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  (Source: Microsoft)
Modern UI appears hear to stay, but Microsoft is willing to make tweaks based on criticism

SuperSite For Windows blogger Paul Thurrott has dug up some interesting details on what might be coming next for Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) veteran operating system.
 
I. Return of the Mack... er Start Button
 
Microsoft in October rolled out Windows 8.1, an update that marks the company transitioning to a path of faster, iterative releases à la Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  The update came at a time when PC sales were in record decline, following criticism of Windows 8 and Microsoft's struggles in the mobile market.  While Windows 8.1 included a number of requested changes, such as the ability to boot into Desktop Mode (instead of Modern UI) and the return of the iconic Start Button, it remains to be seen if it will help the platform's sagging sales.
 
If Windows 8.1 went back on some of Microsoft's decisions to ditch familiar Windows features, its successor "Windows 8.2" is expected to continue further down the path of backtracking.  According to Mr. Thurrott the next bump -- expected to land sometime late next year or in early 2015 -- will include a full Start Menu similar to that found in Windows 7 and previous releases.

Start Menu
Microsoft is reportedly restoring the start menu in Windows 8.2. [Image Source: Microsoft]

His sources are referring to the build simply as "the next version of Windows."
 
The Start button found in Windows 8.1, while a familiar icon, dumps you into Modern UI, making it function different from Start buttons in every other consumer Windows release of the past two decades.  Many consumers were frustrated that Microsoft refused to give them the Start Menu and simply gave them more Modern UI, when it was Modern UI that they were unhappy with in the first place.  But before Microsoft traditionalists get too excited, Mr. Thurrott adds a warning, stating, "It's possible this will appear only on those product versions that support the desktop."
 
Some third party apps have already restored the eliminated menu.
 
II. "Threshold" == Windows 8.2 & Company?
 
According to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is preparing a series of updates for its Windows Phone, Xbox One, and Windows 8.x platforms dubbed "Threshold".  Threshold will reportedly take Microsoft to -- you guessed it -- the "threshold" of a unified API set.  The Windows 8.x SKU for "Threshold" (which Mr. Thurrott guesses will be Windows 8.2) will come in three forms: a "consumer" OS SKU for ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) chips (likely a scalable build of Windows Phone, bearing some similarities to Windows RT); a "traditional" x86 SKU; and an even more traditional enterprise SKU.
 
Many enterprise users have complained that Windows 8's touch-driven graphically rich UI is poorly suited to power use.  The Enterprise SKU should help to fix that, and in some ways inherits the legacy of the "Professional" or "Ultimate" SKUs in past Windows releases, SKUs that typically bundled in extra enterprise-friendly features.
 
The Threshold plans sound reasonable as far as rumors come; Microsoft has already made its goal of API unification well known in recent presentations.

Microsoft platforms
Microsoft's "Threshold" releases aim to enable developers to deploy a single app that works on Windows Phone, Xbox One, and Windows 8.x, without custom code. [Image Source: Microsoft, et. al.]

In addition to the huge news of the return of the Start Menu, Mr. Thurrott also claims that Windows 8.2 will allow users to run Modern UI (aka "Metro") apps in floating Windows on a desktop.  How this clash of styles will wind up looking, if the rumor holds true, will be interesting to say the least.
 
Even if these rumors hold true, there's no telling if Microsoft will continue to follow that direction.  It's notably preparing for a power transition with CEO Steve Ballmer stepping down after over a decade in charge of the firm.  His successor has not yet been announced; the top candidates are thought to be Ford Motor Comp. (F) CEO Alan Mulally and Microsoft Devices executive vice president (and former Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V)) CEO) Stephen Elop.
 
Mr. Mulally recently stated that he will remain at Ford through the end of 2014, but Forbes contends that plan is not set in stone.  If he does take over at Microsoft it is unclear exactly what changes he might aim to make in terms of direction.  If Mr. Elop takes over he reportedly will move away from exclusivity for top Microsoft apps like Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office, releasing them for additional platforms like Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Chrome OS and Android; Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iOS and OS X; and other top Linux distributions like Canonical's Ubuntu.

Sources: SuperSite For Windows, ZDNet, Neowin



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Its about freeking time!
By retrospooty on 12/10/2013 3:34:11 PM , Rating: 4
RE: Its about freeking time!
By inighthawki on 12/10/2013 3:39:24 PM , Rating: 5
Don't count your chickens too soon. They still have time to screw it up.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By PrinceGaz on 12/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Its about freeking time!
By Mr Perfect on 12/10/2013 5:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
XP has 118 days of Microsoft support left before there are no more patches, fixes or tech support. Get out before you're forced out, it will be less painful.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By LoPang on 12/10/2013 7:56:15 PM , Rating: 1
Nice terrorism.

He can use XP SP3 for as long as he wants and nobody will force him out.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By The Von Matrices on 12/10/2013 10:04:31 PM , Rating: 5
He can certainly continue using his PC, with significant risk.

I don't think you understand what the end of extended support means. It means there will be no security updates for the OS anymore. This means that when security vulnerabilities are discovered (not if, but when) then they will remain open forever. The remaining internet connected computers using Windows XP will be a prime target for malware, especially considering that those who know the least about computers (the best malware targets) are those least likely to upgrade.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Strunf on 12/11/2013 8:14:01 AM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily true, if all the other people move to Windows 8 or something, Windows XP will become the minority and less interesting to target with virus or other stuff, more so if you think machines running windows XP aren't even that interesting cause they are mostly owned by people with less means.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By brshoemak on 12/11/2013 8:52:04 AM , Rating: 3
Think of it this way. If you were going to rob houses in a neighbor hood, would you focus on hitting more houses that are secured with gates, etc. or fewer houses where you knew the doors were unlocked and basically wide open?

Ownership of an old operating system does not correlate with less means. I would imagine many retirees, those with retirement accounts and pensions, have a "good enough" mentality like many others. Their line of thinking is, why spend the money and deal with the hassle of upgrading the operating system when it does everything I need it to do.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Strunf on 12/12/13, Rating: 0
RE: Its about freeking time!
By freedom4556 on 12/12/2013 3:42:37 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The thing is that the XP house has been around for years and most of the loopholes within XP itself have probably been fixed
This is just flawed logic when it comes to software. Furthermore, as anyone who listens to computer security experts will know. As soon as your software becomes unsupported, malware writers can back-engineer the patches on still-supported OSes to look for those holes in no-longer-updated OSes. Microsoft will be giving them a guidebook on how to crack XP wide open on the second Tuesday of every month after April.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Strunf on 12/13/2013 5:41:40 AM , Rating: 2
"This is just flawed logic when it comes to software."
It isn't and applies to just about everything, the easy to find bugs are found first then you have to dig deep, hence any new thing will ALWAYS be more open to failure on the first versions.

Malware writers and others are driven by money, and targeting less used OSs will never bring as much profit as targeting more used OS, this is why MacOS despise being less secure than windows (according to security experts) it has been less targeted and only recently Apple has started to raise its security level and user awareness that they too can have their Mac infected.

You also seem to think that windows is the only problem, when in fact most of the exploits use other software as a means to infect your computer, like Java or the browser itself, anti-virus and other safety related programs will still be supported on windows XP protecting it from most threats.

This whole deal is nothing more than FUD sponsored by MS... no other company in the world would stop supporting a product that still hold 30% of the market share, but since windows 8 is not selling that well lets scare the hell out of people and force them into the windows 8 bandwagon.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By sgestwicki on 12/16/2013 12:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft isn't just trying to get more money from people. They are trying to stop spending time and resources updating an OS that was released over 12 years ago.

Also, XP was released before the infamous trustworthy computing memo from Bill Gates where Microsoft FINALLY started to get serious about security. That means that even if it doesn't have the same flaws that the newer versions have (it does) there still aren't the same safeguards in place (like UAC) to protect the computer.

Hackers and others will still exploit Windows XP because every month they will told by Microsoft several new ways to do it. It isn't just about how much market share there is but also how easy it is to exploit and how long the exploits will work. Since XP still has 30% market share and the vulnerabilities will exist forever I would not trust any XP machine connected to the internet.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By purerice on 12/17/2013 4:00:37 AM , Rating: 2
You do a good job to argue for "security by obscurity". However unlike MacOS which has what, 7-10% of installed base market share, XP has 22-25%. That's 3x the "un-obscurity".

Windows Vista/7/8 have about 60% or so. The danger is HUGE as a previous poster already mentioned.

Microsoft releases a patch once a month to protect 60% of the machines out there. That very same patch is a bright neon sign for "Hotel Coral Essex" on a dark night exposing what exploits may work on 20-25% of computers out there.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By sedrosken on 1/1/2014 9:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
This is true, but not entirely. Like Windows 2000 before it, Windows XP will continue to be supported by third party programs until long after it is definitely in the minority. Windows 98SE is, ironically, one of the safer operating systems to use today (you don't even need a third party anti-virus) because, since no one uses it anymore, no one targets it anymore. Windows XP will eventually fall under that same vein. It might not receive security patches from Microsoft, but bear in mind that unofficial updates do in fact exist - - I've seen plenty for Windows 98SE as well as Windows 2000.

I say if he keeps a decent anti-malware program actively updated he should be fine.


By lexluthermiester on 12/14/2013 3:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
What freaking significant risk?

XP is not magically going to implode or become instantly insecure. As long as XP is properly configured[which is something that is suppose to be done anyway], and has a competent antivirus & firewall it will just fine. And they can not kill the activation servers without legal problems. So yes, he and everyone else can safely ignore the moronic bluster and fear-mongering being put out by MS and other pinheads pushing users to upgrade.

I work for a company that uses XP as an important part of our front-line and back-office software. We will not be upgrading anytime soon and we have little to worry about.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Wolfpup on 12/16/2013 4:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
LoPain and prince's comments are just baffling. I run into that kind of resistance from the tech illiterate, but people coming to a hardware site?

Great response you did, though I hate that you had to do it...


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Argon18 on 12/11/2013 12:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
No body will force him out, but all the unfixed bugs and unpatched security holes certainly will. And there's a very long list. I doubt Microsoft is focusing many engineering resources on fixing all the flaws of an OS that is about to be obsoleted, so most likely the final state of XP will be a heavily flawed one.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Just Tom on 12/14/2013 6:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
Your logic is a little weak here. If XP has unfixed bugs after 12 years of bug fixing why would Win7 or Win8 have fewer unfixed bugs? There might be new security exploits that escape the notice of whatever protection an XP user uses but I find it unlikely that the OS XP users have been using for 12 years is suddenly going to grow so buggy it is unusable.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By kmmatney on 12/10/2013 8:23:29 PM , Rating: 4
We still have systems in the field running Windows 2000, and they run perfectly. Windows XP will run fine for quite some time. I wonder if they will allow new definitions for Security Essentials on XP systems.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By michael67 on 12/10/2013 10:57:58 PM , Rating: 4
We still have a 386 system running OS/2 Warp so what, as long as it not connected to the internet, its no problem to have legacy OS running system, but the moment you your connected you run in to serious security problems.

