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

By Julio Franco ยท 206 replies
Jul 18, 2012
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  1. parmour

    parmour TS Rookie

    "What MS should have done, was leave the option.. I mean they kept a Classic [ 9x/NT4 ] theme in Windows for how long ? Yet they take the start screen and kill the start menu without even a single transition OS."

    Guest is correct. The option should have been to use metro or not.
  2. You MUST be getting paid by MS to write such an article. No way that an "average" end user is going to prefer Metro over the standard desktop

    dividebyzero "MS's market share would seem to indicate thus."

    NO it wouldn't. The CURRENT market share represents their initial piece of that pie. It is shrinking, everyday. 8 and Metro will ensure that it does not grow.
    sapo joe likes this.
  3. sapo joe

    sapo joe TS Member Posts: 81   +6

    Gotta agree with you there. It's funny that people are scared about this. You ALWAYS have the option of NOT upgrading to win8, and by doing that, M$ will understand the enormous stupidity that is not to listen to their customers. They still support Vista and Win7, and will do so for a good amount of time, so no worries here!

    About the article, this metro bullshit doesn't replace the start menu, or makes anything faster in the OS, it's just a dumbed down interface for touchscreen devices, that will simply NOT work for desktops.
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    "extra time to shift"? If the shifter was under the seat I'd need to be triple jointed and grow muscles in different places (my fixer-upper is a Chrysler w/440 wedge + A-833 4-sp. Imagine trying to power shift a big block with your arm under the seat. Then imagine how much forward/rear/side vision you'd have in that position)
    I'm using W7 and W8 day-to-day, and the shift is more akin to going from my older manual cars (540i and the MOPAR's) to my fathers tiptronic paddle shift Audi. Both are functional, but moving between them if you heavily favour one over the other can give you pause when you first jump behind the wheel- precisely why I'm jumping in with almost two feet- but then, I've always enjoyed getting down to the nuts and bolts of any new toy, and as I reinstall my OS's on a 6 month basis (+ install a new customer build OS on average once a week) it doesn't actually seem that much of a chore to set up preferences, defaults, layout etc.

    I actually find it amazing that a percentage of people deriding W8 because of the default UI think nothing of spending hours upon hours customizing their desktop with widgets and finding that all-important picture of an anatomically challenged anime/ improbably posed female model for their screen real estate...so, each to their own. As for W8-You either buy or don't. By the time Win7's support cycle runs out in 2020 I'm guessing that a few more OS editions and UI changes would have taken place, and the user probably wont be forced into adopting W8...that's just a guess on my part.

    Keeping the Guest contribution up to its usual standard- excessive use of caps and BS.
    Pulling opinion out of your a thin air and proclaiming it fact only works when the real info isn't front and centre.
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  5. W8 is a steaming pile of crap for PC users. It's fugly, in no way improves usability, and will only confuse the heck out of the extreme novice users who are still trying to get comfortable with W7 and earlier versions. This is beyond any doubt designed for tablet / smartphone use, NOT PC - even most of the MS fanatics aren't denying that. There is no reason for MS to have gone so far out of their way to remove the start menu utterly and completely, including the underlying code, other than sheer arrogance. This is just MS deciding they know what is best for everyone and forcing people into this crap, regardless of how many people don't like it. They are control freaks. The author is, imho, clearly nothing but a MS shill or a fanboi - it amounts to the same thing. Heck I could achieve the same effect as Metro by covering my desktop with links to every 'app' I have on my PC, but I don't because it is not an effective way to navigate. How the fcuk can anyone think that is an improvement? This is like saying an office filing system is dated and then just throwing the files all over the floor and saying it's an improvement! *****s! Guess what - MS apps and other software have to stay separate too. Great - multiple sets of progs to sort through - yeah real improvement there, retards! There must be some complete b@stard high up @ MS who came up with this stupid idea and everyone was too scared to speak out for fear they'd get fired - this is the only way I can think this W8 got all the way to the end-user stage. Surely many of the staff must have realized what a complete clusterfcuk this o/s is - or are they all just completely brainwashed in there? One thing W8 has done positive - it's created a HUGE opportunity for other o/s makers to take a chunk of the market segment. I'm sure Apple will also try to benefit from this somehow. MS - you REALLY fcuked up this time - not that you'll ever admit it.
    sapo joe likes this.
  6. The only really good thing about W8 is it's multi-display capabilities, but a SP release to W7 could have resolved that.
  7. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    The sense of entitlement on some of you is amusing.

