Coffeehouse Thread

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It's the start menu, stupid!

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  • User profile image
    Lizard​Rumsfeld

    , wastingtime​withforums wrote

    There's currently a massive amount of rumors on the net about Microsoft bringing back the start button and allowing boot-to-desktop.

    Well, part of the problem is people are being led to believe by some sites lazily repeating the rumour this that Start Button=Start Menu, hence we have so many articles on MS "backtracking".  They're not.  It's just the button, so the most obvious "WTF were they thinking?" decision is being backtracked, but as you mention it changes very little in actual operation.

    The changes I've seen so far leaked from Blue don't indicate a shift in strategy or a real response to the major critique of Windows8 at all, at least from the desktop side - it's all doubling-down on Metro (albeit some necessary changes, but have little effect for laptops/desktops).  Booting to the desktop is getting press as the most significant backtrack, but in practice that's incredibly minor - it can easily be accomplished by a simple script in Task Scheduler if you must, and if not it's just one click.  Not having an icon (albeit idiotic) and not being able to boot the desktop are about 30 levels down on my list of complaints with Windows 8.  Just because you can boot the desktop doesn't mean the Start Screen and other Metro elements won't be shoved in your face constantly with daily operation.

    Probably the most significant change is offering consolidated search results in the Start Screen search - again under the category of "How did this get past alpha?" for me, but it's apparently coming.

    And again, doesn't really address the issue.  While it is an improvement, the issue again is the split between the Metro and Desktop worlds - those search results have no interactivity with the desktop, despite the fact I'm routinely launching the search from that environment.  Cannot drag and drop results, limited sorting options (? - that may be improved), and of course without the ability to adjust the window size to the specific size to accommodate the type of results you need.

    I couldn't care less if there was a equivalent search on the desktop, but even explorer search has been neutered for some bizarre reason.  You can of course type in the search field of an explorer window, the problem is that of course each window defaults to My Computer, of which the entire contents aren't indexed.  So you'll get results...very, very slowly.  So you have to switch to your Libraries which are indexed (we're several mouse movements and clicks now, as opposed to Win7's Winkey+F), but what if the content you want to search isn't in your Library?  There are instances where I want things indexed but I don't want them added to my Library, and Win7 allows this easily by dropping down an information bar to click when you're trying to search a non-indexed location and explaining why it's so slow.  This is gone in Win8 - why?

    The critique of using the Start Menu to search is that the results were so "constrained" - and of course they are, but all you had to do is to click the grouped section title which would when open up a full explorer window showing all the results from that group, or just hit Wink+F from the Start and have group by category already on.  Cntrl+Mouse wheel allowed you to zip through different views/sizes as opposed to the extremely limited options in Metro to boot.

    ...and of course, Office 2013 - even if you say, just install Lync - removes the ability to search through emails through explorer entirely - even in Win7.  Really, wtf, wtf, wtf.

    Of all the bizarre compromises of this no-compromise OS, the utterly bizarre decisions regarding search are the most perplexing and impact my workflow the most.  Blue, at least so far, seems to do very little to address this.

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    , NitzWalsh wrote

    And again, doesn't really address the issue.  While it is an improvement, the issue again is the split between the Metro and Desktop worlds - those search results have no interactivity with the desktop, despite the fact I'm routinely launching the search from that environment.  Cannot drag and drop results, limited sorting options (? - that may be improved), and of course without the ability to adjust the window size to the specific size to accommodate the type of results you need.

    I was thinking that now the results are actually in the Search pane and not in a metro search app, you would be able to just search without being thrown to the start screen. Then I suppose, if you're using keyboard shortcuts, then tapping the start button would instantly place you on the start screen anyway - I wonder how it looks if you tried to search directly from the charm. Would it still send you back to the start screen for no reason? It would be odd to show the start screen all the time for searching...

    My issue with Windows 8 is also the metro-desktop split. I use Win8 at work and I have no problem staying in desktop mode because I have all my needed apps pinned to the taskbar. But it's the occasional "change setting" task that bites - the flip to the start screen is a signal to the brain that you moved on to something new, but that isn't exactly true. You then have this conflict between the actual and expected, and THAT is what makes for a jarring experience.

    I have a feeling that the start button, if it does indeed come back, is only going to be there for discoverability purposes. They're not going to move back to a start menu for obvious reasons.  

  • User profile image
    Lizard​Rumsfeld

     

    I have a feeling that the start button, if it does indeed come back, is only going to be there for discoverability purposes. They're not going to move back to a start menu for obvious reasons.  

    According to Thurrott (while he is an obnoxious tool, he does have contacts in MS), this is exactly what's happening.  You're just getting the icon to the SC, not the menu.

