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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


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#151
JorgeA

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ClassicShell 3.5 is now out which supports Win8 CP:

In the screenshot you showed a few posts back, the start menu appears to have a Metro-style look (typeface and background). Is it possible in the newest ClassicShell to make it look like the regular Start Menu?

Just trying to limit exposure to Metro ugliness as much as possible!

--JorgeA


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#152
JorgeA

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A "whether you like it or not" type of approach only works when there is one option. :rolleyes:

Well put!

--JorgeA

#153
MagicAndre1981

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In the screenshot you showed a few posts back, the start menu appears to have a Metro-style look (typeface and background). Is it possible in the newest ClassicShell to make it look like the regular Start Menu?


yes, select the "Vista Aero Skin" in the ClassicShell options.
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#154
JorgeA

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In the screenshot you showed a few posts back, the start menu appears to have a Metro-style look (typeface and background). Is it possible in the newest ClassicShell to make it look like the regular Start Menu?


yes, select the "Vista Aero Skin" in the ClassicShell options.

Cool, thanks!

I actually like the way that the Vista/Win7 menu works, whereas ClassicShell is more like the way Windows 98 works. But that's fine, too -- either of them is way better than Metro Start. :puke:

--JorgeA

#155
JorgeA

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M$ definetely going overboard with their "Forced-Obselescene Plan"

Thankfully some people already figured out how to make programs compiled with the latest VC++ work on XP & 2003.

Then again I don't see anyone moving to VS 11 in the near future, much less using the .NET framework 4.5 which brings so little besides incompatibility, the usual price tag and an overly depressing gray theme wtih CAPS.

I just got a chance to read the linked article, and although I'm no expert in these matters I do see where the "forced obsolescence" angle comes in:

There is another new roadblock that Microsoft has put in our way. Previous to VC 11, we could override both the minimum operating system and subsystem version numbers using a linker command line option. However in VC 11, they only allow specification of 6.0 (Vista) as a minimum. That means there is NO way to write the necessary operating and subsystem versions to the built binary without a separate post-build tool.


The workaround sounds pretty imaginative, and I'm glad that people are finding ways not to get railroaded into using OS's they don't want. Thanks for the link.

--JorgeA

#156
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Microsoft is reportedly holding fast to its anti-Start Orb position: http://www.neowin.ne...n-for-windows-8

There were 212 comments already when I loaded the page. If the folks at MS have any marketing sense at all, as the deadline approaches they will suddenly let the Start Orb and Menu come back to life, and many people will be so relieved and delighted that they'll go out and pre-order Windows 8.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 01 April 2012 - 12:08 AM.


#157
CoffeeFiend

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It's not so much the lack of the orb that's a problem for me (I don't really care if it's there or not -- hot corners suck though), it's all the Metro garbage and that atrocious start screen that is. And since there won't be a way to disable that then we'll stay with Win7 for the foreseeable future.

Hopefully Win9 won't be such rubbish. Otherwise it's adiós Windows, and I really mean it. MS neglected a LOT of stuff in the latest versions of Windows, and even made a lot of things quite annoying but overall it was still better than the previous version. Not so this time -- the cons FAR outweigh the very short list of pros.

The next computer I'm buying will be a Mac regardless.
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#158
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#159
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All that I see is one sweaty, desperate, poorly dressed bald guy who thinks he's cool (ala developers, developers, developers which people are still laughing at) who's willing to sacrifice their main product in order to get a small share of the mobile market (something where they've always failed hard). Making Windows suck is all it'll accomplish (and backlash, driving people to other OS'es, etc). He should have been fired years ago. The guy's embarrassing to watch and he's making a lot of bad choices for the company too.
Coffee: \ˈkȯ-fē, ˈkä-\. noun. Heaven in a cup. Life's only treasure. The meaning of life. Kaffee ist wunderbar. C8H10N4O2 FTW.

#160
JorgeA

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All that I see is one sweaty, desperate, poorly dressed bald guy who thinks he's cool (ala developers, developers, developers which people are still laughing at) who's willing to sacrifice their main product in order to get a small share of the mobile market (something where they've always failed hard). Making Windows suck is all it'll accomplish (and backlash, driving people to other OS'es, etc). He should have been fired years ago. The guy's embarrassing to watch and he's making a lot of bad choices for the company too.

