Why Windows 8 Should Not Abandon the START button

I don’t often post my opinions on contention issues, however I think in this case, it is more than necessary and appropriate.  Unlike most people who have been publishing there opinions lately, I’ve actually been using Windows 8 as my primary operating system now since February 29th when the latest preview was released.  I’ve been to the BUILD conference, I’ve watched many of the videos and to a reasonable degree, my opinion is validated with real experience.

Those in favor of eliminating the start button simply say Metro is simply the equivalent of the start button and you should use it the same way.  I could not disagree more.  When you are running in Metro the apps look different, you task switch them differently, just everything about them is different.  To those that say you don’t need a start button, I would say then you should say just as much you don’t need a desktop either.

To Microsoft I say you should give people these two choices (or give them both on the same machine is fine with me also, but don’t mix them up).

1.  Desktop With Start button

2.  Metro With No Desktop App

These are clearly two separate worlds.  Microsoft, please, don’t make us run them both at the same time.  If I want to run my Windows 8 tablet, I’m 100% happy having Metro  as the only OS.  The start button gives a really miserable experience on a touch device.  Likewise, if I’m on my desktop, please let me avoid Metro and just use the desktop complete with the start button which does work well.  The flashing back and forth to metro is very disconcerting.  As a workaround, I’ve been slowly adding everything I use to my start bar which seems kind of silly.

My 2 cents

About Peter Kellner

Peter is a software professional specializing in mobile and web technologies. He has also been a Microsoft MVP since 2007. In addition, he’s a multi-course video author at Pluralsight. To read more about Peter Kellner and his experience click here. For information about how Peter Kellner might be able to help you with your project click here.

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  1. Microsoft claims that the start button is like the new office ribbon control. they had to get rid of the old menus and that was a great decision,

  2. Could not agree more. Touch is just not for desktop workstatins.
    As a matter of fact I have been thinking about adapting my Console Express utility to replace the Start button. It’s like a combination of the Start button and desktop shortcuts groupable into tab panels. Download for free from my website. If you have the time take a look and let me know what you think?

  3. schglurps says:

    “These are clearly two separate worlds”. No ! I think that Microsoft considers that the Desktop *is* a Metro application. It’s even possible to dock the Desktop itself !


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