Thursday, April 18, 2013

Why the obsession with Start Button?

Since the day Windows 8 was introduced to the world everybody is speculating about the absence of start button which is totally beyond my understanding. I have been using Windows 8 since the time it was in its consumer preview stages and I have NEVER felt the use of start button. In fact there is no need of start button at all!
If I think back I remember start button had all the shortcuts to the commonly used applications plus a search box and if you wanted to go somewhere easily all you had to do was just press the start button… Now let’s see what does Windows 8 has to offer… A start screen which can hold any number of tiles which are nothing but the shortcuts to your favorite and most used applications. The age old start button could hold a limited number of shortcuts whereas the start screen can have any number of tiles and you can even group them according to the category or your frequency of use. You have the amazing Semantic zoom if you have added many tiles on the start screen.
Coming on to the search box which otherwise popped up in the start menu when we clicked on Start button, I know it was a handy search box. In Windows 8 all you have to do is start typing when you are on the start screen and it would start searching for you in the various apps that you have installed, in files and even in settings. For example if I wanted to search for the Hyper-V settings or the Remote connection settings I just have to start typing the text and Windows 8 searches for these in the settings and quickly shows you the result. I don’t think this is possible with the search text box in start menu!
Now if you are missing the fact the you could have gone to the start menu even when you had opened many applications on the desktop then to compensate that, there is a Window key available on your keypad, and you just have to press it to go back to the start screen or press the Window icon on the Charms
I think people are just not exploring enough. There is nothing missing in Windows 8. Windows 8 has reinvented the whole desktop. Windows 8 has got a beautiful and super user friendly start screen which needs to be used correctly.


Tanmoy Rajguru (Code name MRGNI) said...

Most of the people do not use a computer to use the Operating system and appreciate it. They use it as a tool to get to the stuffs they needs. Those includes playing a video or a song or to open Facebook or do some work in excel. Consistency is valued more than innovation or "Easy to use once you learn it" kind of stuff. That is the reason we hardly see any right click or double click in web applications and still see floppy disk icon as save icon. With Windows 8 MSFT is trying to change peoples habit that most of the non-geek community is reluctant to do. They are less enthusiastic about "new way of doing things" and more irritated to have to learn (By experience or by reading manual/websites".

Still as Microsoft have the monopoly in desktop they can take the risk to change people's habit in long term as they have done with Office ribbon design which is now appreciated by a large part of the community.

swapnil kochetaa said...

What about the inconsistent ui, shutdown takes a hover and 3clicks, logoff and other power options are separated. Where is logic in that ?

Its a good system but with its flaws and undue assumptions

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