Microsoft is reportedly killing the Start button in Windows, a staple of Redmond's PC operating system since the landmark Windows 95. Purported screen shots of Windows 8 Consumer Preview are reported to show a Super Bar that extends across the full bottom of the screen minus the Start button orb. In place of the orb is a "hot …
So, just like the system menu on every top-level window and all the old (2003) keyboard shortcuts in Office 2007, the UI you need to do the job is *still* there if you just shut your eyes and do the action, but it will be hidden from any new users because "it looks ugly".
WTF is it with user interface designers?
Sounds like Gnome Shell, I like it, a vocal minority hate it. I'm sure on a new version of Windows there will be plenty more to complain about, and probably shareware extensions to put back some kind of start button for luddites / button fetishists.
"a vocal minority"
You've taken a poll have you?
Or are you just one of the gnome devs with your fingers in your ears?
lalalalala I can't hear you!
One of that alleged minority is Linus.
However, in the Linux world you can pick and choose between many desktop UIs. My grouse about Gnome 3 is not that it sucks. Rather, that they developed a radically diffrerent UI without forking the source, so that if you have Gnome 3 installed on your system you can't also install or use Gnome 2.
Anyway, for now XFCE will have to do, or the Scientific Linux 6 distro (which will be sticking with Gnome 2 for many years to come). Then there's Cinnamon, which looks promising (a classic UI running atop the Gnome 3 libraries). This is what Gnome devs should have done in the first place, and only then started playing around with tablet-style UIs layered on the same library, as optional alternatives to the classic UI.
It just screams 'Bad Idea Jeans' to me. Ever notice how a big corporation will cloak a bad idea bureaucratic Orwellian newspeak? It's so New-Coke-ian, Matt Frewer should launch it as Windows Network 23. Well at least they didn't do this while Jobs was alive...the laughter alone would have killed the man.
I don't know, I suppose it could work. Heck, make it an installation option perhaps?
Grumpy Old Men
Blimey, there are a lot of grumpy old men posting comments today. Did you cause such an uproar when the DOS prompt was replaced with the GUI or when the start button was introduced in the first place? Progress is necessary from time to time...
Nice words but then the big question becomes what you consider to be progress ?
If by progress you mean better looks yet lesser functionality then by all means. Most people here aren't grumpy. In fact, they might care more for Windows than you may realize.
Most people don't use Windows for fun but to get some work done. And if things start to look as if those tasks will get even more tedious on the new version then is it really so hard to imagine that some people will start to complain ?
Quite frankly; us grumpy people have been here before youngster ;-) This is very comparable with Windows 95 / 98. Microsoft missed the boat to the Internet /big time/ just like they've been ignoring touch enabled devices so far.
And just like is happening now they also started to jump into the Internet face first, without any regard what so ever when it came to functionality. Internet and connectivity was key. So they turned the desktop into an "Active desktop" by default. Meaning that it could display webpage snippets ("active contents") and keep that updated.
Of course; the first versions (iirc this was 95, but could be 98 as well) had one side effect; placing program icons on the desktop would no longer work. Yes; that made "grumpy people" call out as well to ask MS WTF they had been smoking.
Result should be obvious; even in Win7 you can still place icons on the desktop.
Microsoft has an history where they focus on features and gizmo's and lose perspective when it comes to friendliness (or plain out usability).
THAT is why some people may seem very annoyed. "Been there, done that, when are they ever going to learn?".
Progress? The trouble is that changes marketed as "progress" seldom turn out that way. Consider that the "DOS prompt" as you quaintly put it was never completely eradicated. Even on the most recent Windows versions, try as they might to hide it, it can still be brought back and, more to the point, it still has its uses.
I'm likely to agree that the "Start" button was an improvement over the Program Manager of the prior versions of Windows, if only because it reduced some of the clutter, but it was hardly "progress".
Mind you, if you want to talk about Grumpy Old Men, consider the opposite of progress - it's congress! There ya go!
Why don't they
make windows 8 run as fast as windows 95 does on a modern PC.
Who cares about the user interface, I would just like to be able to move the mouse pointer around the screen without needing 88GB ram and god knows how many octo cored CPUs running at 99GHz.
