Microsoft Shows Desktop with Start Menu at Build 2014

InorganicMatter

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I wonder if this will be some sort of Windows 8.1 Update 2, or if they'll rush Windows 9 out and put this in it. The Windows 8 brand name has been so badly mired that I could see MS dumping it as fast as they dumped Vista.
 

maw

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I wonder why they didn't just buy the code from one of the Start Menu replacement software companies. Or maybe they are too proud for that. Either way, good to see MS is finally, FINALLY listening to its customers.
 
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Earlier they explicitly said that they weren't announcing a new version of Windows, so I would expect it to be an update like 8.1-2, 8.2 or something....
 

Ur_Mom

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I wonder why they didn't just buy the code from one of the Start Menu replacement software companies. Or maybe they are too proud for that. Either way, good to see MS is finally, FINALLY listening to its customers.

Why buy the code? They have the code for the original start menu... Plus, they wanted the hybrid so they could still use the live tiles.

However, from what I understand, the Start Screen will still be available for those that want it. I am hoping they do this right. Start Screen default on tablet devices and Start Menu default on touch. Even with that, I'd love to have the option to switch if the user wants. Get the user back in control of how they want things...
 

bigdogchris

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This is great, but it's still not enough for me. They need to enable using OneDrive with a local account before I switch. Otherwise this is still just 8.1 with any generic Start Menu replacement which I could be using now if I wanted.

I think it's funny how the guy said there are 1.5 Billion desktop computers and they need to have a product that's familiar to them. I've been saying the same thing since 8 came out.
 

mavrocket

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This is good news, though it appears Windows 8 haters gonna hate... ;)

What's the difference between using a local account with a OneDrive application that requires your login information vice a OneDrive application that requires your login information for the Windows account?
 

ManofGod

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This is good news, though it appears Windows 8 haters gonna hate... ;)

What's the difference between using a local account with a OneDrive application that requires your login information vice a OneDrive application that requires your login information for the Windows account?

One drive cannot be used on Windows 8.1 without being logged into the Microsoft account. (Only way you could use the One drive account otherwise would be through the web browser.)
 

Ur_Mom

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Not crazy about the tiles on the menu (that crap should be relegated to the start screen, if people use it).

But, hopefully, it'll be more configurable. Otherwise Start8 and ClassicShell will continue to pull in business.

I disagree. I think a lot of people will be happy with it. They hated the full screen/dual personality of Windows 8. I don't think they will have much issue with a standard Start Menu with a few customizable live tiles. Start8 and ClassShell will have a few stragglers, but I think their huge rush of popularity (and cash flow for the paid versions) will diminish greatly.
 

heatlesssun

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http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/02/microsoft-will-soon-bring-back-the-start-menu-in-windows-8-1/

Not crazy about the tiles on the menu (that crap should be relegated to the start screen, if people use it).

But, hopefully, it'll be more configurable. Otherwise Start8 and ClassicShell will continue to pull in business.

I imagine that if one doesn't add tiles to the tiles area that it would be collapsed, so if it works like that there's no issue. But tiles do work nicely as a notification system so I could see lots of people putting news, weather, social network apps, etc.in the tile area.

Of course we'll need to see the final product before drawing any conclusions but this does seem to address all of the major KBM issues that have been raised since 8 RTM. Prior Windows users will definitely have and easier time with 8.x when this comes out.
 

XOR != OR

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I disagree. I think a lot of people will be happy with it. They hated the full screen/dual personality of Windows 8. I don't think they will have much issue with a standard Start Menu with a few customizable live tiles. Start8 and ClassShell will have a few stragglers, but I think their huge rush of popularity (and cash flow for the paid versions) will diminish greatly.
Agreed. The improvements are long overdue, but I'm glad to see MS finally capitulating to their customers on the design.
 

Domingo

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I like Windows 8 as it is, but this is still good news. The tiles look pretty snazzy like that, too. Having the real-time apps on there is a definite nice touch.
Per most of the articles on it, this definitely won't be "Windows 9." I tend to agree with the sentiment that Win8 has a stigma that they simply won't be able to overcome at this point. If I were MS, I'd give it some kind of alternate name even if it is just a big service pack.
 

