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Why Microsoft killed the Windows Start button

  1. #1


    Posts : 207
    Windows 8.1 update 1 Pro X64 with WMC

    Why Microsoft killed the Windows Start button


    By Barry Collins in Amsterdam
    Posted on 28 Jun 2012 at 09:00


    Microsoft claims it took the controversial decision to remove the Start button from the traditional Windows desktop because people had stopped using it.
    The lack of a Start button on the Windows 8 desktop has been one of the most divisive elements of the new user interface. It had been widely assumed that Microsoft removed the Start button to force people to familiarise themselves with the new Metro Start screen, which is the centrepiece of the Windows 8 overhaul. However, speaking to PC Pro at TechEd in Amsterdam, a senior Microsoft executive told us that the old Start menu had already fallen out of favour with users of Windows 7

    "Weíd seen the trend in Windows 7," said Chaitanya Sareen, principal program manager at Microsoft, referring to the telemetry gathered by the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program. "When we evolved the taskbar we saw awesome adoption of pinning [applications] on the taskbar. We are seeing people pin like crazy. And so we saw the Start menu usage dramatically dropping, and that gave us an option. Weíre saying 'look, Start menu usage is dropping, what can we do about it? What can we do with the Start menu to revive it, to give it some new identity, give it some new power?'"
    "So Iím a desktop user, I pin the browser, Explorer, whatever my apps are. I donít go the Start menu as often. If youíre going to the Start screen now, weíre going to unlock a whole new set of scenarios, or you can choose not to go there, stay in the desktop, and itís still fast. You canít beat the taskbar."
    Sareen also claims that people are taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts to open applications, instead of resorting to the Start menu. "Press the Windows key and 1 and youíre already in IE [if IE is the first item pinned to your taskbar]. Itís so fast."

    Metro for desktops
    Sareen was also quick to dismiss criticism that the Metro interface is better suited to touchscreen devices than laptops and desktops.
    Demonstrations during the day had seen two Microsoft presenters struggle to make gesture controls work on laptop trackpads, with the Start screen intermittently failing to scroll when the presenters swiped two fingers across the trackpad, for instance. Sareen insisted that the touchpad drivers were still "very, very early" and were "still being refined".
    He also claimed that the Metro interface "really works well with the mouse and keyboard", highlighting features such as the option to search for applications simply by starting to type its name on the Metro Start screen.
    Read more at:
    Why Microsoft killed the Windows Start button | News | PC Pro
    Last edited by Brink; 28 Jun 2012 at 07:51. Reason: fixed format

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  2. #2


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


    So - why are so many people asking for it back?

    Clearly - there is a massive demand for it.

    It was also clear from the win 8 Developer Preview a very large proportion used start menu and not the start screen.

    Since the advent of the taskbar - it is blindingly obvious people would pin their most used programs there - by definition they go to the start menu a little less.

    They still use it a lot . They still really want it.

    MS knows that.

    The real reason is clear - it is to try and force the start screen on users.


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  3. #3


    Posts : 231
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Microsoft claims it took the controversial decision to remove the Start button from the traditional Windows desktop because people had stopped using it.
    WTF!
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  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Golden View Post
    Microsoft claims it took the controversial decision to remove the Start button from the traditional Windows desktop because people had stopped using it.
    WTF!
    This is probably correct.

    Think about it, most of the people who have downloaded W8 so far are people who know about and are fanatical about computers. The majority of those users IMO would probably not tick the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program check box when they installed windows 7. But the vast population of people who have windows installed for them by OEM would have the check box ticked.

    This overwhelming proportion of people probably don't use the Start menu that often therefore making the decision for the Start screen an easy and obvious one for Microsoft

    PS.. I believe that we (early adopters) are in the minority.
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  5. #5


    "So Iím a desktop user, I pin the browser, Explorer, whatever my apps are. I donít go the Start menu as often. If youíre going to the Start screen now, weíre going to unlock a whole new set of scenarios, or you can choose not to go there, stay in the desktop, and itís still fast. You canít beat the taskbar."
    Power users who use the Start menu are a minority then? Is that what she is stating?

    Clearly these people are well trained to deceive the flock of sheep and lead them in the wrong direction!

    Also, how does one
    you can choose not to go there, stay in the desktop
    when it keeps coming back while navigating???!!!!
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  6. #6


    Power users who use the Start menu are a minority then? Is that what she is stating?
    I don't know the numbers but it's probably a fair guess that the ratio of Power users to internet/office users is rather heavy on the latter side.
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  7. #7


    I agree, constantG, but wouldn't an office user be categorized as a power user? I'm in construction so I don't sit behind a machine all day, although I do carry a Droid with me. Will the business sector fly with 8?

    Survey says....................
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  8. #8


    Posts : 636
    Windows 7/8


    While the super bar removed the need to /constantly/ use the start button., The problem is, when you DO need it, YOU REALLY NEED IT.

    Even if it's only used once or twice a day, it has a TON of functionality that you NEED once or twice a day. Now the charms bar replaces some of it (but not all) but it's implementation is so klunky compared to the start menu it's just a joke. I HATE the way the charms bar comes up when I don't want it too just because I'm aiming to close an app that is full screen . ARG.

    No... they changed it just to change it at best, and they did it to force Metro on us at worst. Or... they were smoking crack. There is no logical explanation.
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  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Golden View Post
    Microsoft claims it took the controversial decision to remove the Start button from the traditional Windows desktop because people had stopped using it.
    WTF!
    I couldn't have said it better myself. If people stopped using it, then why would so many people want it back?
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  10. #10


    Adelaide
    Posts : 1,338
    Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Linux Mint 17.1 MATE (64 bit)

    Exactly


    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    The real reason is clear - it is to try and force the start screen on users.
    Agreed.

    Even that god awful Unity is better than the Start Screen (and it's the first thing I stripped out of my Ubuntu 12 VM).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Why Microsoft killed the Windows Start button
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