Evolving the start menu - some feedback from Microsoft

    General discussion

  • A lot of people have been on here commenting on the start menu and closing metro apps, I've just seen the latest Microsoft blog on this http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/03/evolving-the-start-menu.aspx and it looks to me like todays developer preview is not necessarily how things will be in the beta. Maybe Microsoft are reading all the comments and taking action :)

    Acer W500 tablet Ageing HP laptop Too much apple stuff
    Monday, October 3, 2011 9:35 PM

All replies

  • You wouldn't know anything until Windows 8 been released, all feedbacks will review and Windows Team would make decitions base on several factors. Therefore keep post feedback and follow up Windows Team blog for more updates.
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 12:10 PM
  • I don't know what you read in the article, but i just read it twice and basically what microsoft says is that the new start screen is there to stay, and the users will get used to it.


    I can't easily express with words the frustration at watching what is otherwise a great OS be totally destroyed by the refusal to add an "optional" button to disable the start screen.


    Its so disruptive, slow, annoying, -wrong- to use a fullscreen app launcher that i still find it so strange how such a bad decision even got through Microsoft internal testing.

    Desktop PCs have a screen that is orders of magnitude larger than a phone. 99,99% of desktop PCs DO NOT have touchscreens, and i doubt any significant (ie, >0%) percentage will have a touch screen in the foreseeable future.

    This is the absolute worst decision Microsoft has made since they decided to put Vista on the shelves.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 1:19 PM
  • Unless I'm missing something in the blog, it appears to me they are saying that Metro "is" the new Start Menu, and I didn't see anything referencing them putting back a "real" start menu in the Desktop Interface.  If the Desktop interface doesn't get the standard Windows 7 style start menu put back into it, then Windows 8 is a flop for me and a great many others.

    The blog mention the below items:

    1. The menu feels cramped relative to available screen real estate when you try to see and navigate the full catalog of your programs.
    2. Search doesn’t have the space it deserves to quickly show you rich results across all sources of information, especially on larger screens.
    3. It’s hard to customize the menu to make it feel like it’s really yours.
    4. Icons and shortcuts are static and don’t leverage more of the pixels we see in modern graphical interfaces to surface connected scenarios.

    Here's how I see these:

    1. Umm, McFly!  This is the whole reason I want the Windows 7 Start Menu in the Desktop Interface!  I don't want my entire screen covered up with stupid boxes.  My entire screen real estate shouldn't be used for a lousy menu and should be used for my apps.  And if anyone can't click the Windows 7 Start Menu to navigate the "full catalog" of their installed programs, then they are completely helpless because EVERYTHING is right in front of your face and you don't have to close or switch away from your running applications to find them!  But this is a telling statement.  It seems Microsoft has turned the Metro interface into a "Start Menu for Dummies", which is why it looks like it's designed for a 4 year old.  What a huge step backwards in functionality and looks.  Seriously, if you have an app running you now have to switch away from it to go find the box just to start a 2nd app??  This is how you had to do things 15 years ago with DOS.  Is this really progress?
    2. I don't EVER use the search in the Start Menu.  The whole point of having a "menu" is that my shortcuts are listed there and I don't need to search for them!  In fact I DON'T want to search for them.  If I have to search for my programs, then there is something seriously wrong with the design of this OS and/or me.
    3. Huh?  First off, since it's MY computer the menu is obviously mine so why would I want to do some magic thing to make it look like mine??  (It's already mine.)  And it is NOT hard to customize the Start Menu.  I can't believe they actually said this.  And for crying out loud, it's a MENU.  I want it to have all the shortcuts, etc. for all my apps and if that makes it look similar to another computer somewhere out there in the world, I really couldn't care less!  I need functionality, not the ability to move a square box to a different part of the screen to make it "look like mine".
    4. So they used all the screen real estate & pixels to fill it with blocky, ugly boxes?  Seriously??  How is this a "modern" interface?  It's a childs toy that you have to swipe the screen back and forth several times to find all your boxes (err, "menus") before you can click on them.  It really looks like nothing more than a text menu to me, only less functional.  This is what Microsoft really considers a modern GUI?

    I don't plan to run Windows 8 on my cell phone, so I would prefer OPTIONS in my OS.  If folks want to use the Metro Interface (or is it now to be called the Start Menu?), then fine.  But put a functional start menu in the Desktop interface where I'll be doing 100% of my work!  It's ridiculous to have to switch back to the ugly boxy Metro interface to click a square just to have it switch back to the Desktop interface to run the app.  It's one of the most disfunctional and annoying design decisions I think Microsoft could have made.  (Are they trying to drive customers away from Windows???)  Give me the "option" to run things under the Desktop interface if I so choose!  Why is Microsoft so stiff and inflexible when it comes to options?  Give the Metro lovers what they want but put a start menu on the Desktop side to give others the option to do that.  Options are a good thing!  Everyone would be happy, but it seems like someone in MS made a decision on this and can't admit they were wrong so they aren't about to change it, so instead of options and functionality we get history lessons on start menus.

    (And quit trying to convince me I shouldn't ever want to close a Metro app!  I will ALWAYS want to close an app I'm done running, whether it be Metro or not.  Get over it Microsoft!)


    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 2:47 PM
  • Thanks for pointing to this blog post. It was a great read. Steven Sinofsky really does great work.
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 9:06 PM
  • My take on the blog was that MS have heard your comments and as a first step they are trying to justify the change by giving some of the design reasons behind the new start screen, a good second step would be to acknowledge that one size doesn't fit all and that the people who do use the start menu are passionate about it and it is deeply ingrained in their daily windows workflow. Same with the closing of metro apps, they've said they will try and explain why they think we don't need it.

    I'd personally prefer the option to easily close a particular app to give me 'closure' on that particular workstream (eg closing facebook at the end of my lunchbreak).

    With regard to the start menu its working well for me but i'm on a tablet and my preferred method of task launch/switching is to pin my applications to the taskbar, admittedly its only four applications on the tablet (IE, Explorer, Adobe Fireworks and Visual Studio) and i'm not brave enough to install a dev preview on my production machine where the number is about a dozen and the experience may not scale.

    I think ultimately the win7 start menu will return as corporates will be flooded with confused user helpdesk calls if the start screen is rolled out.


    Acer W500 tablet Ageing HP laptop Too much apple stuff
    Wednesday, October 5, 2011 8:27 AM