back to article It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources

Microsoft's forthcoming wave of Windows updates will streamline the OS and will even see the return of the much-missed Start menu, according to new reports. Rumors that Redmond is planning a new round of updates to the various forms of its OS first surfaced last week, with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reporting that Microsoft will …

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  1. Chris Ashworth

    Add a one time install option to use a traditional start menu and assign default file associations to desktop instead of Modern apps, and 99% of the whinging will go away.

    If you could also pick up Modern apps from the start menu icon and drag to snap onto the desktop...boom. Best of both, desktop people are happy, Modern is still there so people can use the nice aspects of it and get used to it, slab users stay as is.

    1. dotdan

      Have you tried Stardock's ModernMix? It's worth a look - that and Start8 available for $7.99.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Have you tried Stardock's ModernMix? It's worth a look - that and Start8 available for $7.99.

        I love how the MicroSoft apologists are of the belief that an additional Piece of Third-Party Commercial Software (In this case as per the usual), from Stardock for $7.99(USD), can make up for all the ills of MicroSoft's $175.00+(USD) Piece of sh-- OS...

        If this Story has the least bit of creditability to it, they [i.e. MicroSoft] would do very well indeed to step it up a few notches and be ready to launch next Spring.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: the MicroSoft apologists

          Whilst yes third-party software shouldn't be necessary to deliver basic functionality, it shouldn't be forgotten that with Win3.n (and to a lesser extent with later versions) it was normal to have to use (and pay for) third-party utility software to deliver useful functionality...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >>> Have you tried Stardock's ModernMix? It's worth a look - that and Start8 available for $7.99.

        Why have so many commentards voted this down? It's good advice and the ModernMix/Start8 combo is excellent.

        Morons

        1. Piro

          It's probably because of some stupid internet thing about hating the founder of Stardock, or something.

          Who honestly cares. You constantly have to buy things through people which probably aren't all that great.

          Maybe that local greengrocer hit his wife. Maybe the local butcher runs red lights.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      To be honest, this would only solve 35% of my whinging. I still have a significant number of gripes with Windows 8 - not the least being that Microsoft seem to think that their own customers aren't worth listening to - but this would move it from "no go" territory into "I will reluctantly agree to work with this".

      The other 50% of my whinging won't be addressed until Microsoft deal with the clusterfuck that is VDI licensing.

      If Microsoft is serious about fixing Windows 8, then the instant I see proof that this is happening I will write Microsoft a personal thank you, a thank you from my company (a Microsoft Partner) as well as publish a thank you on The Register, WeBreakTech, Trevorpott.com, Petri.co.il and everywhere else I can get it published. They will deserve that for finally acknowledging that we are the customer and we won't buy something unless it meets our needs.

      But Microsoft and I can't be friends until VDI licensing is fixed. That's just the way it has to be.

    3. LarsG

      Having listened to almost the entire world Microsoft realise they should be selling a product that people want rather than a product they say we should have.

      Most likely find sales of Win 8 will increase in a significant scale.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Having listened to almost the entire world Microsoft realise they should ....."

        You lost me there, I'm afraid.

        Microsoft don't listen, they never have, they never will. This is simply a further financial knee jerk reaction to the slow motion commercial car crash that is Windows 8.

        If Microsoft had listened to the W8 beta testers they wouldn't be in this mess. If they reacted quickly to the disastrous launch and negative publicity they wouldn't be here. If they'd listened in the meanwhile, looked at the various shell extensions the market is offering to fix W8, and then done 8.1 properly they wouldn't be in this place. So what are the chances of Microsoft listening and 8.2 doing the necessary job?

        Give me any occaision when Microsoft have showed real contrition, recognised a past mistake, listened to users, and made appropriate amends? Take Vista - they did fix it in the end - but you had to pay for the fixed version that they called Windows 7. Leaving customers to put up with the dogs breakfast of Vista for eighteen months, and then expecting them to stump up twice for a working, stable OS, is that the same as contrition and listening to users?

        I would point out I'm using W8.1 on the small fleet of home and family machines I support, and with Classic Shell it is probably even better than W7. But Microsoft's failed attempt to mollify the peasants with a 3.5 Gb reinstall, that failed to being back the functionality that people wanted shows the bad place they are in.

        How can it require a near full OS reinstall and 3.5 gig of code to add a sodding start button that has virtually no functionality, when third party add ons bring vastly more capability in less than 1% of the same volume of code? And given all this, what is the chance that Microsoft will manage to get it right third time. Worse still, all these repeat attempts to fix W8 distract management from critical things like security. There is no reason in 2013 why Windows should not be as secure for the average user as OS X. Instead it remains a rats nest of critical vulnerabilities, or weeping security sores, with zero day flaws cropping up with monotonous regularity. Meanwhile all the executive effort over the past three years has goine into forcing an unsuitable and unwanted new UI onto customers, and then repeat efforts to fix the resulting problems.

        Can a leopard change its spots? Probably not, but Microsoft aren't even trying.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "This is simply a further financial knee jerk reaction to the slow motion commercial car crash that is Windows 8."

          Actually Windows + Office revenue is up and still increasing....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @AC

            "Actually Windows + Office revenue is up and still increasing...."

            I beg to differ.

            My (small) company is (/ was?) a Microsoft reseller, simply because I think there's a good and honest market for desktops with Windows 7 and Office 2010. I also think quite positively about Server 2008. Heck, we even sold several solutions and some customers who we're still in contact with are still quite happy with their environment(s).

            But the thing is; I can't sell Windows 8. Not merely because I hate it with a passion and steer clear from it best I can, but because my company simply doesn't have the resources required for its after sales. Meaning: getting customers on the phone at a regular interval because they're having a hard time with Windows 8. This goes double when those customers have upgraded from Windows XP. That is our experience, we sold a few Windows 8 licenses to customers who upgraded their Windows XP versions and didn't want the "old" Windows 7 but the most current Windows. Even though the EOL of both products lies closely together.

            A first walk though on site went normally. But then, several days later, the real issues began. Because those customers don't turn to Microsoft or the Internet or whatever for support. They turn to us. Rightfully so, after all we sold it to them, but ye gods...

            And for those who don't understand my frustration: the after sales,or support, goes out of our own pocket. We make a profit on selling the license, we make a lot more profit on the time required to setup their environment, but we don't make any money on trying to help people out over the phone. That only costs us time and time is money.

            Office 2013? Apart from Microsoft's own push of their 365 subscription model this is also something I'd rather not sell. In our experience a lot of people who upgrade from 2010 (or earlier) run into issues as well. Usually small issues, but annoyances still.

            Personally I think that Office 2013 has had a huge makeover to first make sure it would look at feel as closely as possible to the Office 365 web interface, which I consider a huge setback given the limited functionality of said web interface. But second to cover for the lack of functionality which you have in Windows 8.

            Think about it: in Win7 I can start Word from my start menu or jump right to a file which I'm after. If Word sits in the "recent program list" (the left side of your start menu) or has been docked on the task bar then you can simply hover or right click and enter the jumplists. All your recently used files, with also an option to pin files which you need to be available at all times.

            Windows 8 doesn't have this any more. That is; you can still pin icons on your desktop application's taskbar, but that makes working a whole lot more trivial: "Click start, click the desktop, right click the Word icon and access the jumplist".

            So what did MS do? The moment you start Word you're taken directly to the "back stage" view where you can opt to start a new document or open an old one. You can't tell Word that it should always start with a new document unless you're opening one yourself.

            All of those changes annoy a lot of Office users it seems. Quite frankly we saw our sale numbers go down, not up. But do keep in mind that we're a rather small company, and selling software and the likes is not our core business.

            Microsofts problem is that they're still not used to competition. They're totally clueless. Even up to a point where they introduce change for the sake of change because, in their vision, "change sells". Apparently unaware that if people don't like said change they either don't upgrade or worse: bail and jump on the competitors bandwagon.

            Amazingly enough we did see a rise in people asking us about OpenOffice (after which we also make them aware of LibreOffice) as well as asking us how much it would cost them for us to come over and install it.

        2. mark jacobs

          Too right!

          I agree 100% with you. "Classic Shell" is a superb, free-of-charge add-on to Windows 8 which turns it into a faster Windows 7 desktop arrangement. Security is simply not being addressed properly by the mainstream players. I wrote a free-of-charge security product for Windows ( jacobsm.com/mjsoft.htm ) called MJ Registry Watcher that safeguards the registry and all system files by monitoring for changes and, when something does attempt to change one of these sensitive system areas, it instantly undoes the change and allows you to choose whether to allow the change to happen. It uses next to no resources, runs on everything from Windows 95 to Windows 8.1, and does not need any signature files to be kept up-to-date. If anything tries to get into an "auto-start" situation, MJ Registry Watcher will stop it and kill it! It has silent modes of operation, including a service mode, and it can email people when alerts occur, for example, when it is running on our public-facing web-servers, it can keep my team informed of any changes to the server's configuration. <sweeping generalisation>All the best software is free-of-charge!</sweeping generalisation>

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      "...a UI designed for keyboards and mice."

      "...a UI designed for keyboards and mice."

      OMG, what an amazing concept. It would be quite useful to have a UI designed for keyboards and mice for all those PCs that are equipped with keyboards and mice.

      Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: "...a UI designed for keyboards and mice."

        ...but not just any keyboard or mouse ...

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: "...but not just any keyboard or mouse ..."

          ...the keyboard and mouse that iGod(TM) gave you!

  2. Bladeforce

    Had enough of Microsoft..

    They deserve to be stuck in the past for the sake of us all

    1. Wanda Lust

      Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

      They definitely deserve to be stuck in the past.

      Please, please, STFU about the start menu. Android, iOS, OSX, Ubuntu (”stock") are all just fine without something similar.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

        Android and iOS are consumptive, monotasking operating systems. You don't do productivity work on them, so nobody cares overmuch if they suck giant monkey balls at actually being useful.

        OSX has a dock bar that is almost a start menu - it's far better than Windows' task bar - and it has an application folder that works just like a start menu, can be resized, moved around, and - most critically - can be on the screen at the same time as other items, important for then you're trying to follow instructions or do research.

        Ubuntu with unity is quite shit, as the rise of Mint has proven more than adequately.

        An OS without a productivity interface is fine for the majority of devices because the majority of devices are consumptive - not productive - in nature. There are still hundreds of millions of units per year that will ship with a productive OS, even if that number is overwhelmingly dwarfed by the consumptive fondletat.

        So, STFU about your desire to impose your way of life on everyone else. We're demanding choice. You're demanding we don't get access to said choice. That makes you an asshole, pure and simple.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

          Any interface that demands the pre-requisite knowledge that you have to hover the pointer over this particular screen edge and quickly move it in a certain way in order to access e.g. the settings menu is f***ed up big time. The whole idea of WIMP and GUI is exactly that, it's got visual feedback. Out of the box, Windows 8 alienates the end user. OK, so with OSX you can hide the dock etc. but you can control that behaviour - hot corners turned off by default, dock hiding turned off by default etc etc. Windows 8, turn it on and it's not so much an OOBE, but a WTF?E

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers @Trevor_Pott 10:17

          "So, STFU about your desire to impose your way of life on everyone else. We're demanding choice. You're demanding we don't get access to said choice. That makes you an asshole, pure and simple."

          He's demanding no such thing. He's asking that you stop whining. As for imposing one's way of life on everyone else? Always seems to be the goal of those who don't like MS rather than the other way round, to be honest. At least you were right when you earlier admitted to being a loud-mouthed opinionated dick.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers @Trevor_Pott 10:17

            No, he's pretty clear that he believes OSes are better without a start menu and that he would much rather future versions of Windows - or anything else, for that matter - don't come with them. In other words, he wants everyone else to not have choice regarding their OS UI simply because he prefers something different.

            Demanding that those who protest a lack of choice be silent is a dick move. Almost as big of a dick move as denying individuals choice in the first place. Shockingly, however, I think you'll find that I don't hold the opinions of assholes like him - or supports of assholes such as yourself - in high regard at all.

            I'd go so far as to say I hold them in sever contempt. Contempt enough that their anger, irritation and moral outrage are like the duclet tones on pure ecstasy to me. I revel in their outrage. I dine upon their annoyance. I revel in their pettiness.

            So yeah, I stand up for the little guy, I demand choice and I believe that your money is yours to spend as you choose; you shouldn't be tricked, coerced, locked-in, or otherwise made to buy what you don't want. I believe that if you want to sell something you should have to sell what people want. 'm a loud-mouthed opinionated dick that's for the people.

            The dude above is an asshole, and you're a jackass. Isn't the internet awesome? Have a great time, buddy, and I hope one day you find something that brings you joy other than stepping on others. Seems like you could use something worthwhile in your life. Peace.

