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Steve Ballmer leaves Microsoft

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Now, I'm not going to try and convince people that Win8 is 'the best OS evah!' but personally I've been using it since launch and the OS itself IS better than Win7 (look into some of the Kernel level improvements if you don't believe me) and at the desk top some things are nicer (I prefer the solid colours to Win7's glass; the task manager is noticeably better; the OS is noticeably snappier) and that's why I find statements like "mouse is being sabotaged" moronic as mouse input works just as before... hell, with the exception of the missing start button (which, yes, I have replaced with Start8 which grants me the net effect of pretty much never seeing the Metro UI) the desktop is just the same as before.

 

Don't you think the fact that you have installed software to avoid using the new UI is in itself telling? 

 

Can you imagine someone saying almost 20 years ago "yeah, I like windows 95, but then I mostly just run a command prompt full screen anyway"? 

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Maybe this has changed in the last 5+ years since I last had a Linux box spun up but right now my time is limited and so in the battle of 'closed vs open' closed wins as long as it lets me get-shit-done and provides, what is in my opinion, a good user experience.

There's a GUI for most things (only the most esoteric stuff can't be done through GUI), 

Unless you use LXDE or something :D

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Don't you think the fact that you have installed software to avoid using the new UI is in itself telling? 
 
Can you imagine someone saying almost 20 years ago "yeah, I like windows 95, but then I mostly just run a command prompt full screen anyway"?


I dunno. There's a lot of good performance improvements even without using that half of the UI.

It is really funny reading old 95/98 vs XP threads because they sound exactly the same as Windows 7/XP vs Windows 8 threads.
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Don't you think the fact that you have installed software to avoid using the new UI is in itself telling? 

 

Can you imagine someone saying almost 20 years ago "yeah, I like windows 95, but then I mostly just run a command prompt full screen anyway"? 

 

 

Not really. People generally don't like change. It doesn't matter if the new start screen is better or worse than the classic start menu, it's different enough that people don't want to deal with it. I use Windows 8 exactly like I uses Windows 7 and even Windows Vista (and almost exactly like I use OS X). If I want to run an application that isn't pinned to the taskbar I press the Windows key and type part of the application name. This is far superior to trying to navigate through some hierarchical menu to find the application you want to run. The missing "button" is also a complete non-issue. Throw the cursor down to the bottom left of the screen and click, the menu appears. All that was removed was the visual cue. The most annoying thing for me was that it booted into the start screen by default, but that's not much of an issue considering how rarely I actually reboot.

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Don't you think the fact that you have installed software to avoid using the new UI is in itself telling? 
 
Can you imagine someone saying almost 20 years ago "yeah, I like windows 95, but then I mostly just run a command prompt full screen anyway"?

 
Not really. People generally don't like change. It doesn't matter if the new start screen is better or worse than the classic start menu, it's different enough that people don't want to deal with it. I use Windows 8 exactly like I uses Windows 7 and even Windows Vista (and almost exactly like I use OS X). If I want to run an application that isn't pinned to the taskbar I press the Windows key and type part of the application name.


Yeah, I mostly fall into the "don't want to deal with it" group on my main PC; in fact I mostly do the 'start+type' app launching too for unpinned things. Something about the icon and menu is "comforting" however and I prefer not to annoy my crazy brain ;)

Something I should have included in the post which mentions start8 is that I only do this on my desktop; my laptop is the 'pure' Win8 experience which is requiring some getting use to but for the amount of time I use it in a month is fine. In fact whenever I use it on my laptop I lament the lack of touchscreen input on my laptop as my hands normally rest on the keyboard and it would be so much quicker to poke a tile to launch than navigate the mouse pointer to the app/type the apps name to do so sad.png

As to my using start8 at all, I wouldn't have said it was that bigger deal; it's a minor customisation to get the machine working how I like. Given that on previous versions of windows people have replaced the whole front end shell before now I'd argue a little bit of customisation work isn't a big deal.
(Who knows, depending on how the Win8.1 changes work out I there is a chance I could stop using it completely in the long run...)
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I see your point the fact is a small promotion is not the solution. A 199.99 upgrade is well overpriced given that windows is on a lot of computers around the world.


