xpclient

Features and options removed in Windows 8

61 posts in this topic

xpclient,

This is a fantastic list, thanks for posting it!!

I was going to suggest your putting it up on Wikipedia, till I saw that you're the author of the corresponding lists for Vista and Win7. :)

There are so many things that bother me about Windows 8, but from the UX standpoint the ribbon concept is one of the most irksome:

● The menu bar and command bar (toolbar) in Windows Explorer have been removed and replaced with the Ribbon interface. Keyboard usability IMHO of the Ribbon is poor because in a menu, the first letter of any menu command or Alt+keyboard combination key is easier to read sequentially as it is placed in a row either horizontally or vertically. Mouse usability of the Ribbon and discoverability of commands is also poor, because unlike in a menu, where you can switch from one menu to another without clicking again, the Ribbon tabs do not activate unless you click again. The File menu also showed context menu commands but the File button on the Ribbon does not show these. Commands in the menu can be static (always available) irrespective of the location you are at in Explorer or they can be dynamic like the File menu. In contrast, commands on the Ribbon are all contextual meaning you have to navigate to a certain location to use that Ribbon command. The Ribbon is not customizable, only the Quick Access Toolbar is customizable but its usability is poor because it uses tiny 16 x 16 icons! (So much for a touch-friendly OS).

I used MS Office 2000 for six years on my Windows 98 tower. The menus were logically organized, and I got to the point where work flowed smoothly from one operation to the next.

Then I got a new computer and Office 2007 with the ribbon. Three and a half years later, I'm still hunting and pecking for commands in the ribbon. It just doesn't make sense to me. One of the most annoying "features" is the one where you can use the mouse wheel to scroll from one ribbon tab to the next. I like to leave my mouse pointer near the top of the screen, out of the way of the document I'm working on. In Word 2000 you can put the mouse pointer anywhere on the screen and still scroll around the document with the wheel. In Word 2007, I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to scroll up or down in a document, say to change the font or typesize, and ended up moving several tabs away from the one I needed to be in. :angry:

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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I use Office 2003 apps wherever possible and have no intention of ever upgrading from it. Support expiring is a very minor issue for Office for me. But if you are stuck with a Ribbon based Office, you can try two addons to boost your productivity:

1. UbitMenu: Restores your menus and toolbars (although not their customizability). For custom commands, you can use the Quick Access Toolbar at the top.

2. Search Commands for Office: Enables you to search any feature inside Office apps <= This is exceedingly cool.

Edited by xpclient
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Now we can add Aero Glass to the list :(:realmad:

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Yes indeed. What exactly were they thinking? "Let's take the most gorgeous thing that makes desktop Windows look so cool and make it ugly". Btw I update the list on my blog only now but to link to it would be a shameless plug, so you can see it in my MSFN profile. Although I am not sure Windows 7 users would agree with the kind of thoughts on my blog. :)

I hope Microsoft learns something from this failure. Maybe it's time for two distinct lines of Windows again: Professional version with zero dumbing down and full backward compatibility of previous features and Dumb/gimmicky version for dumb users.

Edited by xpclient
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I use Office 2003 apps wherever possible and have no intention of ever upgrading from it. Support expiring is a very minor issue for Office for me. But if you are stuck with a Ribbon based Office, you can try two addons to boost your productivity:

1. UbitMenu: Restores your menus and toolbars (although not their customizability). For custom commands, you can use the Quick Access Toolbar at the top.

2. Search Commands for Office: Enables you to search any feature inside Office apps! <= This is exceedingly cool.

xpclient,

Thanks a bunch for the links. I've been giving the Ribbon an extended (three-year!) tryout, in the hope that it'll get easier to use, but so far it's just not working out.

Meanwhile, you may want to weigh in on this discussion where your post was mentioned. ;)

--JorgeA

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Meanwhile, you may want to weigh in on this discussion where your post was mentioned. ;)

--JorgeA

I would have weighed in but the people there (except you) seem to be dismissive of my list and don't seem to behave intelligently with any valid objective opinion - just because it doesn't affect them, they have a "who cares" attitude.

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Meanwhile, you may want to weigh in on this discussion where your post was mentioned. ;)

--JorgeA

I would have weighed in but the people there (except you) seem to be dismissive of my list and don't seem to behave intelligently with any valid objective opinion - just because it doesn't affect them, they have a "who cares" attitude.

