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First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the briar-patch-deliveries-incorporated dept.

Microsoft 800

Ars Technica has taken a look at Microsoft's newly released preview of Windows 8.1. As widely rumored, the point release features a clamored-for concession to Windows users who rankled at the loss of Windows' Start button in the taskbar. In addition to various tweaks to 8's search capabilities and icon presentation, says the article, "Some of Windows 8's obvious limitations are being lifted. In 8.1, Metro apps can be run on multiple monitors simultaneously. On any single monitor, more than two applications can be run simultaneously. Instead of Windows 8's fixed split, where one application gets 320 pixels and the other application gets the rest, the division between apps will be variable. It'll also be possible to have multiple windows from a single app so that, for example, two browser windows can be opened side-by-side." Similar reports on these changes at Wired, Engadget, and SlashCloud.

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Not good enough (5, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860249)

What most of us wanted back was the Start menu, not just the Start button. Microsoft still doesn't get it: We don't want to see or interact with Metro, at all. Ever. It has no place on the desktop.

Re:Not good enough (5, Funny)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860259)

What I really want on Windows is a Stop button.

Re:Not good enough (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860495)

STAHP!

Re:Not good enough (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860545)

BTW, is power off button still somewhere in Metro sidebar and its settings (well, since they didn't provide real start menu...)? How can that be considered ergonomic?

Re:Not good enough (5, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860581)

What I really want on Windows is a Stop button.

Given how well hidden the "power" menu and logout button are in Windows 8, that might actually not be a bad idea...

(To restart your computer, open the Charms Bar, go to Settings, and then hit the Power menu to reveal the Restart and Shutdown options. To log out, something you used to do from the same menu you shutdown and rebooted from, instead you open the Start menu, and click on your user name to open a menu you'd never guess existed.)

Re:Not good enough (5, Informative)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860643)

I'm testing Windows 8 for a company that is likely going to be wise enough to skip it. But I keep using it just to maintain familiarity with it.

Anyway, to sleep or shutdown, I've found it's easiest to just hit ctrl-alt-del and use the power button from there. It's what I've been telling people to do as well.

Of course, my old Windows key + R, "shutdown -r -t 0" habit is well entrenched and used a lot too, from rebooting machines over RDP.

Re:Not good enough (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860683)

You're use of command line is strangely reminiscent of Unix. The very thing Windows was supposed to be better at, because one didn't have to know the command line to do common tasks. I guess nobody shuts computers down any more.

Re:Not good enough (2)

Joshua Shaffer (2895571) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860743)

There's also clicking the desktop (if you're not already focused to it) and Alt+F4 opens a power menu. That shortcut works from Windows versions prior to 8 as well.

easy enough to do (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860601)

if you create a batch file with
shutdown /s /t 0
as the contents you can even give it a nifty Stopsign icon

please be aware [color=red][style=blinking]THIS WILL BE AN IMMEDIATE SHUTDOWN NO WARNING[/color][/style]

if you want a warning set /t to say 30

full details at http://pcsupport.about.com/od/commandlinereference/p/shutdown-command.htm [about.com]

Re:easy enough to do (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860751)

The funny fact is: to shutdown DOS, you didn't have to search for some mysterious hidden buttons, write scripts or bring christian infant to Steve. You just... powered it off, that's all.
So, where's your 20 years of user-friendliness now?

Re:Not good enough (0)

Ricardo (43461) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860633)

BEST COMMENT EVER.

REALLY.

Re:Not good enough (0)

Shaman (1148) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860283)

What this guy said. Or gal. Or hermaphrodite. Or transsexual. But what they said, anyways.

Re:Not good enough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860301)

"They" is plural. That should be "what it said". "Anyway" does not end in 's'.

Re:Not good enough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860369)

Please kill yourself

Re:Not good enough (4, Funny)

robably (1044462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860439)

itself

Re:Not good enough (3, Informative)

Neil Hodges (960909) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860371)

There's also the 'singular they' [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860377)

"They" is actually accepted as singular in modern English (not just slang). In addition to that, most people object to being called "it".

