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Windows 8 Microsoft details Windows Blue


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Aug 28, 2007
A blog detailing a little more about Windows Blue has been posted by Microsoft:

Today, I am happy to share a “first look” at Windows 8.1 and outline some of the improvements, enhancements and changes customers will see.

The inclusion of a new Start icon is mentioned along with details concerning:
A better search function,
Improved keyboard and mouse options,
Internet Explore 11,
Cloud Connectivity,
Apps and Store improvements,
PC settings.

Lot's more is mentioned in this informative blog and IMO it's well worth a read if you want to know more about Windows Blue/8.1:

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I think I can live with this.

I read that it will have a programs interface like the metro all apps screen, which you will access from the start button.

You will be able to organise it any way you want but it will, from what I understand not support folders.

I'd like to be able to make a folder (not actually a folder, more of a category), for say, Graphic Arts, and place all my graphic arts software in that location, rather than having them spread out on the same screen with everything else.

Then when I open the specialised desktop location, I would see another Metro type screen of the same design, but it would only display my graphic arts software.

So the first screen might contain only a dozen or so folders that each contain specific software.

The common usage items like File Explorer, Word, Skype and my Browser etc would go on the task bar.

What I will do is continue to use Rocketdock for all my commonly used items, and keep them on the desktop and the task bar.

Anyway it sounds like a step forward, I'll organise my stuff by category on the new Start Screen, but it's still going to be a little busy with several hundred icons. The problem is that many pieces of software make a lot more icons than I really need to use, my soundcard alone has created a half dozen icons. I never use any of them.

My current All Apps screen has over 350 icons on it.
Everything I use is on my Rocketdock and Task bars, about 50 programs.

It's just that there is so much stuff it kind of gets out of control, it would be nice to compress it into folder the way the old Programs List does.



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"I'd like to be able to make a folder (not actually a folder, more of a category), for say, Graphic Arts, and place all my graphic arts software in that location, rather than having them spread out on the same screen with everything else."

I think I am misunderstanding you there, Mike. You can make a Metro folder in Windows 8 and also in Windows 8.1 ??

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I have several like this. This one, as is obvious, has all the pictures from my hard disk tucked inside
Hi Dave

How did you do that?
I don't see any option to create a folder.

I have my Metro screen all divided into categories etc, but I can't find a way to put them in a folder so everything doesn't appear on the screen at once.

I've really been missing something here.

I believe it is a simple matter of right clicking practically any folder that exists on your system and choosing "Pin to Start".
Hi Trouble

So if I create a Folder, say on my Graphics and Video drive, named "Metro Links Folders", and then I place in it, Folders "Named Graphic Arts Software", "Games", Windows Tools, etc. each with a custom icon, and then I place a start link to all my graphic arts software in the graphic arts folder, and select "Pin to Start" I will get a folder on my Metro screen with my icon, that has a link to all my graphics software in it...

I will be able to get my start screen down to a dozen of so icons?

instead of over 100?

That sounds like a plan, I'll give it a shot.

Yes that should work, simple enough, although don't expect it to behave like a metro app. As soon as you click on the "Metro Links Folder" it will bounce you into "File Explorer" at the location of the folder and show it's contents.
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Yes it works but it's kind of inelegant.

What they should do is to make it possible to have categories that open a simple list of the shortcuts that you have added to it.

It really seems to me that the main thing they did with Windows 8 it take away the usability of the former operating systems.

Almost everything is just harder to do then in Windows 7.

Having a start menu with hundreds of icons all on one screen isn't organization.

Maybe a point of view, Mike. In Windows 7, I had the same folder in my "all Programs". When I clicked it, I think I remember, it opened the original folder in Windows Explorer, showing all the Icons/shortcuts. To get to that point took three clicks. I can now do it with one click?
8.1 is a nice progression from or added upon the initial step that is Windows 8. What will be offered sounds quite fine. After using Windows 8 for about a year and a half I still prefer accessing all & whatever application(s) wanted via a conventional 'folder'/window residing on the Taskbar with everything as an alphabetical list. This method allows staying on Desktop & not mucking about with configuring Tiles.

And, yes, I absolutely, definitely, agree doing things in 8 is faster, easier, less time, fewer clicks, more direct & efficient than Windows 7.

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Configuring tiles is not such a big deal for me. I, on every Windows ( 98:XP:Windows 7 Vista) , always ended my customisation by sorting the start menu into groups for my convenience - Photos - Maintenance- Games, whatever, with all the directories and subs tucked inside. Frankly, with that (bad and useless?) habit, I find it no extra chore to do the same with the tiles.
Don't get me wrong... I am not, @ all, suggesting using the Tiles on Start can't be a workable, enjoyable and very personalized experience & approach for many people. Many will find it 'fun' in a way... maybe I'm just lazy, lol.

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I just like lists. LOL

That's why I used the Windows XP programs display in Windows 7, and I'm doing the same in Windows 8.

I just don't want to have to scroll the programs windows, as you had to do in W7 or the whole screen as you do in W8.

Thankfully for me Rocketdock really takes care of my needs.

I really don't need to go to the Metro window and sort through the hundreds of icons

I'm looking forward to Windows Blue but I'm guessing I'll still use my computer pretty much the way I do now booting to the desktop, and using Rocketdock and Modern Mix.

