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Microsoft GUI Windows Technology

Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button 857

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-to-watch-it-die dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft claims it took the controversial decision to remove the Start button from the traditional Windows desktop because people had stopped using it. The lack of a Start button on the Windows 8 desktop has been one of the most divisive elements of the new user interface, and was widely assumed to have made way for the Metro Start screen. However, Chaitanya Sareen, principal program manager at Microsoft, said the telemetry gathered from Windows 7 convinced Microsoft to radically overhaul the Start menu because people were using the taskbar instead. 'When we evolved the taskbar we saw awesome adoption of pinning [applications] on the taskbar,' said Sareen. 'We are seeing people pin like crazy. And so we saw the Start menu usage dramatically dropping, and that gave us an option. We're saying "look, Start menu usage is dropping, what can we do about it? What can we do with the Start menu to revive it, to give it some new identity, give it some new power?"'"
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Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button

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  • stopped using it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:42PM (#40481527) Homepage Journal

    Who the hell is their focus group? I've not met a single person who doesn't use the start button.

    • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:43PM (#40481571)

      Mod up the parent... I completely concur. Yes I pinned as well, but I did use the start menu to navigate the positions. But hey why do I matter and care. I shifted all of my machines to OSX, and Linux Ubuntu...

      • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:45PM (#40481609)

        I use the start button about once every 5 minutes. Since my desktop is completely-clean of any icons, the start button is the only method I have to open new programs. Microsoft is probably lying through their teeth about "people don't use it".

        • Re:stopped using it? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:09PM (#40482279)

          I find myself using the Search function in the Start menu more. Just type the first few letters of the program I want to open and BAM motherfuckers! It starts.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cayenne8 (626475)
          I'd never heard of 'pinning' something to the task bar before this article....??
        • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:10PM (#40482307) Homepage Journal
          You clearly weren't part of the focus group. I'm sure the focus group was also full of the kind of people who maximize every window, no matter what it is and have their desktop absolutely full of icons.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by arkane1234 (457605)

            Well, Maximizing every window isn't even a noob thing.. not a part of the whole stereotype.

            In fact, I know lots of people including myself that do it to use the screen real estate. Alt-tab (or apple-tab) or switching screens is pretty simple.
            Yes, I switch screens on my work Windows desktop. I was tired of being constrained to one screen, so I downloaded an open source app named VirtuaWin to have easily switchable virtual desktops.

          • Re:stopped using it? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by danomac (1032160) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:41PM (#40483171)

            Absolutely correct.

            I support 120+ users. One thing I've noticed during our Windows 7 migration is that our staff do not use the start menu at all. The server places shortcuts for six or seven common use tools on users' desktops, and are shown how to pin apps to the taskbar.

            The result I've noticed is that users have pinned office and internet apps used frequently to the taskbar, and use the icons on the desktop like they always have. I'd say about 5 users have seen the usefulness of the search feature on the Start menu. The other 115 don't use it.

            The only time I've seen staff use the Start button here is to log off when they're done with the machine. If there was a button on the taskbar to do that, they'd never use the Start menu at all!

            • Re:stopped using it? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Solandri (704621) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @04:39PM (#40485437)
              This whole thing reminds me of fashion - what's in is out, what's old is new. Way back when Windows 95 introduced the Start button, I saw the same arguments in reverse. In Windows 3.1, we did the equivalent of pinning by putting the app's launch icon on the desktop or in a folder. There was a huge controversy when the Start button was introduced, about how it was better, easier for people to find stuff, etc. Now we're getting comments about how pinning is better, easier for people to find stuff, etc.

              I worry that, like fashion, it's just change for the sake of change. UI elements should be made visible (or made available as options) or hidden based on functionality. e.g.

              The only time I've seen staff use the Start button here is to log off when they're done with the machine. If there was a button on the taskbar to do that, they'd never use the Start menu at all!

              No, you want the log off command buried in a secondary menu, not available on the regular desktop. Otherwise you'll get mad users complaining about how they were working on something important, accidentally clicked log off, and the computer dutifully shut down all their apps (before they could save) and kicked them off the system.

              Some things you want hidden under multiple clicks, some things you want available as a single click. But if you have too many of the single-click things, the desktop can get cluttered and messy to navigate. It's all a balancing act.

