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JorgeA

Now they're chopping up the Start Button's bones

174 posts in this topic

I've come to terms with the fact that with every release of Windows, a non-trivial amount of time must be devoted to hammering the thing back into shape to make it functional again. Windows releases are no longer a matter of excitement but instead it is a matter of preparing for the worst, hoping for the best, (unfortunately with emphasis on worst).

I was a happy Windows 98 user till my PC developed a life-threatening condition where it had trouble starting up (turned out to be dust inside the case, duh) and I went out and bought a Vista machine. That was 2008. Never had anything to do with ME, 2000, or XP. Imagine my shock when I turned on the new computer for the first time and was confronted with all the UI changes. Took me a couple of years to figure everything out. (I wasn't nearly as computer-literate as I am today. Not that I'm a professional IT guy or anything, but you know what I mean.)

Oh yeah, and the EasyTech kids at Staples had a heck of a time figuring out how to transfer my files from the PATA drive to the new machine. It was like they were looking at some mysterious Etruscan artifact. It took the old guy on their team to know what it was and how to move the information over.

--JorgeA

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'Show Desktop' is easily the most clicked icon in my own experience. No doubt about it at all.

I think you may find Affiche bureau useful. This tiny utility has a very interesting desktop preview function:

zHvvA.png

Source: http://www.le-monde-de-gigi.com/logiciels/C22-bureautique/SC89-divers/337-affiche-bureau.html

Edited by tomasz86
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Interresting how everyone is different (please somebody send it to MS telemetry -LOL-)

But seriously, this is the beauty of the Windows environment ... we have all these different ways to launch programs, and can choose the method(s) that works best for us.

correct and THIS IS GREAT. Everyone can use what he links and not what MSFT thinks it is the best :realmad: :realmad:

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I think you may find Affiche bureau useful.

Thanks a lot for this link, I just tried it a minute ago and it's great!

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Good news: Stardock is coming out with a new version of Start8 that will enable users to boot straight to the Desktop.

Stardock's CEO also addresses the issue of the Start Menu's removal in Windows 8:

The interest in the betas of Start8 has been phenomenal. I think it demonstrates that a lot of people -- and I'd argue most people -- expect their Windows desktop to have a concise and effective way to get to their stuff. The Start button and its corresponding menu is the result of decades of refinement in usability. The removal of it in Windows 8 is baffling to me. Normally, user experience shifts occur to due underlying technological changes. DOS to Windows, for example, occurred because the underlying technology allowed us to transition to an environment that was both easier to use and more productive. By contrast, the Windows 8 desktop is clearly a step back -- they removed functionality in an effort to appeal to a different demographic -- content consumers.

Apropos of some of the discussion in this thread about Microsoft trying to kill the Start Menu:

We've been holding back on new features because we didn't want to deal with the case where a feature gets broken by a beta update to Windows 8. It would just cause us unnecessary support issues. We are also not certain how Microsoft will, from a political point of view, feel about some of the things we're doing and would not want them to make changes that would make it harder to do some of the things we're doing.

So Microsoft's intention is clear and Stardock seems to be playing a bit of a cagey game, hoping not to provoke the MS lion into cutting off the Start Menu's head completely.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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I don't think that there is such thing as "provoke" Microsoft. Windows 8 comes with no Optical media playback support. 3rd Party apps resolve this issue. Windows 8 comes with no Start button? Again 3rd party apps resolve this matter. That's the way it is and that's the way it always was. There are no bones to cut, just removed a feature which can be restored back. If Microsoft Publisches Beta Win8 versions, which is accessible to developers, it is also sure that they know the possibility that new "start menu applications" can be created.

Edited by tsampikos
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I don't think that there is such thing as "provoke" Microsoft. Windows 8 comes with no Optical media playback support. 3rd Party apps resolve this issue. Windows 8 comes with no Start button? Again 3rd party apps resolve this matter. That's the way it is and that's the way it always was. There are no bones to cut, just removed a feature which can be restored back. If Microsoft Publisches Beta Win8 versions, which is accessible to developers, it is also sure that they know the possibility that new "start menu applications" can be created.

tsampikos,

So then you don't share Stardock's concern that, as they say:

We are also not certain how Microsoft will, from a political point of view, feel about some of the things we're doing and would not want them to make changes that would make it harder to do some of the things we're doing

?

The concern is that Microsoft is intent on ending the "old" way of doing things, and that by outsiders creating workarounds to MS's vision for Windows, they might therefore decide to work that much harder to eliminate the possibiity of such workarounds.

This would be a sharp turn from past practice, where as you point out MS was happy to allow third parties to provide whatever features people thought were missing from Windows. Again, the Stardock CEO's concern is that they want to root out all possibility of bringing back a Start Menu.

Is that concern exaggerated, do you think?

