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Goodbye Start button?


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#41 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4764

Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:44 AM

Yes... navigating a tree of folders to find what you want is so much more modern...

It is indeed, because you do not have to remember the darn spelling (including/excluding vendor name and/or spaces) of a program that you maybe use once every 4-6 months. Most of the time, typing the most likely substring into the search box kind of works, but often enough it only comes up with a lot of shit -- which just isn't good enough, because it's a major step back as opposed to a well-sorted menu.

 

Under Win7, I have the programs that I use many-times-per-day pinned to the task bar, the programs that I use few-times-per-week pinned to the start menu (left side) and everything else, which is used rarely-if-ever in said folder hierarchy, sorted logically, not by program name. Things that I'm not interested in at all (messaging, social network shit and such) is not in the menu at all. This is a very good compromise in access time.

Win8/Metro lets you put everything on the front page, or it lets you search through a list of every single darn useless program and app that's on the computer, only assisted with some non-perfect substring matching on the program's name.



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#42 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 872

Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:00 AM

Under Win7, I have the programs that I use many-times-per-day pinned to the task bar, the programs that I use few-times-per-week pinned to the start menu (left side) and everything else, which is used rarely-if-ever in said folder hierarchy, sorted logically, not by program name.

Is it possible to have Windows 7 open sub-folders in a tree fashion?

Yes, I see the point that you could edit the shortcuts in the menu so that it had subfolders. Though I do wonder how many people actually do this (I mean don't get me wrong, even if it's a niche feature, it's fair enough to criticise - but the "They took away the start menu" noise about Windows 8 is very mainstream, yet I can't imagine your average user is there editing shortcuts and making their own menus...)

I agree it's a shame the Windows 8 start screen doesn't allow creation of subfolders, I miss that in Android too (versus Symbian, or even earlier "feature" phone platforms) (although you can at least in Android group together icons and have one level of subfolder). I think it would be good if this was added as a feature (even if it's only one sub-level, as in Android) - and hopefully such a method would be much easier than the method of editing/moving shortcuts in the start menu.

Edited by mdwh, 25 March 2013 - 08:02 AM.

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http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mark.harman/conquests.html - Conquests, Open Source Civ-like Game for Windows/Linux

#43 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30345

Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:10 AM

Does Metro have an icon grouping mechanism? e.g. like on iOS, you can drag a bunch of 'desktop' icons together to put them in a sub-category / hierarchy.


Edited by Hodgman, 25 March 2013 - 08:10 AM.


#44 Mussi   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1965

Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:15 AM

Does Metro have an icon grouping mechanism? e.g. like on iOS, you can drag a bunch of 'desktop' icons together to put them in a sub-category / hierarchy.

Yes, you can group icons together. Showing all programs in Metro, groups all the icons of an application like it used to in the start menu of previous versions of Windows.



#45 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7258

Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:45 AM

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?)
Yep, alt+F4 works, however once you do it a couple of times the click-drag-drag motion becomes quite natural - the only gripe I have with it is that it takes you back to the start screen and not the desktop (which is where I spend most of my time and user start8 as my app launcher... well, most of the apps I run are pinned on the start bar but still..).

#46 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4764

Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:02 AM

Sounds like all you know about Windows 8 is the start menu / metro application FUD. How about:

 

(long list of stuff)

 

Most of these are useless features that either are not relevant or address the wrong thing, though.

 

Account Sync
Shit that I neither need nor want. Sending account data over the internet, and storing it on a Microsoft server, what an awesome idea (and, not knowing exactly what data or in what country and with what security measures your data will be stored). Besides, nothing you couldn't do before, only without the fancy buzzwords "Cloud" and "Skydrive".

Better Multi-Monitor support
Works perfectly well with Win7. In fact, worked almost perfectly, with some minor limitations, under WinXP for decades, too.

Better Explorer UI (With enhanced file copy dialog)
Of course, the useless file copy dialog is an outstanding operating system feature. Are you kidding me? Even more so as the Metro interface pretty much tries to get rid of the Desktop interface (which includes Explorer).
A true improvement (though of Explorer, not of "Windows") would be if moving/deleting/copying files was not implemented in such a darn stupid way alltogether (think of deleting a folder with 50,000 files).

Better Task Manager
The normal user won't understand much of the displayed information anyway. A normal user should not need Task Manager at all, except to kill a hung process once every 2-3 months or so. For that, the user only needs the information "Program name", and the option "Kill". Which the built-in Program-is-not-responding "smartness" should handle already, if it only worked as intended.