+1 on everything you said.

BTW, as a Win98 fan I couldn't help but notice what looks like the Windows 98 logo in the background on that video...

--JorgeA

#161
JorgeA

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tomasz86,

Instead of "Windows, Windows, Windows," shouldn't Ballmer be chanting "tiles, tiles, tiles"?? Because he and Sinofsky are pushing the "window" concept out the, ahh, window -- and dragging people back to 1980s tiles.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 01 April 2012 - 10:51 AM.


#162
CoffeeFiend

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Big, gaudy square tiles, that is :puke:

Either ways, Classic Shell 3.5 makes Win8 an okay OS. There's not much gained over Win7 feature-wise (fancier explorer and task manager mainly). It should be like a $50 upgrade at most IMO (without classic shell and with Metro forced on you then make that less than $0).
Coffee: \ˈkȯ-fē, ˈkä-\. noun. Heaven in a cup. Life's only treasure. The meaning of life. Kaffee ist wunderbar. C8H10N4O2 FTW.

#163
JorgeA

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Either ways, Classic Shell 3.5 makes Win8 an okay OS.

CoffeeFiend,

Using ClassicShell, can you boot straight into the desktop, or do you still have to do that by hand once the system is done loading?

Incidentally, you've said that your alternative to Windows (8) would be the Mac. I heard this today on the Security Now! podcast, and I'm curious to hear what you have to say:

If you want to sell apps in the App Store on the desktop, your apps must be sandboxed. We've talked about this on MacBreak Weekly. I think the iOS-ification of the desktop is where Apple's headed.

(empahsis added)

And, to keep this post on-topic, there's this:

Microsoft's kind of doing the same thing with Windows 8 - making the desktop essentially an iOS

The entire discussion is worth listening to, or reading. There's a number of things that address the needs of developers specifically (such as the loss of program features). Do a search for "sandboxing" on that page, start there and read to the end of it about halfway down the page as indicated by the scrollbar.

What do you think? If Apple continues the trend, does it make the Mac a less viable alternative?

--JorgeA

#164
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Using ClassicShell, can you boot straight into the desktop, or do you still have to do that by hand once the system is done loading?

As-is, it requires you to click on "desktop" once. There might be a way to automate that though. I haven't tried yet.

you've said that your alternative to Windows (8) would be the Mac

I don't know if I'd say "alternative to". But for now it'll sure be "complements Windows" as it can do a good amount of what we need -- or almost everything if you run some Windows-only apps in VMs.

If you want to sell apps in the App Store on the desktop, your apps must be sandboxed.

Yep. Another reason Metro garbage is a non-starter for anything serious, and a part of why we won't develop for it.

I think the iOS-ification of the desktop is where Apple's headed.

Pure speculation. Apple tried to do something that's actually better than Win8's Metro i.e. Launchpad. It was basically "we'll let you run those smartphone-like apps on your desktop" which sounds kinda neat and fun (it's entirely optional! Don't want any of it? No problem, it'll stay out of your way). Not this "we'll force a smartphone UI on your desktop and push real hard for everything to become dinky apps" which is a completely moronic approach. Apple still failed, so I don't think MS' brain-dead approach will work any better. If Apple improves Launchpad it might turn into something half-decent for some users, whereas I don't see Metro ever not sucking real bad for most people.

Microsoft's kind of doing the same thing with Windows 8 - making the desktop essentially an iOS

MS is forcing a touch UI for a smartphone on us, but Apple so far isn't.

There's a number of things that address the needs of developers specifically (such as the loss of program features). Do a search for "sandboxing" on that page, start there and read to the end of it about halfway down the page as indicated by the scrollbar.

Apple is only forcing sanboxing for iOS apps, which is not their "main UI" (just for Launchpad), unlike Windows where the new main UI (Metro) does.

These repeated failures will cost MS some market share. Not everyone will switch but a lot will get tired of it. And with more users on other platforms it will put that much extra pressure to develop cross-platform applications which lets more users to move to other platforms and so on. They're hoping to get some tablets sales but they're slowly forcing people to other platforms.

