Okay, as my first post I am going to as they say "rise to the bait". I've been using Windows since... well too long to admit to. Let's just say I remember the first incarnation of Windows or more accurately, the first attempt at Windows.
The Start menus should have remained as an option and here is why.
Granted many regular computer users know the tricks and advantages of search but the vast majority of Windows users are NOT regular computer users. The Start menu has incorporated in to their workflow and though perhaps not as efficient as other methods, is commonly used. So Windows 8 will not get picked up by many businesses, governments, medical industry.... because it will be too complex to train that many people on the new OS.
You might enjoy figuring out new features but most people just want their computer to work the way they expect it too and they have come to expect the Start menu.
I am not saying it shouldn't change, just that the change should remain an option that can be easily turned on and off by network admins. And if Umbuntu was so great, then I would see my doctors, nurses, DMV, and other businesses.... all using it instead of Windows.
If Windows 8 fails for any reason at all, it will likely be the Start menu or Metro. If it had been an option, you wouldn't have the resistance we already see.
As for me personally, I can work with it or without it just as easily. One advantage of the Start menu is that you don't have to know the name of the app to search for it. You can rely on the icon alone.
Just my 2 cents worth. Bait taken and run with.
PS: The topic should really be called "Does the Windows Start Menu matter?" I know, nit picking but if someone doesn't tell him, he may never learn.
There are two things about the Modern interface start menu that I think fails in intent, at least for the moment.
Firstly, there are more 'apps' or icons, than not, that take you directly to the desktop, rather than functioning inside the Modern interface. So people cannot ignore or forget the desktop, as it's always there and always required. So the Modern interface has really been 'fitted for' but not 'fitted with' all the functionality that would make the desktop redundant.
Maybe this is because the desktop can't be made redundant, or Microsoft realises that making it redundant at this point in time would kill Windows 8 at birth. It's like producing a car without a steering wheel or pedals, to be driven with a joystick and/or other hand controls. You can make the steering wheel and pedals drive by wire, but you can't easily remove an established operating system for something completely new.
Secondly, while people talk about a search function, while it might, or not, be easy to find things by starting to type anywhere, the fact is that Windows 8 Pro is fundamentally an OS, it doesn't really come with anything to get you working. You have to load programs such as Office, Adobe etc and these will be historically associated with whatever OS you used previously. Invariably, you will be totally used to the Windows Start button and cascading menus (the shortcuts) to access everything that you need.
Anyone from an era prior to Windows 8 (err, everyone), will be used to clicking on a shortcut, with a mouse somewhere on their screen, not typing in the name or description of the program and then clicking on the search result. Cascading menus have evolved for a reason, they are simple and easy to understand and to navigate. Imagine if supermarkets decided to locate all goods by manufacturer rather than by product type and you had to do your weekly shopping based on this model. With electronic shopping trolleys, all you need do is type in the product you're after and it's easy to find. That would be fun.
So I think the Windows 8 Modern and desktop interface, not Windows 8 OS itself, is something of a 'Jekyll and Hyde', or maybe a 'Jack of All Trades and Master of None'. It's going to create tension until Microsoft realises this.
Evolving the Start menu - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
All the time spent searching inside of cascaded sub levels ... that is where the controversy begins.
start screen - apps vs start menu < efficient or bogus. Which one? Or both?
Then there is the issue of scrolling inside of the Windows 7 start menu.
I think most people just want that shut down button in their face, together with control panel and other start menu features right in their face. A traditional classical approach.
Hello Darvin. Welcome to EightForums.
There are many people here that speak other languages that post in English. I cannot speak a second language fluently. So, they are smarter than me. As far as the topic goes, I am a big fan of this topic. The start screen (and apps) is a huge deal to me. It is different. To me, a classical traditional start menu is like an old smelly shoe. Some state that the classical block style menu is essential. Others tolerate, others adapt. Many find 8 to be an offensive unusable release that will take people to the cleaners (apps - subscriptions - cloud services). The start menu definitely matters to the vast majority of 8 users. From my POV, which, by the way, does not matter, and is insignificant, the start screen and apps area is a nice break from the past IMO. My POV is irrelevant. I have always thought that the start menu was a dumping ground for installation links. My preference was always to use 3rd party launchers. I could talk about the start menu vs the start screen all day long but some folks will reply with all caps, red lettering, bolding text, enlarged text and enlarged italics as if they are shouting. 8 will probably not do very well because it is too different and people don't like it. Most like Windows 7 with a start menu and everything else that goes with it. The concept of a phone / tablet / desktop OS is unacceptable to most and unusable for many. It generates too much hostility. I would actually be surprised if Microsoft released the next version again with no start menu. That would be a shock. They probably will put in options for a block menu next time with other features but then again, they would be competing with 3rd party menu developers and that might result in another monopoly lawsuit. They tried that by making internet explorer part of the OS and got sued. They had to remove it. I am wondering if they might get sued again for bringing the start menu back. Maybe not. Many developers are interested in selling their start menus. Does the start menu matter? Yes it does, but then again, I don't need or care for nesting application links tucked away inside a scrolling block menu. Too much time is wasted inside of that little square, as far as I am concerned.
