back to article Is this photo PROOF a Windows 7 Start Menu is coming back?

Microsoft seems willing to try almost anything to increase the use of Windows 8 these days – including rolling back some of the software's least-loved features, and even giving it away for free in some cases. The latest batch of tweaks to Redmond's latest OS comes in the form of the Windows 8.1 Update, which shipped to MSDN …

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  1. southpacificpom
    FAIL

    LOL

    Well its a case of back to the fucking future. Next new feature will be Clippy in the next version of Orifice.

    Something tells me they have suddenly realised the fuck up that they have made of Windows 8 and now trying to backport from Windows 7 to stop the rot. How many times did they hear the cry of users that didn't really want a MetroSexual interface?

    1. kb
      FAIL

      Re: LOL

      But they STILL don't get one of the most fundamental rules of business which is if you have a flop, or a product with a horrible rep? you sell that sucker CHEAP. Instead Windows 8.1 is priced the exact same as a copy of Windows 7...LOL yeah like anybody is gonna grab Win 8.x with Win 7 at the same price!

      They need to drop the price of Win 8.x Home to $50 USD or less, I'd personally say $35-$40 USD. this would get more users to try it, might even get some of those later XP machines to switch, but all they are doing by keeping the price high is getting those people whose XP is about to go EOL a reason to be looking at Chrometops and Android tablets, dumb move MSFT.

      1. jgarbo
        Linux

        Re: LOL

        I'd suggest Linux Mint, dual boot, for $00.00, then compare at your leisure, and decide,

        1. BobChip
          Linux

          Re: LOL

          Actually, forget the dual boot. Just stick with the Linux mint. (Posted from a Mint 14 machine)

          1. Miek
            Linux

            Re: LOL

            Thumbs up from a Linux Mint 16 Desktop

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: LOL

            Thumbs up to the mint users (posted from a mint 14 machine)

          3. Chika

            Re: LOL

            So that's two mentions so far. While I have nothing against Mint in general, as is my wont, I'd suggest that Linux is not Mint.

            But then all I'm doing here is feeding the t-word...

            Actually, this whatever-it-is looks a bit more reasonable than Windows 8.x has done up to now, but overall I've seen nothing to convince me that Windows 8.x has anything in particular that beats out Windows 7 except possibly a speed increase (which I've seen so many mentions of but wherever I have used Win 8 I have never really noticed).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: LOL

              possibly a speed increase (which I've seen so many mentions of but wherever I have used Win 8 I have never really noticed).

              It's that same speed increase that they always claim to have with each release; Smoke, mirrors, and better hardware.

              "but this time, we mean it!"

              I've had it installed for a little over a year, and now that win-rot has set in.. it's as sluggish as usual.

          4. Kunari

            Re: LOL

            I've swapped a few computers here at work for Mint. They're mostly just a Terminal Server client but works great until I get the budget to replace them.

          5. Rick Giles
            Linux

            @BobChip Re: LOL

            "Actually, forget the dual boot. Just stick with the Linux mint. (Posted from a Mint 14 machine)"

            Looks like the Wintards are out in force today, BobChip.

            Gave you an up vote to even it out at 14/14. I suspect it won't last long.

        2. Defiant

          Re: LOL

          I'd rather use Windows 95 than Binux

          1. Rick Giles
            Trollface

            @Defiant Re: LOL

            "I'd rather use Windows 95 than Binux"

            I wouldn't trust you using anything more complicated than a light switch...

            What the hell is Binux?

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: LOL

        They need to drop the price of Win 8.x Home to $50 USD or less, I'd personally say $35-$40 USD. this would get more users to try it, might even get some of those later XP machines to switch, but all they are doing by keeping the price high is getting those people whose XP is about to go EOL a reason to be looking at Chrometops and Android tablets, dumb move MSFT.

        It's true that the migration path from XP seems unnecessarily complicated and expensive.

        I think that upgrade licences for Vista, 7 and 8 have to bought. Obviously, there's not a lot of hardware running XP that will actually run Windows 8 but still a single upgrade licence (and software that would actually upgrade inplace) would be an encouragement.

        1. big_D Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: LOL

          Charlie,

          At a guess, I'd say a lot of the corporate fleets that are on XP would be upgradable, in pure OS terms. It is often the applications that stop them moving from XP, even though they are using relatively modern hardware.

          There are some cases, like my last employer, who was running Windows XP SP1 on Athlon 1Ghz machines with 256MB RAM in 2010! The network was riddled with viruses, because the installed AV software never scanned, because it rendered the machines unusable for 72 hours and the regular scans and the on-the-fly scans had been disabled! :-(

      3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: LOL

        The problem is, Win8 dowsn't run on a lot of those XP machines. MS needs to keep Win7 around, otherwise those users will be defecting to Linux

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Happy

      Re: LOL

      The comedy gift that just keeps on giving.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: LOL

      I'll be sticking with the Start Screen, thanks all the same.

      1. Chris Beach

        Re: LOL

        Agreed, though the number of times I actually launch things from it on my two desktops can be counted on one hand. They're either pinned to the taskbar or opened via file association.

        Unfortunately I can't justify spending 100 to upgrade the laptop, which I think would have a more traditional usage model, as I use it for development. If the £50 deal was still on, I'd have upgraded from 7Pro.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: LOL

          Agreed. I have all my commonly used Desktop applications pinned, so I need to go into the start screen once or twice a week for "normal" applications on my laptop/desktop - the same with my Windows 7 work machine, I use the Start Menu very rarely, the applications I use on a daily basis are all pinned or are opened through file association.

          I only really use the start screen for Modern apps and on my tablet.

      2. Tony Paulazzo

        Re: LOL

        I'll be sticking with the Start Screen, thanks all the same.

        And that's great, but now, we all have a choice, which is better.

        When my Lenovo is in tablet mode I'm happy using the Start Screen (and even, sometimes, the apps, tho' some of them are beyond craptastic), but when it's in secondary screen mode with primary large screen plugged in and USB keyboard & mouse I prefer the desktop with Start Menu.

        It's all about choice.

    4. Starace

      Re: LOL

      What they also need to understand is that it's not just the Start menu, or the desktop, or the Metro bit, it's all those little subtle things they messed around with that just get in the way of the user.

      Under the skin is a very good operating system and things like the Task Manager tease with what could have been.

      But some of the changes are just stupid - why (for example) did the Wifi management get removed in 8.1? It makes life difficult and there's no obvious reason for it! Needing to drop back to the command line or drilling into the adapter settings just to change a password is a real backwards step and completely illogical. And there must be twenty similar things I hit daily.

      I'm not anti Windows 8 - I'm using it right now to type this and even have a touchscreen for the full Metro experience - but it does feel that design got in the way of the engineering and that the design side went for shiny over usability.

