Can Windows 8.1 re-start Windows 8?

Moderated by Lawrence Dignan | June 3, 2013 -- 07:00 GMT (00:00 PDT)

Summary: Ed Bott calls Microsoft's impending OS release an impressive update. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes thinks it's too little, too late.

Ed Bott

Ed Bott

Yes

or

No

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Best Argument: Yes

58%
42%

Audience Favored: Yes (58%)

The Rebuttal

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Are my debaters standing by?

    We have a lot of ground to cover and plan to start promptly at 11am ET.

    Welcome, readers: Once our debate kicks off, this page will refresh automatically each time a new question or answer is posted. Thanks for joining!

    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    Ready here


    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    This should be fun!


    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    OK, first question:

    Is the hype over the return of the Start button overblown in Windows 8.1?

    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    Can we please stop talking about the Start button?

    I could probably list 20 important changes in Windows 8.1, and the return of the Start button would rank around 18 or 19 on that list. But critics and shallow analysts harp on it because 1) it’s the most obvious addition and 2) it’s something that casual users trip over when they encounter it for the first time.

    Every new interface requires that its users learn a few basic techniques. Adding the Start button makes it a bit easier for someone who is seeing Windows 8.1 for the first time to find the Start screen.

    That’s a good thing, but there are far more important changes in Windows 8.1, like ubiquitous search, the ability to sync the desktop across multiple devices, and support for smaller, cheaper tablets. That’s where the real payoff of Windows 8.1 will be apparent.

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    Yes, for a number of reasons.

    • When the Windows 8 preview hit the web and users began to complain about the UI changes, Microsoft was adamant that it had science and telemetry on its side. If this is the case, then why the U-turn?
    • The UI changes were widely criticised by prominent usability experts, which called the new user interface a "a monster that terrorizes poor office workers and strangles their productivity," "confusing," and "a cognitive burden" on users. Did Microsoft not know this already?
    • The update doesn't address the lack of killer apps for the platform.
    • The Start button that will be present in Windows 8.1 is really nothing like the old Start button, and doesn't bring up the familiar Start menu

    I think that the changes that Microsoft has made to how apps run are more important. 

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    What has Microsoft proven with its historically fast release of Windows 8.1?


    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    The trains now run on time in Redmond

    When Steven Sinofsky took over the Windows team seven years ago, it was a mess. What Microsoft did with Windows 7 was to prove that it could release a rock-solid update with no drama and no delays. It followed the same airtight schedule to release Windows 8, and note that no one has complained about the quality or stability of the underlying code in Windows 8.

    With Windows 8.1 in the home stretch now, Microsoft is about to prove that it can deliver the same quality at an annual clip instead of every three years. That means steady improvement and quick response to feedback.

    This isn’t a one-off, either. You can expect a similarly feature-rich Windows 8.2 update next year, and another update the year after that, and so on.

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    That it can to a fast U-turn when needed.

    Seriously though, I'm not sure what this proves. While Microsoft seems keen to call this update "Windows 8.1," I'm not convinced that it is much more than as service pack and a few tweaks packaged into a rebranding effort.

    One of my main concerns about Windows 8.1 is that the backtracking and U-turns gives users – in particular enterprise users – little confidence in the longevity of changes made to Windows by Microsoft. This sort of tinkering with the UI generates user confusion, which in turn increases support costs and training.

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Can that release schedule for Windows 8.1 encourage more people to take the plunge with the operating system?

     The thinking would be that if Microsoft doesn't shine out of the gate it will improve on the platform going forward.

    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    I’ve been saying this from the start.

    The changes in Windows 8 (and now in Windows 8.1) are not just about making an OS that works great on tablets. They’re also about changing how Windows itself works. The native apps in Windows 8 are getting major updates for Windows 8.1. Services like SkyDrive and search, which have been integrated into the operating system, are being continuously refined and improved as well.

    Unlike with previous Windows versions, you don’t have to wait three years and hope the new software works on your hardware. Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade that will work on any PC that runs Windows 7 or Windows 8. Anyone who finds Windows 8 annoying is likely to be very pleased with the many changes in Windows 8.1 that go beyond the Start button.

