Microsoft outlines File History feature in Windows 8

By Shawn Knight ¬∑ 19 replies
Jul 11, 2012
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  1. Microsoft has once again taken to their Building Windows 8 blog to detail another new feature in the upcoming operating system. Bohdan Raciborski from the storage team gives us the skinny on File History, a backup application designed to continuously…

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  2. And what was so wrong with Previous Versions that they felt the need to eliminate it? It worked great at recovering accidentally deleted files. Granted if the hard drive failed they could be lost but if people weren't backing up to an external drive before, why will this make them start now?
  3. ig-88

    ig-88 Banned Posts: 32

    Well, it looks like Windows as a Operating System may have reached its high point with Windows 7.

    Two things that immediately stand out in this article:

    First thing is the longer instructions that will be required to explain how to do anything/everything in future versions of Windows, I.e., "To do this you can 'click' or 'tap'....".

    But the thing I fear the most is Microsoft allowing the masses to dictate what an Operating System looks like by constantly justifying removal of parts of the Operating System that have existed for years based upon how often a person uses a given feature.

    Article quote: "File History supersedes the existing Windows Backup and Restore features currently found in Windows 7, a feature that is utilized by less than five percent of consumers, according to Microsoft?s data."

    What percentage of users using a certain feature/program on a consistent/regular basis will be required to retain any feature in future Operating Systems?

    Hey Microsoft, you used this same statistical rhetoric to justify completely ripping out the Start button because nobody used it. Now you are once again justifying the revolutionary changes you are making according to the percentage of users using a given feature. Why not just scratch backup features all together like you did the Start button? If people aren't backing up their files on a regular basis it sends a clear message to me that they must not want that functionality in their Operating System. Wouldn't that be your conclusion?

    Is it possible, Microsoft, that there are features in an Operating System that only advanced users should be using or did that thought ever come into your tiny little heads? The thought processes and philosophies Microsoft are starting to implement are very scary.

    Using statistics alone to determine whether or not to retain certain features, especially more advanced features, like full system backups and restores is a mistake. I rarely do a full system backup and restore but that doesn't mean I will never do a full system backup and restore.

    Wow, So far no more Start menu, no media player, no backup and restore functionality. I can't wait to hear what's being ripped out next. What else can you do for me Microsoft that I am too ignorant or lazy to do on my own?
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    The Start menu -- as we know it -- will be gone. However, it is easily replaced by the Metro start screen which essentially provides the same functionality. Look at what you can do with it (random links):
    This *is* a backup. And a +1 for the new system is restoring your files doesn't require a special program... your files are stored as the actual files themselves on a separate drive... No proprietary formats, cumbersome programs, incompatibilities accessing your data from an old computer etc.. In fact, it sounds quite a bit like Time Machine.

    As the case has always been with any "backup" solutions provided with Windows (which have all been terrible in one way or another), if you want backup/restore your entire computer, you need another program. This won't do bare-metal restores, but it will keep your personal data safe (the only thing that truly matters).

    The backup found in Windows 7 -- the pinnacle of Windows' backup solutions thus far -- has some major shortcomings, like not managing its own space and forcing users to periodically (manually) prune backups or it simply ceases to function. The best backup is a completely automatic one.
  5. Xero07

    Xero07 TS Booster Posts: 100

    My main concern is will this provide as easy as fix to eliminate viruses/spyware as system restore did. Would be doing a rollback on the main drive have the same effect?
  6. abysal

    abysal TS Booster Posts: 114   +40

    Exactly, it's one of those "new features" they've added in there. Those that didn't have a 2nd hard drive or external dive will not run out and buy one now ;/
  7. pheonixnexus

    pheonixnexus TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Wait wasn't there a previous article that detailed system restore and how it was optimized to reset the system to a previous state or default in a min? and this just sound like as they say at the top of the article this is a NEW feature they did not say a replacement and it mentions you can use a USB drive you can get 8 gigabytes for about 20$ or less and unless you're editing movies sounds like more than enough space.
  8. ig-88

    ig-88 Banned Posts: 32

    The Start menu is gone? That's putting it mildly. Windows as we know it is gone. Welcome to Romper Room. Windows is now "Tiles".

