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

By Julio Franco ยท 206 replies
Jul 18, 2012
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  1. ViperSniper2

    ViperSniper2 TS Rookie Posts: 49

    Windows 7 is Windows Vista in disguise and Windows Vista is Windows XP in disguise and so on and so forth all from Microsoft. But you know? As much as I loved Windows 2000 (like WinNT), I hated XP for about 2yrs. When Vista came out? Well yeah I hated it even after being in that long Beta and still consider it MS's biggest mistake. Still hate it because it was a complete failed attempt to mimic Linux user controls and take away our freedom to customize and tweak it.

    Then when 7 came out? .......I was still using XP and in fact I still use it even over Windows 7 on my old PC. They just put a prettier face on that Vista mess w/ 7. Windows 8? ......I've been using it on a dual boot and triple boot since developer build and I only have a few complaints that still irk me. But freaking "START" certainly isn't one of them!

    You could say I'm a Power User too. I work in networking and I'm always installing some OS on some machine somewhere. There's probably not one OS I haven't used in one form or another. Going back to BeOS, NeXT and Mac OS versions along the way. The hardware has come a whole lot further in that time and that may be why for the first time I can honestly say Windows 8 has finally found it's own identity. Lots of good things that make it a whole lot more productive than any Windows I've ever used!

    Will it have me switching completely away from Linux? Doubt it'll ever move me away from Linux. Not only for setting up Server farms either. But because no other OS gives you the range of user customization and tweakability in a zillion flavors! .......but you fools declaring Windows 8 dead... before it actually arrives, need to get your heads examined. They redesigned "Start"..... so freaking what? I've got it down to a science now and it's at least as productive as Linux for once!

    Google changed YouTube now twice and I'm still not sure I like it. But..... has it stopped me from using it? Absolutely NOT.... and I'm a POWER USER (4 channels 30million views) just like on Linux and now Windows 8....... w/ my own Win 7 install looking like a bucket of rusty nuts and bolts by comparison!!! ..........Windows 7 is now just a pile of steaming poo in my own rear view mirror!
    ;-P ......though I still have to deal w/ fixing it on other machines than my own!
  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,657   +1,095

    Any respected developer has pinned programs but when u have to work with so many programs it becomes clear that a simple start menu is very useful. I regularly used it for looking at the history of my programs and the files I've opened with them.
    Take photoshop and notepad++: I close the programs and when I come back I want to know what are the last 5 files I've used in both. How? open start menu and it has an arrow next to those programs that shows those files. Simple and very efficient.
    I can talk all day about what metro is missing, but I simply don't care anymore. I avoid metro to get work done. Microsoft created something that people avoid. Not really smart.
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  3. Thanks for the article! I enjoy reading others' opinions regardless of whether I agree or not (actually I prefer those who do not agree with mine so that I can learn how other people view the same topic).

    In my opinion the Windows 8 preview versions are very good. Stability is excellent and speed is improved, but I personally wish more of the Aero were eliminated (although the high contrast white allows menus without the blues).

    Since my work is heavily involved with text and the use of 20-30+ software programs, the Metro tiles become a hindrance rather than an advantage. I personally do not want shortcut icons on the desktop because it looks cluttered; I prefer words in alphabetical order and arranged realtive to classifications, which Metro cannot do for more than 2-3 classifications without having to scroll across 2-5 screens. For those of us who earn our living on a computer the scrolling screens are hard on the eyes and fatiguing.

    Metro ought to be a good choice for 90%+ of all users, but for some of us it just isn't great out of the box. I have already created my own Start menu, so for me it's all moot anyway.

    One thing that I am curious about is that if people do begin filling the tiles with automatically upated apps, it appears that the apps may likely consume bandwidth and cause sluggishness (like what already occurs when some people want half a dozen toolbars and dozens of programs that continually search for updates).

    Either way, I plan to upgrade to Windows 8 when it is released. I love XP and Vista (if tweaked), but I feel that Windows 8 is a step forward even if the first steps will surely be awkward and unsure.
    Marnomancer, ViperSniper2 and Matthew like this.
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    @Guest above, I think you might be the most rational person on the Internet.
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  5. ViperSniper2

    ViperSniper2 TS Rookie Posts: 49

    I agree with you on some features Start Menu was convenient. But for opening Apps (programs) it's about as worthless as tits on a boar. Opening them from Desktop links is next best to Metro Start for me and I'm not even going to say everybody should be forced to use Metro, when in reality they're not!