            Edited to add: and where is it written that I don't like MS? The endpoint division can go fuck itself with a rusty rake - though maybe I'll decide otherwise if they fix Windows 8 - and I hate the licensing department more than all but a handful of humans on earth. That's well known. But there's lots of Microsoft, and I am pretty much in love with the STB guys. How binary does one's mind have to be that criticism of one area must be hatred for the whole?

            Microsoft and I can't be friends because continuing to give them money is validating their bad decisions. That doesn't mean I don't think there's a shitload of fantastic, intelligent people doing great works there, because there are.

            It means that I don't give the person abusing me a shiny new tungsten baseball bat on their birthday. I walk the fuck out of the house and don't come back until they had a quite serious amount of counselling. Things for you to consider (if that is indeed something you are willing and capable of doing.)

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers @Trevor_Pott 10:17

              I'm also a loudmouthed, opinionated dick who can't spell. Really should put Swype on this thing and get used to using it. Or get a keyboard cover. Hmm....now I want a keyboard cover for a Galaxy Note 2...

              Edit: well there's lots for that 10.1" monstrosity that uses the note name, but I'm having the devil's own time finding one for the phone. Curses!

            2. Wanda Lust

              Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

              It's not about choice, I don't get to make the design decisions, I only get to use what Microsoft, Apple, Canonical, et al, decide to provide. At some some point in the evolution of their products all those vendors have to make a change & we consumers are obliged to accomodate those changes (by accepting or moving on)

              Microsoft have had to make significant choices in order to stay relevant (maintain share) in the onslaught of mobile & cloud, their entrenchment as the legacy owner of the desktop workstation OS drove something radical.

              From a productivity perspective, I have always found the Windows Start menu & selecting items from it to actually be a hinderance. I developed my use of keyboard shortcuts, the Windows 8 app selection process is very easy: hit the start key, type a few unique characters of the application name & you're there.

              I'm disappointed that posters resort to personal insults while describing their point of view against others. I don't think that's necessary but a little profanity (in an adjective form) or terseness should be excused as we don't all have the time to post in verbose form and, really, is commenting that serious an endeavour?

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

                " we consumers are obliged to accomodate those changes (by accepting or moving on)"

                Bullshit. We are obliged to do no such thing. We have free will and the right to lobby corporations, designers and even governments to reverse decisions we don't like. We have the right to lobby for choice. We have no obligation whatsoever to simply suck it up and take it.

                Doubly so when there is "nowhere else to go." And let me pre-empt the bullshit "well it's simple to just up and change" by saying that if you were even thinking that was a legitimate bit of internet commentard assholishness I hope a bus hits you in the crotch. Repeatedly. You fucking know better.

                You stand up to bullies, you don't mew meekly in a corner. Bullies com in all forms, even monopolistic corporations with a death grip on a market segment. Especially monopolistic corporations with a death grip on a market segment. You are under no obligation to hand your abuser back the baseball bat after they're done beating you just because there's no other shelter you can find.

                Your worldview makes me despair.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. @ Wanda Lust

                "I'm disappointed that posters resort to personal insults while describing their point of view against others. I don't think that's necessary but a little profanity (in an adjective form) or terseness should be excused...."

                So telling people they are "whingers", and because you don't share their opinion they should "STFU" should be excused because you don't like the vitriolic response that it got?

                Idiot.

              3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

              4. ByeLaw101

                Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

                "It's not about choice, I don't get to make the design decisions, I only get to use what Microsoft, Apple, Canonical, et al, decide to provide. "

                No. It really is about choice. I make choices all the time, i life and not just computers ... and I don't rely on people telling me what I want.

                " At some some point in the evolution of their products all those vendors have to make a change & we consumers are obliged to accomodate those changes (by accepting or moving on)"

                No. I am not obliged to accommodate anything I don't like... See me point about choice above.

                "I developed my use of keyboard shortcuts"

                So do I, in Windows 7 it works just fine.

                "I'm disappointed that posters resort to personal insults while describing their point of view against others. "

                So, I would suggest you tone down the condescending tone of your post to stop inviting them.

                " I don't think that's necessary but a little profanity (in an adjective form) or terseness should be excused as we don't all have the time to post in verbose form and, really, is commenting that serious an endeavour?"

                Again, do you see the condescending slant there?

                How can you argue that we should not have a choice? How do you feel justified with that?

              5. Dave K Silver badge

                Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

                "At some some point in the evolution of their products all those vendors have to make a change & we consumers are obliged to accomodate those changes (by accepting or moving on)"

                Rubbish. If Microsoft implement a crap interface and provide no way of working around it, I'm not forced to either accept it or move to a different OS (ie Linux). The third option is to shun that particular version of Windows, stick with one that works properly for what I use it for (Windows 7), then make damn sure that Microsoft is aware that I think Windows 8 is a mistake.

                If everyone quietly accepts even when they disagree, MS will continue to steamroller over everyone. If enough people shun that version of Windows and complain, MS eventually are forced to react. They did it with Vista (by fixing it and calling it Windows 7), then they tried to do the same thing with Windows 8.1 (although not successfully - hence the continuing complains and the further planned concessions).

                And to go back to the first point, nobody is demanding that MS get rid of Metro and force the Start Menu on everyone again. I'm fully aware that not everyone loves it. The only thing anyone is asking for is choice. MS used to provide this, Windows 8 is the first version that doesn't. That is the crux of the problem.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

          Don't hold back, Trevor. Say what you really think :-)

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

            I can't say what I really think. If I did I'd never be allowed to write on these forums again. Believe me, this is quite toned down.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

        And, how are these things similar to WIndows? Barring Ubuntu, which is also a piece of junk. Which is why I use Mint Linux....

      3. GrumpyMiddleAgedGuy

        Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

        Only use Ubuntu regularly - it's awful too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

          >>> Only use Ubuntu regularly - it's awful too.

          I installed Ubuntu earlier this year.

          First impression: Awesome and does everything windows does. Why doesn't everyone install this?

          Second impression: It crashes and hangs. A lot. Yet the Linux pricks still talk about the BSOD that no one has seen since around 2001.

          1. Vociferous

            Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

            > I installed Ubuntu earlier this year

            I'm sorry to hear that. As you've noticed it's temperamental and has almost as bad GUI as Windows 8. To this day I've been unable to get Ubuntu Desktop to run stably in emulation (Ubuntu Server is a completely different beast, perhaps because it doesn't have a GUI).

            I recommend Linux Mint instead, it's a considerably more pleasant experience. As a bonus it too is based on Debian, so all commands, tips & tricks for Ubuntu also work with Linux Mint.

      4. Vociferous

        Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

        > Please, please, STFU about the start menu.

        Seriously, go fuck yourself.

        Search-for-everything is an utterly retarded UI design decision, in Windows 8 and in Ubuntu.

      5. WylieCoyoteUK

        Re: Had enough of Microsoft.. start menu whingers

        I expect you think that the marketing ploy called "The Ribbon" is usable as well.

        Despite the fact that 60% of users still hate it apparently.

  3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Too little, too late?

    They might as well extend the XP support period until 2015 which is when most people will next upgrade unless they absolutely have to.

    1. tirk

      Re: Too little, too late?

      Frankly if they even charged a modest fee for support of XP until 2015 many people would be happy to pay.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too little, too late?

      Well it's too late for me. I didn't like the direction MS was going with Windows and as I don't game anymore I decided to move to Linux full time (I was prevously only dabbling in it). I appreciate that it's not for everyone and there are annoyances with it for me but the choice of how I want it to look and act was the killer decision.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Too little, too late?

        " I didn't like the direction MS was going with Windows and as I don't game anymore."

        Boy are you in for some bad news now that Steam is on Linux then....

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Too little, too late?

          5 Thumbs down for SteamOS / Box? Naggh this place isn't pwned by MicroSoft Shrills now is it?

  4. Kevin (Just Kevin)

    Proxies

    I just wish they'd add proper proxy support to Metro apps. You can now import the IE desktop proxy settings via the command line but it only works for fixed proxies. It doesn't do proxy.pac or WPAD which is a 100% necessity here. Which means I can't even get weather.

    1. Piro

      Re: Proxies

      To be fair, that's where you're going wrong - Metro apps are totally pointless and not actually intended for use.

  5. Captain DaFt

    So.. Three different versions of Windows... one for the Home desktop, one for enterprise, and one for slates and phones.

    Is this as well as, or instead of the current Slate and Phone versions?

    Is there a migration path if it's replacing those?

    Will it be a simple upgrade from current versions, or a product by product roll out?

    ... I'm getting a thoroughly Modern headache!

    1. Paul Shirley

      Microsoft put considerable effort into convincing developers there would be platform convergence and at least broad app compatibility across pc,tablet and phone before completely failing to deliver it in Win8. Today's plan is little more than saying "trust us, this time we'll really deliver what we promised last time".

      The only change is finally conceding they cocked up the desktop+mouse+keyboard experience though I'll be shocked if they actually revert the metro look&feel vandalism that makes it so unpleasant to use. Good thing 3rd parties have already reverted out most of the chrome breakage - the vanished or de-emphasised visual cues that just make metro mode look dull in comparison.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge

      re: different versions

      Home, enterprise, slates, phones. Isn't that four versions? Although the home and enterprise OS systems run the same code, so three after all. Then again 32-bit x86 systems don't run 64-bit and 64-bit won't run DOS software... And I thought WinPho was a subset of WinRT or something like that. And Windows CE is still available. So how many code bases do we have?

      Can I run any selected 32-bit Linux ELF binaries on Android devices? If the software needs re-compilation what's the difference? ARM compiled software won't work on MIPS platforms without compilation and more or less source diving. Doesn't this apply to Windows and Apple software as well?

      OSX and IOS are incompatible. Why aren't people whining about this? Apple, of all vendors, should have the means of unifying things because they're the sole provider of both OS's and the hardware as well. Rosetta made it work when they transitioned to Intel a decade ago.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        OSX and IOS are incompatible. Why aren't people whining about this?

        Because one's a consumptive OS and the other's a productive OS and there isn't a rational reason the twain should meet?

      2. Vociferous

        Re: re: different versions

        > OSX and IOS are incompatible. Why aren't people whining about this?

        Possibly because Apple never made a big deal of how they'd have the same codebase and be able to run the same software irregardless of hardware? Microsoft did that, you know. As recently as last year Microsoft still maintained that all versions of windows were supposed to have converged by 2014.

  6. Peter27x
    Stop

    Start Screen vs Start Menu

    Please don't bring the start menu!

    Ok from Win 95 through Win2000 it was a good idea compared from what went before. Having a button in the bottom corner which was a constant and therefore could always be accessed made using a computer a lot easier, having a simple menu structure activate from that button was logical. I feel things started to go downhill when WinXP arrived with a two column start menu. In Vista is just got far too complicated, a lot of functions were cramed into a small area, it got more difficult to use and navigate, as well as slower to use.

    The Start Screen could be a great interface, at the moment it just feels underdeveloped. Having the much larger area of the whole screen should give a better experience. If they improved the layout flexibility, the auto-arrange-inverted-gravity is a bit of a pain (Win Phone has a similar problem but it is a bit better).

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: Start Screen vs Start Menu

      It's an option. Don't like it? Buy the fondleslab version meant for touch-enabled devices which will keep the start screen. The rest of us will gladly buy the "classic desktop" version as we feel the start screen is a waste of resources (surely the widgets in there draw data from my punitive 6GB-a-month mobile network quota, and draws CPU power and memory as it updates in the background whether It's being shown or not!)

      However, if ReactOS can hit the big 1.0 before then, I'd gladly take it over Win8.2!

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Start Screen vs Start Menu

        "It's an option. Don't like it? Buy the fondleslab version..."

        Why can't there be, ...oh... what's it called? hmmm.... oh yeah!, a *setting* to allow the user to choose his or her preferred GUI options.

        Of course, you'd need a processor, some non-volatile storage, some sort of a graphical tick-box to enable and disable the applicable options, maybe a screen of some sort, and a pointer device with a button. The language behind the OS would also require a processing structure sometimes called the IF-THEN-ELSE statement. Hmmm, sounds pretty complicated. Okay, forget it. It's well beyond human capabilities at this juncture in history.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Start Screen vs Start Menu

      You forgot to paste in the bit about how you bought one for your daughter and she thinks it's great.

    3. WylieCoyoteUK

      Re: Start Screen vs Start Menu

      Well spotted, MS have been trying to put people off it since XP, mainly by making it less usable.

  7. MrDamage

    File Size?

    The "update" to give people some of what they wanted in 8.1 was about 3.5gb. What is going to bethe download size of this "update", and are new machine that are going to be sold going to be installed with 8.2, or will they continue to push out 8.0, and force people to blow a hell of a lot of their monthly quota on updates that should have been incorprated into the OS form the beginning?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: File Size?

      we actually advise people not to install 8.1 on the machines we sale. Why? Because we use a third party app to give people a start menu that works and makes windows 8 usable. Unfortunatly, the upgrade to 8.1 causes major headaches with it.

      It's either that or continue to sale windows 7, because most people really hate windows 8 when they try to use it.