      1. Kunari

        Re: LOL

        Agreed Starace, I'm using Win8 as well on a non-touch device. I also use "Classic Shell" start menu but also, along with the traditional ones, the new short cuts to run apps "Windows"-S to search and find apps is faster than searching the Start Screen and "Windows"-C opens the right pane.

        The removal of the Wireless management console is very very annoying.

      2. SumDood

        Re: LOL

        "even have a touchscreen for the full Metro experience"

        cf. jumping onto the tracks for the full underground experience.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. pirithous

      Re: LOL

      Microsoft is moving in a slow pattern of progressive improvements so Windows 9 will be the showstopper. If they did all the cool transparency stuff and a complete UI overhaul to 8.1 Update 1, Windows 9 wouldn't be that big of a deal in terms of being the attention getter. I think we all know that with MS's resources, they could have beautified Update 1 more than they did, and could have added back features which didn't make it over from Windows 7. It seems that Windows 9 could be a do or die moment for Microsoft. What this means, is that it needs to succeed in every way possible. It needs to conform and bend to everybody's standards, to prevent the potential caliginous and ambiguous fate that Windows faces. The ball is in Microsoft's court, and it's 100% obvious that they are moving in a direction of listening to customers better.

      Linux and BSD have their own problems and shortcomings. Every OS has its strong and weak points, and when we focus on the weak spots, we hope those weak spots can only improve. With Windows 8.x, we didn't improve; we just went sideways. As someone once wrote: "It seems to me that Microsoft has always been a bit out of touch with their customers."

      -Windows Registry needs to become deprecated; it's turned into a complete mess and I don't feel secure knowing it's there. http://rwmj.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/why-the-windows-registry-sucks-technically/

      -The app store has a kill switch in it, and I don't agree with another company having remote control over my system. MS has purposefully been silent on this issue because of the obvious lack of popularity, and potential customer backlash if publicized widely. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-02-17/the-kill-switch-comes-to-the-pc

      -ReFS doesn't sound all that hot. Where's the competition with EXT4, Btrfs and ZFS? http://blog.zorinaq.com/?e=74

      -Do not ask a myriad of personal information-related questions upon install. A user should put the DVD in, enter some very basic information, and the installer should go from A-Z without all the annoyances currently found in 8.x. Do not make it difficult for the user to get around creating a Microsoft account. We understand why this "feature" is there, but foisting only alienates.

      -Better organization of system files. On a Linux system, libraries are neatly organized in their appropriate folders. On Windows, system files are scattered about.

      -Allow the user to lock down Windows right out of the box just as Linux is, with a simple dialogue box. Passwords, no root access, etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: LOL

        "Better organization of system files. On a Linux system, libraries are neatly organized in their appropriate folders. On Windows, system files are scattered about."

        What really pisses me off on Windows is stuff like myriad directories in Program Files containing a SINGLE dll or config file. MSBuild? Reference Assemblies? Microsoft.NET? Windows Portable Devices? Zero G Registry? Why the fuck are these messing up my Program Files directory rather than being in Common Files/Microsoft Shared or out of the way in WinNT? Who the hell thought it was a smart idea to make an entire new directory off Program Files just to store "sqmapi.dll"

        Idiots.

    7. Lodmot347

      Re: LOL

      Quiet. You know you're going to use it eventually. Windows 7 will at some point cease getting support just like XP and Vista. Windows 10 or 11 will be out at that point, and everyone will complain about it, and you'll be hanging for dear life onto your precious Windows 8.1 because it's the one OS that went back to a remotely traditional way of doing things.

      Or maybe due to all the staff changes, Microsoft will be a completely different company from this point forward and start putting out really good versions based on general consumer feedback.

  2. btrower

    Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

    It is better lipstick, but there is still a pig underneath it.

    I am not sure that the guts of Windows 8 are all that bad. Were they to offer an inexpensive version of Windows 8 professional (non-crippleware) at something like $29.00 they would likely sell a few to me just so I could keep my legacy stuff alive while switching to Linux.

    The current course is just confirmation that their users have been screaming about what they want, that they have heard and have compromised on this rather than just give people what they asked for.

    Lots of us would have settled for a less buggy version of 64 bit Windows XP and skipped the smoking Vista disaster, the bland Windows 7 recovery and the subsequent plunge into hell with Windows 8.

    I am still a techie at heart and I like interesting new stuff. I am not quite an early adopter, but ahead of most. None of Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 were all that interesting, most of what was new was irritating and the same old bugs were joined by new ones.

    Microsoft has poisoned the well so badly that even old gadget junkies like me just want to get on with their work.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

      >I am not sure that the guts of Windows 8 are all that bad.

      Definately agreed, if we have the choice to completely switch off all of the Metro stuff it would actually be a very nifty OS.

      1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

        >I am not sure that the guts of Windows 8 are all that bad.

        It's the main thing that irks me about Windows 8.

        Underneath, the OS seems to be one of the best MS have built. It runs fast and behaves well, even on lower-spec hardware. Even the low-end x86 tablets we have at work run pretty damn well.

        I cannot stomach the interface though. Whereas Vista was rubbish underneath and I was happy to give it a miss, I feel cheated that I can't use 8 purely because of MS's appalling UI descisions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

          The only issue I have with 8 (outside of TIFKAM) is that it feels like I'm being ripped off with it.

          Windows Vista was a massive flop, buggy and nobody liked it. So they release windows 7, which is effectively a service pack for Vista which fixed the remaining bugs and performance issues. I felt ripped off by that, but had no choice but to upgrade because my Vista machine crashed every few hours. (Fortunately I grabbed a student discount copy for around £30)

          Windows 8 comes along and, aside from the interface, it feels like Windows 7 with a service pack to fix a few bugs and improve performance.

          I know the same happened with 95-98-ME-XP etc, but I skipped most of those too, went from 95 to xp, skipping out all the in between, while laughing at my friend who went through crashes on each.

          I'll probably skip 8 entirely unless something really REALLY good comes of it.

          Right now I'm slowly shifting my productivity over to Mint, and when the steam machines come out in force I'll probably shift my gaming to that. Alas that means no more VNs but a sacrifice is needed.

          1. Vociferous

            Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

            > when the steam machines come out in force I'll probably shift my gaming to that

            And that is something which has Microsoft really worried. Just last week they suddenly decided that gaming was a core activity of Windows, and that more resources would be diverted to DirectX & Microsoft Live development, in a pretty obvious attempt at stopping Valve & co from stealing the one killer feature Windows still has: gaming.

