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back to article Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back

Big changes to "key" parts of Windows 8 are coming after Microsoft admitted it “could and should have done more” on its big answer to Apple’s iOS for tablets. “Key aspects” of Windows 8 will be changed, head of marketing and finance for Microsoft’s Windows group Tami Reller has told the Financial Times (log-in needed). Reller …

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Anonymous Coward

We told you it was shit

But it's still infested with the ribbon, can you get rid of that next please.

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Re: We told you it was shit

The ribbon in windows 8 explorer works really well, it takes a few seconds to get used to and then you realise that loads of stuff that used to be buried in menus like show hidden files and show file extensions are now one click actions on the ribbon.

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JDX
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Re: We told you it was shit

Yeah I've come to feel MS were right and we were all wrong on the Ribbon front... cue downvotes...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We told you it was shit

"[...] loads of stuff that used to be buried in menus like show hidden files and show file extensions are now one click actions on the ribbon."

Those are usually one-off things needed on creating a new user. The default of hiding extensions always seems to confuse people when applications use a common base name with different extensions. Deciphering a filename's accompanying icon is not as easy as learning a few standard extensions.

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Re: We told you it was shit

"show hidden files and show file extensions are now one click actions"

So cluttering the UI with options that I set once per install of the OS is supposed to be an improvement?

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Devil

It's a f*cking security flaw

Think of the whole "LOVE LETTER FOR YOU.txt.vbs" thing.

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Re: We told you it was shit

The real question is: "Why can't we have both ribbon AND traditional menus?"

Given that there are different types of users and strong feelings on both sides, why do Microsoft (and Canonical -- sadly, Linux isn't free of this silliness either) feel that it must be "their way or the highway"?

And, as long as we're bitching, go ahead and move the "show desktop" button from the far left (XP) to the far right (Win7), if you feel the aesthetics of your new OS demand it, but for heaven's sake, make it so I can move it back to where it has been for the past umpty-ump years I have been using XP, if that's what I want to do!

Honestly, this change of UI for the sake of change, with no possibility of user configuration is beginning to annoy me!

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stuff that used to be buried in menus

Is now buried in tabs.

Show file extensions is two clicks, you have the select the view tab first. Assuming you know what tab it's on and don't have to go hunting for it.

For something like Office where there are lots of settings the ribbon is no better then the old system of a tool bar for stuff you use all the time, and menus for stuff you only use once in a while. And the ribbon uses up way to much vertical space on a typical wide screen laptops crappy screen.

With Windows 7 you had every program asking to create a shortcut on your desktop. With Windows 8 you get a whole bunch of crap on your "start screen". I used to laugh at people who had a desktop packed full of shortcuts, now that's how it's supposed to work, except now you have to scroll to see them all. No thanks.

Full screen not-metro apps are fine for your phone, I don't want them on my full size computer screen.

- Get rid of the not-metro start screen with all the invisible charm bar junk. (or at least make it an option you can turn off). Give me the start menu back (but you can keep the auto arrange feature.

- Let me run not-metro apps in a window if I find any that are of any use.

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Re: stuff that used to be buried in menus

the problem is (like most things) the ribbon, toolbar and menu wont suit everyone for everything. So why couldnt they leave the CHOICE in? It isnt hard to do - look at the plethora of various companies toting plugins to work around it.

It is the lack of choice when moving forwards that pisses people off the most. If you dont like ribbon then old fashioned menus will do. Need a prettier GUI? Ribbon is for you.

I wonder how many people on rolling software assurance cashed in at windows 7 because of the clusterfuck. so sure, they sold many copies but corporations wont be upgrading for a while...

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Re: We told you it was shit

that you suggest it's cluttering the UI shows that you don't know or haven't tried the ribbon UI. The whole point is that it DOES NOT clutter the UI. It makes the UI relevant to the task in hand.