This is why they don't
I was once told by a fairly high up Microsoft employee that Microsoft have certain agreements in place with hardware manufacturers that guarantee that new versions of Microsoft products will require faster processors, more memory, more hard drive space than their predecessors.
The reason for this, of course, is that sales and upgrades of new software versions will, in turn, drive sales of new hardware. How many new PCs would be sold next year if a machine bought in 2000 was still capable of running Windows 8?
You only have to look at the drive to get everything .Netified (which will help with the push towards ARM support, admittedly) and the fact that the quality of code produced by the compiler in Visual C++ gets worse and worse with each and every iteration.
Not saying I agree with this, obviously, but that's how it is.
What a load of conspiracy theorist nonsense, which ignores the fact that 7 runs happily on hardware that will run XP and Vista and 8 will also.
Versions of Windows historically needed more hardware resources because hardware resources were scarce for what needed to be done and expensive. This is to be factored with a bit of sloppy programming just using those resources, without optimisation or questioning if they needed to be used.
Actually there's more to that story than you're sharing.
Yes, Win7 runs happily on such hardware, question here is "how?". MS always shows Win7 with Aero features enabled, because that's the 'Windows 7 experience' (note that I wholeheartedly agree with that).
However, because that was portrait as such people expected just that on their older PC's. Because "Win7 could run on older hardware". End of the story is that eventually even Microsoft agreed that they may have been a little too optimistic and would change their advertisement accordingly; because Win7 doesn't always run as expected on older hardware (put differently; sometimes there's not enough juice for Aero and such).
Your argument would apply with Windows Vista vs. Windows 7. But when looking at XP its a fact that Win7 is more resource hungry.
Re: "What a load of conspiracy theorist nonsense"
When I installed Windows 2000, it was on a fairly low end spec computer (for its time). That machine had a 9GB hard drive which sufficed for its entire life time (as my main desktop PC for just about 10 years) until I finally upgraded to a newer machine with Windows 7. Windows 7 wont even install on a 9GB hard drive.
The Windows 7 directory on its own on this machine is currently using 30GB of space. Now, I will freely admit that Windows 7 is capable of a lot of things that Windows 2000 was not capable of. But ~28GB worth of extra "functionality"? That's enough data to fill six DVDs. What is this functionality that requires so much extra space?
Oh, and if you ask me, programmers were less sloppy, and optimised more when resources were scarcer. Not the other way around.
Illegal if true
This "secret agreement" would be highly and expensively illegal if true, so it almost certainly isn't. Also I suspect the main driving force behind faster CPUs etc. isn't MS OSes. It's games, and the people who'll spend hundreds of quid to get an extra couple of fps out of their game of choice (or is that addiction? )
Anyway, people who use computers for serious work, like scientists, have a lot to thank the gamers for!
"the fact that the quality of code produced by the compiler in Visual C++ gets worse and worse with each and every iteration"
Perhaps you are using the wrong compiler. My experience is the complete opposite. Not saying you're wrong, obviously, but that's how it is.
Oh, and I think you'll find that the drive to get everything netified peaked at around 2005. By 2008, Visual C++ was focussed almost exclusively on native code and the managed C++ folks were complaining about being left high and dry, a bit like the Silverlight crowd felt last year.
Re: a bit like the Silverlight crowd felt last year
and the Metro crowd next year.
Windows users were only using the Start Button to access the items most commonly used on their desktops
Presumably they have metrics to back this up. If so then the removal of the start button won't be a massive problem for most users, providing they can easily get to the desktop instead.
OTOH, I do fear change...
Progress, innit marvellous.
Please put it back!
Just think of the poor lambs on every helpdesk, "Click the start button, oh, win8, not there, ok, just hover the mouse of the hot corner in the bottom left." "Hot corner? Hot corner!" Says Joanne in accounts, "I haven't got a hot corner, I just need to launch another copy of Excel to get the costings..."
This is going to have a pound shilling and pence impact on business.
Why do they always have to change everything?
Anyone would think that Microsoft would have a multi-million pound budget to test these things out and make sure a lot of people are happy before releasing the product! Doh!
Bloody new fangled operating systems, I'll be sticking to Windows 3.1, who needs more than 256KB of RAM? Speed? Eh? I'll take my time thanks very much!