Re:Not good enough (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860561)

It doesn't object to being referred to as 'it', or it gets the hose again.

If you don't like metro... (5, Informative)

Toreo asesino (951231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860363)

...don't use any Metro apps. You're not forced to, apart from some initial app-pinning perhaps. Apart from that you can happily live in Windows 8, enjoy the extra speed and UI enhancements and never see metro again. Happy days!

Re:If you don't like metro... (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860425)

Except that this new "Start" menu takes you into the Metro start screen.

Staying out of Metro would be a lot easier if Microsoft gave us back the ACTUAL start menu.

Re:If you don't like metro... (4, Informative)

Toreo asesino (951231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860513)

2 options: if you're a heavy start-menu user for some reason, there's plenty of OSS packages to revive the old menu. Like really, in less than 60 seconds you can have it back. Second option; pin programs to the start bar or desktop. Neither one is a big deal and against this small downside (for some) you have smaller memory footprint & a faster OS on almost all metrics. I find it incredible that self-confessed geeks have such an issue with this very small speed-bump that actually benefits many others who use it.

Re:If you don't like metro... (4, Insightful)

Windowser (191974) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860647)

third option : move to a better/faster/more secure OS : OSX or Linux.

I find it incredible that a self-confessed geek is having an issue with people pointing at Microsoft's HUGE mistake.

Why is it so hard for them to NOT FORCE US into their Metro crap ?

Re:If you don't like metro... (0)

Toreo asesino (951231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860747)

"Hmmm my favourite OS start menu has been modified in ways I don't entirely appreciate; better move all my apps and data to another OS entirely" - said no-one ever.

Re:If you don't like metro... (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860541)

In the time it took you to think up, type and submit the above post, you could have installed any of a dozen excellent start menu replacements (most are free). You can choose everything from Win 7 Start menu clones to entirely new and innovative designs with lots of options. Most of them include an option to boot directly to the desktop.

Re:If you don't like metro... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860755)

Maybe you have a like to a trustworthy one? Downloading random executables to add something the OS manufacturer should have included is a poor substitute.

Re:If you don't like metro... (2)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860521)

...don't use any Metro apps. You're not forced to, apart from some initial app-pinning perhaps. Apart from that you can happily live in Windows 8, enjoy the extra speed and UI enhancements and never see metro again. Happy days!

While I think it's idiotic that we have to do this, he's right. I set up my laptop in this manner and it's not really that bad. The ability to arrange my icons (to proper desktop apps) in the start screen is actually nice and it does feel markedly faster.

My only real complaints since getting it set up are:
1. I still have to stop and think to remember how to restart the thing.
2. Changing settings can be a nightmare since many things point you to the metro config apps instead of a proper control panel, etc. Once you get used to how to access the old config windows, this is manageable.

So... it's bearable to use it day to day, especially since I mostly just use the laptop for web browsing or to kill a little time with a game. I could tolerate working on it, but I think I'd put Debian or Mint on there if I really wanted to get things done.

Re:If you don't like metro... (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860701)

It's true it's a change, and that general tends to be where most of the complaints I've heard come from. Still though; WinKey+C will get you to the config panel anywhere and it's 2 clicks from there. Or in PowerShell Restart-Computer does the business too. Aside from that, is there any need to regularly reboot? Same with shutdown - hit the power-button or close the lid and you're done. Implicitly commanding the OS to shutdown is kind of a 90's thing to do to be honest - would you do it on an iPad for example? Unlikely.

Re:If you don't like metro... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860781)

...don't use any Metro apps. You're not forced to, apart from some initial app-pinning perhaps. Apart from that you can happily live in Windows 8, enjoy the extra speed and UI enhancements and never see metro again. Happy days!

While Classic Shell and similar provides possiblity to not use metro apps, users are still forced to go through metro UI inside desktop environment for certain tasks. I come across following: keyboard langues list, "open with" dialog, networks dialog, which btw is rediculously huge metro bar after clicking connection icon with small content inside. Why not to make every part of UI in different style then? Add own flavor to each dialog, button or whatever. How cool would be that?