A programmer will not want to use Task Manager anyway, so it's irrelevant inhowfar it may or may not be better.

Refresh and Restore
Again, shit nobody needs, as it is addressing the symptom instead of the illness. Rather than removing the need to restore the system ever so often, they offer a faster and "better" way to do it. Great plan.
Unix-like systems just don't fuck up so you need to restore every week, one has to wonder why (yes they have other problems, but this certainly isn't one of them).

What would be a substantial improvement, that'd be a Windows with a useful security system (instead of an annoying but useless one) that doesn't allow every crap to brick your system.

Storage Spaces
Shit that nobody needs. Also, not substantially different from contingents, which already nobody needed. The more "smart" you get with disks, the harder it hits you once something breaks, one just shouldn't do that kind of thing. Being able to mount a volume at a particular mount point is by all means good enough as a "special feature" for a consumer operating system, in order to give the illusion of "one big disk".
If you really want/need something like "contingents" or "storage space", get a quality hardware RAID controller, buy a few extra disks, and run it in a non-dumb mode with redundancy. At least then you still have a fair chance to recover your data when a disk blows up or when Windows for some mystical reason won't boot any more, so BartPE or LinuxRescueCD are the only things that you have left in your hands (neither of which understand the super smartness of "storage spaces").

Of course you can also boot from the Windows DVD, which will scan for problems for half an hour and will then tell you that it couldn't find problems that can be fixed, offering to format the disk and reinstall Windows. Yay.

Faster Startup Times
The POST takes as long as Win7 starting, so where is the beef? Besides, that's probably the most ridiculous "feature" ever. If you have to start/restart 3-4 times on a single day, that's already a lot (including the retarded restarts imposed onto you by Windows Update and program installs!). What true, observable difference is there in 8 seconds versus 9 seconds on an average day where you boot exactly once in the morning?
What would really be an improvement, that'd be if you didn't need to restart your computer for updates and installs in the first place, and if Windows update wasn't nagging you every fucking 10 minutes for such useless stuff (luckily, group policies let you disable that, like most crap, but you have to painfully figure it out first).

Better File History
Again, shit that nobody needs, just like the retarded virtualization they introduced with Vista, instead of properly enforcing access rights. Don't fuck with the user in such a way. Don't always try to be smarter than the user.

Don't keep stuff on the disk when the user said he doesn't want it any more. Don't save stale versions, except when the user explicitly said he needs those (and for that, there's dedicated backup software, or revision control software). Just. Don't.

Enhanced Search
More shit that nobody needs. An useless service that takes away system resources, costs write cycles, and offers very little in return.

Secure Boot
Not a Win8 feature, but a BIOS feature, and the absolutely worst "feature" ever, even more so as Win8 locks itself in secretly without user consent. This, by definition, makes Windows 8 malware.
Besides, you should call it by its proper name, "Vendor Lock". It is not "secure" in any way, it only prevents you from booting into another operating system (it doesn't prevent bad people with physical access to your computer from doing bad things with it).

Better Security Settings
You should rather say "more dumbed down settings". With every Windows version, security settings are not getting better, they are only getting fewer. With Win8, you get to choose between an obscure A, B, and C, and some guy at Microsoft decides what's the best settings for you, and you're not being told what exactly is different between A, B, and C. Soon you'll not even get to choose at all any more.

Obscurity is, and has always been, one of the biggest problems with Windows security. Even as a somewhat educated user, you have no fucking clue what exactly is different between choosing "office network" or "home network" (apart from the misleading two-line description), or what exactly each of the 50 services that run by default is doing, which ones you need for daily operation, which ones are possibly harmful, and which ones you can disable without making the system unbootable. Not without spending a lot of time into research, anyway. It's even worse if you use a non-English Windows where all names have been translated in the most hideous possible way, so native speakers can't sometimes even understand their meaning and searching the web for them is an ordeal.

Better Family Controls
Again, shit -- not addressing the problem. Parent your kids instead of relying on some software to block what some guy at Microsoft thinks is right, and limit access to some hours, block some programs, etc.
This is like owning a gun. If you can't lock your gun in a strongbox and assert that your kids understand that guns are not toys, and that guns kill people, and if you can't teach them never to touch a gun when you're not in the room, then you just shouldn't have kids -- or a gun (or either of them). It's the same with a computer and the internet, or with alcohol, or with any other harmful thing.