I think the search side topic was introduced as a feature of the start menu vs the start screen and we as usual make an attempt to compare and contrast the efficiency or issues about each. 8 does require a different approach to a user interface and as someone said who was new to the OS, Where is the menu? Well for certain, they won't find it in the system tray. There are a lot of folks that consider 8 to be a bogus release and will bomb so badly that Microsoft will revert to an upgraded Windows 7. I am not sure that is even possible. The question continues, can one use 8 at home or in business successfully with the metro start screen, apps and no start menu? I think so. Opinions vary. Then again there are those that feel that Microsoft should be required to provide a start menu. Why should they? 3rd party start menus and metro bypassing tools work ok. My POV is in the microscopic minority and I think most are very disappointed with Windows 8. Am I wrong again?
Last edited by mdmd; 05 Dec 2012 at 01:42.
Yet I believe that I am not such an anomaly. Many people that I deal with, have those same links on their desktop, which I think is awkward and inefficient, but it works for them. So Microsoft has taken the messy desktop analogy used by a lot of people (you know, load a program and it asks if you want a desktop icon and the user says yes) to create the Modern interface with nothing but desktop icons. But so as not to make it look the same, it's been flattened and neutralised into the Modern interface. Most of the underlying philosphy is the same as it's always been, it just looks a little different.
Microsoft's mistake with the Start screen (besides poor usability) is giving less features. It doesn't have automatic frequently used programs, I have to MANUALLY pin them one by one on every PC. That MFU list also had jumplists for those MFU programs - which was just introduced in Windows 7!! It doesn't have an efficient way to shutdown. It runs fullscreen covering everything. It's search doesn't return Outlook emails or indexed folders (only the contents of folders). Special folders are not pre-pinned for you like Start menu has on right side. There is no way to see Recent Documents. It doesn't have all the context menu options. It can't launch multiple apps quickly by holding down Shift like the Classic XP style menu could. The Start screen quickly becomes a flat sea of icons as there is no organization into folders. Search results are unnecessarily split into Apps, Settings, Files. I can find a hundred different flaws with its usability. Plus, it gives the middle finger to the user by ditching all backward compatible design. Why should I use an inferior incarnation of a launcher and be accused of being scared of change when I can objectively see it's worse than the Start menu?
So what the Start screen does is it ditches familiarity for no benefit except touch-screen friendliness (well Classic Shell's menu can be touch-screen friendly too if you blow up the icon size) . It ditches mouse+keyboard usability again for touch-use. It ditches the more advanced features because Microsoft has changed their interface strategy and want to push simplicity like Apple.
Yes, the new interface takes some getting used to, just like with any interface you're not familiar with. Windows 95 was a bit jarring at first. If MS decided to stick with what worked before, we'd still be stuck in 3.1-like land, sans any start menu whatsoever.
This may be my first post, or close to it; I am in disbelief that Windows users are tied in knots over graphics interface arguments. Different version of Windows have lots of "hide this, expose that" going on for years. Windows 95 was a good interface, XP a great advance in stability - no claim of knowledge here but I think it was XP that used the stable NT kernel.
Sadly now we seem to have run out of things to do so we throw things out, bring in terminology like "reimagined" and my all-time favorite, "deprecate." Most of all, I had never used an Apple anything in years of computing and retired from a huge company that DID go for XP on all desktops (probably still has XP, social media integration wouldn't go over very well). It would be nice to get back to elements dropped from Vista, and go entirely back to two worlds - Metro for the portable and the underpowered, and a REAL seven improvement for PC users with powerful desktop computers. Ipads are great for checking emails, weather, etc., but do we really need to argue endlessly about colorful tiles? Does the desktop world really need to concede to total portability in its various forms, and do I have to see endless commercials that HAVE to show those colorful tiles being "swiped" left and right? I like the ipad, and I like the PC with multiple windows as well. Can't we go back to the days of new releases being involved in making our hardware do things better and faster - and NOT move toward touch screens and full screened applications (must remember, they're apps now, can't say "programs" or "executables" - with additions and improvements, not Microsoft's favorite new word, "deprecation" of the PC? I guess I'm just old/retired/old fashioned. This Windows 8 argument seems to be going nowhere except perhaps down... for PC users. Yes, I know, no one needs a PC anymore. So the marketeers say. In the television commercial blitz I've yet to see one ad that even comes close to mentioning actual work done on the new wonder devices.
- an old grouch