Re:Not good enough (5, Informative)

Striikerr (798526) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860379)

Agreed. My company refuses to switch to Window 8. I suspect that Windows 7 will be the new Windows XP for years to come (if you need to run Windows in your environment, it will be Windows 7). The issue with Microsoft is that they went about this wrong. They forced significant changes upon users where changes were not really warranted. This is particularly a big issue in companies where users are accustomed to working on the same style of desktop etc. These are people that complain when an icon is moved on their desktop or get confused with minor changes to applications so a full UI overhaul in the corporate space was truly a bad idea and one which will cost Microsoft dearly in the years ahead. Giving options to use their new interface components is a better approach (one which Apple has taken with their desktop OS via the Launchpad which brings up pages of icons representing applications to launch, identical to their IOS devices). I understand that Microsoft sees the writing on the wall and that mobile devices and operating systems is the future source of revenue, but dumping these changes so suddenly upon the masses was a bad decision.

I've never been a fan of seeing the significant UI changes made each time a new version of Windows is released. I have worked on Windows servers for years and really hated the changes introduced with Server 2008. I still need to figure out where certain functions are when I have to work on a Windows server (I spend much more time on Linux servers now). I've heard similar complaints from friends who work in IT as well.

Re:Not good enough (4, Insightful)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860761)

What does Windows 8 do for any user without a touchscreen that Windows 7 won't? As a matter of fact, much of what normal users do can also be done on XP. The way people interact with mobile touchscreen devices is fundamentally different than on an ordinary desktop or laptop computer. Apparently, Apple has understood this, but Microsoft has not yet figured it out. A Swiss Army knife might be fine for camping, but has no place in any kitchen especially one of a restaurant.

Re:Not good enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860383)

I've seen screenshots but I'm still worried.

Is it a regular Start button that is pinned to the screen, or is it a secret Start button that appears only after you implement the mouse gesture of drawing a triple umlaut then dragging rapidly to the left (but not too rapidly, otherewise you'll activate the screen saver)?

Metro should be able to run in a window on the (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860401)

Metro should be able to run in a window on the desktop

Re:Not good enough (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860449)

What most of us wanted back was the Start menu, not just the Start button. Microsoft still doesn't get it:

Yup. We also want to know that Microsoft won't continue to act stupidly and once again remove the Start Menu in the future.

Re:Not good enough (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860631)

There's a guy selling a tool that gives you the start button, actual start menu + boot to desktop back in Windows 8. It's something like $3 for 3 computers. I guess this guy stands to make a hell of a lot more (well deserved) money... unless Windows 8.1 breaks his app.

Re:Not good enough (0)

Skreems (598317) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860759)

Word from inside the company is that Sinofsky made the devs "p4 obliterate" the Start menu code, meaning not only did they delete it but they wiped the entire history of the code from their source control. If true, it would mean that they couldn't just "bring back" the start menu, they'd have to entirely rewrite it.

Re:Not good enough (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860775)

But the start screen has more color options... and animated backgrounds. Gee whiz, and to think after reading that feature list they are actually going to charge for this update!

Re:Not good enough (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860777)

That's actually a minor point for me. I don't really care if the Start Menu takes up 1/4, 1/2, or the whole screen. What I hated most, they addressed:
1. The way I launch apps and control panels is to hit the Windows key and then start typing the name. Win 8 broke this (except for apps). Now it works again!
2. You had to hunt all over the place to find settings. Some were in the "charms", some in the control panels. Now they have (almost?) everything in the charms.

I did not see whether they address the Metro apps just quitting by themselves when in the background, so I guess I will still just avoid running Metro apps. I would also like to shrink the size of the individual app buttons. Classic Shell is of course still an option. I still don't like all of the magic corners and gestures, but I've mostly learned those. Besides, if Windows was easy they'd be Apple - I'm very accustomed to struggling with MS products at first, it's a great custom that harkens back to the wonderful days of .ini files.

Still no start menu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860275)

It looks like there's a start button, but it only takes you to the start screen. Better, but still kind of meh.