            • Re:stopped using it? (Score:4, Informative)

              by dissy (172727) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @04:45PM (#40485541)

              The only time I've seen staff use the Start button here is to log off when they're done with the machine. If there was a button on the taskbar to do that, they'd never use the Start menu at all!

              In case you actually wanted to provide that, it's pretty easy to do.

              Create a shortcut, and make the target:
              C:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe -L

              Then you can change it's icon to a custom one, or just browse to \windows\system32\shell32.dll and pick the normal icon out of there.

              The -L flag is log off. You also have -r to reboot and -s to shutdown.

              Similarly, you can make a "lock terminal" icon too.
              Create a shortcut and make the target:
              C:\windows\system32\rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation

              Ironically, the last one there is very useful on application servers if you have any programs that run as servers but are not a real service.
              I have one server scripted to auto login as administrator, and then a few shortcuts in the program menus "startup" folder, prefixed with numbers to provide an order.
              The very last icon in the startup folder is named "9999-Lock" which is the above shortcut.

              On boot up, the server auto logs in, runs the crap software, and locks the terminal. This all happens in a few seconds, so anyone local at the console would not have any chance to do much before it locked on them. You still need the password to unlock just the same as login, so its pretty secure if your servers are locked away in a server room.

        • When on XP I used this the most A better start menu with Quick Launch [johnbokma.com].

          Besides Windows key + R.

          But yeah, MS must be lying through their teeth because you use the start button about once every 5 minutes... Can't even imagine why people would do such a thing unless they get paid for doing so.

          • So far as I can tell, we're having a 'Pharaoh tells the tide not to come in' situation here -> MS believes that because they are the most popular desktop / laptop OS, they can actually decide what the end-user will like; as opposed to the reality, which is that the end-user likes what MS has put out (on average), which is why they are the most popular desktop / laptop OS.

            You see this kind of thing everywhere, like when an actor's / actresses's ego goes to their head (good roles help them become famous, t

        • by Gerzel (240421)

          Probably not.

          They probably took data from a large sample set without differentiating different types of users or types of use.

          I'd bet that common behavior is for a user to pin the top five or six most used programs to the taskbar and then use them nearly every day w/o using the start menu that much on a regular basis. Thus automated measures would show what MS is claiming. However they only looked at what people where doing and at the numbers of how many times they were doing things not at why or how they

      • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:55PM (#40481929)

        Insightful comment from the FA. They are surveying the novice users not power users, hence they produced a Win8 interface for novices, not us:

        Flawed, like most surveys
        "Weâ(TM)d seen the trend in Windows 7," referring to the telemetry gathered by the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program." ----- Well there we have it, all but the most basic users opt out of the intrusive MCEIP - so they are surveying people who don't even know what the Start Button is for - I kid you not. As a computer tech I see it all the time.

        • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:31PM (#40482905) Homepage

          I don't think they've thought this cunning plan all the way through.

          To "pin" something you need to have access to it in the first place. Guess where most of the things you can "pin" are stored? Yup - the start menu.

          The only way pinning can work well is if they reinvent the start menu, but disguise it as something else.

        • by sorak (246725) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @04:16PM (#40485083)

          Insightful comment from the FA. They are surveying the novice users not power users, hence they produced a Win8 interface for novices, not us:

          Windows: Made for people who don't know what the hell they're doing, by people who don't know what the hell they're doing.

    • by Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:45PM (#40481637)
      Relax, it's the old "The focus group made me do it defense", probably to be followed with "I was just doing my job", and then finally "I didn't know OKAY?!!?!!?!?! I DIDN'T KNOW!!!!"
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:46PM (#40481643)

      The same idiots who like the ribbon.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I actually love the ribbon. It makes complex features more accessible and provides a superior visual organization of features.

        • No, but its ok that you think that.
        • by space_jake (687452) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:19PM (#40482591)
          I spend more time using the ribbon than the old menus! That's good... right?
          • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:33PM (#40482959)

            I spend more time using the ribbon than the old menus! That's good... right?