     

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    This is the old "service pack" thinking repacked as a more aggressive release schedule.

    If businesses didn't want to start thinking about a new version of Windows until the first service pack was put because it would bring with it tweaks and fixes, then nothing much has changed now.

     

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Is Windows 8.1 and its improvements enough to generate better sales of Microsoft powered tablets, laptops and hybrids?


    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    That’s up to Microsoft’s hardware engineers.

    By itself, Windows 8.1 and its improvements won’t make people more likely to buy one of the two existing Microsoft Surface devices. But Windows 8.1 represents a milestone of sorts for the entire Windows ecosystem. When it’s officially released later this year, consumers and businesses will have an extensive selection of new hardware devices and apps. I’m certain that will include multiple new devices under the Microsoft Surface brand.

    Personally, I’m looking forward to the prospect of a Microsoft-branded device that’s engineered with the attention to detail of the original Surface but is powered by one of Intel’s new Haswell or Bay Trail chips. I also expect we’ll see a 7- or 8-inch Surface RT tablet designed to be a great ebook reader that also runs Windows 8 apps. That type of device wouldn’t be possible without the changes in Windows 8.1.

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    It depends.

    Are these changes based on feedback and telemetry from users, or a throw it at the wall and see what sticks" approach? Microsoft tried to silence the Windows 8 critics early on by assuring them that the changes were supported by testing and science. If that's the case, what changed?

    The way I see it, there's not an awful lot of interest in touch hardware such as notebooks and hybrids from either consumers or enterprise. Touch is a solution looking for a problem to solve, and at present buyers are scratching their heads trying to figure out what that problem is.

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    What's the role of hardware selection and form factors in restarting Windows 8 demand?


    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    Hardware is one of the three crucial factors.

    People act like Windows is an island unto itself, but it can’t exist without hardware and apps. And as much as we might like for an ecosystem to be fully developed on Day 1, we all know that’s not the way things work.

    The whole point of Windows 8 is that it works across a wide range of devices, from conventional PCs to hybrids to touch-enabled laptops to tablets. Windows 8 supported only devices with screens that measured at least 10 inches diagonally and had a PC-like resolution. Windows 8.1 broadens hardware support to include smaller devices, at different resolutions and alternative aspect ratios. They’re still capable of acting like PCs when the need arises, but first and foremost they are extremely capable tablets. With new hardware and new apps, Windows 8.1 really makes more sense.

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    Windows 8 was meant to ignite a touch revolution.

    Problem is, there was never a proven demand or market for touch-enabled Windows devices. The primary platforms that Windows 8 is being run on is desktop and notebook systems. Even if touchscreens end up on a quarter of notebooks by 2016, then touch is still very much a niche feature.

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Does Windows 8.1 reflect that mistakes were made with Windows 8...?

     ...or was this the plan the whole time?

    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    Both, of course.

    Long before the release of Windows 8, Microsoft publicly announced its intent to switch to a faster update cadence for Windows. If you look past the Start button at the full feature set in Windows 8.1, you can see many new features that were clearly planned long ago but couldn’t be completed in time for the initial release of Windows 8. The Metro-style PC Settings pane in Windows 8, for example, included only the most minimal subset of features. In Windows 8.1 it’s complete, which means you can change your system configuration without visiting the desktop.

    Of course, some features in Windows 8.1 are obvious responses to mistakes in the initial release. The Start button should have been on the taskbar all along. And the ability of Windows 8.1 to run on smaller devices fixes a miscalculation that the Windows team made when they focused only on 10-inch tablets initially.

     

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    If this was the plan all along, then I weep for the management involved.

    I think that the changes that are being built into 8.1 are a mea culpa of sorts, an olive branch to those to felt that the pendulum of change has swung too far.

    Problem is, many of these changes, especially adding back the Start button but not the Start menu, are little more than cosmetic – lipstick on a pig to use the old rhetorical expression.

     

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    What are the three most user grabbing features with Windows 8.1?


    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    Everyone’s different...

    The change I think will have the most impact is the ability to sign in to a new device and see your preferred desktop layout, with your favorite apps installed and configured and tiles laid out exactly the way you want. With Windows 8 you have to redo all that each time you set up a new device.