    Three ways to restore "Start" menu and still retain the advances integrated into Windows 8 if you still love it so much. Me? I've made the leap and I'm not interested in upgrading and then converting back to Windows 7 to restore that almighty "Start Menu" to it's rightful place. But YOU can!

    Granted it's still not as fully featured as it was in 7, but when so much code has been changed it at least gives you people the sense of HOME on 7! ^_* .......and what's really interesting is Linux users are still faced with a gazillion new flavors of Start (panel) Menus, Docks, Panels and Bars every day and still manage to want new changes and more freedom of choice. As if they didn't have enough Distro and GUI choices in the first place! lol...... but I think Metro is why MS can finally call Windows w/ picture panels a graphical (visual) user's paradise! But for those in Linux hating GUI picture interfaces (or it appears Windows too), maybe still all stuck in the CLI (words only) black box mentality of; can't see/read the words for the pictures (forest for the trees)!
  6. I agree that 8 is for tablets and phones. (y)Eventually the price of a desktop will go up.*nerd*
  7. dividebyzero

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

    Notice the difference between a question mark (?) and an exclamation mark (!) ?
    I asked you a question (actually a number of them-but since you've answered none...) -as opposed to "telling what you what to do", since I would personally never work for an entity that I don't respect. I couldn't reconcile trading hours of my life for cash from a company that I don't hold in high regard. To each their own.

    BTW: I know a few people that have MS Accreditation, including two friends that I worked with when we wrote code/debugged and babysat Philips mainframes ~25 years ago. Their certification was somewhat easier to come by than my own subsequent City & Guilds Culinary Arts advanced dip. by their own acknowledgement.
  8. Det

    Det TS Rookie Posts: 84

    Wow. Ain't our internet a wonderful place then, if it's full of the most rational people.
  9. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    I didn't know that here on TechSpot I had to answer to anyone! So what, TechSpot now has turned into a vast array of tricky and cleaver web site that dabbles in the art of interrogation? If you did have these "so called" fiends of yours, who may have been at one time Microsoft Certified, if at any time you've ever lent them your ear to hear any of their Microsoft story's, one story should have been paramount from their lip's, the most important thing they would have said was that certified Microsoft Technicians, Engineers and Windows Based O.S. and Server Problem Solvers are not to give out technical data to the general public, as far as information technical specific to any up and coming Operating Systems, Software, or Server O.S.'s! I remembered the day I signed my Microsoft paperwork and that Microsoft Representative told me that during my testing of future software, O.S.'s included I was not hand out any technical data at all, I was also told that leaking and or presenting technical data to the general public was not the job of a Certified Microsoft Engineer. Our primary job and purpose is the testing of the "technicians version" of any software that Microsoft selects for us. Our job as Microsoft Engineers is not answer question from the public, our job is to only report our test finding directly to Microsoft. So due to making a promise to a Company that allows me to not only be certified with them, but to use that certification as well as in making myself money. So I'm sorry dividedbyzero, to answer your questions would mean to break my vow to Microsoft, and I just don't see myself doing that any time soon. Plus, seeing that I wasn't going to post technical data within my post, I choose to exrecise my rights and speak for only myself, in a "peronally speaking" or "only speaking for myself" kind of a way.

    That's another thing about me you've got totally wrong here! Where in any of my 700+ post on TechSpot did I say anything in regards to being employed by Microsoft? So as far as working for a so called company that I don't respect, you don't have to worry yourself about this! A little secret here, I don't work nor am I directly employed by Microsoft, the little thing here, I work for me!!!! I own and operating my own computer repair and networking support company, based right here, where I'm surrounded by all the creature comforts of my own home. You should see it, it's quite the operation, I had a professional work shed built just for my own company. A.C., heating, mini fridge, desktop, computer, workstations, 5.1 Dolby Prologic II sound system, TV... the works! I only have to walk a short 15 to 20 feet in order to be at work, now just how many people can say that....hmmm.....none that I know of. Oh if it's like anyone needs to know, but my company is doing alright for itself, even went as far as hiring a third on call employee, this guy might not wear the same fancy shinny "tin star" that I do, but he's COMP-TIA A+ Hardware and A+ Software Certified, that's good enough for me.