Back to MS Bashing school for you...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We told you it was shit

"Honestly, this change of UI for the sake of change, with no possibility of user configuration is beginning to annoy me!"...

Exactly!

But that's MS' dictatorial old-school thinking for you that IMHO is cementing their Fall-of-Rome moment!

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Facepalm

Re: We told you it was shit

> Honestly, this change of UI for the sake of change, with no possibility of user configuration is beginning to annoy me!

Nowadays its fairly well established amongst usability experts that having configuration settings for everything results in a poor and fragmented user experience. I've seen and used plenty of software where lazy developers couldn't decide what approach to take with their UI and so just did both and added a setting to change between the two - good UI developers identify which approach is best and focus all of their efforts on making sure that apprach works well.

You also have increased training and support costs to consider whenever you have two approaches to the same operation.

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Re: We told you it was shit

"good UI developers identify which approach is best"

Best for whom?

In my experience, existing users want new features to fit with the current style, new users don't know better.

Over time, existing users may come to prefer new styles (I actually prefer 2007's ribbon to 2003's menu system now, mostly because of the visual cues, though I still have to hunt for some things) but they don't want to be forced to learn a whole new "user experience paradigm" (that's probably going to change in the next release) just to continue doing what they've always done.

I think this fits perfectly with TIFKAM, which I've disabled on my only Win8 box as much as I could, and have never felt like I'm missing out on something.

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Re: We told you it was shit

@Peter Simpson 1 "Why can't we have both ribbon AND traditional menus?"

Because then every feature has to be added in both places, training manuals have to incorporate both methods and the product test matrix expands exponentially. And almost nobody chooses anything but the default setup.

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Facepalm

Re: We told you it was shit

And Blamer *still* has his job? Are the shareholders all retards?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We told you it was shit

Yes I agree. I've always felt learning lots of new multi-coloured Chinese character type icons, which could be fucki*g anything, was so much easier than picking out words written in my own language.

Of course I know you're trolling, but I need a ramipril anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We told you it was shit

: "Why can't we have both ribbon AND traditional menus?"

Stop pointing out the obvious. It's going to get you into trouble. We don't need thinkers here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: stuff that used to be buried in menus

Tabs full of stupid little multi-coloured pictures of what someone else thinks is representative of what they think it does.

A ludicrous proposition, designed by someone who finds the cleaning aisle at Tescos appealing.

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Pint

Re: We told you it was shit

"user configuration"

Hmmm... That would require the addition of some sort of programmable computational device with a user interface. Sounds difficult. ;-)

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Boffin

Re: We told you it was shit

"So cluttering the UI with options that I set once per install of the OS is supposed to be an improvement?"

Nope.. It's an excuse.

It's t here, it's different to the old version, so it is an improvement.

They have to figure out something that they can use to justify ribbonising stuff, so they are trying desperately to come up with stuff they can claim is better, but is really just different.

Kind of like when Vista was being criticised, and some tame reviewer did a "top ten reasons to change to Vista" list. One of which was a free MahJong game.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We told you it was shit

"Best for whom?"

Upvoted just because that sentence. With a user base counting in the hundreds of millions, it is incredibly unlikely, if not downright impossible, to find some default that makes everyone happy. Saying that the majority of users are happy with a change means leaving a few tens of millions of users unsatisfied. Which is not acceptable.

Forcing a UI change for the sake of forcing it is pointless. Say you have a setting that makes 80% of Windows users happy, but irritates 20% of them. With a user base of 300MM users, that means 60 million people. Now imagine the entire UK population, about 63MM people, forced to drive in the right side of the road just because that makes the majority of drivers in the rest of the world happy. Extreme example, I know, but one that is quite appropriate.

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Re: We told you it was shit

Well having border padding in the UI as opposed to be needed to be changed by using regedit is desirable for me. (I would prefer it if they just made it the default).

The fact you need to be using the US locale to install the RSAT properly is really annoying as well. (Especially if you have a retail copy with the en-gb locale). I don't see why they cannot offer it from Windows Update.