That like a pawnshop owner in the hood leaving his door wide open when he go's home for the night, the question is not if, but when they will steal everything.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By kleinma on 12/11/2013 9:07:22 AM , Rating: 3
Running perfectly and vulnerable to attack are 2 different things. There is also the concern of finding hardware compatible with legacy operating systems when you do have the hardware failure that is 100% guaranteed to happen.

So unless those win2k machines are not connected at all to the outside world, they are not running perfectly, they are currently vulnerable.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 9:30:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We still have systems in the field running Windows 2000, and they run perfectly. Windows XP will run fine for quite some time. I wonder if they will allow new definitions for Security Essentials on XP systems.


Windows 2000 is already EOL and Windows XP will reach EOL in April 2014. Once EOL is reached, you get no more security updates to your operating system from Microsoft.

If you are running your business on these old versions, you might be well advised to at least move up to Windows 7 or face the danger of very expensive security failures in the field (i.e. lawsuits from customers whose data gets stolen from your outdated systems).


RE: Its about freeking time!
By JediJeb on 12/12/2013 2:07:08 PM , Rating: 2
When Microsoft agrees to pay the $100k for replacement of equipment that will only run with XP, then I will upgrade those computers. I can not justify spending another $100k on newer equipment just because Microsoft had decided to no longer support an OS and the equipment vendor no longer produces software geared to a newer OS.

Constantly upgrading may be ok in a business were you only use PCs to run database or spreadsheet or word processing type work, but when those PCs are connected to fully operating production equipment or laboratory instruments that will likely function for 20+ years, it becomes a major pain in the neck and bank account trying to keep up with OS changes. Why should be be out millions of dollars just because Microsoft made a change in Windows which really offers us nothing new or desirable at all. Heck we just retired our last Win 3.11 machine last year because the piece of equipment attached to it finally gave out and the new equipment with Win 7 really doesn't do anything different at all, it just looks "more pretty" on the screen. I mean how complicated does an OS need to be to run a program that captures numbers and stores them in a file or sends simple binary commands to the equipment.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By p05esto on 12/14/2013 10:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
Who is forcing anyone? You can use XP for the next 20 years if you want.... I have NEVER called Microsoft for tech support in my life so if they stop taking calls I could care less. The system is as solid as it's going to get, so patches are pointless. People are a little dumb, "oh no it's no longer supported and now must be useless and worth nothing". Whatever.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By extide on 12/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Its about freeking time!
By 0ldman on 12/11/2013 2:08:44 AM , Rating: 1
I still run Windows XP on my two primary work computers.

If you manage networks, change IPs regularly, connect to different networks or network devices XP makes the change in seconds if not instantly. Windows Vista and 7 take 30 seconds a minute to allow you network access.

When I program 30+ customer units for long range wireless a day, XP does it with little wasted time. I do prefer Windows 7 as my primary computer these days, but I'll only get half the work done in the same amount of time.

I understand the reasoning behind Windows firewall but it is a pain in the neck in these situations.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By JediJeb on 12/12/2013 2:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
I have noticed this same thing with the computers attached to our equipment. I want to map a network drive from another piece of equipment and it takes minutes to even see the list of computers in the Win7 PCs yet XP and 2K units see them immediately.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By rountad on 12/12/2013 4:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
Try the CLI. It's faster and more powerful.

net use
net view


RE: Its about freeking time!
By ShaolinSoccer on 12/11/2013 11:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 8.1 is still screwed up for a lot of people. It's amazing how Windows 8 is fine but as soon as you upgrade to 8.1, drivers stop working properly. I'll probably wait a few months before upgrading to 8.2 just to let the drivers catch up.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By EricMartello on 12/11/2013 10:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
You must have some unusual hardware - all my Windows 8 boxes have no problem detecting and installing the relevant drivers.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Spuke on 12/10/13, Rating: 0
RE: Its about freeking time!
By retrospooty on 12/10/2013 4:14:15 PM , Rating: 5
Thats cool if you like it. I personally wont be upgrading until The UI ceases to suck for non-touchscreen devices. Hopefully 8.2 manages that.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Its about freeking time!
By inighthawki on 12/10/2013 7:48:19 PM , Rating: 3
Which games, if I may ask?


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 9:24:50 AM , Rating: 2
Mostly online F2P games that depend on anti-hack software like nProtect GameGuard & its work-alikes (I consider these as rootkits since they are very low level). Didn't have much issue with these in Win XP, 7, or 8.0, but they BSOD in Win 8.1 due to their low level nature.

Two of these that come to mind right off are Rohan: Blood Feud and Star Wars The Old Republic (SWTOR). There may be more but I haven't gotten around to installing them on my 8.1 VM.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Chaser on 12/11/2013 9:52:41 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a major gamer. Preferably MMOs. SWTOR, even the new Elder Scrolls online ran perfectly on my Windows 8.1 build.

Most consumers aren't running persnickity VM sessions. Meh.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 12:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
The games I listed ran just fine under WIndows 8.0. It is only Windows 8.1 that thye have issues under.

GameGuard's issue with Windows 8.1 is well known and is expected to be resolved at some point. Any MMO game that uses GameGuard for anti hacking will not run on Windows 8.1.

Note that I did NOT get SWTOR to run on even a physical 8.1 system. Not sure what the issue is with that game, I tried it before virtualizing the physical 8.1 machine to a VM and re-imaging it back to Windows 7.

All my windows machines, physical or virtual are 64-bit.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Flunk on 12/12/2013 10:03:56 AM , Rating: 2
It's not just Windows 8.1, nProtect Gameguard is essentially a root kit that screws around with Windows processes, it's not anything to do with Microsoft that it doesn't work that sort of functionality is not supported.

Not only that it's totally worthless because almost every game that uses it can just be launched without it (with a bit of finesse) and work normally.

SWTOR runs fine on both my Windows 8.1 machines, don't try to run games on VMs they're not designed for that.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/12/2013 11:46:18 AM , Rating: 2
I know all about the rootkit that is GameGuard. Point was that only Windows 8.1 has an issue with it (not surprised). No other version of Windows, including 8.0, had an issue with it - VM or not. There are a number of other software products that had issues with a physical Windows 8.1 system and needed to be updated as well. Again, not surprising. I have not seen this amount of software incompatibility since moving from 32-bit Windows XP moved to 64-bit Vista.

As mentioned in my previous reply SWTOR refused to run on my Windows 8.1 Pro physical machine. I have since virtualized that physical 8.1 Pro system into a VM and restored my Windows 7 image. I don't usually use VMs to game, but sometimes try them out.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By inighthawki on 12/12/2013 7:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
Don't blame Windows 8.1 for providing improved security and preventing something deemed a "rootkit" from being installed on it. When you have software like this that do unsupported tasks, especially those that try to modify kernel behavior, you can't possibly expect it to retain compatibility across any OS. (The exact same thing can be true about any OS, not just Windows). If you want to blame someone, go yell at the developers of the game who chose to be dumb enough to use it, or -- even dumber -- the people who developed it thinking that such a solution would remain compatible with Windows down the line.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By mackx on 12/10/2013 4:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
i'm stuck on 8.0. afaik you can't update via win updates but only that new store of theirs which was deleted when i removed all the metro apps.

what did 8.1 add anyway? a fake start menu?

already have a 3rd party app which avoids metro and gives me my start menu back anyway


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Spuke on 12/10/2013 4:53:14 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
what did 8.1 add anyway? a fake start menu?
Start screen button (which surprisingly makes going back and forth much quicker...wasn't expecting that), some start screen navigation tweaks (again makes it quicker to get around) and I think some under the hood tweaks. I could not find 8.1 update going through Windows store. I did a web search and found the website the update is on. I think this is the link.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/buy?oci...


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Mint on 12/10/2013 5:04:10 PM , Rating: 5
Using the desktop wallpaper as the start page background was nice as well. I wasn't bothered by the "two worlds" feel, but this sort of unifies it. It'd be even better if they did proper transparency.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Lord 666 on 12/10/2013 5:12:10 PM , Rating: 3
Laptop I had borrowed earlier this month had 8.1 on it, but the one I purchased afterwards came with 8.0 from the factory. First time using Windows 8 either way. The differences between the two were both subtle but felt more cohesive with 8.1 being preferred. Can't name the actual features, but definitely a better experience.

In the process of upgrading the rest of my PCs to 8.1 because of it actually.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Spuke on 12/10/2013 6:19:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I wasn't bothered by the "two worlds" feel, but this sort of unifies it. It'd be even better if they did proper transparency.
X2 Didn't realize that was unavailable for 8. But I only spent a week on 8 before updating to 8.1.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Bateluer on 12/10/2013 8:52:19 PM , Rating: 1
"what did 8.1 add anyway? a fake start menu?"

Dude, you can run 4 programs at the same time under 8.1! Its so revolutionary.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By nafhan on 12/11/2013 11:38:30 AM , Rating: 2
"Windows 8.1: the Pinnacle of OS design!"
-Spuke

How much of a Modern UI apologist do you have to be to write off the next Windows Service pack on the rumor that the balance of the UI might shift slightly more towards the desktop? Yikes. Windows 8 adoption flatlined at the 8.1 release. They need to do something and this seems pretty reasonable.

This update is needed before widespread enterprise adoption of Win 8 will occur. It'll also make using the Windows Server 2012 GUI a lot better.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Argon18 on 12/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: Its about freeking time!
By nafhan on 12/11/2013 1:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
I was mostly pointing out that "tiles" on a server is crazy, and that moving away from it is good.

I'd generally agree with you - but a lot less emphatically. I'd say Windows vs. Linux is much less important than the skill and planning that went into configuration. Although for truly large implementations, I'd definitely recommend a good Linux setup over Windows. For smaller systems, I'd pick whichever one your admins are most familiar with.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Labotomizer on 12/11/2013 4:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
But you're using Xen, the worst hypervisor out there. So...


