How To Fix the Windows 8 Desktop

preface: A follow-up to this article has been published outlining the improvements in Desktop mode from Win8 to Win8.1 Check it out:

This is not a commentary on the new Windows immersive modern UI.  This is a note (perhaps a prayer list) of what Microsoft could EASILY do to make the desktop usable again for corporate users such as myself and those who do not have a touch screen (you know, 99% of the installed base). I did a non-touch, non-guided focus group with a few of my 6,000 users.  The results were disastrous.

A New Windows Chief

Now that Steven Sinofsky is out as Windows Head Honcho, Julie Larson-Green and Tami Reller have taken over.  We all know Sinofsky is as stubborn as he is smart. That combination led to some crazy decisions with Windows 8, and is really hurting adoption at home and in the workplace. Even tough I have Win8 at home, I will not be deploying Win8 to my 6,000 users until these usability issues are addressed.  JLG & Tami can step in and save Windows and save face without sacrificing all the work and Steve’s brilliant future visioning with relative ease.

So What’s the Problem with Win8?

As much as I enjoy Win8 on touch devices (and it is really the foundation to a fantastic experience), it is equally frustrating with a mouse and keyboard. I truly LOVE and HATE this operating system at the same time.  I’m not alone in this complaint. The overwhelming point of contention worldwide is the nearly absurd lack of usability with non-touch devices.  Ask any non-touch user about simple tasks like a simple shutdown. The culprit is twofold:  The removal of the traditional start button and the inability to boot directly to the desktop.  Windows has always been about choice – sometimes absurd level of choice for the end user. With Win8 that’s not the case.  You boot to the new UI whether you want to or not.  Thankfully, several software companies have recognized the huge need here and stepped in with their own quality solutions. Check out Pokki’s start menu (free), Star Dock’s Start8 ($4.99), and ClassicShell (free).  All of these options give you a start menu and allow you to boot to the desktop. I’m running the free Pokki add-on now and it is very simple to install and use.  I actually prefer the look of Start8 much better but I don’t want to pay the $4.99. The problem with these solutions is that they are add-ons known only to the technical world. What’s Grandma to do when she fires up her new PC? I can’t overstate what a huge issue this – just do some reading and you will find many complaints about the same topic.  Each of the start menu replacements all have seen downloads in the millions. Just think of the millions of eyeballs that are looking at the Pokki App Store everyday instead of using a native Windows 8 feature.

Just think of the millions of eyeballs that are looking at the Pokki App Store everyday instead of using a native Windows 8 feature.

Why Did This Happen?

So why did Sinofsky make these asinine changes?  They haven’t stated publicly, but the general consensus is that they want to drive as much eyeballs and revenue through the Windows Store as possible.  This strategy is backfiring.  By forcing people away from the desktop, sales are not what they should be, and there are now significantly fewer visits to the Windows Store than they had projected.

How can Microsoft Fix the Windows 8 Desktop?

Here’s how JLG & Tami can throw the world a bone, do damage control, without admitting a few of Sinofsky’s decisions were completely disastrous.  Before Windows Blue or 8.1 or whatever is released, the Windows team needs to release a “desktop enhancement pack.” This actually needs to happen VERY soon.  The pack will replace lost functionality and give us new features.  At a minimum, here’s what it needs to include:

