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Microsoft Killed the Start Menu Because No One Uses It

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the apple-responds-with-stop-menu dept.

Microsoft 862

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft recently killed the Start Menu, and their explanation for it seems fairly straightforward: no one used it. This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but Microsoft explains that use of the Start menu dipped by 11 percent between Windows Vista and Windows 7, with many specialized Start functions — such as exploring pictures — declining as much as 61 percent."

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...the dock. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604102)

I haven't used the Start menu for ages, the OS X dock took care of that horrible mess...

Re:...the dock. (0)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 3 years ago | (#37604356)

OSX blows chunks period. It does what it does well because it's a "we don't have an option for that" operating system. The dock is only good for those who don't use it much - anyone who uses a lot of programs regularly needs something better.

Personally, I think Launchy is where it's at. Sure it's command line but it's fast, flexible, and easy.

Re:...the dock. (2)

chronoglass (1353185) | about 3 years ago | (#37604408)

I'd have to agree with the dock.. I hate that thing
command + space and type what im after..
if what im after can't be found that way.. I command + space "terminal"

Re:...the dock. (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37604410)

It surprises me as one of the very few things I miss about Windows after moving to Linux was the Start menu. The Gnome main menu always seemed very sparse in comparison. What doesn't surprise me is that people used the XP menu more than on Vista or 7. Other than search and a few other minor things, the XP start menu is better. When I'm just sifting through it, I can find what I'm looking for much faster than the Vista click-a-thon.

Re:...the dock. (2)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | about 3 years ago | (#37604488)

I think you're confused. The start menu is the same as spotlight, not the dock. On windows or ubuntu, hit the windows key and type what you're looking for to start a search, on OSX, it's command-spacebar. This is my primary mode of using any OS now.

I use it, but not in Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604106)

At work I use Windows only. All the programs I actually use have quicklaunch icons, and most of what I do is in the browser.
At home I use Kubuntu only. I reset the K menu to the Classic style, and use it extensively.

Except for when you need it (1)

Fishead (658061) | about 3 years ago | (#37604110)

Those rare circumstances when you need something from the start menu, it's not going to be fun trying to find it.

I feel the same way about livingroom furniture. I don't care how it is, just don't move ANYTHING!

Re:Except for when you need it (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 3 years ago | (#37604200)

If you tap the Windows key and start typing, like in previous versions it will start searching for what you typed. So that still works the same, at least.

Re:Except for when you need it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604242)

Assuming you have a Windows key. Some keyboards (like mine, the IBM Model M) don't have such a key, and I like it that way.

Ctrl + Esc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604300)

Just hit Ctrl + Esc, on your Model M.

Re:Except for when you need it (1)

NerdyLove (1133693) | about 3 years ago | (#37604318)

Ctrl + escape, anyone?

Re:Except for when you need it (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37604316)

If you tap the Windows key and start typing, like in previous versions it will start searching for what you typed. So that still works the same, at least.

Yeah, I use a GUI because I love typing commands so much.

Re:Except for when you need it (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 years ago | (#37604340)

...except it's not the same at all. That's kind of the point.

An alternative that uses different inputs are just that, an alternative. They aren't a replacement for the original.

Re:Except for when you need it (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 3 years ago | (#37604484)

It's exactly the same for this particular gesture - that's the point. Previously it would be click on Start or press Win (or Ctrl+Esc) to open Start menu, then type until the first item in the list is what you want, then Enter. Now it's exactly the same, though it looks different visually.

I still don't like the visuals, but that's a different thing.

Re:Except for when you need it (1)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | about 3 years ago | (#37604364)

If you tap the Windows key and start typing, like in previous versions it will start searching for what you typed. So that still works the same, at least.

Wow, it's like they just completely cloned Gnome 3.

Re:Except for when you need it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604480)

and gnome 3 should be known as a failure, but at lest linux is in the lead from the start this time around in this poor ui choice

Re:Except for when you need it (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 3 years ago | (#37604502)

It's the same way it has been since Vista, just different look. Not sure if Gnome copied it from there or from somewhere else, but it's definitely not a Gnome innovation.

