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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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RE: Mixed Feelings
By crispbp04 on 4/16/2013 5:27:18 PM , Rating: 0
I use it with a mouse and a keyboard as I don't have a touchscreen. Have you unpinned stuff on the start screen that you don't use? have you pinned your core applications that you use frequently to your taskbar?

right click bottom left for admin menu, left click for start screen...
you can type for search the same way as windows 7 search.

win7 menu takes up a fraction of the screen, has nested "all programs" menu.
win8 screen has big easy to click tiles, allows you to organize.
win7 has stuff like devices, settings, etc.
win8 removed this and moved them to the charms bar
win7 has stuff like control panel, computer, etc.
win8 moved these to admin menu (right click bottom left)

both's primary use is to launch applications, free text search secondary.

They created a separation where the start screen is purely a place to launch something.

If you think about it.. the start menu had a lot going on and is a mix of all kinds of stuff... it has a version of the pin to taskbar feature, a list of files, access to things that were moved to the charms bar... it is the result of 18 years of feature backlog.

Now.. for optimal usability in win8:
1) pin core apps to taskbar
2) use type ahead search on start screen for fastest access and organize your tiles in a logical manner for clicking
3) use start key + x or right click in bottom left for admin menu
4) enjoy.. it's not that bad after all is it?

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.

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

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