    Microsoft has to do what it has to do. Whether you like it or not, Windows 8 is happening. Whether it is a success or not, well, it <I>is</I> happening.

    Luckily none of you who don't like it (or don't want to even try it), don't have to buy it. But I assure you one thing though: do not think for a second that the removal of the Start button (and apparent fervent desire to keep it that way) wasn't studied, researched, calculated and carefully considered.

    Even if Windows 8 flops, I doubt they'd bring the Start button back; this new era of computing requires a generational shift, one that will inevitably force us to adapt to new paradigms. Again, whether you like it or not.
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    lawfer I think that's mostly why Microsoft isn't providing a choice between the Start menu and Metro -- acceptance of a new "era" and an attempt to embrace it. It would look sloppy and hesitant to push Metro while simultaneously allowing people to disable it in favor of the older solution. That may or may not be the right decision, but there is certainly a reason for it, even if people don't want to hear it.

    ...Yeah, that's exactly what the article was about.
  9. deema

    deema TS Rookie

    Well, then, guess I had to create an account. "Opinion"? The link you provided only shows me to be correct. Their share has gone DOWN, not up, in the past year.

    My opinion also matters considering that I developed Splinter, the most dynamic and diverse desktop interface on the planet. The desktop environment is, kinda, "my" domain.

    Of course this is what it is about. The average end user no longer "needing" the desktop environment, due to Metro. It is a farce

    "Again, we're speaking about Metro strictly as a Start menu successor"

    It doesn't matter what you are "strictly" talking about. This isn't "what" Metro is. Metro is meant as a replacement for the ENTIRE desktop environment, not the Start Menu. You cannot separate them because just the use of Metro is completely monopolizing of the entire environment
  10. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    No. What you're saying would make sense if the Start Screen was inferior to the Start button. It turns out, it only really is to us "power users." And that's why it's irrelevant.
  11. deema

    deema TS Rookie

    No. It is inferior in numerous ways. JUST the fact that everything is being tracked when on the Start Screen makes it inferior. There is no benefit to the end user to have MS tracking every move you make while in Metro. Further, when in the Start Screen, you are not in the desktop environment. That, alone, also, is enough to make it inferior. Far inferior
  12. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    What are you going on about? MS also tracks user behavior while on the desktop; that's how they got the telemetry data they used to get to the conclusion that people don't really use the Start button.

    The second part doesn't even make sense.

    Either way, you're just confirming my point: it's irrelevant. You care about it because you are a power user.
  13. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Uh, no. Your actual; quote was:
    As you should plainly see from the numbers, MS's percentage is not a steady decline. Before the June numbers, MS's marketshare actually rose consecutively in March, April and May, and presently sits at exactly the same level as 9 months ago....so much for "shrinking every day"
    Wow. Colour me impressed...that you need to post consecutively because you can't work out how to use the edit button. I'll look it up if I ever think I need it - tho I'm more likely to need a splinter remover
  14. deema

    deema TS Rookie

    Telemetry data from WHAT? 7? No, they certainly do not. MS has no idea what I am doing in 7 unless I want to tell them. They didn't get the idea from end users, that is ridiculous. I don't recall there ever being a start menu in 8 but if there was in the developer preview, that certainly wasn't getting telemetry data from the average end user. Are you actually trying to say that the average end user is going to be BETTER OFF with Metro and the Start Screen than the current desktop environment with the Start Menu? Ludicrous, as far as I am concerned. It is all about money. Period. Metro, all of it is designed to track patterns to sell your info to advertisers and to restrict the use of applications on "your desktop" to those bought in the Microsoft Store, period.

    And the second part is completely relevant. How can you say that the absence of vision on what is going on in whatever window you have open is irrelevant? Any number of things could occur in real-time that would either negate the need to open whatever you are trying for in the Start Menu/Screen or require you open something else. (not just power users, false argument).

    Why have to completely remove the desktop environment just to open some app? Why can't it be opened on the same screen? You see the difference? One way, restricts, the other does not. Classic MS.
  15. deema

    deema TS Rookie

    I dont have an edit button. Maybe new users don't get them. The next line is funny, though. A bit close minded, eh? It is fine. To each their own.