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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As more and more serious poeple are involved in correcting W8, Microsoft will be forced to let them do it.

They can shrugg off board messages by little MSFN members, but they will have to pay attention of what the guys in the business are saying.

If PC makers are already contacting Startdock for its Start8 app, it would be very embarrassing for MS to push the corck further. IMO it's already very embarrassing for them at present.

Since the Styart Menu is now being developed by private companies (I mean independant) we can expect more improvements to it, more user-friendly options, better look, faster updates etc.

In fact Microsoft should remove all features from Windows so that they can be redesigned better by independant developers.

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As more and more serious poeple are involved in correcting W8, Microsoft will be forced to let them do it.

They can shrugg off board messages by little MSFN members, but they will have to pay attention of what the guys in the business are saying.

If PC makers are already contacting Startdock for its Start8 app, it would be very embarrassing for MS to push the corck further. IMO it's already very embarrassing for them at present.

Yeah, I go back and forth between hoping for a "good enough" fix for Win8, and hoping that nobody fixes it well enough to save it. I guess that either result is acceptable to me.

Since the Styart Menu is now being developed by private companies (I mean independant) we can expect more improvements to it, more user-friendly options, better look, faster updates etc.

In fact Microsoft should remove all features from Windows so that they can be redesigned better by independant developers.

LOL :sneaky:

--JorgeA

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As more and more serious poeple are involved in correcting W8, Microsoft will be forced to let them do it.

They can shrugg off board messages by little MSFN members, but they will have to pay attention of what the guys in the business are saying.

If PC makers are already contacting Startdock for its Start8 app, it would be very embarrassing for MS to push the corck further. IMO it's already very embarrassing for them at present.

Since the Styart Menu is now being developed by private companies (I mean independant) we can expect more improvements to it, more user-friendly options, better look, faster updates etc.

In fact Microsoft should remove all features from Windows so that they can be redesigned better by independant developers.

<SARC>

Perhaps one way to get rid of mandatory Metro would be to gather Stardock and the developers of the other Start Menu replacements and Program Launchers and with a united front contact the DoJ about this built-in-to-the-OS start screen. Somehow the logic began by Netscape and pushed by government lawyers carried a lot of weight in the past. Remember Microsoft: 'sorry, MSIE is integral to Windows operation' And remember the government techie showing how it could easily be removed!

</SARC>

Of course that is sarcasm but I want to illustrate the absolute nonsensical arrogance that is Team B&S. They are pressing ahead with a disastrous choice (replacement vs optional) with Metro and are severely alienating their natural allies (like myself) to the point of anger and disgust. They are not just walking into a potential repeat of the recent past, but hard-charging like a bull-in-a-china-shop breaking everything in sight.

As much as I despised that petty MSIE Netscape fiasco (and still do) I have now learned to despise Team B&S even more.

Microsoft Windows 8 : Because Freedom of Choice is overrated!

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If Microsoft wanted to cut off the Start Menu's Head, this would have happened from the beginning. There wouldn't be any possibility to replace the missing start button and the missing start menu. But that's not the case! I think that Microsoft won't even react to this....On the contrary.....I fully agree with @Fredledingue. Also an official Microsoft Statement like "it's forbidden to replace the start menu- or start button" , "replacing the start menu is not recommended" would be a huge disaster for Microsoft. They know they can't do that. They know that if they make Windows non -customizable this will be the end of WIndows. Consumers and supporters are not STUPID. They wouldn't pay so much money for such a non user friendly OS that doesn't remind of WIndows at all.

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Good news: Stardock is coming out with a new version of Start8 that will enable users to boot straight to the Desktop.

this version is now out. Check your email account which you used to download it.

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I've ported Windows 7 explorer.exe to Windows 8 RP.

That wasn't very easy and far enough from being complete, but result is working Windows 7 native desktop. Start menu pinning and MFU program list was chopped up completely from shell32, other things (search, all programs, system shortcuts customization, systray, desktop, taskbar, etc.) work. Metro isn't started; metro apps and UI don't work.

Now tell me if this kind of thing is feasible for you. It requires explorer.exe and maybe couple of other files from win7.

I'm planning to upload beta version soon; tell me which sites could be interested in this kind of thing.

Edited by Tihiy
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nice. But you should not provide Windows 7 files in our tool. MSFN doesn't allow redist of Windows files.

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nice. But you should not provide Windows 7 files in our tool. MSFN doesn't allow redist of Windows files.

Is it conceivable that Tihiy might post a procedure for accomplishing what he did, rather than uploading OS files? (The assumption would be that the user already has the necessary files, and only needs to port and modify them accordingly.) Or would the procedure be too difficult to replicate?

--JorgeA

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nice. But you should not provide Windows 7 files in our tool. MSFN doesn't allow redist of Windows files.

