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5/9/2013
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Jeff Bertolucci
Jeff Bertolucci
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8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue

Windows 8 has left a lot of folks fuming. Can Windows Blue win them back?
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Rumor has it that Microsoft may bring back the Start menu -- or is it the Start button? -- to the Desktop UI in Windows 8. The distinction between "Menu" and "Button" may seem pedantic, but it matters a lot. Modern UI haters, particularly those unhappy with Windows 8's half-based desktop, would prefer the return of a Windows 7-style Start menu for easy access to folders, programs, settings, not to mention the venerable search box (above) for finding files. (The Start button, which is also missing from Windows 8, refers to the Windows icon in the lower right corner of Windows 7 and its antecedents.)

If the Start menu returns to Windows Blue, wonderful. But if it gets only the Start button, which doesn't launch the Start menu but rather directs users back to the Modern UI -- as some reports say it will -- Microsoft will have missed a golden opportunity to appease its Windows 8 critics -- well, some of them, anyway.

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phuzz
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phuzz,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2013 | 4:41:27 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
I might have bothered reading all this if it wasn't split across 10 pages
Junis
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Junis,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2013 | 5:52:44 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
Splitting an article into 10 different web pages is an example of extremely poor web design. Shame on the online computer publication that allows this.
C. Moya
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C. Moya,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 5:17:51 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
Seriously. With full page postbacks too. They couldn't have the slideshow run in a nicer AJAX-y way?
Tronist
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Tronist,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 5:35:27 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
i might like Windows 8 if it weren't for all that crap cluttering up the desktop.
Stephane Parent
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Stephane Parent,
User Rank: Strategist
5/10/2013 | 6:22:58 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
One thing I would like to see in Blue is Modern UI across multiple screens. Right now, I have it appearing on my primary screen with the secondary defaulting to desktop.
robin oliver
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robin oliver,
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5/10/2013 | 6:36:00 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
trash-talking the latest windows os has turned into a regular pattern with informationweek... you guys really need to find a new drum-beat... there can be no question that user interface is lacking in every operating system... and it has been that way for 31 years since apple released its first gui on the lisa platform... but in every instance, we have learned to use it... or not... and when not, it has faded away (except in the minds of those who became irrationally attached to it)... but the following successive versions do seem to get better and more useful over time...

actually, no operating system will be worth a tinker's damn until the day it becomes completely ubiquitous but unseen, interacting with the user in the ways that our species has evolved to handle information, without the extraordinary attention to a keyboard or a mouse or a touchscreen, serving us with the information we need or seek, and otherwise completely unnoticed and unremarkable...

think in terms of a well-behaved HAL 9000...? rather than hammering microsoft or anyone else in this race, why don't you guys devote yourselves to helping to shape that vision...? as scoop nisker used to say, "if you do not like the news, go out an make some of your own..."

by the way, i also think this web site design for this piece falls way short... just sayin'...
WBCaiusey
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WBCaiusey,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 7:10:26 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
The only solution for Microsoft's operating system is and always has been an Apple.
jhines554
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jhines554,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 7:23:37 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
I hate the split up layout. It insures that I do not read this.
classicalduck
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classicalduck,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 8:09:38 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
I guess IW thinks that we'll buy their advertisers' products if they shove the ads at us ten times rather than just one.
taward
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taward,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/11/2013 | 2:51:37 AM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
Enough already with this stupid Start Button/Menu talk already. I've had it, not only because I disagree on its merits but the argument is so hollow but so loud that it is now iles past annoying. So let's get into it.

So you REALLY want the start button back? Why? Considering that the exact same function is served by a button only pixels away from where the start button use to be except that now it's not taking up space when it's serving absolutely no purpose at all. This makes NO sense. If you're so used to the button being there, just move the mouse a hair down and to the left and voila, Start button. Does seeing the button soothe you? The start button is still there, it just auto-hides now and that's the way it should be. If it's not adding value to me, it should disappear.

Now on to the start menu. This is a little trickier, but the result is the same. Two important things to note here, the Modern UI start screen does everything that the old start menu did, but WAY better, and you lose exactly nothing by taking up the whole screen rather than just the corner. Let's start with the latter.

When you used to click and bring up the old start menu, what was the value of having 80% of your desktop visible? Were you ever using the start menu AND your desktop at the same time? Could you even if you wanted to? And if you could, would it have done you any good? Probably not. So having it take up the whole screen so you can actually fit things on it makes sense.

And that leads to the next thing, did the start menu ever actually work as promised? Those frequently used apps NEVER EVER EVER EVER worked the way it was supposed to. It would randomly mix your most recently used apps with the ones it thought you might use more frequently if it kept putting it there. And then if you pinned them to the top, how many could you really fit, 7? 8? 10? Whatever it was, the modern UI bests that by multiples. From that screen you can get to any program, search anywhere, basically do everything that the star menu tried to do.

I'm done. Please stop complaining about the start button.
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