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5/9/2013
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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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Windows 8 comes with plenty of free apps, and you'll find plenty more in the Windows Store. Unfortunately, many Windows 8 users have found that these apps have limited functionality compared to the desktop programs they've used for years. Skype users, for instance, have griped about the confusing interface and lack of features of the Modern UI version of the Microsoft-owned VoIP app. And Window 8/RT's Calendar, Mail and People apps have taken their licks for being underpowered and oversimplified. And while that's fine for mobile apps, PC users want more. To be fair, Microsoft recently beefed up the capabilities of these three apps, but their initial shortcomings show the complexity of developing a single UI and set of apps for mobile and desktop users.

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Bruce Benson
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Bruce Benson,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/14/2013 | 7:31:40 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
I've been using Win 8 for some months now, with a start menu/button replacement program (Classic Start Menu). This works fine for me and otherwise win8 pro + media center for $40 was a reasonable deal for a pretty good product. As long as win8 can support apps for alternate start menus then I don't see an issue. I won't buy any more at the current selling price because my win 7 PCs are just fine as they are.

The credibility of this article was completely lost by this horrible Informationweek presentation/web site. No one talking about interfaces or user experience has any credibility when publishing on this site. Informationweek should get their own act together in an area before reviewing another company's product in that area.
tialiden
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tialiden,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/13/2013 | 8:36:25 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
I beleive you may have meant to use the word retraining and not retaining, it really drastically changes the context of the sentence, don't you think?! "many of which don't want the headaches and expense of retaining their employees to learn the Modern UI"
tialiden
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tialiden,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/13/2013 | 8:22:32 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
I am pretty sure you meant lower left corner instead of: "the Windows icon in the lower right corner of Windows 7"
taward
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taward,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/12/2013 | 7:59:36 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
Really? So make your case. Because "that's what users are used to" is about as terrible a design driver as there is. If that were always the highest priority design decision then nothing would EVER change.

Imagine if OS designers always regarded the users old OS habits as paramount? We wouldn't have UIs at all, we'd still be using command lines for everything because that's what users were used...until they got used to something else.

Now, I don't regard the hidden start button as revolutionary as a visual file system. But, it's absence is certainly not the catastrophe it's being made out to be, if not only b/c in its former conception, it never really worked all that well.

I would love to hear an argument for the old start button/menu on its merits. How is that actually better than the new way (other than that's what users are used to)?
CopyingAppleIsDangerous
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CopyingAppleIsDangerous,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/12/2013 | 5:00:34 AM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
Windows 8 is like a pimp trying to sell you stolen stereos while you are late for a meeting. You want it to get out of the way, but it won't, because it can't take it's mind off of your wallet.

Windows 8, and those ridiculous Live Tiles that Microsoft, in their word, planned to "monetize", will fail.
CopyingAppleIsDangerous
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CopyingAppleIsDangerous,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/12/2013 | 4:58:38 AM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
I read your post. You're wrong. We're right. Please stop telling us to stop.
Andrew Hornback
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Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/12/2013 | 12:35:09 AM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
Start Menu is a must, especially if Microsoft wants a new version of Windows to be deployed on Corporate Desktops. Why? Because the last time there wasn't a Start Menu on a Corporate Desktop was, oh, the mid-90s. People have gotten used to how they access things, especially on systems that use a mouse/trackball/trackpad instead of touch. If all systems were suddenly endowed with a touchpad that allowed for full motion gestures, that would be a different story... perhaps Microsoft should revisit their roots and start packaging a touchpad with versions of Windows the same way that they packaged mice with Windows, way back in the day.

I tried to live with Windows 8 for a little while (couple of weeks) and the full screen IE was one of the few things about Win8 that I really liked. Everything else seemed to be a sidestep or a backwards move.

Sure, it's great to push the UI/UX paradigm, but it looks like Microsoft has proven once again that they're only going to "really get it right" with every other major release. For the sake of Windows Blue, I hope so.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
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.
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.
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.
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