Editorial: Why Windows 8 Start Menu's Absence is Irrelevant

By Julio Franco · 206 replies
Jul 18, 2012
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  1. Renrew

    Renrew TS Enthusiast Posts: 253   +19

    fugettaboutit- I'm waiting for Vista 3
    psycros likes this.
  2. But you saved more time than that by not having to click where once you used to have to.
  3. Written by an obvious Microsoft Employee.

    I've been Testing Win 8 for about a year now and I can say without a doubt that the Metro Interface is a terrible idea. It takes twice as long to get anything done as it does for Win 7, and dont even think about trying to Multitask.
  4. DanUK

    DanUK TS Booster Posts: 211   +9

    Massive +1 to this and the article. People are wayyyy over reacting.
  5. Seventh Reign

    Seventh Reign TS Booster Posts: 131   +65

    I dont know where you got that BS information, but no one clicks their start button 400+ times per day.
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    Seventh Reign, fimbles may not be making his point very clearly but I don't see where he is saying these clicks are all on the Start button, just clicks in general.
  7. Uvindu

    Uvindu TS Booster Posts: 120

    That is BAD MATHS!
    427 clicks a day (I don’t know how/why you rounded it down to 426)

    427 clicks for every 24 hours

    427/24 hours= 17.79 clicks per hour

    17.79/60 minutes= 0.2965 clicks a minute

    1 min ==> 0.2965 clicks

    3.37237 min ==> 1 click

    Assuming that each click (or one extra click) takes 3.372 minutes per day:

    3.37237 minutes a day x 365 days = 1230.91505 minutes a year = 20.5 hours a year more than you would without the extra click

    or a bit less than half of your estimate.

    (Please correct me if I’m wrong)

    Clearly assuming that each click takes 3.372 minutes is pretty inaccurate. It probably makes sense if you take it as a whole day, but if you take it on a per minute basis then it doesn’t really make sense. Also, you will be making that extra click more than once a day so the average may be a bit less than it’s supposed to (if you were to use proper data instead of using 3.37 minutes a click).

    Anyway, I personally am not bothered by that extra click (but I am bothered by wrong maths!) and I personally think that Techspot users waste more time reading guest comments than they would if they were to make one extra click! Also having an extra click does not necessarily mean that it’s going to waste your time more. Imagine I had one folder containing hundreds of articles based on different topics. Now imagine I put the articles into folders named after the topic each article is based on. Without arranging them, the number of clicks would be smaller, but the time consumed would be much larger, when I’m searching for a certain file. If they are organized into folders then the time taken would be less, despite requiring an extra click...

    Anyway, Thanks Techspot for writing this article. I’ve been hoping that some non-Windows8-Hater would eventually write an article about the misconceptions people have surrounding Windows 8.
    fimbles likes this.
  8. Kneep

    Kneep TS Enthusiast Posts: 44

    People! Just modify Windows 8. I've bypassed Metro, Installed Classic Shell ( "light" 3rd Party Start Button/Menu ) and BAM, Windows 8 is just like the others, I like 8 modified like this as I find 8 to be faster than 7.
  9. "You know what's irrelevant? This 'article' (if you can call this an article, more like propaganda)"

    My thoughts exactly.
  10. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,829   +634

    Funny reading this article, all the hate, the love, the unknown. The best part is its all based on personal opinions, you can't argue with someones opinion, if that's the way they want to look at it then so be it. I personally am going to avoid windows 8 until someone comes out with a tool that brings the start menu back, I can't stand the big goofy metro BS. Knowing it was designed for a touch interface just makes it that much harder to swallow, I don't actually know the percentage of desktop users with a touchscreen but its sure to be low, less then 10% easily. Fine tablets are going somewhere, but I'm not going there, I'm keeping my desktops and I'm keeping my start menu the way it is. If it means not downgrading to windows 8, all the better. And the resource argument is becoming more and more irrelevant as computers become faster and faster, I've tried windows 8 and I don't like it. People aren't over reacting, Microsoft just screwed up by not giving people the option to keep things the way they were.
  11. Demigod001

    Demigod001 TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Ive had two problems with win 8 consumer preview and non with the start menu. Both problems are with gae, all my other applications work. Crysis 2 doesn't work in dx11 and surprise surprise Game For Windows Live doesn't work in windows 8 which makes game that use it for save games and dlc unplayable.