Is it conceivable that Tihiy might post a procedure for accomplishing what he did, rather than uploading OS files? (The assumption would be that the user already has the necessary files, and only needs to port and modify them accordingly.) Or would the procedure be too difficult to replicate?

--JorgeA

He mentions to me that it wouldn't be a redist, but a patcher. Anyways, he knows our rules already so I'm sure it will be fine. :)

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Paul Thurrott has an update on the information that got this thread started:

I was told by sources at Microsoft that this type of solution would cease to work by RTM, but that doesnt appear to be the case based on recent builds.

He's recommending Start8 for people who wish to boot directly to the Desktop and preserve the Start Button/Start Menu experience. IMHO the UI not as nice as Classic Shell or Start Menu X, as Start8 maintains the hideous look of the Metro start screen, but it's miles better than anything Microsoft is offering for Windows 8.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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Paul Thurrott has an update on the information that got this thread started:

I was told by sources at Microsoft that this type of solution would cease to work by RTM, but that doesn’t appear to be the case based on recent builds.

He's recommending Start8 for people who wish to boot directly to the Desktop and preserve the Start Button/Start Menu experience. IMHO the UI not as nice as Classic Shell or Start Menu X, as Start8 maintains the hideous look of the Metro start screen, but it's miles better than anything Microsoft is offering for Windows 8.

Jorge, I might be wrong but the way I read that Thurrott article is that the solution he is using (Thurrott) which involves a home-made script of some sort, is what will cease to function after RTM. Here is the full quote:

"Before settling on this solution—and my guess is that we’ll see a lot of utilities like this in the months ahead—I was using a ponderous Task Manager and Windows script-based solution that paused briefly on the Start screen before proceeding to the desktop. I was told by sources at Microsoft that this type of solution would cease to work by RTM, but that doesn’t appear to be the case based on recent builds. Regardless, Start8 is easier, and it does boot your PC directly to the desktop."

But who knows what he meant. Anyway it will be very interesting to see exactly what remains functional after this PoS goes public. Along with Tihiy's excellent solution and all the Start Menu replacements, I have a feeling that the Win8 Explorer.exe from DP may also live on in modville (remember how an early CMD.EXE from WinXP beta found its way to Win9x). Everything prior to the Aero Glass removal will likely find some use, especially the icons and other visuals.

One thing is for sure, this PoS right here is an atrocious insult to the eyes. It is an abomination ...

klFhkQc.jpgAKxPyBA.jpg

(pictures seen in article at Fanboy Central: Windows 8 RTM build 8518 screenshots appear)

Microsoft Windows 8 : So what if your 2GB GPU and LED displays millions of colors (8-bit color is good enough for you)

EDIT: I might be wrong but it looks to me like the children at Fanboy Central may have blocked the embedded images from appearing here! Images that they in fact snagged from WinUnleaked. I reset the links to there instead.

EDIT2: Images gone again. Screw this, copied them offsite. change image URLs.

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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Jorge, I might be wrong but the way I read that Thurrott article is that the solution he is using (Thurrott) which involves a home-made script of some sort, is what will cease to function after RTM. Here is the full quote:

Yeah, it's not 100% clear what he means by that. I took it to mean that he had believed that ALL of these sorts of solutions (the Task Manager + script approach, the Start8 approach) were intended by MS to go the way of the dodo.

But who knows what he meant. Anyway it will be very interesting to see exactly what remains functional after this PoS goes public. Along with Tihiy's excellent solution and all the Start Menu replacements, I have a feeling that the Win8 Explorer.exe from DP may also live on in modville (remember how an early CMD.EXE from WinXP beta found its way to Win9x). Everything prior to the Aero Glass removal will likely find some use, especially the icons and other visuals.

If expert folks manage to bring Aero Glass back, along with the other current elements of the Desktop, Win8 will be a somewhat tolerable experience (for me).

(pictures seen in article at Fanboy Central: Windows 8 RTM build 8518 screenshots appear)

I had a brief comment on this over in the Deeper Impressions thread. Not only is it an abomination, but they keep narrowing users' scope for customization, at least via "official" methods, so that you can't mitigate the awfulness of it.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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A ray of hope,quickly dashed (see posts 1, 5, and 6). (Interestingly, to judge from his postings elsewhere on that site, the OP in that thread seems to be a Win8 enthusiast.)

The incident also speaks to what folks around here have been saying about MS 1) suppressing alternative visions for the OS, and 2) doubling down on Metro.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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The Tabs no more have any gradient and are filled up with just solid colors. This feels like Metro. We feel that as there will be More Metro Styled Browsers and consumers might not use internet Explorer 10 as a default Browser. Therefore Microsoft has tried to lessen the gap between the Metro App of internet Explorer and the desktop App

This is the top moronic way of thinking!

This 2D Metro style is ugly as sin.

It only adds insult to injury to extend it to desktop apps.