People have raised kids with harmful things (wild animals, knives, cliffs, water) around them for millenia. People have taught their kids to handle these dangers for millenia. Some are admittedly just too stupid for that, and that's what "natural selection" takes care of, but most parents get it right 99.9% of the time. At least they used to, until it became "normal" to abandon kids and let the TV and the internet educate them while they feed on a mix of sugar and corn starch.

Awesome Quick Access Menu
Awesome in what way? How many times per day do you need to install/remove programs, change power settings, or open the control panel? Surely, you need a dedicated hotkey for these. Shame there's no hotkey for the start menu, now that would be truly useful... oh wait, there was one, once upon a time.

Hyper-V
It does what exactly that Joe Average needs?

Better Battery Life
Maybe, maybe not, not interesting for desktop anyway, and not what I see here. When the computer is idle and left alone, my UPS shows 125W under Windows XP (105W with EPU-6). Under Windows 7, it shows 90W, and under Windows 8 it equally shows 90W.

 

However, seeing how much useless crap is being animated, blurred in and out, and being blended in and out all the time I very much doubt that the "better battery life" claim is true at all (assuming you actually use the computer for something). Unless of course the GPU on your mobile magically runs pixel shaders without consuming energy because of Windows 8. If Windows 8 can truly do that, I apologize, in that case it is awesome.

 



#47 mhagain   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7943

Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:15 AM

What worries me more than the missing start button or ugly UI is the DRM-BIOS that gets pushed onto people. If you buy a computer it should be your choice whats running on it and not of some company holding the key.

 

Good job that none of what you've described is actually happening then, isn't it?


It appears that the gentleman thought C++ was extremely difficult and he was overjoyed that the machine was absorbing it; he understood that good C++ is difficult but the best C++ is well-nigh unintelligible.


#48 wintertime   Members   -  Reputation: 1686

Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:57 AM

Oh really? http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57431236-92/microsoft-bans-firefox-on-arm-based-windows-mozilla-says/

Now that this UEFI crap got onto computers its only a small step to do the same as on tablets. Just taking away the option to disable it and maybe just not signing other bootloaders and suddenly you cant use alternative OS on PC.



#49 noatom   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:05 AM

Much hype about nothing,in about 3-4 years Microsoft will create a new os for pcs.You can say what you want about this os,but if you look at the general pc user's opinion,you'll see that the os will fail on pc.



#50 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1718

Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:05 AM

What worries me more than the missing start button or ugly UI is the DRM-BIOS that gets pushed onto people. If you buy a computer it should be your choice whats running on it and not of some company holding the key.

 

All secure boot does is require a signed binary to boot. There is nothing preventing you from providing your own certificate for whatever binaries you want, or to disable secure boot from bios entirely. This is just more FUD around Microsoft restricting your choices.

 

 

http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/12368.html

 

Fedora just paid $99 to Verisign and they can sign as many binaries as they want and all of them will load on any computer which supports the Windows 8 certificates.



#51 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1175

Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:07 AM

I think it was back in winxp days that someone introduced me to a MacOSX program (whos name I now have forgotten), which let you type a program name and it would launch the program, having previously pre-indexed certain locations.

 

Since I don't use Mac, I found a windows version of the program - http://www.launchy.net/ - which I've been using ever since then. I hardly bother with the start menu, though Launchy actually DOES index the start menu as one of my places where it looks for .lnk files. So, as long as I can get my Launchy to work on Win8 and later versions, I'll be happy (I'm quite used to pressing Alt+Space and typing in stuff, including simple math problems :) )



#52 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1718

Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:19 AM

FUD

 

 

Well, you've managed to describe half of these incorrectly, so it's no surprise to me you're so against them. You're also pretty sweeping with your statements that these things are "shit nobody needs" and then go on to describe how one feature is bad for power users and  another is bad for causal users completely ignoring the fact that they address the opposite audience. 



#53 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7167

Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:23 AM

As far as desktops go, I find the Metro interface to be anywhere from slightly to dramatically worse than Win7, depending on what exactly I'm doing. (The start screen is on the "slightly" end of that scale.) At no point is it ever an improvement. The odd thing is there's a lot of shoddy Metro interface, but once you go digging the old interface from 7 is always lurking in the shadows and works way better. So I just work through the management panel and control panel when I'm doing system stuff.

 

There are a variety of small but nice improvements to the non-Metro areas of the system, like the explorer dialogs or the task manager. These are welcome improvements but they are by no means life changing. tstrimple's list of Win8 improvements is mostly bullshit, of course. Storage spaces is nice but it's not "smart" anything, it's just software raid. We've had that. Hyper-V's been around for several years. Several of the other entries are things that have been advertised repeatedly with every iteration of Windows. (And including secure boot on the list is comical.)