Bluesun311

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Dangit! I hate the start menu! Kill it!

Just kidding, don't care. But jeez, just when I finally get completely comfortable with windows 8.1... now were going back? Way to let the terrorists win, MS. :p
 

bigdogchris

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What's the difference between using a local account with a OneDrive application that requires your login information vice a OneDrive application that requires your login information for the Windows account?
I don't want my PC to have the same credentials as my OneDrive account.
 

bigdogchris

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Microsoft is having a Windows 8.1 UI 30 minute session in about 1.5 hours. Maybe we'll get more details.

Another interesting tidbit I saw is that Microsoft is pushing Universal apps through their new Visual Studio update. It allows a developer to build apps for all 3 devices by sharing the same code base, but allows them to make tweaks specific to desktop, tablet and phone.

Based on everything I'm seeing, Microsoft has decided that the three types of devices are separate and should be built to function differently, but still allow developers to share code and to save time and money. They are listening!
 

Ur_Mom

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Another interesting tidbit I saw is that Microsoft is pushing Universal apps through their new Visual Studio update. It allows a developer to build apps for all 3 devices by sharing the same code base, but allows them to make tweaks specific to desktop, tablet and phone.

That will be cool. It does open up a lot of possibilities for developers.
 
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Might have to try out windows 8 again if they do this. Looks like they are finally listening to people and not just trying to shove they crap down our throats.
 

DPI

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Way to let the terrorists win, MS. :p

You've got that backwards I'm afraid. The only terrorists have been the ones that insisted choice = bad, and disney activity centre tablet UI = future and "just learn 2 adapt cuz you're dumb if you can't and the start menu is never coming back".

MS is finally pulling their heads out and putting some choice back into Windows -- something that people appreciated about Windows up until the 8 trainwreck. People that want to run a tablet UI on their desktops will be able to continue to do so, nothing changes there. And people that have no need for it, finally have a first party start menu option without having to resort to a third party hack that breaks with every windows update.

Everyone wins.
 
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bman212121

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Microsoft is having a Windows 8.1 UI 30 minute session in about 1.5 hours. Maybe we'll get more details.

Another interesting tidbit I saw is that Microsoft is pushing Universal apps through their new Visual Studio update. It allows a developer to build apps for all 3 devices by sharing the same code base, but allows them to make tweaks specific to desktop, tablet and phone.

Based on everything I'm seeing, Microsoft has decided that the three types of devices are separate and should be built to function differently, but still allow developers to share code and to save time and money. They are listening!

Actually make that 4. A bit farther into the keynote they also showcased how you can take stuff to the xbox one in the same fashion.
 

wonderfield

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Christ. What a bizarre company.

Metro apps in windowed contexts, though, is a great move on Microsoft's part. There are no reasons to draw arbitrary lines in the sand on things like that.
 

Tsumi

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You've got that backwards I'm afraid. The only terrorists have been the ones that insisted choice = bad, and disney activity centre tablet UI = future and "just learn 2 adapt cuz you're dumb if you can't and the start menu is never coming back".

MS is finally pulling their heads out and putting some choice back into Windows -- something that people appreciated about Windows up until the 8 trainwreck. People that want to run a tablet UI on their desktops will be able to continue to do so, nothing changes there. And people that have no need for it, finally have a first party start menu option without having to resort to a third party hack that breaks with every windows update.

Everyone wins.

I'll agree there were rabid lovers, but there were rabid haters as well.

Choice has always existed with Windows. It never went away. The only thing that did go away with 8 (and even 7) was native choice, but alternative choice was always there (you don't see classic mode natively in 7).
 

JayJapanB

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Looks as crap as the windows 7 start menu.

Win X is the only good start menu.
 

JayJapanB

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You've got that backwards I'm afraid. The only terrorists have been the ones that insisted choice = bad, and disney activity centre tablet UI = future and "just learn 2 adapt cuz you're dumb if you can't and the start menu is never coming back".

MS is finally pulling their heads out and putting some choice back into Windows -- something that people appreciated about Windows up until the 8 trainwreck. People that want to run a tablet UI on their desktops will be able to continue to do so, nothing changes there. And people that have no need for it, finally have a first party start menu option without having to resort to a third party hack that breaks with every windows update.