Yeah, I tend to agree more so if MS are going to push out major updates more often, and this is where the whole 'vote with your wallet' thing would hopefully kick in as MS would have sales numbers to work with; if they see all their upgrades happened in that promotion window then I dare say a bean counter somewhere will work out that running it at that point all the time might be a good idea.

Of course if they continued to do a brisk trade (for upgrades) at the full price then, well, the market apparently says 199.99 ISN'T overpriced.
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I think you are seeing 'pro MS' statements where none exist; people tend to be pro-getting-shit-done which, more often than not, closed source apps do just fine. I know how Windows works, I install things and they 'just work' so I have no need nor desire to step outside of that world because I can get-shit-done.

 

Just a question here. Isn't it boring to be so faithful, never treading outside the "given path"? I mean, as a developer, I'm naturally curious and like exploring new things. Sure, it's necessary to Get Things Done, but isn't it also great to learn new ways of Getting It Done? At least it's tons of fun!

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Just a question here. Isn't it boring to be so faithful, never treading outside the "given path"? I mean, as a developer, I'm naturally curious and like exploring new things. Sure, it's necessary to Get Things Done, but isn't it also great to learn new ways of Getting It Done? At least it's tons of fun!


The problem with your question (ignoring the slight dig in the phrase 'given path') is that you have a bias in there already; you assume that because someone sticks to one OS they are not constantly looking for new ways to do things or indeed learning those new ways. (In fact at work I'm one of the few people who TRY to push new things for solving problems instead getting shot down for 'tried and tested methods' even if they are sub-optimal.)

Speaking personally I'm constantly learning new things, be it languages, programming techniques or algorithms; none of these however require a change in my OS to use effectively - if they did then I'd change OS to use them effectively. However for the things I'm interested in and the tools I want to use Windows and the tools it provides suit me just fine.
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Maybe this has changed in the last 5+ years since I last had a Linux box spun up but right now my time is limited and so in the battle of 'closed vs open' closed wins as long as it lets me get-shit-done and provides, what is in my opinion, a good user experience.

There's a GUI for most things (only the most esoteric stuff can't be done through GUI), the problem is that nobody is going to help you if you ever decide to go that route. Everybody insists on giving out complex stuff to type on the terminal (of course without explaining at all). The end result is that everybody thinks you have to use the terminal and type entire paragraphs worth of commands to do even the simplest of the tasks.

 

 

The "complex" commandline stuff is easier than the GUI when you don't know how the users system is configured, If you're using an english verison of Windows then its usually a non issue but for pretty much everyone else it can really be a pain in the ass when Windows users insist on trying to describe a GUI way of doing things instead of just giving you a command to copy&paste.

Edited by SimonForsman
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The problem with your question (ignoring the slight dig in the phrase 'given path') is that you have a bias in there already; you assume that because someone sticks to one OS they are not constantly looking for new ways to do things or indeed learning those new ways. (In fact at work I'm one of the few people who TRY to push new things for solving problems instead getting shot down for 'tried and tested methods' even if they are sub-optimal.)

Speaking personally I'm constantly learning new things, be it languages, programming techniques or algorithms; none of these however require a change in my OS to use effectively - if they did then I'd change OS to use them effectively. However for the things I'm interested in and the tools I want to use Windows and the tools it provides suit me just fine.

 

 

That's very much true; the OS often doesn't exclude testing new technology. I find it harder to adopt certain cultures though, for example: the .NET culture wouldn't show its best side if I used something other than Windows and Visual Studio. Ditto with iOS/OS X/Xcode. If I just do some Mono stuff in Linux, I wouldn't get that "cool new" feeling that a new way of doing things would bring.