            Yes; you have to remember that, the thing which makes Facebook superior to Google is that people go to Google, find an answer, achieve something and then go away satisfied. With Facebook they spend much longer on each page searching for something of value. In future the Ribbon will allow adverts to be mixed in between the indestinguishable wierd icons ensuring that the users click on them by accident whilst desperately searching for a function which they can't work out the proper location or representation of.

            This; is the true future of Office365 (which will soon become the one true office as companies attempt to monetize their under-deployed personnel).

        • by alva_edison (630431) <ThAlEdison.gmail@com> on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:22PM (#40482633)

          I actually love the ribbon. It makes complex features more accessible and provides a superior visual organization of features.

          Assuming you already know where things are. If you are trying to do something new, you have the added step of trying to figure out what icon represents the task. Also somethings can be only done from the dialog boxes (accessed by clicking the lower right corner of individual panels inside the ribbon). Finally there is the Quick Access Toolbar, which mostly has things that didn't go onto the ribbon. It's placement on the title bar is annoying because by default I'm not going to be looking there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You know the little box you can tick that says "Send anonymous usage data to Microsoft"? It's that data. Not a focus group, but telemetry data from actual windows installs.

      • by Chas (5144) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:51PM (#40481797) Homepage Journal

        You know the little box you can tick that says "Send anonymous usage data to Microsoft"? It's that data. Not a focus group, but telemetry data from actual windows installs.

        Oh. The thing everyone and their brother is told to NEVER check!

        No wonder they got such asinine and utterly useless feedback. Because the only people giving them feedback were morons.

        • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:56PM (#40481947)
          Right, because Microsoft hires exactly 0 competent people who know what a representative sample is. I'm sure they have dozens of different methods to collect this data, one of which is the automated usage data built within Windows. I know in one blog post they addressed concerns that corporate users don't have this on, and therefore were not represented in the sample. Microsoft responded that they have other methods for collecting data from corporate users.
        • by Cl1mh4224rd (265427) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:43PM (#40483215)

          You know the little box you can tick that says "Send anonymous usage data to Microsoft"? It's that data. Not a focus group, but telemetry data from actual windows installs.

          Oh. The thing everyone and their brother is told to NEVER check!

          No wonder they got such asinine and utterly useless feedback. Because the only people giving them feedback were morons.

          What's all this hate about? The angriest people seem to be the ones who consciously refused to provide any meaningful feedback. They then spit venom when decisions are made without the input they refused to give. And on a product they're not even being forced to use.

          Holy shit, people...

        • by Green Salad (705185) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:44PM (#40483275) Homepage

          Dear Valued Customer,
                  On-Star telemetry shows you rarely use your turn signals when changing lanes and we're striving to "do something about it." We've also noticed you use your audio system menu controls frequently. Because of the audio controls' popularity in our usage statistics from participating customers, future models will eliminate the turn signal stalk in favor of a user-configurable option, allowing you to scroll a tiny screen and search through audio options while making lane changes. Note that you can now change the audio feedback from the traditional clicking relay sound of a turn signal to one of several pre-loaded "ringtones" just like your cell phone. Furthermore, for an additional fee, Microsoft now offers a "plus" package with many more audio themes for your turn-signal.

          Thank you for participating in our telemetry feedback programs as we strive to constantly improve our products!

    • by EdZ (755139) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:48PM (#40481717)
      I never use it. Being the owner of a keyboard, I simply press the perfectly good button on that.

      Besides, the start button is still there, it's simply hidden under a hot corner. Move your mouse to the same place you would normally, and click as normally, and you still still perform the same action as in older versions of windows. Of course, the menu is replaced with the start screen, but that's another matter.
    • by jerpyro (926071) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:49PM (#40481723)

      I agree. I keep the top 5-7 pinned (Browser, Explorer, Winamp, Thunderbird, RDP, Visual Studio, SSMS) and then the rest of the stuff I don't need cluttering up my quicklaunch bar. The next top 10 are in the frequent list of my start menu. The rest I use so rarely that I'm ok hunting for.

      I'd be ok with not having a start menu if there was a heirarchical way to organize the things that you don't use often... kind of like OH WAIT THAT'S THE START BUTTON! :)

    • by redbeardcanada (1052028) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:50PM (#40481777)
      I think for the most common tasks, people avoid the start bar by pinning their main applications (or use an applauncher in XP like Objectdock). The problem is when you need to do something other than the common. I think this will cause major confusion like the Office Ribbon where you know what you want to do, you know how you used to do it, but you can't find where it is anymore...

