Microsoft Explains Rationale Behind Windows 8 Start Screen

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johnybravo

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brettofamerica

I've been running the Developer Preview of Windows 8 for a couple weeks now and at first I absolutely thought I was going to hate the new start screen but it isn't half bad once you get used to it. The only difference between this start screen and previous start screens is the layout. Everything else is the same. The first screen you see is a list of apps you can "pin" to your start screen and then if you start typing, it starts a search for the app you are typing.

The only thing I really don't like is how the control panel is set up. To get to the old control panel, you have to select control panel on the start screen then on the control panel "app" you have to scroll down to the bottom and select "More Options." That is really my only pet peeve.

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sparky1955

I guess that "if it ain't broke dont fix it rule" is gone.

WIN7 is fairly stable(finally) compared to their previous attempts and here we go changing things again.

Microsoft should take a page out of Linux and Apple and keep a good thing and improve on it.

And I also agree my desktop is not a phone nor a tablet, I have a Blackberry(work) and cannot even stand it. that's why they invented the laptop. I only use my phone for messages and calling.

what happened to the good old "phone"?

Too much catering to whims and fancies if you ask me.

When you see two kids texting each other on the same bus, sitting right next to each other instead of talking to each other, something is really off about that, social is supposed to be that, social media is a plague if you ask me. 

So I think they should keep desktop software that.. and phone software that.

Why try reinventing the wheel?

K.I.S.S.(keep it simple stupid)

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maxeeemum

I have been playing with the Windows 8 Beta for awhile now and have had to modifiy it greatly to get it to work. The first mod was to shut off Metro. I never liked the Vista/Win7 start menu in fact I use "Classic Shell" on my Win7 box. Of course on my main desktop I use XP and Linux Mint.

 

That being said I would not use Windows 8 even if Microsoft gave me $100 to use it. Of course that is the way it is now. The Vista Beta 1 worked better than then this preview edition.

 

Twenty years ago if you told me Blockbuster would be filing for bankruptcy I wouldn't believe it. Now I see it's possible for Microsoft.

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Morete

Time for me to learn Fedora.  All developers (from gaming to enterprise), need to start writing their software for Linux.  Maybe we can finally dump these corporations who rely on think tanks churning out products initiated twenty years before they're released to the public as a product.  The Windows 8 GUI was actually initially thought up before Windows XP was released but not used since desktops weren't portable devices.

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someuid

Steve Sinofsky is a moron.  His blog post showing how cluttered the Windows 7 All Programs start menu has a picture showing 20 items.  12 of them - over half - are Microsoft icons!  2 for IE, 4 for their Live products, other icons (fax and scan?!?! FAX?!?!?) and 1 is for moar moniez (anytime upgrade).

No Steve, the Start Menu isn't unwieldy because it is broken and needs to be reimagined.  It is unwieldy because every product manager at Microsoft wants some place in the start menu and you've provided no simple tools to users to pare back the crap.  You've turned the Start Menu into a community billboard at the local gas station, pimping your own endless stream of products and services.  That's why users pin programs on the task bar or use an icon desktop.  It is a simple, easy to understand process that lets them ignore all the clutter in the Start Menu, of which Microsoft is the biggest violator.  Yeah, I know - right click delete.  The users don't even want to look at the Start Menu to clean it up.  You've made such a mess out of it, and half of them are afraid that if they delete something, the whole OS will stop working.

Go ahead - reimagine the start menu.  You'll have a nice, clean interface, as you did with the original start menu.  But as soon as your IE team, your office team, your Live team and your games team, and all the other teams get their way, any new tablet layout or start menu will be just as cluttered with a gazillion icons for a billion little cloud/tablet/web enabled/social media nirvanna crap you MS clowns dream up and never execute properly.

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Incognito

^^^ What he said ^^^

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Tyger

Yup, it's hideous.

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TechLarry

Don't like it.  Don't like it at all.

And I don't need MS justifying their decision to me.  The majority don't like it, and they should respond to that instead of continually trying to justify it, which is Microsoft's way of saying "We're doing what we want... Screw you".

Wouldn't be the first time.  To wit: those productivity-sucking menu panes in Office 2007/2010.

