Print 122 comment(s) - last by Piiman.. on May 18 at 2:14 PM

Iconic Windows UI element makes a comeback -- but perhaps not how some hoped

In many ways, Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) new Start Screen -- originally codenamed Metro -- represents the old-fashioned start menu on steroids.  There's both good and bad to this; on the one hand it allows for rich animations, powerful sorting, and better support for touch.  On the other hand, many app developers make poor use of its extra space and many users feel it's uncomfortable and bloated on a traditional PC.

As it marches towards Windows 8.1, Microsoft is looking to show it's listening to criticism from its fans -- halfway listening at least.  The Verge is reporting that its sources are saying that the beloved Start Button will make a comeback in the upcoming release.

But this isn't your daddy's start button -- it will dump you right back into the Start Screen (Metro UI) similar to the Charm.

Windows Blue
A new Start Button is reportedly being added to Windows 8.1, but it doesn't work like the start button of yore. [Image Source:]

The second report corroborates  ZDNet's chief Windows expert Mary Jo Foley, who last week said her sources were buzzing over a Start Button comeback, contradicting previous rumors that it would stay dead:

For those looking to stay on the desktop and navigate a more traditional start menu, you can always grab a third-party app like Pokki.  As of January Pokki had already recorded 1.5 million downloads and was used on average 10 times a day by customers, despite Microsoft's insistence that its own internal research showed customers were no longer using the Start Button.  (Pokki monetizes itself via a bundled third-party app store).

Microsoft sold 60 million Windows licenses as of January, but a significant portion of those are though not yet to have made their way to end users.  Regardless of the actual number of live Windows 8 users, it's clear a relatively large minority have opted to restore the Start Button via third party workarounds.

Windows 8.1 will also reportedly have the option to boot directly to desktop via a setting.  The new operating system is expected to launch sometime in the next few months.

Source: ZDNet

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RE: Start
By Pirks on 4/22/2013 5:16:08 PM , Rating: 3
my Start Menu is better organized than the one in Windows 8 because IT HAS FOLDERS
Quite moronic excuse, 'cause you can group tiles on a start screen too, every group is your former folder from Win7, so what's the problem?

RE: Start
By boobo on 4/22/2013 7:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that you have only one level. You can't create groups in your groups, like you can in the start menu. A single level of organization for an entire computer? It's not just insufficient, it's simply unusable -for me-.

If I had the desktop's taskbar visible in the start screen and I could create n-level groups within groups (with a back button, of course, to be able to go back to the previous level), I would not mind using the start screen.

RE: Start
By Integral9 on 4/23/2013 2:34:04 PM , Rating: 2
Because folders allow me to group similar icons under a common name in a singular place using just one object. While the flat menu system of windows 8 forces me to always have all that extra clutter about and scroll across several screens worth of desktop to find the icon I am looking for with the abbreviated description.

eg: Microsoft Office
My Windows 7 start menu has a single Microsoft Office Folder. In it, contains 1 sub-folder and 17 items all of which fit into a space about the size of a 3x5 index card. Of those 17 items, I only need to use about 3 of them on a regular basis. However, I do need to know about those other applications as I do have a need for them from time to time. So in Windows 8, I have to keep all 17 icons on my start screen and dedicate an enormous amount of screen space to do so, requiring me to drag my mouse all over the damned desktop to find something.

RE: Start
By Piiman on 5/18/2013 1:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
Problem is it is just as likely to add 20 new tiles when you install something and then I have to go clean it all up. At least with folders they were already contained in their own area.

If you want to love Win8 good for you but if you can't see its a clunky mess you're either lying or stupid.

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