Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED.
Let an ISACA® certification
elevate your career.

Register today and save
Operating Systems
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Windows 8.1 Brings Back Old Friend: The Start Button

Windows 8.1 Brings Back Old Friend: The Start Button
By Barry Levine

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

New personalization features of Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system include more color options for backgrounds, and the ability to show on the lock screen a slideshow of photos saved on the internal hard drive or in a user's account on SkyDrive. Photo-editing tools have been added for color selection, brightness, contrast and red-eye removal.
 



Developers got a peek at Microsoft's version 8.1 of its Windows operating system on Wednesday. The technology giant unveiled the first update of its newest OS, eight months after the initial release, at the Build 2013 developer conference now taking place in San Francisco.

The enthusiasm of developers is critical in making this generation of Windows a success, in order to boost the platform's current number of about 100,000 applications. Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer promised the attendees that Windows 8 will now have a "rapid-release schedule" of updates, and that there will soon be more Windows 8 touch-enabled devices to provide a larger installed base.

Ballmer said 8.1, with about 800 updates, will "refine the blend" between the desktop interface and the tile-based, touch-optimized Start screen interface. He said that the company wanted to "make it easier to start applications the way we're used to."

The Return of Start

For many users, the biggest news is the return of the Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen. A left click on that button, however, brings up the Start screen, not the pop-menu that users had in previous Windows, which offered a quick way to navigate. But a right click brings up Control Panel, Task Manager, search and several other system-level tools, as well as a quick way to shut down or restart.

Another change in 8.1 is the ability to boot into the desktop interface, which saves a few steps for those who frequently use the keyboard and mouse.

Xbox Music in 8.1 has been redesigned for easier use, with a left navigation pane to start a radio station, explore artists, or manage playlists, and a right pane for exploring content or watching videos. Searching for a particular musician will also result in the creation of a radio station of similar music, as in Pandora.

Search, Personalization

Searching now shows results from files, apps, SkyDrive, the Web and other sources, displayed horizontally. More apps can now be running at the same time on one screen by resizing the windows and using the Snap function, with up to eight apps on two screens -- four for each screen -- if the resolution is available.

New Personalization features include more color options for backgrounds, and the ability to show on the lock screen a slideshow of photos saved on the internal hard drive or in a user's account on SkyDrive. Photo-editing tools have been added for color selection, brightness, contrast and red-eye removal.

Microsoft has said that more than 100 million licenses have been sold for Windows 8 to date, but personal computer sales continued to fall -- by 14 percent in the first quarter, according to industry research firm IDC -- and some industry observers have blamed the drop at least partially on the lukewarm reception for Windows 8.

The OS is oriented around the touch-optimized tile interface, while PC users who are more interested in productivity apps still favor the keyboard and mouse. On a tablet -- a device that is completely oriented toward touch -- the OS has also has had a less-than-great reception so far, with only 4 percent of tablets using Windows 8 in the first quarter.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

frustrated:

Posted: 2013-06-27 @ 3:03am PT
I can't say it any better than the Observer just did. If I could afford a Mac I'd have one but alas I am stuck with this winblows 8 garbage. I thought I purchased a computer only to come home and find an over-sized phone that made little to no sense. It's been a very frustrating experience for me from day one. If there was at least a built in option to run windows 7 on it I'd be fine. There may in fact be a way to run windows 7 on my computer but I am not computer savvy which is why I wish I could still afford Apple products. (and yeah i know they're not what they used to be either but they can't be as backwards as windows 8. there's just no way)

Observer:

Posted: 2013-06-26 @ 9:02pm PT
Quote: "A left click on that button, however, brings up the Start screen, not the pop-menu that users had in previous Windows, which offered a quick way to navigate. But a right click brings up Control Panel, Task Manager, search and several other system-level tools, as well as a quick way to shut down or restart."

Right, this is a partial improvement to the absolutely dismal Windows 8 blunder. But why in the world don't they just make the damn start button do what it did in Windows 7 (which is almost identical to the Mac OS X functionality)?

The REAL problem with Windows 8 isn't just the start button. It's that the tile system itself is lousy for desktop use, and not intuitive as an Operating System should be. By default, the tiles link to completely irrelevant stuff, like someone else's Hungarian vacation pictures, or to Microsoft's weather service, which doesn't really work, unless you're already signed up to Microsoft's network with all your personal information.

If those silly tiles are customizable to be anything actually useful, it's definitely not intuitive. And, in any event, why should someone have to jump through any hoops when it comes to the default screen on their desktop?

Looks like Microsoft is so scared of becoming irrelevant that it moved so far out of the box that it left its core users alienated and frustrated. And 8.1 is not fix. It's a bandaid at best.

Goes to show that even a multi-billion-dollar company with its huge customer base and its consumer testing panels can't get it right. I say trash this Windows 8 monstrosity and go back to square one.



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Operating Systems
1.   Windows 9 Preview Date: Sept. 30?
2.   Android Crushing Smartphone Rivals
3.   Plan Your Move from Windows 7 Now
4.   Microsoft Patch Tuesday Stars IE
5.   Siri Coming to a Mac Near You


advertisement
China Puts Microsoft Under the Lens
Official anti-monopoly probe launched.
Average Rating:
Plan Your Move from Windows 7 Now
But don't rush to deploy Windows 8.
Average Rating:
Microsoft CEO Sees 'Bold' Plan Ahead
With unified Windows for all platforms.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.