      1. sam bo

        Re: File Size?

        Maybe time to try a better third party app then ?

        I use Classic Shell and it worked on 8.0 and continues to work flawlessly since the 8.1 upgrade. i am still discovering useful features that came with 8.1 -Classic Shell is free too, so no loss to try it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: File Size?

        "we actually advise people not to install 8.1 on the machines we sale."

        You've used "sale" twice instead of "sell" - is saling a new, improved form of selling? (If so, it's going to be confusing using the phrase "they were saling me down the river with that new Windows 8.2 system".)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: File Size?

          @AC 03:40, English is second or third language maybe.

      3. PassingStrange

        Re: File Size?

        So basically your criticism of 8.1 is that a third party app you supply doesn't play well with it - and that rather than go to 8.1 (and, presumably, the support chain of dependent fixes that will inevitably form behind it) they should stick with your app? You might want to rethink your technical priorities, if only for your customers' sake.

      4. Imran Chaudhry

        Re: File Size?

        I upgraded to Windows 8 from XP. No liking the new GUI, and wanting something more XP-like, I installed Start8 from Stardock (I paid $4 for it). This made Windows 8 much more familiar and pleasant to use. It's very fast, even compared to Windows 8 - so I now think it's the best Windows release ever.

        I upgraded to 8.1 but opted to stay with Start8 - seriously, those complaining about Windows 8 should try out an evaluation of Start8 (no I'm not affiliated with Stardock!).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how about ...

    A reliable, low cost version, virus resistant and open source ? Call it linux, perhaps ?

    1. dogged

      Re: how about ...

      If something that was open source sat on as many desktops as Windows and dealt with as many bank details and credit card numbers, "virus resistant" would be a fool's dream.

      Oh, hi AC.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: how about ...

      "A reliable, low cost version, virus resistant and open source ? Call it linux, perhaps ?"

      You know that Linux has LOTS more holes than Windows? The difference is that Linux has 1% market share on the desktop. For a vision of what Linux would look like on the desktop if it was popular, just look at Android - it has more types of malware than Windows these days....

      1. cyborg
        FAIL

        Re: how about ...

        "The difference is that Linux has 1% market share on the desktop."

        Yeah, because none of those servers out there on the Internet run anything that anyone might care about.

        1. Pascal

          Re: how about ...

          "Yeah, because none of those servers out there on the Internet run anything that anyone might care about."

          I hesitate to step in a Linux vs Windows thread... However many of the classical malware spreaders go after bank accounts and the like. Or they want to make botnets for various nefarious deeds including apparently bitcoin mining now. These are all attacks that want to hit a critical mass of machines, which they'll reach by infecting of millions of desktop.

          People that go after databases (the recent adobe mess comes to mind) typically don't do it by emailing dodgy .doc or .pdf files to sysadmins hoping they'll execute them on their web/database servers. So saying "lots of servers run Linux and there's not a ton of malware on it so it's proof that Linux is malware-proof" is dubious logic.

          At the very least we can look at the reasonably large number of Windows servers our there, see that most of them are not malware-ridden like their desktop counterparts, and see that there is some logic behind the idea that malware attacks target the most common denominators.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: how about ...

            Indeed. I get to deal with a lot more creepy crawlies in my life through SQL injection attacks than infected desktops. The last three infected desktops I had were Macs! I've also had infected iPhones and an Android device through the lab in the past month...

          2. cyborg
            Linux

            Re: how about ...

            "So saying "lots of servers run Linux and there's not a ton of malware on it so it's proof that Linux is malware-proof" is dubious logic."

            Not really what I'm saying, just attacking the idea that somehow it isn't important if it's not on "your" machine when clearly that is not the case.

  9. Paul J Turner

    2015!?

    Way too late, Linux will have got it's foot well and truly in the door by then, what with XP being dropped, 8.x unusable for actual productivity and desktop PC work and gamers having Steam OS as an option.

    That and people like me advising people with older machines running an unsupported XP how to use Gmail and GoogleDocs to avoid losing stuff when their old PC finally dies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2015!?

      No.

      When will Linux supporters give it up and realize that OS decisions are based om one premise; IT'S THE APPS, STUPID.

      Since Linux has no native specialty business or industrial desktop apps (note I said desktop), Windows is not going anywhere. Entire industries run on Windows desktop applications and they are not going to start from scratch with a full rewrite just to satisfy the dreams of, what is currently, the users of 1.61% of the market share. And no, "Just run in WINE" doesn't cut it as it only doubles the tech support needed and adds new unknowns to everyone's individual configuration.

      So, dammit, stop drinking the Kool-Aid and wake the hell up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 02:13GMT - Re: 2015!?

        But the whole industry will start from scratch anyway to port their applications on TIFKAM/MS Store and retrain their users so, the hell, why not! Especially since there are a few success stories by now.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: @AC 02:13GMT - 2015!? @AC 02:53GMT

          You're overlooking the shed loads of money and marketing pressure that:

          - MS spent in the 80's and early 90's in getting serious developers to port and then develop on their platform.

          - Apple spent in getting third-party app's into their app store.

          Yes developers will change, but in the main, this will be driven by customer demand - unless a major player decides to make a move and endorses a particular OS platform.

          1. Rattus Rattus

            Re: @Roland6

            "unless a major player decides to make a move and endorses a particular OS platform"

            Such as Valve and their Steambox?

            God knows, gaming is the only "killer app" that has kept me tied to Windows for the last few years. Once I can game on Linux more easily than it currently is to wrestle with WINE, I won't be installing another Microsoft OS again.

            1. Vociferous

              Re: @Roland6

              > gaming is the only "killer app" that has kept me tied to Windows

              Yes, for home users I agree. Gaming is the sole reason I have Windows on my home machine, Office is the sole reason I have Windows on my work machine.

      2. Vociferous

        Re: 2015!?

        > When will Linux supporters give it up and realize that OS decisions are based om one premise; IT'S THE APPS, STUPID.

        In the case of Windows, it isn't the apps, it's THE app: Microsoft Office. The whole & sole reason Windows dominates the way it does is Microsoft Office.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: 2015!?

          Office exists for Mac OSX

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2015!?

      So 2014 will be the year of Linux on the desktop?

      (btw: I am a Linux user amongst other things and a Linux desktop user, but really?)

      1. fandom

        Re: 2015!?

        "So 2014 will be the year of Linux on the desktop?"

        No, but if SteamOS is at all successful, it could very well be the year of Linux on game consoles.

        Step by step you know.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 2015!?

          We've already seen year of the Linux smart phone and year of the Linux tablet… Android/Linux for sure rather than GNU/Linux, but Linux all the same.

          I'm not going to go predicting when it might take over. For all I know, it could be year of the BSD desktop. That'd be a cat among the pigeons, or perhaps a demon in the rookery!

      2. Bob Camp

        Re: 2015!?

        Well, Linux users have been saying "next year" for 20 years now. Sometime in the next 100 years it's bound to be true. Unless desktops disappear and tablets take over. If that happens, does Android count?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, let me make sure I understand. They came out with 8.1 to add the start button back, clocking in at, what, around 3.5g downloaded update. Now, they have "threshold" that will add the start button...again, and that update will be how big? I must say, MS is pushing the threshold in the size of ......a start button that can be downloaded and added via third party for free and a only a few hundred k.

    Are you sure Balmer has left the building?

    For a company trying to mimic apple, they sure are pushing the threshold...

    OK, done now, let the down votes begin!

    1. Paul Shirley

      Much though I'd like to join in the bashing here, 8.1 changed so much of the core OS it was never going to be a small update. Although they seemed to downplay it, 8.1 seems to have fixed a shedload of problems, I went from needing to restart every 5 days or so as it crawled to a halt or crashed, to weeks of uptime. From less stable than XP to pretty good, even hardware that fell over regularly on 8.0 just works under 8.1.

      The update also cleaned out a vast amount of accumulated bloat that nothing else could shift and 8.1 seems to be generating much less of it.

      3+gb would be outrageous to restore a useless button, in reality this is a massive bug fix for the entire broken OS.

      1. Spoonsinger

        Re :- "The update also cleaned out a vast amount of accumulated bloat"

        well 8.1 did clear out music stuff provided in Win7 and removed the quite nice "Start" screen backgrounds from windows 8. I do think it's a slippery path to removing stuff during an 'upgrade' which has sat there for, (upto), quite a few years regardless of whether you wanted it there or not. An upgrade should be an "upgrade" to functionality, not removal of content, (or in the case of XP to Vista/7, functionality),

        (ps this is on a laptop which has I've done straight in-place upgrades of Vista->Windows 7-> Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 since 2008. It's still running. Would I do this on my main box - no fucking way).

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Re :- "The update also cleaned out a vast amount of accumulated bloat"

          By bloat I mean the 5+gb of leftover files 12months updates, installs and uninstalls had scattered throughout the system folders, with no way to tell what was deletable and no tool able to deal with them. In some cases with permissions preventing even administrator accounts deleting them.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too late Microsoft, too late

    Microsoft are either hoping that by 2015, people will have forgotten the look of traditional Windows, or they are determined to eventually push themselves into irrelevancy with the majority of their current customers.

    Microsoft: 2015 to bring back the traditional Start button and the traditional look is too long to wait for a serious mistake and lack of judgment to be corrected.

    BTW... Your products are also too bloated, too slow, and too expensive.

    1. Gray
      Devil

      Re: Too late Microsoft, too late

      "they are determined to eventually push themselves into irrelevancy with the majority of their current customers."

      It's more like they were looking down at their own 'wonderfulness' while crossing the street, and stepped into an open manhole. Such a massive, arrogant corporation looks only unto itself, while continuing to deepen the surrounding moat to hold back the unwashed, hostile hordes of unbelievers.

      Yes, MS products are also too bloated, too slow, and too expensive ... but a fact that fails to get much notice in this forum is that MS has all local, state, and national governments by the "short and curlies" and will not be letting go anytime soon. All of them are tightly bound to MS, with no hope of cutting loose. Why should MS worry about my dollar, when they can extract thousands of my dollars in taxes required to support their death-grip on our governments at every level? Not so? Then appear at your local council meeting, and suggest that they should consider migrating their systems to an "open source" alternative. Wear earplugs, lest you lose your hearing to the shrieks and wails of protest. City of Munich notwithstanding.

      One final point: when XP expires, I expect our local city/county government to be asking the taxpayers for a massive reinvestment as none of the hardware in use will be able to run Win8.x. Expect an additional massive tax burden to pay for personnel retraining to accomodate the new fondle-slab interface.

      Sad. Simply too damned sad.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So basically back to Windows 3.1 circa 1993

    Good progress !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So basically back to Windows 3.1 circa 1993

      Yep… put the start screen in a window, and it's almost like the old Program Manager.

      Except Program Manager had groups of icons, top level always had program groups, each with a level of icons.

      The Start screen just had all the program icons on the root level, with no hierarchy.

      1. Private Citizen.AU
        FAIL

        Re: So basically back to Windows 3.1 circa 1993

        I would have to agree that start screen has all the functionality of GEM Desktop

  13. Private Citizen.AU
    FAIL

    Windows 8.2? I will read about it on my Droid device

    Microsoft had better hurry up while it still has fans. They have to learn that they cannot force feed us the "Modern UI" assuming that we are strapped to a chair like a scene from "Clockwork Orange". The user pushback has stalled the PC market as users stick with their familiar desktops.

    Just bought my first Tablet, and I learning how to run my favourite DOS games under android.

    Windows 7 worked the way I wanted. Windows 8 frustrated me. Windows 8.1 drove me to buy a droid tablet. Windows 8.2 better be the windows 7.0 UI with embellishments and high performance innards, or I will hold on to my ageing desktop while continuing to migrate my computing elsewhere.

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      Re: RSTA on Microsoft's part

      It would make sense for Microsoft to make an OS for idiots and casual users (like Windows 98/XP) with their "Modern" UI and desktop, an OS for professionals (NT4/Windows 2000) with the old Win32 "classic" UI and desktop, and an Enterprise OS (Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs and the Server OSes). Its back to the status quo as it should be in my mind. ME and 8 were great experiments and they both fell flat on their asses.

      It actually makes me think that maybe, just maybe they've been listening to us. I'm probably wrong though.

      1. Goat Jam

        Re: RSTA on Microsoft's part

        ME wasn't an experiment, it was a last minute stop gap measure to keep users on the upgrade treadmill because MS had not released a successor to 98 in two years and at that point they had been unable to get the code base merger between 9x and NT working properly.

        ME was rushed out the door to buy them some time and a couple of years later XP came out and the 9x based product line was thankfully killed off forever.

  14. loneranger

    Somewhat good news, but far from enough

    "A second version of Windows will be aimed at customers who want a more traditional PC experience, Foley reports, with emphasis on the desktop and a UI designed for keyboards and mice."

    It's about time. I already tried 8.0, and it was a disaster on several levels.

