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The end of Windows Classic?

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  • User profile image
    tc9

    A lot of people who use Windows XP have opted for the "Windows Classic" style over the default XP style. It's probably a pretty small minority, but that number of people is significant.

    So, when people upgrade to Vista or get new computers, they might be inclined to make that choice again. But one of the first things I noticed about Windows Vista is that "Windows Classic" is broken. Completely and utterly broken.

    - Half the icons on the classic Start menu are old; the other half are the wrong size
    - No effort was made to make the new Start menu look okay
    - In Windows Explorer, the back/forward, refresh, and search buttons are from early betas; they have never been updated; sometimes they appear stretched out or appear out of place
    - The rest of Windows Explorer is more-or-less vast white space with awkward borders or no borders
    - New programs like Help and Support and the new wizards are just a complete mess
    - The entire UI is a weird mesh of different fonts

    With all the time spent on the new Aero interface, anyone can make the argument that it's reasonable for Microsoft to neglect Windows Classic. But why?

    It's worth noting Microsoft made an attempt for IE7 to look okay in Windows Classic mode; I assume because IE7 is also available for XP. But for the rest of Vista, is it an attempt on Microsoft's part to get people to stop using the Classic appearance? Is it just sheer laziness? I'm just trying to figure out what they were thinking, because it's so bad. It's an embarrassment.

    I realize hardly anyone will use it because it looks so awful -- but it's still included in the product for some reason or another. A few people are going to end up using it, whether it's for high contrast or the simple fact that it's still available to use.

    Bottom line: Why is there even an option to use an interface that's so incomplete and broken? Windows Classic should be fixed or it should be removed.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    It's true... The classic theme isn't supported well. I have seen that also through the various beta/RC releases. Perhaps you should just switch to the Glass themes? Or are there any reasons why you are still stick with the class theme?

    I agree that it would be better to remove it than having it in, broken.

  • User profile image
    Rowan

    I started using Classic on XP when I realised how much better it performs than the standard XP theme, over time I've customised the colours, fonts and font sizes, and now I can confidently say that (for me) my Classic theme looks a lot more polished than the XP theme.

    Apparently Vista performs better under Aero, so I guess that's a good enough reason not to use Classic. I also don't think the Vista theme looks nearly as bad as XP, so I'm not too worried about it.

    It's a shame how degraded IE7 looks in the Classic theme though, it looks more outdated than IE6.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    I didn't like the original skin too. But luckily a very early Longhorn skin leaked and I could apply that one directly on WinXP, which became my skin then Smiley

  • User profile image
    pathfinder

    I am one of those few classic users also.  Since the first day I installed XP I've always changed my theme back to classic.  I guess I always had felt that it was lighter on the resources (false or not), and its boxiness is what I am used to. 

    I thought about using classic on Vista, but I figured since I am having to upgrade to such a high performance video card that I woud just learn to get used to the newer UI.  Although, I would love to have my classic back.

     

     

  • User profile image
    tc9

    In the Aero interface, I hate the appearance of maximized windows (they should appear the same as standard windows) and the inability to deactivate ClearType (the setting in Personalization only affects some areas), but otherwise it's cool. Whenever I have to use Vista, I'll probably stick with the Aero interface.

    But that's not the point. I'd like to see some sort of explanation from Microsoft as to why they'd let this happen. If you make one simple interface change that many XP users already have; one simple change that (for some reason) is still made available, suddenly it seems as if you're looking at pre-beta software.

  • User profile image
    serishema

    I prefer the classic mode in XP. I actually liked vista basic.

    But the thing that bugs me about vista is you can't turn cleartype off. Maybe my eyes are funny, but i just can't do cleartype. I remeber someone on a C9 video saying it was to do with colour perception or something. Maybe if there was a way to tune it in the control panel so it agress with my vision it would be okay.

    But i found it pretty reasonable to use visually at least. I did need to go back and tweak some of my custom applications (written in java) to make then look right with the new theme.

    that plus the DHCP on wireless with linux based DHCP server bug is sorted out that's pretty much all my problems with it resolved

  • User profile image
    tc9

    I'm with you on ClearType. I just don't like it -- and I can't stand the sudden assertion from a number of people that it's the be-all and end-all of font rendering. I didn't like it in XP, I don't like it in Vista, and I'd prefer a way to deactivate it entirely.

    Of course, I would just switch to the Windows Classic theme in order to get rid of ClearType, but this thread demonstrates that's not very plausible.

  • User profile image
    BryanF

    (RE: Cleartype. Have you tried the Tuner Powertoy for XP?

    http://www.microsoft.com/typography/ClearTypePowerToy.mspx)

    As for classic mode, my guess is that they left it in there as little more than a check-list item for IT departments convinced that making everything look battleship grey would some how minimize the retraining costs--nevermind the fact that the fundamental UI changes are still there.

    From my own anecdotal experience, I've never seen anyone Classic in their home computers. I really only see it in corporate / college managed PCs. Even though it's done in the name of continuity, I think it ends up creating dissonance, since very few people used the classic skin / start menu at home with XP. Most who did did so under the assumption that it was helping performance, which as someone mentioned earlier will no longer be true with Vista.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    BryanF wrote:
    I think it ends up creating dissonance, since very few people used the classic skin / start menu at home with XP. Most who did did so under the assumption that it was helping performance, which as someone mentioned earlier will no longer be true with Vista.


    How about because it's faster?

    The classic start-menu opens instantly with no delay when opening the Programs menu.

    Compare with the XP Start "panel" that takes at least 100ms to open, and another 200ms to open the "All programs" menu.

    Something's not right in the shell, why do these little niggles always get past beta?

  • User profile image
    LaBomba

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    BryanF wrote: I think it ends up creating dissonance, since very few people used the classic skin / start menu at home with XP. Most who did did so under the assumption that it was helping performance, which as someone mentioned earlier will no longer be true with Vista.


    How about because it's faster?

    The classic start-menu opens instantly with no delay when opening the Programs menu.

    Compare with the XP Start "panel" that takes at least 100ms to open, and another 200ms to open the "All programs" menu.

    Something's not right in the shell, why do these little niggles always get past beta?


    Some reason by default the registry keys are set to that speed, if however it bothers you that much feel free to download a program such as TweakXP and adjust the start menu launch speed.

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    It's again an argument about personal preference.

    I have a decent PC at home and at work so what else am I going to get those spare processing cycles to do? Why not make my viewing experience more pleasant?

    Anyway, whats up with you lot ... change is good!

  • User profile image
    tc9

    Sabot wrote:
    It's again an argument about personal preference.

    I have a decent PC at home and at work so what else am I going to get those spare processing cycles to do? Why not make my viewing experience more pleasant?

    Anyway, whats up with you lot ... change is good!
    I think you missed the point completely. It's not about personal preference, it's not about spare CPU cycles, and it's not about change being good or bad.

    It's about the fact there is an interface choice still available in Windows Vista that is completely unfinished, unacceptable, and with a pre-beta appearance.

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