      The Start menu was at least somewhat intuitive to find buried settings in Control Panel or seldom used programs.
      • The Start menu was at least somewhat intuitive to find buried settings in Control Panel or seldom used programs.

        And how is the new solution not? There is a new applications list for seldomly used programs. Maybe you're confused because the new start menu isn't supposed to just be a place for things you never use. That's kind of what this entire article is about; they're trying to turn it into something that you actually use instead of being a closet for all your old junk that you only look through when you need to find your tennis racket you haven't used in 3 years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Hello, let me introduce myself. I do not use the start button. I access the start menu for two reasons: to access the search function (95% of the time) and to access a little used program (5% of the time, maybe once a month). Otherwise, my complete workflow is pinned to my task bar. I even access explorer from there and from keyboard shortcuts.

      Windows 8 has completely changed that, and I'm thankful. There is a separate, more useful screen for searching and accessing little used apps. Now the start screen
    • Who the hell is their focus group? I've not met a single person who doesn't use the start button.

      Marketing executives that are trying to compete with Apple by appearing hip and trendy, but instead fouling things up so bad they're going to need a backhoe instead of a shovel.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jmerlin (1010641)
      As a former IT professional who's used Windows more than any other OS and who's memorized most of the useful shortcuts and configured his desktop to allow me to get things done really quickly, even I still use the Start menu.

      I have never once ever pinned anything on the task bar (Indeed I remove all the default pins and set it to show text unless the bar is full), because that would require me to click on an icon, and reduce task-bar real-estate for my apps. Horrible trade-off.

      And a direct answer to
    • by Jeng (926980) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:57PM (#40481983)

      It is a misinterpretation of the data.

      People pin the programs they use the most and in that way there is less start menu items being used total, but for infrequently used programs one usually accesses them via the start menu.

      So basically Microsoft is saying that since you use certain programs 90+% of the time you don't need an easy way to access the ones you don't use on a regular basis. That is actually one of my main complaints in regards to using Linux so I think it is funny Microsoft is fucking this up in this way.

      Microsoft could have came to the same conclusion if they were tracking how one uses Windows 95, but instead of it regarding pinning programs in Windows 95 you mainly used desktop items.

    • Re:stopped using it? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by clarkn0va (807617) <apt.get@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:07PM (#40482229) Homepage

      True story: I support a couple hundred staff (small tech school), and by far the most common trouble call after deploying a new computer is "this computer doesn't have Outlook". The correct translation for this, in our case, is "Outlook isn't on my desktop, so it must not be installed".

      How somebody can use a computer every day and not know how to use the start menu is a bit baffling to me. My best guess is that these people simply use a small subset of a computer's functionality, all of which somehow magically made its way to the desktop, quick launch or taskbar, as the case may be. This is the same demographic, by the way, that knows Internet Explorer simply as "The Internet".

      • by OakDragon (885217)
        Exactly - Microsoft puts a few on there, the OEM / vendor quite a few more, then everything they install is " [X] Create icon on my desktop".
    • by BeanThere (28381)

      In Vista and Windows 7, they made the Start menu WORSE -- it doesn't seem to occur to them that this might be another big reason people are using it less. Recall, the old Start menu expanded out broadly with as many of your programs as possible; then they confined it to a tiny more finicky area where firstly it takes longer to appear, and secondly you have to work harder to scroll through the thing looking for your application.

      • by Dwedit (232252)

        I thought the start menu got a lot better when they added the little text box there. Type in a few characters to filter everything out. Makes it more like the Awesomebar in Firefox.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      I guess I'm their focus group.
      My Windows 7 taskbar is stuffed with 100+ icons and takes up half the available screen space.
      The remaining taskbar space only allows me to open a couple of Windows. Luckily, scanning for the right meaningless miniature icon takes up half an hour, so I don't open a lot of Windows.

    • They partially have a point. The programs that I use most often, I pin (and before that, made shortcuts in quicklaunch).

