Starting Over: Windows 8 To DeScrewUpify Itself?

Gimme transparency, not an explosion of garish colour

Now that everyone who isn’t mad has roundly agreed that Windows 8 is a whole bucketful of stupid, even Microsoft are acknowledging that trying to bruteforce people into using their computers completely differently was a silly move. Yes, Windows 8 basically has cheerful old Windows 7 lurking underneath its disruptive, tablet-orientated Metro skin, but the wasted seconds spent getting it to it every time, or inefficiently trying to get to your program or option of choice, really stack up as the months wear on, and the frustration that the OS keeps insisting on doing its own thing doesn’t go away. Now multiple reports are coming in that the forthcoming 8.1 update will allow booting to the traditional desktop, and might even reinstate the Start button.

Obviously, ‘report’ and ‘rumour’ can often mean about as much as ‘duckfwibble’ and ‘sprouthack junior’ when it comes to unconfirmed stories about technology and games, but there does seem to be quite a lot pointing to a slight change in direction for the update codenamed Windows Blue. We’ve got ZDNet and The Verge both rounding up apparently trusted sources talking about a newly-panned option for those who wish it to skip the Metro Start screen and have their PC operate in desktop mode by default. Someone’s also dug up the reference “CanSuppressStartScreen” in the registry of early Win 8.1 builds.

While not confirmation as such, we’ve also got Windows Product Manager Ian Moulster telling TechRadar that “I’ve changed my pitch from starting with the Start screen to starting with the Windows desktop when I talk to people about Windows 8. When you show them the desktop it looks like Windows 7 and in fact it is pretty much like Windows 7 except that it’s faster, it’s more secure, uses less power, starts up quicker and has interface tweaks across the board.” While he goes on to defend the Start Screen, any kind of Microsoft concession that the desktop is what people want is a pretty big deal.

A little vaguer than that is talk of the sorely-missed Start button making a comeback. Unfortunately it will apparently just load the Metro Start screen rather than the traditional list of programs, but hey, at least it’s an attempt at reparation. To be honest though, there’s a bunch of perfectly good third-party programs around which add a Start button and a traditional Start menu, so it’s not going to be a game-changer. It’s more about what it signifies: that perhaps Microsoft are releasing they can’t get away with force people to abandon tried and tested ways of interacting with their computers. If they can make Windows 8.1 less of an arse, it’s good news for PC gamers – Win 8 is a little speedier than 7, some of the widgety things are quite nice and the desktop’s a little more visually customisable too.

Hell, if 8.1 really does do all this stuff, I might even switch to it. I’ve had 8 sat on a secondary hard drive for months, but right now it just drives me spare. I tried, I really did, but using the Metro stuff now is the proverbial red rag to me these days: stick a ring through my nostrils and call me bully. My precious, precious seconds!


  1. mrmalodor says:


    • guygodbois00 says:

      Just no.

      • deke913 says:

        no squared..I like my 7

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      • LintMan says:

        Definitely no. This is just a tactical retreat on Microsoft’s part.

        Once they get people to accept Win 8.1 by putting the desktop back up front, they will slowly enact a multi-phase passive-aggressive campaign against the desktop to make users need to switch to Metro for an ever-increasing amount things so the desktop becomes more and more annoying and it becomes easier just to stick with Metro.

        How so?
        – controls and software for new OS features and functions will only be made available through the Metro interface so you need to switch over to it to get certain things done.
        – Once they get enough people using Win 8+ (even if they stick to desktop mode), MS can use their xbox leverage (or just pay off) as many developers as possible to switch to metro-requiring games, which won’t be the kiss of death it is right now. Also, imagine the latest Halo games finally ported to PC, but only working from the Metro UI, bought from the MS app store.
        – subtle incompatibilities and bugs will creep into the desktop mode and will not get fixed.
        – Microsoft will start calling desktop mode “deprecated”
        – Then MS will pull out the big guns and introduce a major feature or API that can only be accessed via software using the Metro interface. Something like DirectX 12 or something. (MS already did this once with Vista).

    • Don Reba says:

      I second this sentiment.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      Very happy on Windows 7, I’ll look again at Windows 9.

      • soldant says:

        I’m pretty sure the old Start menu isn’t coming back and Metro isn’t going away…

        • solidsquid says:

          We’ll see what the market’s like for operating systems in 2017 then, not going to have to replace my machine until around then anyway

        • Machinations says:

          When you thumb your nose at enterprise and throw in ‘features’ that serve to do nothing other than confuse long term users – and for an enterprise, force enormous training costs – you can expect that enterprise will ignore your product. This is the case among all my peers who I know.

          As a personal user, I see no reason to use an interface obviously designed for tablets/smartphones on my device which has a mouse and keyboard. I am never going to ‘touch’ the screen to play with ’tiles’. Mouse and keyboard is higher fidelity control and easier to use, more precise. There is *no* advantage to touch on a desktop.

          It’s unfortunate that Microsoft seem so full of hubris and apparently so sure of their market share that they would force something like this where their internal focus groups MUST have told them there are glaring UI issues.

          Anyway, I hope Valve’s ‘weight’ in the PC space starts getting a lot more native Linux ports – I could finally say goodbye to paying through the nose for an operating system I can game on. Because let’s face it – for most people who *know* tech, the only reason we run Windows is to play games.

          Microsoft should be very wary; if PC game creators start making more native Linux games, the single most compelling reason for most people to run a Windows OS as opposed to a Linux-flavor OS is gone. Of course Windows would still have a major hold in enterprise, but they could find themselves shut out of the home.

          You would think a company that size would focus on delighting their customers, instead of insulting them. If MS wanted to provide a stellar product, ‘Metro’ would be totally optional. It seems some ideology took hold among design engineers on the new OS, because I can see no proper logic behind making it mandatory.

          • solidsquid says:

            Only real issues I’ve had with switching to Linux are games, graphics card drivers and MS Office. The first two of those could well be resolved by Valve’s push into Linux. Last one is only really an issue if you’re working between different departments which still use it, making it difficult to use files they send you (thanks to MS going back on their open document format promises with .docx). Linux, from what I’ve tried (Ubuntu, Mint, Crunchbang) is pretty solid and straight forward to use, just the issues with graphics glitches and not having software which holds it back

          • Premium User Badge

            phuzz says:

            LibreOffice/OpenOffice can both load and save docx and all the other Microsoft formates. Both are free (as in beer and speech), and having used LibreOffice for six months now, it’s an adequate replacement, unless you need Outlook or macros.
            That said, even if every game from 2014 onwards comes out on SteamBox linux, I’m still going to want a copy of windows around to play every game that isn’t on Linux already.

          • soundofsatellites says:

            I got a new laptop and kinda got used to it by now.

            But yeah Metro is awkward as hell and you really have a schism between metro enviroment and desktop. The start thingie uses a bit more clicks than whats needed.
            If the start button comes back only to take you to the start screen it seems redundant (you can already do that if you take your mouse to the lower left corner of the screen – and pro tip, if you right click there you can access a pseudo start/context menu)

            As for Office Utilities, it’s funny ’cause the default file format of Ms Office 2013 is .odf. You have to switch to doc and docx if you want.

          • ahmedabdo says:

            I do also think that the most home PC users ‘use’ Windows in order to play games. For me, there is no reason to pay for the OS other than that. I would prefer Linux to Windows every now and then.

          • Mr Coot says:

            Ya, I am quietly hopeful for Valve’s move to Linux since gaming is the only thing that has kept me on Win machines. Win 8 was the last straw for me, next machine will be Linux + Wine or the equiv if there hasn’t been a substantial shift in native Linux gaming support. Not only am I paying a premium for the OS, but I am paying a premium to be a commodity and captive customer for MS via their App shop. MS is greedy and insulting to their customers.

    • Derppy says:

      I really don’t see why people think Windows 8 is such a terrible OS.

      Metro UI is mostly optional, the only time I ever see it is if I reboot and even then it’s gone in a second. If that bothers you too much, Google will tell you how to get rid of it entirely in a minute.

      The OS boots faster, has far better task/resource/performance monitoring, built-in ISO support and virtual drive, MSE, more shortcuts, better search and file history, cleaner UI (less shadows, blurring and shining, more contrast and readability) and simple OS reset/reinstall.

      There’s also plenty of little improvements like detailed file transfer info and instant screenshot saving.

      I’ve had a single compatibility issue with a game and it resolved by using compatibility mode for an install. Way better experience than updating to Windows 7.

      The only gripe I had with it was the lack of start menu, but learning a couple of keyboard shortcuts will help you be more efficient with any version of windows anyway. I’m doing everything faster with 8 than I did with 7.

      It’s not so great it would really encourage updating to it, I’m still running 7 on multiple machines, but when I format drives or buy new, I don’t see why I’d install Windows 7 instead of 8.

      • johnnyboy101 says:

        I agree with this – I’ve had a mostly trouble free experience, albeit a learning curve sure… but when else have you been able to obtain a valid windows OS for $15??? I bought 6 keys for less than a single win 7 key

      • AsamiImako says:

        I had slightly more issues when I did a clean install. I couldn’t get Crysis or Hitman: Sniper Challenge to work (maybe a couple others). Oddly, going back to Windows 7 and then upgrading without a clean install seems to have fixed both, and I’ve had no issues since.

        A friend with a PC that came with Windows 8 installed seems to be having issues running The Hidden: Source.

        Hoping these issues are fixed with Windows 8.1/Blue.

        I also use Start8, because screw that metro screen thing, I tried to like it but the experience of switching to the metro screen and back is just too jarring for anyone in their right mind to prefer, but aside from that, I really do like 8 more than 7.

      • Woverdude says:

        It’s not that it’s bad. I’ve used it and, other than the momentary confusion when I remember that I can’t just use 7’s Start menu, Windows 8 is ok. But that’s the problem. It’s not good, it’s just okay. If I buy another computer for some reason and Windows 8 is on it, I won’t go out of my way to downgrade to Windows 7. But I also see no reason to upgrade to 8, or buy it rather than 7 which is more familiar and easier to use. The new OS is not bad. It’s just not good quite good enough.

      • Machinations says:

        “Metro UI is mostly optional”

        I would say this summarizes why people dislike Windows 8. Optional is an interesting word, in that there are no partial forms of it. It’s either optional, or it is not, there is no such thing as ‘mostly optional’. Metro is not optional, which makes very little sense.

        This was a design error of biblical proportions.

        • Derppy says:

          Sorry, I meant you don’t have to use it 99.9% of the time. Probably doesn’t fit the exact definition of optional, but I don’t consider it an issue when I barely ever see it.

          The improvements pretty clearly outweight such a minor annoyance, which you can fix in a few minutes if it really bothers you.

          Windows 8 isn’t anything groundbreaking, but has more than a few nice additions for casual and power users alike. My point was just that it doesn’t follow the tradition of every other Windows release being crap and I fail to see why people think it does.

          • Apocalypse says:

            The Metro Screen itself is an improvement over that gigantic and useless start menu that never was design to hold hundreds of applications and shortcuts.

          • skorpeyon says:

            I can’t figure out if the “gigantic and useless start menu” comment is sarcasm or not, considering the metro interface is, literally, a start menu that encompasses your entire screen but shows you fewer programs at a given time than the traditional one did. The start menu took up 1/7th of my screen and showed me probably around 40 items in once glance with a mere 2 clicks of my mouse. The metro interface shows, what, 16 at most? and takes up my entire screen? The screenshot above shows a mere 11 apps on one screen, then you have to scroll to the right for another 11, and again, and again.