    Automatic synchronization between the local file system and SkyDrive is also going to be huge. You’ve got 7 GB of free backup space that just works, and you can bump it up to 100 GB and have access to any of your files, anywhere, anytime. It’ll even work on Windows RT.

    Finally, the ability to arrange Metro-style app windows side by side, in flexible sizes, eliminates one of the most common objections people have to Windows 8. The thin snapped pane is no longer the only option.

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    Here are my top three:

    • New snap behaviors for Modern UI apps – this will make using them a LOT easier.
    • Boot to desktop – For me, this will mean I have to click a little less.
    • Automatic updating of apps -- Both a timesaver and helps make Windows 8 saver.

    A controversial change is the way that Microsoft has changed Libraries. These have now been pushed into the background, which will please those who never use them, but will undoubtedly annoy users who found them useful.

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    What should Microsoft's message be to users who avoided Windows 8 now that 8.1 has launched?


    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    “We heard you.”

    Even more important is getting touch-enabled devices into people’s hands, in displays where they have a fair chance to try Windows 8.1 for themselves and “get it.”

    I don’t have a lot of faith in the ability of most of Microsoft’s retail partners to do that, unfortunately.

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    To be honest, I'm not sure.

    The problem is that some people like Windows 8, and others hate it, and striking a compromise between these two camps is going to be tricky. Thrown in heaps of upgrade fatigue from enterprise users who have been busy erasing al traces of Windows XP from their networks, and I think that it's hard to get a single message out there that will appeal to all.

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Does Windows 8.1 do anything to drive enterprise interest?


    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    Enterprises work on a different timeline.

    I’ve written about this many times before. (Here, here, here, here, and here, for example.) Enterprises are conservative. That’s why many of them are still tempting fate and running Windows XP less than a year before it’s officially unsupported. They might try out Windows 8 on a few PCs, but most will ignore it unless their users bring in their own devices.

    People forget, but Windows XP was as much of a “failure” in its first year as Windows 8 has been so far. Back in December 2003, more than two years after XP was released, one survey of 670 large companies found it was only in use on 6.6 percent of those PCs.

    There are a large number of features in Windows 8.1 that will be ready for bleeding-edge enterprises when Windows 8.2 rolls around next year.

    Meanwhile, Windows 7 will thrive. 

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    The sync with SkyDrive...

    ... will no doubt be interesting to some in the enterprise circles. That said, it's a safe bet that enterprise users will be more than happy with Windows 7.

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    How to measure success?

    Given PC sales are in the doldrums and projected to be for the foreseeable future, how should we gauge the success of Windows 8.1? After all, it's a free update.

    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    It’s just Windows 8.

    The whole promise of Windows 8 is that it gets better over time thanks to updates like this and an expanding selection of apps. Although it’s technically possible to stick with the original Windows 8 version, I can’t imagine that strategy would make sense for anyone.

    The fact that this is being delivered through the Windows Store rather than through Windows Update is a big deal. This isn’t a service pack. It isn’t something that’s going to break existing apps or mess with the underpinnings of the Windows networking stack or file system.

    In short, I expect it to see wide adoption in very short order.

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    Best metrics

    I think one of the best metrics to gauge success will be watching how rapidly Windows 8.x replaces older versions, especially Windows 7.

    Looking further, I would also be keeping an eye on what happens down the line with Windows 9. Will that still have focus on touch and apps, or will Microsoft do further U-turns.

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    OK, gentlemen: Final question

    What do you expect Microsoft's future release schedules to look like post Windows 8.1?

    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

    Same time next year...

    I expect annual updates just like this one: Windows 8.2 next year, 8.3 the year after that, and so on. At some point, if the internals call for it, we might see Windows 9. But that’s not a guarantee.

    Welcome to the New World of Windows.

    Ed Bott

    I am for Yes

    This is a big question mark.

    There's plenty of chatter that Microsoft is thinking about taking Windows in the yearly subscription direction – like Adobe has done with its Creative Suite of applications – and abandoning service packs in favor of regular branded updates could be seen as a precursor to this. 