    Well I'm happy for your "so called" people you know of. I'm glad that becoming Microsoft Certified came so easy for them! It sure as heck didn't come so easy for me! Juggling getting my Microsoft Certification smack dab in the middle of getting my Novell Certification, both being done at the same time, on top of maintaining my grades while securing my 4 year Computer Science Degree. But I'm glad you have people you know that everything came real easy! And as for you dividedbyzero I will say that I respect your position as a member of the Culinary Arts, be it what ever you are in a professional establishments kitchen, I respect that! My Brother as well secured some sort of Culinary Certification or Credential, he went to school for some where in Los Angeles. I know the personal hell he put himself through to secure for himself what he did, he admitted that it was hard and ultra demanding and just about made him crazy, but he made it! So in essence were not that much different! You use a knife and cooking spoon and grill and pots and pans to dish up good foods for your customers! Where I use volt meters, various software tools and apps, hardware implementations all to try and dish up some wonderful "good computing" to my clients!

    Some have said here that what's the use of arguing about such a thing as a petty operating system, it's not that really worth it.

    I'm willing to take the first step forward here and offer up an apology for any misunderstandings here! And I will tell you this, after Windows 8 is on the stores shelves and it is in it's "retail version", I'll open up to you with what I know, probably private message it to you, let you see what I see and what has been reported by the network of other Microsoft people I've been pooled with. I'll let you make up your mind and see if what I now know makes you just as uneasy as me. You've got my word!
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  10. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,999   +1,318

    I think everyone needs to calm down...*takes a step back slowly then turns and runs*

    I dont think there is a good reason why not to have BOTH. the power users can use the start menu, and anyone that wants to use metro can use metro. the start menu is not the hardest part of windows to design. Metro took a while because it was an overhaul.

    Either way, some people seriously need to chill here...
  11. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    I sense mirthful retorts...
    First sign of flames, and I'm inviting a mod to look over it.
  12. dividebyzero

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

    No mirthful retorts guy. Just a couple of observations.

    To close out my participation in this discussion, my analysis of Win8 is via my own usage. I note the arguments -both for and against- based purely on the empirical, and I don't really buy into the hiding behind NDA argument- most-if not all of the information is already in the public domain, and I certainly don't buy into the MS conspiracy "to kill the desktop" - too much linkage with IHV's, too much ongoing development with D3DX/DirectCompute etc. for MS to put all its eggs into Xbox and especially portable computing where they would be fighting a multifront war.
  13. Matthew DeCarlo, don't act like everything you say is a fact, because it's not, it's an opinion.
  14. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    Guest, please appreciate the fact that this is an Editorial post, *not* a review. So Matthew is right in his place. Most of what he said is related to user experience technicalities, not business ethics which can be relative. If you are the great omnipresent OS guru, why don't you prove Matthew wrong point by point?
    The posts, reviews and opinions posted here are based on per-user experiences, not an internet-wide aggregation.
    I myself being a Linuxian, am not installing W8 anyway, despite the performance improvements it brings to my system. But that does not necessarily mean it's a bad OS. Just a good OS marred by wrong choices.
  15. As a server administrator I am confident this product will fail for business environments. It was hard enough to shove ribbons down end users throats. But this interface is absolutely ludicrous. Teaching 900 of my end users how to use a screen like this is not going to happen. Plain and simple. Microsoft is biting the bullet on this one. It won't touch my network. This OS is for peoples Tablet and touchscreen desktop toys. In a business environment no one is going to be smudging up their screen and poking at their displays 8 hours a day to enter medical reports and other pertinent information. And tablets and mobile devices are simply not powerful enough to handle a lot of applications businesses might need today. From over 10 years of experience I assure you this OS will be rejected before it is even released. I'm sticking with Windows 7 on all new machines. My start menu is roughly 6" x 5" right now. It takes minimal effort to click in the search box and type in the first couple letters of any program I could ever want to open really. Versus this ludicrous system that takes up your whole screen. I hope employers want to dish out extra cash for carpal tunnel syndrom and arthritis from this un-ergonomic design. I don't care how efficient these clowns think it is... it will be my every effort to make sure this doesn't touch my network and I am the lead admin. Toys can stay at home. And this is nothing more than a toy.
  16. Appzalien