    I think Microsoft is trying "way too hard" to be new and exciting. The whole Windows Operating System has gone from a business-like atmosphere to a romper-room atmosphere. It's assumes everybody is a child. Who's idea was it to put a picture of a fish in the OS that looks like it was drawn by a 3-year old? Is the Windows 8 desktop targeted towards tweens? I can't stand the Metro interface. It makes me wanna puke. I seen one video on YouTube with Windows 8 "live" tiles enabled on just about every tile and it almost caused me to have a seizure. I guess live tiles will appease with those extreme attention deficit. On windows 7 I can place close to or well over a 100 shortcuts on my desktop and launch any application in the blink of an eye with one double-click of the mouse. How in the hell can anybody say that Metro is an improvement over either the Start menu or simply shortcuts on the desktop?

    I don't think Microsoft has sat down and asked themselves what they wanted to achieve with this Operating System other than cross-platform compatibility and higher penetration into the mobile market at the ungodly expense of the classic desktop experience. I think they got a bunch of developers together in the board room and asked them all to write down one idea on a yellow post-it note that they wanted to see implemented in Windows 8. And then they asked all those developers to submit those post-it notes, anonymously, into a drop box. And then they pulled them out one-by-one and implemented the features into the new abomination that is Windows 8. Another good name for Windows 8, besides, "Tiles" might be "Frankenstein". Or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide. They all seem more appropriate than "Windows" at this point.

    If Windows 8 succeeds I will have no choice but to think the end of the world is at hand. But if Barrack Obama can become president of the United States of America then Windows 8 has just as good a chance. Only in America.
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    System Restore still exists. The original poster was discussing "Backup and Restore" -- Windows 7's backup utility.

    Why is there such hate for 8?

    An inane point but... "I can't stand the Metro interface. It makes me wanna puke." is a reasonable argument. I don't like the way it looks, either.
    Windows 8 has desktop shortcuts too... Why do you ignore that fact?

    Also, I'd argue having a 100 shortcuts on your desktop is silly -- it's an inefficient blob of pictures and text spanning an entire screen. Anyone who doesn't have everything on your desktop memorized will find it nearly useless.

    The Metro Start screen still includes search, which -- for power users -- nearly nullifies opinions on their differences. Some minority portion of the population, including myself, hits the windows key and starts typing what they are looking for. It's easier than scrolling through some menu looking for a shortcut etc...

    If you don't typically open programs via search though, your start menu is bigger (I.e. it can have more stuff on it). You can add gadgets for increased functionality (weather and calendar at a glance, for example). You can pin and organize things how you like... What's the problem?

    Sure, the Metro Start screen might be fugly, but allow me turn the question around: how is the traditional menu superior over the Metro Start screen?
  10. abysal

    abysal TS Booster Posts: 114   +40

    It's superior because it doesn't use your entire screen when searching, running a command, or an app. The only thing I like about the start screen are the live tiles. However that's a gimmick just like desktop gadgets, and will get old fast. I think that's my biggest gripe, aside from the looks, the charm bar being triggered by accident, and the network bar which just doesn't seem to belong :p

    Some may also argue that the classic start menu is too small and hard to read, a valid point. Others will argue the start screen is massive and easy to get lost in with all those apps, equally valid. It can be just like when a user places a massive amount of icons on the desktop.

    All in all the biggest improvement; one that I have not measured myself, is supposed speed boost when running games and apps, and a few "new" features. Everything else is just a shuffle of the UI. So unless Windows 8 brings more to the table, Microsoft can find someone else to buy some stupid little metro apps, I'll be fine with Win 7 for now. Unless they give users the option to customize the UI without the obnoxious and intrusive metro start screen.
  11. ig-88

    ig-88 Banned Posts: 32

    In a single sentence...The Metro interface is too "in-your-face" for me. It's begs for too much attention like an only child. Instead of gently resting until it is called upon.