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    , NitzWalsh wrote

    *snip*

    ...and of course, Office 2013 - even if you say, just install Lync - removes the ability to search through emails through explorer entirely - even in Win7.  Really, wtf, wtf, wtf.

    Of all the bizarre compromises of this no-compromise OS, the utterly bizarre decisions regarding search are the most perplexing and impact my workflow the most.  Blue, at least so far, seems to do very little to address this.

    I was wondering what happened to email search. That explains it. Fail Whale 1, Josh 0.

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    , NitzWalsh wrote

    *snip*

    According to Thurrott (while he is an obnoxious tool, he does have contacts in MS), this is exactly what's happening.  You're just getting the icon to the SC, not the menu.

    I hope they improve discoverability for the other corner hotspots, like add a subtle flash or something. Right now, I think they even violate their own design principles, specifically the "stuff doesn't just appear, it comes from someplace and goes someplace" - when you go to the start screen, the foreground app vanishes in a fade transition...it should fly to the left hand side to indicate that you can switch to it from there!

    Also, I wonder if they'll bring back a button for desktop peek as well....

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @NitzWalsh: +1M There are so many little things that Microsoft could do to converge the desktop and the Windows 8 Store App environment (including on settling on a name for the later). Along with the issues you site it's befuddling to hear the rumors that Microsoft management forced the Windows division to put the start button back for Blue. It's as if the Windows division has adopted a singular wish to ruin the Windows franchise by ignoring its legacy and its user base. I'm all for their desire to capture the consumer space and like a lot of what they've done for touch & tablets but they are cutting off the nose to spite the face.

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    I hope they improve discoverability for the other corner hotspots, like add a subtle flash or something. Right now, I think they even violate their own design principles, specifically the "stuff doesn't just appear, it comes from someplace and goes someplace" - when you go to the start screen, the foreground app vanishes in a fade transition...it should fly to the left hand side to indicate that you can switch to it from there!

    That's actually exactly how it worked in DP. You're right that it makes more sense conceptually, but unfortunately it was just too heavy an animation to see over and over again, so between providing a more coherent animation scheme and not giving people headaches they chose the latter.

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    , MasterPie wrote

    *snip*

    I was thinking that now the results are actually in the Search pane and not in a metro search app, you would be able to just search without being thrown to the start screen.

    I guess you can after all.

  • User profile image
    Lizard​Rumsfeld

    , MasterPie wrote

    *snip*

    I hope they improve discoverability for the other corner hotspots, like add a subtle flash or something. Right now, I think they even violate their own design principles, specifically the "stuff doesn't just appear, it comes from someplace and goes someplace" - when you go to the start screen, the foreground app vanishes in a fade transition...it should fly to the left hand side to indicate that you can switch to it from there!

    Also, I wonder if they'll bring back a button for desktop peek as well....

    I just don't see multiple invisible hotspots ever working well with the mouse&keyboard.  I just can't get used to it in Win8. As an option, like Mac OSX?  Sure, but never as a primary interface.  Obnoxious with multiple monitors, doubly so over RDP.

    I mean, MS likes to tout in their blogs that most people run apps full-screen...so they make the Metro task switcher activate when you move the mouse into the upper left corner.

    You know...where that big-* back button is on IE *forehead slap*.

  • User profile image
    Lizard​Rumsfeld

    , MasterPie wrote

    *snip*

    I guess you can after all.

    Definitely better, but still - the lack of interactivity with the desktop is still an issue, and while it looks like it has consolidated results, it doesn't look like it gives the types of hits a header (eg: Music/Documents/Videos, etc).  So my other critiques would still apply, but hopefully they're still going to improve it.

  • User profile image
    Lizard​Rumsfeld

    , JoshRoss wrote

    *snip*

    I was wondering what happened to email search. That explains it. Fail Whale 1, Josh 0.

    -Josh

    ...and even uninstalled all of Office 2013 still keeps it removed.  I have a ton of mail in Live Mail Desktop, but now get no results.

    The only way to get results back is to install Outlook 2010, but only mail from Outlook will show up.  I have yet to find a way to get my Live Mail index back without a reformat.

  • User profile image
    RealBboy360

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    @NitzWalsh: +1M There are so many little things that Microsoft could do to converge the desktop and the Windows 8 Store App environment (including on settling on a name for the later). Along with the issues you site it's befuddling to hear the rumors that Microsoft management forced the Windows division to put the start button back for Blue. It's as if the Windows division has adopted a singular wish to ruin the Windows franchise by ignoring its legacy and its user base. I'm all for their desire to capture the consumer space and like a lot of what they've done for touch & tablets but they are cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    Yes, it's a Sinofsky

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