  1. A traditional start button and menu that has a new Win8 look. We don’t need Aero just a clean, very functional start menu. They can even put a permanent icon, that’s really huge, pointing us to the new UI.
  2. An option to boot to the desktop or the new UI.  Give us the choice.  On my touch devices I will default to the new UI.  On my non-touch PCs, I will boot to the desktop.
  3. A way to dock the trash can to the task bar. I wish I could put a large trash icon by the clock somewhere so it doesn’t get buried under a pile of open windows. This is a total usability feature for your techno-challenged fiends and relatives.
  4. Allow pinning of the immersive (Metro) apps to the Win8 desktop or taskbar. This is actually a request of a proficient, but non-technical family member.  I set up the mail app for her business account but upon booting she immediately goes to the desktop.  The only reason she goes Metro is to get to the mail app.  If she could pin it to the desktop then she could live in the desktop all day.  I looked around and saw some solutions for metro app pinning but they only worked in the betas. Furthermore, I would like for the metro apps to remember their last position.  If it was pinned in the narrow format on the left, then it should be there next time I open it. And before you claim that desktop and metro apps don’t work well together, you can easily snap the desk side-by-side with any metro app today.
  5. An icon for the Windows store could be placed on the start menu and on the desktop.  This would alleviate fears of losing visibility to the revenue generating Windows Store. Put it next to the start button so it gets accidentally clicked! Keep in mind I see the Pokki start menu offering me app suggestions every time I click on their start menu replacement .  Too bad this isn’t the Windows Store offering suggestions.
  6. The Skydrive desktop app needs to be pre-installed. The Metro version is already pre-installed.
  7. Add an option to install Media Center (for free). Media Center had the best DVR I have ever used.  It was so simply and clean before Win8 made clean cool.  Too bad no one really knew about it.
  8. Add an option to install a DVD codec (for free). In case you didn’t know, Win8 cannot play a DVD unless your manufacturer installs the proper codec themselves.  You read that right, Win8 cannot play a DVD.
  9. With today’s media pervasiveness it’s crazy there is no built in image resizer.  Bring back this old Image Resizer PowerToy.
  10. Why can’t we use the Win8 Share Charm to share from the desktop? It makes perfect sense to use this charm to share photos, URLs, etc.  Try it and you’ll get a “Nothing can be shared from the desktop” message.

What else would you include in the DESKTOP enhancement pack?


67 thoughts on “How To Fix the Windows 8 Desktop”

  1. Joey, you hit the nail on the head. MS has a very short window to do something like this. The longer it drags out, the worse the problem becomes.

  2. Frankwick, you’re 100% correct. They need to deal with this now. Although the code quality of Win8 is light years better than Vista, Microsoft may have another Vista-like problem to deal with.

  3. Did you see there is a petition to bring Aero back? I don’t think it will do much. Frankly, I don’t care. Aero is not really a productivity or usability feature like the items you listed. You are spot on the money though — the inability to boot to the desktop is KILLING SALES! One poor decision is costing them a ton of cash.

  4. > An option to boot to the desktop or the new UI
    You’re missing most of the reason for Retro UI – to leverage MS’s PC OS as gateway to Windows Phone and Tablets. If Desktop user isn’t forced to use Retro UI, they won’t care about those other MS offerings.

  5. YES YES YES YES YES! You get it!! You show that the desktop can be fixed without hurting the Metro stuff. Im fact, this would help Metro because you could pin metro apps to the desktop. Simple ideas that could change the perception of the OS overnight.

  6. My biggest frustration is that the new UI also applies to servers. As a user responsible for supporting or using large number of Windows Servers I find this incredible. You will never run Server on a touchscreen, in fact, most of servers don’t even have screens at all, you will access them remotely. And doing this with the new UI where you have to move your mouse into a tiny, invisible corners of your remote control window (not screen) is very painful. Metro UI is completely pointless for servers.

  7. This article reads of a user who just loaded windows 8 and did no prior research. My 8 year old son and 13 year old son and 17 year old daughter all had Windows 7 and I migrated their computers to Windows 8. Side note I only paid $16.21 per Windows 8 license. They haven’t complained. Admittedly I did provide them with a short review of the software. There is absolutely no need for a “start button”. The desktop app is one simple click away. Once at the Desktop app it is a virtual copy of all previous “desktops”. Quit trying to use Windows 8 like previous versions of Windows. This release is as big a change to how you approach computing as Windows 95 was to dos.

  8. Steve, read it again. Joey isn’t saying he doesn’t want to use metro and he even says he likes it on his touch PC. Like MANY of us he has a need for a functional desktop for his users. Read what Boris says above your comment. There is a business need for a functional desktop. Not once in this article does he say that changes need to be made to metro but we need to have a choice. I’m glad your kids can use metro without any problems but that doesn’t help those people in corp world.

  9. Mike R. Windows 8 does have a functional desktop. It’s called the Desktop App. It works just like any other desktop found in previous versions of Windows Operating systems. How is it that you can be using Windows 8 and not see the desktop. If you use any Microsoft Office, Adobe or CAD product you are automatically taken to the desktop app. The desktop app can be configured to work exactly as previous versions. As a matter of fact once you are in the Desktop app you never have to go back to the Start menu.

    I would recommend training.

