Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 20:51 UTC
Windows Pokki, a Start menu replacement for Windows 8, will be installed on all Lenovo PCs.

We’re excited to announce that the #1 PC maker in the world, Lenovo, will be shipping Pokki on new Windows 8 devices worldwide! In other words, you’ll soon be able to buy a brand new Lenovo laptop or desktop with our full Pokki software suite integrated and ready to use out-of-the-box!

Windows 8 has loads of problems, but the lack of the Start menu is not one of them. The fact that Metro - and more importantly - its applications still suck, however, is.

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The lack of a start menu
by dpJudas on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 21:39 UTC
dpJudas
Member since:
2009-12-10

Clearly we are many that think the lack of a start menu IS one of the problems of Windows 8, Lenovo included.

Now, don't get me wrong. I do not consider the Windows 7 start menu particular good, but a full screen replacement on my 30" monitor is totally utterly overkill. It doesn't help that I personally absolutely loathe the tiles - so incredibly ugly, and their notfication concept reminds me of annoying ads crying for my attention. I will take a start menu over that any time.

Reply Score: 16

RE: The lack of a start menu
by ronaldst on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 22:02 UTC in reply to "The lack of a start menu"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

Clearly we are many that think the lack of a start menu IS one of the problems of Windows 8, Lenovo included.

Now, don't get me wrong. I do not consider the Windows 7 start menu particular good, but a full screen replacement on my 30" monitor is totally utterly overkill. It doesn't help that I personally absolutely loathe the tiles - so incredibly ugly, and their notfication concept reminds me of annoying ads crying for my attention. I will take a start menu over that any time.

They're incredibly fugly.

One of things I learned when shopping with my parents when I was younger is looks matter. "That box is pretty" is important to sell stuff. My beef with the Metro UI team is that they haven't come to the realization that most of the artistic stuff doesn't appeal to the masses. Live Tiles are boring and dull. The Design team needs to sacrifice the design a little to appeal to the mainstream.

The integration/mobile part of Windows 8 is crucial and gives it a good edge over it's only competitor: MacOS X. But the Live Tiles is driving people away like it was the plague.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The lack of a start menu
by WereCatf on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 06:31 UTC in reply to "The lack of a start menu"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

It doesn't help that I personally absolutely loathe the tiles - so incredibly ugly, and their notfication concept reminds me of annoying ads crying for my attention.


I don't think they're all that ugly, but the thing that bothers me about them is that, well, you only see the live tiles and their content if you're on the Start Screen -- if you mostly use desktop apps it's quite unlikely that you'll be hanging out much on the Start Screen and thus you don't see the live content anyways. The second issue is that there is no live content for desktop apps anyways, meaning that these live tiles don't provide anything that just a regular, old icon-based shortcut didn't do already.

The point here is rather obvious: the Start Screen and its live tiles are useful if you mainly use Metro-based apps and you hang out a lot on the Start Screen.

Reply Score: 4

malicious
by stabbyjones on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 22:03 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

fortigate picks up pokki.com as a malicious website.

after looking at the integrated "apps" and features. i'd be inclined to agree.

Reply Score: 3

RE: malicious
by Morgan on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 23:08 UTC in reply to "malicious"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Their start menu looks an awful lot like the one in Elementary OS. I wonder which came first?

Reply Score: 3

nope
by _xmv on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 22:05 UTC
_xmv
Member since:
2008-12-09

I don't care how boring or dull tiles are. Seriously.
I care how efficiently i can get work done. WELL!
With tiles it's less efficient than icons.

Specially moving tiles (they ain't that boring in fact!)


Same thing for the start menu.. yeah right i know win+x and a bunch of shortcut, but the average joe who's *working* with the computer (and not just watching fucking tiles) doesn't. And that's where the start menu is just fine.


Now don't get me wrong, the tiles seems fine on mobile/tablet.