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I see your point the fact is a small promotion is not the solution. A 199.99 upgrade is well overpriced given that windows is on a lot of computers around the world.


Yeah, I tend to agree more so if MS are going to push out major updates more often, and this is where the whole 'vote with your wallet' thing would hopefully kick in as MS would have sales numbers to work with; if they see all their upgrades happened in that promotion window then I dare say a bean counter somewhere will work out that running it at that point all the time might be a good idea.

Of course if they continued to do a brisk trade (for upgrades) at the full price then, well, the market apparently says 199.99 ISN'T overpriced.

 

 

 

Yes you are absolutely 100% correct the market has repeatedly told Microsoft "shut up and take my money". But Microsoft needs to also understand that the entire market has changed rapidly in just the last few years. Smartphone and tablet sales are currently larger than pc and this trend not going to slow down. People are starting to look at computers as nothing more than typewriters. Unless you actually have business on a computer you have no reason to own one anymore. Poor writing I need coffee 

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I see your point the fact is a small promotion is not the solution. A 199.99 upgrade is well overpriced given that windows is on a lot of computers around the world.


Yeah, I tend to agree more so if MS are going to push out major updates more often, and this is where the whole 'vote with your wallet' thing would hopefully kick in as MS would have sales numbers to work with; if they see all their upgrades happened in that promotion window then I dare say a bean counter somewhere will work out that running it at that point all the time might be a good idea.

Of course if they continued to do a brisk trade (for upgrades) at the full price then, well, the market apparently says 199.99 ISN'T overpriced.

 

 

 

Yes you are absolutely 100% correct the market has repeatedly told Microsoft "shut up and take my money". But Microsoft needs to also understand that the entire market has changed rapidly in just the last few years. Smartphone and tablet sales are currently larger than pc and this trend not going to slow down. People are starting to look at computers as nothing more than typewriters. Unless you actually have business on a computer you have no reason to own one anymore. Poor writing I need coffee 

 

unless you want to learn and lead a productive life. At some point in your life you need to move towards creating something that people want, these jobs are the most profitable and secure. Can you learn these things with a consumer focused tablet or phone? Its been said before - people don't know what they want or need, and this is why so many tablets are gathering dust. It scares me that kids are not learning anything from using a tablet, even 3 year olds are using tablets before they can write or spell.

 

I think computers are still relevant in the way a spanner is relevant to fix your taps. Sure, a pc / spanner isn't fun or cool to use but its dammed useful and no amount of consumer electronics is going to change that.

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Ubuntu is far easier for someone who has never used a PC before than windows -- my 61 year old mother had no problem with it at least, she has never really used a computer before and figured out on her own how to use the software center by herself.

 

here we go again.. linux isnt that bad and the "my old nanny uses it just fine argument"... it's the year of the desktop all over again.

I have been reading these for 20 years now.. if I had a dollar for every time nonsense like this was published on the internet I'd be buying Microsoft now.

Edited by kunos
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Ubuntu is far easier for someone who has never used a PC before than windows -- my 61 year old mother had no problem with it at least, she has never really used a computer before and figured out on her own how to use the software center by herself.

 

here we go again.. linux isnt that bad and the "my old nanny uses it just fine argument"... it's the year of the desktop all over again.

I have been reading these for 20 years now.. if I had a dollar for every time nonsense like this was published on the internet I'd be buying Microsoft now.

 

 

how do you think the Windows will last (be used) yet?

5? 50? 15? 

 

my own opinion about win was said:

 

- far from perfect (internally ugly, sluggish shell etc)

- not innovative 

- paid

- not transparent to coders

 

- can be used if get accustomed to it

- many people accustomed to it (including myself)

 

Imo windows will still be used long years (30 or so )but will

be not monopolist, maybe people will get bored with that 

slowly and try the other os news

Edited by fir
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Ubuntu is far easier for someone who has never used a PC before than windows -- my 61 year old mother had no problem with it at least, she has never really used a computer before and figured out on her own how to use the software center by herself.