            I’m not, like most were when Vista was released, jumping on the hate bandwagon, either. I installed Win8 the day it came out. I used it for a good month. Then, for the first time in the history of my PC ownership, I formatted my computer to put an OLDER OS on it because of how user un-friendly Win8 is on a desktop computer.

            Use it on a tablet or a laptop with a touch screen and I’m sure the metro interface is AWESOME, but on my desktop it’s not, and without installing a minimum of 3 third-party apps (to bring back the start menu, fix some other issue I can’t even remember, and make Metro apps run in windows) I couldn’t stand using it. Your OS shouldn’t take third party apps just to be usable. Windows 7 didn’t, so I went back to that.

      • dsch says:

        Alec has Windows 8, John has … well. Journalism, eh?

      • Akagi says:

        I agree. Windows 8 is the butt of a lot of unnecessary criticism, a lot of it simply over the new Start Screen which you aren’t forced to use, and the lack of a Start Button which I never cared about and never used.

        What they did was separate power users and tablet users. I initially wasn’t happy that there was a tablet user segment just tacked on, but they added new and useful features for power users as well.

        The ability to mount isos, the default PDF reader app, multi monitor support, CTRL+ X, file transfer dialog improvement, and the ability to reformat a PC by resetting the OS to “factory”. There may be other things, but all those instantly made my life easier and better.

        I really don’t care about the problems people have with a lack of Start button. Honestly if that’s the single reason you won’t use this OS, don’t ever bother trying Linux out – I’m sure you’d find it utterly repulsive….

        • Blue_Lemming says:

          Agree with you entirely, plus it boots a ton quicker than windows 7, you can easily ignore the tiles, and TBH I don’t miss the start menu as searching for programs is actually faster.

          Booting to desktop would be handy as i go straight there after login, but otherwise i got a cheap upgrade so i am not complaining, and it doesn’t seem to stop me running anything i used to.

    • BattleXer says:

      Glad I didn’t fall for the hype. Win7 FTW.

      • Panda Powered says:

        But… Pinball FX2! ;) (Also MS, please make SkiFree 2).

  2. Gap Gen says:

    Every other Star Trek film, every other version of Windows…

    • basilisk says:

      Sorry, but that’s just bullshit, and requires some pretty creative interpretations of what a “version of Windows” means to work. Stop spreading memes and start to think.

      • finbikkifin says:

        And it only really works for Trek if you count Galaxy Quest.

        • realitysconcierge says:

          galaxy quest :D

          • finbikkifin says:

            The biggest thing people miss when trying to make a quick cash-in parody is that a good parody has to be a good example of its subject.

            Galaxy Quest is excellent Star Trek.

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            I concur, finbikkifin. Galaxy Quest loves Star Trek (The Original Series) in a way that the bombastic reboot doesn’t.

      • mollemannen says:

        yea some of it is bullshit. every other windows isn’t bad it’s just that some versions are really good (the same could be said of the star trek movies as the even numbered movies oftenly are really good and the other are either bad or pretty meh)

        windows 95 and windows me wasn’t any problems as it stuck to the basic formula and the only reason the meme got made at all was that vista and windows 8 are bad.

        • BTAxis says:

          Win8 isn’t bad. It’s just a faster and less resource intensive Win7. It’s Metro that’s bad, and that’s what most people think of when they say “Windows 8”. As if an OS was just a GUI and nothing more.

          • xavdeman says:

            Most people are right, because in the Microsoft-ecosystem you have no choice of GUI, thus to choose between GUIs means to choose between OSs. Maybe you’d be right if you you were talking about Linux, where you can often change the window manager (GUI) while keeping the same underlying operating system. This is NOT possible in any Microsoft operating system without the use of external tools.
            Also, in Microsoft land this symbiotic relationship between the Kernal and the UI is pretty obvious, the OS isn’t called “Windows” for nothing. Unlike Linux, where the OS is not called KDE or Gnome.
            On topic:
            If Microsoft reinstates the start MENU instead of the start SCREEN and allows you to boot straight to the Windows desktop I will reconsider installing it on my and others’ PC’s.
            Right now it just hampers productivity too much.

          • battles_atlas says:

            Microsoft forces users to equate Windows 8 with the Metro interface. It hides everything else (which is to say everything) behind it. We want the OS behind it – thats the point!

          • Wisq says:

            Guys, have you actually used Windows 8? If you had, you’d realise that your desktop is one click away and you never have to look at the metro UI until you pull it up again, or the next time you boot.

            You do have a choice. And I would be the first to scream at Microsoft if they tried to take that choice away (or for most anything else, for that matter), but you absolutely do have a choice, and I choose the desktop.

            I am 100% in the “if you are doing a new install, do Windows 8, but it’s not worth disrupting a working Windows 7 install” camp. It’s a better OS than Windows 7, hampered by a worse UI that is thankfully completely optional.

            Granted, I’m also in the “use a better OS for your day-to-day stuff and only use Windows for gaming” camp, but I’ve been there since Win95.

            Caveat: Yes, perhaps there are some apps that require you use them in Metro mode. I don’t know. I haven’t encountered a single one yet.

          • skorpeyon says:

            Wisq: I HAVE used Windows 8, and considering that I’d like to actually use things like my video player (I actually like WMP unlike some people) and Netflix’s new app they designed for Win8 and such, it meant I had to constantly swap back and forth between the two interfaces. This is a mistake when they could’ve just as easily made the styling of the apps available, but had them run in a windowed mode, and basically given you the UI you want with some incredibly cool new features and new app styles.

            The (not) Metro interface is very much in-your-face if you want to take advantage of any of the new things Windows 8 brought with it, short of a faster boot time. And since I very rarely shut my computer down, and when I do it takes a mere 2 minutes to start up with Windows 7, I don’t see the point in putting on a system that is so incredibly broken.

            Basically, the complaint is that they’ve forced newer, interesting technology into a shit interface and told everyone it’s the future, and if you don’t like it “deal with it”. It’s horrendously stupid on a desktop and it’s only a matter of time before they try to move to a full-on metro-only interface. People who defend the fact that you don’t HAVE to use it sure won’t have that argument in a few iterations unless Microsoft gets the hint that desktop users don’t want it.

        • somnolentsurfer says:

          Sorry you what now?

          Windows Me made Vista look like a masterclass in OS design.

          • skorpeyon says:

            Vista actually wasn’t bad at all. I ran it from day one until the day Win7 came out and the only problems I ever had were hardware related. That means the hardware manufacturers were at fault for not releasing Vista-compatible drivers. That’s not the OS’s fault, and once I replaced those parts of my machine a week later I had no problems.

            Me, on the other hand, essentially destroyed my computer that came with it. All it would ever do is run for a couple hours and then bluescreen out. I was so very happy when XP finally came out and I could ditch it.

        • distantlurker says:

          “windows 95 and windows me wasn’t any problems”

          Did you *use* a PC before windows XP? 95 was a horribly rushed mess, 98 was great; ME is the industry standard for O/S fudge bloats, XP was excellent (thank you NT); Vista was a mess and 7 is solid.

          I mean I get where Basilisk is coming from, but your comment displays a complete ignorance of the broadly accepted history of MS OS’s. (weasel words? just read the windows wiki page, it says the same thing).

          • LionsPhil says:

            ’95 wasn’t too bad once it hit OSR2. (’98 needed SE to settle down, too.)

            Mind you, some people claim Vista’s alright now it’s hit SP1. I don’t have any experience there but apparently a lot of 7’s fixes got backported.

            (ME was a heaping pile for its whole miserable lifespan, probably because Microsoft couldn’t brush it under the carpet fast enough once XP was out.)

          • soldant says:

            XP was terrible on release, the same crying about Vista was going on when XP first came out. I still remember everyone saying “No don’t do it, it sucks for games and takes up too many resources, stay on 98.” XP didn’t start getting acceptable until SP1, and didn’t start getting good until SP2 but by that time it was old.

            Vista’s biggest sin was that it wasn’t an incremental upgrade but a radical overhaul, and driver devs didn’t get their gear out the door in time (I have no idea why, we had 2 public release candidates…). If nothing else, Vista set the stage for Win7, which benefited from an incremental improvement on Vista along with healthy driver support and a higher average hardware profile. If Win7 was released in place of Vista, it would be the black sheep of the Windows family.

          • Jenks says:

            Windows XP was excellent before SP1, I have no idea what you could possibly be thinking of. I don’t remember anyone with half a brain recommending people stick with 98 or ME when XP released.

            Vista was a horrible resource hog at release. It’s since been fixed, but if Windows 7 came out in its current state instead of Vista, it would be just as successful as it is now.

          • LionsPhil says:

            XP on release was fine. SP2 actually knobbled it quite a bit; that bloody new security center and some performance regressions. I ran an XP box until the mid ’00s when I finally needed SP1 (which was after SP2 was around), and only finally got forced to SP3 within the last year or so (things built against newer Visual C runtimes need new kernel features).

            (If you’re wondering, iffy sound drivers for some fancy card which seemed to suffer stutters when I tried upgrading on that box. Fun times. Thank goodness for full image backups.)

            I know some people had misery, but I can only assume it’s some unpleasant hardware interaction. It’s not some fundamental, universal brokeness, like ME.

          • Consumatopia says:

            XP wasn’t actually better than 2000 until SP2 or so. People pointed the finger at device drivers, but I remember installing SP2 and wondering where all the old blue screens went, despite having the same drivers.

          • mollemannen says:

            I grew up using windows 3.1 and later switched to windows 95. i was very young so i wasn’t using it at the same way i used win 98 and windows xp but it was functional so it worked for every purpose i used it.

            iv’e only had experience on other peoples computers with windows me but the same thing there, it didn’t lack the functionality i required.

            i ran windows 98(had a strange bug with sped up sound) to around 2003 and then switched over to xp which is still the best windows OS if you ask me.

            four years ago i upgraded to a 1700£~ machine and since most drivers wasn’t compatible i felt forced to install vista on it. vista ran extremely sluggish compared to xp and had loads of problems with older games in my library, not to mention the first time dealing with UAC.

            i have used win8 in virtualbox and helped several people as technical support in windows 8. having to work around the startmenu is extremely infuriating when you know some things like the control panel is just two mouseclicks away usually.

            now this is just my experience and opinions, i haven’t read anything about the problems of the older windows so my opinions are completely unbiased and free from internet hate. if anyone else had problems with them im sorry to hear that but for me it has always worked.

        • solidsquid says:

          I had to reinstall Windows ME every 4-6 months when I was running it, even after various hardware updates, a problem which was fixed once XP was installed on it. This was a full “refuse to boot” system crash too, not just things slowing down or acting up. Vista wasn’t as bad as most people made out, although it was a bit bloated for what it was, but ME was just ridiculous

      • Gap Gen says:

        Sorry! I shall try to be serious from now on.



  3. Jams O'Donnell says:

    Wait, what? You can’t currently make Win 8 boot into normal happy Windows and instead have to switch to normal happy Windows after boot every time?

    • Strabo says:

      No you can’t, you also have to go to the dreadful Metro UI to do about 1/3 of your system settings, also search and opening programs that aren’t on your taskbar or desktop.
      However, you can install Start8 or similar programs like Classic Shell, which basically make Windows 8 into a more configurable version of Windows 7. It’s the only way to make it bearable for me. And since MS apparently just wants to make the new Start-Button call the Metro UI, I guess I will use Start8 for years to come.