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    I am for No

  • Great Debate Moderator

    Thanks Ed and Adrian for a spirited debate...

    ...and readers -- thanks as always for joining in. The debaters will post their closing arguments on Wednesday, and I will deliver my final verdict here on Thursday. Check back with us then.

    Posted by Lawrence Dignan

Talkback

259 comments
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  • It's too late, for Windows 8

    The problem here is far deeper than Windows 8 itself, for Microsoft proves it won't listen to its developers and customers. This deafness began with Vista, but since the Start MENU (not merely the button!) and other basics were kept in place, users complained, didn't update, but stayed with MS. Windows 7 exacerbated the situation, much.

    Windows 8 took away what was good in Windows 7, imposed yet again a stupid and hitlerian interface on people, then wonders why adoption is slow? That spells VERY BAD MANAGEMENT.

    And Windows 8.1, doesn't alter the spelling verdict. So we know now, 10 years into the making, that Microsoft has a huge mental problem that won't go away. So we have to go away, to stay in business.

    Right now, Linux isn't mature enough to take up the slack, but maybe now it will become so. We are waiting. MS IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED, that's the message Microsoft sends.
    brainout
    Reply 25 Votes I'm for No
    • People complained about *adding* the Start menu in Windows 95.

      "This deafness began with Vista"

      People complained about *adding* the Start menu in Windows 95. They've been "deaf" about as long as I can remember.

      The one thing I think Microsoft should really do is to add visual cues to the sides when the bars are hidden. Something to say "yeah, there's something here." My biggest complaint about Windows 8 is really hiding everything.
      CobraA1
      Reply 16 Votes I'm Undecided
      • You need to provide evidance for that claim.

        "People complained about *adding* the Start menu in Windows 95"

        Please cite some statistically supported evidence for this claim. I started using Windows at version 3.0, and I remember the introduction of 95 very well. While there was concern for DOS application support/compatibility, I don't recall a single criticism of the new UI, much to the contrary, I recall it being widely welcomed, as it brought Windows (arguably) on par with the MacOS.

        But to further discredit your point, even with Windows 95's new UI, Microsoft still provided the familiar Program Manager UI, and went so far as allowing it to be set as the default shell. The Program Manager was included in 98, 98SE, Me, Windows NT 4, Windows 2000 and even early versions of XP (until, I believe, Service Pack 2).

        So even if there was criticism of the UI, which I dispute, Microsoft still saw it valuable to retain access to a prior UI to ease the transition. With Windows 8, they've made just as drastic of a change and purposefully gutted the old UI in an attempt to force people into using Modern. Had it truly been an improvement, perhaps people would have accepted it, but being designed to the limitations of a phone and tablet form factor, the Modern UI is woefully ill-suited to a traditional desktop system.

        No, it's not *difficult* to use, but it is clumsy, awkward, schizophrenic, inefficient and horrifically wasteful of system resources, namely screen real estate. From what we know of 8.1, little to none of this is about to change, so my vote is on Windows 8 remaining a lemon. And before you lob accusations, I'm writing this on a Windows 8 system, and after having disabled Metro as much as possible, I actually really like the OS.
        PC987
        Reply 24 Votes I'm Undecided
        • I don't think there's "statistically supported evidence" for the contra

          "Please cite some statistically supported evidence for this claim."

          I don't think there's "statistically supported evidence" either way. However, I do seem to recall complaints about how big it got with a lot of stuff installed. It's a bit more behaved now, but it's still not the best experience for power users.

          Actually finding opinions for Windows 95 may be difficult, as the Internet was new and a lot of it was static pages, so you didn't have the extensive online forums we have today. Web based forums themselves had just been invented :/.

          I wouldn't be surprised that, due to how fragmented things were back then, we may have gotten different opinions based on the people we knew and sites we followed at the time.

          "But to further discredit your point, even with Windows 95's new UI, Microsoft still provided the familiar Program Manager UI, and went so far as allowing it to be set as the default shell."

          That doesn't discredit it - quite the opposite! Microsoft was providing people a way back - you know, for those who didn't like the change ;). Although since it required editing configuration files (later, the registry), nobody really did it.