            1. Miek
              Coat

              Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

              Microsoft: I'm not scared

              Steam: You will be

            2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

              Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

              I still really wish that Microsoft had gone the OpenGL route rather than the (frequent) abomination that is DirectX. It's not that DirectX is inheritently bad (it's steadily improved a lot since the earlier versions), it's just that working with it compared to OpenGL there is a lot of boilerplate, inefficiencies and lock-ins and more than a few cases where a little more transparency would be nice as it would help figuring out what is actually going on, or just going wrong :). OpenGL has it's faults as well and comparing OpenGL (graphics) to DirectX (graphics, video, audio, input and more) isn't exactly a fair or straight comparison but a more standard approach would have benefitted everybody including Microsoft and the implementations of OpenGL would have improved as well. Instead we generally have to use a further level of abstraction to try to develop in a more cross platform manner and this introduces a whole host of new problems.

              Embedding good support for OpenGL within the windows UI would be a dream for many standard (i.e. not game) application developers compared to the pain of all the work arounds to produce good quality, efficient, embedded imagery otherwise.

              This would still leave windows as a platform competing against others, but it could then compete more fairly and if Microsoft worked hard to produce the best experience and the best (non-lockin) services to support it all they'd be onto a really good thing. Instead games and gamers are steadily moving to other platforms.

              1. Miek
                Linux

                Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

                "I still really wish that Microsoft had gone the OpenGL route rather than the (frequent) abomination that is DirectX. It's not that DirectX is inheritently bad ..."

                If Microsoft had used OpenGL without giving it the old EEE treatment. Most games developers would simply be able to port their games directly to Linux boxes where users would see some favourable improvements in game performance (statements backed up by tests performed by Steam/valve engineers) . From a gaming perspective, Microsoft would not be the be-all-and-end-all of the PC gaming world; Monopoly over.

            3. W.O.Frobozz

              Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

              A bit late for that. As a PC gamer I was vividly aware when Microsoft took the knife and stabbed PC gaming in the heart when the X-Box started to sell. Their laughable "Games for Windows" pledge a few years later only proved how cold the corpse was.

              Fortunately Valve was paying attention as well. I wouldn't say that Windows has any killer feature in gaming anymore given that most current Windows games are terrible console ports. And getting old Windows games going...well, that's hit or miss since Vista.

              Oddly enough, it's getting SO much easier to run old Windows games under Linux via Wine. I've got Thief: The Dark Project (and it's sequel) running flawlessly, DeusEx, System Shock 2, Fallout 1 and 2... The number of Linux and Mac games on Steam is quite frankly impressive.

              Microsoft is trying to catch the horse long after it bolted and the barn burned to the ground.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

          Have to agree that under the hood Windows 8 is brilliant, fast and low on resources compared to previous versions. It is just the interface that is a complete failure. Non-intuitive and hard to find a simple setting that needs changing. Ideally we would have the Windows 8 engine with the Windows 7 front end and if they are bringing the start menu back it can only be a good thing.

          The Win8 gui was enough for me to try out Linux Mint and liked it enough to now use it as my main desktop. It's a dual boot machine but never gets booted in to Win8 now. Makes me wonder how many users Microsoft lost to Linux due to the Win8 interface.

        3. Kunari

          Re: Still hate the tiles and the window decorations

          Dr. Mouse,

          I agree, I upgraded a 7-year old laptop to Win8 recently. Sure it's not perfect but it runs pretty good on that old hardware, better than --admittedly bloated-- XP was. I did have to force Win8 to use GPU drivers for Vista since AMD/ATI hasn't made any newer ones for the old GPU. I don't blame AMD/ATI but I'm glad there was a way to get the driver loaded.

  3. James Anderson

    I will have to delete all my tiles then.

    As I get half a dozen new tiles appearing every time I install something, my little "live tiles" menu would occupy most of the screen -- even after aggressively deleting the pesky things.

    Has anyone at Redmond actually tried using windows 8? Its a beautifully written, well crafted piece of software whose main use case seems to be "Disgruntled user reboots to windows XP".

    1. Malcolm 1

      Re: I will have to delete all my tiles then.

      8.1 has already changed that behaviour - newly installed apps no longer get added to the start screen automatically (they obviously realised it was irritating if you'd customised the start screen to your tastes)

  4. SVV Silver badge

    Still doesn't look as usable

    Let's see what still appears to be bad, just from the screenshot...

    - weird left margin with mysterious / sinister black box at the top

    - close button, but no minimize or restore buttons on windows

    - tiny icons with no text in the taskbar (hope that the horrible mess overlaying it is something on the stage, and not on the screen)

    - tiny start button, less easy to click

    - live tiles on the start menu, presumably difficlt to configure and taking time to go and check how many emails you have, what the weather forecast is, etc whenever you click the start button

    - internet explorer icon next to start button, presumably difficult to remove / replace

    - still letting applications install unwanted crap on right of taskbar (and no clock there)

    - that's enough free UI design consultancy from me....

    So, still significantly less usable than Win 7 and even XP by the looks of it - why they just couldn't give the Aero interface as an option until they have a UI version that is demonstrably an improvement, and easy to configure the way you like it, removing all the stuff you find annoying, is beyond me.

    1. jaywin

      Re: Still doesn't look as usable

      - weird left margin with mysterious / sinister black box at the top

      That's part of the set

      - close button, but no minimize or restore buttons on windows

      Minimize & restore buttons are visible next to the close buttons

      - tiny icons with no text in the taskbar (hope that the horrible mess overlaying it is something on the stage, and not on the screen)

      The "horrible mess" is quite obviously a camera. There's no less text than present in W7.

      - tiny start button, less easy to click

      Same size as W7

      - live tiles on the start menu, presumably difficlt to configure and taking time to go and check how many emails you have, what the weather forecast is, etc whenever you click the start button

      It's clear you've already reached a conclusion about the update, without even seeing it in use or trying it for yourself with these sort of comments.

      - internet explorer icon next to start button, presumably difficult to remove / replace

      No different to W7. I've seen loads of installs with IE there, that can be moved / removed like any other pinned app.

      - still letting applications install unwanted crap on right of taskbar (and no clock there)

      There's a clock there, and all the icons are for windows features

      - that's enough free UI design consultancy from me....

      If it wasn't free, I'd be asking for my money back. It's clear you didn't even look at the UI before you volunteered your consultancy.

    2. bigphil9009

      Re: Still doesn't look as usable

      How on earth does this idiotic post garner 8 upvotes? Are people so quick to hate that they'll agree with any old nonsense?

      1. monkeyfish

        Re: Still doesn't look as usable

        His only valid point (and presumably where the upvotes came from?), is that it is beyond him why MS couldn't have given Aero as an option. XP came with a 2000 option, as did vista and 7. I've not used 8 much, so I can't tell you if there is still a 'make it grey' option, but an Aero option would have been nice. For that matter, allowing 7 to access the win8 app store (in a dedicated access and run apps program) would have given them a welcome influx of customers, but nevermind.

      2. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Still doesn't look as usable

        "Are people so quick to hate that they'll agree with any old nonsense?"