Technological evolution?! Pah! I'll stick to the same old same old thanks very much!
With no start button ...
how will you turn it off?
You use either voice control or the new Kinect controller...
Either you yell "shut the f* down" and presto; Win8 will shut itself down. With Kinect support you can even program key gestures. So for example, give it the finger and watch the OS cleanly shut itself down.
No need for confusion and it even relieves you of some stress at the same time!
Flick switch on wall?
"Seriously , what is it with GUI designers, can't they just leave well alone?"
What a great sentiment. We'd never have got the start button in the first place with that attitude. Maybe we wouldn't have even got SVGA GUIs in the first place - text-mode GUI is "good enough".
I installed the trial version.
I marvelled at the pastel Post It notes on the screen and the lack of the (misnamed) START button.
The only thing worse than pastel Post It notes on the screen is a bunch of "live" Post It notes on the screen and the fans running to cool down the CPU even when I'm doing nothing.
I used the new improved 12 step process to shut down and then I wiped the partition.
You installed the trial version...
...and you didn't use a VM? Brave... very brave.
I like Office 2010, the ribbon interface and the file options are much easier to use and convenient for me as a user than the ribbon etc in Office 2007: and better for me than the drop down menus of 2003.
So they're changing a button? Making it less visible would seem counter-productive to me, but I'll give it a go.
Usual hate MS posts are here...
... Start Menu can be back as it was via a GPO
Tiles in the new Start Screen are active and show the status of an app
If you press the Start key on the keyboard the inputs work as before. E.g WinKey + <search string of app or file>
So no extra key presses or mouse interaction.
Looks interesting and logical. Unsure why people are so up in arms about it - going from 3.1 to 95 was a much bigger deal. Didn't do MS much harm as a result...
Microsoft Bob says...
Eliminated? or Made Obese?
Eliminating the start button, he sez, let them use a "whole screen" for what it used to do.
So MS has come up with a solution that will have us begging them to bring the Start Button back.
M$ has definitely gone downhill since Bill left and I'm not entirely sure it was uphill before that.
If this uber-clueless nonsense ends up to be the last word then they've just lost 100+ upgrades...
...I can personally guarantee that.
A hundred upgrades? I bet the volume-licensing department are quaking in their boots.
Or you could calm down a bit and see how this pans out before condemning it.
"...items most commonly used on their desktops"
My desktop is completely empty (it's used to move windows around...), so I get the impression I'm not going to like this. After ribbon I really don't trust them with "improvements" with menus.
"How To Disable The Metro UI In Windows 8?"
Here we go:
"If you've spent some time with Windows 8, you probably noticed that while exiting the Metro UI a classic Windows 7 interface expects you. The only big difference stands in the Start button, which now has the role of getting the Metro interface back. Using our steps we will bring back the classic Start button, "permanently" disabling its current purpose. At any time you can change the value of the register and bring back the new view, by following the same steps. Here is what you need to do:
1. First, press the Start + R buttons, to open the Run menu.
2. In the Run window, type "regedit" and hit Enter.
3. Now scroll on the top of the list and double click on "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE". This will expand the folder.
4. Do the same for "SOFTWARE ".
5. In the list, search for "Microsoft" and open it.
6. Now using the same procedure, navigate to Windows->CurrentVersion->Explorer and some registry entries will appear in the right side of the screen.
7. Click on the one called "RPenabled" and change its value from "1" to "0".
This will make the Metro UI vanish and the classic Windows 7 interface will appear as shown below. To revert the changes modify the value back to 1.
Read more: http://www.itproportal.com/2011/11/03/how-disable-metro-ui-windows-8/#ixzz1ljtIc5Ao
So they've finally left Xerox behind?
No, they've just killed off Windows is all, nobody wants 8 and 7 isnt much of an achievement either.
> Clicking on this hot corner in the desktop or the tablet-friendly Metro mode will provide "a consistent way to access the Windows desktop and Start Screen in Windows 8".
So the start button is not displayed, but clicking a mouse in the same corner that the start button used to reside will expose the menu. Got it. Nothing to see here.
...although I can imagine that the vanishing few who have not had experience with Windows post 3.11 might be a tad confused.
So there is a Start button, you just cannot see it
How exactly is that better?