      Start8: link to
      Classic Shell: link to

      • iucounu says:

        And I was unable to install either on my mum’s Win 8 laptop, because all the Metro apps are broken, as are – it seems – all the permissions, so I can’t actually get into to PC settings to fix stuff. I mean, the thing is probably corrupted or compromised somehow, and all the solutions to that are locked away in broken bits of the interface. It’s absurd. I finally managed to get in to user account settings by some backdoor route that involved the non-Metro parental control settings, but it still didn’t work.

      • BTAxis says:

        There is also this:
        link to
        It installs Win7’s explorer executable in Windows 8, and completely disables Metro. I’ve been using it for a while now, and it’s absolutely fine. Use at your own risk though.

      • Nova says:

        Haha, gotta love how Classic Shell touts “no breadrumbs” as a feature.

        • Axess Denyd says:

          It’s not so much that “breadcrumbs” are a terrible idea, but removing the “go up one directory” button made it IMPOSSIBLE to go up a directory using the mouse if directory names were too long.

          • devlocke says:

            They didn’t remove “go up one directory”, they just moved the button. And if you mouse-over it for a second, you see that you can hit Alt-Up to do that as well, which I assume was in all previous version of Windows and I just never noticed, but if not, they added a useful keyboard shortcut. :)

      • Machinations says:

        It’s always blown my mind that though there is an obvious market for additional Windows customization (without modifying registry settings manually) for products like WindowBlinds or similar, all by StarDock, yet Microsoft provides no such tools.

        Why would Microsoft want users paying for a third party tool to enhance customization when they could built more powerful tools and either integrate them or even charge for them? People like ‘customizing’ even if it is trivial. It’s just another one of those head-scratchers by MS.

        Like Games for Windows Live.
        Like Zune.
        Like the last Xbox dashboard update (that I saw), making Bing the home location and splattering ads across the interface.

        Similarly, I cannot fathom why MS charges for Xbox live. It gives me nothing that Steam does not. It’s just a cash cow for them – but I don’t think it makes their customers happy. Do they enjoy building resentment? I can see paying for enhanced features – but pay just to play multiplayer? Truly greedy.

        • Baines says:

          Didn’t Microsoft make and sell separately its own customization tools in the past? Stuff like some extra wallpaper features, clocks, and the like? I’m thinking back to the Win95/98 era.

          I remember hating it, because it felt like an extra money gouge, that Microsoft was locking features behind another pay wall.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Got Start8 on day one, never looked back. It’s simple, very well integrated and fixes all the issues with W8 in one fell swoop. Therefore, I can get the advantages of W8 (FINALLY good multi-monitor support, faster, less RAM usage, better task manager, etc.) without dealing with Metro.

      • ahmedabdo says:

        Yeah!! me too for years and years to come…

      • Mr Coot says:

        I’ve been using Classic Shell ( since the day I got my new machine. Boot straight to desktop without being aware of the abomination that is Win 8. Except when you click on an email link and have to close via task manager (if you don’t ‘register’ an email address with Win 8 – I don’t want to be more intimate with MS data collection than I have to).

        The thinly disguised herding into their app shop – which is what the forced entry to their aesthetically offensive and impractical for desktop metro screen is all about – that is why I don’t like Win 8.

    • Eamo says:

      Of course, if you do what you are supposed to do and let Windows 8 go into sleep mode when you are leaving it instead of doing a shut down it is a non issue as it will return you to your screen exactly as it was when you left it (and the bootup time is almost non-existant too). I only do a full reboot of mine when there are windows updates to apply and it is required.

      But yeah, if you do a full reboot you need one click to get to the standard desktop, of course the question then is why someone who is willing to waste the time for a full reboot instead of just using sleep like they should be doing gets so frustrated at having to waste a fraction of the time on a single mouse click. Complaining about a very minor inefficiency when you are creating a huge one by using shut down instead of sleep seems kinda silly.

      Edit: Two points people seem to be making. First power usage of sleep mode is negligible. Basically equivalent to having the computer turned off completely. It basically is a full shutdown the difference being that it dumps the contents of system memory out to the hard drive first and when the PC comes back on, instead of doing a full boot sequence it just copies that information back into ram and takes up where it left off. In the time between your computer is essentially turned off.

      Secondly, I work in software development, I use windows 8 for work, for gaming, for everything basically. There is some stuff on it I really don’t like (the Skype client being the main thing) and yeah, I do tend to use desktop shortcuts a lot more than I used to but I suspect like most people who use a PC I use the same 8-10 applications 99% of the time. TextPad, Eclipse, Dev Studio, Command Line, Web Browser is pretty much all I use most days. With a tiny amount of effort setting up desktop shortcuts and actually setting up shortcuts on the standard win 8 screen it is very rare I need to waste time trying to find something specific that would have been on the start menu.

      Also for what it’s worth, before using windows 8 I was still using XP, after reading all the complaints online I was expecting the transition to be a nightmare, I would say the adjustment time was measured in minutes. If you just get past the notion that something is wrong just because it is different, it is a trivial adjustment. Yeah some things are worse, but a lot of things are better too. The start menu is, and was, a pretty crappy UI element, yes it worked but how many times do you accidentally go to the wrong menu, or just as you move left into a sub menu the mouse moves up or down slightly and the next program group opens up, or the list of programs ends up three columns wide full of 90% stuff you never use because every software developer feels the need to put a menu full of ten icons you won’t need when all you want is the shortcut to the program? All those things are just as bad, just as annoying, the only difference is you have grown used to them.

      • Anguy says:

        So I’m supposed to waste precious electricity?

        • Jason Moyer says:

          The power required to boot a PC pretty much negates whatever you’re wasting by leaving it on, assuming you use your PC every day.

          • evilsooty999 says:

            Sure, if you are turning it off every time you leave a room and then turning it on when you return, but what about overnight or when you are at work/school? Must use more electricity in sleepmode all day than during the bootup when you get home.

            PS: That 6.50 is a bottle of wine waiting to happen:)

            But I see what you are saying; it isn’t a big deal. It’s more of a habit of mine to unplug everything I don’t need on like the TV, various chargers, microwaves etc that have the useless (to me anyway) sleep function as combined they would waste quite a bit.

          • roryok says:

            @evilsooty999 It depends on the machine. I’ve measured mine, the monitor and PC together use less than 5 watts in sleep mode, and my machine is about 5 years old. That’s 0.12 KwH per 24 hours. Granted it all adds up. It’s about €6.50 a year to leave my machine sleeping

          • Optimaximal says:

            PCs use an immense amount of power during boot because a) all devices are running tests and b) there’s no real power management invoked. The CPU & RAM also get a hefty workout loading and caching the various parts of the operating system.

            PCs are, in essence, like lightbulbs or cars – the first few minutes are the hardest on them as they get up to speed/temperature, then they tick along.

            That said, when computers go to sleep/hibernate, especially if its for a long time, most of the hardware shuts back down, with very rudimentary functions, so resuming isn’t as simple as it sounds.

          • fish99 says:

            I just tested this with a socket power meter and my PC. My PC sat doing nothing at the desktop uses 75W. During the roughly one minute boot-up (no SSD boot drive), the power usage was mostly around 85-95W, with occasional peaks of up to 115W, and dropping sometimes as low as 76W, but I’d estimate the average to be around 100W. And during sleep mode the PC was flicking between 1 and 2 W.

            So booting is 25W extra for one minute, and sleep mode is let’s say 1.5W. Therefore if your PC is going to sleep longer than about 15 minutes, switching it off will save you money.

            Clearly then it’s a myth that sleep mode saves you money, for the vast majority of users it doesn’t, and it’s also a myth that PCs use loads of power during boot-up. For the record my PC uses anything from 150-200W when gaming.

            I’ve also had sleep mode just flat out fail on several laptops, where it just won’t come back on and you have to hold the power button and fresh boot instead, potentially losing unsaved work.

          • roryok says:

            @fish99 I didn’t say it saves you money, I said it costs you almost nothing. Which is still true.

            5W = 0.005 Kwh, * 24 * 365 is 43.8Kwh, or 44 Units of electricity. I pay 15c for mine, so €6.57.

            Yes, it is cheaper to turn it on, but I’m happy to pay 6.50 a year to avoid waiting for boot up

          • Sheng-ji says:

            IF Windows 8 is designed to be put into sleep mode, why did MS Support on each occasion (4 times) that I have rung them asked me, straight off the bat

            “When was the last time the machine was rebooted”

            “The weekend”

            “That’s too long. Reboot it now before we go through any trouble shooting………. Did that solve the problem?”

          • fish99 says:

            @roryok Sorry I should have used @ to make it clear who I was replying to. I was replying specifically to these two statements-

            Jason “The power required to boot a PC pretty much negates whatever you’re wasting by leaving it on, assuming you use your PC every day.”

            and Optimaximal “PCs use an immense amount of power during boot”

            These are incorrect statements.

            For the record though I’d rather I had that €6.57 than the power company, last time I checked they had more money than me.

          • roryok says:

            Do you sit in the dark a lot too?

        • LionsPhil says:

          You can always hibernate. I have my desktops, XP and 7, do that for weeks; they only need to shut down/reboot for security updates.

          For 7 (and presumably 8), time to resume from hibernation is not muuuuch faster than time to boot, but it does mean I can just pick up where I left off with any open programs.

          Glorious NT kernel. (Yes, Macs can do this too. Isn’t it neat? Boot time is becoming less and less relevant.)

          • roryok says:

            it surprises me how few people know about hibernate. And it confuses me that its not enabled by default on any version of windows. Why the hell is that?

          • Premium User Badge

            phuzz says:

            Hibernate isn’t enabled by default as unless the drivers are all working properly and up to date then it’ll probably fail to restart. Ie, it it’ll usually only work on an OEM machine like a Dell, rather than a home built machine.
            Things are better now, but I think Microsoft would rather ship with a conservative set of defaults rather than have a copy of windows that borks it’s self when you leave it for too long.
            Getting this working on linux is an even bigger pain, but Apples with their tightly controlled hardware are dead easy.

          • Baines says:

            Yes, hibernate and sleep functions have a history of not working. Hardware wouldn’t always properly support the various states, and drivers were arguably even worse about it.

            Making things even worse, you didn’t always know what the source problem was, and not all issues were guaranteed to happen every time you woke the machine. Some things are fairly obvious, like having no display or not hearing your hard drive spin up. But I had one machine that simply became more unstable after waking. You might use it for hours without seeing an issue, or it might be only a matter of minutes, but it was certainly less stable after a suspend than it was before.

            I can’t speak towards more modern machines, but most people I know have some kind of Suspend/Hibernate failure story that they’ve experienced in the past.

            Maybe things are better these days. Laptops have probably pushed more attention to proper support, for one thing. But I learned the hard way to not trust the modes, and generally just power down my machine and turn off the monitor when I’m done for the day.

          • Lemming says:

            Never concerned with the potential fire hazard?

            I turn off everything at the mains every night before I go to bed, and they go on first thing when I wake up, but still get turned off if I’m out all day or longer. My ‘leccy bill is always low.

          • roryok says:

            @Lemmy If I started to worry about that then I’d start to worry about the fridge and the freezer too. I generally unplug most things at night. but I leave the PC plugged in and either hibernating or in sleep mode.