        @bigphil9009 - unfortunately, if it's Microsoft, then the answer will always be a big, fat "yes" - there's too many people who've been burned by them and can't let it go. Plus you'll always have the anti-microsoft zealots who will use any excuse to take a pop.

      3. Chika

        Re: Still doesn't look as usable

        True. You have to admit that it is "kewl" to hate on Windows 8, hence some of the posts. Having used earlier versions of W8.x, I know why I don't like it, but I'm open to improvements. This screenshot does offer a hint at a possible improvement, so I'm happy to wait and see.

        Until then, it's Win 7 + openSUSE + RISC OS all the way for me! ;)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    I've had a Win 7 menu from day 1 on Win 8

    It's called Classic Shell. It costs $0.00. Takes 60 seconds to download and install.

    1. Tank boy
      Pint

      Re: I've had a Win 7 menu from day 1 on Win 8

      I did the exact same thing when I got my new laptop. I was so frustrated with the tile thingies and trying to rid myself of the bloatware, just got to the root of all the problems to make my life a little easier.

      The best part: even the wife can use it now. Although that's a bit of a mixed blessing.

  6. Asok Asus

    Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

    How is it considered "desktop friendly" when the "restored" Start Menu is nothing but a reformatted version of the universally loathed Metro UI Start Menu? Microsoft is completely insane. Their first attempt at "restoring" the start menu was just a button that took you back to the dreadful Metro UI. Now the second attempt is just a miniature version of Metro UI. I wonder who they think they are kidding? Certainly not their bread and butter enterprise and SMB customers. If anything, these pretend-restorations just continue to demonstrate the utter contempt that Microsoft has for their rapidly fleeing customers.

    1. Lusty Silver badge

      Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

      @Asok Asus it's not universally loathed, I very much like it and know lots of other who do too. My first thought on seeing this picture was actually "why would I want a smaller start screen?". Once I click that start button my task is to find something and launch it, so having any screen space not dedicated to that task just seems wasteful.

      1. David Black

        Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

        You didn't design Visual Basic 1.0 did you? Seems suspiciously familiar to that 90s paradigm of every current selection filling the screen and lots of blanking inbetween.

        Context switching is a bad thing for concentration and part of the reason for overlays is to let you retain your visual reference and enable your brain to focus on a limited subset of information delta. It's probably even more vital as screen sizes are heading upwards and the idea of frequently swapping the entire field of view could be regarded as a form of torture. On a 9" tablet, not such a big deal, but that's always where Win 8 seemed to belong.

        1. Philip Lewis

          Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

          http://www.memoclic.com/1744-windows-8/16470-inspiration-aol-windows-8.html

        2. Lusty Silver badge

          Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

          "Context switching is a bad thing for concentration and part of the reason for overlays is to let you retain your visual reference and enable your brain to focus on a limited subset of information delta"

          Blimey, do you find it hard to concentrate when you enter the menus on your phone too? What you're actually saying is that you're finding it hard to adapt to a new design and you're using "science" based on the previous design to justify it.User interface rules are mostly nonsense made up to justify design choices, ask anyone involved in early interface design!

    2. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

      Just depends how tweakable it is. The impending return of the Start Menu is a good thing. However MS need to keep it tweakable. So long as I can tweak it to suit my needs, great! Now all they have to do is provide some desktop themes that dont look lifeless, flat and downright god-awful. Sorry MS, the Windows 8 desktop is just a dreary place to be. The Windows 7 desktop looks far more visually pleasing still.

      1. Anonymous Bullard

        Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

        Oh well.

        I've just downloaded "Windows 8.1 with Update" (4/2/2014) from MSDN, and while it does have boot to desktop enabled by default - I found no way to enable a start menu.

    3. Vociferous

      Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

      Metro is a corner stone of Microsoft's future strategy. The strategy for the last three years has been that there should only be ONE Windows, which looks and behaves and runs exactly the same software regardless of what hardware you run it on (all Windows should look & behave like Windows RT). After Ballmer got fired, this has changed a bit: Microsoft still plans to make all Windows binary compatible, but now acknowledges that different platforms may require slightly different UI. That's why we get minor Windows 8 UI fixes like this one.

      But Metro is still vital, as it's needed to lock users in to the Microsoft Store, and Microsoft Store is intended to be Microsoft's future cash cow.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

        >Metro is a corner stone of Microsoft's future strategy

        Hopefuly they are now beginning to realise that their "corner stone" is not the correct corner stone for the building that they want to produce.

        Different platforms have different needs, a one size fits all OS is nothing more than the epitomous Silver Bullet.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

        @vociferous

        That was always the strategy, except the previous attempts attempted to impose the WIMP interface onto small mobile devices. Not a fabulous success as it turned out.

        Their solution, while maintaining the same goal was to develop a small device touch centric interface and then impose it on the desktop. Not a fabulous success as it turned out.

        For their next trick?

      3. Chika

        Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

        But Metro is still vital, as it's needed to lock users in to the Microsoft Store, and Microsoft Store is intended to be Microsoft's future cash cow.

        The problem here is that the platforms that already use this model had no prior setup. Apple's setup did not include the iMac and its successors, Android had no previous model to worry about so both were able to lock in the users (though Android didn't explicitly lock users into the Market anyway).

        Windows is a long running model. It is an operating system that allows users to build their own application sets on it. An app lock in is not really desirable and will be resisted - it could be a real money pit for Microsoft if they insist on going down that avenue, especially as its rivals develop further.

        1. Anonymous Bullard
          Facepalm

          Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

          > Windows is a long running model. It is an operating system that allows users to build their own application sets on it.

          And that is one of the main reasons Windows had become so popular!

    4. Chika

      Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

      What you need to keep in mind is why Metro was loathed. Is it just this whole tile business or the fact that it was whacked over the top of the desktop, which was neutered?

      I'm not a great fan on TIFKAM, and still view the whole "kill off the Vista/W7 gadgets because they are a security risk" thing as deeply suspicious, but if a real use can be found for TIFKAM apps and a proper home can be found in the desktop setup, then I'm game.

      It isn't as if the lost widgets can't be replaced by other tools - Microsoft can go fornicate themselves in that case! It's much like the situation with KDE and KDE 3, openSUSE and its obsession with systemd... there's a lot of it about, ya know!

      1. Sporkinum

        Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

        I am on 8 and have the 8 gadget pack installed. Security risk with gadgets probably is an issue, as I picked up an old, crusty, easily removable virus from one of the gadgets. I never get virii, so it was a surprise. I uninstalled all the gadgets, but once I figured out the offending gadget, I reinstalled them as I find them way more useful than live tiles.

        8 has been just fine for me with Classic Shell installed. I only run it on desktop machines, so I don't know anything about wireless settings issues. My wife has been on linux (Kubuntu) for years, and when her old machine died, the new one came with Windows 7. I set her up dual boot, but she doesn't care for Windows. My father just had me replace XP on his own laptop with Xubuntu. He likes it a lot as his machine feels much faster now.

