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Everything You Need To Know About Windows 8.1

Courtesy of Beta News/Wayne Williams:

Most memorable part for me at least:

A Start Button
Microsoft hasn’t yet confirmed the return of the Start button in Windows 8.1 and there’s been no sign of it in any of the leaked builds. There have been lots of rumors about it though, with some people claiming it will be a traditional Start button with a Start menu, and others just that it will be there purely to open the Start screen.
In an interview with The Verge last week, Tami Reller, Windows division CFO, admitted Microsoft was aware of the outcry for a Start button. "We have heard that, we definitely have heard that and taken that into account," she said, before adding: "We've really also tried to understand what people are really asking for when they're asking for that".

Oh dear. Has Microsoft really not grasped what people have been requesting since before Windows 8 even launched? A Start button, Tami, with a Start menu attached.
Everything you need to know about Windows 8.1
 

kmint

New Member
Power User
If that's all that we need to know, then this is a minor update with slight changes and a lot of noise.
 

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Ex_Brit

Older - But No Wiser
Pro User
Yes indeed.
 

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HippsieGypsie

It's Gururrrrrr8!
Nice list of good changes. :) We don't need no stinking Start Button for it has a Start Rectangle. It's the miniature rectangular Start Screen in the lower left hot corner, which takes one back to the Start Screen, which is the equivalent of the WinKey :winkey: just as in past OSs. The Start Screen is a much better personalized menu system.

This is very well stated:

Unlike a can of soda, a computer operating system offers different experiences to different customers to meet different needs, while still moving the entire industry toward an exciting future of touch, mobility, and seamless, cross-device experiences.

We are going to keep improving Windows 8, as we do with all our products, making what’s good even better. There will be new devices, new use cases, new data that makes us think, "Hey, we should do more of this, or less of that". And we will. There will be people who agree, strongly. There will be those who disagree, equally strongly. All good, all expected.
 

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Ray8

Banned
Microsoft still doesn't get it. A can of soda does offer different experiences to different customers. One can drink it straight out of the can, pour it into a glass, mix if with other drinks and maybe even use it for cooking. However, the experience of opening and pouring out the soda is consistent with what has come before; you hold the can in one hand, pull the ring tab with the other and have access to the contents. It's something developed and improved over the years, yet retains the same familiar operating procedure.
 

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SIW2

Well-Known Member
Team Member
"We've really also tried to understand what people are really asking for when they're asking for that".

I am sure they do get it. Tami is not daft.

They got it before releasing 8. I don't think they expected as much difficulty from the customers.

Tami might mean they are trying a find a way not to repel the potential customers, while still pushing for what MS want.

It is also possible they have already decided to do the sensible thing, but are keeping it as a surprise.
 

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labeeman

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"We've really also tried to understand what people are really asking for when they're asking for that".

I am sure they do get it. Tami is not daft.

They got it before releasing 8. I don't think they expected as much difficulty from the customers.

Tami might mean they are trying a find a way not to repel the potential customers, while still pushing for what MS want.

It is also possible they have already decided to do the sensible thing, but are keeping it as a surprise.

I would like to believe you but I think M$ would like the bad press to stop as soon as possible. I think the surprise is that they will leave metro almost as it is with very little changes and try to break the Shell programs.
 

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SIW2

Well-Known Member
Team Member
MS can either say :

1) Now we have had the chance to hear the customers, we are trying to figure out how to give them what they want.

Or

2) We always knew what the customers wanted, but we thought we could force something else on them.


Three guesses which is the better PR to put out now.
 

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labeeman

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MS can either say :

1) Now we have had the chance to hear the customers, we are trying to figure out how to give them what they want.

Or

2) We always knew what the customers wanted, but we thought we could force something else on them.


Three guesses which is the better PR to put out now.

I am not going to hold my breath on #1.
 

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Ray8

Banned
Or

3) The customer is not always right and we're here to prove it.
 

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SIW2

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Tami is doing no. 1)

"We have heard that, we definitely have heard that and taken that into account," she said, before adding: "We've really also tried to understand what people are really asking for when they're asking for that"
Same as

1) Now we have had the chance to hear the customers, we are trying to figure out how to give them what they want.


She is certainly not going to broadcast no. 2).

