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Task Manager bugs and issues

    General discussion

  • Firstly, let me tell Microsoft that you have done a great job with the new Task Manager. The default clean view would be very useful for those who got overwhelmed by the full view. Use of color to highlight higher resource usage and showing service host names is also brilliant. Search the web can be very useful. But as always I can already see some removed and broken functionality even though you claim otherwise and a lot of bugs (I understand it's a technical preview). And I miss these based on my own usage over years of usage since the NT 4.0 days, so I didn't have to hunt specifically for them. So even you made certain decisions based on telemetry, these features should not be omitted. May I point all of those out so they can be fixed:

    Issues:

    - Bug: Last active tab is not remembered. The old Task Manager remembered the last active tab.

    - Crashing bug: Go to Processes or App History tab. Focus on list of processes. Pressing End key is crashing Task Manager.

    - Design flaw/regression: Naming of tabs is not the same. Confusing change. What was previously the 'Applications' tab is now the 'Processes' tab. Unfortunately, there was also a 'Processes' tab before which is now the 'Details' tab. Very confusing for those who have used the Task Manager for years.

    - Design flaw/regression: Order of tabs is not the same!! In old Task Manager, it is Applications, Processes, Services, Performance, Networking and Users. In the new Task manager, it is Processes, Performance, App History, Startup, Users, Details and Services. Even if you MUST, absolutely MUST rename the tabs, at least make the order same as earlier. The correct order should be Processes, Details, Services, Performance, App History (because this is a new tab), Startup (also a new tab), and Users as the last tab. Please, the order has to be correct.

    - Removed feature: Window management functions (Minimize, Maximize, Cascade, Tile Horizontally and Tile Vertically) on the Processes tab (formerly the Applications tab) and "Windows" menu are removed. Why are these important? Because in Windows 7, the Taskbar removed the ability to select multiple taskbar buttons using Ctrl+left click when buttons are ungrouped and therefore group actions on window buttons in the taskbar are no longer possible. The Task Manager's Applications tab offered an alternative and now you have taken that away as well! Raymond Chen describes the usefulness of window management functions here: blogs.msdn.com/.../9852686.aspx

    - Removed feature: Selection of multiple applications on the Processes tab (formerly Applications tab). In the old Task manager, I could use Ctrl and Shift keys just like Windows Explorer to select multiple applications and do group window management actions or group End Task them. Why is this important? Because Aero Snap only allows at a time two windows to be shown side by side. Using the Task Manager, I could select three or four windows of an app and select "Tile horizontally" or "Tile vertically". If you have removed the window management actions because they wouldn't apply to certain processes like hidden windows or Metro style apps, you can bring them back and grey them out like the old Task Manager did. Please don't remove them entirely. And allow selecting multiple buttons to group End Task.

    - Removed feature: There is no global status bar showing the total number of processes, CPU usage and physical memory and/or commit charge (like XP).

    - Removed feature: See this image: img695.imageshack.us/.../lebar.png. Which document is which? The old Task Manager showed the application name from the Title bar. The new one gets its name from somewhere else. The document is only shown in More Details view after expanding by clicking the arrow/triangle. Why do you want to make our lives more difficult? Suppose there are 10 windows of an app open and 1 of them stops responding. With the old Task Manager, it was one glance away. With the new one, I must expand the arrow of each window to see if the not responding document is under one of those. Poor usability. Documents must be shown in the minimal view without making users expand and collapse every instance of the app. This also breaks keyboard usability. In the above screenshot, I could hit L to go through List1.txt, List2.txt, List3.txt. Not possible any more.

    - Keyboard usability issue: When new Task Manager is opened, focus is on the tab! In the old Task Manager, the focus would be on the process list so I could Ctrl-Shift-Esc, then directly hit I for IExplore.exe (2 keystrokes) or immediately use arrow keys, Home, End, Page Up, Page Down. Now it's Ctrl-Alt-Esc, then Alt-Y to elevate, go to Details tab (Ctrl+Tab 5 times or click once), Tab twice to get to process list by keyboard! (4 keystrokes without counting Ctrl-tabbing to Details tab!!) Please put the focus by default on the running task or process when on Processes, Details, App History, Startup, Services or Users tab.

    - No default beep/Ding sound if I press a key and there is no process or app beginning with that name.

    - Removed feature: UAC virtualization can no longer be changed for a process from the Details tab (formerly Processes tab)

    - Removed feature: No option to show processes only from current user on either Processes or Details tab! The Users tab gives me per-user list of apps, not process names.

    - Unnecessary requirement: New Task Manager requires UAC elevation. Old Task Manager ran just fine without elevation to show current user processes. Please bring back ability to run Task Manager without elevation and show current user processes. Also, state of this option "Show processes from all users" should be saved so if it was last closed for all users, it should open with elevation for all users. If it was last closed for current user, it should open without elevation.

    - Bug/keyboard usability issue: Ctrl+ '+' (Ctrl + plus key) or (Ctrl+Fn+'+' on laptops) key to auto-resize all columns works only on Details tab and Services tab. Doesn't work on Processes, App History, Startup and Users tab.

    - When process is killed or terminated, it doesn't clear up quickly from the list.