  10. I’ve used Win8 since the betas. The first two betas had a start button and Microsoft was so mad that no one was using metro they removed it. Now, you hit the windows key (since there is no start button on screen) it flashes out of the desktop to the metro screen. It’s quite jarring and a VERY disconnected experience for the users. Why can’t we boot to the desktop and stay there?

  11. Listen guys, all I wrote about comes down to choice. As I stated, I like the new “metro” UI on touch but I find it a hot mess with a mouse/keyboard. We’ve been taught our whole lives that horizontal scrolling is a design no-no. Now, with Win8, all the metro stuff is horizontal. That’s fine with touch but completely awkward on non-touch. Many people in Corp environments have processes in place, line of business apps written for the desktop, and tons of cash invested in training on XP/Win7. All I want is choice so that I can continue to deploy Windows to my user base without losing all our existing investment.

  12. Mike if you have used Windows 8 since the betas then why are you still stuck on a “Start Button”? There is absolutely no need for a start button, not one! When I work I spend all my time on my Desktop App. I have all my short cuts pinned to my Task Bar or on my Desktop App. I can access anything I need without ever having to go to the Start Menu.
    Why all the drama? “quite jarring” really? And what do you mean by “disconnected”? I honestly don’t get why you are so confused.
    I work as an I.T. consultant. During a normal day I work with Office, Adobe, and even some CAD products like AutoCAD and MicroStation and I have yet to have one “Jarring and disconnected” experience.

    Since you are easily jarred and disconnected I would recommend searching for simple fixes to your aversion to change. There are dozens of solutions for those who want a start button, “stomping feet”, and the ability to boot to the desktop app “pouting face”.

    In my business you have to see the change, take advantage of new knowledge, and leverage your gains for future opportunities. I don’t have the options to stomp my feet and pout at change hoping that it will go away.

    Good Luck Mike

  13. Steve, it’s obvious you don’t want/need my suggestion, but would you be opposed to giving the user more choice as I’ve outlined?

  14. Joey, I’m not opposed to suggestions nor choices however my question to you is why should anyone invest in a “training wheels” package when a good training option is the better solution?

    I will address your options one by one.

    1. You don’t need a start button. It is a waste of time. That is like asking Harley Davidson to put pedals on a motorcycle because they are familiar to you. There is no loss of productivity without the Start Button.

    2. This is also a waste of time. This request is also a issue of training. New computer users would never ever care about this option. The computer boots up and they click on the desktop app. How can you justify spending money on this request?

    3. Trash can on task bar? Well I don’t even know why you would want it perhaps in your line of work you do a lot of deleting. Your desktop can NEVER be lost regardless of the amount of programs you have open. Take your mouse to the bottom right hand side of your screen and click. Presto you see your desktop.

    4. I’m not sure I understand what “pinning of the immersive” means. Perhaps you want to see currently opened Windows 8 apps or the Start menu. That can be done by sliding your mouse to the left hand side of the screen. I can’t even begin to see why anyone would want to invest in this change. How does this request increase production? It sounds like you are asking Microsoft to make the Desktop the Start Menu. Training.

    5. Really? Come on Joey. This request does nothing for anyone. This is a training issue. The Microsoft Store has apps that only work in the Start Menu Screen. It would make zero sense to take an app from the Start Menu to the desktop only to have it take you right back to the Start Menu. Come on Joey this one makes you look like you don’t have a clue!

    6. I don’t care about this one either way. It doesn’t affect productivity.

    7. OK so this is the only one I like however it has nothing to do with work. By the way I did install Windows 8 Media Player for free. It was an offer by Microsoft that ended on January 31, 2013. I use it to connect to my xbox360 and listen to MY music and watch MY movies.

    8. What player do you use where you can’t install a DVD codec? I have no issues with this. Maybe you could load vlc and place the shortcut on your desktop or taskbar. This is not even worth the time to request.

    9. There are several apps in the Windows Store like Imagine resizer and many others that work from the desktop. Do you know how many people never even use a tool like the Snipping Tool? Though I use it daily I know many that just don’t have a use for it. Same way with an image resizer you may use it perhaps Microsoft saw a drop in use of this product. Regardless this request is not going to change Windows 8 one way or the other.

    After reviewing all of your requests I would highly recommend that Microsoft include One or Two items in the Desktop enhancement pack. A training program like the one offered by or a Microsoft Windows 8 for Dummies type of book.