      • evilsooty999 says:

        You leave your computer on standby 24 hours a day? What a waste of electricity. I turn mine off at the wall whenever I am not using it so the boot to Metro would be far too annoying for me.

        • basilisk says:

          I also turn off my PC at the wall every day. You know what changed in my morning boot-up routine after switching to W8? Precisely this much: the first thing I do is no longer clicking on the browser icon that’s pinned to the bottom left of my taskbar, but instead clicking on the browser tile which is located about 700 pixels higher. The end result is exactly the same: I’m in the classic shell, looking at my browser’s speed dial.

          What’s “far too annoying” about that?

          • evilsooty999 says:

            As there is no point to my desktop booting to a mobile phone interface every time I turn it on. Sure it only takes a second to switch to the desktop, but why is it even there in the first place?

            There are plenty of arbitrary pointless things I could introduce into my daily routine that only take a second, like flicking the light switch on and off every time I leave a room, but that doesn’t mean I should.

            To Basilisk’s reply below:

            Yes, I usually open the likes of WMP, Firefox or Thunderbird without thinking. Yes, I could do that in Metro as well but I would prefer to do that on an interface that is designed for the mouse & keyboard; I see no need for another layer, especially one which clearly has touchscreens in mind with its fullscreen windows and huge tiles everywhere.

            I also frequently tinker with things in the control panel that you have to dig down into Metro for.

          • basilisk says:

            evilsooty: But tell me this: why do you want to boot to desktop? What do you do on the desktop when you boot to it? Honest question.

            I’m guessing (and correct me if I’m wrong) that the first thing you do on that desktop is to launch something, because otherwise the desktop, well, isn’t really good for anything other than admiring your wallpaper, is it? And if you want to launch something, why can’t you do that from the “tablet interface”? It does precisely the same job and then beams out like a discreet butler.

            As mentioned below in the thread, it might help to think of the Start screen as basically a replacement for an icon-strewn desktop. It does the same thing but (mostly) better, with a lot of bells and whistles on top you may or may not like/need/ignore.

          • FriendlyFire says:

            @basilisk: “As mentioned below in the thread, it might help to think of the Start screen as basically a replacement for an icon-strewn desktop. It does the same thing but (mostly) better, with a lot of bells and whistles on top you may or may not like/need/ignore.”

            This is what has puzzled me the most. To me, Metro is a desktop replacement, not a start menu replacement. I think it would’ve been a lot more logical for Metro to replace the desktop area (so essentially replacing the icons with tiles), living behind normal Windows applications (making Aero Peek more practical by letting you see your live tiles, for instance). The taskbar would also be always visible, just like it is on the current desktop, but would be more integrated with Metro if you were looking at your desktop.

            I’d really like having Metro behave like that. The desktop’s always felt like a waste to me with the new taskbar. As a bonus, they could leave a functional start menu which could either be entirely separate from Metro or combine the traditional start menu with elements from the Metro desktop.

            I don’t quite understand why nobody seems to have thought of this, or at least voiced it.

          • Josh W says:

            I like my nice landscape pictures personally, even if the desktop itself is not terribly important.

      • battles_atlas says:

        Eamo – your PC use seems to only involve launching shortcuts from what I can tell – given that is all the desktop minus Start button allows you to do. If you want to do any form of tinkering at all, you have to go back to bloody Metro and start hunting through layers of pointless crap.

        I just use Windows 8 on a media pc rather than my main one so haven’t had enough motivation to install Start8 or similar. What I have had to do though is dig through and create shortcuts on the Metro screen for all the things a PC requires: Control Panel, File Explorer, Networks etc. That all this is buried by default just leaves me staggered at the arrogance and stupidity of MS.

        • Isair says:

          The file explorer should be in the taskbar by default. The control panel can also be reached though the charms bar. Admittedly that’s not exactly optimal, but it’s still reachable though the desktop.

          • CaffeinePwrdAl says:

            Use ‘WIN+X’ menu – The most useful, barely-documented feature of windows 8!

            Its not pretty, but it gives you single click options to run, search, explorer, control panel, task manager, command prompt, admin command prompt, all the management panels (disk, device, event viewer), power options, add/remove programs.

            I think it just links to a folder somewhere with shortcuts in it, like the start-menu used to be, but I’ve not looked for it myself.

          • Fataleer says:

            There is this awesome function (Which can be called through WIN+X) when you right-click the place where Start used to be in 8, quick panel opens.

            Power options; programes; system; event viewer; computer managment; control panel; command prompt (with admin); and others.

            With this and properely aranged taskbar icons, I use metro just to launch games (since gaming… well… I prefer it to be more out of sight. )

          • Apocalypse says:

            the explorer is, I hope you are ready for a surpsie, at windows + e.

            Win+e = explorer.
            win+c = charms
            win+q = query
            win+f = find files
            win +d = desktop

            Get used to it, works better, works works faster, and will work longer.

        • Panda Powered says:

          WIN+X as CaffeinePwrdAI said or just start typing in the metro interface and it will display whatever you are looking for.
          I personally use Classic Shell and disabled the hotspot corners and charms and boot straight to desktop. I never have to see metro unless I press Shift+WIN.

      • PikaBot says:

        yeah, I do tend to use desktop shortcuts a lot more than I used to

        That is a pretty fucking big caveat. It has been literally years since I have willingly placed a shortcut to a program on my desktop, because on 7 and XP I have better ways to access my programs. Desktop shortcuts just create needless clutter in a space I use to store files I haven’t yet organized.

  4. kud13 says:

    Microsoft admitting they may not have been right?

    I find that hard to believe. In the other hand, It IS snowing in April and the Maple Leafs DID make the playoffs.

    I suppose it may be possible.

    • stele says:

      Something you’ll NEVER see Apple do.

      FWIW, I think Windows 8 is actually an improvement over 7, *ONCE YOU INSTALL Start8*. And I’m a developer/power user. There is too much hate by people who’ve never used it.

      • solidsquid says:

        So Windows 8 is good if you install a non-Microsoft piece of software designed specifically to reverse the changes that Microsoft made to their OS?

        You’re right about the back end system, from what I’ve heard it’s a lot more solid than previous versions of Windows, but their use of the Metro shell was an abysmal decision which has put a large number of people off buying machines with Windows 8 on them

  5. Simon Hawthorne says:

    Tom’s Hardware has seen a recent build which suggests this is not a feature :-(

    link to

    (Genuinely not spam! Although a Spam bot WOULD say that…)

    • basilisk says:

      Hey, it looks like Blue is going to (at least try to) address most of my peeves with the metro interface. Good. Hope they don’t expect me to pay through the nose for it.

      • Milky1985 says:

        This is Microsoft not Apple, they tend to not charge for service packs which I think this is going to be.

        • jalf says:

          Absolutely true, except that it isn’t. :)

          So far it is been made very clear that Microsoft is switching to an annual (sort of) release schedule for the OS (that’s codename Blue), where each version is going to be smaller and cheaper than the current major monolithic releases (but certainly not *free*).

          In fact, basically the same scheme that Apple is using.

          Also, when did Apple charge for service packs?

  6. GernauMorat says:

    Recently got a new laptop which unfortunately came with Win 8. While it is certainly a mess out of the box, it only took me about 30 minutes to get it working in a civilized manner, with a proper start bar and booting straight to desktop. It should be like that anyway mind, but its not that ungodly to make work properly.

  7. sharkh20 says:

    You could update windows 8….Ooooorrrrrr, just install Windows 7.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I note the price of Win 7 licenses has not dropped. They’re probably wanting to discourage people from grabbing one for keeps.

      (Be careful: OEM releases these days will tie to the motherboard, just like actual preinstalled copies. Activation/WGA won’t then let you move it to a replacement machine later.)

      • HisMastersVoice says:

        I’ve recently reinstalled Win7 on a new machine, so I’m guessing it only applies to Win8?

        • LionsPhil says:

          Applies all the way back to Vista, apparently. Do some searching around, but IIRC one of the sources I found was Microsoft itself.

          They got fed up of people seeing OEM licenses as the same but cheaper, because they were.

          • mondomau says:

            This is true, but the implementation seems to be a bit hit and miss – I’ve recently installed an OEM copy of Win7 on a second machine with no probs, but a mate of mine had a ‘your copy of windows is not genuine’ after switching around some hardware.

          • Panda Powered says:

            I worked in a computer store for a while, assembling and upgrading machines. I used to get that “not genuine” error on a daily basis. You get a choice of contacting support and can choose a phone-number to an automated answering-system (same charge as regular phone-calls) where you just follow the instructions and enter two codes and the Windows copy is activated and “genuine” again.

  8. Mstrymt says:

    I’ve been using 8 since one of the beta’s and have had no problems with it.
    I regularly use 8 and 7(due to my day job) and haven’t noticed any discernable difference in locating applications.

    Then again I rarely use the start button anyway(i just use the windows key) and i avoid the win 8 native applications in general, mostly because they suck rather than that they are hard to use.

    even if they bring back a pseudo start menu , I’ll probably stick with the hot-corners.

    ps: i do like this “Opinion Away” button

    • Bhazor says:

      Same here. I have no idea where all the vitriol is coming from.

      • basilisk says:

        I agree with you. Statements like “Now that everyone who isn’t mad has roundly agreed that Windows 8 is a whole bucketful of stupid” are just so puzzling.

        A few more tweaks to the Start screen, a bit more personalisation options and a better search and it will be way better than the Start menu ever was. I don’t really see why are people so defensive about that silly old thing like if it was a matter of life and death.

        Then again, Microsoft has been locked into a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for pretty much a whole decade now. Don’t envy them at all.

        • spacedyemeerkat says:

          Agree with all of you. Utterly befuddling, the way people appear to have a personal vendetta against Windows 8.

          • SentientNr6 says:

            same same here. I don’t get the hate and kind of like it.
            I can imagine people fearing the store for what it MIGHT become.
            But right now, for me, it’s just an incremental improvement over W7.
            I guess that makes me mad then.

        • solidsquid says:

          The reaction was pretty much the same when Ubuntu switched to Unity, although that seems to be more customisable than the Windows 8 screen

      • mondomau says:

        I agree. This is no Vista – The mouse / keyboard implementation of the touch-centric metro system is half-hearted at best and piss-poor at worst. In every other way though, I really like 8 and consider it a decent (if minor) upgrade to 7.

        If they sort out the stupid search filter when you type into metro (it defaults to apps), implement sual screen app support and sort out some proper shortcuts, they can keep the start menu for all I care.

    • roryok says:

      Same here. I’ve over to Windows 8 at work and at home. I actually prefer the new start screen over the start menu now. If I need to find anything, I just hit WIN+Q and type the name.

      I do find that a lot of the Metro apps are painfully slower than their desktop counterparts, but that’s a separate issue.

      • SentientNr6 says:

        why don’t you just hit WIN and start typing?

        • roryok says:

          huh. look at that. thanks!

          • Apocalypse says:

            Keep in mind that win+q may still be useful, has this charm is always “search” in every metro app as well, and in such it can be a context sensitive search controlled by the app. So win+q defiantly can be still very useful.

            It is just that win + typing leads to a default search for apps that may fit.

    • Diziet Sma says:

      Agreed, as someone who pretty much navigates by keyboard windows 8 is fine. It’s faster, it’s kinda pretty and I get on with it just fine. The ‘everyone who isn’t mad’ line is simply insulting and unnecessary.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      It is odd.