How to save your company (5, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860279)

Give users the option to use your terrible Metro interface or have a standard Start menu. What's so hard about that?

Re:How to save your company (5, Interesting)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860317)

Doesn't everybody all use touchscreens? That's all we're using?

Remember these are the same super-geniuses that think you need a desktop interface and a mouse/monitor/keyboard to run a server. Now you'll need a touchscreen too.

Re:How to save your company (3, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860389)

I am scared to think how terrible a remote server connection sending touchscreen data back and forth would be. I will be having nightmares for the next week. Or I will continue to use Linux servers.

Re:How to save your company (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860741)

Screw that, a real Windows admin uses Powershell. Pointing and clicking is not "administration" if the boss can do it. Which is what Metro interface is all about.

Re:How to save your company (5, Interesting)

bkmoore (1910118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860543)

Remember these are the same super-geniuses that think you need a desktop interface and a mouse/monitor/keyboard to run a server. Now you'll need a touchscreen too.

That's called design by marketing.

Re:How to save your company (0)

operagost (62405) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860589)

There's been a core installation option (i.e. headless) since Windows 2008 came out. Do try to keep up.

Re:How to save your company (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860645)

Or as most people refer to it, relatively recently. Only in the last 5 years have they figured this out.

Re:How to save your company (0)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860593)

Doesn't everybody all use touchscreens? That's all we're using?

Remember these are the same super-geniuses that think you need a desktop interface and a mouse/monitor/keyboard to run a server. Now you'll need a touchscreen too.

Funny. On the Windows Server Platform [microsoft.com] page, I see info about headless servers...

Re:How to save your company (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860713)

Only since 2008, might have even not been until R2 came out. Which is quite recently in the grand scheme of things.

Re:How to save your company (4, Funny)

Sperbels (1008585) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860623)

Remember these are the same super-geniuses that think you need a desktop interface and a mouse/monitor/keyboard to run a server. Now you'll need a touchscreen too.

And a Kinect maybe.

Re:How to save your company (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860629)

Remember these are the same super-geniuses that think you need a desktop interface and a mouse/monitor/keyboard to run a server. Now you'll need a touchscreen too.

Ironically, Windows has of late become much more friendly to GUI-less installs, and your comment is poorly timed... by several years.

Re:How to save your company (5, Informative)

anthony_greer (2623521) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860667)

You are incorrect, Please look at Server Core, Power Shell and other tech in Server that lets you run it GUIless and more UNIX like...Your insuts are based on Windows 2000/2003 products, times changed.

Re:How to save your company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860331)

Give users the option to use your terrible Metro interface or have a standard Start menu. What's so hard about that?

Google Finance confirms it, Microsoft has really been tanking lately [google.com] .

Re:How to save your company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860649)

Obviously sarcasm. Not sure why you link to a comparison against nasdaq instead of just the msft ticker, maybe you're just better at understanding these things than me.

All this shows is that they've managed to piggy-back the nasdaq rise this month and fluked 6% during the last half of March. If I wanted to make 23% over the same period I could have put it in bitcoin.

Re:How to save your company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860479)

That company has a secret reason that they don't want the start button there, please understand. What's so hard about that?

The thing that's got us all pissed is that they keep changing things that don't need to be changed, but hey people, that's how the computer-world is. It's how profit is generated. We could all have a computer at our homes that completely functions with all software out there, in every way possible, but we don't. The reason is that people want to compete with other people. It's called "America". We could all grow our own food, but we don't, and if we did it'd completely fuck up the entire economy. Things are the way they are because the companies that are rendering us our daily activity-enhancing technology, are sorta at the end of the track. Moving things around and changing the names is going to be in each new release, regardless what you want. They want your money, and you want their new shit. Or you don't.

If you're pissed about it enough to suck it up and stop depending on PCs to make your day go by, then fuck it.... go outside and grow food. Otherwise, my friend, the companies that release the product can release it any way they damn well please. They can even (at this point) convince the software and hardware manufacturers to only make shit that goes along with the 'new scheme', and eventually you'll *have to* buy the new shit, just to do everyday things that you've done for years.