This is like GM removing the spare in trunk (5, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 3 years ago | (#37604120)

When you can't figure out the easy way to launch stuff, look in the Start Menu.

This is change for change's sake.

Re:This is like GM removing the spare in trunk (1)

Lashat (1041424) | about 3 years ago | (#37604172)

My spare has been in the same place since I bought my car. Sucks for you tho.

Re:This is like GM removing the spare in trunk (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#37604212)

Eh, I don't know about that. I use FVWM, and I set up a menu, but to be honest there are only four programs I ever really needed -- so I adjusted the menu to present those programs at the top of the top level. People generally want symbolic icons, and they hate having to read through a list of things just to find what they are looking for. A combination of a short menu with just the essentials and a search box for rarely used programs is probably a better idea (in my case, xterm is one of the four programs I mentioned, which serves as a way to launch less commonly used programs).

Re:This is like GM removing the spare in trunk (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | about 3 years ago | (#37604222)

The programs are still there so it's not like GM removing the spare tire. It's more akin to a the owners manual not telling you where the spare tire is.

Re:This is like GM removing the spare in trunk (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 3 years ago | (#37604266)

When you can't figure out the easy way to launch stuff, look in the Start Menu.

This is change for change's sake.

Indeed. I actually use the Start Menu dozens of times each day. I have shortcuts on the desktop, but usually the are obscured by all the work I'm doing. Because most people don't use it is a pretty poor reason to remove it.

The way they've complicated Task Manager I can't see too many neophyte users struggling with that beast now - might as well remove it, too.

Re:This is like GM removing the spare in trunk (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604284)

When you can't figure out the easy way to launch stuff, look in the Start Menu.

You can't. Because they didn't like the look of the big, floor-to-ceiling look of the old XP system, they shrunk it all down so that it only shows 5-6 items at a time and has a scrollbar.

In short, they made it harder to use and less functional than the XP Start Menu, and to everyone's amazement, people stopped using it, and then they claimed it was some sort of UX triumph.

Ditto with the control panel - rather than one big screen with 100+ tiny icons on it, they reworded a few things ("Display" becaome "Personalization", and there are 2-3 different UIs rather than the tabs on the old-fashioned XP display.cpl) and made them all look like web-apps. Now that it's unnavigable with words or icons, everyone uses "search" and it "feels faster". You can't write documentation that says Start-Settings-ControlPanel-Display-Screensaver, you have to say "search for 'screen saver' and clicky on whatever pops up"... *sigh*

This is change for change's sake.

Much like Firefox, most UX innovation is precisely that. If you don't get the results that match your pet UI design philosophy, move the feature around, and while your users are trying to find the feature you don't want, accumulate enough telemetry to claim your users aren't using it as often, then take it away. (Status bar, full URL in the URLbar, etc.)

Re:This is like GM removing the spare in trunk (1)

LordKronos (470910) | about 3 years ago | (#37604498)

Because they didn't like the look of the big, floor-to-ceiling look of the old XP system, they shrunk it all down so that it only shows 5-6 items at a time and has a scrollbar.

While I agree with most everything else in your post....5-6 items at a time? Damn, I think it might be time to upgrade to a monitor that runs higher than 640x480, because on my monitor the Windows 7 start menu shows 28 items at a time.

I guess it is never used .... at MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604122)

I have a simple rule .... I don't like having my desktop full of icons. So I use the Start menu A LOT.

Guess that "no one" is only at the house of the idiot who said that statement.

Re:I guess it is never used .... at MS (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 3 years ago | (#37604314)

If you read the article, they aren't talking about having shortcuts on the desktop....they are talking about pinning icons to the Task Bar (which is now a hybrid of the original quick launch toolbar and the original task bar). And at "normal" resolutions (personally, I think that resolution is on the low side -- unless viewing via an HDTV), that's 22 icons straight up....more with an asterix.....if everything you use regularly is pinned, you'll rarely go to the Start Menu.....just for those obscure programs you use infrequently.

Re:I guess it is never used .... at MS (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 years ago | (#37604472)

I have way too much items for that to work so I need both the start menu and the taskbar/quick launch.