Everyone wins.

Dumb.

There is more choice on 8 than 7. You just don't like the fact it has it.
 

heatlesssun

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And so much for "the start menu is a done deal. Deal with it" - if something fails in the market (and come on, the full screen metro menu IS WORSE than the start menu on a non-tablet) then OF COURSE a feature can come back. Hasty decisions from some MS VPs are neither the word of God nor the laws of physics.

And so much for Metro needs to die, clearly it's not going away and is being further enhanced to work better on the desktop.
 

MrCrispy

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I believe the blame for the original inflexible attitude in MS, the total refusal to listen to customer feedback during a 1+ year beta program, deliberately removing choice, forcing users *and* developers (multiple Visual Studio fiascos where features were removed then added back after backlash) can be laid squarely with Sinofsky, who clearly was not interested in any feedback either from within or outside MS and wanted to force his vision on users and other teams.

I wonder what Windows will look like in a few years - will be using Win32, a new .NET, or will WinRT take over? Will the legacy desktop Win32 finally become just an emulated component (that is the biggest risk IMO). Will Metro expand into the desktop? It will need a much more robust app model and not just sandboxing.
 

heatlesssun

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That's what left of the glorious Windows 8 touch revolution fantards have annoyed the shit out of everyone who wanted a sane OS again the past two years?

A lot of folks were looking for a sane OS, but the SAME OS. Now that Windows 8 is free for medium and small tablets, that market is all but sure to grow as the devices get cheaper and Windows and the Atom SoC improve. So the new Start Menu adds back an old and familiar element but the modern and touch stuff are still there, along with better and cheaper hardware right now. Got an Asus Vivotab Note 8 last week. Yes, Windows 8 needed better familiarity and KBM operation, but these cheap Windows tablets are pretty impressive. Hook one up to a keyboard, mouse and monitor and they run circles around a lot of these old XP machines.
 

Tsumi

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Yay, so that was the plan all along!

You're truly a master at the "we were never at war with.." routine, Heatie.

I have to admit it that you have quite the skillz - Dotmatrix from Neowin is an amateur compared to you. He's still whining and moaning while you have reprogrammed the routines already.

No, it was your own bias that made your perception of him that way. Heat always admitted there were faults with Metro. He always admitted there were things that could have been done better.

You on the other hand are an unreasonable Metro hater, that you refuse to see reason in anything that has the chance of making Metro look good.

8 was an experiment. A failed one, but failed experiments often give far more valuable insight and knowledge than a successful one. Not to mention, 8 was in a part of the business upgrade cycle where Microsoft could afford to screw up big time and not face any lasting damage. Maybe to Sinofsky it wasn't an experiment, and possibly Ballmer as well, but I'm sure others that could have put checks and balances on Ballmer and Sinofsky (board of directors, etc) allowed them to go forward because they knew their desktop market wasn't going anywhere (businesses upgrading or have upgraded to 7), but they were rapidly falling behind in mobile and needed something to kickstart their reentry.
 

heatlesssun

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Yay, so that was the plan all along!

You're truly a master at the "we were never at war with.." routine, Heatie.

I have to admit it that you have quite the skillz. Dotmatrix from Neowin is an amateur compared to you.

There's a long history that shows how this works. Take the last for major Windows releases, XP, Vista, 7 and 8. All but 7 came out of the gate with major problems. Even the mighty XP came out of the gate full of security holes. And what has Microsoft done each and every time? Gone back and address the major issues. It's like clock work, thus the good release, bad release mantra of Windows. Did it really make any sense that Microsoft would just ignore a major complaint forever? Maybe they did ignore the Start Menu issue for too long but it was obviously a major issue and obviously they were going to address it somehow at some point.
 

heatlesssun

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No, it was your own bias that made your perception of him that way. Heat always admitted there were faults with Metro. He always admitted there were things that could have been done better.

Thanks for pointing that out. I've said from day one that 8 needed to work better on the desktop. 8.0 started out with no multiple monitor support for modern apps. Clearly that was a major issue that I mentioned all of the time. And guess what, it got resolved. Heck, even Sinofsky mentioned it as a major problem in his Building Windows 8 blog.

