don't like some of the tweaks to make it more touch centric (like how you trigger controls on the right side of the screen) but that's not that huge a deal. And there are improvements too, like USB 3.0 support, better SSD support, etc.

Of course I hate that they didn't add Blu Ray support natively (and actually removed native DVD support) and removed the DVD maker program which was pretty great...




Microsoft. Y U no listen?
By ballist1x on 7/1/2013 10:07:20 AM , Rating: 2
The users who want a start button do not want a Metro interface, so providing a start button that loads the Metro UI is absurd.

Metro completely sucks for a power user.

Powershell, thanks.




Why are you still using the start menu???
By tayb on 6/26/13, Rating: -1
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 7:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Put your commonly accessed applications on the task bar. It fits close to 30 without overflowing depending on your resolution.

Unless you don't group your icons and have text labels, then they just waste space


RE: Why are you still using the start menu???
By Fujikoma on 6/26/2013 10:33:29 PM , Rating: 4
Your hands are on the freaking mouse... use it!
Why the hell are people so addicted to typeing all over the freaking keyboard? Just because we're in a GUI doesn't make the keyboard superior for every. single. function.

Oh that's right... it depends on what type of work you do, whether you'll predominantly use a mouse or keyboard.

You don't seem to do any real work. I need SAP, excel and a proprietary company application open and side by side on one screen while the other has photoshop and the occassional minor app. open. My hand is typically on the mouse and I don't care to type one handed any more than I type now. I mainly type numbers, so the keyboard isn't a major component of my work (barring some photoshop commands I can enter with my left hand).

It is far easier for me to use a mouse to go to the start button and go through the menu system... because I actually spend the time to organize ahead of time. That typing b.s. doesn't do any good when most people don't properly organize their pictures, music, videos to begin with. Hell, most users may not even remember the correct name for a lot of applications they occassionally use.

It must be nice to only need a candyland interface, but there are a large population of workstation users that not only need the consistency, but the ease of use of an established interface (and don't care to re-train office/production employees with something that shows no real benefit).

Personally, I don't need all those garbage tiles on my screen. It's the same reason I don't run widgets or toolbars. It's a personal preference due to past experience AND it's more efficient for me. Same as with all the other people that prefer it. You might as well argue that you find it more efficent to fill a car on the left side as opposed to the right side (or maybe behind the license plate... who knows).


RE: Why are you still using the start menu???
By inighthawki on 6/26/2013 10:40:44 PM , Rating: 1
Honestly I don't understand peoples' disabilities to use both, but hey. If you guys want to keep arguing over which one to use for everything then have at it.


By Mitch101 on 6/27/2013 12:06:27 PM , Rating: 1
That would take a hand off their penis or the thumb out of their ass.

Moving a second limb is hard for some.


RE: Why are you still using the start menu???
By Ramstark on 6/27/2013 2:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
Just a piece of advice...that lovely input hardware you hold to? It's destined to disappear ...

I don't say, it's not an opinion, its FUNCTIONAL evolution...


By mik123 on 6/27/2013 11:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
Why? Have you invented something better?


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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