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Flunk on 12/12/2013 10:06:28 AM , Rating: 2
We've got a bunch of Windows Servers that don't have problems, depending on what you're doing they can be the best choice.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By 91TTZ on 12/12/2013 11:37:01 AM , Rating: 2
Server 2012 is pretty hideous though. The same problems that afflict Windows 8 afflict 2012. While it seems to be fast and stable, the user interface is totally inadequate for managing a server.

It's a shame when you have to install options to make the thing usable. There are a number of tasks that will commonly be performed on a server. I'll be checking NIC settings and running a select few programs on the server. A desktop would be the best display format for that. But no, it tries to be Windows 8. Pathetic.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By retrospooty on 12/12/2013 11:40:11 AM , Rating: 2
"So long as I'm running the IT department, we'll never buy another Microsoft server product again."


Really? What system is your corporate email running on? Lotus? LOL. How aboujt your workstations? Do you have a company full of end users running Linux? I highly doubt it.

MS has its high and low points. You ignore all that they do and only concentrate on the low and you are missing 1/2 the story. Dont forget, with MS its servers and its enterprise software NONE of the products you buy would be available to you. Not even the apple juice in your local grocery store.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By retrospooty on 12/12/2013 11:43:38 AM , Rating: 1
Windows 8.1: the Pinnacle of OS design! -Spuke"

Come on, that isnt what he said. All he said is he was happy with Win8.1 , you cant fault anyone for that any more than you can fault anyone for not liking it. I dont like it, I wont buy any other MS OS until they fix the UI period, but I do get why some people like it or at least dont hate it the way I do.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By YearOfTheDingo on 12/10/2013 8:05:18 PM , Rating: 4
When will this nightmare ends? At some point, I hope, someone at Microsoft will acknowledge the basic truth: Modern UI is utter garbage on the desktop. I happen to be big fan of Windows Phone. It drives absolute me insane every time I have to interact with Windows 8. On the phone, the UI is just so intuitive. It's hard to describe the experience. It's a joy to own a WP phone. The same UI on the desktop, on the other hand, just sucks.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Argon18 on 12/11/2013 12:26:01 PM , Rating: 1
Funny how you got voted up for your comment now, but only a few short months ago, the Redmond Fanboys were voting down any post that was critical of Metro on the desktop.

The fact remains, Microsoft simply doesn't "get it". Adding the start button back in 2015 (if they indeed do that) is reactionary. It's like they are developing in a vacuum, and then reacting to the market forces. That's a piss poor strategy.

2015 is a long ways away in the world of IT. That's plenty long enough for TWO separate Christmas shopping seasons, where people buy shiny new Windows 8 laptops, get angry and frustrated at the crap UI, and decide instead to switch to a Mac or even -gasp- Linux. Every PC maker in the industry is experiencing piss poor sales, and they're all pointing the finger at Windows 8.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By sgestwicki on 12/16/2013 12:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
People may switch to Macs that have the extra money to spend but nobody is switching to Linux on the desktop. It has been working well and free for years and years but it would have always stayed a hobbyist toy for consumers if it wasn't for the mobile space.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 11:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
What's funny is this STILL wont be enough to get the Windows 8 apologists to just admit they know crap about UI design and OS environments, and shut up.

When has Microsoft EVER had to alter an OS this radically this quickly before?

Anyway I've been saying this is how the OS should have always been. There's no need switching to a full screen Metro environment when it can run perfectly fine as a windowed app from the desktop, like EVERY Windows program since forever has worked.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Chaser on 12/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Its about freeking time!
By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 11:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
Windows for dummies? Windows 8 is when the OS went from a productivity focused OS for power users, into a goddamn Fischer Price toy!

quote:
It's you that wants to stay in the past so you can have your linear start menu back to help lead you to your programs.


You guys just don't get it. It was NEVER about the Start Button going away. It was about the horrible replacement for it!


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Chaser on 12/11/2013 10:04:50 AM , Rating: 3
It took me all of 30 minutes to become comfortable with Windows 8.1 and I'll never go back to Windows 7. Its faster, more intuitive and its search features outclass Windows 7 by a mile.

Reclaimer I've read and enjoyed your posts for years. But you are adversarial to change in general. Windows 8.1 feeds your Worldview.

You seem to be a smart guy. But your repeated, bloviating dismissals of "it sucks" accomplishes nothing and is concounter productive.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 11:13:49 AM , Rating: 3
I will challenge you here:

Install a couple hundred REAL Windows programs in your Windows 8.0 or 8.1 desktop.

Now without using a start button replacement go find all the programs you just installed WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR DESKTOP .

Where are they? Oh Right! You have to go to that gawdawful start page and sift through a flat list of every freaking icon that would have shown up in your "Start Menu->Programs" directory structure with absolutely NO contextual information whatsoever.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By sgestwicki on 12/16/2013 11:44:21 AM , Rating: 2
I can tell that your hatred of the interface formally known as Metro UI will keep you from ever being happy with Windows 8 but it really isn’t that bad. Instead of a start button Microsoft decided to force a start screen on everyone to get them used to their new interface for mobile devices. It isn’t intuitive for a keyboard and mouse which was a huge mistake but like every OS there are usability tricks that can make your life easier.

The real way to solve your problem is open the start screen by pressing the Windows Key and then just start typing the name of the program you want. There are no guides or help to show people that it works but it does and it is a better search then you get by doing the same exact thing on Window s 7.

That will move you out of your desktop app (Yes it is an app that runs in the new “Modern UI”. Minimize everything on the desktop and drag down from the top of the screen if you don’t believe me.) so a better solution for you would be to find the newly installed app in the mess of icons (You can remove as many of them as you want) and pin the icon to the taskbar.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By JediJeb on 12/12/2013 2:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Its faster, more intuitive and its search features outclass Windows 7 by a mile.


I never got why so many talk about improved search features. I use search maybe once a year if someone else misplaced a file while using my computer. Otherwise I store all my files in a well organized fashion and can go to each one in seconds. The last time I backed up my data I had over a million data files to transfer, yet I can find what I want easily without search.

Are people today just to lazy to organize their work?


RE: Its about freeking time!
By tunap on 12/12/2013 3:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are people today just to lazy to organize their work?

It's a subtle, repetitive suggestion from the MS Marketing Dept(red herring?), most people don't use search but if they are told how great it is they may just realize what they are missing. Bonus points come from a user more reliant on these great[sic] features. If you don't use search they will take your start menu. If you still refuse to comply, watch out, Windows Explorer could be next. Hey, Android works great without a file manager... right? Right?


RE: Its about freeking time!
By FITCamaro on 12/11/2013 10:21:58 AM , Rating: 2
I run multiple applications at once. I shouldn't have to essentially tab between them. That might make sense on a tablet. It doesn't on a desktop. Especially not at work.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 2:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, you call Windows 7 start menu 'linear'? Holy shit.

Have you freaking looked at the "All Programs" page in the Metro/Modern world? You want linear? You can't get more linear than a flat freaking list on a screen that you have to scroll right to left in order to see every damn program you have installed! That is what Windows 8.x gives you out of the box.

And yet you call the hierarchical view of Windows 7 start menu linear? Please don't post until you look up what the word 'linear' means.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By LRonaldHubbs on 12/11/2013 9:57:20 AM , Rating: 2
Quickly? Assuming the article's source is even correct that this change is happening, the projected release date is late 2014 to early 2015. That's a minimum of 2 years after OS originally launched. 3rd parties patching Win8 to enable start menu was quick; this is anything but.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Da W on 12/11/2013 11:59:52 AM , Rating: 2
The fact that more people are buying Chromebook is proof that classic Deaktop UI works and is here to stay.
Wake up Microsoft.

-From a guy that bought the first windows phone 7 in Canada and the first surface pro the day it came out. I STILL USE NO FREAKING METRO APPS ON MY 3 SCREEN DESKTOP. I use them of my surface. I loved my WP before it died. But a desktop is a desktop.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Argon18 on 12/11/2013 12:33:36 PM , Rating: 1
"When has Microsoft EVER had to alter an OS this radically this quickly before?"

Pretty often, actually.

Windows 95 BSOD'd during Bill Gates' press conference. It was so bad, it was quickly followed by Win95 R2, and then Win98. Reviewers universally agreed that Win98 is what Win95 should have been.

Windows ME. The turd that was launched in September 2000, and it was so horrible, they had to push XP out the door not even a year later, in summer of 2001.

Vista. Even Steve Ballmer admitted it was a failure. How many people are still running Vista today?

And now Windows 8, with the Metro GUI disaster.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 6:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
There is not such a radical difference between Windows 95 and Windows 98 (or ME for that matter). Same old 16-bit crap.

Windows XP was the successor to Windows 2000 (The 32-bit Windows stream originating with Windows NT). It had nothing do do with Windows ME and was not targeted at Windows ME users at all. Windows ME was simply the final coffin nail for Microsoft's 16-bit windows stream (and good riddance!!).

The difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8 stretches wider than the differences between Windows NT and Windows 7. At least Windows 7 had much the same operational paradigms as Windows NT. Windows 8 took all that legacy and flushed the whole kit & caboodle down the toilet.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By inteli722 on 12/11/2013 4:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
Remember when this rumor was going around about 8.1?

I shall remain skeptical.


RE: Its about freeking time!
By inighthawki on 12/17/2013 3:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
This was never a rumor for windows 8.1, and the source of this leak is actually reputable.


Unification is the Future
By The Von Matrices on 12/10/2013 4:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
There is a lot of confusion in the world about what is causing the stagnation of PC sales. But the lack of a "start menu" in Windows 8, despite the rabid fanbase advocating for it, is far from the root cause. Even if you released Windows 7.1, sales would be largely the same. The stagnation of PC sales is due to a shift towards mobile devices.

Microsoft is on the right track targeting this sector, and it is the only software company that has a plan to provide a unified interface across all its devices. This will pay off in the years to come. Let's just hope that if the "start menu" is brought back, that people don't confuse this minor change as the reason for Microsoft's future success.




RE: Unification is the Future
By retrospooty on 12/10/2013 4:08:59 PM , Rating: 5
"Microsoft is on the right track targeting this sector, and it is the only software company that has a plan to provide a unified interface across all its devices. "

I couldn't disagree more... The unified interface sounds good on paper, but the fact is touchscreen devices and KB/Mouse devices are VERY different in how you interface with them and therefore need a different UI, period. It doesnt need a different version of the OS, just the UI aspect (the part they removed on purpose between the Windows 8 develpers preview and hte final release). All they had to so was simply NOT do that and all would have been fine.


RE: Unification is the Future
By Mint on 12/10/2013 5:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
You're ignoring the fact that many programs cross the boundaries of these inputs.