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holingpoon

I understand the part where Microsoft is only going to put up partner software or their own software prominantly on the Start Up screen.

On the other hand, there should be a customizable option in Control Panel to move a user's favorite software to the front and give third-party companies a chance to design their own Start Up screen logos to be included in their installation software.

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jegarst

Likly won't be purchasing Win8 for at least several years.

And MS will be wondering why Win8 seems like Re-Vista!

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Baer

This is a good coment. I am one that has not liked the proposed new start screen but I am also one that hardly ever uses the start button anymore. I use the new Win 7 task bar extensivly however. While I am not convinced yet I admit that this is a point to be listned to.

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Adrianj

I like the new Start Screen, change is good. It just takes some time to get accustomed to it.

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Neufeldt2002

So they are changing things for 11% of the users. What about the 89% of users that use the old way. Idiots.

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phoenixjc

Actually if you go back and re-read the article, it is not that 11% of users don't use the start menu, it is that all users are using the start menu 11% less.  That changes the dynamic of the issue.  They don't actually state how many people don't use the start button at all (as that number would probably be fairly low, since at some point everyone has to click on it), but they are indicating that more people are launching their applications in a different manner (quick launch specifically).

So maybe you should re-evaluate your statement and think about who the real idiot is here.  Is it the company that is evaluating data and trying to adjust the way things work based on what their clients are doing with their product, or is it the guy who's comprehension appears to be compromised as he doesn't understand written statements?

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Neufeldt2002

I'll be the first to admit I am an idiot. And Yes I do have problems reading and understanding things as I have medical conditions that have me taking medications that impair judgement and cognitive abilities.

As I have obviously miss read the article I will redact my statement, but I still don't think the Start Screen is the right way forward.

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Vella1tj

Just want you to know, everything you just said made me laugh, chuckle, and ultimately be proud of your statement. Microsoft has to create an OS that is compatible with so much hardware. Some of the cool new features added make me very excited, Hardware Acceleration mainly. I'm hoping to see a wide adoption of win8 and hopefully grab a higher market share than IOS. Although I'm not a fan of Metro, they are making the OS compatible with everything laptops, desktops, tablets, tablets with keyboards. I would love to see Apple create that (wouldn't happen). The IOS is garbage compared to what win8 will allow you to do. Also bring the sidebar from vista back that shit was the bee's knee's.

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iNNeR_KaoS

Yeah, screw progress!

No one wants tablets, or any other form of computer. If it doesn't have a mouse and keyboard, it isn't for anyone. /s

Calling companies idiots for taking chances on new technology is pretty idiotic in itself.

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draconis123

I hope they are going to allow the option to use the traditional start button. I never launch things from the taskbar. I use keyboard macros. Besides, I use the start button at least a hundred times every single day. I really hope they don't banish it for good or I'm going to be looking into some unoffical hack to get it back. 

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nmanguy

They have a total Windows 7-lookalike mode, so no worries there.

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Conal_keaney

I can't really understand the need for a tablet OS. I'm not into this whole tablet craze. I feel as if us desktop users are forced a tablet OS to upgrade to. I don't find anything annoying with the start menu as far as I'm concerned. I don't even bother using the mouse to access it.

 

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iNNeR_KaoS

Just because you don't see the need for it doesn't mean other people also don't.

I have a PC that can run the BF3 beta at Ultra, but I spend more time with my Android tablet watching TV while browsing. It has its uses. No need to run a computer that takes up so much electricity when I can just use the tablet.

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keyzs

sure... when there are no practical ways to input data, web content and convert videos, developers will be shutting down and we can all save electricity. perhaps all our display devices like the  30" monitors can be used as mirrors too....

Cheers!!

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iNNeR_KaoS

I'm not saying I don't use my computer. I use it for gaming and other intensive tasks. I'm just saying that there is a use and a market for tablets. Skewing words isn't going to win you friends.