 

here we go again.. linux isnt that bad and the "my old nanny uses it just fine argument"... it's the year of the desktop all over again.

I have been reading these for 20 years now.. if I had a dollar for every time nonsense like this was published on the internet I'd be buying Microsoft now.

 

 

how do you think the Windows will last (be used) yet?

5? 50? 15? 

 

my own opinion about win was said:

 

- far from perfect (internally ugly, sluggish shell etc)

- not innovative 

- paid

- not transparent to coders

 

- can be used if get accustomed to it

- many people accustomed to it (including myself)

 

 

 

unless Windows either slips up pretty badly, or Linux manages to get a good deal better in many of its weak areas (WRT being a general-purpose end-user OS), or Mac manages to gain lots of market share, ..., potentially semi-indefinitely.

 

people tend to gravitate towards a local optimum though, and for most of us who don't use Linux or similar as their main OS, there are generally reasons.

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And that reason is games! So once Linux based SteamBox gets out in the market... I kid, I kid! :P

 

All I hope is that friggin Embarcadero starts to support Linux some day. Its pretty much the only reason why I have to use a WinXP VM in my Debian netbook. Every now and then I stumble into an application I have to use, so I check it, open source, free download, but "Powered by Delphi" thus useless in my Linux box : /

To the point.

1. I like Linux, I wish it was the main gaming desktop platform (since I do pretty much everything except gaming in a Linux box)

2. This isn't the year of "Linux desktop", Windows won't give up, not in a few years at least. Hell, even Torvalds himself  said that one of his biggest frustrations is that he has seen Linux succeed everywhere except in the platform where it was born. That 90%  MS market share wont vanish unless you see a steady decline through a decade (which means relaunching Windows Me, each year, for 10 years), something we haven't been seeing. For all I know, OSX has bigger chances of "taking over" the market, have in mind that "bigger chances" doesn't mean big chances, they're still slim.

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The real problem is the lack of innovation. Ballmer thought he could just acquire new technologies to move ahead in the marketplace, rather than rally the creative forces at Microsoft and develop a truly new product. Skype, Yammer, Perceptive Pixel, etc. were all acquisitions just to move Microsoft into different markets. I think he figured he could just ride the wave that those companies started and keep growing, much like Microsoft has been doing with Windows and Office for years. Say what you want about Apple and Google, but at least they try somewhat to develop new products, even if they're probably not going to be commercial successes (although Tim Cook seems like he's riding the iPhone/MacBook wave now). 

 

One of the other reasons that Microsoft is not growing is that they don't focus on consumer-based products. Apple is all about consumers, practically to the point where they don't care about developers. They know that for every code monkey out there, there's 10 non-technical consumers who just want to watch funny videos and movies, stream music, check email, post selfies with duck-lips on their FaceBlogs, surf the Web, and buy stuff online. They make their stuff so easy to use my 2-year-old can do it (literally). They have to have high standards for their products because most of their end users will call it crap if it doesn't do everything they want it to do perfectly and quickly (like Apple Maps, IMO). Microsoft marketed themselves as the "enterprise solution" and tailored all their products for corporations. That gave them staying power because companies don't do radical switches to newer, shinier products, but you can't expect huge growth just from that. Products for companies are way different than for consumers, but they took their same marketing mentality to the people and surprise, surprise, they lost.

 

I'm definitely interested to see how Ballmer's successor will try to win back consumer market share.

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That's very much true; the OS often doesn't exclude testing new technology. I find it harder to adopt certain cultures though, for example: the .NET culture wouldn't show its best side if I used something other than Windows and Visual Studio. Ditto with iOS/OS X/Xcode. If I just do some Mono stuff in Linux, I wouldn't get that "cool new" feeling that a new way of doing things would bring.