          "So even if there was criticism of the UI, which I dispute"

          I criticized it :P.

          Although I think most of my complaints were likely at its stability, or lack thereof. My first memories of BSODs come from Windows 95.

          "No, it's not *difficult* to use, but it is clumsy, awkward, schizophrenic, inefficient and horrifically wasteful of system resources,"

          I think that "clumsy, awkward, schizophrenic, inefficient and horrifically wasteful of system resources" is basically the definition of "difficult to use."

          "And before you lob accusations, I'm writing this on a Windows 8 system"

          No problem, so am I =). And I've used pretty much every version of Windows since 3.11.

          . . . say, didn't Windows 3 use grids of icons? Hummm . . .

          . . . although mouse distances were much shorter back then, due to lower screen resolutions and 4:3 aspect ratio X(. Maybe the proper way to use the Start Screen is to increase the sensitivity of my mouse.

          "and after having disabled Metro as much as possible, I actually really like the OS."

          Indeed - with some Start8 and ModernMix, it works well.

          Although I still think that hiding bars at the edges of the screen with no visual cues is still bad UI design.
          CobraA1
          Reply 6 Votes I'm Undecided
          • It seems we probably agree more than disagree...

            "I don't think there's "statistically supported evidence" either way. However, I do seem to recall complaints about how big it got with a lot of stuff installed"

            I do hear this criticism a lot, and as the major justification for getting rid of the start menu, but I really don't think it's a valid point. Sure, the start menu will get cluttered if you do nothing but install a boat load of programs and never uninstall anything you may not use. 'Ya know what? Your house will get cluttered if you continually bring home loads of garbage and never throw anything out. With some organization, the Start Menu was/is a very clean and efficient way to hold/launch programs. Every time I install a program, I quickly go into the start menu and clean things up.

            But what really gets me about this whole debate is that the Start Screen does nothing to solve this main problem - installed programs put their same icons all over the Start Screen. With no manual organization, you'll have the exact same clutter and sprawl. 8.1's supposed "new" group in the Start Screen isn't a solution because it just moves the clutter out of site until you need to access anything from it, and then your digging through clutter. And even if it DOES prove to be a solution, it's not one that couldn't have just as easily been applied to the Start Menu.
            PC987
            Reply 8 Votes I'm Undecided
          • Organization can break things, especially post-install.

            Organization can break things in the old Start menu. Uninstallers won't recognize where the shortcuts are if you move them around post-install. Thankfully, the Modern UI won't do that anymore - that's the one thing Microsoft finally fixed.

            . . . and if Linux can organize things into sensible categories upon install, why can't Windows? Why did we end up in a situation where things are named based on the business name rather than a category name?

            "But what really gets me about this whole debate is that the Start Screen does nothing to solve this main problem - installed programs put their same icons all over the Start Screen."

            Unpinning an icon from the Start Screen is pretty trivial. Just right click, select "unpin." And if you *do* decide to organize your Start Screen with custom groupings and such, it won't break uninstallers, and you won't have to pull up the folder that contains the Start menu - the organization tools are all an integral part of the Modern UI.
            CobraA1
            Reply 2 Votes I'm Undecided
          • I've *never* experienced that.

            I have literally -never- experienced any breakage from rearranging the start menu, and I rearrange it rather extensively. Uninstalling programs might not remove shortcuts that have been moved, but that's not unexpected - how would an uninstaller be expected to know where a shortcut was moved to, and it's trivial to right-click on the shortcut of a program I just installed and select delete. I certainly wouldn't consider that breakage. But I've never had an uninstaller fail to actually uninstall a program because of a moved shortcut.

            As for organizing programs into categories vs. company/product names, that's 6 to 1, 1/2 dozen the other. Does the Start Screen change this? If not, than it's not an argument for the Start Screen over the Start Menu.

