back to article Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview

Microsoft has rolled out Build 10547 of Windows 10 to its "Insider" public preview testers, offering a fix to the Start menu bug that saw some shortcuts missing. Windows Insider builds are not intended for production use, but represent the first phase in deploying updates across the various editions of Windows 10. The most …

  1. Graham Jordan

    Not fixed the OneDrive placeholder then?

    Because that's about the biggest fucking FAIL of win10.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    MS seems to be staning on the Poop Deck

    and pissing windwards with this.

    As the article said, users want the start menu to work properly. More tiles on Start? Get a dose of reality Sataya. This won't stop the widespread use of start menu replacements (IMHO).

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: MS seems to be staning on the Poop Deck

      Disingenuous of MS to say the start menu has a fix tile limit, because it's a fixed entry limit which means it affects TIFKAM apps and Win32 exes. There was a limit of 512 entries in the start menu and now there's a limit of 2048, which is still too close for comfort if you have an IDE or two installed along with Office.

      This style of programming fell out of favour when MS-DOS did, if Windows 10 is bringing us kludges as a service then that doesn't inspire confidence.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: MS seems to be staning on the Poop Deck

        Disingenuous of MS to say the start menu has a fix tile limit, because it's a fixed entry limit which means it affects TIFKAM apps and Win32 exes. There was a limit of 512 entries in the start menu and now there's a limit of 2048, which is still too close for comfort if you have an IDE or two installed along with Office.

        Is it a global limit? If so that seriously is fucked up. Not sure why it should be a table at all apart from the Win9x disease of trying to Access for everything.

        The worst thing is the silent failure. This obviously wasn't thought about very much and further evidence of a rush to release Windows 10. Then again maybe without a deadline it never would have been released and with all the problems it sounds like a step-up for Windows 8.x users.

      2. mildmanneredjanitor

        Re: MS seems to be staning on the Poop Deck

        Who on earth wants more than 2,000 tiles on their start screen. It's a ridiculous amount already. Don't forget, these are continuously updating and placing an overhead. A hundred would be more than enough.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: MS seems to be staning on the Poop Deck

      Why the downvotes for the OP? Are these MS shills? If so the most useful thing they could do is report this is user feedback of what they've got wrong, otherwise they're reinforcing the truth of Steve's comment.

  3. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Waitaminute...

    Let's do a little math here :

    8192 bytes of space for 512 tiles = 16 bytes per tile...

    65536 bytes of space for 2048 tiles = 32 bytes per tile...

    So they could have gone with a maximum of 4096 tiles if they wanted too, but instead they decided that adding more cruft would be better somehow...

    1. The Mole

      Re: Waitaminute...

      Or perhaps 8192/2048 = 4 bytes available per tile some of which is then used as a pointer into the TilesInViewEx table to find the remaining data?

      Wonder why they couldn't just update the original table with a new size, or use something that wasn't placing such low bounds in data size.

    2. druck Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Waitaminute...

      With such restrictions, I wouldn't be surprised if Windows 10 wasn't still full of 16 bit ints and 64KB segments.

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Waitaminute...

      The other maths to look at is how much screen space they take up. On my machine here the tiles are 100px square, and my monitor is the common resolution of 1920x1080.

      So if the start menu covers the entire screen (a la Win 8), I can get a maximum of 19x10=190 tiles. So previously I could have two and a half whole screens full of tiles, now I can have ten screens worth.

      I currently have eight tiles.

  4. h4rm0ny

    It would be pretty easy to fix the Start Menu by simply going back to the Start Screen. You only need hierarchical menus when you have too many items to manage in a flat hierarchy. On my desktop monitor I can fit 60 tiles very comfortably. That is far more than regular users ever need for commonly accessible tasks. You can additionally scroll down for less commonly used tasks where it becomes unlimited. And if you don't want to do something like remember that all your office applications are in a column on the left and all your games are in a column on the right (far quicker than actually reading up and down menu items), then you can always do what I do on Windows 8, which is just hit the windows key and start typing. Don't even have to reach for the mouse. None of this blending of unwanted online search results when I just want to launch Excel.

    MS, imo, tried to jump across a ravine, got to the other side and found lots of people saying they didn't like it over here, so decided to jump half-way back and compromise. I find the Windows 10 Start Menu a grotesque hybrid. Some people like tropical fish. Some people like kittens. Nobody wants to see a kitten with fish-eyes and a gumless, toothless mouth.