    1) No start menu, and 8.1 didn't address that in truth. But you can buy 3rd party software to address it.

    2) Forcing traditional non touch screen PC's to use an OS designed for a touch screen only, which is totally ridiculous. I totally dislike the touch screen approach, and won't buy a touch screen PC, because I use Adobe Indesign with publishing work and need a mouse all the time. This is minor for many, but a major for me.

    3) The change in bootup from Win7 is the biggest and worst aspect of Win8x, and this is a complete FAIL in my opinion. When you really need to use a boot disk because the OS has crashed, you can't, because it won't let you! The OS has to be working in order to change boot options, so these are visible during bootup, but if the OS has crashed, you are out of luck, and then the only option left is to take out the hard disk, reformat it with another PC, and start over from scratch. And if you are not well aquainted with all of the procedures needed to execute this complex task, you will be forced to take your PC to a repair shop if you want to get it working again. Even for me, with almost 20 years of experience with PC's and Windows, it is not easy, because the new Win8 boot up is way different than the old one. You can't use a Win7 (and previous) boot disk.

    So unless MS replaces the new Win8 bootup approach with a different one, like using a fingerprint scanner on the PC to allow a user access to the BIOS and boot options when necessary, then I am going to stand pat on Win7 no matter what they do.

    I want to add that Win8 has some good features: fast bootup, some additional tools, etc. Unfortunately, these are overwhelmed by all of the negatives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Somewhat good news, but far from enough

      " When you really need to use a boot disk because the OS has crashed, you can't, because it won't let you! The OS has to be working in order to change boot options, so these are visible during bootup, but if the OS has crashed, you are out of luck, "

      The whole advanced reboot and recovery thing is an absolute tragedy with W8 (and 8.1). The system allows you to make a small bootable USB recovery drive that will get you into the recovery options (and you only need to get into the BIOS, not the HDD W8 install). That's really rather good. But by the time most people find this it's too late because they didn't know, or chose not to sacrifice a USB stick for this purpose. A bootable 8.1 reinstall disk burned by the user would have been even better, but there's no option to do that. Another example of Microsoft seeing the world only from their own perspective.

      Likewise, even when you can get into W8, and you need to do an advanced restart, it's soooo easy to get to, just hold down the shift key when you select restart from shut down screen. Except too many people simply don't know that. How much did it cost to have a proper advanced options menu link on that screen?

      Bringing these together with the built in system imaging capability, W8 should be a work of genius in terms of recoverability. Instead it's all too obscure, or defaults to the wrong thing. Likewise file versioning is turned off by default. The built in backup saves files as VHD and XML, which is pointless and unhelpful if you want to access backups without having access to Windows restore. The WIndows firewall can, but is not easily configurable to block outbound connections, so you need TinyWall or a paid product to enable capabilities that W8 has but aren't properly configured by default. Etc, etc.

      So much that is good, yet the obsession with the TIFKAM UI and lack of attention to the defaults and useability negate them all.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Somewhat good news, but far from enough

      "The OS has to be working in order to change boot options, so these are visible during bootup"

      What? I've had no problems entering BIOS or selecting the Boot menu Windows 8 equipped computers offer. Because newer computer POST faster you need to be quick before the OS starts loading.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Somewhat good news, but far from enough

        >Because newer computer POST faster

        Yes, I've noticed that many pre-configured computers come with the BIOS set to enable a fast boot. Whilst this gives a good startup impression ie. fast boot, it does make it a little more tricky getting into the BIOS to change it...

  15. Julian Smart
    Mushroom

    Disaster

    If this is accurate, it's going to have us all looking back at Windows 8.0 with fond nostalgia.

    So... you have a new Windows Dumb, er Modern touchscreen all-in-one machine, perhaps as a family machine or for an older relative. Want to do some maintenance of the machine in Desktop mode? No joy.

    You're a developer creating Modern apps. How the heck do you test and debug them from your (presumably) Desktop environment? An emulator or VM?

    You're a developer of WIN32 applications and customers complain they can't run the software any more on their new PCs...

    You have a touchscreen laptop and like to run WIN32 applications and occasional Modern apps. No can do, without switching OS.

    The fragmentation and confusion will be far, far worse than before. Basically it's Windows RT writ large. I don't know what the answer is for Microsoft, but this is going to be interesting to watch. And stressful for Desktop application vendors like me.

    1. Spoonsinger

      Re: "And stressful for Desktop application vendors like me"

      If you are a "vendor", then you'll know that "confusion = profit". Go with the flow and reap the rewards. (Not saying I agree with this, but a person has to eat).

  16. poopypants

    "For example, he claims, the so-called Windows 8.2 will allow users to run multiple Windows Store apps in windows on the desktop, rather than being forced to run them full screen even on high-resolution monitors, as they must do now."

    I can do that already with Start8 (one of many third party fixes available). Why wait?

    1. Captain DaFt

      "I can do that already with Start8 (one of many third party fixes available). Why wait?"

      Remember the good ol' days when Windows was playing catch-up (badly) with Apple?

      Now it's reduced to playing catch-up with add-ons to itself... sad.

  17. kevin biswas

    Too late

    In the end they got Vista more-or-less working properly too but by that time it was too late. The public had heard the horror stories and word was out that Vista was a lemon. Same will happen with 8.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Too late

      "In the end they got Vista more-or-less working properly"

      Yes, and then they sold it as Windows 7 rather than upgrading the poor suckers who had been visted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too late (to stop whining about Microsoft!)

        Paul, You obviously have rarely used Windows 7 or are just a Linux Shill/Microsoft Hater.

        If you had used Win7 for any lenth of time you would have known that it fixed most of the objections of Vista with the exception of UAC. Win7 DID make UAC ALOT less annoying however and did not mess up file permissions like Vista did.

        If you haven't figured it out by now, FWIW, no one should ever do an "upgrade" on any OS. It simply never works as well as a clean install does. You should always buy the "pro" version when buying Windows, it's just the better part of valor.

        There were significant improvements to security and overall operation in Win7 that changed too much to consider a "Upgrade from Vista".

        Win7 is actually about the best OS MS has done since XP Pro and before that Win98SE..

        The fact remains that you cannot fix things in an OS without changing the code and that costs time and money. Therefore, you have to pay for it. You always have had to with Apple. Don't even bring Linux into the argument as it has almost always been "free" if you don't consider all the time it takes to make it work with hardware drivers.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Too late

      The same thing has happenend to Windows Hate. That's why we call it Hate, instead of Eight..

  18. Jim84

    How about one version of windows

    With an option to turn a windows 7 style start menu or modern interface on and off, and another clear option to turn automatic updates on and off.

    And make it work across ARM and Intel chips.

    I'm no expert, but I don't see why this is so hard to do? The only logical reason I can come up with is that Microsoft wants a large library of touch based apps for its windows 8 ecosytem, but is afraid that if they allow a windows 7 style interface on desktops and laptops no one will bother to create these. A better strategy might be to get loads more windows 8 phones and tablets out there in peoples hands by creating (or getting Samsung or some other OEM) to create a heavily subsidized 'hero' phone and tablet that they make little margin on, much like google did with the Nexus 10 tablet.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF?

    "A second version of Windows will be aimed at customers who want a more traditional PC experience,"

    Would you please go and 'f' off Microsoft! Why can't there just be a single OS that can be customized? So tired of being a mouse on a Microsoft carousel. I'm a MS veteran, but no more. I've asked others on here how to switch to Linux and they've educated me. So I intend to end lock-in and welcome freedom..

  20. Justin Otherhacker

    Swap left and right click actions on the start button

    Ooops, sorry, have I let the 8.2 cat out of the bag ?

  21. Alan Denman

    They are simply copying Apple's consumer dictat.

    Quite obviously, as far as the consumer goes, the PC is to become history.

    Looks to me like Linux's time has now come.

  22. Baron Ebaneezer Wanktrollop III

    But...

    As a long time PC admin / user, read Amstrad PC1512DD - CGA, I couldn't afford the EGA with all it's splendid colour, I've tried W8 on the desktop and it's complete garbage like most of you say. But I've also tried it on a HP slate which I take it is its native environment and it's ermmmm well garbage. First thing I did after doing all the VTech swipe bollocks was open up WIndows Explorer - touch friendly? Really? Maybe if I filed my fingers down to needle sharp ocelot digits then perhaps I'd reach 5% touch accuracy.

    As I've mentioned in other posts, as a long time Mac hater I now have an iMac (eBay I hasten to add) as I've just had it with Windows. All I miss is the ability to play the odd decent game but everything else is the way it should be.

    Microsoft! apt get-a-grip

  23. BigAndos

    If this is true...

    I will buy it in a second. I've held out on Windows 7 for now as I can't be doing with the horrid UI. However, I had a play with the developer preview edition of Windows 8 and it seemed promising in some ways. I have an Asus zenbook with Windows 7, I installed Windows 8 in a virtual machine and it ran like a dream even with only 1GB of RAM allocated. It booted up supremely quickly too.

    This hints to me that underneath the crud of the modern UI, Windows 8 has the best underpinnings of any MS OS. It is the first one I've encountered that runs MORE smoothly on the same hardware as an older MS OS.

  24. davidp231

    Windows 8.2

    Surely it should be Windows 8.11?

  25. Shady

    At this rate...

    ... Windows 8 will be *almost* as good as Windows 7 by 2025

  26. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Microsoft, why can't we have EL-Reg mode?

    The one where you get everything designed to make 'Joe Sixpack' have a good experience disabled by default and we get proper 'classic' mode (from Win 2000) back? You know, just to get us whingers here off your back?

    Then when you have fixed your desktop can you make Server 2012 (or 2014) look like your 2008 Version?

    A lot of people run software NOT produced by Microsoft and therefore does not fit in with your remote management [redacted].

  27. Greg D

    I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

    I've been fiddling with computers since I was 6. Professionally for the past 10 years.

    I have used all kinds of OS, from the CLI up. Usually takes me no more than 5 minutes to familiarise myself with any new (to me) OS GUI and find my way around.

    I was asked to setup my friends Win8 PC the other day, and I spent 10 minutes trying to find the Control Panel.

    After a Google search, it turns out I have to move my mouse to the top-right corner of the screen and use the slide-out menu. Of all the hair brained UI ideas, this has to be the worst. What kind of imbecile thought that this implementation would be a good idea? It's completely unintuitive, requiring pre-requisite knowledge of the UI. In fact, I hate everything about the Win8 UI, especially the new tiled start menu replacement thing. I find it completely pointless on a PC.

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

      Dayum - where have you been? Win8's been out for a bit already.

      ;)

      1. Greg D

        Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

        I've been happily using Windows 7 x64 since 32bit XP became too limiting for me.

        I have avoided Win8, for several reasons. I did have a play on a VM in my lab once, with Win8 RC1. Dont get me wrong, I was happily accessing the control panel .cpl's via the run prompt (and all the MMC's I normally use). I just couldn't locate the GUI shortcut to it.

        MS engineers need some lessons in HCI.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

          >MS engineers need some lessons in HCI.

          Perhaps they just need to read the Windows Style Guide...

          Given that MS haven't updated the Windows Style Guide, I would assume that MS didn't expect the Win8 UI to be around for very long before it got replaced by something else...

    2. Wanda Lust

      Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

      Try leaving the mouse aside, hit the start/menu key and type c o n t r o l

      Much, much faster.

      You want a File Explorer window, hit the start key and type e x p, that'll even get you IE.

      And so on.

      HTH.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

        Faster compared to what exactly? It takes me just Two Clicks, to reach the Control Panel, One from the Start Button, (which I take it you too must hit), and the Second over the Control Panel? I'll have been in the Control Panel, long before you've typed in the "n" in "c o "n" t r o l".

        The ONLY way you'd ever win this fight is by pwning noobs with Windows Hate who can't find anything, 'cause MicroSoft thought it would be more fun to troll their Users by playing hide the Soapy Sausage on them...

      2. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

        Although you are correct, having to resort to the search box to find basic functionality and underpinnings of the OS which have been there since the early 90s (and maybe even earlier) is a sure-fire way of accepting that the UI is a complete failure.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

          More to the point not everyone things in the same way. Thus, search is incredibly non-optimal (to the point of being deleterious) for a great many individuals. There are 7 billion people on the planet. Given human diversity, one input methodology does not fit all.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

      I managed to find the control panel by using Windows key and R then typing for it, but bugger me if I could find out how to shut the damn thing down... "Oh just close the laptop lid" my niece helpfully said... "that's the only way it switches off". She'd only be using it for 5 months though....

      One thing I didn't get in the article was this bit -

      The idea appears to be that Microsoft will tailor slightly different versions of its operating system for different audiences, rather than the one-size-fits-all approach it tried when it launched the touch-driven Windows 8.

      Microsofts current OS approach is far from a one size fits all. Yes the interface may be similar and the kernels all morphing to the same standard, but the runtimes are different and rarely compatible between RT / Phone / Full fat and that is a nightmare for developers.