    Appzalien TS Rookie Posts: 94

    It's not really the lack of a start button or start menu that irks me. What worries me is all the great apps I have been using that automatically load a shortcut into the start menu will likely freeze during installation. The my documents tree has up until now remain pretty much the same so there was always software compatibly during install even if you had to use the old "comparability mode" to get it to load. If Win8 has a compatibility mode for programs that do not fit its new install tree then that's not so bad, but I will still pass on Win8 simply because I'm tired of the fiasco that has become Microsoft. Every new OS seems to get further and further out of touch with what the consumer wants, and more what MS wants. This consumer wants XP2, complete with a non-destructive repair from disk, the ability to integrate disks with the latest criticals and full customization of the desktop experience. By the way, cell phones and tablets with wi-fi are going to destroy the world. Most women I see out there spend more time thumbing their phones than paying attention to the guy's that pass by. What does that say about our future? By 2040 all women will be wearing pop bottle glasses, be fat, single, and gay.
  17. What completely escapes all reason is the stubbornness or Microsoft to allow us, the end users, to choose which interface we want. Why can not both Metro and the classic desktop / start menu exist in harmony. Problem solved.

    I mean they only just recently removed the registry "hack" that allowed us to use the classic start menu. What is so wrong with having the best of both worlds.

    On another note, for people like me using multiple monitors, I thought that W8 would be a hit but I have my monitor to the left of main display and having to precisely hover my mouse at the left hand side corners to open a menu is a real PITA. If you go just a bit too far you are on the other screen. Poor poor UI choices.
  18. FALSE! You either have never used Windows 8, or you installed third-party software to get to that.

    Drivers are evolving. The new NVidia Verde Series WHQL drivers (I have Version 304) work well with DX11 under Win 8 RP. That means Intel platforms now are supporting DX11. MS owns Skype, so of course they fixed it fast.

    And don't worry about "compatibility" issues with legacy apps under Windows 8. Win 8 has far better and deeper backwards compatibility, both for software, and for drivers and hardware, than any Windows OS so far. I have never had an installer "freeze" in the months since I started playing around with the Win 8 betas. Unlike Windows XP, where some installers freeze so badly that a simple program update can result in a rollback to a previous system image.

    You can see a huge display of the date and time in Win 8 by hovering the Mouse (or placing a finger) over the spot WAAAY down on the lower-left of the screen (Metro or Legacy Desktop) where the Show Desktop or Desktop Peek function used to be in Win 7 and Vista. The Charms Bar also pops out, but the clock shows in this move. And you can shut down or restart directly from Settings on the Charms Bar -- two clicks at most.

    Two things will NOT be supported in the final Windows 8 code base:

    (1) Gadgets or a Sidebar of any kind. Recent security developments have killed that platform.

    (2) Start Menu, Classic Shell or any third-party workaround to get the Start Menu back.

    Matt LeBlanc of Microsoft has confirmed these two statements in recent blog entries.

    And you won't be able to install the Win8 $40.00 Upgrade over itself either. Also, the RP by itself does NOT qualify as a pre-existing Windows License.

    Sorry, "power users" -- it's a brave new world out here (in Windows 8), and the Legacy Desktop is not a big part of this world. But never fear -- Windows 7 still has a few years left in its Product Life Cycle, so you can get used to the new world at your own pace.

    I've been using Windows 8 64-bit on a modern non-touch laptop since the DP. I'm on the RP now.

    And I still hate the Metro Interface. "Simplify" is a euphemism for Dumb-Down, IMHO.

    A constant connection to the Internet is IMHO a privacy invasion and a security risk. But if you don't need Live Tiles, you can log into Win 8 as a Local User.