    5. Lodmot347
      Facepalm

      Re: Someone must be blind to think thats a Window 7 Start Menu

      I can understand why people would run away from Modern UI. That interface is jarring, confusing, and very non-intuitive. But now we're talking about a new start menu here that's basically the same as Windows 7, and you're still complaining. I think you're either closed-minded from any kind of changes, whether they're negative or positive, either that or you're just complaining for the sake of complaining. (which is essentially a troll)

  7. M Gale

    Third time's a charm?

    Perhaps, maybe, possibly.

    1. pirithous

      Re: Third time's a charm?

      Third time, and there's still charms.

      1. Chika
        Happy

        Re: Third time's a charm?

        Windows with marshmallow pieces? Not sure about that...

  8. pirithous
    Facepalm

    Genius Idea

    How many years of comments regarding UI complaints on the internet did it take for MS to conjure up this ugly concoction of a Start menu?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Genius Idea

      Almost two years (Release Oct 2012 but available to pretty much everyone 6? months before that), the ousting of one CEO, and a very public u-turn on Xbone requirements.

      However, at least it's a free upgrade to fix Windows 8, unlike the Vista to 7 debacle.

      1. MacGyver

        Re: Genius Idea

        I contend that a 3.5 gigabyte download EVERY time for EVERY computer because they won't release a damn ISO makes their upgrade less than free, and the neighbors I share bandwidth with on my block would agree.

    2. Lodmot347

      Re: Genius Idea

      No, the "how" question is actually "How did I get 6 upvotes?"

      LOL

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS missed a great April fools joke...

    Microsoft missed possibly the best April fools joke chance ever. They should have put up a screen shot of the windows 7 desktop with start menu open and said that was the the update coming up for windows 8.1.

    Sadly I don't think the comments would deviate from any other windows 8 interface thread.

    "That sucks cause they made it look like windows 7 but its not, and the icons look funny and the fonts are all wrong, and I can spend weeks figuring out how to make a new phone usable cause most of them are crap, or figure out how to install older AMD card drivers to enable graphics acceleration on newer Linux distros, But figuring out an interface a little kid could work around in a couple of hours, which means you should be able to handle the basics in half an hour or less is too much work.

    Don't like it. Don't use it. Don't use it. Then quit fucking complaining about it.

    P.S. I maybe retarded but I can still figure out how to use windows 8 quicker than some of you apparently. And even make it useful. If you have trouble getting started look for a big tile labeled desktop and click on it. Then right click on the screen that comes up and choose personalize. On the box that pops up click desktop icons on the upper left side and turn click in the checkboxes for computer and user files and control panel. Then hit apply or OK. And your halfway to where you need to be. Alt+F4 if you get stuck in some program you can't understand. And the Windows Key+X at the same time to get a neat menu to play around with more stuff. If that frustrates you too much then maybe its time for you to throw in the towel and admit maybe the tech is beyond you and its time to retire and do something for the good of mankind. Like going fishing, Or playing shuffleboard, I hear lawn bowling could be quite competitive. But I would suggest staying away from bingo. Cause if touch tiles throw you off an old lady with 8 cards in multiple colours could give you horrifying flashbacks of the old days.

    Haha.

    Think I'm going to skip reading the comments section on anything apple/android/Microsoft related. Over the past couple years it seems the quality of aforementioned sections comments have deteriorated to the point where anyone with anything worth saying doesn't bother and the people who do generally say something, are those people who think you give a toss about what they like and why they like it. Your probably the same people that rant that twitters down on Facebook to let everyone know your a douche cause your complaining on social media that something social media is down when you could instead use that as an excuse to go get a drink or get a quick blowjob or do your wife or girlfriend and take some pictures so you have something better to pass on to the world in a message besides the color and texture of your last bowel movement.

    If you got this far.

    I don't really care. I was just bored. Figured I would write a story while I wait for my wife to finish shopping.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS missed a great April fools joke...

      "Think I'm going to skip reading the comments section on anything apple/android/Microsoft related."

      It's also starting to really piss me off!!!

      There are certainly a lot of fanbois who take all critisism for their favourite product very personally.

      Recently, I spoke down about a real problem I had with Windows... but some idiot responded by stating how Windows was better than Linux! So? I'm a fucking Windows developer! Aren't I entitled to have an issue with something I happen to know inside-out?

      1. 1Rafayal

        Re: MS missed a great April fools joke...

        to be honest, it has got to the point here that it is impossible to have an objective discussion about Windows or Linux...

        1. Vociferous
          Paris Hilton

          Re: MS missed a great April fools joke...

          > it has got to the point here that it is impossible to have an objective discussion about Windows or Linux

          Yeah, it's not like in the old days, when Linux, Amiga, Mac and PC users could calmly and objectively discuss the ups and downs of their system of choice without fanboyism...

          um....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS missed a great April fools joke...

      > Figured I would write a story while I wait for my wife to finish shopping.

      And that's all you had time to write?? She's a keeper!

    3. pirithous

      Re: MS missed a great April fools joke...

      Too long; didn't really read. Just skimmed.

      "P.S. I maybe retarded but I can still figure out how to use windows 8 quicker than some of you apparently."

      Well good for you!

      Think I'm going to skip reading the comments section on anything apple/android/Microsoft related.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocrisy

      "I don't really care. I was just bored. Figured I would write a story while I wait for my wife to finish shopping."

      Your writings need improvement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS missed a great April fools joke...

        Too bad. If you skipped the story. You missed the good stuff. Guess it wasn't twitter length and I lost your focus.

        And it's not hypocritical to say I think I will stop reading the comments. It's hypocritical to say I don't read the comments.

        Maybe that wiki article proves me wrong. But its too long. And I can't be bothered.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MS missed a great April fools joke...

          "And I can't be bothered."

          No, it's "arsed" that you should can't be.

  11. jake Silver badge

    Whatever.

    Me & mine are sticking with Slackware-stable & KDE for day-to-day use. It just works. No muss, no fuss. (Yes, I have a box running -current, as does my daughter & eldest niece. We all contribute to the Slackware project as we have time.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever.

      What prize to give the man who undoubtedly already has a coconut palm, I wonder?

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC (was: Re: Whatever.)

        Uh, no coconut palms here. They don't grow well enough to produce in the Sonoma Valley, and I never plant food crops unless I know that I can get a good harvest. Not worth the time/effort/water.

        HTH, HAND self admitted Coward.

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: @AC (was: Whatever.)

          Slackware? I thought you single-handedly wrote BSD, Jake. Why the defection?

          1. jake Silver badge

            @ Kristian Walsh (was: Re: @AC (was: Whatever.))

            I didn't write anything major by myself. Nor did I ever claim otherwise. But I did (and do!) contribute to several projects, and have over the last 40 years.