It could be them wanting to make using Hyperv Server 2012 as much as a pita as possible. (Or just them being stupid).

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Re: We told you it was shit

"Best for whom?"

Best to help sell phones and tablets, get people using the app store. So MS can be like Apple and get a cut of everything.

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@Peter Simpson 1

You may find this helpful (there is a show desktop button in the (disabled as default) quick launch bar):

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-7/add-the-quick-launch-bar-to-the-taskbar-in-windows-7/

...also this:

http://classicstartmenu.com/

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Re: We told you it was shit

Yeah I've come to feel MS were right and we were all wrong on the Ribbon front... cue downvotes...

Two years in and I still don't really understand it. Up until then I'd managed GUIs from various DOS shells through all Windows reincarnations, Mac OS, KDE, Gnome and countless phones. I guess it's just me.

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Paris Hilton

Re: stuff that used to be buried in menus

You could just hover over the icon and see what it does, in your own language. And as far as I remember there is a key-press that actually shows all of the text at once.

Then the rest of the time the icons actually save space. Dunno, doesn't seem all that crazy to me.

TIFKAM's lack of integration into the rest of windows though... stupid.

Paris because she is integrated into many functions.

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WTF?

Re: We told you it was shit

Sorry to disagree, but most modern GUI design tools allow you to create one action (like Save As...), attach it to a handler and then connect this same action to a menu item, a toolbar icon, a ribbon icon, etc. as much as you like. Change the action features in the program and it automatically propagates to all the linked items. You can also easily show or hide all the linked items. No muss, no fuss and no expanded test matrix.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We told you it was shit

@Vince

Yes, we have tried the ribbon, and yes, Ribbons DO occupy far more real estate at the top of the UI than a couple of toolbars side-by-side.

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Re: stuff that used to be buried in menus

@Tom35:

How many regular use programs do you have on your box? A standard Modern screen can hold 72 program icons plus a box for some Modern apps (or another set of IIRC 12 Icons)

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Linux

Re: We told you it was shit

@Peter Simpson

> Given that there are different types of users and strong feelings on both sides, why do Microsoft (and Canonical -- sadly, Linux isn't free of this silliness either) feel that it must be "their way or the highway"?

The trouble is, I think, that any user configuration option can double the amount of testing that needs to be done in order for it to be considered rigorous.

So for something like KDE3.5, where rigorous testing was considered secondary to power and functionality, and bugs were fixed on an "as soon as someone moans about it" basis, we could have a gazillion options, so long as we had the sense to change them back when they broke something.

But now, where software is released by companies interested in profit margins and how many salaried software testers they can get away with laying off, we no longer have user configuration and this is a shame.

It might also be why Apple is doing so well - They pick the optimal configuration for the majority of users and then make it completely inflexible. With Apple it really is their way or the highway, even if it for you it is a good way.

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Boffin

Re: We told you it was shit

Interestingly, I've been able to work with Office 2011 w/o problems.

Why? Because the OSX version kept the menus, so I don't have to search the Ribbon for stuff that isn't obvious. I still haven't found how to merge cells in Excel, that I do from the menu. Among other features that are nigh impossible to find in the awful Ribbon. But hey, at least the OSX Ribbon version isn't as huge as the Windows counterpart; it is small enough to not be a nuisance.

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Pint

Re: We told you it was shit

Exactly, Sir you are spot on,

Whilst another person may enjoy & delight in the novelties thrust upon us in the latest greatest version of Windows, I just need to get stuff done & done fast without the friggin user interface or anything else getting in my way.

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This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

Forget bringing back the start button...

How about instead just a big ass FAIL button in the bottom left of the screen!?

I think it would be well suited to Windows and I have even thought of an advertising slogan for it...

Windows 8 - When all else FAILs.

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Joke

Re: Forget bringing back the start button...

EADON!

YOUR DAD'S HOME!

