Some of the programs that I use are programs that do not get "installed" in Windows. They don't appear in the Start Menu/All Programs or have icons anywhere on the taskbar. Instead, they sit quietly in their directories until I navigate to them and double-click on the .exe file.
jaclaz (and @CoffeeFiend),
Thanks for the links, but I am not sure that I got my question across clearly.
It's nice to know that these application launchers exist, but all of them (except for aSuite) involved installing the launcher program. The question is: If and when the Desktop is completely eliminated, then how are we going to be able to open and use programs that DON'T have an installation procedure?
Case in point is aSuite. It was the only one that, when I clicked on it, simply opened ready to go without needing any further processing (installation). From the Metro screen, I could type the program name and click on the .exe file. But nothing seemed to happen -- I was switched to the Desktop and nothing looked different. Eventually I found aSuite as a hidden icon in the notification area, and was able to launch it. But, because it's not an "installed" program, it does not appear at all in the Metro listing (no tile, no item under "Apps").
So, if (when) there is no longer a Desktop, as Microsoft seems to be aiming for, then how is a program like this going to survive? The poor guy who wrote the program is going to have to start complying with whatever requirements Microsoft makes, in order to gain the permission necessary to get listed in their "app store."
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More notes on the Windows 8 experience:
To get a taste of working without the Desktop, I carried out the entire program lookup+download process via the Metro IE10. It was befuddling. Clicking on your links, I was taken to the correct page, but there was no indication whether this was a new tab or a separate instance of IE. Therefore, when the download was finished and I wanted to return to the MSFN page to click on the next link, clicking on the "back" arrow in IE took me only as far as the linked page (sometimes it was necessary to click through a couple of additional pages to get to the actual download page) -- but not to the MSFN page where I'd started from. It took a right-click to discover that ALL of the Web pages I'd been on were still open, listed, or whatever.
In the Desktop IE10, as in previous IE versions, you know exactly
where you stand and what you need to do to get back to where you had been (the Back arrow? a different IE window?), but in Metro IE10 everything is blended together and you have to look through a bunch of icons that can look very much alike.
Moreover, when downloading, there is NO indication of where the file is being downloaded to, let alone a choice as to where you prefer to download it.
If they ever do get rid of the Desktop, this is going to be a nightmare.
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Finally, with respect to a "not-installed" program like aSuite that doesn't show up on the app list, typing "aSuite" on the Metro screen leads to a listing of 106 associated files
that you then have to pick through to find the .exe file. And if the program should happen to include more than one .exe, you may have to grope your way around till you hit on the right (main) one.
In the Desktop, once you find that correct .exe file in Explorer, you can easily place a shortcut on the Desktop. Remember, we're talking about programs that do not go through an "installation" process. Is there a way to create a tile in Metro for a program that hasn't been installed? I haven't found one.
Edited by JorgeA, 07 February 2012 - 10:46 PM.