      The only thing I can think of is that all of the people who hate Windows 8 are ‘mouse-only’ users who are unable to make the leap to using the windows key and the keyboard to launch or find stuff, even though it is obviously far quicker than all that clicking through layers of start menu.

      While it may not have been a great idea of Microsoft to try and force people to use a more efficient method of doing stuff, once you get used to it you’ll wonder why you wasted all that time clicking in the past.

      Seriously – Windows key and type and you can all stop hating on Windows 8.

      • MadZab says:

        My keyboard doesn’t have a Win-button because having one kept screwing up my gaming so I reverted to a very old keybord ages ago. As I’m using Windows7 with settings that make it look like something somewhere between Win95 and Win98, I see no use in any new interfaces… Call me stubborn but I like it that way and I still insist that rounded corners are a waste of everything. Other than that I’ll be glad to use Win7 as long as I have used XP before it: The better part of a decade.

        • Panda Powered says:

          Windows 8 has all the right angles and sharp corners you prefer. ;)

        • Apocalypse says:

          I really hope for you that your horse cart never breaks.

          “But momy, I don´t want no stinking command key, that’s a cooperation work of the devil and steve jobs.”

      • jalf says:

        That doesn’t solve my pet peeve. The constant context switches drive me mad. Use Metro, fine, use the desktop, fine. But don’t take me to the desktop control panel when I click on the wrong thing in Metro settings. And don’t throw me into Metro-land if I click the wrong icon, button or link in desktop-land.

        It sounds like Microsoft is taking a step towards solving that, so maybe 8.1 will be usable to me.

        As for being “mouse-only”, perhaps you could tell me why the start screen exists, if it shouldn’t be used. Why not just have a text field where I can type the name of the application I want to launch?

        Could it perhaps be that sometimes, finding the application visually is easier? Say, if you’re not sure of its name, or in the cases where Windows’ built in search acts like a complete moron.

        If the claim here seriously is that “Windows 8 isn’t too bad as long as you use it as a command line interface”, then I think you may have misunderstood something about the purpose of the OS.

        • Donkeyfumbler says:

          The start screen exists, as the start menu did before it, partly so you can do exactly that – click to find stuff that you can’t remember the name of if you really have to, which the Metro interface is still perfectly good at doing (although I will grant you, maybe not quite as well as the Windows 7 start menu), but really, how many times do you actually NEED to do that?

          In Windows 8, it’s really so that touchscreen users can get to their core applications quickly and for the live tile widgety things (if you want them – I don’t particularly)

    • BarneyL says:

      I guess count me in to the “mad” crowd too. While win 8 isn’t perfect it’s pros far outweigh it’s cons.
      It would be nice to see RPS reporters not throwing in the kind of childish insults into their articles that are thankfully so rare in the comments threads.

      • Sian says:

        I consider the cost of any new Windows version a con (pun not intended, but welcome), and in this case, the pros definitely don’t outweigh it.

        • Apocalypse says:

          Those $50 for windows 8 pro are well spend. Once you overcome your fear of metro, you will start to love the speedy interface, the super fast boot sequences, the packet manager, the return of powershell as default part of installation, the useful widgets, and if your screen is large enough even the new half-size windows in desktop mode and the 1/3 2/3 modes for metro apps.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Microsoft put a touch screen interface as the standard, despite the vast majority of their users not having a touch screen. They didn’t make it optional. For mouse-centric users, the number of clicks generally increased. The touch interface is best used on a small screen, and is ergonomically less efficient on larger screens. It was an obvious ploy to get folks used to the interface to gain influence in the growing mobile market. Where they are only minor players, presently. It moves to a more ‘walled garden’ approach. There are a bunch of reasonable issues with Win8’s approach. Your abilities to appreciate it doesn’t make it necessarily useful to others.

      Not to mention that many business systems have only recently, or are just now moving towards Win7, making a move to Win8 less attractive. Personally, I never get a new Windows OS until it has had time for others to shakedown its problems. As, apparantly, this new patch will help do.

      Now, if I get a touchscreen computer (something I am actually interested in doing), I will happily go to Win8. Until then, it is just not worth the trouble of adaption adoption.

      • Apocalypse says:

        The desktop should be a keyboard-centric experiences, workflow is faster in Windows 8.

  9. Raskha says:

    I don’t get it.
    Windows 8 are faster (code wise) so it’s an actual upgrade from windows 7.
    Also what do you mean it takes more time to do what you want to do?
    Press start, type the 2 first letters of the program you want to run and press enter.
    You don’t want to use your keyboard? You can pretty much clear and remake the whole metro thingy.
    Press start and have everything you have installed at your disposal(even a control panel!)
    If you can’t adapt to changes stick to windows XP.

    On the other hand, it would be nice to make metro more appealing to the eye…
    Make the blocks and background able to be customized.
    Now that we are on that matter, desktop design is a bit “flat” as well ,some better art is in order:P

    It does need work, this is probably a testing phase, but I like their ideas, they just need to dumb it down for the public.

    Now what I don’t agree with is the fact that microsoft is trying to make you (in a way) connect all your digital purchases with them and this is just another small step into achieving that(think xbox live)…

    So as a technical concept I agree, as an ideology fuck ’em.

    • Mstrymt says:

      ^ this, i especially dislike the setup screen making the “sign in without live id” text barely discernable.

      my first couple of installs i actually missed it entirely.

      edit: i actually prefer the flat design UI, much improved from shiny aero

    • Gap Gen says:

      The problem is that this relies on knowing/guessing what programs are called to some degree. The Start menu made that a little more obvious by giving you a thing saying “Control Panel”, say. My only exposure to Windows 8 was the time between getting my new laptop and installing Ubuntu. But sure, I’m sure once you get used to it it’s fine.

      • Mstrymt says:

        You can create “sections” in the menu to group commonly used applications that you may want to access quickly via mouse.

        It does require a small effort to add these however, and they aren’t just “there” like in the start menu.

        If you use control panel (and the like) on a regular basis you could probably benefit from using the keyboard shotcuts/lookup regardless of what windows you have.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Yeah, my problem was mainly that the only reason I was using Windows was to set up Ubuntu (which includes some BIOS witchery on recent CPUs, apparently), and figured I might as well dual-boot since I had it installed already. So it was mainly me flailing about in a new OS without really wanting to use it long-term. And sure, every OS requires some work to set it up the way you like it – Windows 7 to a lesser extent, I’ve found, but then I grew up using Windows so maybe I didn’t feel the need to fiddle so much.

    • Emeraude says:

      “If you can’t adapt to changes stick to windows XP. ”

      I can’t but read this as:

      “If the company that has made itself ubiquitous on the PC market don’t want to cater to your needs anymore, remove yourself from the market”

  10. LionsPhil says:

    There’s more to the Windows 7 (and Vista) Start menu than a list of apps. There’s the pinning, the way recent documents are now associated with each app along with jumplists, the search that actually works and is predictable enough to use as a mini command line (with keyboard shortcuts to then launch it elevated if you need an admin command prompt)…

    It was incredibly stupid, having made the Start Menu such a slick tool, to then completely throw it away. Replacing it with a single button is no less stupid.

    • Strabo says:

      Absolutely agree! The Start Menu was incredibly powerful and useful and I cannot understand people who say “but Metro UI is basically the Start Menu, only bigger and better!”, because it isn’t even 1/10th of what the Start Menu (which apparently nobody ever used, totally honest ever! That’s why we force everyone into the big, featureless version of it!) was.

      • Mstrymt says:

        Out of interest, what sort of things could the start menu do that the win8 menu can’t?

        • Strabo says:

          Next to what LionsPhil already wrote, like the fully featured command line, if you search in Windows 8 you only get Apps and get files only if you press another option (with your mouse or touch), in Windows 7 you get both immediately.
          The right-click, which gives you the full context menu (with dozens of options) inside the Start Menu, gives you only the “remove from Start Screen” option in Windows 8.
          You have no Jump Lists (in the Start Menu you could open the third last document edited in Word with basically three keystrokes – no such luck in Windows 8). No shortcuts to your most used Libraries/Directories unlike in Windows 7.
          Well, and the byzantine process just to restart your PC is just the icing on the cake.

          • roryok says:

            Well, and the byzantine process just to restart your PC is just the icing on the cake.

            WIN+I, click, click.

            There’s some myth propagating that windows 8 requires some kind of advanced tech skills in order to shut it down. This is coming most loudly from people who’ve not used it for more than a few minutes, like you.

          • LionsPhil says:

            I hate to tell you this, but discoverability is an important part of usability.

            How many people know you can answer “no to all” in Explorer dialogues in XP? What? How stupid are you to not realize you can shift-click “no”?! YOU MORONS CAN’T EVEN COMPUTER!

          • roryok says:

            I hate to tell you this

            You liar. You love it.

            No, it’s not that discoverable, I’ll grant you. But its not difficult. And there are lots of other ways to shutdown Windows 8. ALT+F4 on the desktop. CTRL+ALT+DEL and then two clicks. Or my personal favourite, PRESS THE POWER BUTTON – that one’s super discoverable.

          • battles_atlas says:

            Agreed LionsPhil, this boneheaded “OMFG YOU DONT USE OBSCURE ARBITRARY KEYBOARD COMBINATION WIN+SHIFT+E+F4?!! YOU R NOOB!” really irks me. Even if the OS came with a 50 manual listing all these key shortcuts it is a design fail in 2013 to be expecting people to have to learn them all, given that the previous version did the same thing with a simple click. The fact that the OS comes with fuck all documentation, and you’re not even told of such shortcuts’ existence, let alone what they are…

            I want my OS to enable me to do what I want to do, which isn’t to spend my time figuring out how to use my OS.

          • roryok says:

            @battles_atlas Handy tip: WIN+I lauches the settings menu in Windows 8. Consider yourself enabled.

            Here’s a few more. Please do take a look, they will make it easier. link to

            Also, re: your username, there’s usually an appendix in the back which gives the page number and grid reference of cities and countries. Stupid f***ing things don’t even come with a manual nowadays

          • Apocalypse says:

            win+f = find files, nothing changed at all, except the results and speed are way better now, and you have no the options to search app sensitive via win+q

        • SaVi says:

          I am curious about that too. I mean, I can pin stuff in Metro just fine, jumplists are in the taskbar for pinned applications, if the super easy search isn’t working out for me, new installations are pinned on the far right side, ready to be grouped and moved around. the Startmenu seems more like a fiddly widget in comparison, those who have never gotten used to it avoid it entirely and instead clutter the Desktop with Icons. Which kinda works like a less user friendly Metro Menu tbh.

          • basilisk says:

            those who have never gotten used to it avoid it entirely and instead clutter the Desktop with Icons. Which kinda works like a less user friendly Metro Menu tbh.

            I’ve been thinking precisely this. My desktop is completely empty except for the trash bin, and where most people have tons of icons on their desktop, I have them on the Start screen instead. It’s pretty much the same thing, except the Start screen is quite a bit faster and easier to call up and dismiss. And it can fit an awful lot of shortcuts compared to the old menu.

            But yes, jump lists would be nice to have, and the type-to-search function was clearly a downgrade from W7. Those are perfectly valid criticisms and I hope they fix that.

          • roryok says:

            I got rid of my Recycle bin icon too!