    EDIT----hhaha, must have been a post threshold to pass
  16. ViperSniper2

    ViperSniper2 TS Rookie Posts: 49

    I really don't get what all the hostility is all about against Windows 8 with Metro. If you people really don't want it, then don't buy it. It's not like any of you are being forced to buy it. For me it's all a welcome change other than not having the ability to quit Windows with a single click in the Charms bar. But then again I'm running it on all new hardware and I'm so...... impressed with the speed over Win7 and especially XP. I get a full boot (including secure boot bios) in 12sec on average and as fast as 9sec. Reminds me of how fast BeOS was!!! (y)

    I booted my 3yr old Win 7 PC and it takes an ungodly 48sec (seems really slow and unmanageble. So I'm impressed with Win8. Start Menu just isn't that important to me I guess. Not worth my time reading some of this trash and acusations that claim everyone that likes it is a commie fascist pig or worse for them.... a happy and contented individual who likes themselves along with Windows 8!

    My predictions are simple: Microsoft will have revenues of at least $20 Billion Dollars on Windows 8 sales alone, the last two quarter of this year. Since it's all software, that would be mostly profits. Think Apple makes obscene profits? Microsoft has always made more than them. Why? Because they don't sell much hardware. Apple relies on Hardware sales for a big part of their revenue income and profits.

    With litterally every version of Windows included for the first time in Microsoft's history, now being able to upgrade to Windows 8 for $50 (including Beta and Preview Testers) till February next year, this will be the fastest upgrade to a new version of Windows everzzzzzzzzzzzz........ !!! So ....if in doubt? Stick with Win7 because I'm sure Microsoft won't mind if they lose YOU!
    If just 250 million users upgrade..... that's $12.5 Billion and there are over 600 Million Win7 unique users alone online last quarter. Convert half and that's around $15 billion! .....so if you throw in half of the WinXP users smartly taking advantage of $50 upgrades before year's end, that's your $20 Billion Dollars over the next 6 months on Windows 8 alone!
  17. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Somehow it is getting boring having to read all these comments with .................. 'Look at me I hate Metro more than you' attitude.

    It never took me more than 60 minutes (at maximum) to learn a new UI/software, and even most of basics of new OS, and I don't consider my self an 'intelligent' person in any way. So IMHO, setting personal preferences aside, if someone is willing to examine how easy or difficult it is for an 'average' user to learn Metro / normal desktop environment, they may present more logical arguments.

    From my own experience, my wife, who never used windows before W8 preview arrived (in fact she never used a computer at that time), learned the new interface far more quickly compared to Win7's desktop environment (with its useless Start button). That alone tell a story in itself ........ I intend to do the same test at least in my department at work as they all are 'average users', who are either using Win7 or an ancient OS called WinXP.
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  18. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Everyone angling for their 15 minutes.
    I'm not a software guy- never have been. Just a necessary part of DIY'ing, but I can't say that switching between Win7 and Win8 is that much of a wrench tbh. By the same token, if I had two Win7 licences I probably wouldn't go with Win8...but facing a new build * and selling off the old second rig+Win7 means I'm in a position to have both, and it seems pointless to have Win7 on both my machines and face a learning curve when the customers bring in their abused hardware for troubleshooting. I'd probably veto Win8 if it were no improvement, but it certainly is snappy (esp with SSD's and productivity apps) which makes it a foregone conclusion for me. I think more than a few people are going to take to W8 judging by the reactions I've had from people using my rig- some of it down to the 2600K and SSD setup, but a number of the less tech minded have found it to be less intimidating than a more conventional setup even if it comes at a cost of using MS's own in-house apps.

    * My new PSU went beserk under OCCT, so I'm down to the backup PSU and one 580. Not impressed with the SilverStone ST1200-G Evo...time to try out the Seasonic X-1050.
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  19. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    I've installed W8 Preview (dual booting with win7x64) on a system with conventional HDD, and TBH I was surprised by the difference in boot times and general performance.

    Sorry to hear about demise of your PSU, hopefully it was still under warranty. At least changing a PSU is lot less 'hassle' when compared to replacing an HDD, which I had to go through last week when my notebook's HDD was making windows boot 'in slow motion' style, and bombarding me with constant 'imminent failure' warnings ......... anyway long and the short of it, the old HDD is now in a portable casing and I can transfer data to and from it at amazing 3.5 Mbs speed. :cool:
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  20. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    Don't you dare for one second perceive to tell me anything about my convictions! What gives you the right to presume to tell me what to do with anything I have? How dare you proceed to tell me that I need to turn over my so called "Microsoft Tin Star"! So big guy, where was it actually anywhere in my post, that I proceeded to tell people what they should do? Unlike you here, proceeding to tell me what to do, where was it inside my post that I told anyone what they should do? Personally speaking you'd make a great hypocrite, your probably the type that likes to tell people what to do, verses digesting someones true words, who that person never told anyone what to do. To the best of my knowledge, kind of hard to remember all 700+ postings of mine, but for the life of me, never do I remember inside in any of those posts directly telling anyone what they should do!

