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Classic Start Menu -- Microsoft is so out of touch

  1. #1

    Classic Start Menu -- Microsoft is so out of touch


    An elderly relative of mine recently got a new laptop with Windows 8. I had suggested she get one with Windows 7 as she has been using XP for about 8 years. But with various hardware requirements she ended up getting a laptop with Windows 8.

    Well, getting her accustomed to Windows 8 was a real struggle. The interface changes confused the hell out of her. The only saving grace was to install the "Classic Start Menu". After this, she has been mostly "back to normal". Her opinion? If I hadn't installed that start menu, she would've had me get Windows 7 and install that instead.

    I agree. With the Classic Start Menu in place, Windows 8 becomes usable. I tell you, there's no good excuse for Microsoft removing the Start menu from the lower left corner. It really feels like Microsoft is so out of touch. I understand the need to make a core operating system suitable across a number of different devices (phones, tablets, laptops/workstations), but being insensitive to laptops where the Start menu is so frequently accessed? Fine, if you want to create the option to do things differently as with the tiles page, don't take away something considered sacred to so many users.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 308
    64-bit Windows 8


    I agree with you that they shouldn't take away features from Windows. But I don't know why people used the Start Menu so much anyway. I never did. It was such a maze of menus within menus within menus! There's plenty of room on the Desktop to put icons for everything that you regularly use. If you do that, you rarely need the Start Menu.
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  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon Drop View Post
    I agree with you that they shouldn't take away features from Windows. But I don't know why people used the Start Menu so much anyway. I never did. It was such a maze of menus within menus within menus! There's plenty of room on the Desktop to put icons for everything that you regularly use. If you do that, you rarely need the Start Menu.
    I agree with you 110% Dragon Drop. It's so easy just:
    1-press the windows key
    2-press first letter of program, file or setting you want to open.

    Widows 8 has well spaced easy to see & read tiles once you do those 2 steps
    3-press enter key or click with mouse
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  4. #4


    Webster NY US
    Posts : 325
    Win 7 / Win 8


    When understanding the usefulness of the start menu, you have to look at more than just accessing applications. My primary use of the start menu is in the other quick accesses to Recent Items, My Computer (right click properties), control panel, etc. All in one handy place to click. I do a lot of document work and I especially use Recent Items a lot. If all I cared about was quick access to apps, sure, the Start screen makes a reasonable replacement.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    I use recent items a lot also.

    Much better for me to have all those functions easily accessible in one place.

    Program launch is just one function.
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  6. #6


    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)


    Like mbratch above, I saw the Start Menu as a catch-all, one-stop location. I put all my most-used apps there and it was always accessible. Like my junk drawer on my physical desktop, it held a little of everything and was where I first started to look for something.

    Before I added Classic shell, I used standard toolbar folders on the taskbar to replace the start menu, but when I found Classic Shell, I don't need the toolbars anymore, although I still use them at times for my audio apps.

    If I started with Windows 8 I'd probably adopt a different behavior pattern.

    When I had an Atari computer I used a shell program that had all my most-used stuff attached to keystrokes and pulldown menus; on early PCs I used DOSKeys and FileMan for this; on Linux and Unix X-windows systems I laid out stuff on the desktop much like Windows 8.

    Whatever methodology, we all tend to make a toolbox with our most-used stuff easy to access.

    I do believe that Microsoft spend an enormous amount of money and study-time to develop the metaphors used for Windows 8.

    Maybe we just need some time to get used to it.

    Or maybe it is just optimized for 'Touch'-based access.

    Personally, I've long waited for audio-response as the fundamental way of controlling access to computer applications. There is no need for any gestural control at all. Physical response time is far slower than audio response time and it's a far more coarse 'language' with only a few nouns and verbs. It's great at locating something (if you are looking at it) or moving something around, but that's about it. Try telling somebody to do something using only physical gestures...
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  7. #7


    Posts : 1,353
    Windows 8 Pro/Windows 8 Pro/Windows 7 64 Bit64Bit/Windows XP


    Quote Originally Posted by cytherian View Post
    An elderly relative of mine recently got a new laptop with Windows 8. I had suggested she get one with Windows 7 as she has been using XP for about 8 years. But with various hardware requirements she ended up getting a laptop with Windows 8.