            Right click on desktop > Personalize > Change desktop icons > untick recycle bin

          • Apocalypse says:

            The bin is the only thing that is left on my deskop, except when I am working, than the desktop is filling with temp files.

            Why keep the bin? You can drag and drop to delete.

        • mondomau says:

          Yes, waving my mouse at the right side of the screen then clicking three times is outrageous.

          Seriously though, they could just stick the power button in the charms pop-up. That would be handy.

    • Isair says:

      Pretty sure pinning is near identical in Windows 8.

      • mondomau says:

        Pinning works the same, the search while you type works the same – There are a few legitimate criticisms of the interface, but these aren’t them.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Absolutely this, it eloquently said what I was thinking. I dive into all programs four or five times a year at most.

  11. faelnor says:

    That’s news of little to no consequence for people who already use free replacements like Classic Shell. My desktop + start menu look like this, it boots directly to the desktop and I haven’t even seen the ModernUI interface in more than six months, thanks to disabling those annoying hot corners.

    Classic Shell’s start menu doesn’t even have a hit on performance since it’s just using a lot of code hidden by Microsoft, still present in Windows 8.

    I couldn’t go back to Windows 7 as 8 is so snappy and manages memory better.

  12. Amaraen says:

    I don’t understand this massive riot about windows 8, I wasn’t happy when I first saw it but after I’ve used it, it doesn’t bother me at all.

    The OS works faster than 7. It boots monsterously faster. The only down side is a start screen which takes literally 10 minutes to get used to.

    For people upset about losing their link to “My computer”, I pity them for not discovering Win + E a long time ago.

    The UI can still be modded away if it really offends you that much, but honestly… I feel that a sizeable amount of windows 8 haters are people who haven’t used it for more than 5 minutes at a display unit.

    • Caiman says:

      First impressions, and all that. But really, for most users there really is absolutely zero reason to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Retrospectively adding features that have been removed isn’t very encouraging.

    • drewski says:

      I have a pretty big problem with the idea that anyone that doesn’t know 1001 keyboard shortcuts doesn’t deserve a useable interface.

      • roryok says:

        Sounds like you’re describing linux

        • Arglebargle says:

          If Linux had top notch interface designers, it would be dangerous. Never let garden variety engineers or progammers do your UI.

  13. SaVi says:

    You know, you can’t really avoid a touch enabled future? You are free to keep using Win7 or change to an entirely different OS. But I bet 100 Euro that any Desktop Feature added/returned with the Blue Update won’t be there in the next Windows. My real worries lie with PC Gaming one of the actual reasons for worry and hate.

    • drewski says:

      Actually, given the way phones are going, you’ll probably be able to jump straight to gesture based interfaces if you hold out against touch for long enough.

      The idea that enterprise PCs are suddenly going to move to 17″ touch panels as displays is…interesting.

    • Nick says:

      But with a mouse you don’t need touch, it just works better for non mobile devices…

  14. yabonn says:

    XP is fine.

    How is it going, on the Valvinux front?

    • zain3000 says:

      I eagerly await the day when the phrases “PC gaming” and “Windows PC” aren’t synonymous. With more and more indie devs releasing games on Windows/Mac/Linux at launch and Valve pushing Steam on Linux, ground is slowly (but surely) being made.

      The problem lies in the sphere of AAA development, I’m afraid. Most of those devs seem incredibly reluctant to jump on the Linux bandwagon. The Linux market share is just too low for them to get involved. However, if more of them did take the pluge, perhaps the Linux market share would grow? Chicken/egg much?

    • Solidstate89 says:

      XP is not fine. You’d be better off with Vista than XP.

      XP is a cesspool of no support and horrible security models with no memory mitigations beyond DEP, no integrity levels and where everything runs as Admin.

      I shudder whenever I see a large company still running XP or older. Especially when those companies have to rely on rock-solid security (like banks).

      • LionsPhil says:

        XP still trucks along well enough. Sure, better things have come since, but it hasn’t magically rotted back into being one of its DOS-based predecessors.

        The admin privilege split is less relevant in the modern world of one-computer-per-person given most heinous things to do to your computer can be done without it. I only need your regular user account powers to set your browser to trust my Totally Not Fake root CA and proxy through Russia. God help you if you’ve saved passwords. (This goes for your root split too, Linux and Mac.)

        (The main reason to want to see XP gone now is that it tops out at IE8, and web developers around the world would rejoice to not have to support anything less than 9.)

        • Solidstate89 says:

          Except you can’t do crap to the Root CAs in a typical user account in Windows Vista and up as they’re blocked by UAC. And if you have UAC set to max as well, that even disables elevation techniques used by malware to latch onto calc.exe or notepad.exe.

          XP’s entire security model is fundamentally flawed down to its core. Don’t try to defend it.

          • LionsPhil says:

            If you’re using IE, maybe, since it may defer to an OS-managed CA store. Firefox’s profile is all owned by your own user account. As are your saved logins, locally cached e-mail if you’re using something like Thunderbird, etc. etc..

            I am not disputing that 7 is better, just that that much-vaunted root/unpriviledged split is becoming less of a meaningful protection by the time Windows has moved to making it practical. (You can run as a limited user in XP, but without UAC and the related VirtualStore redirection tricks there to smooth over the cracks in existing applications, it’s not much fun.)

        • FriendlyFire says:

          XP’s display driver model is the bane of my existence. Unstable, bug-ridden, unsafe, messy. I can’t believe anyone still advocates using an OS that’s more than a decade old.

      • Asurmen says:

        It’s funny you should say that. I work for HMRC (British tax and customs department if you’re one of those dirty foreign people) we’re still running XP AND IE 6.

      • Panda Powered says:

        It’s always fun to see someone with a monster rig, but still running XP. Wasting every bit of RAM above the 4GB cap.

        Edit: Also, anybody still using XP is as as much to blame as the consoles to why we are still bogged down by DirectX9 and 32bit!

  15. b0rsuk says:

    Check out the Windows 8 vs Vista adoption. Windows 8 adoption is nearly 2x slower.
    link to

  16. Premium User Badge

    Matchstick says:

    I wonder what percentage of Windows 8 users are running something like Classic Shell or Start8 ?

  17. Corporate Dog says:

    I wouldn’t even mind if they COMMITTED themselves to the Metro interface, fully.

    It’s the half-assed melange of Desktop + Start Screen, and new programs working one way, while legacy programs work a different way, that makes me unlikely to upgrade any time soon.

    • dangel says:

      I think they are – it’s just they’re not there yet. It takes time to do it all and you have to start somewhere. It’s not news some things aren’t done yet in Windows – 7 is full of XP-like dialogs that didn’t get translated into a more modern equivalent.

  18. OdinsAuge says:

    I’m using Windows 8 since the release candidate. At the beginning I really hated this “tablet UI”. After a few weeks I started to like Windows 8, it’s fast and uses less resources and even the new UI isn’t that bad. I speeded up my workflow quite a lot.
    Ok it would be nice if you had the option to start into desktop mode. But I dont miss the start button.
    The only waste on Windows 8 are the apps, these are totally useless on a PC. Their window management is not practicable. So I use the start screen for organizing my often used programms and games and even for options, properties and konfigurations.

  19. Valvarexart says:

    Well, it hardly matters now, does it? I’ve completely switched over to Linux, and only last month I overwrote my Windows partition with much finality. Steam on Linux combined with wine lets me play all the games I actually like. The only one I haven’t been able to get running so far has been BF3, but then again I didn’t really like it that much.

    • InternetBatman says:

      How much work does it take getting non-native games to play? After using Mint for our couchputer, I’m pretty impressed with it.

      • solidsquid says:

        Depends on the game really, but Play on Linux seems to be the best way to go. May require some command line use, although generally just to install a few packages

  20. Don Reba says:

    I will not stand for having Metro on my desktop until Microsoft opens up app distribution. It does not get to have a monopoly on this.

  21. VampiricPadraig says:

    Oh come on guys. Windows 8 is not THAT bad. Most people here are scared to try it and/or just being old farts.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Is it old farty to not want to upgrade because you don’t like the way it looks?


      Oh, OK.

    • InternetBatman says:

      The problem is that you’re stepping down from really good to not that bad.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        Yep. Windows 7 was probably the first genuinely good version of Windows, both from a UI and a backend point of view (I say this as a driver developer). The way they’d evolved the Start menu was great, extremely useful.

        Now? Meh. Windows 8 is about equal to all the weird crap Linux desktops have been doing over the past few years, all of which annoy me terribly in various ways. It’s a step back from 7, and just awful compared to using OS X with its multitouch trackpad gestures.

        It’s not about “hating change”, as many have claimed. It’s about hating change for the worse. If Windows decided to copy the way that OS X handles virtual desktops, for example, that would be a delightful change. If it replaced Explorer with something like Finder, that would be very very bad change.

        What you get on Win8 when you hit the windows key is utter crap compared to Alfred or Quicksilver. Press it and type “omp”. Their search algorithm is so shit, it can’t even find “Computer” with that input.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Windows 8 minus Metro is better than Windows 7 in every respect. Yes, it sucks that you need to use workarounds to remove Metro, but it’s totally doable, doesn’t feel hacked together when it’s done, and then you can benefit from very cheap licenses (or free if you’re a student) and nice improvements all across the OS.

  22. mire says:

    I actually like the metro UI quite a bit, but it doesn’t make any kind of sense on a desktop machine with two 27″ displays.

  23. Bobka says:

    The most important thing is whether or not they continue to block non-Windows Store apps from being run in Metro.

    It seems pretty clear Microsoft is trying to turn Windows into a closed platform for consumers; I think it’s really important for PC gaming that they not succeed in doing so.

    • roryok says:

      @bobka can you explain what you mean? by “in Metro” do you mean full screen?

      • Don Reba says:

        Throughout the whole history of Windows, Microsoft has been developing a uniform development platform for Windows apps, called WinAPI. There were some major changes to it in Windows 95, but not too many. In Windows 8, Microsoft rewrote the platform from scratch, christening the newborn WinRT. This is the platform used by Metro apps, and it is only available to apps sold through Microsoft’s store. This platform has new functionality unavailable to WinAPI and may in future replace it altogether. In such a future, every single Windows app will have to get Microsoft’s approval and every software sale will have 30% go to Microsoft, much the same way as with iOS of today. There will be no Steam, no GoG, no software without DRM.

        • roryok says:

          This platform has new functionality unavailable to WinAPI and may in future replace it altogether

          Nah. That won’t happen. That would break compatibility with every desktop app. Essentially, this is what Windows RT is – a version of Windows which only supports WinRT apps – and that’s been a monumental failure. If it had been a huge success then maybe they’d be thinking about doing that, but I can’t imagine it’ll ever happen at this rate.

          • solidsquid says:

            Older desktop apps require you to go to the desktop mode, they don’t integrate with Metro, or at least that’s how it was before. Iirc there’s also some newer sections of the API which require you go through the Metro Store route to access them

          • Don Reba says:

            iOS shows that you don’t need legacy software to be wildly successful. Developers don’t mind rewriting their software as long as they can sell it again. Microsoft is nothing but persistent. It has not succeeded in locking down the desktop right away, but it could do it eventually. It could be exceedingly profitable for it.

          • roryok says:

            iOS shows that you don’t need legacy software to be wildly successful. Developers don’t mind rewriting their software as long as they can sell it again.

            iOS is not a mobile version of Mac OS. It was and is a totally separate OS. People still buy Macs with OSX on them, and if Apple brought out a new version of OSX that only ran iOS apps people would be up in arms.