I guess I could say "me, too", Mike. Probably explains why, although there is nothing wrong w/ it, I, too, don't go to or scroll across the Start screen or go look for something on WinQ. Plus not everything is there as Tiles on Start... heck, there could be NO Tiles there, except for the Desktop Tile. I have preferred to just stay on Desktop & open an 'Applications' window from the Taskbar; said window having the equivalent of WinQ but, as an alphabetical list. Sure the Tiles can be 'Active', funky & fun but, I dunno, the ways we are talking just seem simple & efficient, albeit, somewhat 'old school', maybe. Still, that's the beauty of computing w/ Windows... can be very individualistic and oft more than one way of doing something or approach to things. I just do it w/out adding anything, except for creating a measly (NEW) desktop shortcut but, no added software needed.

I will add that be it Windows 8 or 8.1... I sure do enjoy & respect it more than any previous OS Microsoft has ever built or offered.

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Considering that 60 percent of Windows 8 users launch Link Removed on average, I don't expect to hear too many cheers, but the new (albeit limited) screen versatility definitely brings the Metro side up a bit from version 1.0 status. But the Metro interface hasn't yet hit the "resizable overlapping windows" stage pioneered at Xerox PARC in the early 1980s.

The Start button that isn't and other minor Desktop changes Unless you live in a Faraday cage, you already know that Windows 8.1 will have a Start button. If you've read past the first sentence in the gushing announcements of that "victory" for users, you also know that the Start button isn't anything at all like the Start button in Windows 7 (or XP, for that matter). Right now, in Windows 8, if you click in the lower-left corner of the Desktop, you're sent to the Metro Start screen. In Windows 8.1, if you click in the lower-left corner of the Desktop, you get sent to the Metro Start screen. The only difference is that Win8.1 will have a visible Start button, not the invisible version used in Windows 8. I guess somebody at Microsoft figured the presence of a Start button would mollify the 1.4 billion people who click on Start and expect to see a Start menu. The returned Start button is definitely is not the Start menu that people really miss.
Frankly, I think the new Start button will only make experienced Windows users angry -- very angry.

Source: Windows 'Blue': Microsoft blows it | Microsoft windows - InfoWorld by Woody Leonhard

Not to be glum, but it seems like the man has a well defined point. I shudder to think of the reaction once they bring back the Start button, only to have it go to the Metro UI screen yet again. It really is somewhat of a smack in the face and a pointless endeavor. The article brings up some generally good points that deserve feedback response, as far as I can tell. The Xeon PARC comment just seems sad to me, because it is true.
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There already is a start button that goes to a start menu. Instead of a round button, it's a square thing that appears @ the bottom-left & looks like a mini start screen. The start menu is the start screen. Now the start button will be added to the Taskbar. The start screen/(graphical, active) menu can be used for nothing, everything or something in between and that is completely up to the User. Some people don't go to it for anything.

So it becomes tiring hearing people grumble about start buttons & menus. It really comes across as complaining no matter what, just for the sake of complaining, even if no solid reason or cus it's just 'cool' or hip to jump on a complaining bandwagon.

There is no start button problem or issue. There is one, always has been... goes to a different kind of start menu than of the past. Said start menu can be used a little or not @ all. One can, even right now, do everything, access everything without ever leaving the good ole Desktop. There just are not grounds for the fuss being made. But, to some people, have fun making a fuss while some people just have fun using Windows 8.

Sorry for not biting my tongue (anymore) but, I've listened to this for nearly 2 years and it does make anymore sense now than it ever did.

Don't like the Win8 start menu, don't use it, simple as that. No need to treat it as a problem. One can easily have a list of everything sitting on the Taskbar... never needing a start button or start screen and never needing to make a fuss over anything.

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I spent a half hour trying to get all my start screen icons exactly where I need them today.

I'm a puzzle person, I solve puzzles, play computer games, I even write crossword puzzles.

I create complex animated 3D videos, with music, sound effects, narration etc!

After a half hour I gave up, every time I moved an icon to where I wanted it one I had already places moved someplace else, seemingly at random.

I tried starting in the upper left corner and moving the icons one at a time to each space left to right.
But sooner or later one of them would pop down to the bottom or someplace else.

One of the things I don't like is the lack or right click menus.
I'd like to be able to right click on the icon and select lock so that the icon couldn't move from it's assigned space.

I'd like to be able to right click on the title and select change, etc.

That's the way computers always worked.

So you can't right click on a pad, that's just proof that there needs to be two different operating systems one for laptops and desktops, and one for pad computers.

They seem to feel like the pad is going to replace the PC, I don't see how that's possible, gamers, graphic designers, people who work with photography, cad, a million different commercial uses won't work on a pad computer.

My iPad has so many limitations, it's virtually useless for 80% of what I do.

It's nice to have, I can't take my PC out and shoot video with it, but I can't edit the video on my iPad, it just doesn't have the power to do that.

I sounds like the new Windows 8 will be a little improvement but I'll still be working the way I always have.
I'll give that to Microsoft, Apple actively fights you at every step from trying to make thing work the way you want it to.

Anyway if someone knows how you get the icons to stay where you want them let me know.

My 2 cents worth...I think the whole deal is that it boots to the Metro/Start menu screen and that just throws everybody off. Now that they're in unfamiliar territory and don't know what to do, so they panic. It all goes back to basic human nature, if you don't know what it is, you're afraid of it, so you automatically hate until you get to know it. That goes for anything or anybody.

8.1 is supposed to help alleviate a lot of that with the icon bit on the start screen. Looking forward to try it in hyper-v when the public beta is released later this month. To see what you can and can't do with the icon arrangement. Currently I'm running the latest leaked build in hyper-v, so far it looks promising.
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Hi Bassfisher,

Do you know it you can download the preview and install it in a dual boot setup with your current Windows 8 installation?

Funny my mouse suddenly just slowed down to about half speed for no reason at all.
Now I'll have to go and readjust that.

Maybe it's Microsoft getting back at me for complaining. LOL