    In most of my posts I leave it up for the individual to make up his or her mind, I make most if not all of my views and options in a "personally speaking" or "in my opinion" or "only speaking for myself" perspective, never do I go off on someone and tell anyone what to do. Unlike you here, telling me I need to turn in my little Microsoft tin star and you saying I need to hand over some, if not all of my clients to other technicians in the area.

    I'm entitled to my damn opinions, if I want to think that any of my clients are "suckers" for choosing to run with Windows 8, that's my right! If I'm personally not looking forward to ever having to work on a computer with Windows 8 on it, that's my right to feel that way.

    And where do you get off comparing my Microsoft Certifications to a taxi licence?

    You must have never tried to secure any type of computer certification in your life, that was just a dumb and ignorant statement. So while were so lovingly on the topic, I probably should also think that my Cisco and Novell Certifications were just as easy to get as a taxi licence!

    It just amazes sometimes that people must think these computer certifications come out of a cracker jack box!

    100's and 100's and 100's of hours.......1000's and 1000's and 1000's of dollars of college debt.......sometimes a little blood, sometimes a little sweat and even sometimes some tears!

    Doesn't sound like a fracking tin star to me!
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  21. sapo joe

    sapo joe TS Member Posts: 81   +6

    It's funny how people advocate in favor of stuff...

    Windows Vista was a piece of crap, MS changed it because POWER USERS asked. The rest didn't care much, perhaps only about the poor speed of that OS.
    We'll see that about Win8. If they don't change, they'll have problems. Why? Because we,the "power users" are exactly the people who helps the "average users" when they get stuck. And then, we'll say "but why are you complaining? You let them install this crappy win8 on your PC!!! Get back to win7 and see what a good desktop OS should look like!"
  22. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Honestly why is this thread not closed yet, this is going no where fast, people arguing personal opinions is a waste of time. People have the right to say what that want to say and criticize what they want to criticize. Viable arguments are barely being raised, and those that are quickly get flooded with false information or irrelevant facts. Assuming you know more than the person expressing their own personal opinions just doesn't make sense, and this leads to arguments based on further assumptions leading to people getting offended. All this over what? A stupid change to an OS no one is obligated to purchase? Until this realization sets in no one should continue bashing the opinions expressed, granted some of which are a little farfetched (Not pointing fingers) I'll just point out that I personally will not be installing Win8 on any of my machines nor will I recommend it to anyone, and that's my choice. If you feel otherwise compelled then so be it, you have the right to make the choice for yourself.
    Marnomancer and Zen like this.
  23. Zilpha

    Zilpha TS Enthusiast Posts: 319

    I think it's just the name that's confusing people. If they had called it "Windows Metro" or "Windows Tablet", folks wouldn't be up in arms. Calling it "Windows 8" makes it sound more like the successor to 7 and it isn't (at least not for the desktop environment).

    Bad marketing. This is the kind of mistake that Jobs would never have made, and that's coming from someone who really couldn't stand Steve Jobs.
  24. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    As for the behaviour and (dirty) marketing strategies, I can't stand Jobs either, but certainly he wouldn't have made it look like 7's successor if he was in Gates' place.
  25. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    First of all, this is not about you. Get that straight.

    Second, it's not a secret Microsoft collects user behavior in Windows 7. It's called CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program), and you can opt-out if you'd like.

    Third, well, now. I'm not saying the average consumer is <I>better off</I>, that would, again, imply the Start Screen is superior/inferior to our current setup. All I am saying is that average consumer does not care. The last part of your argument about this being about money, you sound kind of bitter. And please stop with all that conspiracy theory talk, Microsoft is of course out there to make money, but Metro is not a way for them to make more money by tracking usage; the fact you didn't know this was present since the Windows 7 betas tells me you have some reading to do.

    Metro is simply a paradigm shift they hope will cater to the new era of PC/tablet hybrids. They are doing this to stay competitive. Don't like it? Don't buy it and move on.

    Second part is irrelevant. Not because not being able to visibly have the start menu and desktop isn't practical, but because regular people don't care. There's not going to be any instance in which such scenario is going to be a deal breaker, especially when such scenarios are too few and far between for even us power users.
    ViperSniper2 likes this.

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