      Whoever takes over needs to make some big and brave decisions. They need to pick a course and stick to it instead of this half assed approach we've seen over recent years. They never even got close to their write once run anywhere dream.

    4. Semaj

      Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

      Right click the start button (bottom left hotcorner if 8.0)

      You will be happy.

      Very under-reported (and non-obvious) but useful feature, which should have been in Windows since XP.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

        The context menu on the start button is cute, but no replacement for a start menu. It's a nice-to-have in Server 2012 R2 (for those few instances that you run with a GUI and need to administer from time to time), but it doesn't even begin to address the issues that exist with the UI...

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

        "Right click the start button (bottom left hotcorner if 8.0)..."

        With a finger ??

        1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

          Use your middle finger, duh.

          (yeah, it's a slow afternoon)

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
            Mushroom

            Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

            I know how to fix slow afternoons...

            #doom

    5. Vociferous

      Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

      > I have used all kinds of OS, from the CLI up.

      That's your problem. The more experienced you are, the worse and less intuitive Win8 seem. That's why "I bought it for my 8 year old daughter and she loves it!" is a standard retort to any criticism against Win8.

    6. ScottK
      Coat

      Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

      No, the "proper" way to get to the control panel is of course to press the Windows key, then type NCPA.CPL to bring up network settings (other CPLs are available, I just happen to use this one the most). You then go to the address bar and go back up a few levels to the control panel. You then drag this to your desktop as a shortcut for future reference.

      Of course, if you are in a nested RDP session then the Windows key probably won't pass through. At this point, you can instead create a desktop shortcut to your favourite CPL instead, then do the address bar thing.

      So much simpler than the old way of doing things (Start Menu -> Control Panel). Get with the times!

  28. CheesyTheClown

    Ugh!!! Yuck!!!

    The start menu is for loser babies. I like the new interface and would prefer that we don't get the damn thing back :(

    1. Greg D

      Re: Ugh!!! Yuck!!!

      Tablet user? Get orf my land!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Startisback and Modernmix is a necessity

    Got both Startisback and Modernmix installed. Spent several days searching on the internet how to find all the functions on Windows 8 in the beginning. I got Windows 8 on my portable. My desktop PC still use Windows 7. I think I will wait a couple of years before I install Windows 8 on my desktop PC.

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: Startisback and Modernmix is a necessity

      Honestly, why would you or anyone else PAY for Startisback or Modernmix when Classic Shell is available for FREE?

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Startisback and Modernmix is a necessity

        I personally bay for RetroUI because Classic Shell doesn't make Metro Apps windowable.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Startisback and Modernmix is a necessity

          I'd personally _pay_ for Windows 8 if MicroSoft wold just fix the things in Windows 8 that these Commercial "Add-ons" do already. But, then who'd use much less be tempted to wright any MicoApps for their (Cr)App Store then?

  30. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    WIndows 8 makes it fun again!

    Can't see the fuss myself, I hated Win8 at first but I persevered and I actually think Windows 8 is probably one of the best MS have actually made. I use XFCE on a Xubuntu for 8 hours a day plus Java Desktop on Solaris, which is a truly awful experience I also have an OSX powered Macbook, I still like coming home to Win8!

    I like fact that you can't easily find anything, makes computing fun again! We got so safe and comfortable, ha ha! So you can't find stuff easily, so what?! Jesus when I started on a Dragon32 back in '82 you didn't have a bloody clue what to do, certainly nothing to help you but a black blinking cursor! However I made an effort to learn what all those BASIC commands did and if you do it enough you learn it.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: WIndows 8 makes it fun again!

      I can't report on the Java Desktop, as I've never used it. But, if you think XFCE is One of the worst Destop Environments, then you Sir are sadly mistaken! Perhaps you meant to say the least flash of all the Desktops. That's certainly true. Which ironically makes it One of the best most stable Environments you could hope to work in!

      Top kek let's compare WIndows Hate, to the Great Micro Computers of the '80's! As if the Corpoates have all the Time, Money & Energy to retrain their entire Workforce on MicroSoft's whims! Seems to me that someone has almost, all but, forgotten all that stink that got kicked up back when Office 2007 landed and, dumped that awful Ribbon UI on us?

  31. MattEvansC3

    Missing the woods for the trees

    For me adding the Start Menu back is the wrong thing to do. Now before people start negging I appreciate people want it back and Microsoft was wrong to ditch it this early but clamouring for it back diverts attention away from the main issue, the Start Screen just isn't good enough.

    While I'm happy with the Start Screen there's too many issues with it and number one is that its a desktop replacement that doesn't do what a desktop should and Microsoft should be focusing on getting that working.

    There needs to be a "Metro" File Manager and Control Panel.

    There needs to be a facility to pin folders and individual files to the Start Screen.

    There needs to be the option to change the appearance of the start screen such as skins or colour coding apps based on column or app type (Green for games and purple for sports/news for example).

    They need to expand the idea of "hubs". The games hub should allow you to add non Windows App Store games for quick launching and the Music Hub should automatically add other services to it such as Deezer and Nokia Music so that you aren't cluttering up your Start Screen.

    And for the love of God Microsoft sort out the Charm menus! The Right and Left side swipe menus should be a single swipe menu at the top of the page with a clickable icon for mouse users, just like it is on almost EVERY OTHER WINDOWS SOFTWARE. Replace Devices with a "Send to" option and restrict Share to emails/social media/ messaging.

    Simply adding the Start Menu to the desktop won't make the OS better and it won't get customers back as its not fixing the fundeemental problems that are pushing customers away.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Missing the woods for the trees

      Your list of band-aids on top of band-aids still don't sort out the issues others of us have with a giant, useless app chooser taking up the entire screen...or indeed apps that take up the entire screen.

      Here's a thought: you bring back the start menu and you fix metro. It's called choice.

      Choice is only a bad thing if you're a religious zealot. You know, the kind so obsessed with women's vagina that they will torment entire nations in order to ensure an unwanted baby gets born but them work with furious vengeance and anger to ensure that no social safety net exists to care for that same child once it's emerged into the world? Yeah, I lump all you "anti-choice" types in the same group of obsessive-compulsive sociopaths.

      1. MattEvansC3

        Re: Missing the woods for the trees

        So just so we are clear, you are saying that people who remove a woman's right to take ownership over her own body and then punish them for it are no worse than someone discussing whether a consumer product should have a button or not?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Missing the woods for the trees

          Just so we're perfectly clear, I believe that anyone who advocates removal of choice from someone else is in the same bin. Remember that in many corners "right to life" belief is non-controversial and viewed as socially positive. They would be insulted to be associated with the kind of people who would tell you what you can and cannot buy.

          Regardless of which choice you are denying someone, if you advocate denying some choice, you're a douche.

          Personally, I believe that right-to-lifers are both the "anti-choice" sort of douche as well as the "misogynistic fuckbag" class of douche, a twofer that makes the more douchy than your regular "my preferences should determine what you are allowed to purchase" douche.

          I do understand that in some (rare) instances choice needs be curtailed for the common good. You shouldn't be allowed to choose , for example, to own a nuclear weapon. But restricting someone else's choice when the impact of the other person's decision doesn't affect you in the slightest really does smack of douchbaggery, regardless of how extreme the context.

          If you strip away the misogyny portion of the debate and put it to one side, what's so different about telling someone they must have a baby? Or that they must get married? Or they they must not go to school? In each case it is one person forcing their will on others where, ultimately, the result of that other person's choice doesn't impact the douche in question at all.

          Why is it somehow more acceptable when corporations become involved? I don't view capitalism as a get-out-of-jail-free card for unethical behaviour. Authoritarian douchbaggery is authoritarian douchebaggery no matter how you dress it up.

          Microsoft is free to make a start menu, or not, as they choose. I wouldn't force Microsoft to fix Windows 8, even if I could. They have to want to. I can, however, show them that there are consequences (such as alienating their user base) for each action...but it must be Microsoft's choice.

          Similarly it is my choice as a customer to protest and lobby until I convince Microsoft to change their mind. When someone says to me "I believe you should not be given the choice" the rest of the sentence doesn't matter. You're a douche.

          You might be a douche with added douchiness because of what choice you want to deny, but there is a base level of douchiness simply to the act of wanting to deny someone choice.

          1. Lexxy

            Re: Missing the woods for the trees

            Trevor,

            On the topic of right-to-lifers, respectfully, does the unborn human fetus get a choice?

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: Missing the woods for the trees

              @Lexxy pretty much all scientific research shows that in the first trimester the unborn fetus is less aware than the snails that clean my fishtank. So no, it doesn't.

              That said, I'm not entirely deaf to the right-to-lifer point of view. If they are prepared to create a social compact wherein a woman who is forced to bring an unwanted child to term is compensated for several times her salary during the period of the pregnancy (to make up for opportunity cost of career advancement as well as her regular salary), post-partum counselling, and we are prepared to provide a rich, supportive, caring environment for the child - including paying for all it's needs until it is done post-secondary - I would consider that they may have achieved a compromise worth putting the issue to a referendum.

              That said, under no circumstances would I support forcing a pregnancy to term if it had a risk of harming the mother. The right to choice of a living, sentient and sapient woman trumps the "right" (and I use the term very loosely) of a non-sentient, non-sapient clump of cells.

              "What could be" is not an excuse to restrict, restrain or harm people who are here, now. That child "could be" the next Hitler. It could be possessed of any of a hundred thousand genetic abnormalities that means it won't make it to term, or suffer SIDS shortly after birth.

              When large amounts of peer reviewed science - not the odd paid-for-by-the-right-to-lifers crank - shows that fetuses within the first trimester have the ability to choose, this might be a different conversation. Until then, we're arguing about the right of something roughly equal to bread mould that "might, one day" be more versus the right of a living, breathing person.

              Now, if that isn't enough politics for one day, I could get started on the insanity of the US's refusal to install mandatory background checks on firearms or ban automatic weapons, despite support from 95% of the population...

              1. Lexxy
                Unhappy

                Re: Missing the woods for the trees

                Trevor,

                Thanks for your reply. For me life is more than the sum of its parts and your clinical perspective (and attitude) on this matter saddens me deeply. We know its a bunch of cells - but we don't know why it's alive. That spark of life which we take away we can never give back.

                I reject your arguments that it's about the "here and now" on the basis that in such circumstances the "here and now" is a living entity which will*, without interference, develop into a human being with thoughts/feelings of his/her own. I was granted this life. You were granted this life. Would you not argue for your chance to sit here now and debate this with me? Even if your lot in life is to die at a terribly young age (even still within the womb), surely you deserved an honest shot?

                I don't have an answer for some of your more difficult arguments (what if it endangers the mother, what if the child will be born into poverty etc.) and I'd like to meet someone who does - but all I know is that in conclusion I'm glad I'm here, I'm glad I'm alive and I'm glad nobody made a choice to take that away from me.

                * Before you jump on me (abnormalities, miscarriage, could be the next Führer enacting a 4th Reich blitzkrieg of Nazis mounted on dinosaurs), as far as I'm aware in general most foetuses go on to develop normally, be birthed normally and live normal mostly uneventful (in world stage terms) lives.

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                  Re: Missing the woods for the trees

                  Hi Lexxy, well this is the classic debate, isn't it? I don't believe life is mysterious. I can tell you exactly why those cells are alive. I can explain it all right back to first principles. With enough science the need for religion evaporates.

                  I also don't hold that a clump of cells has the capability to make a choice. If they do, what then a mouse, a moose or even a biofilm? What makes one non-sentient, non-sapient clump of cells more important than another? My fish is more aware than a fetus. My cat more aware than a 3-year-old child. What makes humans sacred?

                  I was not "granted' life. That implies a sky fairy doling out lots which is - ultimately - absurd. I am the result of trillions upon trillions of chemical interactions and nothing more. My conciousness is an emergent property of those chemical interactions and humans are not the only animals that are both sentient and sapient.

                  By all tests, Elephants are likely just as sentient and as sapient as we are. Corvids most likely are close enough for jazz as are cetaceans and our cousins the other Great Apes. I do not hold humans to be exceptional. I do not hold myself to be exceptional. Holy hell, man, I'm mostly bacteria. Organisms we gleefully kill by the quadrillions without a second thought are absolutely critical to making sure the very chemical processes that keep my body alive continue to function.

                  Your argument seems to rest on the innate majesty of man, an argument which is typically rooted in religion. I reject both religion and the innate majesty of man. Sentience and sapience are the relevant qualities I respect. In this regard I respect an infant human no more (and no less) than I do a dog or a cat. I hold a completely non-sentient cellular mass with less regard than I do my fish.

                  As much as I respect your right to believe what you will, only science and hard evidence will change my views, and in that view you cannot remove a choice from something that isn't capable of making one. Nobody is a "person" to me until they are sentient and sapient...and frankly, I include a lot more of the animal kingdom in my definition of "person" than those who typically wield religious right-to-life arguments would ever accept.