            Desktops here are Slackware. Servers and Internet facing gear are BSD.

            Please, do try to read for content. It'll do you a world of good.

            1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

              Re: @ Kristian Walsh (was: @AC (was: Whatever.))

              "Nor did I ever claim otherwise"

              *cough*

              Explicitly, no... I'll grant you that. But making a claim to have done something without also crediting the many others involved could be taken that way.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC (was: Whatever.)

          Uh, no coconut palms here. They don't grow well enough to produce in the Sonoma Valley, and I never plant food crops unless I know that I can get a good harvest. Not worth the time/effort/water.

          Facepalm

  12. Belardi

    Still a very UGLY 1987ish Windows 2.0 bland color design. How about having the Win8-Preview Skin as an option or default? That was actually an improvement over Win7. For tablets with smaller screen, the simplistic coloring is okay... Not so for those of us with regular computer screens.

    Also... Why call this "Windows 8.1 Update"?! How about use NORMAL terminology!! Call it Windows 8.2! There... its simple and everyone knows its NOT 8.1 or 8.0. Geeez!!

    This is pretty much HOW Windows 8 should have been to begin with. But I would at least have the option to make the METRO launcher be a sticky on the left side of the screen. (Like the launch bar, other apps can't overlap it) Then if the use wants to be OLD-SCHOOL, hitting the Windows Button would make it into a classic style Start Menu.... who knows, how about give us a few options.

    I'm already migrating to Linux... I see very little for me to stay with Windows, other than some older games and Adobe... And overall, Windows 7 does everything I need it to at this time. So here is what MS needs to have a chance:

    1 - Improve the skin.

    2 - Proper functioning Start Menu.

    3 - Remove the Charms or find a functionally better way.... but in reality, putting it on the Start Menu WORKS.

    4 - Reduce the price to $50, retail... with disc. And its not an "upgrade" disc only.

    5 - Get rid of the 30character-whatever keys... Apple and Linux don't use such things. Its a pain in the ass to fix a messed up computer.

    And with that... I may consider some MS OS that is not Win7 to others.

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Agreed. Windows 3.1 had more going for it visually than the Windows 8 desktop. I've used it on a couple of machines and the bland, lifelessness of the Windows 8 desktop just feels depressing.

  13. poopypants

    This update is somewhat similar to Start8 + ModernMix

    ...except that Start8 + ModernMix does it much, much better. Hopefully Stardock Software will have an update that tuns it off.

  14. JDX Gold badge

    Since uptake has been so poor, MS are actually in the position they can make fairly bold changes quite easily, which is definitely unusual.

  15. Fihart

    More crimes against English.

    "I am going to share that we are going all-in with this desktop experience, to make sure your applications can be accessed and loved by people that love the Windows desktop."

    1. nijam Silver badge

      Re: More crimes against English.

      Not to mention using "reach out to" to mean "ask". What is wrong with these people?

      1. Miek
        Linux

        Re: More crimes against English.

        "reach out to"

        Extend arm, clasp Microsoft employee's throat, squeeze.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Crisp Silver badge

    Is the headline similar to a Daily Mail article?

    Has El Reg journalism sinking to the lowest common denominator?

    Can you replace facts with wild speculation if you phrase it in the form of a question?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have an idea.

    Simply don't use windows 8. That's what I've done.

    Stay with Win7.

    Hey presto, you don't have to live with the product of "arty" retards on crack.

    Especially. You don't have to have Apps that you can't resize, which take up your whole screen, and you don't have to have horrendous blocks of colour appearing while you're trying to work, random "breaking news" which is only of interest to people living in "bitch an education there dude" UCLA. etc.

    1. Belardi

      Re: I have an idea.

      You are correct sir! While I have listed and voiced things that would make a NEW Windows usable, it doesn't mean I would run out and BUY IT! If win8.2 came out at $40~50 for those who have XP and Win7 (Like w8.0 - which even worked for preview 8.0 installs) a few months from now, I still would not bother. What would be my benefits?

      1 - Faster Boot? Who gives a shit? My old reliable intel X25 SSD boots up in 20 seconds.... BUT I rarely ever SHUT down my computer. It goes to sleep.

      2 - Metro apps?! Who cares!

      3 - Improved Task manager. Yes, its VERY good, one of the best things of WIndows 8... but (A) I am rarely in task manager and (B) its not worth rebuilding my computer (I only do clean installs)

      4 - Get the UP arrow back in Windows Explorer! (Was there in XP) Yawn... there is an Explorer replacement which even gives you tabbed drive windows and the UP ARROW... I still use the built in version.

      5 - Improved File copy/move window! Yes, its the best ever from MS. Like the graph... But I've since installed Terracopy (its free) and it totally destroys Wind8's file copy window. Its not as pretty, but its far more powerful... those files that fail to move, won't stop it from moving other files. And it'll queue multiple copies jobs.

      6 - You get a new desktop look and feel! Already hate it. Does nothing better, just different and sometimes idiotic. Its ugly, I don't like to look at Windows 8. It will ALWAYS nag me... "Why am I using this piece of shit for?!" Google image search "windows 8 consumer preview screenshot" and check out the skin job... its a cleaned up tweaked version of 7... I like it. Not this 80's flat shit.

      Where having Window 8.2~9 fixed and usable is important for the common user who needs a new computer... especially Windows XP home and small business users. THAT is what we need. I don't recommend anyone buy a Win8 product. I tell them to get a ThinkPad with Win7Pro installed.

      I'm with you Coward... I really don't see a reason to replace Windows 7 any time soon. Unless Win9 blows away Win7 (I'm not counting on that), I'll be on Linux full time in a few more years.

      1. 1Rafayal

        Re: I have an idea. @Belardi

        @Belardi

        you do realise that Windows 8 does have the up button in file explorer?

        Also, the desktop experience in 8 is very similar to 7, which people prefer atm, so I dont see how this can be an issue for you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I have an idea. @Belardi

          Also, the desktop experience in 8 is very similar to 7

          It's also similar to, say, Linux Mint.

          1. Vociferous

            Re: I have an idea. @Belardi

            No, it isn't. You may be thinking of Ubuntu's Unity, which has some design choices in common with TIFKAM.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Vociferous

    Too little, too late.

    It's still ugly, still mostly search-for-everything, still hides settings, still tries to lock the user in, and is still the wrong way to go for Windows.

    1. Miek
      Linux

      Re: Too little, too late.

      I had a user the other day that could not log in to her Windows 8 laptop because she was not connected to the internet, her user is a live.com user and her kerberos ticket had expired. She had to log in to connect the internet but could not log in until the internet was connected ... Microsoft Strikes again!

      1. mmeier

        Re: Too little, too late.

        Strange, offline works fine here for the privat box (Win 8.1). I get a warning but than I am running locally. And yes, my privat unit is a live user.