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praack

I just started playing with the dev download, can't say i like it- then again -I am not a tablet user, and the whole interface has the feel of phone and tablets- not my prime thing for  a pc os

i don;t buy into the tablet craze or the idea that tablets will take over the enterpise (palm tried the docking station with keyboard once - epic fail)

and i don't see people buying all inones with touch screens as thier main home pc

 

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Captain_Steve

I find the problem with the Start menu is that as time goes on, more an more stuff gets crammed deeper and deeper in it. If I want to get to a game, I shouldn't have to go Start>games>EA>Maxis>The Sims 3>Sims3.exe; that's just ridiculous and serves no purpose (unless you really want to have a program in there to visit the EA store before you get to your game).

 

I find that Gnome does this much better with basically having two start menus: Applications and Places. If I want to access my downloads folder I go to places and select it. If I want to access Firefox I go to Appkications>Internet and there it is. There's no more working my way through 5 sub-menus so I can see a program along with the twelve read-me's and other junk that get associated with a program in the Windows Start menu.

 

TL;DR: Take all the trash out of the start menu if you want to make it better and just have it list the programs.

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iNNeR_KaoS

If you're using Windows 7, Windows 8, or even Windows Vista, you can just type what you're looking for.

 

Start->S-I-M-S, Enter.

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Peanut Fox

But this is kind of the change in the start menu they're talking about.  When we have so many programs and games now, the listed nested layout is a hinderance and not a helper.  That's not to say that Window's 8 Start Screen is the answer, but there is a clear need for refinment in this arena. 

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iNNeR_KaoS

They've already tried this. They have the "Games" tab in Windows. If taken care of properly, it makes it easy to find certain games. But that'd mean they would need a tab for everything from applications and media to games and documents. Possible, but a bit of a step backwards.

 

Thankfully, I keep the important programs on my taskbar for single click opens, and games are mostly in Steam to make it easier to find.

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damicatz

Well, I work in IT and the reaction that I'm getting from my contacts in the industry has not been positive.  It's going to be a massive headache to train users on this new interface and it will be disruptive to their workflow.

Microsoft has demonstrated time and time again that it does not know how to design an interface.  The single most important thing in interface design is consistency.  Apple understands this.  Mac OS, at a fundamental level, still has the exact same interface design it had back in 1984.  The biggest change they ever made was to add the dock and that was an addition, not a complete replacement of the interface.

Microsoft, on the other hand, is inconsistent.  They can't decide if they want an interface to use the ribbon, or if they want it to be webby, or classic style, or now, Metro style.  The hodge podge of inconsistent interfaces and consistently moving targets confuses users and makes their life more difficult.

The average user is not very adaptable to new interfaces.  They don't want to spend time learning a new interface; to them a computer is a mere tool and they simply want to get their job done.  When Office 2007 was rolled out, we actually had to send a memo around instructing people on how to open and save files because the majority of users had no idea how to do that since they replaced the file menu with the non-obvious and unintuitive office button.  The ribbon is even more of a nightmare because no one can find the functions they want and the layout of the ribbon changes based on screen resolution and the size of the window (making phone support very difficult since you have no idea where a given item is going to be located in the ribbon or if it's even going to be present at the current resolution).

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nsvander

I have to agree with  you here, what I used to do in one click pre office 2007, something as simple as underlining a cell, or remove or ad a cell, now takes multiple clicks and in the case of when I use the bosses laptop, the ribbon is not even present on the screen for those functions.  The old menu bar was vastly superior, and more easily customized to fit each individuals common use items.

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keyzs

i second this totally... this just gives the rotten half eaten fruit fans another reason to piss with laughter!! as mentioned, a user just wants to get the job done... the developers and power users just want a stable platform with a clean interface because they will either be writing their own drivers or installing custom drivers anyway... just look at how AERO is screwing with some nVidia drivers and some other software.

manZ.... i really miss the Win2000 interface.

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excellentjim

The real truth is they want the PC to work just like a Windows Phone.  I didn't like it in the phone and I like it evel less on a PC.

The phone screen was designed for the modern "Social Media" user, which I'm not.  I don't have a Facebook account, and I don't care what "anyone" is doing at every moment of their life.  For those that do, it's a Fantastic design, and should do very well.

Guess I'm getting old.  Oh how I miss those Command-Line days.

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Baer

I agree, I am starting to see social media backlash in business. This path of everything and anything through Facebook is anoying and I believe will soon start to see significent opposition.

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