 

My current state of mind is that if Win8 is already installed, I'll leave it. But I certainly won't choose it over 7.



#54 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4764

Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:45 AM

What worries me more than the missing start button or ugly UI is the DRM-BIOS that gets pushed onto people. If you buy a computer it should be your choice whats running on it and not of some company holding the key.

 

All secure boot does is require a signed binary to boot. There is nothing preventing you from providing your own certificate for whatever binaries you want, or to disable secure boot from bios entirely. This is just more FUD around Microsoft restricting your choices.

 

Except that is not true at all. To begin with, "safe boot" cannot be disabled on the ARM architecture at all according to "Windows Hardware Certification Requirements", unless the motherboard doesn't plan to certify as Windows compatible (very unlikely).

"ARM" includes not only 90% of all mobiles, but also future server/desktops that you maybe want to build when AMD's ARMv8 processors come out next year.

 

Also, the way how UEFI works is different. Refer to chapter 27 of the specification, which is not FUD around Microsoft, but reality.

 

Initially, the computer is in what the specification calls "setup mode", that is, there is no key installed. When the Windows 8 installer secretly, and without user consent, installs its certificate, the computer switches to "user mode".

Installation of another key in "user mode" is exclusively possible if that key has been signed by the installed key. Also, an installed key can only be removed by installing a zero key that must be signed by the installed key.

 

We are talking about a key signed by a key owned by Microsoft, not some arbitrary key from Verisign. An implementation that adheres to the UEFI standard and that is not "broken" is not allowed to do something else. Which means no more and no less than the concerns are very valid.


Edited by samoth, 25 March 2013 - 11:45 AM.


#55 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1718

Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:45 AM

As far as desktops go, I find the Metro interface to be anywhere from slightly to dramatically worse than Win7, depending on what exactly I'm doing. (The start screen is on the "slightly" end of that scale.) At no point is it ever an improvement. The odd thing is there's a lot of shoddy Metro interface, but once you go digging the old interface from 7 is always lurking in the shadows and works way better. So I just work through the management panel and control panel when I'm doing system stuff.

 

There are a variety of small but nice improvements to the non-Metro areas of the system, like the explorer dialogs or the task manager. These are welcome improvements but they are by no means life changing. tstrimple's list of Win8 improvements is mostly bullshit, of course. Storage spaces is nice but it's not "smart" anything, it's just software raid. We've had that. Hyper-V's been around for several years. Several of the other entries are things that have been advertised repeatedly with every iteration of Windows. (And including secure boot on the list is comical.)

 

Completely agreed on the first point. Unless I'm on my tablet, I almost never use a Metro app. There are, however, some significant differences between software raid and storage spaces, and each has it's uses. Storage spaces promise to be much easier to setup and manage, as well as easier to expand in the future. I haven't compared, but I'm sure RAID is going to be faster at the cost of a more complicated and rigid setup. Sure hyper-v has been around, but it hasn't been on the consumer version of the operating system.



#56 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1718

Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:10 PM

 

What worries me more than the missing start button or ugly UI is the DRM-BIOS that gets pushed onto people. If you buy a computer it should be your choice whats running on it and not of some company holding the key.

 

All secure boot does is require a signed binary to boot. There is nothing preventing you from providing your own certificate for whatever binaries you want, or to disable secure boot from bios entirely. This is just more FUD around Microsoft restricting your choices.

 

Except that is not true at all. To begin with, "safe boot" cannot be disabled on the ARM architecture at all according to "Windows Hardware Certification Requirements", unless the motherboard doesn't plan to certify as Windows compatible (very unlikely).

"ARM" includes not only 90% of all mobiles, but also future server/desktops that you maybe want to build when AMD's ARMv8 processors come out next year.

 

Also, the way how UEFI works is different. Refer to chapter 27 of the specification, which is not FUD around Microsoft, but reality.

 

Initially, the computer is in what the specification calls "setup mode", that is, there is no key installed. When the Windows 8 installer secretly, and without user consent, installs its certificate, the computer switches to "user mode".

Installation of another key in "user mode" is exclusively possible if that key has been signed by the installed key. Also, an installed key can only be removed by installing a zero key that must be signed by the installed key.

 

We are talking about a key signed by a key owned by Microsoft, not some arbitrary key from Verisign. An implementation that adheres to the UEFI standard and that is not "broken" is not allowed to do something else. Which means no more and no less than the concerns are very valid.