        1. Miek
          Linux

          Re: Too little, too late.

          I think the important factor is that the machine hadn't seen the internet in a few days and it is likely that the machine's Kerberos ticket had expired. Does anyone know if the Live infrastructure is actually using Kerberos AND are Win 8 machines essentially joined to Microsoft's "Live" domain?

  19. Baron Ebaneezer Wanktrollop III

    Weather

    Why is it every friggin interface known to man thrusts the weather into your face? Am I the only person here who doesn't want a fucking cloud on my desktop or start menu? I'm British - it's always shite outside and I don't want my bloody screen estate taken up with this bollocks, Xbox live tiles on a business phone FFS! etc. etc.

    Give me a 'Metro off' checkbox and I may, just may give W8 a second look.

    On second thoughts. No I won't.

    1. mmeier

      Re: Weather

      For me it is the other way round. Give me a

      Kill the stupid useless start menu

      button or I'll skip the update.

      1. M Gale

        Re: Weather

        Well I'm sure you'll be able to get a TIFKAM8 third party update for it, so what are you complaining about?

        Learn to love this new and exciting futuristic paradigm, or somesuch bullshit.

  20. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Windows

    But the madness still shines through

    I've civilised Win 8 with Start8 and disabled the annoying "charms" that pop up when I'm moving the mouse on my desktop PC, but now and then Metro, TIFKAM or whatever you want to call it bursts through like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining". And it's not welcome.

    1. roytrubshaw
      Pint

      Re: But the madness still shines through

      "... but now and then Metro, TIFKAM or whatever you want to call it bursts through like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining". And it's not welcome."

      Love the image!

      I found Win 8.0 + Start8 + boot to desktop + disable all the edge behaviour was a usable, stable system that allowed me to do my work without having to worry about coping with a completely new UI.

      But as Zog stated it was quite disconcerting when TIKFAM, would suddenly appear (for no readily apparent reason) and then just as quickly disappear.

      I'm currently with a client that uses XP 64bit which means that I'm saved from all the annoying pop-up messages (that my wife is receiving) because the kernel version is 5.2 and not 5.1. Anyway time to slap in a new hard drive and install Win7 Pro OEM on her laptop and be done with this insanity for another year or two.

      Meanwhile I'm happily switched to CentOS 6 for both server and desktop use and hence postponing worrying about Gnome3 until 2017 or so.

  21. Spoonsinger
    Coat

    It would be nice if those live tile thingies could be placed on the desktop, using

    some sort technology to be named later. But obviously that would just be madness - especially if you allowed designs other than squares or rectangles. However if that technology was invented I think they should be called Wadgets or maybe Gidgets.

    1. Pookietoo
      Facepalm

      Re: It would be nice if those live tile thingies could be placed on the desktop

      "I think they should be called Wadgets or maybe Gidgets."

      How about "Active Desktop"? Oh, no - that was a different nightmare.

      1. Spoonsinger
        Mushroom

        Re:- How about "Active Desktop"? Oh, no - that was a different nightmare.

        Indeed or how about just a "sidebar.exe" type thing like? (e.g. just split out the whole explorer.exe into different modules which us users can switch on/off to our hearts content. But that's just madness!!!!! MADNESS I tell ya!)(*))

        (*) Wish I was a designer and "actual" programmer at a main stream company with the conversational and political skills/influence to see my ideas released to the world at large. But I don't - just a crappy contractor A/P with no influence at all in the scheme of things. [Sad Face - but not really]

  22. Jayman2005
    Alert

    RIP Windows

    Retail Windows will be dead soon if it is not made available free. IOS and Android will make sure of that. The Desktop/Laptop PC is not a compelling device anymore. To give it a fighting chance, MS has to give the OS away free.

    1. Miek
      Linux

      Re: RIP Windows

      Well, I certainly wouldn't pay for Windows 8 or 8.1; it would have to be free for me to even consider it at this stage. Roll on Windows 9

    2. mmeier

      Re: RIP Windows

      Depends on the market and the way you use the unit. For company use the notebook/desktop/2in1/convertible will be around a long time. Simply due to needs and laws as well as due to the software base.

      For the "internet browsing/mail reading" crowd toyputers may be the future. There are some problems left (elder printers not supported, some software like Elster not supported) but time will fix that at least for the hardware.

      For those who need tools like Photoshop, Lightroom etc. the full powered unit with a full sized OS will be the privat unit of choice for quite some time simply due to the CPU / memory needs and the software. Same for gamers, ARM does not cut it for a good FPS.

  23. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Sorry to say but ...

    Assuming W8 is a disaster zone and some removed features are worth putting back in again shoorli MS is allowed to do that?

    Yes, I know - I can hear, see and feel your passion in posts some along lines of "Why did they do that? Didn't they know? and ... "

    But MS (like most ventures if not all (including NSA, GCHQ, 5-eyes, ... )) are led by humans and we are indeniably fallible?

    What MS should take from this is that while its operating systems or products do not seem to be greatly supported the passion about them is?

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Sorry to say but ...

      I don't see anyone complaining about Microsoft putting (some sort of) the start menu back, do you?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For old times sake

    As long as the version number is 8.11, I'll be happy.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: For old times sake

      It's pronounced "Windows h8"

  25. Miek
    Linux

    After the apparent defeat of the metro tiles system, Microsoft gives in and brings back the Start menu WITH TILES FFS!!!! My first though, "I can turn that shit off right?".

    Dear Microsoft, FUCK your tiles!!!

  26. theOtherJT

    Have they fixed the bit where the only way to modify wireless settings is through the command line yet? Because that alone is enough to make me want to smash every windows 8 laptop that comes in here with "wifi problems" into tiny pieces.

    1. MacGyver

      Arg too

      I have to routinely create scripts and move all manor of files, and I feel the same way.

      My "problems" are when you create a new file on a remote share, that after about 1 second, Windows8 will re-sort my newly created file still currently named "New Text Document.txt" to the N's mid-rename. That is frustrating with 9 existing documents, but it is infuriating when there are 3,000.

      The second I refer to as the "Let's select everything between here and there", you can reproduce it by enabling Windows to display not only Hidden files, but also extensions. Then take any file, and rename the whole thing (extension too), now click outside of the file with a singular left click, and wallah, not only does Explorer select every thing between the file you were renaming, but it will hold the left-click button down for you. Fun. Even more fun when it selects whole bunches of files and lets you potentially move/delete/rename them accidentally at this point.

  27. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    Devil

    I think this video...

    explains it all....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBIdzSt2UZ8

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple Solution for Windows

    For Windows to rule again they need to do this:

    1) Re-implement the UI conventions that Windows users are accustomed to (Start menu, desktop first, folder based file management etc...)

    2) Ensure networking and security, file management, stability and speed speed SPEED are prioritised.