    1. Richard 81

      "It would be pretty easy to fix the Start Menu by simply going back to the Start Screen."

      Um. No.

      The current Start Menu may be pants, but I have no interest in that full screen monstrosity.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not curious

    It is still curious though, first that Microsoft could release Windows 10 with a major bug in this critical and sensitive feature, and second that even the fixed version apparently still has a limit.

    I beg to differ, I'd say that was Microsoft meeting the low expectations of the world. Notwithstanding the fact that the start menu has been a HUGE intellectual and coding conundrum at Redmond for three years now, nobody really expected them to get it right, did they? We had to go through three versions of Windows 8 before they admitted defeat of a sort, and then they still flunked up with W10, which they filled with ordure like Cortana, and messed up user privacy, and STILL they haven't yet given users back the start menu that they've been asking for since 2011.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Not curious

      "STILL they haven't yet given users back the start menu that they've been asking for since 2011."

      I suspect that the reason for that is that they're still stuck on the idea of having something that will sort of work on a small screen for phones as well as on a desktop. It might take a lot more iterations before they realise that "sort of work" will inevitably be crap one one or other and probably both.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Not curious

        -It might take a lot more iterations before they realise that "sort of work" will inevitably be crap one one or other and probably both.-

        They spent decades trying to cram the Desktop onto phones, and when it finally sunk in that it wasn't going to work, they could've, finally, done the intelligent thing and designed different interfaces for different usages...

        But NOOOOO! They did a complete about face and shouted, "It's so obvious, I see it now! Let's put the phone interface on desktops!"

        Putzes.

  6. leon clarke

    All together now

    640 kilobytes, er I mean 512 start menu entries should be enough for anyone

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: All together now

      And that's what someone probably did think, perhaps even had long debates and focus meeting over, and in most cases it is perhaps more true than not. But it doesn't matter if there is a rational and argued explanation for it, there being some good reason for some fixed size limit; Microsoft have handed a big stick to anyone who chooses to take it and beat them with it, and they should have seen that coming.

      But then; if it hadn't been this it would have been something else. Those seeking to find fault will always find one.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Those seeking to find fault will always find one

        Especially when Microsoft is becoming specialized in flinging faults at your face that can't really avoid noticing.

      2. MrTuK

        Re: All together now

        Too easy to find faults in Win 10, although I have finally managed to get rid of the damn Xbox and Onedrive stuff everywhere, and killed Cortana :)

        Its almost back to Win 7 now although I am still a little perplexed why CPU time is still increasing for the following in App History - Camera only 1 second, Photo's 6 seconds !! and Voice recorder 1 second, everything else shows 0 seconds except Alarm clock and calculator as I use them !

        The camera is quite interesting as I have disabled that from windows apps anyway so work that one out !

        If anybody is interested how I did it, they reply and ask me and I will give details otherwise suffice to say I have been successful and not issues from what I have done aswell as its totally undoable if thats a word !

        1. blinkdt

          Re: It is almost as if MS don't want the likes of us to use it

          Right, the world breathlessly awaits your insight.killed off Cortana AND OneDrive right off the bat, didja? Yeah, useless features to be sure. Listen, why don't you go back to playin' with that tutti-frutti version of Linus you're so hot on. The rest of the world is moving to 10, believe it.

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: It is almost as if MS don't want the likes of us to use it

            The rest of the world is moving to 10, believe it.

            [CITATION NEEDED]...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Pint

              Re: It is almost as if MS don't want the likes of us to use it

              A belief needs no External Citation

        2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: All together now

          "The camera is quite interesting as I have disabled that from windows apps anyway so work that one out !"

          They forgot to subtract NSA-time from the total.

      3. beavershoes

        Re: All together now

        I think the point is that there is no need for fixed sized anything in computers today. Systems are suppose to be elastic and scale to the demands of users. I would like to be able to buy additional memory hardware and have more space for anything. Whether a menu item or a database table or a game or whatever. The size is fixed to force users to switch to that full screen monstrosity. I do believe that it is so that MS can more easily develop for different screen sizes. I see this as a cost cutting maneuver being that they are not an advertising company like Google. Therefore they can not just give things away. Apple, on the other hand, makes their money by delivering quality.