2) We always knew what the customers wanted, but we thought we could force something else on them.

That would be fatal.
 

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labeeman

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Tami is doing no. 1)

"We have heard that, we definitely have heard that and taken that into account," she said, before adding: "We've really also tried to understand what people are really asking for when they're asking for that"
Same as

1) Now we have had the chance to hear the customers, we are trying to figure out how to give them what they want.


She is certainly not going to broadcast no. 2).

2) We always knew what the customers wanted, but we thought we could force something else on them.

That would be fatal.
They already have said #2 by saying #1 they knew what users wanted before the release from there Beta testers.
 

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Ray8

Banned
We've really also tried to understand what people are really asking for when they're asking for that"

How thick can someone be? It's simple, let people have the option of a start button and boot to desktop once again. In how many languages does this have to be stated before it sinks in?
 

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SIW2

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Don't you mean start menu?

Tami might get confused if people keep saying button.
 

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Ray8

Banned
You are correct, it does seem far to easy for Microsoft to get confused and for Tami's benefit, this is what I would like returned:

windows-7-start-menu.jpg

See Tami? A start button (that round Windows logo on the bottom left) that when clicked, opens up a cascading menu of available programs. It was there for years and is now gone.
 

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HippsieGypsie

It's Gururrrrrr8!

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Edwin

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Enough about the Start Button already! Use the one provided to access programs from either platform. That's what it's there for!
 

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legacy7955

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I don't see her mentioning what MOST MS customers really want...

The CHOICE to default boot to desktop.


That even addresses the start button/menu issue.
 

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alphanumeric

slightly off center
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The Start Screen and All Apps is a much better idea and system.

http://www.eightforums.com/customization/4506-post-your-start-screen-15.html

For some people. It's your opinion and you're entitled to it but not everybody agrees with it. If everybody was fine with the Start screen they wouldn't be asking for the traditional Start menu.

From what I've seen, it sounds like Microsoft is going to put the orb back on the taskbar but it will just bring up the Start screen when you click it. It will do what the windows key does now. How lame is that?
 

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HippsieGypsie

It's Gururrrrrr8!
MS didn't make changes on a whim. They collected data on what users were using via the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP), surveys, and product testing. Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program

It is striking to see how dramatically different the use of the Start menu is in Windows Vista vs. Windows 7. Some of the Special Folders (what we call those items on the right side of the menu) dropped in use by over 50%. Likewise, people accessed pinned items on the Start menu half as often in Windows 7 than they did in Vista. People also access All Programs and the MFU far less often. Finally, we see an 11% drop in how often people are opening the Start menu at all. While 11% may seem like a small number at first, across our hundreds of millions of customers it is eye opening to see such a drop for a universally recognizable element of the Windows interface. We’re not talking about some hidden setting that is tweaked by a minority of people—we’re talking about a fundamental piece of Windows that people are using less and less.

So why the change in how people are using the Start menu? Here’s a hint—it has something to do with that bar at the bottom of your screen that was introduced in Windows 7.

The “Start bar”

The evolution of the Windows taskbar directly impacted the Start menu. What once was locked behind a menu suddenly came closer to you. The most obvious advancements were the introduction of Quick Launch by Internet Explorer 4.0’s Windows Desktop Update in 1997, as well as the more recent taskbar pinning in Windows 7.

Interesting side story: did you know that Quick Launch was initially disabled by default in Windows XP because some people believed the MFU list and pinning in the Start menu would suffice? We saw a volume of evidence to the contrary, and so we reversed the decision (though back then, the data upon which we based these decisions was limited, so we don't really know what a broad variety of customers were doing). What we took away from this was that it was important for you to be able to designate what apps you care about, see them all in one place, and have them be one click away, rather than trying to guess what is important through software heuristics or having important items mixed with less important items.

To really bring this all home, let’s take a look at where people are pinning their apps. Figure 4 reveals that 85% of people have three or more items pinned to the taskbar compared to a mere 23% who have the same number pinned to the Start menu. Although the taskbar and Start menu have different pinned defaults, many people do customize both of them when they want to. The message is clear that the majority of people want most of their apps on the taskbar rather than having to dig into Start.

Evolving the Start menu - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
 

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