Food > money > computers
Food grows on trees.

heh, I posted that on slashdot.

Re:How to save your company (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860547)

Hard? Most of MS probably realise that it doesn't make sense to force a tablet UI on desktop users; the hard part is convincing the decision makers. This is probably just a few idiots convincing a handful of other idiots to follow a bad strategy. "Mobile computing is the future, we need to focus our UI design on that" + "We need to consolidate our UIs, give our users a unified experience" = Metro on the desktop fail strategy. And once something becomes a strategy it can be incredibly hard to change course, even if it leads straight off a cliff.

Re:How to save your company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860669)

It's not hard. Which is why free solutions such as Classic Shell exist [classicshell.net] . It's bizarre that Microsoft continues not to get it even when other people have already gone ahead and implemented what Microsoft failed to provide in the first place: the OPTION to use a "classic" UI or the new one. Not one or the other exclusively, but simply the choice. Hell, I'd even be content if the new-and-improved UI was the default, as long as the choice was there. Microsoft seems to have forgotten important things they already knew from previous versions of Windows: provide a "classic" theme. It's the same mistake they've made with the "ribbon" in Office, which some people like and others do not.

Re:How to save your company (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860699)

Give users the option to use your terrible Metro interface or have a standard Start menu. What's so hard about that?

Because now the XboxOne will have a start menu and it will look out of place there.
it's just a make em feel good act as within Metro apps (off the main screen) the start button is gone.

Fix it Yourself (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860707)

If you want Windows 8 to look and work like Windows 7, use Classic Shell.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/classicshell/

The option of Metro is still available for tablet users and masochists.

Ah crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860291)

How am I going now to install cracked Start8 and then get payed for "reinstallation of Windows 7" on computers owned by people who weren't able to wrap their heads around Windows 8?!

Re:Ah crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860757)

How am I going now to install cracked Start8 and then get payed for "reinstallation of Windows 7" on computers owned by people who weren't able to wrap their heads around Windows 8?!

>Start8 instead of ClassicShell
You're aware you're on /. right? Things that cost money are forbidden to speak of!

side-by-side (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860303)

Wow, windows side-by-side! Adjustable, even! Soon they'll come up with dragable frames around each app. Plus, they added a Start menu. I can't contain my joy at this innovation.

Really? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860343)

Metro apps can be run on multiple monitors simultaneously. On any single monitor, more than two applications can be run simultaneously. Instead of Windows 8's fixed split, where one application gets 320 pixels and the other application gets the rest, the division between apps will be variable. It'll also be possible to have multiple windows from a single app so that, for example, two browser windows can be opened side-by-side.

I haven't seen Windows 8 yet, but if this is what they've built, I'm not surprised people have been avoiding it.

Wow, more than two applications running on any single monitor, welcome to X Windows from 30 years ago.

Was the interface really that broken?? This doesn't even sound like it's a usable environment.

Re:Really? (3, Informative)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860435)

Was the interface really that broken?? This doesn't even sound like it's a usable environment.

The Metro interface is basically a mediocre clone of the iOS/Android interface. It's OK for tablets and smartphones, but an absurd joke on the desktop.

Re:Really? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860569)

Yeah, sounds like it. The last thing I want is for my 23" monitor to be acting like it's laying out for a tiny screen.

320 pixels is about the left 4 inches of my screen.

Re:Really? (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860727)

To be fair it's not quite that bad - this only applies to Metro apps written for the Metro interface, you can still access the same old desktop you always accessed and run Windowed applications there.

The problem is that the start menu has been replaced with the metro interface, so when you hit the windows key it fires up the metro interface and if all you want is say the calculator, then yes, it takes up the full screen, which is obviously stupid, because who the fuck ever wanted a 24" full screen 1080p simple calculator rather than the classic calc in a simple window?

A lot of the old apps are still there, windows key + r then typing calc.exe and enter will run the old one still IIRC, but that makes it about as user friendly as Linux :p

So you do still have flexible windows as you always have, the problem is Microsoft seems to not want you to use them and tries to force you towards the new Metro fixed width full screen completely-fucking-useless versions of applications instead.

