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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
 After Bumpy Start, Microsoft Rethinks Windows 8
Quote:
“The learning curve is real and needs to be addressed"...


Microsoft will allow Windows users to configure their systems so they start on the traditional-looking Windows desktop when they start their systems. Microsoft didn’t allow that initially, steering all users to the new tile interface, which is best suited for people running systems with touch screens.

After spending a few months with Windows 8, I have to say that I have adapted but it has been a significant disruption to my workflow. I am a power user both personally and professionally, and own several Windows computers specific to different requirements. Additionally, I've been a Windows user since 1985 and Windows 1.0, and up until and including Windows 95 I have provided pre-release testing and feedback. Historically (and loosely) every other release of Windows has hit the ball out of the park, while the rest have been either boring or ineffective (your mileage may vary of course). While I understand the strategic direction Microsoft is moving toward, their execution WRT Win8 should have rolled some heads. In order to attempt capturing more seamless integration with tablet computing they successfully alienated a huge segment of their customer base. Very odd.


Anyway, I thought this interesting. Anyone who is considering Windows 8 for HTPC builds might want to see where this goes. I'm glad to see both recognition of their failure and the path to remediation.
 

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I had Windows 8 installed on my HTPC and uninstalled it immediately. The user interface was not very intuitive, and navigating the desktop was a nightmare. If they revamp the desktop with a service pack upgrade, (adding the start button) I might give it another go round...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Since I'm just starting another PC build I'd like to know whether this is coming in the form of a SP or an interim version. I wouldn't exactly trust Microsoft not to somehow monetize this great new idea
 

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Don't get carried away. Many seem to think the 'return of the start button' heralds the return of the start menu. Very likely (from early reports) it won't. In 8.1, the start button will be in the usual place, but clicking it will just take you to the Metro screen, it won't present the classic menu! I think MS just leaving an empty space where the start button used to be - on the desktop - was a big mistake, and they realise this now, but Metro isn't going anywhere. It will still be there even if you 'boot to desktop', and it will drag you back in at every opportunity as all common file associations will remain linked to Metro apps.


Metro will have some improvements to make it easier to use (apparently), but it will still fundamentally be the same. If MS truly want 8.1 (and 9 for that matter) to succeed in all markets, the answers are simple;


* Allow users the choice of running the O/S is 'classic' mode or 'modern' mode

* For corporate users, it should default to classic desktop mode, and make all file associations linked to desktop programs (Windows 8 Enterprise)

* Accept that touch is a long way off (if ever) from being mainstream on the desktop

* As a little sweetener, add Aero back in as an *optional* theme, so it can be re-activated if people want to use it (I hate the new 'flat' look and would have Aero back in a heartbeat)


The message here is, give people a choice on how they want to use it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, based on the comments in the article it's clear that Microsoft acknowledged its blunder in presuming that a touch-optimized UE works on the desktop. This can't be rectified by simply adding back the start button. What you're claiming gets them nowhere, and will drag them even further down the path of irrelevance.
 

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They should really add a charms button while they are at it.


I think Microsoft is going down the Apple road of charging for every incremental update. I hope this is a free service pack but I doubt it.


There are some things about Metro that are stupidly laid out but the basic idea of having a start menu and all apps accessible in a much bigger screen is a very good idea. My biggest issue is with charms poor layout that almost hides features that used to be easy to access from the start menu.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by myoda  /t/1472055/after-bumpy-start-microsoft-rethinks-windows-8#post_23296906


I had Windows 8 installed on my HTPC and uninstalled it immediately. The user interface was not very intuitive, and navigating the desktop was a nightmare. If they revamp the desktop with a service pack upgrade, (adding the start button) I might give it another go round...

True, why would anyone EVER want anything like this on an HTPC?


 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80  /t/1472055/after-bumpy-start-microsoft-rethinks-windows-8#post_23301355

Quote:
Originally Posted by myoda  /t/1472055/after-bumpy-start-microsoft-rethinks-windows-8#post_23296906


I had Windows 8 installed on my HTPC and uninstalled it immediately. The user interface was not very intuitive, and navigating the desktop was a nightmare. If they revamp the desktop with a service pack upgrade, (adding the start button) I might give it another go round...

True, why would anyone EVER want anything like this on an HTPC?



Can you control that with a remote?
 

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Wrong. You can navigate the start screen with a remote perfectly, just like you can with the arrow keys and enter. It's just the WinRT apps themselves that can't all be navigated with a remote. So, I do need to use my mini Bluetooth keyboard for say, Netflix, as an example.