      4. Pirate Dave
        Pirate

        Re: All together now

        "But then; if it hadn't been this it would have been something else. Those seeking to find fault will always find one"

        You know, if they had done something smart like given us the classic nested Start menu back, I think most of us would be more forgiving of the stuff like Cortana or the OneDrive issue or the horse-shit like non-removable XBox stuff (really, WTF???). But no, they couldn't do that. With all the programmers in the world, they couldn't figure out how to re-write the simple old Start menu from 1995. So those of us who skipped Windows 8 because of the crap Start screen, are really wondering where we're supposed to land now that Win10 is turning out to be crap too. Mac is OK, but it's no Windows. And as much as I appreciate Linux on my servers, it's even worse than Mac at doing the desktop stuff ( IMHO, of course. YMMV)

        I installed Win10 on a test machine yesterday. Other than a lot of weird, new services running for no reason, it didn't look much different than Win8. Think I'll stick to my hacked-up Server2012 desktop for now.

  7. Ross 12

    The Start menu was one of the key UI components that really helped Windows 95 take off. It's hard to imagine Windows ever being so dominant on the desktop without it. And now they've absolutely pissed it all away.

    It's one thing to ditch it and try something new in 8, that was bad enough. But to bring it back but completely fuck it up so that it fails to perform its main function - to provide access to all available apps, is just insane.

    1. Field Commander A9

      And the very person who first introduced Start Menu and taskbar to Windows said that he's disappointed with Windows 10's version because after more than 22 years they are still too similar to the original ones.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Apple's got an Apple menu, Amiga had a Workbench menu, GEM had a Desk menu, the idea of a primary menu which controls the system is fairly universal.

        Those at Xerox PARC might be disappointed that in spite of recent UX developers trying their worst, a WIMP desktop is still the primary form of interaction with desktop/laptop computers. Doesn't mean it should be dropped if it's still the best thing around which does the job.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Xerox

          "Those at Xerox PARC might be disappointed that in spite of recent UX developers trying their worst, a WIMP desktop is still the primary form of interaction with desktop/laptop computers."

          On the contrary, the Xerox engineers should be proud that they utterly nailed it first time around (at least publically). 1970s Xerox management OTOH... what a bunch of clueless wastes of skin.

    2. Phoenix50

      What?

      They've hardly "completely fucked it up" have they?

      Is there so little to complain about the Register is having a go at Microsoft for not allowing more the 2048 shortcuts on the Start Menu?

      2048? Who uses more than that? Is that all you've "got"?

    3. iMap
      FAIL

      Just on reading your comment, I had to log in and agree to up your score.

      Which is why I'm sticking with Windows 7 Pro till 2020 then, it's a complete migration to linux. (1/3rd there already)

      Those in corporate power often abuse it in the quest to make THEIR mark on a product, no matter what. Unfortunately, it's at the end user experience that suffers.

      Jeez! a full monitor screen just to see your programs etc..{FAIL}

      Change is a good thing but, not always for the better and If it ain't broke, don't fix IT!

  8. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    2 words for you MS...

    "Classic Shell"

    1. Andy Non

      Re: 2 words for you MS...

      Microsoft should simply have bought the business that provides Classic Shell and incorporated it into Windows 10. Job done.

    2. Cowboy Bob

      Re: 2 words for you MS...

      3 words - "one to many"

  9. Semaj

    M$

    In their typical MS way, yet again they have gotten it so close and then just messed it up with something minor.

    Indeed - why impose a limit at all?

    My personal gripes are however:

    - No way to fully collapse the menu (you can remove all the tiles but the space remains)

    - No way to show all items all the time (would be nice to put it where the "recent" stuff show up)

    - Weird flow when searching then wanting to back out (esc doesn't seem to do anything)

    1. dogged

      Re: M$

      > Indeed - why impose a limit at all?

      Because infinitely long lists don't search very well.

      Are you telling me you want to have an infinite number of Start menu items?

      If so, I think MS are not the ones with the problem. That's a problem for the user.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: M$

        There is a subtle distinction between infinite and unbounded, ask any mathematician. I certainly do not want an infinite number of items, but I might not want to set a rigid bound. This is the subtle distinction between implementing a list as a static array or a dynamic data structure like a linked list. More than a decade ago one PhD student here scorned LaTeX, and wrote his thesis in MS Word, calling us LaTeX users old-fashioned, stuck-in-the-mud, conservative, etc. There were one or two sniggers when his equation editor stopped working after 128 equation objects were in the file. He phoned the helpline, and they simply told him to split the thesis into smaller chunks, each containing no more than 128 equation objects. Now this was an old version of MS-Word, and the problem may since have bee sorted, but having the limit in the first place is odd, especially given the phrase "Object Link Embedding" used for the implementation method. The phrase suggests an underlying dynamic structure, which clearly wasn't there.

