Looks great! I see you found a solution. Here's how I handle a large number of programs without ever even having the need to click on the Start>Programs. Note the additional tool bars on the taskbar will need a close look in order to see the 5 of them besides RocketDock.
The next screen shows how the addon bars look and can be created on any version of Windows from XP through 8!
Now combine RocketDock with 5 or 6 dropdown Quick Launch type additional toolbars and you can handle quite a bit without ever needing to bring out an extended Start>Programs menu.
I wouldn't want to find out! You might end up needing to scroll the length of a good novel!
If I do get to load 8 up with about the same number of apps and pin all shortcut to the Start it might start to look like an encyclopedia! That's why the first thing I took care right away was all of the "unnecessary" items I wasn't going to use the RP sees on the Start by default just to get several to appear in some type of organized fashion.
That takes care of most all of the oversized buttons you start off with. From there on you scroll your life away trying to dig through screen of Start items unless you create new groupings note for various catagories. Put your browsers in one clump while office type apps in another. Games in another and so forth rather then "scroll, scroll, scroll the screens...".
as I described here, complete with screenshot. I'm also not a fan of using menus to launch programs, because just like the Start Menu, they go away when you select something from them. Plus, the chevrons annoy me. So instead of turning them into toolbars, I just use folders reminiscent of Program Manager folders to hold shortcuts for infrequently used programs. (See last paragraph of referenced message for some useful navigation made possible by the Explorer breadcrumbs.) With Windows 7 I finally didn't need any third party program launchers/organizers, which had been an absolute requirement ever since the NT4 beta to get out of Start Menu/desktop fail. As for why this so much better than Windows HE's Metro thing, like I said, in part:
I rarely use the Start Menu for anything, I never use the desktop for launching programs, and the Quick Launch Bar is nowhere to be found. I pretty much live in the taskbar all day long. It's the best interface I've used in 30+ years, and it ain't close.
When I see the Windows 8 "Metro" thing, I just see another desktop or Start Menu, only worse. It's horribly modal, and the "Metro" apps exist in their own little universe, fractured from the traditional Windows environment, in particular, the taskbar, where real Windows programs can be pinned and have jumplists, show progress, etc, and you can use the taskbar while you're working with a program maximized in the space above it. The "Metro" thing is not better in any way than what I already have; it's actually much worse in every way that matters to me.
Once you start adding a good number of programs on you won't have room on the taskbar for them! That will fill right up even when setting it to the "always combine, hide labels". Since the Quick Launch was removed for 7 seen in XP, Vista the new toolbar option found when right clicking on the main taskbar becomes an asset for organization regardless of which version of Windows you are running at the time.
The author's statements regarding the Metro are quire obvious to most who wouldn't want to be a "Where's Waldo" champ? Or "now where is that shortcut for....?". The addon toolbars on the other hand serve to group shortcuts of the same type together in one fast dropdown list when exceeding the number of items you can pin on the taskbar.
As for RocketDock that's flexible when running dual monitors since you can set it for left, right, or center display while the taskbar is limited to only the primary. If you have something running full screen on one you can still click on something on the other screen. That's where the 3rd party app has a use.
With 8 it was never about performance, stability, security but usability as far as the drastic changes with the gui itself. While pop out sidebars are handy for things some have found the way MS implemented the Metro out of touch with reality! And this is where the main beef about 8 is being seen.
At first before 7's launch the discussion was on dumping the 32bit kernel entirely to only see 64bit editions for any newer version to follow 7. 8 so far has still seen 32bit DP, CP, and RP releases generally aimed at who? The consumer! Obviously that wasn't going to happen anytime soon as well as seeing any 128bit Windows. Reality check for blog writers required!
As for performance at least the writer there offers an accurate assessment in saying it is comparable to 7 in that the next version will also see the MinWin kernel only developed a little further along being more of a modular platform over the "Bloated OS" rep tossed at Vista.
The main complaint about 8 simply goes back to how MS trashed the main gui making the Metro appalling rather then Appealing to the majority of users. No Control Panel to find until seeing that visible in any WE window. Instead a right click menu pops up where the Start screen pops up where no one without a hint from some other user would even know where to look!
Some of the ideas could work out if MS had better reworked the design and accessibility before trying to toss this out as the next version of Windows. The side bar becomes a joke since no novice will know how to logoff, restart, sleep, hibernate, shutdown without creating their own desktop shortcut! Or they will simply press the power button on the custom or OEM system's case.
The smart move they didn't make was offering two different types of main guis through the Windows installer as for those with touchscreen enabling Metro and for those without a standard desktop with something newer then Aero style themes to be "new" as the alternative option. Instead the new system requirements for 8 should be "OS Geek Required to run Windows 8!"?!
That's simply due to stretching the taskbar and tossing everything onto it. The toolbar method on the other hand separate things by catagory here. Here I keep icons on the taskbar small as well to allow for more viewing area.
a lot of this depends on how many applications you actually run on your PC -- in Nighthawk's case I think probably an order of magnitude more than the average user.
The "switchable GUI" idea IMO seems the best idea and should be in theory easy to implement. -- Most Linuxes once you install the basic 'X-Server' or whatever they call it these days allow you to choose from a number of different desktop GUI's - the two main one's being GNOME and KDE. Having these doesn't actually alter the basic kernel and main parts of the OS either so in theory Windows should be able to select at say a Windows setup menu option : specify GUI ===> Touch screen
===> Classic desktop.
That's what I would have done -- but I'm only an old fashioned Engineer so what do I know about this stuff .
Seems this way you'd get the best of BOTH -- users to go to W8 while the other part of the OS could be incredibly more optimized fot Tablets etc -- as you'd ONLY need the metro components and touch stuff. You'd have to build some decent apps of course like being able to at least READ EXCEL sheets on a tablet or maybe even to have some type of METRO OFFICE appls too.
I gave you the benefit of the doubt, Craybob, and tried your way (albeit on W7, not W8).
No, sorry, not for me. My brother actually uses a similar setup to yours, in W7, and has
done sosince he got Vista, he always has all his progs in the taskbar. Drives me mad.
We'll all use what works for US as individuals.
I know that you have an issue with understanding that.
I'm running W7 64-bit on this machine because W8 64-bit won't
play nicely with most of my games.
But my other laptop is running the 32-bit CP, and the desktop is
running the 32-bit DP.
And they've BOTH got a Start button/menu, and they BOTH have
I'm not a 'hater', I just want the CHOICE!
WTF is wrong with that? Huh?