It's ok for Metro to be simplified for handheld devices for better readability, but not on a large screen where you need something softer, more natural to the eyes!

Poeple will get headaches working all days on mostly black on white screens.

Internet Explorer 10 with Windows 8 RTM will get a new logo which is more like the a Metro Styled Logo. This logo Resembles with logo of primitive versions of Internet Explorer and therefore has got mixed comments.

Ho realy!? Are they going to admit finaly that Metro is primitive in all respects?

That it's a step 30 years backward?

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JoergeA

It also struck me to read the option of starting directly on the Desktop.

Windows-8-rtm-cleaned-up-dialog-box.jpg

It's incredible that the option has existed or may exist (in some "pro" version? "internal" version?) and that they don't tell anything about it and that the picture is not shown anymore.

Probably somebody made a mistake and the snapshot was promptly removed later.

(Somehow the picture is still indirectly available on the net!)

I'm afraid that there will be two versions: One with the commercial laden Metro UI non-optionable and one, much more expensive where Metro is optionable.

Whatever somebody at MS has thought of making Metro optionable and a W8 build has even been functioning and a snapshot taken.

This is just what the whole community has been asking since the first preview release.

Is MS listening but acting as they don't until the last minute or are they going to persist despite the upcoming disaster?

IMO MS has already understood that the businesses will never ever use W8 if Metro can't be disabled but they are pushing for a Metro-only world for the home users.

Anyway, apparently it's still possible to tweak the OS to start directly on the desktop doing the following:

Steliosaa

This did not work for me. What I did and it works 100%, and tested it on 2 computers is:

1. Go to “C:Users”

2. Right-click/new/text document

3. Rename to desktop.txt

4. open it, paste the following, save and close:

echo off

C:Windowsexplorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}

end

5. Change the file type by renaming it from desktop.txt to desktop.bat

6. Press Win+C, click the search, click the settings, search for “event logs” and open the “View event logs”

7. Click on “Windows logs” then “Applications”, right-click on an Information log with source “winlogon”

8. Click Attach Task to this event

9. Click next, next, next

10. Click Browse and search for the bat file at C:usersdesktop.bat

11. click open

12. next

13. Tick open the properties dialog when i click finish

14. click finish

15. tick run with high privilages

16. choose configure for: windows 7, windows server 2008 r2

17. click ok and then ok

link

Now this is realy moronic.

Proof they treat their customers like retards...

Windows_8_Blue_Screen_of_Death_BSOD.png

Edited by Fredledingue
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It also struck me to read the option of starting directly on the Desktop.

Windows-8-rtm-cleaned-up-dialog-box.jpg

Fredledingue,

This is GREAT! Where did you find this image?

I've installed the DP, the CP, and the RP, and I don't remember seeing an option like that during the installation of any of them.

Let's hope that it does exist as a "secret" option in some Win8 build, that it will be possible to activate somehow.

I'm afraid that there will be two versions: One with the commercial laden Metro UI non-optionable and one, much more expensive where Metro is optionable.

It would be ironic to have to pay more for a version that DISACTIVATES an aspect of the OS. But you know, even if it costs more to have that version, it might be worth it to me not to have to deal with the Metro start screen. Better yet would be a version that disabled all of Metro...

Steliosaa

This did not work for me. What I did and it works 100%, and tested it on 2 computers is:

1. Go to C:Users

2. Right-click/new/text document

3. Rename to desktop.txt

4. open it, paste the following, save and close:

echo off

C:Windowsexplorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}

end

5. Change the file type by renaming it from desktop.txt to desktop.bat

6. Press Win+C, click the search, click the settings, search for event logs and open the View event logs

7. Click on Windows logs then Applications, right-click on an Information log with source winlogon

8. Click Attach Task to this event

9. Click next, next, next

10. Click Browse and search for the bat file at C:usersdesktop.bat

11. click open

12. next

13. Tick open the properties dialog when i click finish

14. click finish

15. tick run with high privilages

16. choose configure for: windows 7, windows server 2008 r2

17. click ok and then ok

Very interesting, thanks! I'll try it as soon as I get the chance to.

Now this is realy moronic.

Proof they treat their customers like retards...

Windows_8_Blue_Screen_of_Death_BSOD.png

Yeah, I got a couple of those new-style blue screens when I was trying out the Developer Preview. It WAS pretty insulting. This newest version seems to give a little more information, but the "sad face" is just plain childish. Fits right in with the whole Metro attitude, I guess.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
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I found the picture on Google. I also saved it on my HD and I can re-upload it on a website if necessary.

I certify that this picture is authentic and the one I have seen on MS'blog.

IMO This is the dialog box which can make W8 a success or if absent, a failure.

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IMO This is the dialog box which can make W8 a success or if absent, a failure.

Yup!

--JorgeA

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