  15. Joey Don’t let him give you crap. He is obviously a MS apologist — every platform has them. In their eyes, [the company] can do no wrong. His logic is flaw on so many levels. For example, the trashcan on the task bar is a fantastic idea because it will be always visible. Using Steve’s approach by hitting the showdesk invisible button would cause the item you want to delete to also minimize. And you need a DVD codec because you can’t play a DVD with Win8 out of the box!! Steve is the minority in his opinions and the actual sales prove it.

  16. Frankwick no one is giving your boy crap. Just stating facts. What should be obvious is that I’m not afraid of change. I learn to capitalize on the opportunities that avail themselves every time there is a change.

    I’m not an apologist I’m an Opportunist! While you and your club is wishing nothing would ever change I will be looking for new revenue opportunities.

    Ok, so tell me why a Trash Can icon on the Task Bar is a fantastic idea? You don’t need to see the Trash Can at all! Right click on any item and select delete and your done! There is nothing fantastic about this idea. Just because you thought of it doesn’t make it great.

    I am the minority in this group because I’m actually read a few books and received some valuable training on the product in question.

    From my perspective I can now provide support for my clients who use Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and now Windows 8. This means more opportunities. It seem obvious to me that someone else writes your check.

    Have a great day and I hope you fight every change with all your might. Resist every opportunity with gusto!

  17. I tend to agree with the original poster. I have also used Windows 8 for quite some time and although I am quite used to it I still find that it is far more inefficient than Windows 7. Shutting down. Searching. Even app switch is harder now because the Metro screen gets in the way sometimes and Flip 3d is gone. There are dozens of examples. One thing not mentioned here is that in Win7 you could search on an outlook contact from the start menu and putt it up. You could also search for an email from the start menu. You could do these things just by typing something relevant to what you are searching for. You cannot do this in Win8. When you start typing you get apps/settings/file but nothing related to Outlook. Again, not a huge deal breaker in itself, but just one more item in a long long list of weird things about Windows 8. Adding a start button and start menu would be an efficiency gain and a welcome admission, but I don’t think it would fix my searching problem.

  18. I am using windows 8 and server 2012 in a corporate environment and it has not been a problem for me at all. The server is in a regular rack attached to a regular KVM and I get around without a problem. The majority of things for server are done from the desktop side anyway. Also they can be handled remotely. My windows 8 PC and laptop I use a logitech touchpad instead of a mouse. I paid $60. for it instead of $350 for a touch monitor. It handles all the touch functions. On the laptop I still basically use the built-in touchpad for most things. I like it.

  19. I am and always have been more of a keyboard person than a mouse person. Why move my hand to touch the mouse if I can perform the same thing from the keyboard where my hands already are. Once you have opened the desktop you can switch back and forth using the Windows key on your keyboard. Also from the Start screen, right click with your mouse. You will see all apps. Right click an app, go to the bottom and pin that app to the Desktop taskbar or the Start screen, your choice. Windows key + I to get to shutdown. The Windows key used in conjunction with others keys handles a lot of the tasks that would have taken 2-3 mouse clicks to do. Learn and discern before we burn.

  20. Alf, I’m glad you like it and have figured out how to maneuver. I too use Win8 at home and enjoy using it on my touch devices. However, in my corporate setting as I described above, Win8 just won’t do the job as it exists today. That’s why I want choice. The case study was an eye opener to the way the non-tech user works. They use their PC as a tool and want to navigate it without thinking. I asked them to shut down the PC. Not one (NOT ONE) user could figure it out. That’s just one example but I think you see my point. I’m not saying remove the new UI at all. In fact, I want them to improve it rapidly and borrow/steal all they can from Windows Phone. I just want choice. Windows has been about choice until Win8. I still think Microsoft has a stinker on their hands and need to do something quick.

  21. As stated I am using windows 8 and three 2012 servers in a corporate environment. I guess you didn’t want to see that. My point is this if I were to put you in a new high end car, you probably would not be able to even start it and would not find the other controls that you are used to on your older car. No the car company doesn’t switch things for you they tell you how to do it. Your little “case study” was skewed to purposely give you the results you wanted. Office 2007 started with a ribbon which quite a few people did not like at first but now realize the advantages of it. Did you do that same “case study” with Office or are you still on Office 2003.