    - Removed feature: Process name of 16-bit processes and NTVDM child processes no longer shown! Only NTVDM.EXE is shown! You realize that 16-bit apps can run in their own separate memory space under NTVDM right? How do we differentiate two NTVDMs processes then?

    - Limitation: Any column cannot be the first column on Processes, App History, Startup and Users tab as it can be in Details and Services tab. This affects keyboard usability too.

    - Removed feature: 'Show full account name' option missing from Users tab, especially useful on domains.

    - Broken feature: Show kernel times not working or not shown in a different color

    - Extremely bad UI: The "Network Details" window should be integrated into Task Manager, not a separate window or it should be resizable. Plus it flickers so much that it is impossible to read the values. Scrolling resets the view making it impossible to see bottom values. Make a separate Networking tab with all those columns but not a separate window that doesn't even show properly when Task Manager is set to be 'Always on Top'. Holding down Ctrl key pauses the refresh of Task Manager everywhere but not on the Network Details window. Please integrate it properly into a separate tab because it has many columns.

    - Removed feature: All of the options for the Networking tab, especially "Show cumulative data" and "Reset adapter history"??

    - The new TM.exe also consumes far more memory than the old one which was extremely lightweight. 11.5 MB for TM.exe compared to 2.3 MB for Taskmgr.exe.

    Suggestions:

    - Can you add a column to Details tab to show a process's Integrity Level which Windows Vista introduced?

    - Please put "Go to Details" in the app context menu of the minimal view, where it automatically expands to full view and takes you directly to Details tab.

    - At a very minimum, put a sort bar in the minimal view to sort by ascending or descending order. A sort bar won't clutter up the clean view but it will be very useful even in the simplified view.

    - Add the very useful Shutdown menu back to Task Manager (last present in Windows XP)

    - Column resize hit target to something greater than 1 pixel

    - See in Windows Explorer Details View, if you right click on a column, it has two nice options: Size column to fit and Size all columns to fit. Add these to Task Manager as well.

    Without fixing these, you cannot claim you didn't remove or break functionality. :-) It is silly to "overhaul" an application without actually providing every feature the old one did. And please don't take the old one away. Not only is the file name being different break many apps, but there are scripts that launch Task Manager and send keystrokes and power tools like Task Manager Extension that hook into Task Manager to provide additional functionality. So old Task Manager must remain.

    Friday, October 14, 2011 4:49 AM

All replies

  • The default clean view would be very useful for those who got overwhelmed by the full view.

    Sure, it has some good aspects, but what about those of us who are underwhelmed by looking at just one thing at a time in the Performance tab?  Not everyone suffers from cognitive overload.

    Ever been looking to diagnose system issues and want to gauge both processor and memory usage at the same time by watching what happens second by second?  The little icon-sized overviews just don't cut it. 

    If nothing else, why not just make it possible to run multiple copies?

    And don't say that's impossible; I can run the old Task Manager and new one simultaneously right now.  Much as you (Microsoft) want people to believe doing just one thing at a time is The Cat's Meow, Windows can actually multitask.  Modern processors could run 20 simultaneous Task Managers without breaking a sweat.

    The intervals go from 1 second to 4 seconds when Update Speed is set to Low.  Who uses 4 second intervals?  And note that the designation "60 seconds" is wrong at anything other than Normal Update Speed.

    Doesn't anyone at a design review in Microsoft ever ask "does it do all the stuff the old one did?"

    -Noel



    Monday, November 14, 2011 9:07 PM
  • - Bug: Last active tab is not remembered. The old Task Manager remembered the last active tab.

    - Crashing bug: Go to Processes or App History tab. Focus on list of processes. Pressing End key is crashing Task Manager.


    Maybe that's why it's not being remembered?   <eg>

    If you hadn't pointed this out I probably wouldn't have checked Event Viewer to notice the crash.   E.g. I would expect pressing Esc to close Task Manager.

    However, I'm not sure I would really appreciate it coming up exactly the way I had left it.  FWIW I think I might actually find it more useful to come up in the Processes tab sorted  by  Process name.   E.g. this gives the very helpful grouping by Application (so similar to the old Applications tab) and then Background processes with some summary details (which can be supplemented by right-click on the column labels)

    Instead of responding to all of your comments I'm just going to highlight a few more.

    Order of tabs is not the same!!


    It looks to me that the order may have been deliberately chosen to give a decreasing level of expected use for the most people, along with a Go to Details command to allow quick access to that tab for specific Image Names.   In any case I am glad to see the Performance tab moved closer to the Processes tab (so I can switch to it with just Ctrl-Tab), that the Memory view can persist there and that I can then launch Resource Monitor more simply than I could in W7.

    - Removed feature: There is no global status bar showing the total number of processes, CPU usage and physical memory and/or commit charge (like XP).


    To be fair I think you should compare what the Performance tab offers instead.  E.g. there are thumbnails of all the views and details available within each.

     

    - Add the very useful Shutdown menu back to Task Manager (last present in Windows XP)


    At least we can still use  File, New...  shutdown.exe  /r

    But I wonder how big the  MRU  list is?   <eg>

     

    Robert Aldwinckle
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    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 1:09 AM