Typing short emails is okay with a touchscreen. Typing long emails is brutal without a keyboard. Making small edits to Office docs is doable with a touch screen. Bigger edits virtually mandate either a stylus or a mouse.

It's a continuum. Look at what happened with phones and tablets. On larger phones, dedicated phone UIs and web pages designed for iPhone-size devices suck balls. iPads are getting keyboard covers. Smartphones have large screen output.

Don't forget that MS has yet another input method: Limb-tracking on XBox. I'm looking forward to seeing a virtual keyboard and touchscreen emulator on XB One, allowing you to run Win8 apps. You can bet gestures will eventually make an appearance on phones, laptops/tablets, maybe even your car (eliminating knob fiddling/reaching when voice control doesn't cut it).

Applications need to be able to handle various inputs. Making a separate app for each and running on different OSes looks silly the more you look forward, both from consumer and developer perspectives.


RE: Unification is the Future
By retrospooty on 12/10/2013 6:36:21 PM , Rating: 1
"Typing short emails is okay with a touchscreen. Typing long emails is brutal without a keyboard. Making small edits to Office docs is doable with a touch screen. Bigger edits virtually mandate either a stylus or a mouse."

That isn't the UI though.

"It's a continuum. Look at what happened with phones and tablets."

Both touchscreen. The issue is touchscreen vs. non-touchscreen.

"You can bet gestures will eventually make an appearance on phones, laptops/tablets, maybe even your car"

So long as it comes as an OPTION and is not forced on everyone.

"Applications need to be able to handle various inputs. Making a separate app for each and running on different OSes looks silly the more you look forward, both from consumer and developer perspectives."

Sure, but that isnt the UI.


RE: Unification is the Future
By 91TTZ on 12/10/2013 6:39:20 PM , Rating: 3
But when you take into account that the vast majority of users are using desktops/laptops and not Windows phones/tablets, these radical compromises look silly.

I think that Microsoft wanted to make an all-out push for mobile to try to gain traction in that market. In the effort to do that they had to really force feed users of their established PC operating system a mobile-like interface.

It was just a bad fit. Instead of getting consumers accustomed to it, they tended to avoid it. I cannot state this strongly enough- Microsoft's initiative has been viewed as a failure both inside and outside the company. Microsoft wouldn't have sacked Sinofsky and Ballmer if Windows 8 was a massive success. The fact is that is wasn't a success. Microsoft had to really fudge the numbers to make it sound like Windows 8 was catching on.

They continue to release the same misleading propaganda that they released when Windows ME and Windows Vista were out. They were flopping but still active products so Microsoft can't admit that they were selling slowly.

Some people want motorcycles. Some people want sedans. Trying to make a unified vehicle that's awkwardly in between is a failure waiting to happen. Sometimes 2 ideas cannot be blended together.


RE: Unification is the Future
By The Von Matrices on 12/10/2013 9:37:43 PM , Rating: 1
I agree that Microsoft's biggest failure in Windows 8 was not educating the public on how to use it. Windows 8.1's integrated tutorial helps with this significantly, but the damage is already done. The other issue with Windows 8 is that the best hardware to use Windows 8 is still too expensive. Convertible Ultrabooks are a great demonstration of Windows 8's dual UIs, but $1000-$1500 is way too much for a mass market laptop.

What I think you're missing is that Microsoft has to do something. There are a lot of people who complain about the changes in Windows 8. What these people don't realize is that there is no better alternative for Microsoft than to introduce something new and try a new path of business. Google is pushing upward in the PC market with its Chromebooks and free Chrome OS. For the public, charging $100 for a Windows license with no significant new features is looking increasingly untenable.

The company could have released a mildly tweaked version of Windows 7 as "Windows 8". But the main problem would still exist - there wouldn't be an incentive to upgrade computers or operating systems. You could argue against Windows 8 saying that there are tons of businesses upgrading to Windows 7. However, businesses aren't doing it because they particularly like Windows 7; they are doing it because Windows XP's support is ending. This lack of incentive to upgrade has existed for the last 10 years, but now that there is serious competition for the OS market, Microsoft has to move.

Now look at Microsoft's future possibilities. You in the near future should be able to do everything on your cell phone. Carry it with you from place to place, connect it to a dock, and you have a full desktop experience. This is the logical next step for people who already use laptops and docks instead of desktops. You can't do this unless you have an operating system with both a mobile and desktop experience integrated. No other manufacturer is poised to do this.

There are certainly ways to improve the workflow of Windows 8. But to eliminate the changes and revert to a Windows 7 like OS would be the worst thing that Microsoft could do for its future.


RE: Unification is the Future
By Reclaimer77 on 12/10/2013 11:41:07 PM , Rating: 1
I disagree. Microsoft's future IS Windows. You simply CANNOT screw with that for any future gains that may or may not happen. This future you speak of with one unified smartphone device that plugs into a dock is a possibility, yes, but NOT a certainty. Not something you should bet the farm on.

Windows is the only thing in the consumer space that makes Microsoft real money. Windows Phone is a failure, Bing is a failure, and the Xbox is either still running a deficit or barely profitable after over 10+ years.

quote:
But to eliminate the changes and revert to a Windows 7 like OS would be the worst thing that Microsoft could do for its future.


No that's the absolute BEST thing they can do for their future. Which is why they are announcing these changes. They need to stop the bleeding and stop it fast.

They already have Windows Phone and Windows RT for mobile devices. There was absolutely no reason to kludge together a gimped desktop OS with a touchscreen UI for the desktop OS.

quote:
Convertible Ultrabooks are a great demonstration of Windows 8's dual UIs, but $1000-$1500 is way too much for a mass market laptop.


I will admit, Windows 8.1 on a touchscreen ultrabook is a much more pleasant experience than a desktop. But how big of a market segment is that even, and is it worth everything they gave up on the PC side?


RE: Unification is the Future
By The Von Matrices on 12/11/2013 3:00:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I disagree. Microsoft's future IS Windows. You simply CANNOT screw with that for any future gains that may or may not happen. This future you speak of with one unified smartphone device that plugs into a dock is a possibility, yes, but NOT a certainty. Not something you should bet the farm on.

Windows is the only thing in the consumer space that makes Microsoft real money. Windows Phone is a failure, Bing is a failure, and the Xbox is either still running a deficit or barely profitable after over 10+ years.


You need to remember that Microsoft only makes money by selling Windows licenses. It doesn't matter what the market share of Windows is overall. If everyone thinks Windows 7 is all they'll ever need and they never upgrade, then Microsoft has no revenue stream. Microsoft needs to convince people to upgrade their OS and buy new Windows devices in order to sell licenses, and in the current time, that's a hard thing to do. New PC sales are declining. Just relying on to people continue to buy new PCs with Windows bundled is not enough to maintain revenue.

quote:
No that's the absolute BEST thing they can do for their future. Which is why they are announcing these changes. They need to stop the bleeding and stop it fast.

They already have Windows Phone and Windows RT for mobile devices. There was absolutely no reason to kludge together a gimped desktop OS with a touchscreen UI for the desktop OS.


As I said, Microsoft makes money by selling Windows licenses. If you turn Windows 8 to resemble Windows 7, then there is even less reason to upgrade from Windows 7. Look at the number of people who are only upgrading from Windows XP because of to the discontinuation of support. These minor OS changes aren't compelling enough to convince them to buy a new OS. No matter what desktop OS Microsoft released after Windows 7, there would still be a decline in revenue due to decreasing new PC sales. Microsoft needs to do something to open new markets for its OS.

quote:
I will admit, Windows 8.1 on a touchscreen ultrabook is a much more pleasant experience than a desktop. But how big of a market segment is that even, and is it worth everything they gave up on the PC side?


I guess we see things differently. I see Windows 8 as "giving up" nothing. All you get is the additional option to use the second UI.


RE: Unification is the Future
By inteli722 on 12/12/2013 12:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I guess we see things differently. I see Windows 8 as "giving up" nothing. All you get is the additional option to use the second UI


Really? Because I see it as giving up the start menu to have the privilege to use the start screen. Everything else is there. I just want to see the proper Start Menu come back. I'm not asking for Metro to go away, as I think it works with touchscreens just fine. I want to see an option to get the start menu back and use it like I use Windows 7 on my desktop right now. Believe it or not, Windows 8 does have extra features on the desktop side, and enogh of them that I want to update.


RE: Unification is the Future
By JediJeb on 12/12/2013 4:02:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As I said, Microsoft makes money by selling Windows licenses. If you turn Windows 8 to resemble Windows 7, then there is even less reason to upgrade from Windows 7. Look at the number of people who are only upgrading from Windows XP because of to the discontinuation of support. These minor OS changes aren't compelling enough to convince them to buy a new OS. No matter what desktop OS Microsoft released after Windows 7, there would still be a decline in revenue due to decreasing new PC sales. Microsoft needs to do something to open new markets for its OS.


What about changing the UI is something to open a new market(except for the few niche users)?

For the last 20 years, unless there was some new hardware to support or some new killer app to support, there has really never been a reason to upgrade just the OS. DOS and Win 3.11 was adequate for the majority of users until there was the need to address more memory to run more complicated applications, then Win95/NT4 came along to allow 32bit memory addressing. Many only upgraded from W95 to W98 if they bought a faster computer for games or it was their first computer purchase. People switched from NT to 2K with the advent of USB since many devices now used USB and NT didn't support it in the business space. XP more or less unified business and home PCs and it was a draw for the home users to be able to have the same OS at home as at work, but even then many companies stuck with 2K and NT unless they absolutely needed to upgrade. XP also brought with it DirectX improvements and was a reason for gamers to upgrade or anyone wanting better graphics. Vista was a forced upgrade for anyone wanting a newer PC, and many would downgrade to XP if they could. The only draw for Vista was for those wanting 64bit support, and that wasn't great until W7 was released.

If someone uses a Windows Phone for their work, and maybe a Surface tablet then sure a desktop with Metro might be a good fit, but for people like me who constantly work with 3,4, or more separate programs open at once and constantly moving date between them, the old desktop works best. The work I do would be horrendous to try to do on a phone or tablet. For many to go from what they now do on multiple large screens to some tiny device would be terrible. What does W8 or W8.1 bring into the base functionality of the OS that makes it worth the time, effort, and money to upgrade for someone whose OS currently handles all they need to do?


RE: Unification is the Future
By 91TTZ on 12/11/2013 11:09:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What these people don't realize is that there is no better alternative for Microsoft than to introduce something new and try a new path of business.


