I heard somewhere that windows 9/blue wont have the start button either. I personally see this as a disappointment, the start screen is designed for touch screens not desktops.
No it is not!
Seriously, I don't understand this. MS change the start menu in every version of Windows. There are advantages and disadvantages to each version - personally I hated XP's one the most, and like Windows 8's the best. (And on that note, I find it curious that people seem to compare the classic "tree" version to Windows 8, ignoring that we haven't had that version since Windows Me/2000.)
Fair enough if people prefer the older version, but what is it that makes it "designed for touch screens"?
That it takes up the full screen? Well personally I'd rather that the full use of my 17" be used, rather than a menu that only takes up a postage-stamp size. Also remember that the "classic" Win 9x/2000 menu *was* designed to take up the full screen, as you opened up all the sub-menus. But from XP onwards, we were left with this thing that only used a small amount of space.
The start menu is now launched by a hotspot rather than a button, which is a method that won't even work with touch. Surely "designed for touchscreen" would mean making the button bigger, not smaller? I don't even know how this works on touchscreens, possibly some kind of swipe gesture(?), but that's not how it's done with a mouse.
Some things on the start menu are now done with a right mouse click - how is that possible on a touchscreen?
Yes, they took away the graphical button and did it via a hotspot, but personally I think it's good that MS have finally made use of Fitts's Law.
Still, if you don't like it, there are lots of free utilities to change it back to Windows 7 style. Or Windows XP, or Windows 9x classic style, whichever you like best. I think this would be a poor reason to stay away, and miss out of the benefits (and yes, there are improvements that have nothing to do with touchscreens).
Yeah I hated it at first when 7/vista redesigned the start menu... but now the only way I use it is by typing in that search box.
Me too - and again, the fact that it works so well with keyboards makes the "only for touchscreens" complaint rather odd. Though I think Windows 8 now makes other ways more accessible:
* I like that the start screen can now be customised with your common applications, so clicking on those is much easier. Really this is what the people commonly did with the desktop (and again, nothing to do with touchscreens), but it's done much better. Creating and deleting shortcuts was a pain, but now it's easy to "pin" anything to the start screen. It can also scroll for more space, and it means the desktop can remain uncluttered. (True, one could fit more icons on the desktop at once, but if people would rather clutter up their desktop, they can still do that anyway.)
* And if you end up having to scroll through the list of applications, I'd say icons plus text, with a fullscreen, is better than scrolling through a small window of only text.
That's a 35 year step backwards in user interface, though.
"Windows 8 is horrible, it only works with these new touchscreen devices, not my keyboard"
"But you can launch things quickly with a keyboard"
"I don't want to use an old fashioned keyboard method!"
To you, and others criticising: what method do you currently use to launch an application?
the awkward way of closing anything that has opened up in that Metro interface, the lack of a close button seems really annoying
Yes, I think this is the single area where they have messed up, and made something for touchscreen, without a version that works well on a mouse or keyboard (actually I forget off hand - does alt+F4 work?) So I see this as more of a single issue, than the whole thing being designed for touchscreens only, and hopefully they will fix this up. For every other change though, I can either see it being something one might do even without touchscreens existing, or it's something that simply doesn't make sense on a touchscreen (e.g., right clicking, hotspots from mouse movement).
I see the later discussion has moved to "the improvements aren't that big" - well, you could say that of XP vs Vista, or Vista vs 7, or 2000 vs XP. Or each new version of OS X. Or a new release of Android. When software is mature, and it's good enough for you, then it's always going to be the case that there's less incentive to upgrade. I think that's a compliment of the OS being good - compared to the days when I was desperate to upgrade from 98 to 2000, because 98 was so bad and unstable... This is back-pedalling - if all people are saying is "Windows 8 has plenty of new features, but I don't really need them myself, and Windows 7 is good enough for my needs", that's not a criticism at all really.
As for the walled garden, I think that is a concern, and MS should be criticised. But Apple should be too - I don't think "desktop" vs "mobile" makes a different (my laptop is mobile too, and doesn't go on my desk - but it seems I see people using tablets more commonly on a desktop, as they don't work well on a lap...). Nor are IOS devices like consoles - no other smartphone platform (well, except Windows Phone?) was or is locked down, they have followed and still follow the same model as computer platforms. Same with tablets ("tablet" has always been ill-defined, but whether we mean a touchscreen PC, an oversized smartphone, a media player running an OS, or something that's basically a smartphone without the phone, all of these again have been open platforms whether it's Windows, Android, Maemo or whatever else).
Edited by mdwh, 25 March 2013 - 07:49 AM.