Re:I guess it is never used .... at MS (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 3 years ago | (#37604478)

Nor I. I typically have my task bar filled with 20-30 applications at work...and I expand it to be three rows high because there isn't even enough room at 2 rows height. Then I have all my common used apps pinned to the start menu. I don't know what Windows 8 has in store for me, but if it looks anything like that stupid screen shot of the big icons, I'm not using it.

Ok, how do they know? (3)

0racle (667029) | about 3 years ago | (#37604136)

Seriously, exactly what data and from where are they collecting it to figure this decline in usage.

Re:Ok, how do they know? (1)

Meshach (578918) | about 3 years ago | (#37604202)

Sounds like a case for remembering that a /. reader or commenter is not a typical user to Microsoft. We do use the Start Menu and will find a way to continue using it. But "the masses" obviously do not.

Re:Ok, how do they know? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37604452)

Doubtful, the start menu is an easier way of locating programs than anything else that MS has provided. The only reason I can think of for people not using it is that they already have the 3 programs they use pinned to the task bar.

Re:Ok, how do they know? (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 3 years ago | (#37604214)

Not sure, but the justification is that most people pin their most-used applications to the task bar.

Re:Ok, how do they know? (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#37604372)

Not sure, but the justification is that most people pin their most-used applications to the task bar.

Probably because the Windows 7 Start Menu is such a disaster that they can't find anything there anymore.

Re:Ok, how do they know? (1)

mariasama16 (1895136) | about 3 years ago | (#37604374)

Well, considering those are the same users who typically have their desktop so full of icons that the wallpaper's indistinguishable and a gazillion icons in the system tray to make launching those program faster, why not kill wallpapers too? (Personally, I'm more of a minimalist and have no icons on my desktop and try and keep my system tray pruned to the bare minimum, so the start menu is very important to me).

Re:Ok, how do they know? (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 years ago | (#37604380)

...that still leaves the less frequently used stuff to sort out.

One of the key strengths of a GUI is supposed to be tasks that you do so infrequently that you are prone to forget how to do them. A good GUI helps smooth over that sort of problem. A bad one just makes it so hard that you just want to reach for a bash prompt.

Re:Ok, how do they know? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 years ago | (#37604282)

You know the annoying little pop-up that bugs you to "Jon our Customer Improvement YadaYada?"

Well, apparently, some folks actually opt-in...


Crazy, right?

Re:Ok, how do they know? (2)

gcnaddict (841664) | about 3 years ago | (#37604400)

The data received trough the CEIP is astounding, but what's even cooler about it is the fact that all of it is clean. None of it contains personally identifiable information unless there's an application crash where the user volunteered to send more than the usual set of data.

The CEIP was used in the development of the Windows 7 taskbar as well as the Ribbon UI in Office 2007+. In all cases, the goal was to improve usability, and Microsoft's own statistics (empirical and otherwise) show internally that they succeeded. I'm willing to say that Microsoft has recently become a very powerful player in creating engaging and highly usable systems, and that's based on empirical evidence rather than pure opinion. The sheer amount of research done by Microsoft's labs to ensure that a particular UI is easier to use and more productive than the previous version is mindblowing.

Re:Ok, how do they know? (2)

Ghostworks (991012) | about 3 years ago | (#37604344)

The data actually makes a lot of sense: Windows 7 gave user's the ability to pin program icons to the taskbar even when they're not running. So now your most frequently used programs don't need to be in the start menu or on the desktop to quickly get to them. I would imagine start menu usage would fall dramatically once the programs you use 90% of the time are pinned to the task bar.

I find the new start screen to be an odd solution to this problem. For that matter, I find it odd to thing of the drop as a "problem".

Re:Ok, how do they know? (2)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37604466)

Yes, but the start menu is there because you don't always have room for everything on the bar. And often times you don't want to minimize all your other programs just to get to the desktop icons, which themselves are likely to be a mess.

Re:Ok, how do they know? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604384)

Remember the Customer Experience checkbox they throw up everytime you install microsoft software? Remember how people instantly whine about privacy as soon as they see it? Turns out it actually gathers data for the exact purposes they said it does.

ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604138)

Anything but the ribbon.