Not if that means sacrificing their bread and butter. Sure, try something new- in a new business unit. Don't risk destroying your reliable core business over an uncertain "attempt" to try something new.

quote:
There are certainly ways to improve the workflow of Windows 8. But to eliminate the changes and revert to a Windows 7 like OS would be the worst thing that Microsoft could do for its future.


I disagree. I think that desktop/laptop operating system will remain Microsoft's core business and it's what customers are demanding. If a customer is demanding a pickup truck you don't try to push a Prius on him.

When mobile devices initially came out they were a hot commodity. Profit margins were high and the business was growing very rapidly. Microsoft made a full-court press to get into that market, with little success.

But that market has lost its luster. While mobile is as popular as ever, the profit margins are quickly shrinking. A tablet 3 years ago cost about $400-500. Now you can get decent Android tablets with high definition displays for $150 and you can get bargain tablets for $70. The profit just isn't there anymore. Apple initially said that it had no plans to make a smaller, lower priced tablet but then had to cater to customer demand.


RE: Unification is the Future
By Argon18 on 12/11/2013 12:40:51 PM , Rating: 1
Amen, you hit the nail on the head. Editing a complex excel spreadsheet is torture on a touch screen. Likewise, playing Angry Birds with a keyboard and mouse isn't too fun.

Microsoft trying to force a one-size-fits-all interface across disparate devices is just plain foolish, and it doesn't work.

A good example of how to do it correctly is the Linux kernel. The same Linux OS that runs the worlds largest supercomputers, is also running your Android phone. The difference is that with Linux, you have a unified back-end code base, that makes porting software between machines a piece of cake, and allows for an appropriate UI on any kind of device.


RE: Unification is the Future
By 91TTZ on 12/10/2013 6:25:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The stagnation of PC sales is due to a shift towards mobile devices.


I disagree.

I think that PCs are used just as much as ever and that the stagnation is being caused by the fact that PCs have gotten mature enough that you don't need to upgrade every couple of years anymore. It's now a reliable appliance like your TV, Microwave, or washing machine. There's no need to upgrade it if it isn't broken. Obsolescence is no longer a driving factor.

It's not 2003 anymore where a 5 year old PC is obsolete junk. Now a 5 year old PC could have a Core i5 or i7 in it. Even an 11 year old PC may have a Athlon 64 in it. For Word, Email, and internet browsing this is plenty fast.

This is a trend that's occurring all throughout computing. It has nothing to do with your claim of a shift to mobile devices. PCs, servers, and even video game consoles are getting a longer and longer lifespan.

quote:
Microsoft is on the right track targeting this sector, and it is the only software company that has a plan to provide a unified interface across all its devices.


Microsoft took a huge risk and failed. In the aftermath of this failure some high level executives, the head of Windows, and the CEO of the company were all sacked. Their leadership credibility was irreparably marred by a high profile failure.

Now that these executives are gone the company is once again listening to consumers. A result of this is the reintroduction of features that only a year ago Microsoft claimed would never be back. Well, the executives that said that are now gone and the features are back, so that should tell you something.


RE: Unification is the Future
By Spuke on 12/10/2013 6:54:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
A result of this is the reintroduction of features that only a year ago Microsoft claimed would never be back.
Reintroduction of ONE feature. LOL! Microsoft's biggest mistake was making a somewhat radical change to a user base that despises change. IMO, as I implied in another post, the change wasn't radical enough. The start button is horrendous and probably why I won't adopt Win8.2 (unless there's some great under the hood changes). Hopefully, they just won't put it back as is. Hopefully, they'll make some changes to how it works (not that I use it much anyways but when I do it sucks balls).


RE: Unification is the Future
By A11 on 12/10/2013 7:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure which part of "sacked windows bosses all the way to the top" you didn't get?


RE: Unification is the Future
By 91TTZ on 12/11/2013 11:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Reintroduction of ONE feature. LOL! Microsoft's biggest mistake was making a somewhat radical change to a user base that despises change.


The issue is far larger than you're admitting it is. You see it as "just a Start Button". But really it's a battle between directions- one direction is demanded by customers. The other direction is wanted by Microsoft, since it views it as more profitable.

Microsoft wants to MAKE SURE that consumers are indoctrinated into their mobile push. They don't want people to avoid that indoctrination. There is a reason why Microsoft took away the option for users to customize Windows 8 and make it "desktop only" or "classic mode". As we see with products like Start 8, it's very easy to implement options that allow you to configure Windows 8 to behave in a desktop-oriented manner. But Microsoft doesn't want you to do that. They allow you to change colors and trivial stuff like that, but they don't want you to be able to choose between "desktop mode/tablet mode".

From a business perspective this was a very risky gamble. The best case scenario results in customers becoming used to the mobile interface and wanting Microsoft phones and tablets, while the worst case scenario results in consumers getting angry at Microsoft and avoiding both Windows 8 and their mobile devices.

Reality turned out to be closer to the worst case scenario than the best case scenario. This is why Microsoft fired both the leader of the Windows division and their CEO. They wouldn't have fired them if the gamble worked. Ballmer knew this was risky. He's not stupid. People often forget this, but he gave hints about this a few years ago: http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/23/ballmer-next-re...

quote:
Microsoft's biggest mistake was making a somewhat radical change to a user base that despises change.


This is ridiculous assertion. People love change as long as it's a change that benefits them. If our taxes went down, that would be a change that everyone likes. If our taxes went up, that would be a change that people hate. And I'm certain that you'd get apologists who claim "people just don't like change" when they hear people complaining about their new, higher tax rates.

I loved when Windows 95 came out. I loved Windows 2000. I loved XP. I love Windows 7.

If the change is arbitrary and useless, people don't like it. I hate it when my girlfriend moves my tools and I cannot find them. I hate it when automakers put the instrument cluster in the center of the dashboard instead of in front of where the driver is looking. I hate it when companies try to corral me into a different usage model because they believe it would be more profitable for them.

This is the mistake that Microsoft made.


RE: Unification is the Future
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 7:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I loved when Windows 95 came out. I loved Windows 2000. I loved XP. I love Windows 7.

If the change is arbitrary and useless, people don't like it. I hate it when my girlfriend moves my tools and I cannot find them. I hate it when automakers put the instrument cluster in the center of the dashboard instead of in front of where the driver is looking. I hate it when companies try to corral me into a different usage model because they believe it would be more profitable for them.

This is the mistake that Microsoft made.


And Microsoft is seeing that we are not the only ones that share this view. There is a helluva lot of us out there that have having our beloved tools moved around and changed to the point of slow us down. We don't want to learn yet another UI simply because it is cheaper for Microsoft to change it.


RE: Unification is the Future
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 7:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
PS:

I was not all that thrilled when Windows 95 came out. I was an OS/2 developer...


RE: Unification is the Future
By The Von Matrices on 12/10/2013 9:53:47 PM , Rating: 2
You have a point that I agree with regarding the maturity of PCs reducing the need for upgrades. However, I don't think you can completely eliminate mobile sales as a cause. People only have a limited amount of money. That money is now going toward mobile devices instead of desktop PCs. Microsoft makes money by selling desktop OS licenses. I don't see how reverting to the status quo of 2010 is going to help Microsoft's future. There are bigger issues at hand than Windows 8's interface.

Windows 8 is a turning point for Microsoft. I'm not deluded enough to call it a success, but I applaud Microsoft for making an effort to try something new. The company realizes that it needs to change in order to survive, and great success rarely comes without a few failures along the way.


RE: Unification is the Future
By JediJeb on 12/13/2013 10:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
Tablet and phone devices are eating into the desktop sales at the moment but from what I am seeing from the people around me that bought into that hype can be summed up in one word.

SQUIRREL!!

For those without kids: "Oh look, a shiny new thing that everybody is getting!"

My sister got an iPad from work, but they have yet to figure out how she can do work stuff on it. So my nephew used it to play Minecraft, and that is all it is used for. I see others with tablets just gathering dust since the new wow factor has worn off. I see others with smart phones that get used for what, making phone calls and pretty much nothing else. I have friends with iPhones and unless they are making calls or sending texts which can be done on any phone, the only other thing they do is look up a youtube video and try to show it to people. Then there are 4 or 5 of us gathered around this tiny screen squinting to see what they are talking about. Honestly if I want to watch a video I want to see it on a 24"+ sized screen.


By The Von Matrices on 12/14/2013 4:15:55 AM , Rating: 2
What exactly are you arguing? There's not going to be a shift back toward desktops and notebooks, even if the market for phones and tablets saturates. The public will just move on to the next gadget. Maybe Microsoft targeting mobile devices isn't the best strategy due to that market nearing saturation, but Microsoft focus only upon the shrinking desktop and notebook sector seems like a losing strategy as well.


RE: Unification is the Future
By euler007 on 12/10/2013 8:35:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's also due to the fact that a PC bought 7 years ago is still good enough to do most office work.

I've bought about 40 SSDs in the last three years, dropping that into an old computer is a surefire way to unbottleneck the desktop and decrease the chance of a critical failure. I have tons of core 2 duo that still do the work fine, upgraded them to windows 7/8 for various reasons (mostly AD related).


RE: Unification is the Future
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 9:16:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft is on the right track targeting this sector, and it is the only software company that has a plan to provide a unified interface across all its devices. This will pay off in the years to come. Let's just hope that if the "start menu" is brought back, that people don't confuse this minor change as the reason for Microsoft's future success.


Incorrect. Microsoft is not the only software company to provide a unified interface across all supported devices. Nor are they the first. Android has done this since Version 4.0, and even earlier versions stuck very close to the same UI strategy since day 1.

However Android does not have a critical mass of legacy devices that used a completely different UI paradigm to contend with that Windows has. Microsoft's biggest mistake here is to impose a completely different UI paradigm on users that it had spent the last 20+ years teaching to use the old strategy. Long term users are reluctant to change and this kind of paradigm shift requires very careful and slowly staged introduction.

You do NOT, under any circumstances, attempt to dump an entirely new UI strategy on an heavily invested userbase as it will always bite you in the ass 100% of the time.

Microsoft's bottom line has already proven this with Windows 8.0. Even with their so-called "state button" Windows 8.1 is not selling any better -- 90% of their Win81 sales is via free upgrades from Win80.

Their buying public has already spoken with their wallets and Microsoft is in damage control as evidenced by the half-assed "Start menu" in Win81 (that they were told often was not a solution) and the more familiar start menu in Win82 (again - waiting to see if this really happens or if Thurcott is blowing smoke out his ass).


RE: Unification is the Future
By The Von Matrices on 12/14/2013 4:49:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Incorrect. Microsoft is not the only software company to provide a unified interface across all supported devices. Nor are they the first. Android has done this since Version 4.0, and even earlier versions stuck very close to the same UI strategy since day 1.