      However, this does NOT mean I want less accessiblity to the programs that I do not use every time I log in to my computer. This is the same crap that the Gnome guys are pulling: Take something that is convenient and try to turn it into the ONLY way a thing can be done. WTF people? Where is the perspective? Why this single track mind thing? It is not MY fault that half of the planet is bare

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:44PM (#40481589)

    I hardly ever use my car's emergency brake; but it had damned well better be there, and I expect it to be in the usual spot, like on the floor next to the shifter or high up on the (older American cars). It doesn't belong on the ceiling.

  • by tazan (652775) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:48PM (#40481705)
    If you actually use your machine there's not near enough room to start everything from the taskbar. It's annoying to have to jump through hoops to get quicklaunch back. I have 35 icons in quicklaunch right now.


    I don't mind windows 8 too much. I don't run any metro apps and so the only real difference I notice with 8 is the start menu is full screen and I have to hit the windows key to get there. They do need some better management tools for it. I somehow ended up with 30 extra tiles and the only way I could figure out how to get rid of them was to do them 1 at a time.


    There is a real problem though if you do accidentally open a metro app. There's no obvious way to close it. I had to google it to find out how. That is completely unintuitive.
  • Why do users pin? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptainLugnuts (2594663) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:50PM (#40481757)
    Users pin apps to the taskbar because the UI for launching apps sucks. Long ago (Win2K) I would make my own folders at the root level in the start menu and group apps in a way that made sense. Win 7 broke my ability to do that without pinning. If Microsoft stopped breaking things that worked well for users they might have more time to 'innovate' actual improvements.
    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      This. The start menu in Win7 is borken compared to everything since Windows 3.

      • I have found that the "start" button + typing the app name (or start of it) is way faster than traversing any menus... so I can totally see how most users (including me) rarely use the start menu.
    • by gregmac (629064)

      The folders could make sense -- it even appears they attempted that at the start, with "Accessories", "Games", and "Startup". But then presumably due to a default setting of an install tool, or perhaps just adopted convention, companies started using their names for the folders. Instead of "Internet" or "Web Browsers", you get "Mozilla". Instead of "Office and Productivity" you get "Microsoft Office".

      The experience on most Linux desktops shows how much better this approach is. You don't need to remember the

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:50PM (#40481767)

    Kinda like the Mac's dock I suppose. Only problem is I have 200+ programs. I can't pin them all to the taskbar; the start menu is still needed. (Also do PEOPLE pin their apps, or was it the annoying install programs doing it automatically? It seems every one of them does it, not me.)

    QUOTE: "Sareen also claims that people are taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts to open applications, instead of resorting to the Start menu." ----- That would be fine if my keyboard was not laying on the floor, because I wasn't using it. We still need a mouse-based method to open our programs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:52PM (#40481829)

    Everyone with a hint of savvy probably turned off the reporting to the 'Consumer Experience' team at Microsoft. The ones who didn't are the morons who have 3000 icons on their desktops. We've done this to ourselves.

  • Translation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:54PM (#40481905) Homepage Journal

    "People were happy with the Apple menu through Mac OS 9 but now that they're using Mac OS X, they prefer to use the dock, and the Apple menu no longer works as an application launcher. So now we're going to have our users use the dock too. Oops, I mean the start menu and the taskbar! Forget what I said about that fruit company's name and the nautical term."

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:55PM (#40481931) Homepage

    Well, duh. I pin the (relatively) small selection of programs I use regularly. I pin the most common couple to the taskbar, because space there is really limited. The majority of the ones I pin get pinned to the more spacious start menu, or get put as icons on the desktop. The start menu itself, the full one, is for the programs that're installed but that I don't use constantly. I want them accessible because I do use them, just not every day. Take away the start menu and now I have to find somewhere to hold the icons for the hundred-plus programs I need access to that I'm not using every day (or even every month for that matter). So, Microsoft, if you're going to remove the start menu, what are you replacing it with that serves the same purpose? And if you aren't, why should I bother upgrading to something that makes life harder for me until I have software I have to use that absolutely won't run on what I've got working now?