    -- Bob Primak --
  19. He means this: http://I.imgur.com/C3TV4.jpg
    ...but yes, that's just sophistry since it just brings you to the Start Screen.

    On Windows 8 discussion as a whole, I find it honestly very narrow-minded and dumb to say "if you don't like it, don't buy it." At least for me (Microsoft Certified, power user, and a strong Windows proponent), I *want* the next generation Microsoft OS to be not just good, but spectacular. I don't want another Vista, because that would mean having to fix a bunch of problems that simply weren't there in previous versions. Microsoft dropped the ball, OEMs didn't understand Vista and dropped the ball, and the common person didn't understand why they needed to relearn tasks that power users take for granted. And they wanted to know why everything was even slower than the usual grunge that accumulates.

    So, with people who HAVE been using Win8 and still have complaints, wanting them to shut them up with a "don't like it, don't buy it" is akin to not wanting Win8 improved just because you don't care about other people's concerns.

    That's not how progress works. That's how mediocrity works.
    (And not caring about other people's concerns is not how IT works, either.)
  20. Absolutely wrong, Win8 is NOT a tablet OS piggybacked on Win7, its Win7 piggybacked on a tablet OS. And therin lies the problem, desktop users are forced to interact with a non-desktop interface in order to get their work done.

    That encapuslates the issue. The desktop is subserviant to the tablet interface. There is NO GOOD REASON for this, and anyone who says it doesn't break the desktop experience simply never got anything productive done before, orits been so long that anyone counted on them being productive, they've simply forgotten.

    Multitasking is the premier feature, the reason for the "s" in Windows. I might have 12 different things open at times, not just to look busy, but to cut & paste info from one to the other, even between multiple sources and multiple desinations.

    Can I "make it work" with Win8? Yes, with far more effort that Win7, Vista, XP, WinME, Win98, or Win95. To dismiss productive users as "unwilling to change" is just as bigotted as to call those who disagree with Obama's policies "racist".

    There is nothing about Win8 that offers an improvement for desktop users. Trouble is, if Metro wasn't forced on us and the start orb/menu had remained, Win8 wouldn't be getting panned the way it is. The choices were removed as an act of arrogance.

    Seriously guys/gals, if you aren't productive workers, please don't comment on the desktop aspects of computing. We're not talking about "cute dog and bird playing" videos, we're talking about having multiple applications open, exchanging information between them, and actually doing something that earns money for our employer and/or ourselves.

  21. "The multicolored grid of tiles is better because you get to organize it however you like it."

    How do I organize so it's not there? Every version of Windows gets worse with MS thinking they know how to organize your stuff. My Documents was a great idea but now it's worthless because of all the crap MS and other companies dump in that directory. Also, why does MS think I need a picture with everything? MS continues to go the way of apple, less choices.
  22. I know that the start menu and task bar aren't perfect by any means but, if it ain't broke... don't fix it. for me one of the best reasons against metro ( notice I said "for me") is that it's just plain old UGLY. Sorry metro fans. Just my personal opinion.
  23. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    I'm sure many people will cling to that sentence like it's some kind of anti-Windows 8 manifesto, just as I'm sure many sites will enjoy the traffic from sensational headlines. Newell offers no criticism of the OS itself beyond saying "Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space" -- something I can mostly agree with. I think "catastrophic" accurately describes Microsoft's approach to marketing and the resulting confusion about its product, and that may have very real consequences for the industry. We'll see what happens.

    I guess in the meantime I should drool on myself and say something negative about Windows 8, right? Wait, I know, "bring back the taskbar!!!"
    Cobalt006 likes this.
  24. grumpiman

    grumpiman TS Member Posts: 22

    I tried it. It's ok, but not significantly better and doesn't really add to the user experience (on a PC that is), so I'm not upgrading. I'll wait for version 9 to see what it has to offer. I expect there's not going to be a lot of people beating a path to Microsoft to upgrade their existing hardware, but as usual, they'll be force fed it on new PCs. Judging by all the chatter, I think there'll be enough people demanding Win7 to be made available as an option though. Should be interesting to see if MS give in to popular demand again as they did with XP. I think I'm going to sell my remaining Microsoft stock and buy some more Apple. Just to be safe.

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