It's the exact opposite with a 360 controller, where certain apps work with it (most of the games I have pinned there), but the controller doesn't work on the start screen.


I hope both of those improve, but the main 'frontend' I'm using is working great with the remote.


I do mostly still use Media Center, but the way I have it set up now is a million times more customizable, and a million times more extendable (as let's face it, Media Center plugins never caught on much beyond the basics).
 

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So you can arrow around with the remote and load netflix but once in there you need to grab your keyboard? What about going to LiveTV, RecordedTV or your personal library? Do you ever have to touch your keyboard/mouse to get to and navigate them?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80  /t/1472055/after-bumpy-start-microsoft-rethinks-windows-8#post_23301610


Wrong. You can navigate the start screen with a remote perfectly, just like you can with the arrow keys and enter. It's just the WinRT apps themselves that can't all be navigated with a remote.

And you call that working? Working implies fully usable with a remote like he asked. I stand by my 'no'.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2  /t/1472055/after-bumpy-start-microsoft-rethinks-windows-8#post_23301654


So you can arrow around with the remote and load netflix but once in there you need to grab your keyboard? What about going to LiveTV, RecordedTV or your personal library? Do you ever have to touch your keyboard/mouse to get to and navigate them?

I made shortcuts to the parts I use right there on the start screen. So the gray icons under Video, for example, are links directly to Live TV, Recorded TV, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by staknhalo  /t/1472055/after-bumpy-start-microsoft-rethinks-windows-8#post_23301739


And you call that working? Working implies fully usable. I stand by my 'no'.

It's fully usable the same way that Windows 7 is usable. Unless you have some secret method to use MLB.tv, TuneIn Radio, Xbox Music streaming, and others with a remote in Windows 7...



Edit: Oops, missed part of it. Yes, once I load Netflix I do have to switch to the mini keyboard/touchpad. I gladly sacrifice the remote support that the WMC Netflix has to get the 5.1 audio and actual HD video that the WinRT Netflix has though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80  /t/1472055/after-bumpy-start-microsoft-rethinks-windows-8#post_23301752


It's fully usable the same way that Windows 7 is usable. Unless you have some secret method to use MLB.tv, TuneIn Radio, Xbox Music streaming, and others with a remote in Windows 7...

MCEWebview plugin for MLB.tv; ReLaunch or Radiotime plugins for TuneIn Radio. The only time you need a keyboard is to log in to the site(s) the first time. Make sure the cookies get saved and you only need a remote to navigate them thereafter (for RadioTime you never need a keyboard). And there is no Xbox Music streaming on Windows 7; but I'm sure you're well aware of that. My media center only gets used with a remote control (or 360 controller when playing games) and I use all these services via various plugins (and the WMC Netflix Plugin - but that doesn't show via Remote Desktop):

 

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While I can't stand metro on a destop PC, I agree that it has huge potential as great media interface. Hopefully MS will recognize this and give us a fully working solution in the update. It wouldn't take much.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by staknhalo  /t/1472055/after-bumpy-start-microsoft-rethinks-windows-8#post_23301863

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80  /t/1472055/after-bumpy-start-microsoft-rethinks-windows-8#post_23301752


It's fully usable the same way that Windows 7 is usable. Unless you have some secret method to use MLB.tv, TuneIn Radio, Xbox Music streaming, and others with a remote in Windows 7...

MCEWebview plugin for MLB.tv; ReLaunch or Radiotime plugins for TuneIn Radio. The only time you need a keyboard is to log in to the site(s) the first time. Make sure the cookies get saved and you only need a remote to navigate them thereafter (for RadioTime you never need a keyboard). And there is no Xbox Music streaming on Windows 7; but I'm sure you're well aware of that. My media center only gets used with a remote control (or 360 controller when playing games) and I use all these services via various plugins (and the WMC Netflix Plugin - but that doesn't show via Remote Desktop):


What did you use to modify your menu strips?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80  /t/1472055/after-bumpy-start-microsoft-rethinks-windows-8#post_23301610


It's the exact opposite with a 360 controller, where certain apps work with it (most of the games I have pinned there), but the controller doesn't work on the start screen.
I bet you can configure XPadder to handle this. I haven't tried though, as I don’t use the start screen on my PC. (But I do use Windows 8 because it’s a big improvement on the desktop)
 
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