 

You're conflating two things. Windows 8 tablets running on ARM devices and Windows 8 desktops / laptops / tablets running on x86 processors. All x86 devices are required by Microsoft to have an option in bios to disable secure boot. As you mentioned ARM devices must not have an option to disable the secure boot. This may or may not change when ARM desktop processors come out, but until then it's mostly a non-issue. People who care about this will not buy Windows 8 ARM tablets. 

 

And no, you are incorrect. The signing isn't done by Microsoft and doesn't have to use Microsoft's key. The benefit of using the Microsoft key is it will boot on all devices that run Windows 8. You could always disable secure boot, or change it from standard to custom mode (both of which are required options) and provide your own keys.

 

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/library/windows/hardware/jj128256

 

Mandatory. On non-ARM systems, the platform MUST implement the ability for a physically present user to select between two Secure Boot modes in firmware setup: "Custom" and "Standard". Custom Mode allows for more flexibility as specified in the following:
 

  1. It shall be possible for a physically present user to use the Custom Mode firmware setup option to modify the contents of the Secure Boot signature databases and the PK. This may be implemented by simply providing the option to clear all Secure Boot databases (PK, KEK, db, dbx), which puts the system into setup mode.
     
  2. If the user ends up deleting the PK then, upon exiting the Custom Mode firmware setup, the system is operating in Setup Mode with SecureBoot turned off.
     
  3. The firmware setup shall indicate if Secure Boot is turned on, and if it is operated in Standard or Custom Mode. The firmware setup must provide an option to return from Custom to Standard Mode which restores the factory defaults. On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. Only Standard Mode may be enabled.


#57 mhagain   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7943

Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:23 PM

Oh really? http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57431236-92/microsoft-bans-firefox-on-arm-based-windows-mozilla-says/

Now that this UEFI crap got onto computers its only a small step to do the same as on tablets. Just taking away the option to disable it and maybe just not signing other bootloaders and suddenly you cant use alternative OS on PC.

 

Yeah really.  This isn't slashdot; throwing around the phrase "DRM" and expecting everyone to nod sagely and agree isn't going to fly.

 

Secure boot can be disabled.

Far from blocking Firefox, Mozilla are actually joining the party.

Secure boot is not a DRM mechanism.

Secure boot is not a Microsoft technology.

Secure boot is not about blocking applications; it's about verifying integrity of system components during the boot process.

Even Linus is describing the nonsense floating around about it as "fear mongering".

 

You know what this is like?  It's exactly like the FUD that was spread over OpenGL on Vista, that's what it's like.


It appears that the gentleman thought C++ was extremely difficult and he was overjoyed that the machine was absorbing it; he understood that good C++ is difficult but the best C++ is well-nigh unintelligible.


#58 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7167

Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:27 PM

You know what this is like?  It's exactly like the FUD that was spread over OpenGL on Vista, that's what it's like.

Oh man, I had totally forgotten about that incident.



#59 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1718

Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:46 PM

Far from blocking Firefox, Mozilla are actually joining the party.

 

He was referring to ARM versions which I believe are still blocked. 



#60 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4764

Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:18 PM

And no, you are incorrect. [...]

(blah blah)

 

Yes, very nice, some stuff from MSDN, but irrelevant. The UEFI specification does not contain that clause. Unlike the contents on MSDN which changes almost daily, it is the published, official standard that really matters.

 

Who knows what this particular paragraph MSDN is about and what validity it has, but since it contradicts the UEFI specification, it is quite probably deliberate misinformation (you could say "anti-FUD").

 

You're conflating two things. Windows 8 tablets running on ARM devices and Windows 8 desktops / laptops / tablets running on x86 processors.

 

No. I never mentioned x86 in this context. I was talking about desktop ARM.

 

The facts, which are the same no matter how much you try to discuss them away, are: In order to get the little blue "Windows 8" sticker which every manufacturer wants, a computer must comply with Microsoft's compliance document. At least insofar as to make the auditor happy.

 

This document says that on the ARM platform, secure boot may not be disabled. It does not say "ARMv6" or "ARM mobile devices", or "ARM based phones", or "Surface". It says ARM platform, that simple. ARM platform includes desktop computers running on ARM CPUs (present or future). You can discuss about whether that may or may not change in the future, or how it is probably meant (in your opinion), but that does not change the fact that the wording includes any and all ARM platforms.


Edited by samoth, 25 March 2013 - 02:19 PM.





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