Reply Score: 6

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 22:52 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

It's not a real Start Menu replacement. It's a software store that will try to sell you stuff whenever you open the menu.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by dpJudas on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 00:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

It's not a real Start Menu replacement. It's a software store that will try to sell you stuff whenever you open the menu.

In that case, maybe I prefer the start screen after all. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Nelson on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 03:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

That's been my experience as well. Its that gray area between crapware and malware. Not something I'd ever want on my system.

What worries me is Lenovo installing this questionable crap (which uses undocumented APIs/unstable hacks to achieve what it does) on their line up.

The silver lining here is that Microsoft is rapidly ramping out its retail presence, putting Microsoft Stores inside traditional Brick+Mortars like Best Buy in the US. That should help push more signature PCs which don't have crapware preinstalled.

Reply Score: 4

Metro is the problem
by biffuz on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 00:21 UTC
biffuz
Member since:
2006-03-27

The problem with Windows 8 is not the missing of a Start menu, but the whole Metro. A friend of mine just asked me "you must know how to delete this c**p forever, is there an exe or something???"
I see more and more people (because more and more people is replacing old machines) questioning the whole Metro idea. They don't want a 15" tablet, they want a notebook!

Reply Score: 10

RE: Metro is the problem
by Bobthearch on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 14:00 UTC in reply to "Metro is the problem"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I sure as hell don't want my new workstation to look like a damn tablet!

Reply Score: 3

What about Classic Shell?
by tuaris on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 01:29 UTC
tuaris
Member since:
2007-08-05

If they really cared about the lack of a "Start Menu", Lenovo would have instead opted for the free and open source Classic Shell project.

This "Pokki" thing looks like a means of Lenovo pushing out some revenue generating bloatware with there PC's and laptops. Then making it seem as if they are doing consumers a favor by "giving back" the start menu.

They are taking advantage of a bad situation in a very malicious way. I give my props to their marketing department. Very clever indeed.

Reply Score: 4

RE: What about Classic Shell?
by WorknMan on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 03:03 UTC in reply to "What about Classic Shell?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

If they really cared about the lack of a "Start Menu", Lenovo would have instead opted for the free and open source Classic Shell project.


Eh, bloatware is bloatware. I'd rather them ship with a vanilla install and let customers download whatever Start menu replacements they want, assuming they actually want one. Screw these OEMs who think they know best what I should or should not have installed out of the box. Don't even get me started on Android ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What about Classic Shell?
by ilovebeer on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 04:18 UTC in reply to "RE: What about Classic Shell?"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Eh, bloatware is bloatware. I'd rather them ship with a vanilla install and let customers download whatever Start menu replacements they want, assuming they actually want one. Screw these OEMs who think they know best what I should or should not have installed out of the box. Don't even get me started on Android ;)

People are pissed because there's no start menu... So you give it to them... Then they're pissed, thinking you've shoved it down their throats. I guess certain things are just lose-lose no matter what.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: What about Classic Shell?
by WorknMan on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 18:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What about Classic Shell?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

People are pissed because there's no start menu..


Well, the people that are pissed about the Start menu will never be happy until/unless MS puts it back in. How do I know this? Because 8+ months after Windows 8 was released, people are still bitching about it, despite there being free Start menu replacements available already.

Of course, they tell you they shouldn't have to download 3rd party tools to make the OS do what they want. Nevermind that Classic Shell was originally designed for Windows 7 ...

Reply Score: 3

Comment
by pandronic on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 06:03 UTC
pandronic
Member since:
2006-05-18

Metro apps on the desktop are really useless and I sure as hell don't need a disruptive fullscreen Start menu. As for Pokki, it's ok as a Start menu and it also doubles as an app store for some HTML5 apps and games.

If you download the version from their site it doesn't have any bundled apps, advertising and malware - I'm using it for an year and I actually wrote a small app for it.

Edited 2013-08-23 06:04 UTC

Reply Score: 5

And the 8.1 solution?
by blitze on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 06:44 UTC
blitze
Member since:
2006-09-15

Really, do we need a drop down or pop out menu for applications on the desktop when between shortcuts, taskbar launchers and Start screen, there is more than enough to cover your bases.