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860489)

Those are only for Metro apps. I've been using Win8 at home for a while, and frankly it feels just like 7 now. My main use for the start menu on 7 was to open it and start typing the name of the app that I wanted. The Start screen in 8 functions the same way, only I hit the Windows key on my keyboard instead, which is faster anyway. Methinks the start screen is just a highly visible rallying point for people to whine about Windows.

Re:Really? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860515)

How can they even call that "Windows"?

At least take out the plural. "Microsoft Window 8"

Re:Really? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860671)

I had half a dozen simultaneous windows on Windows 8 yesterday :P

Re:Really? (3, Informative)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860609)

That's referring to the 'Metro' touch screen style apps. Desktop apps still work the same as they always did.

Basically, yes, it's broken, but more because it's harder to get to the old config screens and such that you're used to. Once you're set up, it's not that different.

Re:Really? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860665)

Wow, more than two applications running on any single monitor, welcome to X Windows from 30 years ago.

And every version of Windows. And I do mean 'every'. Remember, Windows 8 has a split personality.

God I'm so bored (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860347)

Also, when was the "Bill of Borg" symbol for Microsoft replaced by "Microsoft"?

Re:God I'm so bored (-1, Troll)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860373)

When Dice purchased Slashdot?

Re:God I'm so bored (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860427)

Do not ever question the corporate overlords.

\captcha: remorse

Re:God I'm so bored (0)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860465)

When Dice purchased Slashdot?

And they only paid $20M for it. I feel so cheap and dirty.

Re:God I'm so bored (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860407)

"Microsoft" is actually their "Classic" logo (the new one looks like the Windows 8 start page) so it fits the story. Although come to think of it, so would the new one.

Why don't you concentrate on the IMPORTANT things? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860353)

How can you pay so much attention to things like this when . . . BENGHAZI??????

Re:Why don't you concentrate on the IMPORTANT thin (0)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860551)

Benghazi is actually sort of like this Windows 8.

The powers that be screwed up, and they know they screwed up.

Yet, to the public, they pretend that nothing ever went wrong while trying to control the damage.

But then again, AFAIK, no one has died yet on account of Windows 8.

No start menu, and lots of monopolistic tie-ins (3, Insightful)

jbernardo (1014507) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860359)

So, Microsoft brings back the start button but forgets the start menu. Looks like something done just to shut up the complaints, instead of listening to their users and delivering what they really wanted. Of course, they can't be seen backtracking and admitting that TIFKAM is as much of a success in the desktop as it is on smartphones...

To that, we have all the extensive integration with bing and skydrive which could/should be considered another abuse of a monopoly position. Personally, both of the services are worthless to me, but if could replace them with Google, and dropbox/copy/google drive, like I can do in android, then it might be useful. In fact, an Android style approach might get Microsoft out of monopoly abuse...

Re:No start menu, and lots of monopolistic tie-ins (2)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860481)

To that, we have all the extensive integration with bing and skydrive which could/should be considered another abuse of a monopoly position.

I doubt most of Microsoft's corporate customers are thrilled with the idea of "cloud" garbage which they don't control being built into the OS by default. Hopefully the SkyDrive crap can at least be turned off through group policy.

Re:No start menu, and lots of monopolistic tie-ins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860695)

so windows is still a monopoly? I thought you trolls were claiming "linux won" because of the millions of android phones runing linux and that means windows is no longer relevant. Oops.. I guess the argument changes whenever you want to bash microsoft. Good to know.

It's always been rather striking.. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860381)

I can never quite shake the dissonance associated with the fact that the OS called 'Windows' has always had fairly shit window management and now seems hellbent on making it worse(Gosh, why wouldn't a UI designed for 10' or smaller touch-tablets be a bad idea on a dual-head desktop? I sure can't think of any reasons...)

4", 10", 21" (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860511)

Part of the problem is that tablet makers have taken a UI designed for 4" phones and shoved it onto 10" tablets. Why can't most tablets run two or three phone apps side by side?