Edit: Just a fun little observation. Before Win7 went RTM in July, it was already up to like 1% of the market share. Win8 despite having a developer and consumer preview is still sitting at like 0.1%. Win7 had a higher share of the market before the first beta was even out (due to a leak a few days before). Win8 is widely available and yet nobody runs it comparatively. I think that speaks volumes about what people think of it.
Coffee: \ˈkȯ-fē, ˈkä-\. noun. Heaven in a cup. Life's only treasure. The meaning of life. Kaffee ist wunderbar. C8H10N4O2 FTW.

#165
MagicAndre1981

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Using ClassicShell, can you boot straight into the desktop, or do you still have to do that by hand once the system is done loading?


no, this is still not possible. Booting directly to the desktop by skipping the metro-hell is only allowed for Server with Desktop Experience role installed.
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#166
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Using ClassicShell, can you boot straight into the desktop, or do you still have to do that by hand once the system is done loading?


no, this is still not possible. Booting directly to the desktop by skipping the metro-hell is only allowed for Server with Desktop Experience role installed.

MagicAndre,

That's too bad!

But not all is lost: I'm using the method described on this page. The Metro Start Screen still shows up for a few seconds, but then it proceeds to the Desktop without interaction from me.

The method is not perfect -- if I'm at the computer I can actually reach the desktop faster by clicking the Windows key from Metro. But the benefit of this method is that if I am doing something else (getting a snack, shuffling papers) while the machine is booting up, then when I get to the PC I never have to see Metro hell.

--JorgeA

#167
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I think the iOS-ification of the desktop is where Apple's headed.

Pure speculation. Apple tried to do something that's actually better than Win8's Metro i.e. Launchpad. It was basically "we'll let you run those smartphone-like apps on your desktop" which sounds kinda neat and fun (it's entirely optional! Don't want any of it? No problem, it'll stay out of your way). Not this "we'll force a smartphone UI on your desktop and push real hard for everything to become dinky apps" which is a completely moronic approach. Apple still failed, so I don't think MS' brain-dead approach will work any better. If Apple improves Launchpad it might turn into something half-decent for some users, whereas I don't see Metro ever not sucking real bad for most people.

CoffeeFiend,

That's an important distinction. (And I didn't know that Apple's approach failed, too -- I'm not up on their doings.) Thanks for explaining the difference between what Apple and Microsoft are doing. I understand now.

Edit: Just a fun little observation. Before Win7 went RTM in July, it was already up to like 1% of the market share. Win8 despite having a developer and consumer preview is still sitting at like 0.1%. Win7 had a higher share of the market before the first beta was even out (due to a leak a few days before). Win8 is widely available and yet nobody runs it comparatively. I think that speaks volumes about what people think of it.

Wow, it sure does. That's a remarkable statistic.

So, what are the chances are MS will take the hint from this, and finally offer PC (vs. tablet) users a choice of UI to boot into? ;)

--JorgeA

#168
jaclaz

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But not all is lost: I'm using the method described on this page. The Metro Start Screen still shows up for a few seconds, but then it proceeds to the Desktop without interaction from me.

The method is not perfect -- if I'm at the computer I can actually reach the desktop faster by clicking the Windows key from Metro. But the benefit of this method is that if I am doing something else (getting a snack, shuffling papers) while the machine is booting up, then when I get to the PC I never have to see Metro hell.

Traditionally StartMenu:
C:\Users\"YourUserName"\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\ Windows\StartMenu\Programs\StartUp
is loading rather late, maybe (IF the little tool works on 8 :unsure: ) :
http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml
you could experiment with other "start on boot" approaches (really cannot say if anything else may work :ph34r: ).

jaclaz

#169
JorgeA

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Traditionally StartMenu:
C:\Users\"YourUserName"\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\ Windows\StartMenu\Programs\StartUp
is loading rather late, maybe (IF the little tool works on 8 :unsure: ) :
http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml
you could experiment with other "start on boot" approaches (really cannot say if anything else may work :ph34r: ).

jaclaz

jaclaz,

Thanks for the idea. I visited their website and looked around, but their program doesn't seem to provide the ability to prioritize or change the order in which stuff loads during startup. I'm guessing that I would need something that would let me tell Win8 to load the Desktop either first or at least earlier in the sequence.