            I’m sure MS would ultimately love to do this, but I don’t think they ever can or will. I think maybe Apple could get away with it because they sell about a hundred times more iOS devices than macs, but nobody’s buying Surface RT or the other RT tablets.

            What MS Should have done is brought out a tablet that ran “Surface OS”. And then, they should have said – “hey, windows 8 will support Surface apps!”. then nobody would have a problem with what is now called the Surface RT not being backward compatible with old windows apps. I guess they just couldn’t resist attaching the windows name to something that isn’t backwards compatible with windows

  24. Loopy says:

    I picked up a copy of Windows 8 when they were offering it dirt cheap, more as a back-up option should my PC blow up and the OEM version of 7 that I’m using now become redundant. I actually had/have no intention of installing it any time soon, but if these rumoured changes turn out to be correct then I might actually think a little more kindly about installing it when the time comes for me to build a new PC.

  25. Lobotomist says:

    I am Windows 8 user

    Installed it because I just purchased new PC. And win 8 license was stupidly cheap.

    Few days after I installed “Start 8” from Stardock (the guys making Elemental) basically making Win8 into what this speculative patch will do.. And with few added tweaks and permissions.

    You basically get win 7 , just faster and slicker …
    It literally boots up in 5 seconds…

  26. derbefrier says:

    Been using win 8 for a while now and like it just fine. Learning the changes can be a pain in the ass at first but once you get used to it its no worse than windows 7 and as others have said its technically the better version. But lests not let facts get in the way of your demagoguery

  27. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    On the other hand, it appears MS is going to do amazing things for PC gaming adoption…

    … by making XBox the Next One always-online.

    • Baines says:

      Microsoft is certainly helping PS4 adoption.

      What that ultimately means for PC gaming could be…interesting… There was already the article about multi-core game development, and what the console move to PC-style architecture could do to general game development. (Particularly the 6 core PS4.) And we have Microsoft letting their current console languish, while simultaneously pushing people away from their next console.

      On the PC side, we have Microsoft failing in its first attempt to push Metro and its app store. A second failure could be interesting as well, particularly if Microsoft pushes the closed garden that it has been setting up.

      The next few years could be an interesting, if not necessarily good, time.

  28. Barberetti says:

    If they actually do that, and throw in a file manager that isn’t a complete pile of shit, I might make the switch from 7 to 8. Doubt it though.

    • roryok says:

      Try xplorer2, it’s far better than any version of windows explorer

      • Barberetti says:

        Yeah, I tried a whole slew of file managers the same afternoon I switched from XP to Win 7. Stayed with CubicExplorer in the end.

    • dangel says:

      8’s explorer is better though – you don’t (for example) need to know a keyboard shortcut or look on a hidden right click menu for getting basic jobs done (glaring horrible for users on 7 frankly) because they added a ribbon that’s context sensitive and (y’know) visible. Progress dialogs are better too (neat graph) and it’s far less stupid about asking you what to do about conflicts that 7.

      That said, I use directory opus ;)

      • roryok says:

        yes its good in a lot of ways, but it loses out on ability to change views. You used to be able to do this with keyboard commands but now it doesnt work =(

        • dangel says:

          You did? I can still navigate through the ribbon ALT+V and then move to the layout pane but it’s not very nice. I must admit I pretty much use file explorers via the mouse only though. I’ve noticed CTRL + mousewheel cycles through them.

          • roryok says:

            In Win7 Explorer and in xplorer2, I have an autohotkey script set up that switches between the details view and thumbs view, the two most useful views in my opinion. I work almost exclusively in detail mode but if I need to flick through images I turn on thumbnails.

            Unfortunately win8 explorer doesn’t let me do that anymore. But xplorer2 still works

  29. Fred S. says:

    Proving once again that you should never buy version x.0 of a Microsoft product.

    • Don Reba says:

      Windows 8 is NT 6.2 (Vista was NT 6.0).

      • soldant says:

        Shhh, don’t confuse the cycle of hate… it’s easier to just claim that XP good, Vista bad, Win7 good and Win8 bad. That way you don’t have to be constructive!

        • Don Reba says:

          DOS - pass
          3.1 - pass
                      NT 3.1 - pass
          95  - pass
                      NT 4   - pass
          98  - pass
          ME  - fail  2000   - pass
                      XP     - pass
                      Vista  - fail
                      7      - pass
                      8      - fail

          • Apocalypse says:

            I say: Vista SP2 pass!
            And if you say that that SPs do not count, I remind you that your WinXP PC is full of malware within 30 seconds if you connect it to the internet without the SP2 security patches. XP was an epic fail, but unlike the great win2k it establish better compatibility for games.

          • Don Reba says:

            Vista was alright, but unpopular. On the other hand, 95/98 became hugely successful despite being terribly limited, unreliable, and insecure.

  30. Dan Puzey says:

    What is this continuing ridiculousness with bashing the start menu?

    Press start key, type something, press return. Program appears. Windows 7 or 8, no difference.

    Windows 7: move mouse to bottom left, click, click programs, maybe navigate folders, click.
    Windows 8: move mouse to bottom left, click, maybe scroll, click.

    The differences:
    – keyboard experience is identical
    – more mouse movement required in Windows 8
    – more clicks often required in Windows 7
    – on the Windows 8 start screen I can see how many emails I have and my next appointment on the way through, without opening an app.

    Is that really what all this kerfuffle is about?

    • Don Reba says:

      Windows 7: press Start key, hold up to select a recently used program, press right then hold down to select a recently used document.
      Windows 8: ???

      • roryok says:

        You can go to C:Users [YourName] AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindows and then right click on Recent Items and ‘Pin to Start’

        Granted your average user can’t do that, but if YOU want it, there it is

  31. InternetBatman says:

    It’s important to mention the difference between the start button and the start menu. Having a button that goes to metro isn’t a huge improvement.

  32. Ajsman says:

    To ppl throwing around with their fancy keyboard shortcuts, they are not the solution. If you think they are, then you go teach them to the 9/10 ppl who barely even know what Ctrl+C does.

    • roryok says:

      Microsoft could have made shutdown a bit easier. But since they didn’t, when I meet people who can’t figure out how to turn it off, I teach them a shortcut. Should I just walk away instead?

      • Ajsman says:

        That is not the point. The point is some people should stop dismissing and ignoring every UI problem just because there is a keyboard shortcut for that particular operation.

        Most users simply don’t know any keyboard shortcuts. In my experience they even refuse to remember them. And if you have met people who couldn’t figure out how to do something mundane as turning off their PC, then I think it is very obvious that something is very wrong with the UI in Windows 8.

        • roryok says:

          That is not the point. The point is some people should stop dismissing and ignoring every UI problem just because there is a keyboard shortcut for that particular operation.

          OK. Perhaps I’m guilty of that sometimes. But I feel like most of the people reading RPS are power users, and the ones giving out about a problem are well capable of learning a keyboard shortcut, they just want to have a rant about something.

          It is true that it affects novice users more.

          Most users simply don’t know any keyboard shortcuts. In my experience they even refuse to remember them. And if you have met people who couldn’t figure out how to do something mundane as turning off their PC, then I think it is very obvious that something is very wrong with the UI in Windows 8.

          The people I’ve talked to (and I’m talking about novice users) generally love the new UI. They like the full screen apps, they like the store. They’re not sure how to turn it off, and when I show them they might say its a bit convulted, but they don’t give up on the whole thing. This has been my experience with at least 3 people.

          • Ajsman says:

            Well in my spare time I fix computers, lets call it a “hobby” I get paid for. Most of the time I deal with people who use computers for occasional web browsing, Word, PowerPoint and looking at photos or videos. And all I will say is that my experience with novice users and Windows 8 has generally been quite the opposite.

          • Baines says:

            Being a power user should not dismiss bad UI design choices.

            Look at the free 3D modeler Blender. For years its developers and dedicated users fought claims that its UI was bad with the argument that it was great once you learned all the keyboard shortcuts (which largely existed to bypass the uglier aspects of the UI.) This is a program that had at one time put an autosave configuration option in a section of otherwise dead space within a hidden pull down panel. (I first found that setting by way of watching a tutorial. Even though I’d accidentally found the pull down panel, I hadn’t continued to pull it down far enough to see the extra option sitting by itself.)

            Blender did eventually overhaul its interface to something a bit more user friendly, though it took years because the people who stuck with the program had learned the shortcuts, hidden features, and in general how to avoid its issues. (The new interface isn’t perfect. It still has poor design issues, with some stuff being pointlessly confusing or obtuse. And it is still written in Python. But it seems like it is better for a beginner than the old interface.)

      • FriendlyFire says:

        I just tend to press the power button. Laptops don’t usually need to be shut down so that’ll put them in sleep, desktops invariably have “shutdown” bound to the power button by default.

        • Lemming says:

          That seriously winds me up when people think it’s ok to just leave laptops in sleep mode. TURN THE DAMN THING OFF >-<

      • Panda Powered says:

        Tell them to just tap the power button on the computer and it shuts down. It’s actually more common sense than START > shutdown. :P Now it’s like every other piece of electronic.

      • Arglebargle says:

        The things you do most should be available at the top of the interface. It’s great to have shortcuts and have the controls moddable to your particular approach. But the things most users want to do most often should be expressed up front, easilly accessible, and not confusing. Everything should do its basic job smoothly.

        The complication should be left to those that want to seek it out and delve deeper.

    • Apocalypse says:

      I do not fucking care about a bunch of people who would be better of with a ipad anyway.

      If pressing the windows key, after 18 year is still to much to comprehend for you, than you have other problems and will eat anyway whatever they will feed you, because you are way beyond doing something on your own anyway.

      “Oh, no, they change something, I can not understand why they have done this, I want my horse carriage back that works far better than this modern, stinking cars. What you say? It is 2013? I don´t care!”

      • Arglebargle says:

        I think the guy in charge of Win8’s development, you know, the guy they just fired, had a similar approach.

      • Ajsman says:

        Well good for you… Then again I do not fucking care what some random dude thinks when wast majority of my income comes from people who think otherwise ;)

  33. acheron says:

    Meh, I’ll wait for Windows 8.11

  34. drewski says:

    It’s probably just coincidence that my large government department finally got around to upgrading it’s IT systems just before Windows 8 launched.

    Wonder how long they’ll keep Windows 7 for. A decade?

  35. derella says:

    I see no reason to upgrade, even if they removed Metro and added a Start button. Slightly faster isn’t worth $100 or whatever they are charging.

    • Apocalypse says:

      And with slightly faster they mean booting in 6 seconds or less ;-)

      • Arglebargle says:

        That’s because in focus group testing, starting quickly is the major thing people notice. So they optimized heavily for it. Me, I have to make coffee first anyway, so it doesn’t personally matter nearly as much.

  36. sophof says:

    I’m convinced that the crude approximation of a real-life desktop as we know it now is far from the most efficient way to control a PC, but Metro is simply not the answer. I’m not sure how it should look (if I was I would be rich), just how it shouldn’t.

    Far too often I see Metro being defended from this point of view, that people are simply afraid of change. Such an argument just doesn’t hold up.

    • Panda Powered says:

      I think Silicon Graphics nailed the file-navigation of the future already. ;) Made famous by Jurassic Park in 1993 link to
      It’s about the same level as pushing a GUI for touch devices on desktop users.