    Well, getting her accustomed to Windows 8 was a real struggle. The interface changes confused the hell out of her. The only saving grace was to install the "Classic Start Menu". After this, she has been mostly "back to normal". Her opinion? If I hadn't installed that start menu, she would've had me get Windows 7 and install that instead.

    I agree. With the Classic Start Menu in place, Windows 8 becomes usable. I tell you, there's no good excuse for Microsoft removing the Start menu from the lower left corner. It really feels like Microsoft is so out of touch. I understand the need to make a core operating system suitable across a number of different devices (phones, tablets, laptops/workstations), but being insensitive to laptops where the Start menu is so frequently accessed? Fine, if you want to create the option to do things differently as with the tiles page, don't take away something considered sacred to so many users.
    All I can think of is that you didn't understand Windows 8 yourself and that's why she struggled.

    My wife is the worlds worst on computers I have to show her everything a hundred times. I installed Windows 8 for her, installed her programmes and thought, this is one giant mistake. I showed her where her programmes were on the desktop and her games in Metro, then showed her how to switch between the desktop and Metro and left her.

    An hour later I asked her how she was going, she said she'd updated Quicken, done her banking and found the charms bar. Then she said, you told me Windows 8 was hard, I think it's easy, I nearly fainted.

    She doesn't normally spend much time on the computer, but she does now, playing the new games from the store, like MS Mahjong, Solitaire and Taptiles and an excellent free Piano App.

    I've said it before, if she thinks Windows 8 is easy, it's easy.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 308
    64-bit Windows 8


    I guess it's a matter of taste, depending on what you think of as "all in one place." True, the Start Menu is a smaller AREA than the whole Desktop. But if I want Notepad and I have to click "Start Menu" and THEN "Programs" and THEN "Windows Accessories" and THEN "Notepad," that's four places. My Notepad icon on the Desktop is only one place to click. My Desktop has 48 large-size icons at the moment, and they only take up about half of it. So I could have 100 or so.

    You can put an icon on the Desktop for anything you want. Computer, Control Panel, Recent Items......whatever you want, you can get it with one click (or one double-click). And the same thing goes for Start Screen tiles, though I don't use the Start Screen myself. You just have to create the tile or icon once, and then it will always be there. As I say, it's a matter of taste. But IMO, the Start menu is the LONGEST way to get where you're going.
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  9. #9


    Webster NY US
    Posts : 325
    Win 7 / Win 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon Drop View Post
    As I say, it's a matter of taste. But IMO, the Start menu is the LONGEST way to get where you're going.
    Yes, it's partly a matter of taste, but partly a matter of how people like to work. Not everyone uses Windows for the same things or in the same way. You will find some things certainly as easy or easier with the Start screen. But there are some things that might not be as easy, and perhaps you don't typically do those things. Therefore, you would declare the Start screen more efficient. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me from the Start screen how to access a Recent Item list (various recently accessed documents: docx, xlsx, etc) with just a click and a hover, which is all it takes in a start menu.
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  10. #10


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by mbratch View Post
    Yes, it's partly a matter of taste,
    Uhh.. ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbratch View Post
    but partly a matter of how people like to work.
    Wow, that's deep. I wonder what we might call this "how people like to work"? Hmm... Let me think about that... I'm sure it's on the tip of my tongue.. it's so close I can TASTE it....

    But there are some things that might not be as easy, and perhaps you don't typically do those things. Therefore, you would declare the Start screen more efficient. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me from the Start screen how to access a Recent Item list (various recently accessed documents: docx, xlsx, etc) with just a click and a hover, which is all it takes in a start menu.
    And where, pray tell, in Windows 7 does it list recently accessed documents in the start menu? Certainly not in the start menu. It's called RECENT PROGRAMS list for a reason.

    Or are you talking about jump lists? In which case, those are just as accessible from the taskbar. More so, since you don't have to open the start menu and find the program. Further, there's no guarantee that a recently accessed program is in the start menu, unless you pin it. So that means you only have access to "recent" documents in programs Windows decides to show you, and then only programs that support jump lists, and then only the files the program chooses to show you.
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Classic Start Menu -- Microsoft is so out of touch
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