In any event, the Win8 startup manager (now part of the Task Manager) doesn't show anything related to loading the Desktop, or to the trick that I described. Or at least, I'm not expert enough to know if it does. (Curiously, the startup list in good old Spybot Search & Destroy does show that Desktop shortcut -- so one could argue that Spybot is superior to Windows 8 in this regard! Unfortunately, though, Spybot doesn't offer a choice to delay or re-order the startup items, only to disable or remove them.)

If I get the chance to, I'll see if there are any other freeware startup managers out there that offer the function I'm looking for. A couple of years ago I tried one that was available for Windows 98, but the startup process ended up actually worse than before I applied it.

--JorgeA

#170
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Just had to post this. I happened to glance at the number of current visitors to this thread -- never seen that many before!

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#171
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Another early warning to Microsoft.

Item 1 is "default to Desktop," and item 5 is to "bring back the Start Menu."

Cooler heads seem to be prevailing (at least among the tech media and public), even if not (yet) inside MS.

--JorgeA

#172
CoffeeFiend

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and finally offer PC (vs. tablet) users a choice of UI to boot into? ;)

None of course. If they don't force this Metro garbage on everyone then absolutely nobody will use it. That would reduce their chances of their tablets not flopping from 1% down to a solid 0% and they're not about to abandon their dreams of actually being able to compete in the mobile device market (despite failing hard at it for years, with no change to that trend in sight).

Yes, then we'd have a fine OS which everyone would love, regardless of what kind of device it would be used on, which would do the job beautifully. But MS doesn't seemingly care about that, all they want is to cram down that Metro down your throat. It feels like we're being respected by MS about as much as a $20 hooker is.

Another early warning to Microsoft.

What impresses me is all the long timers who have been following all the changes MS made for 2 decades (from MS-DOS to Win7), always staying cutting edge, following the the trends, complete fanboys and developers who don't like it. This guy is even a Microsoft MVP (and security specialist, book author, etc). It feels like basically nobody with knowledge and experience actually likes it (besides MS employees who are pretty much forced to).

Metro on a desktop makes about as much sense as it would being forced to use a mouse to do anything on my phone. And the desktop being an app is just like having to start the dialer app on your phone so you can make a call. None of it makes any sense.

The release candidate is supposed to be out next month, and unless there's some major changes done I won't even bother downloading it.

Meanwhile, MS is ignoring the massive amount of complaints from tons of people on virtually every website, censoring the comments on their own blog to filter out negative stuff, and I'm pretty much expecting them to have sent a cease & desist order to the guy who had the fixingwindows8 site (it's definitely not a technical issue -- even his twitter is gone) to silence him as well. The wayback machine (archive.org) did seemingly have a mirror of it at but it's gone as well i.e. manually purged (something they don't typically do, unless a lawyer sends them a threatening letter or something). I've seen one MS contractor who voiced his opinion about Win8, and as he said "they told me what my opinion was" i.e. "you'll like it or you'll find yourself another job" basically.

Yep. MS doesn't care about you or what you want or need. They expect you to take it like a a good little b****.
Coffee: \ˈkȯ-fē, ˈkä-\. noun. Heaven in a cup. Life's only treasure. The meaning of life. Kaffee ist wunderbar. C8H10N4O2 FTW.

#173
JorgeA

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Meanwhile, MS is ignoring the massive amount of complaints from tons of people on virtually every website, censoring the comments on their own blog to filter out negative stuff, and I'm pretty much expecting them to have sent a cease & desist order to the guy who had the fixingwindows8 site (it's definitely not a technical issue -- even his twitter is gone) to silence him as well.

CoffeeFiend,

That would be disturbing. Let's hope it's because they dangled a bunch of $$$ in front of him, rather than due to threats of any kind.

Still, the trickle of criticism is turning into a flood, and as we've seen even major publications like PCWorld are pointing out the problems with Windows 8, so it's not like they're going to be able to keep the lid on.