        Of course, I might not want infinitely many equations, but I would hesitate to set a fixed upper limit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: M$

          "This is the subtle distinction between implementing a list as a static array or a dynamic data structure like a linked list."

          Back in the1960s we used dynamic arrays that were an indexed array of pointers to the actual data entries. That meant each data entry could be assigned only as much individual memory space as it needed. If a data entry needed to be expanded then it was copied to a new memory allocation and the index pointer updated.

          If the array of pointers became full then it was copied to a new larger allocation of memory - with space for a reasonable number of new entries. This method made sorting, insertions, and deletions very quick.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: M$

            This is the 2010s, and developers are proud to eat memory. When Firefox developers state that unused memory is wasted memory (something that might be true for an OS, not an app), one does get scared.

      2. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: M$

        It's 2015.

        You're kidding right?

        Searching a list of even 2000 text entries is the kind of thing you can do in microseconds on a ZX Spectrum.

        The upper limit should really be some integer limit (e.g. long int or long long int), not something pathetic in the thousands. Seriously. If you CANNOT search through 2000 4Kb records in less than a second, you're doing something incredibly, atrociously, catastrophically wrong.

        For reference, even something like MySQL, SQLite or similar can do plain text or even content searches (you DO index the contents rather than then go into every shortcut and manually extract the information on each search, right?) on the order of Gb/s. I fail to believe that a start menu contains more than a few meg of information, even for someone like me with thousands of organised folders in the Start Menu (hint: 1.3Mb at the moment, not counting "all users" start menus). We're literally talking search-as-you-type with no optimisations needed.

        Honestly, is this what coding has come to? You really think that searching through a list of even a million Start Menu items should take more than a fraction of a second?

        Nobody wants infinity. I want it to take as long as it takes, no matter what number I have. If it gets too slow, I'll reduce the number. It's not hard to operate on these principles - we all do for inbox quotas, disk size, profile size, etc. What I don't want is "Sorry, you have more than a few thousand files... I'm not going to work".

        P.S. Classic Shell has ZERO PROBLEMS accessing that amount of icons, including narrow-down search, as a third-party bit of freeware. I'm sure MS can do better than that if they tried.

    2. bobgameon

      Re: M$

      "No way to fully collapse the menu (you can remove all the tiles but the space remains)"

      After you remove all the tiles you can simply drag in from the right to remove the extra space or do you need someone to post a video tutorial on how to do that?

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: M$

        >After you remove all the tiles you can simply drag in from the right to remove the extra space

        I think the issue is a little different. Like many things in Windows, it isn't that it can't be done, it's just harder than it should be, especially for an OS that costs money. Why doesn't it auto-collapse when the last part of the entry is removed? Why delete something and then have to delete the space it leaves? That isn't great, especially when so many users don't want tiles in the menu to start with.

        It's the ghost of a mobile strategy that is still wailing on the desktop. If MS can't get an adaptive desktop/mobile interface right for their OS, what chance is there for applications?

    3. MrTuK

      Re: M$

      Weird, I have removed all the stupid tiles and it is now back as a normal'ish start menu by that I mean the normal width !

    4. blinkdt

      Re: M$

      M$ . . . that's so cute, are kids still doing that these days? M$ he says.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid tiles

    Instead of having 2000 whacking great tiles representing each of your applications, how about, oh I don't know, a list? Far too radical an idea, I'm sure!

  11. Your alien overlord - fear me

    MicroSTART (gettit!) should realise that on planet reality, some business users put their documents as shortcuts not on the desktop (as per norm) but on the start menu (in Win7). Never counted but I'm sure 2k is too low a limit. And yes, as they're managers, you just smile and walk away.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Documents on desktop

      "some business users put their documents as shortcuts not on the desktop (as per norm) but on the start menu (in Win7)"

      And those managers are sensible. The desktop should only be used for stuff I am currently working on, and of course sensitive documents shouldn't appear on desktops in case a minion notices the file "Everybody to be sacked.xlsx".

      If people are storing all their documents in the start menu, that's a sign that document handling needs improvement, not that the managers are clueless.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Documents on desktop

        'sensitive documents shouldn't appear on desktops in case a minion notices the file "Everybody to be sacked.xlsx".'