                  Complicated world, many views.

            2. MattEvansC3

              Re: Missing the woods for the trees

              Not at all. As a "Pro-choice" supporter who's travelled down this road with my then partner the "choice" belongs purely to the woman carrying the fetus. Even the partner has no "choice" in the matter, they have input into the decision making process but the choice ultimately lies with the person who's pregnant. I was lucky in that me and my partner agreed on the "choice" that was best for us though we struggled with the consequences and eventually split up because of it.

              Choice by its very nature is exclusionary, the choices you make will exclude others and remove the option of choice from them. In my case our "choice" excluded the fetus and that fetus will be prevented from ever making a choice itself. Not just that, the system has the right to make a choice on our behalf, the system tried to make that choice for us and religion wasn't involved. Its frustrating, infuriating and deeply upsetting being sat across the room with someone you don't know judging you, telling you they don't like the choice you made and seriously considering rejecting the hardest choice we ever had to make. It was only with the birth of my daughter with my wife was I able to come to terms with being involved in the decision.

              So for someone to try and compare someone posting about a poxy button on a bit of software to the system I had to endure is just disgusting and abhorrent.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: Missing the woods for the trees

                Followup to this here.

            3. Vociferous

              Re: Missing the woods for the trees

              > does the unborn human fetus get a choice?

              Ask it. Oh wait it doesn't have a functioning brain, and is as self-aware as a turnip so one can't.

              A fetus is a potential future person, not an actual person, and so does not have choice.

              1. Lexxy

                Re: Missing the woods for the trees

                > it doesn't have a functioning brain, and is as self-aware as a turnip

                Well, the same can be said of many adults (certainly given the drivel they decide to post on-line) but I don't advocate their destruction.

                As in war, to kill, we must first de-humanize.

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                  Re: Missing the woods for the trees

                  Lexxy, I think with that statement any credibility you may have had evaporated. Are you seriously trying to say that an adult human being who is sentient, sapient and capable of processing information about their environment, making decisions, etc is rationally equivalent to a non-sentient, non-sapient clump of cells? That they are the same thing to you? Under what logic does that form?

                  Let's take one of the most extreme scenarios; someone with a genetic defect leading to mental retardation so sever they would score below 70 on an IQ test. As an adult, that human is still more aware than a cat or a dog. They are well into the realm of being aware of their environment, being able to have theory of mind and a fear of death. Are you honestly saying that even the most mentally bereft of adult humans is the same as a collection of cells without a functional neural network?

                  A blob of cells isn't human. It has the potential to be human, but the characteristics that make us sentient and sapient simply don't exist at that stage.

                  Let me put this into context: are you familiar with the concept of stem cells? They are cells in your body flooded with telomerase and which have not had "fates" assigned to them. (Fate assignation methodology is beyond the scope of this comment, however, there's plenty of research if you want to hit up Google Scholar.) The short version of a stem cell is that it can become any kind of cell. Most stem cells could even be used to clone an entirely new copy of the host animal.

                  Adult humans produce thousands of these things per day. Our brains alone crank out several hundred new brain cells a day, to say nothing of the stem cells lining our guts, our marrow and various other aspects of our physiology: we are constantly being refreshed and renewed wiht new cells thanks to our stem cells. We couldn't be alive without them.

                  What's really interesting is that these stem cells don't always actually stay put. Every now and again we'll shed a few. One of the places this happens more than any other is our intestines. Or, to put this in a more compact version:

                  On a fairly regular basis you actually excrete as part of your feces collections of cells that could very easily (under the right circumstances) grow to become an adult human being. Not just any adult human being, one with your exact genetic code.

                  That's right, you poop people.

                  Well, that is, if you define any random collection of cells that could grow to become a fully independent adult human being a "person".

                  So, are you "advocating the destruction of a person" by taking a crap? What about by cutting yourself, bleeding and thus causing an uptick in blood cell production which ultimately jars loose a few stem cells that will probably be passed through the kidneys and excreted with your urine? How many "potential people" are killed by a night of intoxication?

                  Oh, so you don't consider the clumps of cells you excrete, bleed or murder with toxins to be "potential people?" Why, exactly? What differentiates that agglomeration of cells in your intestines from one that happens to exist in a uterus?

                  Did your mind generate something with the word "natural"? Interesting! But you see, "nature" is jut the result of fundamental forces interacting. The sort of thing that makes a hydrogen bond to a carbon, and those interact with another carbon...amino acids form proteins which cooperate and compete until you have RNA, DNA, cells, biofilms, multicellular organisms...and you.

                  You're a sack of chemicals and nothing more. That's nature.

                  What sets advanced multicellular life apart from less advances forms of life is the emergent properties of neural networks. The more complex the network the more complex the consciousness of the organism. Cats, dogs, people, elephants...where do you draw the line? Why?

                  Ultimately what this really boils down to is that you are arguing that potential people should have rights. But you are only arguing for a specific kind of potential people. Ones that arise under very specific circumstances. In order to grant rights to this special class of potential people you seem entirely ready to deprive actual people of their rights. Why?

                  What about non-human animals? Which among them deserve right? Why? Why not?

                  What about "potential people" that don't arise from your sanctioned methodology? Do they deserve rights? Why? Why not?

                  Your argument is based in emotion and rhetoric. I am open minded. I can be persuaded, my mind changed. I suspect you'll find that most of The Register's readership is the same. The key here is that you have to actually put the effort in. Answer the hard questions. Provide evidence, sound reasoning, logic and rationale.

                  Emotions of the arguing parties are irrelevant. Rhetoric is irrelevant. Faith is irrelevant. Either you can prove your argument or you can't, if you can't then don't expect to persuade anyone.

                  In the meantime, I will continue to advocate that women have the right to prevent a clump of non-sentient, non-spaient cells from developing a neural network advanced enough to be capable of choice. (Though I believe that once a neural network has evolved past that point the ethics of termination changes.)

                  I won't, however, denigrate adult humans - regardless of their mental faculties - by saying that they are remotely "the same" as something that can't think, or feel...or choose.

                  1. Lexxy

                    Re: Missing the woods for the trees

                    Trevor,

                    Thanks again for taking the time reply, especially in such detail, bar the opening judgement on my credibility which I have no interest in - If you (and others) think I'm a fool then so be it, at least I had the bottle to speak my mind amongst an audience which, as you mentioned, have their beliefs firmly grounded in scientific method.

                    Please ignore my previous flippancy in response to Vociferous, I do not believe that an adult and a group of cells in an early fetus are rationally equivalent at all - I simply grow tired of people assuming on the basis of my views that I'm not aware of this. He addressed me like a cretin and perhaps got a cretinous reply.

                    I, like you, consider myself open minded. Right now, and throughout this conversation, I'm not trying to persuade anyone of anything - how can I claim to have the "right" opinion on something so complicated where forming an argument with evidence, reasoning, logic and rationale deserves more than the 10-15 minutes of time allocated for writing a comment on The Register. I'm simply sharing an opinion, and I am listening to yours. That is all.

                    You have defined the parameters of our debate in "The Borg" style fashion (to paraphrase: strength is irrelevant. death is irrelevant. you will be assimilated) by defining what is relevant and what is not but I argue that those relevancies are to you and not the topic as a whole. Empathy and emotion are part of what makes us more than the chemical machines you have clearly defined and why as a species we do not always choose the (sometimes blindingly obvious) logical solution to our problems. You may point out the irony that these feelings are a result of a biological process in themselves - I don't however think that this is a reason to ignore them.

                    I realise that we are now clearly off-topic of the original news story, so I invite any closing comments you may have on our discussion, however, I think I've said what I came here to say and therefore "I rest my case".

                    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                      Re: Missing the woods for the trees

                      Empathy and emotion are emergent properties of the chemical reactions that make us. They aren't magic.

                      What they are however, is individual. That you experience one set of chemical reactions in response to a particular stimulus doesn't mean that someone else does. Thus saying "my emotions are the reason that my argument is valid" is both absurd and pointless. That response cuts both ways; the emotions of the opposing part logically would hold the same validity and thus when and where opposite they cancel eachother out.

                      This is why the emotion of the debating parties is irrelevant. The only way that emotions can be used to validate an argument is by saying that the emotions of one party are somehow more valuable than those of another. Which is perilously close to the same "dehumanising" concept you so casually threw around. Where's the line between "my argument is valid because my emotions have greater value than yours" and "you shouldn't vote because you're black and I'm white?"

                      All sorts of animals have emotions. Virtually all mammals, most fish...hell my lizards have very clearly observable moods. There's nothing special about emotions.

                      What does, however, set truly sentient, sapient beings apart from lesser creatures is logic. The capability for rational and predictive thought is rare. We only know of a handful of non-human animals that posses it, and that's not for lack of searching.

                      Thus in an argument attempting to establish fundamental ethics upon which to build a moral code - and ultimately laws - emotion of the arguing parties simply has no place. By the same rational belief/faith/religion have no place in these arguments either. Why is your belief/faith/religion to be taken as more important than mine? What the hell makes you so special?

                      Far more critically, why should your personal belief/faith/religion be imposed on those who don't share it? Like the emotions of the arguing parties, belief, faith and religion can't be entered into argument unless you posit superiority of one side. If you do that, you are throwing the entire concept of a society in which all individuals are equal under the law right out the window.

                      And like my ancestors, I will fight a fucking war to defend that concept. I will die, if I must.

                      That leaves logic, scientific evidence and reasoned discussion. So far, I haven't seen those used to validate the right-to-life belief.

            4. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

            MOD NOTE

            Stop spam-reporting Trevor just because you disagree with him. Prolific offenders will find themselves on the naughty step.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: MOD NOTE

              CEILING CAT IS WATCHING YOU ANGST

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: MOD NOTE

                Upvote for the best post so far in this entire thread. :)

                On a side note, this must be one of the quickest rising comment section of any published article on the reg....

            2. MattEvansC3

              Re: MOD NOTE

              You may want to speak with the person reporting the abuse before making a generalisation about why they are reporting abuse.

              You have a user quite happily telling other users that because they posted an opinion about a bit of consumer software that they are no better than someone who tries to prevent a woman from having a termination in quite a graphical way. This user has gone through a termination with their then partner, this user was there when the GPs were telling us why they didn't want to approve our request for a termination like their opinion was more important than ours, I was there when they put my wife on a maternity ward filled with people about to give birth while they cancelled, and recancelled her termination. I have first hand experience of being in a situation where someone was trying to remove a woman's right to chose what she does with her body.

              The fact that someone could compare what we went through, the hardest and most upsetting decision we ever made and had to live with to someone saying a menu button on a consumer piece of software isn't a priority is sickening and deeply upsetting. It doesn't matter whether I was even the person the post was directed at, I should not have to see that on a website discussing technology.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: MOD NOTE

                And oddly enough, you'll find me receptive to viewpoint. I apologize if I have offended you.

                That said, your journey was your own. your pains and trials - however real and emotionally scarring - won't mean the same to others, just as things that upset me won't even phase you.

                I have an anxiety disorder; one whose details I won't go into, as there are certainly unscrupulous commenters who would love nothing more than to use my triggers against me. I see comments all the time that I find particularly upsetting which others probably wouldn't. Should I demand they be censored?

                You may not like that I, personally, view any purposeful restriction of choice as both immoral and unethical. It is, however, a very strongly held belief, and one I feel falls right smack in the middle of the kinds of things that the concept "freedom of speech" was designed to protect: your right to air your personal view on morality, ethics and their interplay in society.

                Is the choice itself remotely equal? Hell no. Choosing to buy an operating system you hate versus sticking with one you love is nowhere near as emotionally scarring as having to go through the choice of an abortion. I don't hold the two equivalent in any way.

                I do - and did - acknowledge that there is a grand difference in degree of douchiness between restricting a woman's right choose and telling people what they can and can't buy. Misogyny - along with gods only know what other sterotypes that you had to deal with locally - make dealing with the consequences of the right to choose difficult, if not hellish. That's a whole other layer of douchiness heaped on top of the basic douchiness of purposefully setting out to remove someone's right to choose.

                I'm sorry that I offended you; such was not my intent. I do, however, believe the debate and discussion is itself important. There is a purposefully massive discrepancy between the personal and emotional magnitude of two examples of someone denying another choice. Yet the act of purposefully denying another choice is no less wrong at the less emotional end of the scale than at it's peak.

              2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: MOD NOTE

                I'd also like to add that had you simply said to me "Trevor, I think that you're a gigantic fuckfaced douchball (to whom I hope something really terrible happens) and that post you wrote really offended me. For personal reasons I don't want to get into, it's all a little too close to home, can you please withdraw it?" I totally would have deleted the post.

                Instead, you decided that the best possible route was to attempt to have me censored. To remove my choice to exercise my right to self expression. You didn't even try asking nicely. Or even asking douchily.