Re:4", 10", 21" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860721)

Why would I ever want to do that? Even on my desktop, with my 20" monitor, I always run anything maximized, and I also make all fonts and UI elements as tiny as possible to increase the effective screen space.

Re:It's always been rather striking.. (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860625)

I suspect it's not dissonance as much as stubbornness. I think the master plan has been to get all their Windows desktop users to use Metro by force so that they'll be familiar with it when they buy tablets and smartphones. With the latest revolt, they are not retreating but falling back to a second position.

Re:It's always been rather striking.. (2)

splutty (43475) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860681)

You have a 10' tablet? WOW!

How do you work with that, some sort of full body contact thing? Twister based?

Or more along the lines of Dance Dance Revolution?

I can see it now: Man I'm tired, I've been entering stuff in Excel 2018 all day, my legs hurt!

(Sorry, I couldn't resist ;)

Complete with 'Start' button (2)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860385)

That's a relief. To shutdown, users had to " Mouse to Top right > Settings > Shutdown ". Soon they'll be back to "click Start" to "Shutdown" - and whatever you think of that, that's even more intuitive and consistent that the "new" metro style...

Re:Complete with 'Start' button (2)

jeffclay (1077679) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860483)

No, it'll be click "Start" > click "Settings" > click "Shutdown". They've added a Start button, not the Start menu.

Re:Complete with 'Start' button (2)

operagost (62405) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860653)

That's not enough changes! It's not a new version unless they've arbitrarily renamed everything! It should be called a "My Start" button, and "Settings" should be "Configuration", and "Shutdown" should be "Damn memory leaks again".

Re:Complete with 'Start' button (2)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860697)

From a design review: "I don't like pressing Start to stop things. There should be two buttons: Start and Stop. Where would you get the idea that pressing Start to Stop was a good idea? (looks at down computer) Oh, from Windows, ..."

Non-obvious stop functions are a bad idea, and this becomes very obvious when dealing with expensive and dangerous machinery. Many safety standard bans require obvious stop buttons. Critical functions should be obvious and easy. When the stop button is non-obvious, it probably means other problems exist with the design too.

...and I care (-1, Offtopic)

quonsar (61695) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860397)

...why, now?

Most important part of the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860517)

"More to come. Thanks for reading.

Antoine Leblond,
Corporate Vice President, Windows Program Management"

1 min fix (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860529)

So they just pinned a shortcut to the metro start menu to the task bar. Wonderful. Does it break replacements like classic shell as an added bonus?

Why bother, Win7 is fine (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860553)

Why bother upgrading?

More than two applications simultaneously? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43860557)

"On any single monitor, more than two applications can be run simultaneously. Instead of Windows 8's fixed split, where one application gets 320 pixels and the other application gets the rest, the division between apps will be variable."

Wow! Maybe in the next version, they could allow apps to be put into some sort of free floating, completely user-resizable surfaces. Like some sort of virtual mini displays on your monitor. Can you imagine the possibilities which such a radical UI concept? Now we just need some catchy name for this revolutionary framework...

Metro == Bob 2.0 (0)

anthony_greer (2623521) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860573)

MS Bob was an interesting idea that just didn't work in the desktop metaphor and was then scrapped - but fortunately they only sold that as an add on and didn't replace the default shell with it! If they had done so at that tender time in history, we may well be talking about OS/2 or Amiga as the dominant platforms for X86 PCs now.

With Metro, unlike Bob, there is some usefulness as it is in my experience, a good tablet interface that they can grow on for a decade or two, but for the love of god, get it off of my workstation and non touch screen laptop!

You're all gonna hate me (4, Interesting)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860597)

People are going to hate me, but I kind of dig Windows 8.

Part of this may be due to having a touch-pad input device and a 27" monitor @1440 resolution.

Don't get me wrong... I think it's BEYOND stupid how they've hidden the "Shutdown / Restart" functionality. And I think they should make Metro and the new start menu optional because some people were obviously going to not like it (for valid reasons). Kind of like how Glass was optional in Windows. And there are a lot of down-sides in general.