  22. Alf, I did see that. My point was that we need options. What you like, what I like, and what your average non-tech desk jockey likes are all different things. What you find efficient, an accounting clerk won’t, and my new CIO definitely doesn’t. Windows should let people work the way they want to.

  23. Steve, I don’t think you’ve read anything. If you look above I say that I like Win8 and enjoy most parts of it. Some of the decisions have been horrid though. Sinofsky lost his job and Win8 was part of the reason. If you’re implying I don’t like the new UI then you’re way off. WindowsPhone is the only phone I carry now because I love the UI.

  24. Joey just having fun. Just so you know when I first loaded Windows 8 I installed a third party Start Button, populated the desktop with all my shortcuts and never even looked at the Start Screen. I read a few books and took some training and as a result I removed the start button and moved on. To sum it up I use the Desktop App for most of my work activities and the Start Menu for other things. One doesn’t interfere with the other.

  25. OK. I just don’t know many manufaturers that give the options to operate a product the way you want and not the way they designed it. I guess Microsoft is different and should do whatever some users want. BTW are you still on Office 2003 or did you train your users to use something newer. Should we continue to ride a bike or horse or get trained/learn to drive a car? I guess we all have our likes and dislikes. Maybe I am just not as nostolgic as others.

  26. Not nostalgic about software at all, although I did fire up Win 3.1 in a VM just to reminisce. We’re on Office 2007 and moving to 2013 this year. With Office, each new version seems to be more efficient than the previous. That’s not always the case with Win8 and that’s the point that I’ve tried to make (and so have many many others). Some of the design considerations in Win8 have led to increased steps to perform common tasks. Even the most proficient Windows user will find Win7 more efficient than Win8 for shutting down, universal search, app switching, etc.. Although I could gripe about the new Outlook 2013 contact card — but that’s another topic.

  27. Joey you trying to reason with an immovable object. Any objective person will see that you are not condemning the software and any livelihood it provides for Steve and Alf. You’ve said you peace with these guys, made your point very clear, for your sanity you should stop replying.

    As you said NUMEROUS times the software should allow the user to work they want and not force us to relearn an operating system each new release. There needs to be a transition phase like Microsoft has always done in the past. For users who want no choice and to be blindly told how they should operate, Apple is waiting with open arms.

  28. OK Joey, I’m done. Sorry but the test users here so far have been fine with windows 8, techies and non techies. Some with touchpad some with a mouse, no touch screens. But then again they have been trained just like we trained our users on Office 2007 before we deployed it. I am actually taking the same amount of steps and in some cases less steps. But if I remember correctly that’s the same complaint users had with Office 2007. It takes more steps to do what they were used to, they can’t find this or that. But once they learned to use it they noticed that is not necessarily the case. Last post.

  29. Some of you have your head in the sand. I understand brand loyalty but aren’t you taking it too far with this? The OS is BROKEN!! It breaks practically every usability rule that Microsoft themselves spent millions creating. I’ve never used it on touch (maybe I’ll try after reading JOey’s original blog note if someone will loan me a Surface) but after weeks of use I still get mad. I know all the shortcuts (Win+c is for charms but do most home users know those are called charms?) but do you realize that only tech-folk use keyboard shortcuts? An average office worker ain’t gonna do it. Granny ain’t gonna do it. “What’d you say sonny?? Open a charm bar??? No, thanks I’m married”

  30. Sorry Bamakid, just because I have not had any issues with the OS doesn’t mean my head is in the sand. It just seems Microsoft is held to a different standard then other companies. When I bought a new car, I liked most of the things in it but didn’t like that there are now 6 buttons on my steering wheel that were never there on my other cars. For me it was annoying because of where I hold the wheel, but there were other things about the car I liked so I bought it. So I learned to do things differently. If I didn’t want to change I could have bought another car. The car manufacturer is not changing there design. We are free to accept the changes, buy another OS or stay with what we have. I currently use Windows 8, Windows 2012, Windows 7, windows Vista (never had problems), Ubuntu, and a old Mac G4. Use what works for you. All of the above works for me in there different scenarios.