Incorrect. Google does not have a strategy comparable to Microsoft. Android doesn't scale up to desktops and notebooks. That's why Chrome OS exists. Windows 8 is the only OS that can work reasonably on all form factors of devices from phones to desktops.

quote:
However Android does not have a critical mass of legacy devices that used a completely different UI paradigm to contend with that Windows has. Microsoft's biggest mistake here is to impose a completely different UI paradigm on users that it had spent the last 20+ years teaching to use the old strategy. Long term users are reluctant to change and this kind of paradigm shift requires very careful and slowly staged introduction.

You do NOT, under any circumstances, attempt to dump an entirely new UI strategy on an heavily invested userbase as it will always bite you in the ass 100% of the time.


I have always felt like there's a dichotomy in the world of software and hardware. People insist on having want new features, but they complain when they're introduced because using them requires learning how to use it and changing work habits.

My father exemplifies this trend. He falls for marketing and always wants the latest and greatest devices and software. However, every time he upgrades, he complains that the new device operates differently than the previous device and that he doesn't know how to use it. These people should learn to either adapt or not upgrade at all.

Windows 8 is not perfect, but you have to make a clean break at some point or else your item becomes a mess of tacked on features with no unifying vision. These clean breaks always alienate many previous users, but in the end they are the most logical choice.

quote:
Microsoft's bottom line has already proven this with Windows 8.0. Even with their so-called "state button" Windows 8.1 is not selling any better -- 90% of their Win81 sales is via free upgrades from Win80.


This is not something you can use to draw a conclusion about the success of Windows 8.1. Microsoft may be deceptive by grouping upgrades and sales, but this in itself does not make Windows 8.1 a failure. You could make the exact same percentage of sales argument using every previous service pack Microsoft has released.


By The Von Matrices on 12/14/2013 4:52:06 AM , Rating: 2
I can't believe the forum didn't accept the close HTML tags in that post.


Finally...
By Movieman420 on 12/10/2013 4:20:44 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like MS is beginning to actually listen to it's customers! It only took...forever.




RE: Finally...
By techxx on 12/10/2013 4:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
They did a good job listening to customers for Windows 7. Dunno what happened with Windows 8.


RE: Finally...
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/10/2013 7:12:17 PM , Rating: 2
They had a brainfart named Ballmer running things. Since he left they are finally getting the message that people without touchscreens are not buying their touch-oriented operating system and working to address it.

However with that said, i don't have a lot of faith that Microsoft will get it right. I am waiting to see the reports on the final product first.


RE: Finally...
By A11 on 12/10/2013 7:38:30 PM , Rating: 2
They are not getting it right from the start.

They could focus on it and deliver it much faster than in an update a year+ away.


RE: Finally...
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 9:39:23 AM , Rating: 2
Not quite.

I don't see fhe following on that start menu:

Control Panel
Computer
User profile link
Network

In short it is horribly slimmed down and loses much of what the start menu is.

UI will give them this though: They do put the hierarchical installed program folder structure in there. Far better than that flattened mess they put on the start screen ad the ONLY way to access them (anybody that has a couple hundred apps installed on Windows 8.0/8.1 knows what I am talking about here). But that is the only concession I will give for this lame attempt to create a "start menu".

C'mon Microsoft, Have you forgotten wtf a start menu is? You guys created it in the first place. Just go look back in the Windows 7 design documents and do THAT (you didn't burn them did you?).


RE: Finally...
By Argon18 on 12/11/2013 12:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
"Looks like MS is beginning to actually listen to it's customers! It only took...forever."

Um, no, this is not Microsoft listening to its customers. This is Microsoft listening to its lack of customers. Microsoft is reacting to piss poor sales, not being proactive, not listening to customers.


RE: Finally...
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 2:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
And still they haven't gotten it right.

Look at the start menu from Windows 7 (or even an addon like Start8) and you will see some big differences.

The most blatant things missing is the link to your user profile, Computer or control panel.

Granted you can get at these things using alternate means, it is still nice to be able to access these useful things from the start button menu.

However that said, this does provide a very glaring omission to the Windows 8 operating system: There was no way on earth to access your "Programs" folders in the desktop without spelunking around in your user profile with Windows Explorer. If you had a couple hundred applications installed, you would not see a single one of them on your desktop and can't get at them without accessing the "All Programs" button on the "METRO START PAGE". And when you do THAT, you will be presented with the most horrific pile of excrement that you have ever seen in your life.

According to Paul Thurrott, Win8.2 will provide this in the start menu. If so that would be a decent fix to (IMHO) the largest, and totally inexcusable usability issue in Windows 8.x to date.


Vote with your wallets
By aurareturn on 12/10/2013 4:05:20 PM , Rating: 1
I'm glad people are voting with their wallets. My hate for Windows 8 allowed a window of opportunity to try out OSX. I bought a Mac for the first time in my life and instantly fell in love with it. It's so much more enjoyable to use a Mac than Windows 7 or 8. I initially developed a distaste for Macs after being forced to use one of those ancient Macintosh in high school. Boy have things changed.




RE: Vote with your wallets
By retrospooty on 12/10/2013 4:12:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... Apple's advantage there... the iPhone/iPad were tremendously popular, but Apple did NOT change the Mac's UI to match the touchscreen. Seems quite simple.


RE: Vote with your wallets
By Guspaz on 12/10/2013 4:46:41 PM , Rating: 2
Or rather they did do some integration, but in a less blatant fashion. They brought some of the concepts from iOS to OS X (launchpad, notifications, etc) but as individual elements rather than entire interfaces. And they're all optional.


RE: Vote with your wallets
By Spuke on 12/10/2013 6:14:49 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Or rather they did do some integration, but in a less blatant fashion.
This is what they did but don't confuse this with them "doing it right" by any means. Their focus is strictly on the mobile market that's why the desktop isn't getting any love.


RE: Vote with your wallets
By The Von Matrices on 12/10/2013 10:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
No statistically significant number of people are voting for Mac OS over Windows 8. The majority of people are voting for mobile devices instead. Mac OS is stuck in the same desktop/laptop decline that Windows is.

(https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2604616)


RE: Vote with your wallets
By retrospooty on 12/11/2013 7:37:49 AM , Rating: 5
Agreed. That wasn't the point at all. The point was in spite of the mobile Trend Apple didn't break the Mac's UI for standard desktop/laptop kb/mouse interfaced devices. It is still the same.

MS came in looking at mobile's success and broke the KB/Mouse interface and then removed the option to use the old on on purpose some time in between the Win8 developers preview in Early 2012 and final release in Oct 2012. It was there and they took it out on purpose, not for any tecnical reason, just to force the new UI on everyone. Good luck with that mentality.


Will it boot to desktop?
By SAN-Man on 12/10/2013 3:40:04 PM , Rating: 1
Will it boot to desktop?
Is Aero back?
Can I completely remove Metro and never ever ever ever ever see it?

Are the crappy, flat, Miami vice on crack colors from 1980 gone?

Forget it, I know the answer.




RE: Will it boot to desktop?
By inighthawki on 12/10/2013 3:43:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Will it boot to desktop?

You can even in 8.1

quote:
Is Aero back?

Doubt it, but let's hope so.

quote:
Can I completely remove Metro and never ever ever ever ever see it?

It would be rather childish to dock points against the OS for supporting a feature you never have to see just because you don't like it or use it.

quote:
Are the crappy, flat, Miami vice on crack colors from 1980 gone?

The only place these kind of colors exist are in metro, so I go back to my last point.


RE: Will it boot to desktop?
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 9:48:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Will it boot to desktop?


Yes. Windows 8.1 did too

quote:
Is Aero back?


No. You will have to use something like WindowsBlinds to get some approximation of Aero.

quote:
Can I completely remove Metro and never ever ever ever ever see it?


No. Whenever you mouse over the right of your screen you will still see the Metro controls (charms?) pop up and clicking on them will take you over to the lame metro UI system. One plus from Windows 8.1 onwards though - you can switch your Metro apps to pop into a windows if run them from the desktop - there is something like a 'restore' button doohickey on the metro screen corner that lets you switch it. It will still look butt fugly inside that window though.

quote:
Are the crappy, flat, Miami vice on crack colors from 1980 gone?


No, but you do get more of them.


MS just don't get it
By Nephelai on 12/11/2013 4:47:24 AM , Rating: 1
Ebay'd my Surface Pro last week. Bought my first apple product a few weeks ago (iPad Air) and frankly it shits over the Surface Pro in terms of ease of use, productivity and most of all decent app availability. I despise apples closed shop mentality however msoft just don't get it. Mobile is about sacrificing desktop for convenience not bringing the desktop to portables in an awkward experience.




RE: MS just don't get it
By lexluthermiester on 12/14/2013 4:21:55 AM , Rating: 2
Now see, if you had done some research and bought the tablet[IE one that can be rooted and secured] you would have discovered the wonderful world of Android tablets.


RE: MS just don't get it
By lexluthermiester on 12/14/2013 4:23:39 AM , Rating: 2
"bought the right* tablet"


Lets be constructive for a minute
By Da W on 12/11/2013 12:15:33 PM , Rating: 1
Dear Microsoft, here's how to merge Metro and desktop UI and stop all the complaints.

1. Include a taskbar / dock in Metro. Make it bubbly, like apple's dock.
1.1 Make it auto-hide if you wish, appear by swipe from bottom.
1.2 Make a damn start button / start menu on the thing for those who don't get that the start screen IS a start menu and be done with it!

2. Kill the swipe from left to switch app, they're on the dock now.

3. Swipe from top makes appear a Menu / Ribbon for productivity apps and serious pieces of software. You can pin it and make it always appear if you wish.

4. Once you drag a second app from the dock to open it (split screen), make a chrome around the apps to make it easy to move them on the screen like in... you know... windows.

5. Take the already excellent file explorer from the desktop and make it metro, just as it is! Same for configuration pannel.

6. Make it possible to put FILES on the start screen like on the desktop.
6.1 Include left-click functionnality too, and make it appear by tapping a second finger while in touch mode, i liked that in Windows 7. Why is it gone?

7. Kill desktop. Make old software run inside metro with the above mentionned changes.

There you go. Should work with both fingers and mouse.




By inteli722 on 12/11/2013 4:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
Why do I think most people around here don't want to see the two merged?

I, for one, would like to stay away from a dock and keep my desktop.