        Sensitive documents shouldn't leak information in their filenames.

      2. Gordon 11

        Re: Documents on desktop

        The desktop should only be used for stuff I am currently working on...

        I seem to recall that with a Roaming profile this meant the file had to be downloaded to the system as you logged into it - hence slowing down login when you had a lot of large ones...

        I could be wrong though. It had never occurred to me that a Desktop was a place to put a Document - to me Documents went into Folders (a nice, simple, hierarchical database) and you used the File Explorer to manage them. I don't even have any desktop icons showing on my system - they are in a browsable menu on the taskbar (so never get hidden under open windows).

  12. xmsdave

    Tiles don't roam

    Lets hope they fix this while they are fixing the rest of it https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/3fcd4aa9-fd36-46fb-a265-7be441df11df/bug-when-deleting-roaming-cache-profile?forum=WinPreview2014General

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Long File Paths !

    How about fixing the Long File Path limit in File Explorer, FFS ?

    Windows File Explorer can still ( it's 2015 ) create files it cannot itself copy or delete !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Long File Paths !

      Yes, following a minor crash I found out that WFE had done exactly this to the extent of over 1000 levels of nesting. This prevented an upgrade to W10. There is a batch file workaround, but really a shell command is needed which can fix this, perhaps by traversing the nested directories and moving all actual files to a top level directory before deleting the empty nesting.

  14. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Too many Indians now at MS...

      "Bugs and solutions like this really point at low quality engineers, living in a little world of their own, not understanding their user base (especially the power user one), and trying to enforce their ill-designed requirements upon users."

      Did someone say systemd?

  15. Drudgery Leak

    FTFY

    too close for comfort for the application launch mechanism in a creaking pile of guano

  16. BryceP

    Subfolders

    The 512 issue caught most of the mainstream attention and rightfully so as it highlights the many and varied issues surrounding Windows 10's accelerated release. Still, it is a bug, and therefore is defensible, even if only slightly.

    The real issue surrounding Windows 10's Start Menu is its near complete removal from the accepted norms of the classic Windows UI: no subfolders, no folder management (new folder, delete, rename), no click and drag, no copy and paste, et cetera. The most criminal issue is the lack of subfolders / nested folders as even with 512 items, even with a quarter of that, the Start Menu becomes an unorganized, in-navigable mess; subfolders allow me direct control over my Start Menu, and have had largely the same parent folder structure (Games, Utilities, Production, Media, so on) for the better part of 20 years.

    Tickets addressing this issue, and more (forced driver updates, anyone?), have been created on the Windows Feedback forum, but they are largely ignored by users in favor of tickets asking for different versions of the Windows Hero wallpaper and for Explorer to be redone in the modern UI and other, similarly asinine things. For this reason alone I don't want to attribute this omission to malice but it seems like one major oversight too many. Microsoft want everything to go through their Store, wrapped in their nice, modern UI, and a vocal minority agree. That they haven't put as much effort into returning the Start Menu to its full and functional former glory isn't surprising; that they feel the need to completely reinterpret the wheel, along an accelerated timeline, one spoke at a time, is.

    Nobody gets what they want and everyone suffers with Microsoft's new approach.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Subfolders

      EXACTLY! This, a Trillion times over, THIS!

      I don't want tiles, I want a Detailed List. I want my folders, subfolders, & ability to organize the Start Menu to *MY* tastes not those of MS.

      I, too, used to do the various folders of Games, Utilities, Productivity, etc, and despite having thousands of different entries in my Start Menu, *ALL* of it was organized to be Four (4) arrow keys away. Windows key, arrow down x1 to Games, arrow left x1 to open, arrow down x2 to get to the second game. MS Word under Productivity, Disk Defrag under Utilities, etc. I could get to the main section where the program was listed in ~4 keys, all without having to move hand from keyboard to mouse & lose my flow. And I could SORT the thing to keep all the (new) entries in line, so it only took one quick glance under a folder to know how far down to go to get to it.

      I don't want MS' tiles, I want my productivity back.

      1. boatsman

        you can have your productivity back:

        1) surrender and learn the new

        2) switch over to a linux distro with KDE.

  17. bobgameon

    Serious Question

    Can someone explain a scenario where you have more than 512 items in the start menu?