  31. Absolutely Microsoft is held to a different standard. Their products power industry. Companies have spent millions building custom line of business programs,. Spent millions building process around how Windows and Office works. Spent millions training employees on Microsoft products and the custom processes. Spent millions building infrastructure for patch management, software distribution, group policy, security, etc… Even a minor change from Microsoft can impact how a global company operates and the Win8 desktop is not a minor change. You can’t say that about a car or car company. If you don’t like the car, then you can buy a new one. I am not anti-change, but I want change for the better and for efficiencies sake.

  32. The gnashing of the teeth over Windows 8 is really something. Most of the complaints listed above are much ado about nothing. (1) I have never had the trash icon on the taskbar. Never knew it was possible to do so, and never suffered because I didn’t have it there. What’s the big deal? As others have said, right click and delete. How hard is that? (2) The desktop is one click away — ONE! I laugh at those people who refuse to use Windows 8 because it takes them one click to go to the desktop. (3) Windows 8 works just fine with or without touch. In fact, in some ways I find it easier to use with a mouse than a touch screen. I also find that using the mouse scroll wheel to scroll horizontally in through the start screen tiles to be more efficient than using a vertical start menu ala Windows 7. There is actually minimal movement involved on the part of your hand. And it’s easy to arrange / hide the start tiles to suit your preferences to be even more efficient. And with the tiles being big enough to ready easily, it’s actually easier to find what you are looking for. (4) Searching is basically like before, except in many cases, it actually can become more powerful, especially as more apps start supporting the search function. (5) The moaning and wailing over finding the power-off button is temporary. Once you figure out where it is (you could for instance actually try reading a help file or too) you never “lose it” again. It’s slightly more awkward than before, but because it’s something that isn’t done very often, (I rarely need to power off) it’s not really that big a deal. Certainly nothing to throw away an OS over. Over time, people will look back and laugh at what an non-issue this really is. (5) The amount of training needed to use Windows 8 as effectively as you did in Windows 7 is really minimal. A ten minute tour of the salient points, and perhaps a cheat sheet to help in the beginning is all you need to become just as productive as you were before. (6) Though confusing at first, I eventually liked having the charm bar and other pop ups hidden most of the time. Gives you more room for content, which of course is the whole point. (7) Windows 8 IS a hybrid OS, sporting the new and the old. It IS the training wheels to a new way of doing things that others here have mentioned they desire. The desktop has not been thrown out, it’s one click away. You can stay there for almost the whole duration of your time logged in. (8) I use Windows 8 as follows: For consuming content, the new modern “immersive” interface works well and is quite appealing. For creating content, the desktop is best. You get both worlds here.

  33. Just to start with, I am not a techie but windows 8 is probably too much of a jump for the normal computer user. I like the idea of a more handheld look to the screen but it is a computer and not a phone. I think I will get used to it and am quite happy that things have moved on.One question though and please help me with this.. when in the desktop mode and I access internet explorer the response time between pages is about 20 seconds , the app is quick but is there any way to speed up the access through the desktop, if I could get this to work quickly my wife would stop hitting the enter button harder every 2 seconds.

  34. Dougie, if the page loads quicker in the “metro” IE than in the desktop version you probably have some add-ins or tool bars slowing you down. Go into IE settings and disable any addins you don’t need. Honestly, you probably don’t need many of the ones you will find listed.

  35. Don’t normally comment on random blog posts, however I’d like to add my 2 cents as I’ve struggled to come to terms with Win8 and what I feel are its inherent design flaws. I tend to agree with Joey here. I actually like enough of the new features with Win8 that I have held off on downgrading to windows 7 which was my initial reaction to my first TWO WEEKS of experience with it.

    With any new software ‘advance’ and new ‘features’ or ‘ interface’. Should the user experience not feel inherently intuitive? I feel with metro (specifically in non-touchscreen configurations) is rather awkward to use. Sure, can I use it? Yes, I consider myself a power user. Should it require someone to have thorough ‘training’ as Steve suggests in order to gain some proficiency? Absolutely not. The issue as I see it, is this, we (windows userbase) overall did not ask for this, or imply we needed this. With the direction that MS has made clear their intent for the future of Windows makes me feel like it should be renamed to MS Tiles. They have openly stated that they intend to ‘double down’ on Modern UI (aka METRO) I agree that the lack of choice here is slightly disheartening.