By lexluthermiester on 12/14/2013 4:35:50 AM , Rating: 2
Lots of good points and ideas, except for the "kill desktop" notion. Horrible idea! See some of us have 2, 3 or 4 monitors and we use them to have several programs open at once and in various window sizes. This is annoyingly cumbersome and difficult in Windows 8/8.1, but easy to do in previous Windows versions.

Instead let's do away with the Modern UI and integrate a few of those suggestions into the standard desktop.


smack in the face
By milktea on 12/10/2013 4:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
This is a smack in Ballmer's face just before he re-signs.




RE: smack in the face
By 91TTZ on 12/10/2013 6:29:08 PM , Rating: 2
I think that Ballmer was bull-headed, and he probably ruled the company with an iron fist. He was probably saying that "This is the direction that we're going and the consumer is going to have to deal with it." I doubt that anyone there was able to overrule him.

But the customer didn't like his ideas. His recent products are junk. He's been sacked and the company is now listening to consumers again.


Stardock is Now Leading Microsoft
By DaveLessnau on 12/10/2013 7:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
"Windows 8.2 Revives Start Menu, Runs Metro Apps in Desktop Mode"

Great. I'll just wait around for another year in the hope that Microsoft gets it right. Or, I could just look to Stardock:

http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/
http://www.stardock.com/products/modernmix/




By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 12:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
Many of us that are forced to use Windows 8.x are already using these. I take it a step further and include WindowBlinds to get at lease and 'almost Aero' look to it as well.

Does not get rid of all my gripes about Windows 8.x but it helps make the latest Microsoft crapware a little bit easier to swallow. Microsoft will have to work long and hard to get me to release my deathgrip on Windows 7 though cause Windows 8.x, even with these additional add-ons does not fix the root issue -- the fact that I have to use them at all.


Praise allah!
By techxx on 12/10/2013 3:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
Just wish it wasn't a year away... :/




Yes!
By RU482 on 12/10/2013 4:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
finally, an upgrade path for my Mom's computer!




So....
By MScrip on 12/10/2013 4:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
You can already Boot-to-Desktop and pin your favorite desktop apps to the taskbar... avoiding the Metro Start Screen altogether.

And if the rumors are true... you will be able to use Metro apps in separate floating windows.

So why even have the Metro interface anymore?

I'm speaking strictly about the hundreds of millions of non-touchscreen computers... which make up the majority of PCs around the world. Those computers won't be replaced by tablets and won't ever have touchscreen monitors.

Those are Microsoft's biggest customers... users of plain ol' PCs.

I realize Microsoft is trying to "unify" desktops, laptops, tablets and phones... but traditional desktops and laptops are their bread and butter. And people hate unnecessary change.

If someone made the conscious decision to switch to a touchscreen computer... then they would welcome a "touch-friendly" OS.

But if Sally in accounting will never have a touchscreen monitor on her desk at work... why should she experience such a drastic change in the OS? That's the problem Microsoft is facing.




Oh WTF
By Any14Tee on 12/10/2013 4:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
Professor, the Flux-capacitor can't get it to work. The future is the past, it's back to the future Jimmy.




puke
By p05esto on 12/10/2013 5:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
I would rather use iOS than Win8 (and I hate Apple very much). Win8 on the desktop with Metro and the whole over simplification of everything drives me nuts. It's a dumbed down and pointless UI that is impossible to use, so slow for power users. I HATE it...want to go to MS and yell and Balmer personally. I will never use Win8 on the desktop unless it's drastically fixed and works move like XP/Vista/Win7 (which are basically the same in UI after the service packs).




I'm sorry....
By NicodemusMM on 12/10/2013 6:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
Jason, I normally don't like to nitpick, but it's the first sentence. At least get us warmed up first. :)

"Modern UI appears hear to stay, but Microsoft is willing to make tweaks based on criticism." H.e.a.r. to stay?

Otherwise; thanks. This is good to hear... erm, sorry.




A prime example of
By ie5x on 12/10/2013 11:08:43 PM , Rating: 2
the power of voting by your wallet!




merge mistake
By SuicideNinja on 12/11/2013 2:46:36 AM , Rating: 2
I like Windows 8 for personal use. For work it is atrocious.

I think they tried to jump ahead too fast by merging the desktop and tablet interfaces in one desktop. There is no reason to use Metro style at all on a mouse-keyboard environment. Its far too awkward.

Windows RT should have been Metro Only without a desktop app at all. Windows 8 should have stuck with desktop mode, with the start menu at least semi-familiar (like Win7) Having both modes on the same OS confuses most customers. Two different IE interfaces is ridiculous...many people I have setup go right to the IE modern UI and don't know what to do with it. It makes sense on a touch device but zero sense with a mouse and keyboard. Same with the charms bar.




"Here", not "Hear"
By DBissett on 12/11/2013 7:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
First line of your subtitle,as in "here to stay".




OS market share
By croc on 12/11/2013 6:45:55 PM , Rating: 2
Desktop market share...

Win 7, 46.64%
Win XP, 31.22%
Win 8, 6.66%
Win Vista, 3.57%
Win 8.1, 2.64%

Win 8 has been out for over a year. At the one year mark, Windows Vista had double the market share that Windows 8 variants have today.

And Microsoft is going to open up a can of whoop ass on the world come April...

Living in interesting times is so... Interesting.




By someguy743 on 12/12/2013 3:16:42 PM , Rating: 2
On my Intel i7 Ivy Bridge based HP desktop computer I think Windows 8.1 is pretty good ... that is, if you pay $5 to get "Start8" from Stardock.

I also use this free multi-desktop software called "Dexpot". Once you get this extra software tweaked exactly like you want it, everything is great. The "Modern UI" apps with Windows 8.1 are kind of a bonus that I use about about 20% of the time.

I highly recommend buying a Samsung 840 Pro SSD along with a big 2 TB or more hard drive for storing big files and less frequently used files.

Then, you configure the latest Samsung Magician software for "Maximum Performance", Overprovisioning, and the new "Rapid Mode". That will give you the highest speed and supposedly better SSD durability, etc.

Believe me, if you do this you will be amazed at how blistering fast everything on your whole system is. Everything is instantaneous.

After all the PC upgrades over the years, this is definitely the upgrade I have been waiting a long time for. There's hardly any waiting for your PC to get ANYTHING done unless you have a slow broadband internet connection.

SSDs are going to be extremely popular in the years ahead. Hopefully, big sized 1-2 terabyte SSDs will get a lot cheaper and hard drives will be a thing of the past like 3 1/2 inch floppy disks.




Dear Microsoft
By lexluthermiester on 12/14/2013 4:17:04 AM , Rating: 2
Bringing back the start menu, solves only part of the overall problem. The Metro/Modern UI needs removal, or at least the ability to completely disable. Next, the very ugly windows edging, buttons and interface needs to be reverted back to the Aero desktop and be completely user customizable. Next give us back the ability to turn off/disable "Libraries" and "Favorites" in Windows Explorer. And don't whine about how you think we behave based on harvested usage data. Most of us who want to customize also know how to keep our PC's secure, which includes keeping you from snooping in on our computing habits.

Do those things and we'll upgrade from XP/7... Just throwing it out there. Don't want to listen and give us what we want? Take a long walk off a tall cliff.




duh
By Motoman on 12/10/2013 4:00:16 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If Windows 8.1 went back on some of Microsoft's decisions to ditch familiar Windows features, its successor "Windows 8.2" is expected to continue further down the path of backtracking. According to Mr. Thurrott the next bump -- expected to land sometime late next year or in early 2015 -- will include a full Start Menu similar to that found in Windows 7 and previous releases.


Awww...but all the tards on DT were so sure that *no one* wanted the old & gay Start menu, because it's old and gay! The Metro interface is new! New means better! All things that are new must be better than things that are old!

Well, it's nice that MS will leave the Fisher-Price interface there for the children. At least the adults will get to have useful computers again. Without having to resort to 3rd-party apps to fix the fatal flaw in the product. We're not Apple consumers after all...we don't kindly put up with that kind of BS.

Only an abject retard could have believed that this was never going to happen. MS didn't just cut their nose off to spite their face...they dropped a nuclear bomb on their heads.

Let us hope that this kind of horrifically malformed stupidity is never repeated. Won't be holding my breath.




Seriously?
By tnicks on 12/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Seriously?
By retrospooty on 12/10/2013 4:06:00 PM , Rating: 3
Right, becasue pissing off 1/2 thier user base with a horrible UI is good business?

No, just give us the choice so everyone is happy and can use it the way they want it.


RE: Seriously?
By Apone on 12/10/2013 5:00:06 PM , Rating: 2
Choice? Sure, because Apple is not all about forcing customers to (blindly) submit to its will when it comes to new updates and product features? Steve Jobs said it himself that he hated focus groups because according to him, customers don't know what they want until you show it to them.


RE: Seriously?
By retrospooty on 12/10/2013 6:38:29 PM , Rating: 2
OK, but dont forget, after the tremendous success ofthe iPhone and iPad Apple still did not change the UI of Mac OS. Why? Becasue a touchscreen UI on a non touch device is horrible.


RE: Seriously?
By inighthawki on 12/10/2013 4:12:42 PM , Rating: 3
While I personally don't have much issue with the new start screen like many do, I would have to completely disagree. I would say the old start menu is significantly more organized. The right half of the menu was populated with the common tasks (mostly found in the Win+X menu now) such as accessing computer, network, run, etc. Meanwhile the left half was designed for apps. It is where you can pin apps and see the MRU list, as well as access an extremely organized, hierarchical list of installed applications and files via "All programs."

The integrated search was also universal (as opposed to apps vs files vs settings) and was also more responsive while not taking the focus away from the user if they quickly knew what they were looking for.


RE: Seriously?
By prophet001 on 12/11/2013 12:32:39 PM , Rating: 2
+1

hundred


RE: Seriously?
By tnicks on 12/17/2013 12:25:27 PM , Rating: 2
8.1 corrected the search functionality and made it unified. Before that I would completely agree that separating the results was not exactly intuitive and left people often overlooking the results they were looking for.

I would argue though that a more compact menu does not make it more organized. An advanced user could certainly keep in well organized, but the average user just had a complete mess. After nearly 20 years of it, do people really feel it's not time to evolve or that there is room for improvement? It just baffles me that after so much time, people still find it less productive than the old style.


RE: Seriously?
By Motoman on 12/10/2013 4:13:06 PM , Rating: 2
See: evolution

The Start menu evolved from a previous species where there were just square collections of lots of icons...Windows 3.1, which for all the world really rather looks like Metro without the active weather feed, when you think about it. Then, over a series of decades, the Start menu flourished and evolved to the optimal form to fit the requirements of it's environment.

