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Windows 10, I got it – I don’t get it

Posted by on August 1, 2015.

When Windows 8 came out, I was stunned that anyone on a development team could think removing the Start menu was a good idea. In addition, closing a new Tile/Modern/Metro App on a 27-inch monitor no longer required that painful gesture of clicking on a X. Now you could simply click on some nether region at the top of a borderless window, hold down the left mouse button and with great force try to simulate throwing the window down to the ground. Removing that X also cleared up some much-needed space on that 27-inch monitor, a “Win-Win”!

I calmly asked my local MS representative – “what the heck?” He smiled and said, “If you want to stay in the past I understand…” in a condescending voice. After reading a number of tech blogs, I soon realized that was going to be the official party line. Win8 created a start menu cottage industry. I soon discovered the Stardock Company and a few dollars later I had a great Startmenu back and my Tile Apps ran in Windows with a close button (not that I actually ran any tile apps).

When I heard Win10 was bringing back the Start menu I was worried it wanted to stay in the past too. However, after upgrading one of my development PC’s I have to admit, I still don’t get it! While I like the embedding of live tiles into the Start menu and it no longer needing to flip to full screen, you still cannot create a categorized menu. This is insane and I’m having a hard time understanding why product keeps leaving MS R&D and everyone thinking this is sane.

Under Win8, I understood they were trying to force everyone into a touch experience – hoping to stop the bleeding that IOS and Andriod were exacting and make the linkage to Windows Mobile Phone. It was an imprudent move. So hearing that Win10 was bringing back a desktop experience to a desktop computer (I know a crazy idea), I was ready to embrace. Yet it still feels like a touch device being wrought into a desktop. The shocker for me is I still cannot organize my Start Menu. Am I the only person that organizes their Start Menu? Win10, like Win8, wants me to either know the name of every program I own and start typing it into some box or slide across the screen for hours or down a menu for hours to find what I want. The idea of adding categories to the Start Menu and letting applications fall into folders seems lost on the developers. Why I wonder?

Here is my unsubstantiated, conjectural analysis. Millennials are assaulting me! They don’t have programs, they have browser bookmarks. If you only have five programs on your PC and ten thousand bookmarks – well then this kind of Start menu and silly tiles make a lot of sense. I mean I can still categorize my bookmarks. And just when you think my theory is outlandish, the following article appears:

MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it. Start menu app appears to be driven by a database on which some optimistic Microsoft coder has placed a limit of 512 entries.

While I’m on a rant, let me also say how much I dislike the unimpressive look, the large search box on the task bar, the confusing and intrusive privacy settings and the general feeling that I no longer have a desktop computer. Let me also say there is a lot to like in Win10, like Cortana (who sends everything I say to Microsoft – just like Siri and Google Now, but I understand the technical reason for that).

My rage does not stop there, this whole Anti-Skeuomorphism, which is now the standard for design and fully embraced in “Win810” makes no sense to me. I feel if someone has a job designing Graphical Interfaces or Icons – they should not look like something I can do! Just like the “if you want to stay in the past” party line, there is one for Anti-Skeuomorphism. You see, in the early days of mobile phones, developers had to make things look real because people were too stupid to know that a button labeled “Note” was actually a note application. Therefore, they had to make it look like a real notepad. This is Skeuomorphism. Now that people are so much more enlightened, we can make things look like Elementary school pictures (left bad – right good):

image001

Maybe I need a cup of coffee or something…

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Submitted in: Expert Views, Martin Zinaich |