            As far as unpinning icons from the start screen, the problem is then accessing that icon if you later need to. You have to go into the all programs second and wade through every single program on your system to find the one your looking for. It's just as cluttered a process as the Start Menu, and therein lies the problem - the Start Screen doesn't offer a decidedly better experience than the Start Menu. It might have some advantages in one area, but for every advantage, it has it's own disadvantage. It's not a clearly better way, and so it's a difficult argument to make for Microsoft that everyone should happily learn and adapt to this new way.
            PC987
            Reply 3 Votes I'm Undecided
          • You mean that "not unexpected" thing? Yeah, that's it.

            "Uninstalling programs might not remove shortcuts that have been moved, but that's not unexpected"

            That's actually what I'm talking about.

            "how would an uninstaller be expected to know where a shortcut was moved to"

            Did I mention that this works in the Start Screen?

            Go ahead, install some software in Windows 8, move the newly created icon on the Start Screen into a new group, then uninstall it. The icon will remove itself no matter where you put it. I actually did it just now just to test it - it works.

            I think in Windows 8, Windows keeps track of that information for the installer. With the new Start Screen, it's now ultimately Windows' responsibility for that information, and Windows keeps track of it.

            The desktop is still using an outdated installer/uninstaller system. We're increasingly moving towards installing/uninstalling being the responsibility of the OS itself - which is actually a great thing, because it will mean I won't have to worry about the various oddball installer that does things in a weird way, or an installer that's a hobbled together buggy mess, or the installer making my registry screwy.

            It also means that automatic updates are always supported, so I don't have to worry about whatever update mechanism that the software may or may not come with.

            So yeah - the OS taking care of installing/uninstalling? About time.

            "As for organizing programs into categories vs. company/product names, that's 6 to 1, 1/2 dozen the other. "

            I disagree. This whole organize by company/product name seems to be something that businesses want, not something the consumers wanted. It's more for marketing/branding than being helpful to the customer.

            Seriously, I've got a lot of software made by some small business with a very awkward name and only one product (or only one product I'm interested in). It really doesn't help.

            "As far as unpinning icons from the start screen, the problem is then accessing that icon if you later need to."

            Then don't unpin it. Put it into another group or something. And don't forget that all versions of Windows since Vista has search. I don't think search is a cure-all, but it's an option.

            And at least you've got the entire screen for browsing, rather than an increasingly cramped menu.
            CobraA1
            Reply Vote I'm Undecided
          • Organization?

            Which linux(es) organizes things into sensible categories upon install? I've used Ubuntu off & on over the past 5 or so years, and found that while it would recognize obvious programs like browsers and put them into the 'internet' category, it absolutely sucked at figuring out where any kind of obscure / rare programs belonged ... the handful of oddjobs I installed just got dumped into some catchall category or were misplaced into obviously wrong categories. To my way of thinking that's far worse than having everything in a single menu.

            Windows (pre-8) never bothered to "categorize" programs and for that I was and am thankful. Why would you want to put your programs into categories in the first place? I honestly don't see the utility of that ... on my primary PC (Win7) I have maybe 75 or 80 programs installed (that includes a couple dozen games), and ALL of them are accessible from the 'start menu', and the menu is not cluttered in any way that I perceive the concept of 'cluttered' ... the menu is simply a list in alphabetical order so I can easily find any program I'm looking for.

            As far as "why did we end up" with things named after the company ... that's because installers are created by the software publisher, not by Microsoft. Windows isn't naming those folders ... the software you are installing named those folders. But why would you want them named anything else? I've got a folder (I assume it was implemented by the PC vendor) called "Productivity and Tools" ... wtf does that mean? That gives me absolutely NO clue as to what actual programs are represented there as I did not create that folder, and I did not put any programs into that folder ... why would I want the system to choose what applications to file under which categories (folders)? That makes no sense to me.
            Gravyboat McGee
            Reply 2 Votes I'm Undecided
          • Apparently

            you never work with data bases or file organizations. Indexes are one way of "grouping" a set of data/files. Categories are a similar way of grouping like applications. Just because you have some obscure application/program that Linux (nor Windows) recognizes doesn't mean it fails at categorizing what it knows. Granted, it might be nice if you were prompted for a category in that case. Using your line of reasoning, it wouldn't make sense to have a directory structure either, just write every file on the root disk (C:)!
            bobc4012@...
            Reply 1 Vote I'm Undecided