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Windows

Will desktops still have the confusion between desktop programs and Metro "Apps"? Will we still be peddled software through the Microsoft store?

This is just the "start" of a lot of back paddling...

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JDX
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What's wrong with being able to buy apps through a store if you want to - Apple have this but it's unlikely anyone will go store-only for desktop apps as it would kill their sales.

As for confusion, maybe that's just you.

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And Apple weren't the first. Michael Robertson's Linspire was the first to have an app store in the form we are used to seeing today. That was an evolution from apt-get and other similar package management systems on linux and bsd family operating systems. It wasn't even the first app store for OSX, as App Bodega was available before the Apple App Store, also there are a few bsd ports based package management systems available.

I think the main key difference between Apple's app store for OSX and the Windows Marketplace is that you can get actual proper desktop applications in the Apple, whereas on the Windows Marketplace, you can only get full screen apps that seem to be mostly website bookmarks.

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Unhappy

Linspire

I had such high hopes for Lindows. 'tis a shame it didn't succeed.

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Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

Classic desktop? What is wrong with that? It actually works fairly well if I'm pretty honest (I prefer command line for somethings, but the desktop is good).

Blister was a pain - but mainly because of things other than the UI itself. I don't see the point of 'metro' from what I've tried it just gets in the way. Back to something that is tried and works.

And as for suggesting linux - great idea if you don't mind spending weeks rewriting drivers and other crap to get it to work at all - while constantly being told by linux people that you are obviously too thick because somehow you weren't built with the instant knowledge of it and were stupid enough to ask.

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Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

They aren't "reverting to the classic UI" - they're putting a Start button back. Note, that is not the old menu, clicking it will still bring up the Windows 8 Start screen. It's a visual indicator and nothing more.

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Bronze badge

"no alternatives at retail, e.g. PC world etc"

Whilst dodging tumbleweed in PC world at the weekend I did notice they were selling both versions of the chromebook. No windows 7 or other desktop OS except Apple though, so I take your point.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

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Coat

Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

"MS is seen as something of a clown corporation"

Careful what you say about clowns - look what happened with the Tories and UKIP recently...

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Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

"It will be like giving people something that looks like a toffee apple to give them the familiarity of the toffee apple that they are used to paying for. BUT, instead of a tasty, familiar apple therewithin the toffee veneer, the victim discovers that it is an onion."

But caramelised onions are so tasty.

Damn, now I'm hungry... time for lunch I think.

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FAIL

Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

"unified UI across mobile and desktops"

Eh? MS, how can one have a unified UI when a mobile has a visual display element around order of 100cm^2 and the desktop may have 1 to 6 monitors each of around 1400cm^2 or greater?

MS is not the only one forgetting Fitts's Law.

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Re: Microsoft's strategy is FAILING

"And as for suggesting linux - great idea if you don't mind spending weeks rewriting drivers and other crap to get it to work at all - while constantly being told by linux people that you are obviously too thick because somehow you weren't built with the instant knowledge of it and were stupid enough to ask."

I must be doing something wrong. Installed SUSE 12.3 on a desktop at the weekend. It took 15 minutes and when complete, the wireless worked, the printer worked, the webcam worked, the sound worked, and the graphics were just fine. All that and not once did I have to find a manufacturers CD or trawl the internet to get the appropriate drivers and it was set up as a UK machine with no interference. All the updates required took another 15 mins and it was ready to go.

I also installed Win7 on another desktop. It took around 15 minutes but I then needed to get the drivers for wireless, the printer, the webcam and the graphics. It then took nearly 4 hours and many, many reboots to get all the updates - SP1 took a spectacularly long time to install.

I've installed Win8 on a number of machines and the 'experience' is much the same as WIn7, perhaps a bit quicker initially and no need for the tedious SP1 but still had non-working wireless, printer, webcam and ropey graphics.

Perhaps you are too thick to install an o/s using the default settings.

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