Coffeehouse Thread

33 posts

Forum Read Only

This forum has been made read only by the site admins. No new threads or comments can be added.

Stardock's Start8 - Anyone used this yet ?

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    elmer

    http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/features.asp

    Looks like it has potential - boot direct to desktop is a nice feature.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Well, for the once a month that I boot my machines, I don't think it's that useful...

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    Maybe I'm kinda missing the point here, but doesn't Windows8 already come with a start-menu?

    The Windows8 start-menu differs from the Windows7 one in that it has more screen-space, has pictures next to each app, possibly with information on each tile and better search.

    Why anyone remenices over the random selection of six programs I don't want right now, next to the few programs I thought were important enough to pin to the start menu, but not important enough to pin to the taskbar, or the frankly shocking excuse for a heirarchical listing of your programs (but which is actually just a disorganised filesystem) is beyond me.

    In Win7 if the program isn't pinned to my taskbar, start-menu or desktop, I went looking for it in Program Files. I literally never used the folder-view, because if you want to find, say, Photoshop, is it in:

    * Adobe
    * Adobe Photoshop
    * Photoshop
    * an Ungrouped shortcut called Adobe Photoshop
    * an Ungrouped shortcut called Photoshop
    * Accessories > an Ungrouped shortcut called Adobe Photoshop
    * Accessories > an Ungrouped shortcut called Photoshop

    And that's even before you get into what happens when a company changes their version number of gets bought out by a different company! (Is it Microsoft, Microsoft Games, Games, Lionhead, Lionhead Studios, or Fable3? - Hitman I was in Eidos Interactive, later ones were Eidos. Literally no consistency at all from anyone here, ever.)

    In Win8, I press WinKey and then click on the picture that corresponds to Photoshop. Now I'm back on the desktop, and Photoshop has loaded. No more faffing.

    The Win7 start menu is dead, and frankly, good riddance.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I have a large number of users, who all come to work in the morning, boot their computer, use traditional desktop apps all day, and shut-down the computer at the end of the day. Some of them truly are as dumb as a box of rocks.

    I honestly don't need the aggro and grief of dealing with all the 'who moved my cheese' shock and the inevitable 'I can't do my job' complaints that will follow.

    The last thing I need is to be dragged into a meeting to explain why everyone says I f*ed their computer.

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    You can also check the "Restore previous folder windows at login" item in Folder options (Explorer), and so you will go straight to desktop whenever you login.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    @elmer: I've seen many attempts over the years of companies trying to configure new releases of Windows to look like the old version and it almost always ends up causing more problems in the long run for a very short-term gain. User's end up being exposed to whatever UI changes happen anyway as they use computers elsewhere, new hires find the "old way" confusing because they weren't exposed to it before etc.

    If you want the old UI, you're almost universally better sticking to the older OS, until such point that the overall business benefits of upgrading outweigh any training costs. I certainly wouldn't ever go down the route of "upgrading" and then try to fudge the old UI back with an almost-clone bit of third party software like Stardock's offering. It's fine as a one-off solution for those who really can't let go, but not really a business solution.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    @AndyC:My recommendation is already clear to management - Stay on Win7, as it does what we need, and is a perfectly good OS. Consider upgrading to the next version when enough people have done the re-training using someone else's time, expense, and equipment. i.e. at least a year from now.

    Unfortunately, I have to deal with non-IT managers who automatically assume newer == better but then wipe their hands of the problems resulting from trying to force that as a solution.

    So, I now have to investigate all possible solutions and then present the options along with my final recommendation... for which I'll end up carrying the can, regardless of my choice.

    I'm just kicking over the stones, looking to see if there is anything worth tinkering with before I go and potentially put my head on the block, by refusing to budge.

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    I really miss my rotary phone, the UX was really top notch. The start menu is like having a rotary phone while living in the 989 area code and having most of your friends and relations living in 987 or some other stupid number that would be a complete pain in the rear to dial.

    I'm not sure what was worse, having to wait for the dial to come back home, or getting bruised finger tips after making several calls.

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    I will be using it eventually. I have a [My Name] shortcut to my user space on my desktop for now, which is stupid. Because I have to do the Show Desktop to clean the screen to get to my shortcut. I normally just do Start and open my document folder or its parent folder.

    Also I need a way to have real My Computer icon on the desktop. For now, I have stupid My Computer Shortcut.