That is almost as undiscoverable as it is possible to be!
- Why would a user blindly click on an empty space?
I think the only thing to top that is the 1-pixel gap between Start and the edge of the screen in Win95, a truly massive victory for the graphic artist over usability.
I thought you said *Smart* button.
And there I was, thinking MS had had that removed decades ago.
I have 3 screen's with the Start Menu still in the middle screen. So I hope this "hot corner" doesnt literally have to be the corner of my desktop? Hopefully configurable or even optional....
Oh great, another botch up
The great office ribbon fiasco, Vista, and now the start button. Can Microsoft add to its growing list of monumental blunders with this revamp? You betcha!
The boffins at MS have now added so much rectal capacity to their products that any new addition/application/press release is almost certain to be full of it.
Gnome 3 dropped their equivalent of the start button, instead opting for the same "hover over corner for a second to get start menu" thing. Unity followed suit.
About half of the techies facing the change didn't like it and threw Gnome3 out for XFCE.
I wonder if the removal of the start button in Win8 will result in the resurrection of alternative shell apps like litestep and WindowBlinds...
Also, am I the only one to think the "hover in the corner for a second" thing will cause serious issues with some full screen games?
All I can say is thank god for KDE, sticking to the recognisable paradigm... I note that Plasma Desktop runs after a fashion on XP. I've not tried 6, 7 or 8 but with a bit of effort it could be made to work...
It will likely be one of the top desktop environments on Windows8 as folks try to find something to replace Metro with. There wasn't a 64bit build the last I checked, although I might want to get involved there and see about helping some on the porting.
The OS and Desktop Environment really are two different things, and always have been. Remember running Norton Desktop (along with a slew of others) on top of Win3.1 to escape the abysmal Program Manager? In the various Linux Distros, its easier to switch back and forth to your hearts content, but with Windows(NT) and Mac(BSD) people seem to have forgotten that the UI is just eyecandy on top of the OS.
Difficult to believe it's 2012...
There could be a dialog window (as opposed to hacking the Registry) where user could choose if they'd like a stupid Start button or not, what shape, what colour, etc.
The fact that they're even discussing this is a great disappointment. How about giving the users more complete control over ALL software updates? How about providing some network presets optimized for dial-up users, satellite users, expensive-bits users, etc. How about making the hibernate file match the actual used memory (as opposed to always 4GB)? How about figuring out how to boot up faster?
They have done a lot of work on booting faster.
Vista went to sleep by default, to flatten the battery in your laptop faster!
Joking aside, Windows 7 does appear to start up fairly quick compared to previous, and is immediately usable, as opposed to the XP 'now wait until ready' behaviour.
Plus they did some clever pre-fetch stuff, esp. for SSDs.
There is a lot of useful stuff under the bonnet, unfortunately the GUI re-designers seem to snatch defeat from the very jaws of victory on a regular basis.
One wonders what hardware and applications these GUI designers are using on a daily basis, as it rarely seems to match common reality.
What is a Hot Spot not?
The start button / menu is iconic to Windows. While it can always be modified and improved removing it completely is Microsoft shooting themselves in the foot. It's what people relate to Windows, so replacing it with a hot spot is crazy. Even if they removed the word start and just had the Windows flag it'd be better than clicking wildly at fresh air....
It sounds like this Desktop interface inside Windows 8 is going to be so bad that they are esentially going to force you into using Metro. It's all well and good posting long winded registry tweaks to bring the menu back, but try telling that to an ordinary user who doesn't know anything other than checking emails, facebook and clicking links they shouldn't
I like the idea of metro on a phone / tablet, but on a decent sized screen it's going to fail. I just want a grid of icons of programs that I use regularly that I can launch as and when I want. I don't want garish colours of giant active tiles that are using resources when I have no particular need for more than 3 or 4 applications at any one time.
Must be the only person in the entire universe
Who likes the ribbon UI!
It's just that people who like things tend not to shout about it on Internet forums...
- Product Round-up Smartwatch face off: Pebble, MetaWatch and new hi-tech timepieces
- Geek's Guide to Britain The bunker at the end of the world - in Essex
- FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know
- If you've bought DRM'd film files from Acetrax, here's the bad news
- VIDEO Herschel Space Observatory spots galaxies merging