Microsoft Logic (0)

smnanthny (2468828) | about 3 years ago | (#37604146)

So removing it for the remaining 89% is obviously the right thing to do. Microsoft logic ftw.

Correction (1)

jbov (2202938) | about 3 years ago | (#37604470)

Actually, your logic is a bit flawed. The article states that the usage dipped by 11% between Windows Vista and Windows 7. Claiming that 89% of people still use it would only be true if 100% of the people used it with Windows Vista.

It seems that MS intentionally omits the actual usage. Instead, they only show the change in usage between Windows Vista and Windows 7. This data is useless in deciding whether or not the start bar is needed. I'm guessing they intentionally left out the starting figures, because the Windows 7 usage was still over 50%.

Indeed (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#37604148)

People seem to want symbolic icons that represent the programs they want to run; they don't want to look through a long menu and read a bunch of text.

Re:Indeed (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37604290)

People seem to want symbolic icons that represent the programs they want to run; they don't want to look through a long menu and read a bunch of text.

Really? Seems to be a common theme and maybe I'm just abnormal but I cannot stand interfaces with a dozen geometric shapes with random squiggles and colors that are different from every other interface with a dozen geometric shapes with random squiggles and colors.

Just put the damned labels in whatever language the system detects it's supposed to be in. Leave the squiggles and lines to the finger painting set.

Launchy did it for me (4, Interesting)

Mean Variance (913229) | about 3 years ago | (#37604156)

Once I started using Launchy [launchy.net] that pretty much took away my need for the Start button.

Launchy plus the Quick Launch toolbar (for Windows XP) pretty much does the job.

Once in awhile I go to Start and am surprised by how much stuff I have installed.

Re:Launchy did it for me (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 3 years ago | (#37604280)

Anywhere in the Windows 8 Start Menu, you can start typing to bring up applications to select from. This is more akin to the Windows 7 Start Menu search box than to Launchy, but it gets the primary job done.

I wonder if Launchy itself will still work in Windows 8. I seriously doubt it is possible to overlay it on top of Metro style apps. So I wonder if it can switch you to desktop mode, and if the hotkeys can even be picked up when inside a Metro style app.

Re:Launchy did it for me (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 3 years ago | (#37604358)

Launchy on Windows and Linux. Alfred [alfredapp.com] on OS X. No mouse needed to launch stuff. I couldn't imagine going back (and hate having to use a computer with out them installed).

Re:Launchy did it for me (3, Interesting)

roblarky (1103715) | about 3 years ago | (#37604420)

Am I the only one who actually spends the time to keep my Start menu organized? I have root categories (Productivity, Utilities, Internet, etc) under which I place all applications. My Programs menu pops out to a starting list of main categories, then branches out into easy to find sub-categories. The first thing I do when I'm at the "Finish" screen of a setup wizard is uncheck the "Run {program x} now" box, go to the desktop to remove any icons it put there and drag its Start Menu group into the appropriate folder.

Sure, I keep 3 programs pinned to the taskbar, but I use the Start menu all the time since I don't want my taskbar or desktop cluttered with shit. Also, I'm a big mouse user and don't want to type what I want to run.

Disappointing (2)

Lindan9 (2465020) | about 3 years ago | (#37604160)

Maybe I really am in the minority here but I really do use the start menu all the time. I like to keep very few icons on my desktop and just use the start menu. I like to think this is a mistake but perhaps I'm just set in my ways

Re:Disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604330)

me too, i basically never look at my desktop. Start menu is >>> *

This is why I still use Windows XP (5, Insightful)

duguk (589689) | about 3 years ago | (#37604164)

This is why I'm still on Windows XP; I like the Start Menu and being able to group my applications by purpose in a *menu*.
I don't want them littered over the desktop or in silly toolbars.

Re:This is why I still use Windows XP (0)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#37604248)

I like...being able to group my applications by purpose in a *menu*.

That is too techincally advanced for the majority of Windows users. Yes, really, it is.