                Butting heads on the internet needn't strip all of that humanity away. Most times, you'll find I'm actually quite nice and make earnest attempts to be helpful...even do many who have been utter douchewads in the past. But going straight for the censorship button off the bat is really rather a no-go for me.

                That is where I start forming some pretty negative opinions of you, sir. It's where your actions very directly start to walk into territory I feel is immoral and unethical. You went straight to censorship. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just push the big red button marked "nuke."

                Well, maybe this will be a bit of a lesson. Try the carrot, then the stick. If both fail then and only then seek out someone with a far bigger stick. While I can't speak to the rest of the world, this is the best way to get good results from me.

                1. MattEvansC3

                  Re: MOD NOTE

                  I did not try to censor you, I reported you for abuse.

                  You made no attempt to engage me in a discussion, you came out and said I was no better than the oppressive, religious far-right and trivialised abortion while you were at it just because I aired an opinion you did not agree with. Then when I pointed out how absurd your statement was you replied by calling me a douche. That's the normal behaviour of a troll.

                  Re-read your posts and then try and point out where I directly attacked you, insulted you or otherwise post anything remotely disparaging toward you. You attacked and insulted me just because I said adding a Start Menu was the wrong thing for Microsoft to do.

                  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    Re: MOD NOTE

                    Your opinion was that I shouldn't be given a choice. As far as I am concerned that does make you no different than the oppressive, religious far-right.

                    Additionally, by what law must abortion be non-trivial? It seems to me the relative importance of it is an individual thing. That it is important to you does not make it important to me. It's quite obvious something I find very important - the right to choose - is not all that important to you.

                    You trivialized the immorality of removing choice from another. I engaged that and voiced my opinion that this was immoral. You then trivialized me and my personal beliefs by attempting claim that they paled in relevance to your own personal moral code and set of psychic traumas.

                    You are defending your choice to reach for the censorship button by saying my beliefs are more trivial than yours whilst crying that I am trivializing your beliefs. Nice.

                    And for the record, while I thought you were probably a douche before, I'm absolutely convinced of it now.

                    Isn't it interesting how diverging moralities generate dichotomies of perception and relative importance?

                    Edited to add: I'm not saying I'm not a douche. I probably am, certainly I appear to have broken a few people's doucheometers by disagreeing vehemently with them. What I am saying, however, is that given your actions I'm pretty confident I'm no douchier than you.

  32. We're all in it together

    It will be known as

    Windows toolate point 2

  33. Hilibnist
    Windows

    RTFM

    From my POV, one of the biggest problems users have with Windows 8 is where 'know it all' technical people have provided a fully installed PC, on which they've 'helpfully' completed all the one-off, out of the box steps. Like the user tutorial which shows you how to use this new OS and what happens when you hover the cursor over the edges of the screen.

    What tutorial? Of course you're baffled, and that goes for all the 'experienced' IT guys who skipped the tutorial steps because they were so excited by the new install. Of course you shouldn't be expected to _learn_ how the new features on your new OS work, that's only for sheeple, isn't it?

    Win 8.1 still isn't perfect, but during the first month, it'll repeat the tutorial pop-ups occasionally to remind you how to access the off-screen menus; that's useful and helps to take the wind out of the complaints of "how the hell was I supposed to guess that!"

    1. MattEvansC3

      Re: RTFM

      But instead of tutorials they could've made the interface easier. Realistically what software has main user menus on the left and right of the screen compared to the top and the bottom? Even the start menu is a bottom "pull up" menu.

      Menu's aren't put on the sides because our brain is trained to read left to right/right to left, so that gesture is for switching screens, turning pages, etc. Its a navigation gesture and having menus placed over the navigation gesture is confusing and counter-intuitive and that's Win8's problems, its easy to use user interface is not easy to use.

      1. Hilibnist

        Re: RTFM

        Fair point Matt - I wonder whether the side menus are simply a reflection of widescreens... there's extra space at the sides, so it's a convenient place for info and buttons to be added.

        Of course, none of this explains MS's curious insistence on hiding the Shut Down command. You used to have to "Start" your PC to stop it (well, wasn't everything buried behind the Start button). Now it's just jumbled into the Settings Charm, and not even highlighted as a power on/off button. I've tried to use Windows 8/8.1 'as is', but that's the one weakness I've conceded - adding a Shut Down tile to the Start Screen.

        1. MattEvansC3

          Re: RTFM

          That's the thing, even if it was because its widescreen it still doesn't make sense as there's this huge space ablove the columns on the Start Screen and no space on the sides.

          I had to use Google to find the shut down button. That should have just been on the charm bar itself.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: RTFM

      >Win 8.1 still isn't perfect, but during the first month, it'll repeat the tutorial pop-ups occasionally to remind you how to access the off-screen menus;

      Wow!!!! But if the user just sits there or wildly moves the mouse around Win 8.1 doesn't ask "Do you want the getting started tutorial?"

      Did you know that HP shipped it's systems with a "Getting Started with Windows 8" tutorial, since MS decided to not ship any tutorial materials itself? However, due to a major oversight or limitation in Windows 8, it isn't on the displayed TIFKAM start screen (remember there are no visual cue's to suggest to the new user that the TIFKAM screen scrolls horizontally). So the one action that is common to all GUI's, namely more pointer (mouse, finger etc.) over recognisable 'help' icon and 'click' isn't available to the new user.

      This tutorial is also available via the MS store (yes HP were as daft as MS and didn't make it available via their website or provide a version that could be run on previous versions of Windows), but to a new user, if you can successfully download it you don't really need to read the tutorial.

      Interestingly, I only discovered this tutorial after I had installed ClassicShell as it appears an an explicit app in the menu...

      My point is that (normal) people actually need the tutorial material to be readily and obviously accessible, immediately after first login.

      What many self-declare "experts" miss, is that they read reviews and have other (familiar) systems available from which to access 'expert' resources and hence they don't tend to have the same initial out-of-the-box experience as joe-public. Yes, once a 'normal' user has been oriented they tend to get it and just get on with using Windows, because they are more interested in using Word, Financials, ERP, CRM, etc. ie. the tools that enable them to do their job.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: RTFM

        Oh, really, it's "just a bunch of whiny nerds" that don't like Windows 8, eh?

        I guess that's why Windows 8 is flying off the shelves, scoping up untold amounts of money from punters' wallets and decimating the market share of both XP and Windows 7. The consumer and small business markets - typically far more end-user driven - are clearly overwhelmingly in love with Windows 8 and driving a new era of awesome as they embrace the post-productivity world.

        ...or not.

        You know, looking at those market figures (especially sales of Windows 7 on consumer/prosumer devices and the rise of the staunchest Windows 7 ally - Lenovo - against all competitors)....if you're right...there's a fuck of a lot of nerds out there. Like, a lot. A lot a lot.

        Enough to make them a market worth building your goddamed operating system for.

        Care to revise your view that "it's just some angsty nerds?" Or perhaps you'd care to concede that there are enough nerds to care about. Maybe you're wanting to admit that nerds have so much influence (despite small numbers) that courting them is a rational business move? I'm fine with any of those, really...

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: RTFM

          A little heads up to you and your Hate Shills that upvoted your comment....

          http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/02/windows_8_point_x_market_share/

          lol sarcasm on the Interbutts is such a fine thing I totally missed your jest....

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: RTFM

            Uh...you're pointing at the article that says Windows 8's growth was outpaced by it's three year old predecessor and failed to make a significant dent in it's 13 year old ancestor as evidence that Windows 8 is a success?

            The fuck, what?

            I think you need to read this, and then start learning a lot about how Microsoft reports figures. Such as the fact that units sold and then downgraded are counted as sales of the new OS, rather than the old one.

            Windows 7 is an example of a beloved operating system. One with broad customer support and appreciation. It started off strong and grew pretty much linearly. Windows 8 - like Vista before it - started off weak and grew in an irregular pattern dominated by major contract renewals.

            More critically, Windows 7 is still surpassing Windows 8's growth, despite that fact that all new contract renewals are counted as Windows 8 sales. This means that popular support for Windows 7 is so overwhelming amongst consumers and small businesses that their market signal is completely drowning out Windows 8's corporate and government contract renewal.

            Are you even capable of understanding how unbelievably, overwhelmingly large of a failure that is? Consumers and SMEs don't have a lot of purchasing power when compared to the commercial midmarket, Enterprises, CSPs, MSPs and governments...all of whom are contract purchasers.

            Windows 7 licence growth is almost exclusively coming from new system purchases or retail purchases of the OS. (Open licence could count here too, but almost everyone will buy the newer OS and use the downgrade options.)

            The PC market has been declining year over year. So that means that in a declining market, so many systems are being purchased with Windows 7 that it's growth is outpacing not only retail purchases of Windows 8, but contract renewal rates as well.

            That's mind boggling. That's a failure of epic proportions.

            That's Windows 8.

            Edit; I do realise we're looking at NetApp data here and not counted sales, but MS's official figures follow the NetApp data quite well so far.

  34. jason 7 Silver badge

    My concern....

    ...is that 8.2 is another 3GB install that has to go over 8.1.

    Why? Well I have Windows 8 Pro upgrades. So if I rebuild my Windows 8 machine then I have to install 8.1 and then another OS over the top to get 8.2.

    Basically I'd like to be able to rebuild a machine in a couple of hours rather than 8 or 9.

    1. teapot9999

      Re: My concern....

      I did a clean install using an 8.1 installer in less than an hour. How could it possible take 9 hours!

  35. phil dude
    Linux

    kde has a start button....

    or am I missing the point?

    Kde also has "activities" which is something that took me a while to understand but is quite cool.

    I would be interested in the spreadsheet of things that windoze can do that linux cannot, with some score.

    For example , browsing win == browsing linux ?

    If the computer does what you want it to do....?

    P.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: kde has a start button....

      Question: can the computer run my Win32 and AMD64 apps? You know, the ones my business relies upon and which would cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of my company's gross income for the next three decades to recode even one? Does it have like-for-like alternatives? For example, ones that can run th multi-million-dollar industrial equipment? No?

      Well then, looks like KDE isn't much of a solution after all.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: kde has a start button....

        Trevor Pott - I'd guess KDE is a far far better solution for your company than MS ever was.

        No I wouldn't guess - its a plain as the start button on the screen!

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: kde has a start button....

          Was that you volunteering to foot the bill for having all the apps recoded, Tom 7? So long as you're paying, I'll gladly switch. Though if truth be told, I prefer Cinnamon. Having to make plasma widgets just to drag a file to the desktop in KDE is irritating as hell.

          Contact information is on the website, any time you're ready to cut that cheque. Last I ran the numbers the conversion would be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3.4 million dollars. Thanks!

      2. Baron Ebaneezer Wanktrollop III
        Holmes

        Re: kde has a start button....

        I'm not familiar with an AMD64 app? What is that?

        KDE may not be a solution for your requirements, but as your company and therefore its gross income is essentially locked to the Windows OS, regardless of how much of a pile of shite it is, I don't see that as being much of a solution either.

        Anyway, I'm off sleuthing for an AMD64 app.....

    2. phil dude
      Linux

      Re: kde has a start button....

      @Trevor Pott

      Well I extricated myself from Windoze over a period of a few years(!). But that was domestic not business.

      I totally agree with your sentiment of "porting of codes", I have done that for supercomputers....;-)

      My point about the start button (as an example) is that desirable successful features can be maintained easier with FOSS than when the Big Corp decides it wants to differentiate itself from its previous products. Obviously this includes Ubuntu as well. And android. And the other big FOSS projects sometimes appear like that too....

      In my science I have had (mission critical) windows tools that I had to get working under Linux too, mostly to do with microscopes and other "analysis" software. In business I have managed to get windoze "accounting" software to work, which was surprisingly straightforward.

      Depending on the quality of the "app" you are needing for business, the Win32 api implementations (WINE/cxoffice) have proven extremely useful. My personal experience is that applications written using M$ gui tools work very well out of the box, because the libraries they depend on, are widely published.

      It took cxoffice a while but they managed to stablise M$ office and a number of applications. You can pay them to get your app working...

      My technical sense is that if your application is GUI or I/O or "unpublished API" heavy , then you are likely to have more problems "emulating" than applications that crunch away. Predominantly as their DLL's are less likely to call a DLL that is "broken". Of course, I am only talking about avoid full fat virtualisation here, that is area you are probably very familiar with.

      Please understand I am not advocating to you or anyone that Linux is some magic sauce, I lost my fanboism a few years back. I too just want it to work and *everytime*. If this is your living, I want it to work for you too, whatever that platform it is.

      But if Microsoft felt at all threatened by people switching en mass to another platform, perhaps this discussion would be about "what works" rather than "what's missing". The same is true of big application providers. There was a time I wanted photoshop on Linux, but to be honest Adobe made it so painful I just gave up. Gimp/Cinepaint/Digikam etc will do just fine. But then this is not my living...

      I have used the latest microsoft office tools via emulation, and it is nicely polished software. But I have to keep reminding myself the reason why I got out of windows. You use one tool to create/modify something and the corporation has no incentive to make it future proof. This is one of the reason government projects are such failures.