    I currently have visual studio 2015, java 8, oracle database, postgres, the entire MS office suite, plus around 15 applications that my company needs me to keep installed. Apart from this other things like firefox, vlc etc. And utilities like wireshark and a few more. But i havent been able to hit the 512 item mark. How can anyone have more?

    1. MrTuK

      Re: Serious Question

      Just curious are you the type person that ask's why do you need 150meg broadband ?

      Or why would you ever need a 10TB H/D ?

      Or how could you possibly use 64gb of ram ?

      Or why would you possibly want a graphics card that has 16gb of ram ?

      Just because you think you have too lots, doesn't mean that your limitation should be what limits other people.

      And no I haven't got 64gb of ram in my laptop - yet, just 16gb but I wouldn't want to limit myself to 16gb, just 16gb is fine atm, but I know of people with 32gb and if their PC's or Laptops could handle 64gb then they would probably put it in if they felt like they needed it !

      It would be their choice and I wouldn't criticize someone if they want 1000+ items in their Start menu I would just be curious why there would be a limit !

      1. Anonymous IV

        Re: Serious Question

        > Just curious: are you the type of person who asks, "Why do you need 150 Mbps broadband?"

        The best answer I've ever heard (it may well have been invented by me) is that

        "You need 'superfast' broadband so you can download all the Windows Updates rapidly."

    2. blinkdt

      Re: Serious Question

      Serious answer: You are correct, there's really no need. They'll be improving/expanding this OS over the next decade, but Rome wasn't built in a day. I'd like to see the folder functionality I have on my Windows phone ( Lumia 1020, beotches) brought to my Desktop. Nice, as that's the only way to really manage such a large collection of tiles.

  18. J J Carter Silver badge
    Linux

    Of course, Linux uses a long int, so 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 app shortcuts can be used without a problem. Which is ironic as there's only 7 programs available on Linux.

    1. gerdesj Silver badge
      Linux

      "7 programs available on Linux."

      I've got 4,600 executables in $PATH on my laptop (Gentoo). Perhaps I ought to symlink the lot to my start menus.

      KDE (Plasma). I can't decide which of three "start" menus I prefer so I have all of them in a row at the bottom right. One of them looks suspiciously like the Win8+ thingie and doesn't get used much ...

      Ahhh: *choice*

      1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

        "I've got 4,600 executables in $PATH on my laptop (Gentoo)."

        Bully for you, old chap. And the point of the exercise was what, exactly, besides wasting disk space? Is this like some form of stamp collecting, or collecting train numbers?

    2. Steven Raith

      @ J J Carter

      I'll have ot admit, I did laugh at that.

      And I'm a full time linux user (work and home).

      Upvote for the humour.

      Steven R

    3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "Of course, Linux uses a long int, so 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 app shortcuts can be used without a problem."

      Looks like another arbitrary hard-limit to me.

  19. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    come on now

    There are only two needed apps... notepad and a browser oh and freecell right?

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: come on now

      ... and a terminal you insensitive clod 8)

      (need an "assist putting on coat" icon)

  20. robertjm

    Your stance reminds me a lot about the guy that wants to have hundreds of tabs open in their Firefox browser. Sure, you can have as many as you want open. But, why would you want to? You'll need a magnifying glass to see which tab is which page. Kind of the same thing with having so many Start Menu options.

    1. Grade%

      Why so many tabs?

      I sometimes manually have to cancel certain items from a list of pages - the pages are all opened at once so that I can crtl-tab through them and hit the cancel button on each one and then once it cycles around I crtl-f4 them. That's 50-60 pages at once. Normally I have a macro running down that list but sometimes forget to invoke it because of activities and it's slower then I am at it. See, I don't actually look at the tabs and suspect a user that opens a similar number on a regular basis just shortcuts through them on their reading track.

      Memory and processing is pretty cheap these days so why are we being artificially limited if we want to do things a certain way? Once of the cool things about OSes, and indeed good applications in general, is that there are so many different ways to do the same thing. I recall some of the times watching in amazement as users would do something in a way that I had no idea could work! And I like the discovery aspect of UIs; it would be a shame if we constrain ourselves to only doing things in a prescribed, predictable, and if I may, little more boring way. I think we lose something in the process, some ineffable quality, some ability to create methods that cater to our proclivities of habit.

    2. Rhyd

      Until recently I always had 60 tabs open, arranged into groups for daily reports, analytics + search console etc., payment systems, reviews, AWS consoles + reference guides, web interfaces for internal appliances, non-work stuff, and one for live projects (responsive web design at the time). I also have 6 pinned tabs for internal systems and customer facing websites I maintain, as well as database admin and a project management tool.