Re:This is why I still use Windows XP (1)

poena.dare (306891) | about 3 years ago | (#37604504)

Well, I was a Start Menu Organization Nazi, and it was a pain to keep trimmed down. Screw it. :(

Re:This is why I still use Windows XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604252)

Have you tried the 'search for files and programs', which is the default item with keyboard focus when clicking Start in Windows 7 (or hitting the windows key)? Works like most popular launchers, where you just start typing the name of the program you're interested in. Very fast. I haven't had to navigate the actual 'all programs' hierarchy in quite some time.

Re:This is why I still use Windows XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604294)

Mod parent up.

But how the hell did they know that no one uses the start menu?

Re:This is why I still use Windows XP (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 3 years ago | (#37604336)

This is why I'm on Windows 7; I like the Start Menu and being able to group my applications by purpose in a pretty *menu*.

Vista and 7 didn't take the menu or any of this away. And 7 gave you taskbar pinning, which you can turn off if you want.

Re:This is why I still use Windows XP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604354)

When Windows 95 was released, the Start Menu was declared an abomination by techies.

Welcome to the future.

Re:This is why I still use Windows XP (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 3 years ago | (#37604424)

This is why I'm still on Windows XP; I like the Start Menu and being able to group my applications by purpose in a *menu*.
I don't want them littered over the desktop or in silly toolbars.

This is one of my biggest complaints about OS-X (Snow Leopard, but I don't know if Lion is different) - You can't seem to be able to group stuff. There is no level of indirection between what is shown on the finder and the Application directory. I have previously asked about creating sub-dirs on under the Application directory and people have warned me that doing will can break things and it is not worth the effort.
 
But in writing this I am wondering if the "proper" answer is some sort of smart folder?

Re:This is why I still use Windows XP (1, Insightful)

Myopic (18616) | about 3 years ago | (#37604428)

Absolutely! And that's the same reason I am still using my abacus.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604166)

I wonder: If you were to look at the desktops of the users who don't use the Start menu, would it be littered with Icons?

I always use the Start menu. But maybe it's because I'm a Sys Admin.

Re:Really? (1)

dzr0001 (1053034) | about 3 years ago | (#37604310)

But maybe it's because I'm a Sys Admin.

Are you implying that the Start Menu is for power users?

gg microsoft! (2)

Alex Belits (437) | about 3 years ago | (#37604178)

I see, insanity is really taking over.

Re:gg microsoft! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604292)

I see, insanity is really taking over.

Hey maybe the microsoft developers, gnome developers and ubuntu developers were infected by a common disease ?

and how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604192)

did they get this data ? how do they know where i click my mouse on a windows desktop ?

11% ? (2)

alphatel (1450715) | about 3 years ago | (#37604194)

So if all blackberry users used the phone icon 11% less over a 5 year period the ability to dial would be removed? Personally I used the command on mac or start on windows button very often for a number of reasons. I cannot understand the advantage of removing either.

but my run button! (1)

lynnae (2439544) | about 3 years ago | (#37604196)

Where's the run command going to go? I use the heck out of the start menu personally.

Re:but my run button! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604390)

Window+R

Re:but my run button! (2)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 3 years ago | (#37604406)

Window+R......just like now. If you use the Run command, you're power-user enough to learn a keyboard shortcut.

Start Menu now called Start Ribbon. (1)

Lashat (1041424) | about 3 years ago | (#37604204)

Pretty much will work the same as the dock on OSX or Ubuntu Unity. Let's hope they allow customization to remain.

WTF? (5, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 3 years ago | (#37604226)

Without the Start Menu, how do I shutdown?

Re:WTF? (5, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 3 years ago | (#37604302)

Without the Start Menu, how do I shutdown?

Hold the power button down for ten seconds, just like always. :)

Re:WTF? (1, Informative)

silverglade00 (1751552) | about 3 years ago | (#37604422)

Or just complete 99% of your work and it will automatically shut down for you... after it finishes installing the latest 213 updates.

Re:WTF? (5, Funny)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 3 years ago | (#37604342)

The new Stop Menu?

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604404)

With ALT+F4 of course (assuming you don't have an app open for it to close)

Re:WTF? (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 3 years ago | (#37604442)

Just use Ctrl+Alt+Del

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604456)

Drag the computer to the garbage can

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604474)

"Windows Button" -> Settings -> Power Icon thingy. In the Windows 8 Developer Preview anyway.