8 was an experiment. A failed one, but failed experiments often give far more valuable insight and knowledge than a successful one. Not to mention, 8 was in a part of the business upgrade cycle where Microsoft could afford to screw up big time and not face any lasting damage. Maybe to Sinofsky it wasn't an experiment, and possibly Ballmer as well, but I'm sure others that could have put checks and balances on Ballmer and Sinofsky (board of directors, etc) allowed them to go forward because they knew their desktop market wasn't going anywhere (businesses upgrading or have upgraded to 7), but they were rapidly falling behind in mobile and needed something to kickstart their reentry.

I agree. 8 was an experiment and it carried a ton of risk. 8 as flagship Windows release certainly didn't do as well as it needed to and that's where the failure has been. But we've not yet reached the conclusion of the experiment which is whether or not Windows as a hybrid OS is feasible. I think it will take this Start Menu update to get a solid answer.
 

Ur_Mom

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But we've not yet reached the conclusion of the experiment which is whether or not Windows as a hybrid OS is feasible. I think it will take this Start Menu update to get a solid answer.

I think it will be very positive. Most people (other than the extreme haters) say that Metro is excellent on a tablet or touchscreen device. That won't go away. The option for full screen Start Screen will remain and keep that segment happy and solid. The new Start Menu is what users have been asking for - a non-full screen Start Menu for use on non-touch and desktop devices. Sure, it has live tiles, but until the final is released, we don't know too much about how functional it will be or if you can remove them to bring back the full classic start menu.

Windows 8 has the potential to be the perfect hybrid OS. Just give the users the choice on the app launcher (start menu/start screen). This has been said since day 1 - choice. I think the new start menu is going to turn a lot of people. Most of the people that were staying away from Windows 8 were on the fence, but aren't upgrading because of the lack of a traditional start menu.
 

XOR != OR

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I think it will be very positive. Most people (other than the extreme haters) say that Metro is excellent on a tablet or touchscreen device. That won't go away. The option for full screen Start Screen will remain and keep that segment happy and solid. The new Start Menu is what users have been asking for - a non-full screen Start Menu for use on non-touch and desktop devices. Sure, it has live tiles, but until the final is released, we don't know too much about how functional it will be or if you can remove them to bring back the full classic start menu.
Even if it has live tiles, and even if the public hates live tiles ( was never the major complaint I saw ), I think it will help boost windows8 tremendously.

The public isn't apposed to the evolution of the start menu, it's the wholesale replacement with the start screen that most folks didn't like.

Honestly, I think most would welcome live tiles in the start MENU.
 

Ur_Mom

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Even if it has live tiles, and even if the public hates live tiles ( was never the major complaint I saw ), I think it will help boost windows8 tremendously.

The public isn't apposed to the evolution of the start menu, it's the wholesale replacement with the start screen that most folks didn't like.

Honestly, I think most would welcome live tiles in the start MENU.

I've seen a few complaints with the tiles (glorified gadgets), that's what I based that on. That's the one huge thing I miss about switching phones (went to Android from WP8) - live tiles. When used, they are very very useful. My desktop at home gives me weather, stocks, emails, etc. at a glance. I find them very good. Others that don't really use them probably find them to be a waste of space...
 

XOR != OR

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I've seen a few complaints with the tiles (glorified gadgets), that's what I based that on. That's the one huge thing I miss about switching phones (went to Android from WP8) - live tiles. When used, they are very very useful. My desktop at home gives me weather, stocks, emails, etc. at a glance. I find them very good. Others that don't really use them probably find them to be a waste of space...
I've had a few complaints as well, but they've been grouped with the start screen so I kind of wrote them off as general "whining".

I think live tiles in the start menu though would, at worst, get a "meh" reaction. Not exciting, but doesn't cause anyone any grief either.
 

octoberasian

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I actually like it. It's a nice quasi-mix of the old Start Menu and the new Live Tiles, which I believe Pokki(?) and/or Start9 have similarly.

My sister would like this since on her ASUS laptop, she finds the Live Tiles more of a hindrance than a benefit over the older Start Menu. (It has the Classic Shell installed.)
 
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