Yeah, that's my sense of it, too. I was hoping that you might be able to offer a better technical argument than I can, but if you feel that there's no hope for the intended audience, then I guess we'll have to pass.

--JorgeA

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Applications can no longer programmatically configure, change or query file associations or set themselves during installation as the default for a file type or protocol!

Can the file association be done after the application installation, or is it overall disabled? I wonder what dreams did the Microsoft engineers see before starting the Windows 8 construction..... :huh:

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Applications can no longer programmatically configure, change or query file associations or set themselves during installation as the default for a file type or protocol!

Can the file association be done after the application installation, or is it overall disabled? I wonder what dreams did the Microsoft engineers see before starting the Windows 8 construction..... :huh:

With Vista, Microsoft introduced Default Programs with which apps are supposed to associate. After installation of each program, it should open Default Programs so user may choose his associations. But prior to Windows 8, Microsoft still supported the older method of apps directly associating with file types, bypassing Default Programs. Now in Windows 8, if the user wants to change the associations, he will have to go to the Default Programs Control Panel and change them. The ability for apps or their installers to associate programmatically (or if the user tells the app to associate with all supported file types by clicking a button *from within the app*) is removed. E.g. You install VLC. The installer asks for file types you want to open in VLC. It's broken, it won't work any more. You will have to go to Default Programs and pick the associations supported by VLC. If no file type extension is associated with any program, then those are automatically assigned to the program that tells Default Programs, "hey I can handle this file type". But if you already have some file types associated with certain programs, installing another program which tries to set it as default programmatically will fail. You will have to do it manually from Default Programs Control Panel.

Default Programs is like the middleman. For legacy apps that aren't updated any more (for Default Programs), it means it's broken forever. For apps that register with Default Programs, you will have to set them, it can't be done automatically. They did this so "user is in control" of file types but IMHO it's just inconvenient as you have to set the associations manually. The installer or app did it automatically for the user earlier but MS felt that apps were abusing this power and each app was trying to set itself as the default (which isn't true obviously. If you told the app not to associate, it wouldn't take over the associations forcibly). It's not a big deal, just an added inconvenience of going to Default Programs Control Panel.

Another thing, such a feature is there since XP (or even Windows 2000) but it doesn't use the Default Programs model (uses another registry key called "UserChoice"). If from the Open With dialog, you told "Always use this program to open this file type", apps couldn't associate automatically and override that user choice. So they have just inconvenienced users IMHO by breaking installers and apps that are trying to associate.

Edited by xpclient
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But prior to Windows 8, Microsoft still supported the older method of apps directly associating with file types, bypassing Default Programs. Now in Windows 8, if the user wants to change the associations, he will have to go to the Default Programs Control Panel and change them. The ability for apps or their installers to associate programmatically (or if the user tells the app to associate with all supported file types by clicking a button *from within the app*) is removed.

There are so many little utilities that were written for previous OSes that I still use (or will call upon) that looks like it would be a pain to use on Win8.

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There are so many little utilities that were written for previous OSes that I still use (or will call upon) that looks like it would be a pain to use on Win8.

+1 to that.

These are the utilities that you'll use maybe 1% of the time, but boy does it make a difference for the remaining 99% if you can't use them when needed.

--JorgeA

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● The "Unblock" button previously available on the file properties dialog for unblocking downloaded files (removing the NTFS Alternate Data Stream from the downloaded file) has been removed.

the button is back in Release Preview

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Yes I noticed some features are back in the Release Preview. I will be updating the list in 1-2 days.Got no time today. Weekends maybe. The biggest disappointment for me of Release Preview: The old Task Manager's gone! And the new one is full of problems: http://xpwasmyidea.b...manager-in.html (Don't think of it as a shameless plug to my blog, if anyone has any objection, I will remove it right away). But Task Manager's screwed forever. I am gonna have to use Process Hacker or Process Explorer now.Can anyone extract Taskmgr.exe from the Consumer Preview for both 32-bit and 64-bit and see if it works, upload it somewhere and send me the links? I can't stand the new one, it doesn't even remember the last user tab and it requires a UAC prompt if UAC is set to highest level.

Edited by xpclient
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It would be nice if we had the sounds on Exit, Log on and Log off back.

I'll try this new version as soon as I have time to install it. I've already downloaded the ISO file.

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They're not back unfortunately. An idea if you will be using Classic Shell is to play these sounds using a script which then also executes the shutdown commands.

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