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Windows 8.1 may make it easier to customize Start scren

  1. #1


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10

    Windows 8.1 may make it easier to customize Start scren


    Windows 8.1 will add new features to help you customize the Start screen -- at least it allegedly will, based on tidbits from the latest build.

    The latest Windows 8.1 build dims the Start screen to focus on a single app tile and offers a wider array of tile sizes, says blog site WinBeta.


    Read more at:
    Windows 8.1 may make it easier to customize the Start screen | Microsoft - CNET News

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  2. #2


    I honestly don't care about all this customization thing. just give me the ability to snap the apps at any size ratio. Like 50/50. Everything else is just a filler.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 474
    Win 8 (64) : Win 7 (64) : Vista (64) : Android JB 4.2 : iOS 6


    Thanks for the tidbits Brink.
    Personally, I don't think it matters anymore. Classic Shell already answered my complaints. I just can leave my start screen empty. But I am sure, this new build is aiming to get more sales and to help the technically challenged users.

    Cheers!
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  4. #4


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Now, I was iffy about this, but since Decor8 I have to say, there has to be a custom Start Screen background image capability in the OS. The reason why I was iffy about this is because certain Start Screens with a lot of things pinned to it will have a parallax scroll to it. Every image other than panoramic and wide screen images won't work with that decently for the UX. Seeing as there are now baby tiles in 8.1, that can LITERALLY shrink down a lengthy Start Screen to half at least. Less parallax scrolling. But the image should be sized up some to provide some parallax scroll. Also, on the Xbox Dashboard, the UI design is obviously similar to Windows 8. Key difference? Custom background images.
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  5. #5


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there
    I think the main beef is that if you don't have or want to use a touch screen then the Start screen as is currently set out is a bit of a "Dogs Dinner" -- forget all the Metro stuff for a moment -- for Classic Windows applications --Aka Office, Photoshop / CAD / Visual studio etc etc then a tile seems to be generated for every wretched .EXE file whether it's actually a runnable application or not.

    For example just for NERO there are 16 (YES SIXTEEN) of these wretched tiles -- now imagine loads of other applications --you could easily have numbers approaching 100 (yes A HUNDRED).

    Anybody with even HALF a pea sized brain could tell you that operating a computer this way - even with touch is just a total load of pure Bovine Scatology. You can with a bit of work tidy this up, and group the applications together -- assuming in this dogs dinner of a mess you even KNOW which ones you generally want to use but it DOES take quite a bit of organising and your typical home user isn't going to bother.

    I've done the usual get arounds by custom toolbars, task bar and desktop short cuts but I can assure you it certainly was more than 5 mins work --and I've used every Windows OS since 3.0, some linuxes and even IBM mainframe OS'es in my time so hopefully I do have experience with loads of different GUI's.

    The start button and menu is probably an irrelevance IF the start screen could be sensibly sorted out for desktop users -- 100's of those silly tiles isn't going to cut it in any way shape or form.

    On the whole I LIKE w8 but the current Start screen --Forget it.

    Here's what I mean about Nero tiles after a bog standard DEFAULT install.
    You can see what a mess this is just even for this ONE application. Nero tiles are striped through in red.

    OK you can say why do I need NERO --probably don't any more or very rarely but that's not the point --I'm trying to show how some perfectly common and standard applications appear when installed on W8 with purely the default choices.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails nero.png  
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  6. #6


    Posts : 1,320
    Server 2012 / 8.0


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    On the whole I LIKE w8 but the current Start screen --Forget it.
    I know this is not your favorite topic, but I will forge ahead anyway. You might not believe this but that version of Nero has an incompatible installer. If you install the latest version, nero 12, it only puts 1 tile on the start screen. Launching the tile takes one to a tile screen on the desktop. The apps area is separately organized.

    It is not the problem of the start screen, it is how one uses it. Would you plaster your desktop with 100 icons?

    nero 12 on start screen
    Click image for larger version

    nero 12 on the desktop
    Click image for larger version

    nero 12 in all apps
    Click image for larger version


    What is this? A desktop layout.
    Click image for larger version


    I'm trying to show how some perfectly common and standard applications appear when installed on Windows 8 with purely the default choices.
    unpin them - it is not the start screens fault - it is the installer
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  7. #7


    Posts : 1,320
    Server 2012 / 8.0


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    100's of those silly tiles isn't going to cut it in any way shape or form.
    From your screenshot, (with the red lines) > 99 per cent of those tiles could be unpinned.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 123
    Windows 8, 2012, 7, 2008R2, 2008, 2003, XP,SUSE


    So according to this logic, Office 2013 also has an old installer? Because it sure threw up a whole bunch of icons on my start screen. Every executable that comes along with offices 2013 is there. And of course they are mixed in with icons from other applications as well. I have steam icons next to SQL stuff which is next to Office,... Yeah, I could fix them and group them all together in nice little groups but my OCD only can take so much organization before I will give up and avoid the whole mess! Just like the vast majority of windows 8 users out there and one more reason that the start page is a complete joke
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  9. #9


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi Guys
    I don't think you understood or read my post properly.

    OF COURSE you could unpin then / re-arrange them but I'm talking about a NORMAL user who just installs something (like they did on say W7) and then use them. On these forums we are reasonably (or at least I hope we are) good at finding our way around windows and getting some sort of sensible order into this mess.

    A typical user installing Nero and looking at that start screen would have to say "What on Earth do I do with THIS mess).

    With the sort of dogs dinner that comes up the poor user has to know WHAT to unpin and what are the essential apps -- it might be ANYWHERE on the start screen - the apps might be in "Alphabetical order" so another app could be in the middle of that bunch of tiles.

    Also your Nero 12 example still has 10 (TEN) tiles so even this IMO if you have a few apps with this number of tiles on it you could still get to the 100 mark very quickly.

    It's not the USERS responsibility either if the installer works like that.

    As I said before WE can sort it out OK but the typical "Mom and Pop" home user --good luck if you can sort it all out for them.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  10. #10


    Posts : 1,320
    Server 2012 / 8.0


    Quote Originally Posted by turbofish View Post
    So according to this logic, Office 2013 also has an old installer? Because it sure threw up a whole bunch of icons on my start screen. Every executable that comes along with offices 2013 is there. And of course they are mixed in with icons from other applications as well. I have steam icons next to SQL stuff which is next to Office,... Yeah, I could fix them and group them all together in nice little groups but my OCD only can take so much organization before I will give up and avoid the whole mess! Just like the vast majority of windows 8 users out there and one more reason that the start page is a complete joke
    unpin them
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