The Start menu is the optimal form for organizing and granting access to the installed programs on your computer. Period. The Metro UI is not, in any way, a "more unified start menu." It's a f%cking disaster that is utterly useless for the core purpose of providing the best possible format for organizing and granting access to the installed programs on your computer.

You may as well look at a dolphin and declare that the design is horrifically old and we should graft some feathered wings and an elephant trunk on that b1tch. Then it would be new and awesome!

...and never mind the fact that it would drown and die in it's native habitat.


RE: Seriously?
By Mint on 12/10/2013 4:59:37 PM , Rating: 1
Evolution? Go look at how we've organize everything outside your computer for decades and centuries.

A bulletin board, a fridge, a bookshelf, and hilariously even a desk top all use 2D organization over a large area for accessibility and efficiency, not hierarchical 1D lists. Color coding has long been used to increase the efficiency of item recognition.

With tiles I can launch any of ~50 programs with one click, and spatially organize them in 2D. I challenge you to tell me what's quicker and more accessible than that about Win7.

The start menu is more familiar, and that's really the only advantage it has.

It is true that MS shouldn't have disabled the start menu. But there is no factual basis for saying the start page is useless or unproductive for the desktop.


RE: Seriously?
By Motoman on 12/10/2013 5:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
I can see where this is going...right back to where all of the UIdiots lost all these arguments since Win8 came out. And the very reason why Win8 has flopped to such a dramatic degree that MS is putting the Start menu back in.

So let me summarize: you're wrong, you lost, and we're not doing this again.


RE: Seriously?
By Mint on 12/10/2013 6:25:31 PM , Rating: 1
Keep dodging the point. It only proves me right.

The bottom line is that it is literally impossible for Win7 to launch programs as quickly as I can with Win8. More clicks and more scrolling is needed.

I'm not saying you or anyone else is wrong for not liking Win8. I also think MS was dumb for forcing people away from the start menu, and not including tutorials. But you are objectively wrong in calling Win8 unproductive.


RE: Seriously?
By A11 on 12/10/2013 8:05:04 PM , Rating: 3
I have never used win 8 myself so I'm clueless about its UI but I made a few observations while reading the thread.

It seems that you can memorize the location of 50 apps on your screen and thus don't have to search for them, making metro access very fast.
Several people on the other hand has stated its slower for them than the start menu and also disorganized and unintuitive which seems to indicate they have to search for the apps before launching them thus making the start menu more efficient.

Now it's great for you that metro works better than the start menu for you but you should understand that it just doesn't work better for, apparently, quite a lot of people.


RE: Seriously?
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 6:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
Now try that with 200 apps.


RE: Seriously?
By sgestwicki on 12/16/2013 12:24:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just organize the start screen and you can have the same thing as pinned apps in the start menu.

Also, if you have 200 apps I highly doubt you were going through the "All Programs" list to find any of and just using the search instead. Try doing the exact same thing on Windows 8 by pressing the "Windows Key" and then start typing the name of the program you want.


RE: Seriously?
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/11/2013 7:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
My system has over 200 app in it. Everything from database managers, web servers, to office suites, to games, to programming environments for a dozen different programming languages and utilities coming out of my ears.

I will take your "50 programs" and raise you another 200. Now tell me exactly HOWE that monolithic start page is going to help me organize all of that? With my start menu I can find any one of those programs in less than 5 seconds without having to resort to searching functions. Can you do that windows 8.0 or 8.1?

<cue sound of cricket chirruping>

Yeah, Didn't think so.


RE: Seriously?
By sgestwicki on 12/16/2013 12:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
You keep saying that you want do do things in Windows 8 without using the part of the OS that helps you do that task. In an above post you said you didn't want to go into the start screen to open a program and now you don't want to use the search to find the one program out of 200 you are looking for?

The start screen is just a touch screen enabled version of the start button and I bet with that many programs that a search in the start button was the fastest way to find the program you wanted in Windows 7 just like it is for Window 8.


RE: Seriously?
By npcomplete on 12/10/2013 5:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
When you have a lot of programs and each with a lot of items, the start screen is a mess, terribly inefficient, and horrible for finding things. It takes longer to reach programs/items/apps that are placed further out and it takes longer to find those you don't constantly use.

Hierarchical organization improves discoverability and it makes reaching your items all equal time or work (clicks) for those at the same level. You dont' have to scan the entire screen, your discovery is focused and are quickly guided based on nesting.


RE: Seriously?
By Mint on 12/10/2013 5:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
That's like saying a small desk is better than a big one.

If discoverability is such an issue, then why do programs use arrays of icons? If you don't know where an icon is, then typing is the fastest way to find it on both Win7 and Win8.

Taking a longer time to reach? WTF? Do you use a 50 dpi mouse? I guess you think photoshop and autocad have bad UIs for putting icons around the screen, and browsers are bad for putting tabs across the top. So annoying to reach...


RE: Seriously?
By 91TTZ on 12/11/2013 11:59:21 AM , Rating: 2
I can't believe that you're even arguing with a guy who just sited generally accepted efficiency methods as it relates to a user interface.

The simple fact that a hierarchical list is the most efficient way to organize and display information. The organizational structure lends itself to finding information.

Once you know some basic attributes about an object, you can then quickly find a needle in a haystack. If I want to find your address anywhere in the world I'd sort it as "123 Main Street, Anytown, NJ, USA. Then all you have to do is read is backwards to quickly drill down to the location. You'd find the US, you'd find NJ, you'd find Anytown, you'd find Main Street, and then you'd find house 123.

It's a heirarchy. It's the same way DNS works. Without have a logical, hierarchical system you'd have everything thrown into one giant disorganized bucket.

That's what the Start Screen is in Windows 8. A giant, disorganized bucket. That's why they put text search in there- they use tagging to find information that hasn't been filed away efficiently.

If I wanted to sort my tools in my toolbox I can either do it in a hierarchy such as "3/8th inch drive, Metric sockets, 6 point, 12 mm." or I can just throw everything I have into one giant toolbox and then search for it.


RE: Seriously?
By HostileEffect on 12/10/2013 5:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
Your comparing a bulletin board to a filing cabinet, one is for displaying information rather the other is for cataloging it in an easy to use system.

I know where to find all my commonly used progrsms and their directory path is just as easy to use. One of my room mates has a Mac, the other has windows 8, both are Terrible.

Off topic


RE: Seriously?
By 91TTZ on 12/11/2013 11:46:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
A bulletin board, a fridge, a bookshelf, and hilariously even a desk top all use 2D organization over a large area for accessibility and efficiency, not hierarchical 1D lists.


Usually when you need to compile information and make it easy to read, you use a list. If you want it easy to search you put that list in alphabetical order.

That's why you write down a shopping list, restaurants use menus (which are lists), and phone books are lists of people's names in alphabetical order.

Microsoft is doing the equivalent of a KFC/Taco Bell menu (at least near me) which is no longer logical. They have imagery strewn throughout the TV with no logical order to anything. It's a loose accumulation of ideas haphazardly strewn on a display device.

It seems that media nowadays wants people to be impulsive/emotional rather than disciplined/logical. The problem is that people who are like that are less effective (since they have no real plan, and couldn't stick to it anyway) and tend to be lower class with no money.


RE: Seriously?
By JediJeb on 12/13/2013 10:28:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
With tiles I can launch any of ~50 programs with one click, and spatially organize them in 2D. I challenge you to tell me what's quicker and more accessible than that about Win7.


Sounds like people who just cover their desktop with programs icons in any version of Windows to me.

Oh except with W8 you can save a click to activate.


RE: Seriously?
By bitmover461 on 12/10/2013 4:51:57 PM , Rating: 3
I have used every version of Windows since 3.0 (except Windows Me of course). The current start button is ... stupid. In fact I downgraded to Win7 after trying the Win 8.1 'fix', which fixed nothing. Again, it's stupid, and most people who have used Windows for any length of time want the old start menu back.


RE: Seriously?
By Spuke on 12/10/2013 5:11:49 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Again, it's stupid, and most people who have used Windows for any length of time want the old start menu back.
I've used it since its inception. Maybe I'm just hard to please but there are VERY few things I find just right out of the box, OS's included, so I've learned to just make it work. That's why Win8.1 doesn't bug me so much, I really don't like how Windows (or Linux or Mac OS) is done anyways so I just make it work as best I can. The Start button is horrible IMO. Just a collage of chaos. No comprehensible way to how it's organized. The Start Menu isn't much better but at least MS thinks it needs to be changed. So they get some points from me on that. F%^k a text and menu only OS. Does Windows Metro menu's suck? Yep but the right idea is there. IMO, just the lack of organization is the problem, you can't memorize where stuff is or guess what is where. It should be somewhat intuitive. it is not.

What I really like is the Android OS. Simple, quick, easy to organize, settings here, apps there, everything full screen, no collage of sh!t that you have to mouse hover over three and four times so you can click on it and no asinine registry, 8.3, or drive letter stupidity. Icons for apps I can easily memorize, again full screen. Just needs some Windows start bar, explorer type file/folder organization and some other stuff for desktop duty and it would be perfect IMO.

In conclusion, feel free to argue about how the Start button makes Windows and I'll continue to work around Microsoft's continuing saga of horror story OS's.


RE: Seriously?
By 91TTZ on 12/10/2013 6:45:21 PM , Rating: 2
There are those who like things because they are good, and then there are those who like things because they are new.

New doesn't always equal good.

Sometimes new ideas flop. Crystal Pepsi, New Coke, Betamax, Microsoft Bob. All new, big ideas that turned out to be new, bad ideas.


RE: Seriously?
By lexluthermiester on 12/14/2013 4:38:24 AM , Rating: 1
Hey genius, many of us actually organize our start menu so that it is, well, organized and easy to use. Think really hard about that one...


Boo
By mchentz on 12/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Boo
By Motoman on 12/10/2013 4:14:54 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I don't need or want the start button.


Luckily for you, the market will continue to cater to your demographic.

http://www.toysrus.com/buy/learning-laptops/leapfr...


RE: Boo
By lexluthermiester on 12/14/2013 4:45:52 AM , Rating: 2
LMBO! Nice one.


RE: Boo
By lexluthermiester on 12/14/2013 4:43:40 AM , Rating: 2
We're attached to the start menu because, and try to keep up here, it's easy to use, easy to organize and WORKS!

I'm not afraid of change and neither is anyone else. If such were true, Android would not be so wildly popular.

Sooo, do you need help extracting that foot from your mouth?


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