    3) Install footprint of 1GB.

    EVERYTHING else can come as an app in a sort of modular form add on from Windows store.

    The user (who DOES know best, EVERY time and ALWAYS) gets to decide how to set up their system.

    Do this and Windows will rule again...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows...

    For Windows to rule again Microsoft need to:

    1) Re-implement the UI conventions that Windows users are accustomed to (Start menu, desktop first, folder based file management etc...)

    2) Ensure networking and security, file management, stability and speed speed SPEED are prioritised.

    3) Install footprint of 1GB.

    EVERYTHING else can come as an app in a sort of modular form add on from Windows store.

    The user (who DOES know best, EVERY time and ALWAYS) gets to decide how to set up their system.

    Do this and Windows will rule again...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That screenshot, what happens...

    if you click "All Apps"?

    1. adnim Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: That screenshot, what happens...

      Every single application installed on the system starts full screen with Internet Explorer top most opening in the Microsoft app store

  31. CheesyTheClown Silver badge

    Please make it optional... some people aren't idiots

    Honestly, I thought that the Windows 8 start screen and lack of start menu was one of my favorite design choices in Windows in years. I personally have Surface Pro tablets and also many Windows 8 desktops. I have rarely encountered technologies that improved performance and user experience like the Windows 8 start menu does when used properly.

    I guess the problem is... too many of you whiney little bitches can't learn new stuff. :(

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Please make it optional... some people aren't idiots

      Original desktop too hard for some people, it seems; love W8...

  32. David Lawrence

    Yes it will be a success!!

    ....as much of a success as OS/2 Warp, which I think, deperately tried to support both Windows and OS/2 applications on the same desktop. Mmmmm yes that went so swimingly well.

    As an ex-IBMer who remembers those days very well, it is indeed pleasing to see Microshaft suffering from the same astounding lack of understanding of what the consumer really wants.

    Keep guessing, Microshaft - I wonder how many tries it will take you to get it right. Don't think about talking to real users. Keep spewing out those dreadful ads which tell us we are really stupid and stubborn and that "honestly it has a familiar desktop". It doesn't. Fact.

    If it did, why are so many major vendors bundling their own 'start button' apps on their laptops these days?

  33. Tannin

    But Warp didn't fail because of the interface - which was excellent and was later copied very successfully by Microsoft with Windows 95 -and Warp succeeded brilliantly at running Windows and OS/2 applications side by side on the same desktop. Warp failed mainly because it was marketed badly, because the hardware requirements were quite high, because drivers and installation were difficult and unfamiliar, and above all because hardly anyone wrote software for it. It wound up as a sort of heavy-duty platform for DOS and Windows applications, and before too long NT 4 came along to do that same job only in a more familiar way, and that was the end of that.

    Windows 8, in contrast, has excellent driver support, is easy to install and support (assuming, of course, that you first escape from the awful Metro garden and install Classic Shell or an equivalent), and has best-of-breed hardware support and performance.

    Yet, despite those differences, your point that the one thing killing Windows 8 is Microsoft's arrogance and contempt for its own customers remains valid, and indeed is the key to this entire slow-motion trainwreck.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Sandy 3
    Holmes

    Lacking in self belief?

    The only way MS will convince large numbers of people to adopt Windows 8 and its quirky "phone" like interface4, is by using it themselves. I am fed up trying to use the "metro" interface and then when I kick off a process that has anything remotely techy ie not an app or programme, the system automatically jumps back to the good old fashioned windows 7 stye interface and windows, to get on with whatever taks you have requested. If MS cannot use the new interface, why should we?

  35. PAT MCCLUNG

    Clerk

    Anybody who gives a damn about what the GUI at the front of the OS "looks like" is an idiot, in my humble opinion. Windows 8 is a good OS, far better than anything MS has so far produced (Windows Vista was an atrocity, we can all agree). Anybody who cannot find their way around the Win 8.1 GUI garbage, and get to the Desktop, where you can do what you have to do in Windows, run programs, is an.imbecile. What do you do with your computer? I use mine to run programs, which is quite easy in Windows 8.1. Of course, I don't do this unless I need to run a Windows-only program, which is less and less necessary. Got 5 computers, and all run Linux as my personal choice, but I do need Windows to access some Windows-only programs I want to run,. Anybody who runs Windows exclusively has my personal sympathy, which I extend to all the mentally handicapped.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clerk

      "Anybody who gives a damn about what the GUI at the front of the OS "looks like" is an idiot, in my humble opinion."

      Unfortunately for Microsoft, it appears that the majority of their users fit into that category, judging by the dismal uptake of Windows 8.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They could easily stuff the old metro UI in a window and then people who want it can stick it on a 2nd monitor.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      This. This is what I want. Start menu on my primary monitor, massive "quick launch" replacement on my second monitor.

  37. Paradroid
    Thumb Up

    To be fair...

    Is it not time to cut them some slack?

    Yes Windows 8 is a mess for desktop users, and crucially they ignored all the beta feedback that told them it was going to be a disaster.

    But this now looks great. Start menu back, but with the option to add a few nice tiles. And Metro apps launching in a window on the desktop. That paves the way for most of our Windows apps to gradually transition over to Metro in the coming years. The end result will be a desktop OS but with the best bits of Metro (simplified apps, and flat design)

    The only problem is they need to get this released now, not in Windows 9 in 2015.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: To be fair...

      "The only problem is they need to get this released now, not in Windows 9 in 2015."

      From the article...

      "Myerson didn't say when this next Windows makeover would ship to customers, but he did say that Microsoft "will be making this available to all Windows 8.1 users as an update.""

      So that's before Windows 9. I expect they will roll it out in six months time. They'll call it something daft. Everyone else will call it 8.3 (coz next week's offering is clearly 8.2), and *if* there is an API actually willing to admit to the true kernel version number (which is looking increasingly unlikely) then it will be something like 6.5.

    2. Justin Otherhacker

      Re: To be fair...

      Yeah, I think this latest update it will be near enough for me. I'll go with it - something I've never quite managed to say about that confounded ribbon.

  38. TRT Silver badge

    The colours are just...

    butt ugly too.

  39. Joe Cincotta

    The phrase "can't give it away" comes to mind

    Windows 8 on a desktop is unusable. As is 8.1

    This is like Zune. Exuberant denial until termination.

  40. Lodmot347

    Hmmm..... Apparently this is "Windows 8 Enterprise Build 9600, for testing purposes only". o 3o;;

    ........... may I test it please? I swear it's not because it's fucking awesome and I want it. XD

  41. Lostintranslation

    Tiles Schmiles. Enough with the feckin' Lego desktop already.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      incorrect statement error...

      Lego is fun to play with.

  42. markusgarvey

    With MS's track record, I''ll still wait until Windows 9 if I'm going to upgrade...

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