    While the metro interface is different and none of the apps are that great I have no problems with the lack start menu on my desktop. I picked up the new flow in under an hour and everything is easy to find.
  12. Most people don't like change and yes many of them may have overreacted to the changes made with Windows 8, though that doesn't make they wrong. Computers should be tools for the user and the user should be able to customize layouts that will make them most productive. Microsoft seems to be following Apple in this case by forcing a tablet GUI on all users. Metro just like the Ribbon interface is a change that some users will love, some will hate but most will complain about until they figure it out and it becomes the new norm. That doesn't make the interfaces better, it just means people need to learn and adapt to the computer rather than the other way around. It's like moving the steering wheel of your car to the other side, does it make things better or worse or just different? Again, as humans we can adapt and overcome but is this the best way to go or maybe allowing choice of a GUI would be best. In this specific case, if only Microsoft built a bridge to a destination then maybe people would follow rather than waking up and finding the steering wheel has been moved.
  13. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

    @ uvindu

    To be honest I just copy and pasted that from the internets...dont have the time nor inclination to work the numbers myself.

    Concise version : windows 8 = more clicks = more time taken= less productivity.
  14. RubinOnRye

    RubinOnRye TS Rookie Posts: 57

    I still like it... I use a windows phone and like the Metro look. I think people are making a bigger deal out of this then it really is. What makes metro any different then any other mobile/computing OS? Wasn't apple one time thinking about putting iOS interface on their Mac OS? I bet if they did it first, or even second, people would go up in arms for it. Honestly, until you have truly used it and give it an honest test that doesn't involve outside opinion, then you really need to just SHUT UP. Currently, I am on day 56 with Windows 8 and I still love it and can't wait till NFC integration between my phone and computer.
    grumpyitbloke likes this.
  15. grumpyitbloke

    grumpyitbloke TS Rookie

    I really like it too. I think it really comes to life on a touchscreen device, but I've also found it easy enough to use on non-touch devices too. Like anything else that changes, people will get used to it - and what's particularly clever about what Microsoft have done here is that everyone is talking about it. There's no such thing as bad publicity.

    I also like what they are trying to achieve in terms of being a one stop shop. Unifying everything together. Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Office in the cloud, Skydrive. It's all looking very nicely put together. Sure, there will be bumps along the way - but as some have already said it's a work in progress. I like what I see so far though!
  16. running windows 8 preview release on my new budget machine:
    intel pentium g630; 2.7ghz stock.
    2x2gb ddr3-1600mhz gskill @1333mhz.
    ecs h61h2-m12 mobo.
    1tb sata 2 hitachi hdd, ahci mode.
    no external gpu.
    600w psu.

    no sweat in windows 8 installation.
    fast boot.

    I will upgrade once windows 8 is officially released.

    that 40$ upgrade path is way too enticing to pass for an OS so fast.

    pressing windows key displays the desktop, so what's the fuss?
  17. DanUK

    DanUK TS Booster Posts: 211   +9

    Well no not really, as uvindu stated.. more clicks doesn't always mean more time taken if something is organised better.
  18. raybk

    raybk TS Rookie Posts: 31

    Yes, it's Irrelevant. Because I will never use it.
  19. ig-88

    ig-88 Banned Posts: 32

    I wonder if the author of this article could make it any more clear that this article is nothing more than his personal opinion. No, I don't think so. I think he's made it very clear. Nothing but an opinion.