 

 

I'm typing this on my MacBook Pro. I use this laptop (and OS X) almost exclusively these days. Chrome for OS X handles high DPI screens much better than Chrome for Windows and the trackpad is simply sublime. Most of the hacking I do anymore is Node.JS which I can happily do from any OS. When I do need to work within Visual Studio, I fire up Windows 8.1 in Parallels. This has been how I work for the last year or so. There are many things that OS X does better than Windows, and many things that Windows does better than OS X (and iOS on tablets). 

 

It has been a couple years since I've run a Linux desktop but I doubt things have changed significantly since then. Everything starts off well, things looked usable and in the right place, but overtime the number of minor annoyances keep adding up to an overall unpleasant experience. It's not nearly as polished as OS X or Windows, and that's understandable considering that polishing a product is the most difficult (for a programmer) and time consuming part. Right now I see a Linux desktop being usable for two types of people. Those who just need internet machines with a Firefox shortcut on the desktop, and those capable of tweaking and customizing the environment to their liking. The just get shit done factor on Linux is still pretty low.

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The real problem is the lack of innovation. Ballmer thought he could just acquire new technologies to move ahead in the marketplace, rather than rally the creative forces at Microsoft and develop a truly new product. Skype, Yammer, Perceptive Pixel, etc. were all acquisitions just to move Microsoft into different markets. I think he figured he could just ride the wave that those companies started and keep growing, much like Microsoft has been doing with Windows and Office for years. Say what you want about Apple and Google, but at least they try somewhat to develop new products, even if they're probably not going to be commercial successes (although Tim Cook seems like he's riding the iPhone/MacBook wave now). 

 

One of the other reasons that Microsoft is not growing is that they don't focus on consumer-based products. Apple is all about consumers, practically to the point where they don't care about developers. They know that for every code monkey out there, there's 10 non-technical consumers who just want to watch funny videos and movies, stream music, check email, post selfies with duck-lips on their FaceBlogs, surf the Web, and buy stuff online. They make their stuff so easy to use my 2-year-old can do it (literally). They have to have high standards for their products because most of their end users will call it crap if it doesn't do everything they want it to do perfectly and quickly (like Apple Maps, IMO). Microsoft marketed themselves as the "enterprise solution" and tailored all their products for corporations. That gave them staying power because companies don't do radical switches to newer, shinier products, but you can't expect huge growth just from that. Products for companies are way different than for consumers, but they took their same marketing mentality to the people and surprise, surprise, they lost.

 

I'm definitely interested to see how Ballmer's successor will try to win back consumer market share.

 

Your comments are directly contradicted by Windows Phone and Windows 8. Both are consumer focused and try something different and arguably innovative. I feel better about Microsoft's core products than what they have done with their acquisitions. Skype is not aging well and is downright annoying to use. Yammer is also quite painful and I avoid it at all costs. 

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People are starting to look at computers as nothing more than typewriters.

I can safely tell you this isn't even remotely new and has been the case for decades already. I know that most people who claim to know how to use a computer only know to open Word and type stuff in it and that's it.

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People are starting to look at computers as nothing more than typewriters.

I can safely tell you this isn't even remotely new and has been the case for decades already. I know that most people who claim to know how to use a computer only know to open Word and type stuff in it and that's it.

 

So do I. But that's not really a relevant data point. 

 

Yes, the consumer market is moving away from general purpose computers (i.e. desktops & laptops running windows, linux or OSX), onto simplified devices that do the things they want (music, email, web).

 

But there are still vast swathes of enterprise and productivity people who still want a general purpose computer. Not to mention the "reports of it's death have been greatly exaggerated" pc gaming sector. And here's the thing with those markets... they have money. 

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Microsoft (and certain other companies, like Nintendo) has a serious communication, marketing, and branding issue

 


Microsoft releases some really top-notch software, but a third problem Microsoft has is that they aren't really-truly consumer focused. They make great software focused for people who are producers

 

Hopefully MS will read both of these lines, I 100% agree with both remarks.