But I like the new start menu. Since Windows XP/7/whatever I've like the condensed start menu with my commonly used apps with the option to expand out to the full list. Click once for the condensed list, twice for the full list, or search for what you want. Which is exactly what Win 8 does, only the lists take up the full screen and searching is one more click than before.

Obviously there are a bunch of down-sides: low info density, highly GPU intensive, etc. But I like it. I think the new UI is different, which is good. We've been using the same interface since Win95.

Meanwhile, on the desktop side, I like the various changes they made to the desk-top aspects. The ribbon on Explorer, though some of my friends hate it. The new Task Manager. etc.

Ultimately, you can't really fault someone for "liking" something. Some people like Britney Spears, some people hate her music.

But I'm sure either way, this post will get modded down to oblivion.

even better (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860661)

You know what does window sharing and open application management even better than the new and improved Metro? Windows fucking explorer! I set everything on client machines to open in desktop-only software like picture and fax viewer and media player and leave it like that. Why would I learn some touch-friendly, ugly, barely labeled, horribly designed hellscape like Metro when I already know how to use the modern explorer UI? And bring back flip 3d, damn it!

Hopefully Metro will replace old UI's (1)

Vince6791 (2639183) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860677)

The problem with windows 8 is that it did not go all the way and make the Metro the only and primary UI for the OS which means the Metro has to be customizable((((((change background wallpapers, label grouped tiles, sort tiles, scroll vertical as well, change tile icons to any shape or object,etc....)))))), run any type of application and more than 1 instant, of course extend to multiple monitors. Sick of the old taskbar and just want something simple like the Metro but with powerful features at the same time. I mean they are addressing some of the issues with windows 8 which we will see in 8.1, but hopefully the Metro will be the only UI for windows 9.

Sorry, but i'm just sick of looking at and using all these 1990's type 95/xp/7/kde UI's. We are moving towards touch screens and kinect type control which will replace the keyboard and mouse, this will actually help a lot of people who have carpel tunnel syndrome.

Or Microsoft could had just released sp2 for windows 7 and release a full working metro OS for those who want it.

A start button and a Nanny cam (4, Interesting)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860725)

"We also added the ability to take pictures with the built-in camera right from the Lock screen without having to log in."

This is a XboxOne feature, the video and microphone will always be on so it can greet you when you walk into a room or able
to take voice commands. The privacy issues should be obvious for a company like Microsoft.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-24/news/ct-met-kass-0524-20130524_1_drone-attacks-xbox-one-jeff-henshaw [chicagotribune.com]

Multiple, resizable Windows - Wow! (4, Insightful)

Necron69 (35644) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860731)

It's like 1991 all over again. Do I have to install Trumpet WinSOCK to connect to my ISP?

Seriously, it feels like Microsoft has forgotten why they called the damn OS 'Windows' in the first place.

At work, we just finally upgraded to Windows 7 a few months ago. Microsoft still has plenty of time to fix more things before IT even considers Win8.

- Necron69

and then they broke it even worse (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#43860745)

"In Windows 8.1, the Search charm will provide global search results powered by Bing in a rich, simple-to-read, aggregated view of many content sources (the web, apps, files, SkyDrive, actions you can take) to provide the best “answer” for your query."

So Windows Vista had a passive indexer that killed your hard drive speed and didn't include system settings like "screen saver" as results. Windows 7 indexed locations in realtime and included system settings and was absolutely flawless. Windows 8 split it into 3 vague categories so you have to click multiple times to find what you're looking for and the prompt you start typing in is actually far off the screen completely to the right. You have to just know it's there. 8.1 arrives and now we get a possibly re-combined search but then you get web results from a search engine that nobody wants to use. Yay! I know when I'm looking for my resume, I definitely want to sort through a billion bullshit Bing web results about resumes before finding my resume.doc file. What a pathetic attempt to force people to use a garbage service. I hope Europe sues their asses off. This alone is going to force me to keep boycotting Windows 8 and 8.1 at my computer repair and sales store.
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