    I thought this website was informational. Clearly, its nothing but a personal blog in website's clothing.
  20. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    Heh, way to stir the puddin' Matthew. Sometimes it needs to be stirred though.
    Personally I don't mind the new UI. I fumbled around at first but after a few weeks in whizzing around just like before. In my opinion it keeps it fresh. If they changed with every release of Windows I can see reason for complaining but after 15+ years of the same thing I'm ready for something fresh.
    DanUK likes this.
  21. TeeStarNet

    TeeStarNet TS Rookie

    The only problem with Windows 8 is that Microsoft did not give anyone a choice on whether or not to have a start menu. As someone who is responsible for looking after hundreds of users, some who have problems when their icons are re-arranged, Windows 8 will be a non-starter for me.
  22. It took me a little while to adjust, but after the release preview patched its bugs I was able to effectively switch from Win7 and learn how to adjust my workflow.

    I think using Metro as the picture indicates is wrong. You should not have more Win32 apps on the start screen than WinRT apps. The tiles should be grouped and named like folders so that you can use semantic zoom to easily find what you're looking for. If you're looking for the alphabetical list of program files from the desktop go to the charms bar and click search. It's actually the same number of steps as Windows 7.

    On the desktop there are a number of ways to optimize the new desktop. Here are a few suggestions for advanced users: First you need to learn to right click where the start button used to be as this brings up the most commonly used start menu tasks like run and command prompt. This hidden menu works in every single screen and app in Win8. Pinning your most frequently used folders to Windows File Explorer on the taskbar is also a good idea. Aside from pinning the obvious things like downloads you can pin some less obvious folders. For example right click the start button area, choose 'run' and search for 'recent'. The file explorer will now bring up your recent files folder which you can drag down and pin to the File Explorer jumplist. You can also pin your start menu programs folder to the File Explorer jump list, but if you really want to you can even create a toolbar by right clicking the taskbar and navigating to the start menu programs folder under ProgramData>Microsoft>Windows>Start Menu>Programs. If you want to get really fancy you can also create custom user hot keys for any of these programs under their shortcut properties settings. Then with just a CTRL+ALT+C you can have calculator pop up.
  23. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,945   +765

    To me, this is the key. 8 is designed for tablets and phones, not desktops. And despite what some industry experts say, the "desktop" is not a dying breed.

    You simply cannot do serious CAD/CAA on a phone or a tablet. It is a completely different environment, and M$ has chosen to ignore the human factors element of the target environment. Maybe the future will prove 8 and Metro to be superior on the desktop, but for now, IMHO, the fact they are shoehorning it into the desktop environment seems either a choice to meet a product deadline or what would be worse, IMHO, an engineering decision to ignore the drastic differences between mobile and dedicated environments,

    Matthew: As I see it, the following statement is conjecture:

    "I can say without a doubt that many people who oppose the Start menu's removal haven't even used Windows 8, yet they don't hesitate to inform you about Metro's inadequacies by listing all the features it's supposedly missing."

    Personally, I've spent time using Metro, and I do not like it. Nor do I want to search for an app that is designed to make up for the shortcomings of the OS. IMHO, if I have to enhance the useability of the OS through an app like launchy, then the designers of the OS have simply missed the mark. Users could also do something like put a folder on the desktop, at least in 7 and other prior versions of Windows, an put all their commonly used apps in that folder.
  24. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    It is, to an extent. But given the completely false notions I've seen spread about Metro, I can only assume many of these individuals haven't used Windows 8 (the alternative is insulting their intelligence but suggesting they can't fairly compare the Start menu to Metro). To be extra clear on a few things... I really don't like Metro, especially not as a desktop environment, but that's not what it's meant to be from my perspective. It's an application launcher and it serves that role well enough that I believe people are blowing the whole Start menu thing way out of proportion. I think there are more valid avenues to focus that frustration, not least of which is the Charms bar and other chunks of the Metro UI bleeding over into the desktop. The Start menu is practically a non-issue, in my opinion.
  25. Windows 8 is a tablet OS. It is a mess on your desktop that gets in the way. I have always early adapted to Windows upgrades; I will not upgrade to this clumsy new version. It is the first time since DOS (I always upgraded DOS too) went to Windows and every system upgrade since then that I am NOT upgrading.

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