 

I personally like Win8, I have no interest or need for store apps made for Apple / Android / Windows, I do however have a huge need for MS Office and Skype when im out of the office. I never did understand smartphone apps and based on what I have seen I cant really see why people are using the quantity argument here, however I have been mobile free for almost 6 years and only just got one last month so I guess that would explain why I see no use in apps and primarily got a phone shockingly just to make / receive calls and check e-mail outside the office.

 

For me I like tools / software that will help me commercially, MS seem to cater for ALL my needs far greater than any competition. I have experimented with a mac over the last year and honestly I have been disappointed greatly. I am not sure if this is simply because productivity was greatly reduced or the arguments presented to me were questionable and / or inaccurate.

 

However saying that I also never got into FB / Twitter / G+ etc and will only consider creating social networking accounts when commercially needed. I think for me Apple failed to cater for my needs in every way possible, even the large audience wasn't a good selling point and more of a risk than anything. I remember when I was a teen, Nokia was the top seller and you were considered a geek / nerd if you used the internet. I understand that people may disagree but I honestly feel Apple will share the same fate as tamagotchi's did back in the 90's just at a slower pace or at least until something newer or more interactive comes out from competitors

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I think you are seeing 'pro MS' statements where none exist; people tend to be pro-getting-shit-done which, more often than not, closed source apps do just fine. I know how Windows works, I install things and they 'just work' so I have no need nor desire to step outside of that world because I can get-shit-done.

 

Just a question here. Isn't it boring to be so faithful, never treading outside the "given path"? I mean, as a developer, I'm naturally curious and like exploring new things. Sure, it's necessary to Get Things Done, but isn't it also great to learn new ways of Getting It Done? At least it's tons of fun!

 

Not if you have deadlines and you are somewhat in a hurry and the things you want to do just to test or try something requires you to do a lot of stuff. and the end game is not that really worth it. its a matter of time invested. Its getting things done easily that matters, and that is why computers where invented in the first place.

 

and oh, not most of the consumers are programmers (you cant just let your mom or sister learn Bash just to install a text editor in Linux right?)

 

--
and with regards to Windows 8 without the start button, its not the button itself that we are complaining but how the programs are organized in metro style.

 my only wish is if they can organize the Metro style menu tiles well(according to their product) just like the traditional windows style, that would be great. Right now, the default settings is if you install a software which contains lots of extra tools/utility software (example a 500 in 1 games or Visual Studio) all of the icons will just be in one level and its messy! 

Edited by cebugdev
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 my only wish is if they can organize the Metro style menu tiles well(according to their product) just like the traditional windows style, that would be great. Right now, the default settings is if you install a software which contains lots of extra tools/utility software (example a 500 in 1 games or Visual Studio) all of the icons will just be in one level and its messy! 

 

 

Expandable icons would be pretty cool. Like icons that hold what would be considerred an app group in the modern UI.

 

What I'd like also would be to be able to switch to a horizontal home screen (scrolls up/down instead of left/right). Or maybe if it could do either depending on where you stick your groups.

 

I only just looked into how to customize that screen more because of this post, and it's definitely something I have totally missed out on. I'll have to customize my stuff more. I should probably also get around to adding that steam->modern UI thingy someone made.

 

edit: pipe dreams and ramblings :p

Edited by way2lazy2care
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 my only wish is if they can organize the Metro style menu tiles well(according to their product) just like the traditional windows style, that would be great. Right now, the default settings is if you install a software which contains lots of extra tools/utility software (example a 500 in 1 games or Visual Studio) all of the icons will just be in one level and its messy! 

 

They recognized this as a problem. In Windows 8.1 it doesn't automatically add tiles to your start screen when you install something. They go into an intelligently grouped alphabetical "All Apps" list.

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