      If M$ had been broken up into OS and Application divisions, what would the IT world look like today?

      I just want stuff to work and *stay* working...

      P.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: kde has a start button....

        I use Linux extensively. CentOS mostly, but Mint and Android where possible. The problem with upping sticks is that it absolutely is an "all or nothing" approach. WINE only covers so much...and that isn't much! ReactOS covers a bit more, but again...not much.

        I am a hostage, pure and simple. I can't leave because to do so would destroy my livelihood and those of many of the most important people in my life. Yet staying shackled to an abusive partner like MS is intolerable as well.

        Lacking resources to escape and unable to cope with servitude I turn to the only recourse left me: lobbying for change. The chances of success may be low, but it is the only viable alternative left me...and hundreds of millions of others.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    usabilty labs

    I remember, going back very many years now, MS were very proud that their new release (Office?) had been extensively tested in the development phase by observing how untutored users achieved tasks and the results used to refine the product to make it easier to use.

    Maybe users new to Windows or those happy to undertake what must be a lengthy learning curve do find Win8 to be good. I've never met any and have spent a few unhappy hours resolving issues for other unhappy users.

    I can think of no better way of persuading people to give the Apple ecosystem a try.

    Perhaps the MS developers responsible are in the pay of Apple?

  37. websey

    Well For A Tech Site !!!!

    The thing I find funny about all of this shit about windows 8 / 8.1 and the start menu, is all the moaners that have probably spent an hour using it and then just gone na fuck this!.

    Well why dont you spend a few weeks with ?

    Positives

    - Quicker

    - Easy to access (poor eyesight etc)

    - unified search panel (metro)

    - Legacy compatible (better than win 7)

    - Inbuilt driver database (not had to download any drivers)

    - Team Foundation Integration

    - SkyDrive etc integration

    Negatives

    - Metro Apps (no use)

    - Boot To Desktop (fixed 8.1)

    thats about all i can think of in a negative way of windows 8

    I don't mind metro because all I used to do was hit the windows key and type what I wanted anyway

    and for all those idiots who are harping on about 3.5gb to add a start button, did you not realize it also contains software updates, app updates and a few more things as well as kernel patches. Or was your stupidity blinding you to the bleeding obvious ?

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Well For A Tech Site !!!!

      I have to use the goddamned thing every fucking day and I still hate the useless post-productivity mess that is Microsoft Tiles 8.11 for Fondlegroups. I hate setting a new system up. I hate the bizzare limitations on consumer versions. I hate the way it spits out printer drivers that work fine (until a reboot) and never give me any sort of shit whatsoever on Windows 7.

      I hate Metro and the fact the stupid hotcorners that make using a vertical taskbar a nightmare. I hate that goddamend charms fuckery and the ribbonised everything. I loathe search - especially unified serach - and want my "slow", iterative, one-file-after-another unindexed Windows XP search that acutally fucking finds shit back.

      I hate full screen applications, how much of a miserable pig it is to close Metro apps with a mouse, that so many things default to Metro and IE11's utter inability to talk to itself. I hate the busted proxy settings and the VPN UI from hell.

      I hate clicking on a printer in order to make "print server" appear so I can tear out drivers and I loathe UEFI boot that's locked down so I can't fix broken partition tables or make dual-booting systems. I hate the stupid steamrollered-flat look of everything that makes buttons so hard to see, especially in non-optimal viewing conditions.

      I am enraged beyond my capability to rationally express how shitty Windows 8 is from almost any remote-control application, especially when Windows 8 is windowed. (Hot corners can eat a sock full of soup.)

      I could go on - for some time - but I'll just take the time to add this: I hate commenters like you.

      Don't assume that we haven't tried this festering shit pile simply because we disagree with it. Some of us loath the thing because we have to use it day in and day out.

      Getting my up button back wasn't worth the trauma inflicted on the rest of the OS. Not by half.

      1. Lorin Thwaits

        Re: Well For A Tech Site !!!!

        BRAVO!!!

        I'm one of the lucky blokes that has escaped to MacOS. Heartfelt sympathies for anyone who has to toil through this completely unusable UI.

    2. Missing Semicolon
      Unhappy

      Easier to access?

      I have a friend who is partially sighted. The flatness of the Win8 UI rendered her laptop unusable. Running Word, you could not see where the document ended and the controls began, and the actual usable document area was only half the height of the 15" laptop display.

      I managed to prevent her from throwing the thing out of the window.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Easier to access?

        Apple also overlooked this aspect of their iOS UI. iOS 5 & 6 had reasonable clarity for partially sighted users, as for iOS 7...

    3. jason 7 Silver badge

      Re: Well For A Tech Site !!!!

      @Websey

      Yep I tend to feel the same way.

      Far too much unwarranted spleen really.

      I saw a associate of mine that had a new desktop PC sitting on the table running 8.1.

      Apparently a mate of his bought it to upgrade from his 10 year old XP PC. Apparently he spent just ten minutes using it and went "ahhh f*ck this!" and gave up. Just gave him the PC to take away. For some reason he was under the impression that after 10 years and three operating systems, nothing would have changed. No learning required at all.

      The associate then said "well I agree with him! It's not like Windows 7! Can't shut it down, no start button, where is the desktop? (erm actually at the time it was sitting on the desktop so...anyway)"

      I then took 30 seconds to show him where the Shutdown option was, the Start Button (just where the old one was) and how to boot straight to desktop.

      So I now had it running like Windows 7 and the result? "Ahh well it's still crap!"

      WTF?

  38. Missing Semicolon
    Thumb Down

    Not just the start menu (2)

    There's a few other things that got changed in W8 that can't be put back:

    1) Truetype rendering with anti-aliasing off. If you don't have a Retina display, anti-aliasing makes the text on the screen slightly blurry. For some people this gives eyestrain and headaches. You can turn it off (via a couple of registry tweaks) but you then find that hinting and rasterisation for fonts at small sizes has basically been deleted. Segoe UI (Windows 8 Font) which is pretty-well hard-coded into the desktop does not render properly at all, and the old "desktop" fonts (Tahoma, Verdana) don't work properly in the smaller sizes. The result is that with anti-aliasing off, the display is pretty ugly.

    2) Window Furniture. The "flat" modern look is now the only option for desktop windows, so no bevelling and no distinctly-coloured title bar. The borders are also stupidly fat, taking up even more of your precious 1366x768 real estate. Tweak tools that allow you shrink the border size also shrink the mouse-sensitive parts, so the windows are harder to resize.

    3) Task bar "hover" behaviour. On older versions, when you over the mouse over the buttons on a full task bar, the window title pops up immediately. On Win8, the image of the window appears. With no title bar. So if you have a lot of explorer windows open, finding which on is open on which folder is a pain.

    Grr!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next updates due 2015?

    2001: XP

    2006: Vista

    2009: 7

    2012: 8

    2015: 8.2?

    Vista -> 7 -> 8 each had a 3 year gap, and 8.2 will be another 3 year gap.

    I'd be willing to bet it's windows 9 they're working on, just labelled internally as 8.2 (much like how windows 7 was windows 6.1)

  40. stim

    fine for me

    I get on fine with windows 8, have it on 3pcs, a surface, a phone, no problems, thoroughly enjoy it, don't know what all the fuss is about. People really do hate change don't they.

    The start menu will be making such a late come-back that it will be forgotten by then, clever to release rumours of it's return to shut the moaners up though.

  41. sisk Silver badge

    So we have one interface for a desktop with a keyboard and mouse and one for mobile. In other words they're doing what anyone with a lick of common sense would have done to begin with.

  42. jason 7 Silver badge

    The Start Button proper.....

    ....will appear ready for the next scheduled corporate refresh in a year or two.

    MS knew 8 as it was would never be an 'enterprise/corporate' OS so took the opportunity to try some new approaches for the domestic market.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Classic Shell FTW

    Classic Shell works for my three machines around the family. It nicely survived the update from Win8 to Win 8.1 but for overall OS performance (mostly on older kit) I prefer Windows XP with post SP3 security updates embedded into the install ISO via slipstream tools then strip the ISO size back to a bare/minimal custom 150MB install image using the excellent free NLite deployment tool. Installs mostly unattended from scratch between 5 and 10 minutes and boots to usable desktop between 5 and 10 seconds dependent on the host hardware. Total install size around 2GB including swap file. Not so worried about malware when the whole system is fully patched and can be rebuilt from scratch with essential data restored from NAS backup in under 15 minutes.

  44. Private Citizen.AU
    Windows

    Drunk handicapped UI

    I must admit that I originally decided to install Windows 8 on my Desktop last christmas - while full of christmas spirits (SIC).

    One of the really annoying things was the active corners that would throw the OS in my face when I trying use older apps- very annoying in critical gaming moments..

    But worse still was trying to use the mouse to power off after a few (sometimes more than a few) drinks.

    I suppose I should thank someone at Microsoft knocking me out of my windows comfort zone now I am considering and learning other OS options.

  45. Lorin Thwaits

    It's about effing time, Microsoft.

    and... WHAT THE FUCK... It's BEEN time for a whole year now.

    And you're not coming to market for another TWO YEARS??? ARE YOU MAD??? If you lose your shirt, it's your own doing.

  46. Rattus Rattus

    Will these updates...

    ...remove that FUCKING "Charms Bar" and put all the settings in the ONE GODDAMN PLACE?

    If not, then there is still zero chance of me ever installing Windows 8.

    1. websey

      Re: Will these updates...

      The joys of 8.1 allow you to completely remove the charm bar (thank god I hated it)

      The point is you can moan and moan all you want but until there is a competitor that garners as much developer time and input that windows does you are stuck with it.

      Now I know most people wont like this, but change happens.

      Now deal with it.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Will these updates...

        You're right; change happens. Nothing compels us to accept it as is. We have every right to fight that change, or to work to create yet more change which better suits our needs.

        We're not stuck with anything. We can protest, we can vote with our wallets, we can direct resources into creating the alternatives we need. There are always options available, even if the only one left is revolution.

        You have to deal with that, as the above is reality. But fuck you, sir, we don't have to deal with your bullshit assertions at all.

  47. teapot9999

    why should they listen

    If you keep on using Windows then it doesn't matter how much you whinge. Either stop using it or accept that they will not listen to your feedback.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    never seen such a negative reaction to an OS

    I put the occasional machine together or set them up if people ask me. I don't court the work; I've other things to do with my time but, on the other hand, I don't like seeing people struggle. Hence, I'll help with new kit if someone asks.

    As an impartial peddler and user and the three big OSs, I can honestly say I've never seen a more robustly negative response than the one I've encountered with Windows 8. Actual anger, not annoyance - anger. I just can't in good conscience recommend it to anyone; indeed, folk that have not heeded my experience and gone ahead with getting kit with it pre-installed, have come back to me with red faces. I'm not a 'told you so' type of person, but....

    Vista was a ghastly mess but one you could muddle through with a push. I just don't think 8 affords that opportunity to the average (non-power) user. I like OSX, but cannot always recommend getting a Mac on those occasions it seems like such an unnecessary expense. Sometimes, folks don't want to pay for a licensed Windows 7 install, and I don't do dodgy copies.

    Hence, I find myself setting up Ubuntu now more and more to plug that gap. I like it, so that's good, but it's also due there not really being anything else that suits. So there is a terrible gap, that MS have widened themselves - they took a leap with 8, assuming everyone would follow. Now they're on the other side, stuck there, yelling 'come on over - it's fine. Honestly'. Meanwhile, our legs are tired and want to tread more familiar ground.

  49. Mike Flugennock
    Coat

    Misquoted?

    "...Rumors that Redmond is planning a new round of updates to the various forms of its OS first surfaced last week, with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reporting that Microsoft will deliver a mass overhaul called 'Threshold' that will bring significant changes to Windows, Windows RT, and Xbox One..."

    You sure that shouldn've been "Threshold Of Pain"?

    Thanks, you've been wonderful. I'm here all week.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Command line prompt FFS. Really, I'm not joking. It's actually harder to get work done these days than it was a decade or two ago and that's almost a moral issue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd agree with you … but command lines only work well for those who come from a programming background.

      I have coworkers who edit SQL tables by copying and pasting data to/from spreadsheets. If they have to, say, make a small programmatic change that can be done with a simple UPDATE query, they'll just do it by hand in a spreadsheet, because they don't understand the commands.

      I have one who maintains a cheatsheet of commands. Little tricks like how to grab a list of entries out of a YAML file using grep, pass it through cut to pluck out a column, then feed that into a while loop to pass to some in-house developed tool to update metering data, is beyond a lot of the people I work with.

      Yet that sort of thing is second nature to those of us who know how to code, because we can break up the problem into its constituent parts, code up each piece, and tie it all together with some flow control logic.

      I think there's room for both approaches. I tend to live in the command line too, but I recognise that this isn't for everyone.

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