Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Jun 2013 16:41 UTC
Windows Microsoft has released the Windows 8.1 preview for download, but they region-locked it to 13 specific languages, and Dutch is not one of them. So, even though my Surface RT has been completely and utterly English from the day I bought it, I can't install Windows 8.1 and tell you something about it. Those of you who can download it, why don't you tell us what it's like - or you can head to The Verge who got early access. In case you couldn't tell, I'm a little annoyed that we're arbitrarily being left out once again.
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RE[7]: Start Button Useless??
by galvanash on Thu 27th Jun 2013 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Start Button Useless??"
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Well since you asked. Most nerds see the start menu as a heirarchical list of applications just like it was in 1995. They are unable to accept that for quite some time now this is not the primary function nor the most efficient way to use the menu.

True, but the fact that it isn't the primary function doesn't negate the need for the function entirely...

Ask yourself, are you the guy that still uses "run" under Windows 7/8 rather than just type the command in and press enter?

That feature is on the Windows 7 start menu.

Do you launch Explorer and then use the search box?

Why would I need to do that. The search box is on the Windows 7 start menu.

Do you waste hours of your life "optimising" the start menu heirarchy so you can find your applications "faster"?

The start menu organizes my apps for me for the most part (something the Windows 8 homescreen doesn't do), I will occasionally pin something but thats about it.

Do you open Control Panel and browse to an applet?

What does that have to do with the start menu?

Do you (and I feel dirty just saying this) still use folders to sort and find office documents rather than metadata and search?

Search is entirely orthogonal to the current discussion... Whether you use the start menu in Windows 7 or the Home screen in Windows 8, search basically works exactly the same way.

Do you, perhaps, see no reason why metadata is better and more flexible than folders? (hint, folders only let data be in one place!)

Um... I don't follow. Windows 8 stores application shortcuts the same way as Windows 7 did for desktop apps - it is in folders in your profile. You can search on metadata in either OS more or less the same way. What does this have to do with anything?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you're in the minority, and should be using a Start replacement. Everyone else understands.

No - not a single thing you mentioned represents any significant functionality difference between the Windows 7 start menu and the Windows 8 home screen...

If I am primarily a desktop user and don't use many (or any) Metro apps, I do not lose context when I use the Windows 7 start menu. It doesn't cover the entire screen. I can still see a portion of my desktop, running apps, and the task bar - and the relative amount of space the start menu occupies drops with screen resolution. I can drag things onto and off of it (admittedly, not that big of a deal, but it is occasionally useful). I can reorganize it if Im OCD or whatever. Those are actual differences - things you are not acknowledging at all.

How about this? Name a must have feature that the Windows 8 Home Screen introduces that is not already in the existing Windows 7 Start Menu. Now, from that list remove anything related to touchscreens (something desktop application users don't care about and never will) and running/interacting with Metro apps (something most desktop users will only do infrequently if ever).

Whats left? I'm not saying there is nothing left (live tiles?), but that list is rather uncompelling imo. The point is if you don't like Metro apps and don't care about touchscreen support then the Home screen is just a big middle finger from Redmond pointed at you every time to have to resort to using it. It serves no useful function for this class of user, it is nothing more than a hindrance.

For tablets? Sure, its great. Touchscreen laptops? Im kind of on the fence on that one - maybe, maybe not. For 27" single/dual monitor setups running 1440p, i.e. gaming rigs or professional workstations? Are you kidding? Its a total train wreck. What is it for in that scenario? Its simply too f*cking big to be useful.

I was a fan of Metro too (still am in fact), but only for what I envisioned as its intended use - which was a UI simplification for less sophisticated users and for its touchscreen support. I don't want to get rid of it, I just want to be able to decide when I see it - because for me (on a 1440p desktop) most of the time I get nothing of value from it at all.

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