    I’ve been using MS products since the days of DOS 5.2 and I’ve never had any inherent complaints other than the old days of regular BSODs. Vista was a flop and even when Win7 came out I finally began to brag to my friends how MS had finally gotten Windows ‘just right’.

    Tell MS to stop buying into the hype of the Death of the PC that the media is all abuzz about and try not to alienate your userbase in what only feels to me like a break the bank attempt at forcing your way into the mobile market.

    Agree to disagree with me if you like, but the interface changes here are something I’m not exactly a fan of. Joey’s suggestions I feel are spot on, give me the choice and allow me to integrate some live tiles and metro apps into a start menu or as desktop widgets. THAT would be nice. I could think of a few simple ui changes that could still incorporate metro elements and not have such a disparity between using desktop and metro. It’s like having to know two operating systems, too much work for just the fundamental elements we use to interact with the software we want.

  36. Obelisk, THANK YOU FOR READING and understanding what I wrote. You understand that I am not bashing the new UI at all. It is a solid start for what it is. Understanding that, there is room for improvement and Microsoft can give desktop users their features back so there can be a seamless transition from old version to new version. I have some users who work in the field that complained about the transition from XP to Win7. I assured them they can continue to work the same way although there are some new features and looks a little different. I can’t give the users the same assurances with Win8.

  37. This is just a thank you to joey for your help , disabling the add ons in internet explorer while through the desktop worked a treat, The wife is not complaining and that is a result.

  38. For what it’s worth Joey, I thought it was a well thought out post. Perhaps, I’ll do a mockup of what I think would make a great convergence of metro and classic features to better illustrate my ideas when I get some time.

  39. Joe— I don’t understand how anyone could find fault with your reasoning. Even if someone won’t use your idea, why do they argue against it? Not everyone uses every feature anyway. I know people defend METRO but you’re not asking to remove it. To me you’re asking for a smooth transition to it over a couple of release cycles instead of this shove in your face approach. I like your feature suggestion. Some ideas like the trashcan are obvious duh features that I can’t believe we haven’t seen yet – I just had a million flashbacks showing my family how to schooch windows around because must users like mouse functions and not keyboard shortcuts. The trashcan is a system feature like the clock. To those who argue -for some baffling reason- ask them why the clock is on the task bar and not buried under layers of windows. It’s illogical. People will defend their companies and ideas like they defend religion. And to the guy above who suggests it’s normal for a user to install their own codec, I point you to the average user like Dougie (take no offense, Dougie). Why should he be made to perform a technical task like this when it should be baked in. More power to you, Joe!

    Obelisk— I would *love* to see your mockups of this -then send those to Microsoft. 🙂

  40. I’ll tell you who had their head in the sand and that was the Microsoft employee who approved these design changes. I am a bleeding edge guy running Windows 8 but want to go back to Windows 7!!! I’ll try your Pokki suggestion first. Thanks.

  41. Joey, I am a Surface RT user and I try to spend 100% of my time in the new UI/UX. If you haven’t use one, you should. They hardware experience is fantastic. Hard as I try to stay in the new UI, I still need the desktop on occasion for Office RT, control panel, file management, etc.. If Microsoft worked hard to make the new UI better they could eliminate the desktop on RT and many of your suggestions might not be needed. Until then, you are 100% correct, the desktop is broken. I hear what everyone is saying here and Microsoft does owe it to their paying customers to make transitions easier. They could have done a better job introducing the new UI to us without sacrificing desktop features. Their lone goal was to put eyeballs into the Windows Store.

    I hear people making the same complaints about the Win8 desktop as they did Win 3.1!! How did Microsoft fix much of this in 1994? They gave us things like the task bar and start menu. It makes sense that by taking these items away would generate many of the same complaints.

  42. I too have gotten used to Win8 out of box. I can navigate my way around and shut down without looking at a cheat sheet. Even though I can do this as good as anyone it does not mean I like it better than the Win 7 desktop interface. Win 7 Desktop mode is indeed easier to use. I think Win 7 desktop was too good and bar was set very high for other systems. I like the look of the Win 8 but I miss the ease of use in Win 7. I think your post offers an idea of the best of both worlds which is Windows 8 and its new UI with speed and security benefits plus your ideas mentioned above. Does someone from Microsoft read this? This idea would be huge ease of use enhancement for Windows. Please do it!

Comments are closed.