    But that was probably out of necessity since Microsoft felt a finger would be a better pointing device over a mouse. Well, I honestly doubt that they felt a finger was a better pointing device but since nobody wants to carry around a mouse with their cellphone they decided to try and make the desktop more like a cellphone. With a mouse I could probably click on a 2x2 pixel graphic on the screen, if not a single pixel. With a finger this could never be done. The finger would be too large to select such a small area and end up bleeding into a much larger selected radius. This happens all the time now on my Android cellphone which I hate almost as much as Windows 8. It becomes much more difficult to select things on a screen as precisely. Hence, big bold in your face tiles. A UI that wasn't even the best option, in my opinion, for cellphones is now taking center on stage on a desktop Operating System. That is the problem.
  12. abysal

    abysal TS Booster Posts: 114   +40

    This is it exactly; if you make the concession that windows 8 is compromise between touch and mouse use scenarios everything about it makes sense.
  13. ig-88

    ig-88 Banned Posts: 32

    But this is why Windows 8 doesn't make sense. The "compromise" to use a touch interface on a desktop. On a tablet it makes enough sense. Why should the desktop be compromised? It's not any better for the compromise. This is primarily the only gripe a lot of people have with Windows 8 including myself but its an issue and concern that can't just be glossed over. It's not a compromise that most people are willing to make. I don't want to have to sit close enough to my monitor to touch it. My monitor sits at 36" inches away from my eyes so that I don't end up cross-eyed at some point in my life.
    Explain to me why, justify why, the desktop interface which uses a precision pointing device and full-sized physical keyboard should be compromised and replaced with the swipe of a finger? it cant.
  14. abysal

    abysal TS Booster Posts: 114   +40

    I meant makes sense as in I see why this f-up is the way it is.
  15. Woww in league with the disk mfrs ?? every hour a new copy of my 1gb file is written to my exernal storage becuase I changed a single record? Hope the threshold s can be changed (time and no of changes). Good idea perhap for newbies N excel jockeys. A disk hog for sure
  16. Hmmm, if M$ says that it removed the Start button because users hardly uses it which in turn is because people are placing shortcuts in their taskbar (which only works great if you use alot of programs and have a bigger screen resolution) or simply using search then why are they trying so hard to keep 3rd party software from bringing it back? Sounds like to me they are trying desperately hard to be as "new and exciting" as possible while feeding BS to the users for their justification.
  17. You have to ponder whether this is another nail in the coffin of Ballmer's career at Microsoft.
  18. CryVer

    CryVer TS Enthusiast Posts: 38

    In my experience, that is certainly not the case. First of all the start screen covers the whole screen which means that I can't type and look at the windows I already have opened. This is sometimes useful, in case I type something from a website or something similar.
    Also, I can't quickly search for settings-related features, as I need to specify that in the start screen (it searches only in "apps" by default). If the program I search for or I accidentally open a metro program, I am suddenly in the "metro world" again, and not in the desktop anymore. I find this is quite annoying.
    I have also used the start menu actively since Win95 and changing to something different (that to me certainly doesn't seem superior) is pointless. Over time I have learned myself ways to quickly shut down (sleep and restart) by using the keyboard. I also pin Firefox at the top of the Start menu for quick access (I don't like to use the task bar for that purpose, with the exception of windows explorer).

    So no, I don't agree that it provides essentially the same functionality. The speed of using the start menu is in my experience superior to the start screen.
    In addition, I don't believe that Microsoft is telling the truth about how "few" people that use the start menu. If that were the case, only a handful would complain, and there would be no reason to block users from using it. The way it looks to me, is that a lot of power users want the start menu back (I prefer Win7 edition).
  19. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 268   +39

    ig-88 speaks volumes to everything I feel about Windows 8.

    It's a pointless OS to any power user and will probably have the lowest market share out of any consumer Windows OS in the last 10 years (on desktops at least, unless Microsoft pushes adoption hard). Yes, even under Vista, which people made out to be FAR worse than it really was, especially after customization with vLite.

    I still use Vista because of the needless UI changes 7 had. Programs were developed to bring old features back, but it's still not the same as Vista.

    If 7 (or now 8) does have significant upgrades for anything I do, I will be forced to dual boot it, provided I receive a copy since I'm not buying something I don't want to use. (Vista was the same to some extent, but at least Microsoft actually left a bunch of classic features in the OS which were NEEDLESSLY removed from 7 despite it using the exact same core as Vista).
  20. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +56

    I also find it hard to believe the majority of Windows users never accessed the Start Button/Menu and this is why Microsoft is burying it. The Start Screen is just ugly and clumsy and made for smartphone junkies rather than desktop users. The "apps store" only irritates me further.

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