Re:WTF? (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | about 3 years ago | (#37604510)

When your computer is ready to shutdown, it will inform you by displaying a BSOD.

Start Menu Button (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604238)

The Start Menu button may not be used as much because many of the apps are now web based. Over that past year, I have not used word, excel and/or powerpoint. I now google docs.

Keyboard shortcuts (1)

Teun (17872) | about 3 years ago | (#37604240)

Keyboard short cuts is what I mainly use.

And the QuickAccess browser widget.

Oh sorry the story was about Windows but when you get used to KDE that's sooo past tense.

Back on-topic, I feel there'll always be a place for a menu system to access your applications, not all fit in a bar or have been assigned a short cut.

And you wonder why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604246)

They have destroyed it over and over again, making it a huge colossal mess of a feature.

The only decent thing that they have added to it in recent years (read, last 1.5 decades) has been the search feature.
Classic menu was the last decent version of it. If they had expanded on those menus and just added search in to that, it'd have been brilliant.
But noooo, they had to explode it up and make it all shiny and capable of being viewed by people with no eyes and used by fingers the size of god damn sky scrapers.

And by the looks of it, they are going to break this even more as they focus on touch nonsense instead of business use and professionals, you know, the guys who actually contribute most to your company Microsoft?
Oh well, it is for the better. The quicker Microsoft die, the better. They are already dead to me. XP was the last decent Windows before they let the 10 year old designers loose with crayons as thick as baby wrists.
Most obtuse interface in the history of interfaces.

UX fad will die (1)

Ken D (100098) | about 3 years ago | (#37604254)

Someday the UX fad will go away and stop making things more 'usable' and 'discoverable'

Still using it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604270)

to launch Windows applications. Sort of a poor mans Launchpad. The rest of the Start menu is worthless to me.

Oh dear gawd (1)

__Paul__ (1570) | about 3 years ago | (#37604278)

...please please please tell me that we can turn this back on.

I've managed to make a career by avoiding having to use Windows, but I'm sure one day there will be some pain-in-the-arse employer who enforces it. If that day comes, I really hope that I'll be able to make my desktop work exactly the way Windows 2000 did...

Re:Oh dear gawd (0)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 3 years ago | (#37604416)

Why on earth would you want it to work the same way Win2k did? So that the decade-old interface will remind you of the Linux desktop?

Translation ... (1)

the bluebrain (443451) | about 3 years ago | (#37604338)

Microsoft killed the start button because Mac OS doesn't have one, and they're successful amirite? The wonder is that it took them so long.

They haven't killed it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604362)

They've made it take up the entire screen.

historical evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604368)

In a few decades time, when historians are trying to piece together how Microsoft fell, I expect these blog posts to be very helpful.

Seven syllables: user configurable. (1)

whovian (107062) | about 3 years ago | (#37604370)

This is one area where linux prides itself. Since Microsoft is anti-linux, they generally impose their world view.

Usability regression (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 3 years ago | (#37604412)

It takes longer to browse in the start menu in Vista and 7, which trains people to put icons on their desktop, or learn how to use Alt+F2. Sadly both Gnome and KDE decided to follow suit with equal regressions. But it looks nicer!

The odd thing is that Microsoft (along with KDE and Gnome developers) were adamant that people would prefer this and use it more. Now Microsoft is admitting that fewer people are.

More then programs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604440)

I notice on the change in usage table includes things like my computer and my documents. I for one find it much easier to open from my start menu then have to minimize everything to get to it on my desktop.

The future of the desktop is mobile. (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | about 3 years ago | (#37604444)

The Start Menu was an innovative answer to a then-inherent lack of organisation and difficulty in finding things. Yes, you had the File Manager on Windows and Finder on OS X, but good luck if you're looking for that "client document about some paintings" if you don't remember anything in its relative path.

