Originally Posted by Forceman
This was my favorite:
In case you hadn't noticed the negative vibe regarding the Start Button, I'd like to point out that the only way you could have implemented this worse was by making the Start Button image that of a big middle finger to us
I don't mind the full screen start menu, but putting a start button on the desktop that just goes to said start screen had to have been done out of spite. There is no rational explanation for how that button works/why it exists.
It was there in the Developer Preview, and did the exact same thing as it does now.
I can understand why they brought it back: it's to bring discoverability back, and, whether they intended it or not, it also brings the Windows brand back to the desktop. Without it the desktop looks like it could belong to a hypothetical generic OS.
On the other hand, they have managed to instil into the media that this is somehow a good thing, completely omitting the fact that that button is not going to do what people expect and have been asking it to do. I don't know if some media outlets are just buying Microsoft's PR without checking or they were really bought by Microsoft's PR to play this game. Historically that button always opened a menu on the desktop and not a context switch to a fullscreen touch UI that can't interact with the desktop.
The potential to backfire is huge. Yes, the button itself is good to avoid the initial consumer confusion as it is a point of reference and of discoverability, but then it's awful because it will trigger the ire of getting to a place (that Microsoft certainly intends you to visit as often as possible, preferably the store) many people who tried Windows 8 and were hoping for Windows 8.1 to be the solution, are more than willing to not have to see when working with a desktop. The huge number of Start Menu third party software that came into existence in the last year proves that.
And that is only one of the problems Microsoft has. Trying to get people to log with on-line accounts (much easier to keep track of people ahem...), stripping them of their privacy and having Bing integrated into local searches. Whoever thought that was a good idea ? It's not even conceptually acceptable, at least you can turn it off, and what is most unusual, Ubuntu is trying the same thing with Amazon search built-in. Honestly, what are these people thinking ? They also included Smartscreen system-wide where information about every file you download is sent to Microsoft instead of the OS downloading a database file to check against, and they don't even tell you about it during the setup process.
Removing options like many people said in the OP that affect sys admins (network configuration was one of the examples given), and consumers alike.
And then there is the fact that the Modern UI is considered by many as just plain ugly (yes, yes, it's opinion, but go ask around), and the desktop went with it (it wasn't so in the Developer Preview, where the windows had just square corners and the window buttons were smaller), and they also removed the option
for Aero on window borders.
Now think of this: what will a normal consumer walking in the mall see when he/she walks by a store with computers running Windows 8.1 ? Basically the same as Windows 8. They ship with one of those solid colour backgrounds and they are showing the Modern UI instead of booting to the desktop. The only difference is that there are now two more tile sizes, which do make it look a bit better, but is that enough to get interested ? I don't think so, people will just dismiss it just as they dismissed Windows 8.
Microsoft doesn't have the time to implement all the changes that are really needed in such short timeframe, but even if they had, I doubt they would cave in to pressure so soon. They are giving this whole concept another try, in fact they have to, otherwise they might get accused of not having tried enough. It's tough being Microsoft these days, when a lot of the software the general consumer needs on a daily basis has reached a good enough status years ago and is on the verge of being replaced with open source alternatives. The web browser is already there, and why would a home consumer feel inclined to spend money on a word processor these days, the same thing for basic spreadsheet work and making school / work presentations. Couple that with the fact that the OS is not regarded as something sacred anymore given the myriad of alternatives.Edited by tpi2007 - 10/18/13 at 6:50pm