My Perspective On The New Start Menu

Forums Operating Systems Windows Server 2016 Miscellaneous My Perspective On The New Start Menu

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    • #44863

      Critically one of Microsoft’s most hated, but rather misused feature of Windows 8 was without a doubt the Start Screen. In particular it was criticized on Windows Server itself for its very existence!

      Some of the common complaints I have heard are:

      “What is even the point of Metro on a Server UI? This is so ridiculous.”

      “I don’t need to pin every application into a group of tiles. That is what the Start Menu is for.”

      I digress. And yet most everyone misses the point of Metro in its entirety. Its not about pinning everything under the sun or grouping them to your hearts content. The Start Screen serves the purpose as a glorified notification center and app launcher.

      The tiles aren’t just colorful squares that display an icon of the application. They can do a whole lot more.

      1. They can run as background agents informing you of critical/important information. For example imagine you had an app that alerted you when a server or network went down.

      2. Toast notifications are extremely useful for interacting socially with people/apps. The prime example being Facebook. Before in previous versions of Windows you needed to have an app launched and opened in order to receive a notification from somebody. Now as long as I have my PC on, I am aware of any new posts sent to me by friends. A highly useful feature I use everyday.

      3. The tiles are dynamic and scalable. Having that glanceable information can be beneficial at times because it tells me whether or not I should even engage the app or not.

      4. Cloud integration with select apps. Lot of people take that feature for granted. These are not just “local” apps. If I make a change to my calendar but two weeks later my PC hard drive dies, when I re-install the OS again, the data is still there.e

      The Power User Menu (WIN+X) is an awesome feature for the most common management tasks on a PC/server. I love it and use it quite often.

      The placement of the shutdown options at the top will throw you off in the beginning, but like the transition of the start menu in XP to Vista from a “cascading menu” to a vertical panning menu, i don’t think its a deal breaker in any stretch of the imagination. It didn’t take that long to adjust at all. Its not a big deal IMHO.

      Now on to the things I don’t like:

      1. Common start menu tasks/apps for example Control Panel, Devices & Printers, Network are no longer separated into their own containers, but rather just integrate at the very top of the start menu where you pin apps. I’ve been so used to have a separate section for “computer” “network” “devices and printers”, a separate section for recently accessed apps, and a final section for pinned apps at the top… this one takes some getting used to. I honestly hope they dedicate a separate section of the start menu to these tasks.

      2. Administrative Tools is missing. I miss my cascading menu to perform server tasks! :(—-

      3. Searching can be sometimes off. For example earlier today I tried doing a search for “Internet Options” to turn off the “Automatically detect settings” option in proxy settings to make Chrome load faster, but it wouldnt pop up. So I gave up and just went the old fashion route, (start > run > inetcpl.cpl). Funny thing is when I search for that same command now, it pops up. Perhaps an issue with the technical preview, but nonetheless a bit buggy.

      Other then that, I love the new start menu, and if you grow to understand the potential of what the start menu can offer, its a great addition to Windows Server indeed!

    • #61122

        Thanks !
        And, nice to see you here again.

      • #61123

          You as well my friend. Ever since landing an IT job a few years ago I’ve been getting pretty busy. Currently I work in HP Enterprise Services. Right now I’m a Subject Matter Expert in our Mobility Division (MDM + Blackberry). Soon enough I hear they are going to split the consumer and enterprise markets.

          Since the release of Hyper-V on Windows 8 I’ve often wondered what tangible advantage Windows Server has now a days over its workstation counterpart. With the slashing of prices coming down for Solid State Drives I can get either the client or server OS to boot up in 10 seconds or less on my machine, so performance really isnt an issue any more. When it comes down to it, application compatability is the king, so I’m left wondering if I’m actually better off running Windows 8 as my host OS and server in a VM on Hyper-V/VMware.

        • #61124

            i just hate it
            i installed classic shell which is working nicely

            now its perfect OS ever 😀

          • #61125

              I’m closer to aviv00’s perspective here then halladayrules; while I highly value halladayrules for his knowledge and insight on Windows system internals, and I don’t ‘hate‘ the Windows/Server 10 Start Menu the way aviv00 might — I do regard it as huge step backward in form that follows function interface design with respect to this interface component.

              Tiling Metro/Modern application and normal shortcuts on a Start Menu is functionally inefficient; you end up having to visually scan and move your mouse a lot further to accomplish very little, and this is little more then replication of the primitive interface that is the ‘Start Screen‘ in miniature with all it’s antecedent issues and limitations.

              The Start Menu in Windows 7 and prior, and all UNIX window managers that offer a similar interface component offer the option to organize your shortcuts, hard, and soft links heuristically; Windows 10 offers little more than a crude, flat, pile of links — with only simplistic linear organization at best. Worse, there is no configuration option it to have a heuristically organized portion of the Start Menu.

              The notion of live active tiles is as old as Windows XP’s ‘Active Desktop‘, that was later mutated and regurged as the Widgets platform on Windows 7. I see absolutely no benefit in having this sort of capability on an interface component that is hidden from view 99% of the time I’m using the OS at the cost of sacrificing heuristic organization of shortcuts, hard, and soft links.

            • #61126


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