Today, almost all mainstream desktops and laptops have two or more cores per CPU. Dual-core is starting to become a commodity even on phones, where it's use is starting to come to fruition quite nicely (camera enhancements, smoother video chat, better speech recognition, games, etc). 4GB of RAM is pretty common too, with 8GB RAM stock right on the horizon. SSDs are cheap now..and they are FAST. With this much power available to us on the cheap, searching for stuff from the Start Menu (or Spotlight on OS X) is a much better alternative than doing the Start -> click motions of the past. Furthermore, outside of work, most people spend more time on their mobiles than their desktops or laptops...and none of those have a Start menu. (Well, Windows Mobile did but look where that went.)

I welcome this change; it was pretty much inevitable. I'm even more glad that it's only superficial, since Windows 8 can revert back to Classic pretty easily for the luddites! I hope they copy^H^H^Hinnovate on Apple's state-saving feature since that would make Hibernate as fast as doing a Standby without its unreliability.

Menu is less usable (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 years ago | (#37604446)

I've found myself using the Start Menu much less, mainly because it is not functional as it is. It was much easier to drop a shortcut and clutter up my desktop than it is trying to find what I need on the start menu.

So, it follows, make something less useful, people will use it less, then you can remove it, citing as an excuse, it is not used like it once was. Freaking Genius.

Flattery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37604464)

So Microsoft hired Firefox's UX team? Or was Mozilla beta-testing Microsoft's UX team for them?

Oh lordy. (1)

Lose (1901896) | about 3 years ago | (#37604492)

>2011
>Fedora 15, Ubuntu 11.04, and Windows 8 demonstrate some so called "stroke of brilliance."
> The end is neigh. [www.meh.ro]

That monstrosity in Windows8 IS NOT the answer. (5, Informative)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 3 years ago | (#37604494)

So in Windows 8 (for those that tried the demo, yes I downloaded the ISO and setup a VM to try it) they replaced the simple little menu in the start button with a whole screen monstrosity that takes the entire desktop. Taking over my whole desktop because I pushed the start button isn't the answer to this problem. IMO people don't use the start menu much because they put icons of their most used programs in the quick launch tool bar and on the desktop itself. Instead they take a simple menu, blow it up full screen and if you decide you don't want to pick a program and go back to what you have running, there is no logical way to do it (there isn't a close button that's obvious, ESC doesn't work, right click doesn't work). That's fucked up.

Gnome3 and Ubuntu's solution to doing away with the start button is far better than what MS has cooked up and I don't really like those either but I can see them working better). If I fail that badly using their "NEW AND IMPROVED" start menu I can't even comprehend how disastrous this will be for the less computer literate. The best part is, you cannot bring back the old start menu that I could find. It's not in the control panel, the options are gone from the right click menu, etc.

MS is making a huge mistake overlaying their Windows Phone 7 Metro interface on windows. This is a huge fuckup that's obviously being done to use the windows monopoly against the phone competition. It's going to backfire and damage windows just like Vista did.

Dear Microsoft (1)

SYSS Mouse (694626) | about 3 years ago | (#37604496)

Please don't make our computers, especially those used at work, to look like XBox 360.

I don't want to see "Ownyou12345 signed on toLIVE" message while in office. (FYI Windows 8 will have fill XBox LIVE integration.)

No one uses Microsoft Windows (1)

glutenenvy (1248588) | about 3 years ago | (#37604500)

or the start menu?

Seriously, it is going to be a very long time until my Apple or PC laptop or desktop are touch screen. Whats the rush to turn them into a tablet?

I mean I'm just about never going to go up to my living room TV/Monitor to swipe around for daily computing. I'll probably get burnt from the heat and arthritis will severely cripple my workload. Although the heat will probably help out on the arthritic days.

Removing the start menu is like key mapping return/enter to F1.

Start menu is going to be in the 'enhanced' upgrade.

Desktop shortcuts (1)

chucklebutte (921447) | about 3 years ago | (#37604508)

The scourge of the desktop. We lost the Start menu because M$ has to pander to the lowest common denominator. Which usually means the stupidest of the stupidest. I hate clutter on my desktop. I love my Mint menu in Gnome 2.3. Every major company saw Unity interface and has went full retard. This isn't minority report, fucker I have shit I need to do on my PC, cause you know, its mine!

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