Historically, there's been a jump (as far as I can tell) in the price of Microsoft stock every time MS has released a new version of Windows -- even Vista. I'm starting to wonder if Win8 will break that pattern.

--JorgeA

#174
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Either ways, Classic Shell 3.5 makes Win8 an okay OS.

CoffeeFiend,

Using ClassicShell, can you boot straight into the desktop, or do you still have to do that by hand once the system is done loading?

Incidentally, you've said that your alternative to Windows (8) would be the Mac. I heard this today on the Security Now! podcast, and I'm curious to hear what you have to say:

If you want to sell apps in the App Store on the desktop, your apps must be sandboxed. We've talked about this on MacBreak Weekly. I think the iOS-ification of the desktop is where Apple's headed.

(empahsis added)

And, to keep this post on-topic, there's this:

Microsoft's kind of doing the same thing with Windows 8 - making the desktop essentially an iOS

The entire discussion is worth listening to, or reading. There's a number of things that address the needs of developers specifically (such as the loss of program features). Do a search for "sandboxing" on that page, start there and read to the end of it about halfway down the page as indicated by the scrollbar.

What do you think? If Apple continues the trend, does it make the Mac a less viable alternative?

--JorgeA




Methods that work to bypass or disable Metro UI in Windows 8 Developer Preview
do not work in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Also, methods based on using the
Task Manager and methods that are based on a showdesktop.scf don't work either.

However, I discovered that overriding the default registry value:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"Shell"=explorer.exe

with

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"Shell"="explorer.exe /select,explorer.exe"

does in fact automatically skip past Metro UI (under most circumstances).

One can also do this override on a per-user basis with:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"Shell"="explorer.exe /select,explorer.exe"

In this latter case, you could dip your toe in the water by creating a new
login Id to experiment on before applying the change system-wide with the first
case.

Note that in either case, after one logs on, it takes a couple of seconds for
the desktop background to appear after the initial root folder for the user appears.
Also, note that this method leaves a vestigial explorer.exe process that remains
in the background until a logoff occurs.

I also made two .reg files, one for the HKLM change and one for the HKCU change, which
can be used to apply the desired change. These are in a zipped folder that can be
downloaded from:

http://www.reliancep...topRegFiles.zip

(Needless to say, if you decide to give this a try, be careful, do a system restore point,
and be prepared to enter Safe Mode [if you can figure out how], or understand how to bring
up the Task Manager with Ctrl-Alt-Del and start regedit.exe with Administrative privileges
if you happen to get in real trouble.)

I also recommend that you disable the hateful lock screen via gpedit.msc by going to:

Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuratoin -> Administrative Templates -> Control Panel ->
Personalization -> "Do not display the lock screen" and setting that to "Enabled".

Update:

Classic Shell 3.5 breaks the above Metro Bypass reg hacks. I disabled the new Classic Shell
start service and modified the regisgtry hacks as follows:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"Shell"="explorer.exe /select,explorer.exe,\"%ProgramFiles%\\Classic Shell\\ClassicStartMenu.exe\""

or

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
"Shell"="explorer.exe /select,explorer.exe,\"%ProgramFiles%\\Classic Shell\\ClassicStartMenu.exe\""

which will bypass Metro UI and start Classic Shell.

BTW, these versions are not the ones in the downloaded .reg files, though you can copy
and paste one of them into your own .reg file with a header line of

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

and the second line being a blank line.

#175
GrofLuigi

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What impresses me is all the long timers who have been following all the changes MS made for 2 decades (from MS-DOS to Win7), always staying cutting edge, following the the trends, complete fanboys and developers who don't like it.

It's a good thing that people who defended things like hectic start menu (it's just a search away), mandatory driver signing (it's vendors' fault that make buggy drivers), bloat (WinSxS folder too big? What's the problem, hdd space is cheap), the ribbon (you should get on with the times), forced obsolence (VS doesn't compile for older OS? You should "upgrade"), mandatory activation (it's their OS, not yours, you've just been granted a licence to use it) etc. etc. can now taste what it felt like for us all along. :whistle:

Not directed towards you, CF, just hoping all these people would see how nonsensical these arguments were.


GL




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