    Also I have my D drive shortcut on my desktop, which is another stupid thing because I normally had it in my Start.

    I need those because sometimes I don't want to minimize all my windows and open up some of the very frequent items that are NOT apps. Anyway, I can still live with all the stupid shortcuts on the desktop, just one more reason to say, hey, desktop should be replaced because people like me are putting stupid icons on there.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    , magicalclick wrote

    I will be using it eventually. I have a [My Name] shortcut to my user space on my desktop for now, which is stupid. Because I have to do the Show Desktop to clean the screen to get to my shortcut. I normally just do Start and open my document folder or its parent folder.

    Pin Explorer to the taskbar, and then pin those items to the jump list. It works very similar to opening those folders from the start menu before, and is actually more customizable.

    It's also possible to pin shortcuts to folders to the start screen (just right click them, pin to start). Opening the start screen is probably slightly less inconvenient than using show desktop (because it's easier to get your windows back), though I prefer the pinned explorer with jump list route.

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    I've been using Win8 for a while and find that I rely more and more on simply typing the first few letters of whatever I am looking for*.  Turns out this is much quicker than navigating a traditional start menu.

    *If I am in the trad desktop then I just hit the Windows key as my first letter

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @Ian2:

    When I'm at work, I find myself looking over annoyed because I was unconsciously try to hit a corner. I was surprised at how quickly those became indispensable.

  • User profile image
    AlanBarber

    @elmer:I've been using Start8 since the first public betas. I like it and found it to be very helpful.

    That said I've found myself shifting to just pinning all my apps to the taskbar so i don't have to search any menus to start up most of my apps.

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @elmer: I've been using W8 on the Build tablet and on my shared home desktop computer for about a year now.  While the start screen is fine on the tablet it is a real hindrance on the desktop. The sea of tiles makes looking for an app a chore especially with so many of them using cycle of ever changing photos for the tile. No amount of arrangement, grouping, and constant pruning of the start screen seems to save it from the its natural state of endless scrolling clutter. So moving past that fail you're stuck with effectively a command line option they call "search". this works alright until your "sea of apps" becomes too big resulting in having to be more specific in your search.

    Start8 is what Microsoft should have provided as an option rather than trying to force the Windows Store app adoption on the Windows user base through the 1000 little cuts that the start screen is a part of. In it's current form Start8 provides a near identical experience to the W7 start menu. It also allows you to control how much of the Windows Store app environment encroaches on the desktop. You can even have W8 boot to the desktop. I would highly recommend the including of Start8 in any deployment plans because as we all know just about every grade school kid on up knows how to use the start menu.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    pathfinder

    I use the open source equivalent classicshell on my windows 8 install on my EEE netbook.  

    http://classicshell.sourceforge.net

    The new start screen and UI are nice, but do not function well on a 7-inch screen.   In fact most of the apps won't even open, they just give me an error message that the screen size is not support. Surprisingly the IE app won't open for this reason.

    I would have thought the new ui to be perfect for my 7inch screen but it is worthless on small screens because there are very few apps that will work on it.  

    Its worthless on large screens because I like the ability to see multiple windows open on my 25 inch monitor.

     

     

     

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    @Sven Groot:

    The jump list sounds good. I will do that, thanks. Smiley

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    kettch

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    we all know just about every grade school kid on up knows how to use the start menu.

    That's nice, but the grade school kids aren't in the corporate environment. Most people I support don't have a clue how the Start Menu works. If it isn't on their desktop, then it does not exist. Shortcuts and pinning are the only way for them to be able to launch applications. Even for pros anything beyond a handful of applications can make the Start Menu difficult to navigate quickly. Search and easy to get to icons are a good solution.

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , kettch wrote

    *snip*

    That's nice, but the grade school kids aren't in the corporate environment. Most people I support don't have a clue how the Start Menu works. If it isn't on their desktop, then it does not exist. Shortcuts and pinning are the only way for them to be able to launch applications. Even for pros anything beyond a handful of applications can make the Start Menu difficult to navigate quickly. Search and easy to get to icons are a good solution.

    Why assume that my statement precludes actual office workers? It's my experience that people use the start menu -- especially when their desktop becomes so cluttered its useless (much like the start screen tends to get). When you know specifically what you want the start menu is a better way to go IMO. If you don't then search becomes your friend.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
    Last modified

Conversation locked

This conversation has been locked by the site admins. No new comments can be made.