  37. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    MS upper management now realise when its way too late Windows 8 was a disaster like Gabe called way back when what at least 6 months ago. Nothing & I mean nothing MS can do now apart from bribe developers to use it will make much difference. Aero also needs to go back in as well but then it would just be Windows 7 with an app store. No wonder MS fired several key people like the Windows chief all they had to do was patch Windows 7 for the App Store & integrate Xbox LIVE For Windows into 7. The way things are playing out right now no-one will make a triple AAA big budget game for Windows 8 only so that leaves the Indie scene who are quite happy with Steam after MS pushed them away from the XBLA in every possible way Steam with their less than perfect but better than MS way of doing business took the indie business MS worked so hard to cultivate when XBLA launched. So basically MS screwed their own business & let others benefit from all the groundwork. Gabe must be laughing all the way to the bank. MS will be history in the next decade unless they make a lot of major changes & become friendly to both the consumer & developers/publishers. Unless Ballmer steps aside this will not happen but Gates is probably reluctant to come back full time so it means MS will just waiver for a few years then either plunge or recover. I see the plunge based on historical patterns!

    • roryok says:

      The way things are playing out right now no-one will make a triple AAA big budget game for Windows 8 only so that leaves the Indie scene who are quite happy with Steam

      There’s a flaw in your logic there. Windows 7 has an enormous user base (more than XP). A game is released for “Windows” not “Windows 8” (unless its a Windows Store game). Games will continue to be released as desktop apps for Windows for at least the next decade. I can’t really see the Windows store taking off much, but windows isn’t going anywhere

      • PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

        I was talking about them making a Windows 8 only game. MS want 8 to dominate they have no way to enforce this though as most indies will avoid the W8 App Store & prefer Valves business model even if they have monetary disputes about DLC ingame store purchase etc etc.

        Most devs will stay on Windows 7 + Steam unless MS bribe them to do otherwise (which is unlikely as they do not want to put their own console games IP on the App Store do they!).

        Where does this leave MS nowhere really they tried to enforce an App Store & OS UI but failed as Windows 7 & Apple already did this much better so its another in a long line of failed dominate the market strategy’s.

    • dangel says:

      “MS will be history in the next decade unless they make a lot of major changes & become friendly to both the consumer & developers/publishers.”

      Yes, and that’s what they’re trying to do. The paradox is that it’s this very thing that’s upset you. Computing is shifting and MS face irrelevance in many facets of the market unless they try to do the thing they’re doing now – the fact that it’s not yet right and has a long way to travel doesn’t change that.
      For what it’s worth i’m not really in favour a closed store for Windows either but I don’t think it’s realistic to think that will come to pass or that even if it did publishers (who are perfectly happy with closed platforms like iOS) wouldn’t support it anyway.

      • PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

        It does not upset me at all lets be clear here I am a PC gamer I do not care about the background politics but MS are like it or not responsible for the gaming OS we have to use due to DirectX & OS XNA Dev kit DLL’s. Forcing something like the App Store & or Windows 8 is doomed to failure not because of the principles involved at all its all about the lack of execution & arrogant attitude to force something for business reasons not to enhance the user experience. For instance if MS said to Valve you run the PC App Store for us using Steam & we take the same cut who would/could complain as Valve understand better than MS how to best manage this for the consumer. It would never happen as there is no upside for Valve so you would hope Gabe would never sell to MS as he knows having worked there how they divide & conquer like they failed to do here. If MS were smart they would buy Valve leave Steam alone & count the profits why build something new when the superior solution is already available!!

      • Machinations says:

        “Computing is shifting ”

        This is true, but the desktop is going nowhere, and neither is the keyboard and mouse.

        Microsoft made some very deliberate, very misguided design decisions in Windows 8. The market has spoken, and what it says is ‘touch screens for a desktop are completely, utterly moronic’.

        Whether you’re a developer, or an artist, or even a business person, desktops are the production machines. You are never going to have textures built on a tablet, or people playing Battlefield 5 on a 14 inch screen using their finger to aim. Just because PC sales have slowed does not mean that the desktop is suddenly obsolete.

        It has a lot more to do with the product lifecycle being longer – and the fact that we already typically have 10x more power under the hood than needed to do whatever we are doing. There is no reason to upgrade.

        • dangel says:

          Thing is, people didn’t like the mouse for pretty much the same reason – they saw it as an exclusive input device when the truth was (and is) that it augmented the keyboard. I think the same is true of other (newer) input methods – touch has it’s place but it’s not a be-all replacement and I do wonder about many of the other interesting interaction methods of recent times (leap motion, kinect etc) and how they sit. MS’ first attempt hasn’t been perfect (by any means) but does that mean it never will improve? Yes they are attempting something extremely difficult (and something that nobody else is doing) by attempting to unite their platforms but perhaps a balance can be struck. Interesting to watch..

        • Arglebargle says:

          Yeah, there are applications for which the mouse and keyboard are horribly inefficent, and a touch screen, especially a multi-touch one, are much better. I hope to get one myself, as trying to tweak various audio programs with just a mouse tends toward frustration.

          Niche market, I know, but are places where it is incredibly useful.

  38. Arithon says:

    Windows 8 is excellent. Better than Windows 7. Metro on the other hand is an obstruction. A Fisher-Price toy that blocks access to the OS in a misguided attempt to strong-arm people into buying touch screens.
    To say Windows 8 is “rubbish” is to say EVERY version of Windows cannot be used because it came with IE. A stupid statement to make.
    A child of three can install FireFox, as can anyone load ClassicShell or Start8 on Windows 8. This accomplished, you have a top-notch gaming OS.
    I found everything I play runs very well on Win8, some things, such as Dungeon Keeper II, which struggled on Win7 x64, work just fine.
    I used the preview and pre-release versions of Windows 8 (mostly virtualised) and they sucked. The release version doesn’t.
    My advice: don’t scrap the caddy just because of the fluffy dice.

  39. Lemming says:

    the unscrewed up version of Windows 8 is Windows 7, surely?

  40. rustybroomhandle says:

    The real problem with Windows 8 and future ones is not about the UI, it’s about how Microsoft is aligning their business. If the UI weren’t so shit maybe people would be more aware of what’s coming.

  41. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

  42. cunningmunki says:

    I too gave the Start UI a really good try, but after many months I have now entirely reverted to the old desktop. Like someone else said, it’s the UI and concept that’s bad, not the OS. Windows 8 is the fastest, cleanest looking, most user friendly version of Windows I’ve ever used (I’ve used 5 in total), but until they integrate the Start menu properly, or just make it an entirely separate OS for tablets and touch-screens (which is what it is), I’m never going back.
    I even often completely forget about the new Start menu altogether, as I mostly put my PC in standby, which thankfully reverts straight back to the Desktop, and I’ve downloaded one of the more popular third-party old Start menu emulators (which I even forget is not part of the actual OS, it’s so seamless). But every now and again the Start page shows it’s sad, neglected face after a reboot, and in the short space of time it takes me to click on the Desktop tile, it brings back painful memories of the time I tried hard to make it feel welcome and give it a nice cup of tea, before it shat on my sofa and just looked at me with it’s pathetic ‘sorry’ eyes. It wasn’t.
    The option to boot to Desktop will just mean I never have to hurriedly click on the Desktop tile again.

    Don’t be afraid of Windows 8; just don’t let the Start menu in your house or anywhere near your cat.

  43. elgonzo says:

    Best news for gamers ever! Or so… i think… um… coffee, someone?

  44. Svant says:

    I have used windows 8 for quite a while not and have 0 problems with the start menu… Hell I never use it or see it except for that first start screen where I click my Chrome icon which kills the start menu.

    Windows 8 really is an upgrade to windows 7 in many ways so except for the price there really is no reason to not upgrade.

  45. uh20 says:

    how fast could windows 8 be without metro…

    honestly its alright to have a big launching screen as a feature, but this stuph should be optional, but hey, microsoft marketing says they need to shove it down everyone’s throat.

  46. Vagrant says:

    Metro UI is awesome, I wish I never had to look at the desktop ever again. Could use some tweaks still, but the desktop environment has always been a terrible idea to me.

  47. wyrmsine says:

    I’ve been using Win 8 for a week on a new convertible tablet, and I’m not sure the OS can be unscrewed. Providing a method to switch back to classic interface/Start menu would help, but that should have been included in the first place. I’m running into a lot of issues with the file explorer, external drives and restart times that seem pretty ridiculous. The new UI is fine for tablet-mode, but doesn’t seem to add any real function, and I’m not a fan of the hand-holding ‘for dummies’ approach that comes up whenever I want to change some settings. Some of my difficulties are likely a result of my unfamiliarity with the OS, and it seems pretty stupid to have removed a lot of the function of the previous version. I wanted to have had a lot more work done on this machine, and I’ve found myself wrestling with trivialities instead.

  48. MadMatty says:

    I ain´t getting Dick from Stardock after reading about Brad Wardells sexual harrasment lawsuit. Will try out win8 in hope of getting better Planetside 2 performance… cant get worse than the Vista im stuck with anyway

    • Panda Powered says:

      Try Classic Shell. It’s free and open source. I’ve been using it for a while and it’s working well without any issues.
      Beside adding a start menu it can completely hide everything concerning metro and boot straight to desktop.

  49. S Jay says:

    I like Windows 8…

    The start menu thing was really annoying for 1 hour.

  50. voidburn says:

    This is my experience from launch (I couldn’t resist paying only 29 euro to upgrade my win7):

    Windows 8 desktop far outperforms Win 7 in my opinion. The thing is, I only ever see the Metro UI after the login, then I spend 99.99999% of the time on the desktop. Pressing the Win key and starting to type the name of the app to launch is not an issue (though I’d rather have that option in a standard start menu) since the transitions are so smooth and fast I don’t feel like I’m ripped out of what I was doing.

    The only things currently pissing me off are the native video player (which switches to metro full screen, and the PDF viewer that does the same. Both issues can go away by installing some alternative software.

    My experience with gaming has been fantastic (thanks to the fact that Aero is gone, and I never ever got pulled out of a fullscreen gaming session for windows to tell me “Do you want to switch off the accelerated desktop?”, which never took me seriously when I tried to tell it “Yes/No, but don’t ask me again!”.

    Multimonitor support is far better, I now get a configurable taskbar per monitor, something that required additional third party software (Display fusion to name one). The ability to relegate the start menu to a specific secondary monitor, which also becomes the recipient of the PDF viewer and the Video player, makes the whole Metro interface BS much much more bearable.

    I also love the boot process, once hibernation support is disabled the grand total from bios POST to login screen is 4 fat seconds, which is amazing (running from an old SSD which sports 180MB/s read speed).

    I uninstalled all the social features and “skype” integration, cause it was a bit too much, I felt like I was on facebook rather than my own desktop. The only thing I ever use from the metro UI is the news app, which I love.

    Overall, my experience has improved, I am forced to deal (marginally) with the start screen, but I don’t have to, unless I want to. Every setting can be managed from the classic control panel.

    Metro has no place on the desktop, but Win 8 is an amazing improvement over Win 7 under every other aspect and my opinion is that, despite some working around the rough edges, people dismissing it because of Metro are missing out because of something that can be almost completely ignored.

    If it’s true I will be able to skip it entirely I will probably do it, and end up missing my full screen news app, but I can survive without that :)