  • by james_van (2241758) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:01PM (#40482081)
    but rarely ever to browse through the "folder structure" in there. i type the name of what i want and hit enter. 9 times out of 10 its faster than clicking through the folders. for programs i use regularly i have object dock (an identical dock on each screen) as a quicklaunch. i never liked the way things looked pinned to the taskbar and the windows quicklaunch bar just seemed ugly to me. any suggestions on something that i can replace the start menu search with so that when im forced (kicking and screaming, clutching 7 for dear life) into using 8 ill be able to keep my workflow the same? or maybe ill just use a shell replacement..... any suggestions there?
  • by BenJeremy (181303) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:02PM (#40482093)

    ...by my focus group, those drivers I observe leaving parking lots or changing lanes.

    Let's get rid of them for ALL drivers!

    Microsoft R&D has gone full retard. Seldom-used feature does not equate to NEVER used feature, nor does it equate to NOT NEEDED feature.

    • by BenJeremy (181303)

      I feel I should add to this with something more substantive - Windows 7 and Vista "removed" the QukcStart bar; it still exists, but you have to use some magic incantations to get it back. I use that for 80% of my "most used apps" - 20% of my most used apps are pinned. The remainder are easily accessible through my Start Menu, organized into program groups. Of COURSE I rarely use my Start Menu, but the fact remains that I DO USE IT.

      Likewise, I don't keep all of my summer and winter clothes scattered across m

  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:14PM (#40482469) Homepage Journal

    Among other things, I use it when I shutdown at the end of the day.

  • Why pinning sucks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gumpish (682245) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:16PM (#40482517) Journal

    With quicklaunch items the icons stay in the same position until you make a change. This allows you to quickly find the icon since you know exactly where it will be.

    When something is pinned to the taskbar, if it isn't the first icon and you have a variable number of intervening programs running, each of which has a variable number of windows open, then the icon could be anywhere and you have to look for it.

    Then again, this analysis is premised on having the taskbar configured to show a button for each window that's open... because I'm not an asshole that has 50 windows open at a time AND I like being able to access a particular window without having a magical mystery list pop up...

    Ugh... I'm just glad I know enough about computers to use an operating system where I have real meaningful choices when it comes to my desktop environment.

    Grandma using Windows 8 for the first time [youtube.com]

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:28PM (#40482797) Journal
    People launched apps from start button once, and once it is launched they pin it to the task bar. The telemetry data captured launches from start button 1, launches from pinned task bar item N. So start button lost the battle N to 1. So it should be removed.

    I think it is a great idea and we should use it in other situations too. Like the dinner table. The pasta spoon was used 4 times to serve pasta from the bowl to your plate. But the dinner fork was dipped into the plate 104 times. Pasta lost it 26 to 1. Let us eliminate pasta spoon from the table to improve efficiency.

    The function int main(int argc, char **argv) was called just once. But the function int getc() was called 2.5 billion times. So to improve efficiency let us remove the main() program.

  • by Peter Simpson (112887) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:32PM (#40482921)
    Yes, I pin most of my commonly used apps to the quick launch bar. BUT -- those are not the only apps I use. Only the ones I use most frequently go on the quick launch bar. The rest, and there are many of them, need to be accessed somehow, and the START button is a very convenient way to get to them.

    You know what would be great? If you designed your UI so that we had a CHOICE about whether to adopt your latest "great idea", or just keep using the system we've grown used to. You know...the way we're most productive?
  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:43PM (#40483223)

    "When we evolved the taskbar we saw awesome adoption of pinning [applications] on the taskbar.

    Windows 7 is the first MS OS I like for this exact reason. Too bad it took 10 years to copy OS X.

  • by Eldragon (163969) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:50PM (#40483417)

    Try using Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine. Moving the mouse into the lower left corner is impossible when doing so moves the mouse out of the vm window. Added bonus: My keyboard lacks a Windows Button.

    Lets just say it's more than a minor annoyance.

  • by stevegee58 (1179505) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:51PM (#40483443) Journal
    First they took away the Reset button my my PC. Now this. When will it every end?
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @03:00PM (#40483633)

    Instead of making it a canvas for your cute puppy pics, it should be a giant frequency display. If 95% of my time is spend on Visual Studio or the browser, shouldn't there be proportionally-sized startup icons for those apps. Shouldn't utility information like time, date, calendar, and performance metrics be front-and-center?

    Instead, when I start up my machine I'm staring at a bunch of tiny icons and a background I see for split seconds at a time since I'm going to be hopping straight into an app anyway.

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