Also, you in 8.1 can have a minimal start screen with no live tiles and also medium or small icons for your applications arranged as you see fit. Hitting the Windows key on the keyboard to select a program to launch and then having your focus immediately returned to desktop, it isn't that scary.

I do agree that having no live tiles on desktop is poor for the whole concept of live tiles and that I kill them in the start screen.

As for Metro, never touch a metro app on my PC until the day I can run one in a window like any desktop app along with all my other desktop apps. Simple.

Reply Score: 5

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

The problem with many ways to do the same thing is that they are not exactly doing all the same thing.

I don't know about Linux, OS-X, or even Windows 8.0/8.1 but in all Windows versions up and including 7.0, there are functions/operations that can be done only from the command line and others only using a graphical widget and the mouse. Figuring out in which "world" a given object resides has usually been infuriating.

Another annoyance are keyboard short-cuts which change meaning according to the application. The one I curse the most now is "Alt-S" which is the clipboard "paste special" in many text editors as well as the "send" in Outlook. Many times, I have simply sent a blank message or incomplete message when desiring to insert other elements.

What I wish for is very simple:

A plain screen with symbolic links to the few often-used applications and documents.

An application menu becoming visible where I click a chord of mouse buttons or the "OS" key on the keyboard (at a pre-determined location). It does not have to be called "start menu" at all. Multiple items can be with drop-down lists or in a manner similar to cross-bar media.

The possibility to put-on-hold all notifications (e.g. incoming e-mails) while I'm focusing on the stuff I'm doing for a living.

By-the-way, the Windows 8 tiles reminds me a lot of the Program Manager Groups (Windows 3.0/3.1 Era) but just taking more space and being less informative.

Reply Score: 2

Pokki
by IndigoJo on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 06:55 UTC
IndigoJo
Member since:
2005-07-06

I've got Pokki installed on my laptop and it's rubbish. Quite apart from the apps (which you don't have to download, much less buy), it's extremely slow to start, every time. Couldn't they have found a better replacement, or developed their own?

Reply Score: 4

Not a problem?
by jbauer on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 08:59 UTC
jbauer
Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows 8 has loads of problems, but the lack of the Start menu is not one of them. The fact that Metro - and more importantly - its applications still suck, however, is.


The main problem is that Metro should not be present at all on desktops. MIcrosoft always seemed happy to create a variety of editions for their products, and now that they're faced with a split that would actually make sense, they refuse to do it.

Of course, I know that their real reason why they wouldn't consider it is precisely because they want to leverage the desktop... and desktop users be damned.

Edited 2013-08-23 09:00 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Fri 23rd Aug 2013 17:04 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Honestly, I don't see why some people think the start menu is so difficult to use or poorly designed. There's no getting around the fact that little kids to elderly seniors manage to use it just fine so how bad can it really be?

I propose that if you can't find what you need in more than a few seconds or a few clicks, the problem isn't the start menu, it's you.

Reply Score: 3

Ishan333
Member since:
2012-06-27

For me, default booting to ModernUI is painful and I did all I could with Stardock's tools to make Win8 behaving as much as possible to Win7. 7 was far from perfect but it was usable and effective for the most part.
Were MS missed the boat is they thought too much about one part of there users : "the average joe who buy computers in the supermarket for web/facebook/mail"TM.
Modern UI as a full on tilling WM with no limitations to the Windows Store and what API you must use (and no VM??? I still can't understand that) would have been an amazing product with a very modern (ha ha) take on computing.
No more destop, Win32 apps in their own part of the screen, full on keyboard shortcuts, etc... and of course a "simple" mode for the average joe who couldn't care less about all that.
IMHO they were too greedy and wanted something simple and controlled but forgot about people who actually do work with the thing every single day.
I maybe in the minority (like many of you I assume) but that's what I think, it's a missed opportunity.

Reply Score: 2