      Unfortunately, the tab group implementation is crap so I got fed up and closed all the tabs. I haven't decided whether I'm more or less productive since!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Excel too?

    I once broke an Excel (probably 2002/3) limit on new sheet numbers in one session - quite a low value as I remember. Every time a new sheet was created it was assigned the next incremental number as a placeholder. The vast majority of sheets were routinely deleted as the processing proceeded. However when it reached the maximum sheet number Excel wouldn't create a new one by re-using any of the lower free numbers.

  22. alpine

    Personally, I don't want tiles of any description: they seem a reversion to the 1980s. Though I have heard that you can now revert to a proper desktop and start menu. I do have a Win 10 system on order, but when it comes, I shall be installing trusty old Win 7 Pro...

  23. hayzoos

    512 used to be the limit of MS-DOS file system directory entries (now called folders). First versions did not have subdirectories (subfolders either). Subdirectories helped to alleviate this limit but each had it's own 512 limit at first, then only the root directory still had this limit. I saw this first hand on one of my early support calls of disk full but less than 50% space used.

    The start menu was file system based so it benefited from the evolution of the file system hierarchy. Now that it seams to have a new data structure all its own, the reinvention can begin.

    This is not a bug, it is an intentional design limit. Previous famous limits were justified by the previous high cost of storage or memory. The fix already sounds like a kludge. I guess the development model has become release the prototype to previewers and kludge the changes for release. Then, continue the kludge cycle post release.

    I don't know if they will get it right enough before the free upgrade offer expires. I'm in no hurry to "upgrade" my primary windows system.

  24. boatsman

    in 1995 Delphi v 3 or so one could have 10240 items in a list, @ 16Mbyte RAM

    I wonder what stops microsoft in 2015 to have only 2048.

    1995: my pc had 16 mbyte

    2015: my pc has 8196 mbyte.

  25. ntevanza

    Gooey

    This is a convenient distraction from some other problems that are harder for users or admins to solve.

    My observation after a few weeks is that the UI is a step backwards, and the underlying OS is really just Windows 6.3.

    Silly little annoyances that should have been fixed haven't. For example, every time Explorer starts up it declares it can't connect my network drives, which subsequently work fine, with little red crosses next to them. This is a startup sequence bug straight out of 2009.

    New infuriators have been invented. For example, white title bars don't work, and you can't change them. If you superimpose windows, particularly in a remote scenario, you can't see what the hell you're doing.

    There is a new Explorer bug where folders full of thumbnails will spontaneously jump to the parent when the thumbnails are updated.

    New annoyances have been imported from other shells - for example the skinny Xfce-style window resize areas. They extend beyond the window to allow for less precise mouse movement, but this doesn't work over RDP because the mouse pointer doesn't switch properly, and there is no visual feedback.

    Edge is horrible to use and has coarse enough control over cache, security and privacy settings that I don't know what it's doing.

    One my boxes, installed clean, steadfastly refuses to find executables in the search box, with or without indexing. Instead it says it's getting search ready for me.

    All this is superficial, but there's enough of it to add up to a slight loss of productivity. In all, ignoring the start menu (you can just install the one you want), the Win10 UI is a more disruptive change than Win 8's.

    Recovery partitions have gone away. That's good.

    I can find nothing new in the OS itself. All the same settings are where they were. All the same drivers work. There is some incompatibility with hypervisors, which seems to be the result of stricter or broader application EMET-style vulnerability mitigations, maybe. Many of these were already baked into Win 8.

    The obverse the lack of change is that backward compatibility is excellent. That that is the most I can say is a sign of maturity, but also of stasis.

  26. martinusher Silver badge

    Fiddling with trifles

    I just want the Start menu to work. I've had it lock out several times already, once causing the system to not start up properly.

    A lot of the OS features are just fluff, noise that makes the programmers writing it happy but doesn't enhance usability. If adding features compromises stability and security then they're Fails, even if they're the most Exciting New Idea Of The Century.

  27. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "Windows 10 preview"?

    Hasn't Windows 10 been released some time ago already?

    1. hayzoos

      Haven't followed the Windows 10 changes close enough. Windows 10 is rumored to be the last version of Windows but the first Windows as a service. It will be continually updated. There should be preview builds and release builds.

      That is why there will continue to be Windows 10 preview releases.

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