Windows Blue, thank you for listening

Windows Blue, thank you for listening

Summary: Big changes in the update to Windows 8 shows Microsoft is taking feedback to heart.

TOPICS: Windows 8, Microsoft

Microsoft has taken the wraps off the upcoming update to Windows 8. Codenamed Windows Blue it's set to release at the end of the year and it has a myriad of new features as ZDNet's Ed Bott has nicely listed and seen.

There are a few features that stand out, primarily the addition of a Start "button", having a catch-all search, and the ability to boot to desktop mode.

The "start" button will be one of the new additions in Windows Blue.

These three features show Microsoft is responding to customer feedback and easing customers into familiarity with Windows 8, taking a step back from the "throw them into the deep end approach" that characterizes the current release. These three features help create a bridge from the Windows 7 experience to the new features of Windows 8.

It's great they're changing the default Windows 8 search to show you relevant results in one view rather than have you switch from Apps, Settings, or Files. I don't think anyone ever understood the context-sensitive search that was first introduced in Windows Phone 7 (and then abandoned), and with the general agreement of Apple’s superior desktop and iPhone search functionality, it was an odd choice to splinter the Windows 8 search.

It's also great Microsoft is bringing a Start button back and letting people boot to desktop mode--the primary complaint of users (who are not using touchscreen) has been the difficulty in navigating the “Modern” interface and the jarring transition between classic desktop mode and the tile home screen. 

With a start button and straight-to-desktop, users are able to almost never have to fiddle with the tile interface of Windows 8. Perhaps that slows down the adoption of Modern, but it might increase the acceptance of Windows 8, and after all, to get people eventually used to the Modern interface they have to have Windows 8 first.

Topics: Windows 8, Microsoft


Howard spent 14 years in the tech industry working as a programmer, evangelist, and community manager for Microsoft. In 2009, he had lived his "dream" of middle-management long enough and opened a Japanese restaurant called Standing Sushi Bar. Trading in stock grants and software licenses for raw fish and cash, he enjoys mixing his passion for technology into the daily hustle of small business.

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  • Start Button

    You know the people complaining were not really talking about the Start Button, rather the Start Menu. No worries, Start8 has me covered. Also in the sense of the OS itself. Let's see here..OSX and iOS integrate fine and look nothing like each other. Why in the Blylue (pun intended) does Microsoft believe that the OS should look the same across all platforms? Just exactly don't get that.
    • And my Android

      Keyboard fails me again.
    • There is also....

      ...the option to go to the "Apps" view (instead of the Start Screen) when clicking on the Start Button and having the Desktop applications appear first in the Apps view. Those two options along with the Boot to Desktop and having the Desktop Background on the Start Screen/Apps view should end the complaints about the "Start Menu". Still, you have the 3rd party options to choose from, if you still want one.
    • Why??

      It'll increase the acceptance of all 3 platforms.WP And WindowsRT are gonna merge in someway so I think it's better idea. Frankly, iOS in iPad is halfbacked,while windowsRT is the best tablet OS as far as functionality is concerned.Apps will be added continuously so I think it's wise to make all platform integrated with each other.
    • why sam e accross all the platforms?

      I think the answer is in MC Donald business model, wherever you go you get what you know, and that revolutionized the world of fast food, and I think this is the basis, is not it? Whatever you touch is consistent, no matter what device or size, I think this is great

      apropos windows blue, I just btw. a registration service where for FREE you can get windows blue, its

  • Windows Blue, thank you for listening

    Do you really think they had any choice?

    Buy all accounts their user base said it was a FAIL because of Metro's kiddie UI appearance, No start button, flashing tiles, NO areo and very poor third party apps in the app store, etc.

    Word out there is huge discounts were given to OEM to keep it going with the promise that they would rush 8.1 which would cure some of the ills.

    I tested the pre release, paid my $40+10 and still didn't care for it after 6 months. I deleted it and re installed W-7 for any of my Windows needs.

    PS None of my IT friends intend to leave W-7 for W-8 any time soon.

    As I usually say.....End Of Story......Period
    Over and Out
    • @Linux_Forever

      Yup. Big fail. With just over 100 million users.

      In any case, IT will be the last to adopt to new operating systems. IT may adopt to Windows 9 or 10 in the future, just as usual.
      • Yup, Big lie. 100 Million licenses sold, not users

        Webstats point to ~40M - 55M actual users. Shipping a license to Best Buy and having it sit on the shelf doesn't count as a user. Neither does Lenovo offering downgrade, and you buy the laptop with 8 and downgrade to 7. You're then running 7 and MS is counting that as a Win8 user?

        Stop the lies.
    • Aero?

      I don't get the appeal of aero. Please explain. This has not been a major complaint, but I have seen a few comments about. I personally don't miss it.
    • Complaints about the start screen are ridiculous

      No one with half a brain looks at the start menu or start screen on any OS for more than a few seconds a day. People use computers to run applications. Not to run start menus.
    • Aero

      Why do people love Aero so much?
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Aero? Or "Modern?"

        Aero was the interface that I believe launched with Windows Vista. Are you talking about Modern / Metro? I think people like the tiles that give dynamic information - so at a glance you can find some useful info and feel like lots of things are happening on your screen. I think it's better in a tablet experience.
  • Nope, they don't listen

    If they had , these features should be there from last year.

    I did have a post last year in zdnet -- some heads should be rolling in Richmond in 2013 -- so much grunt across everywhere.

    MS stopped listen to their costomer like in 2005.
    • If they had listened...

      we'd still be using Windows 3.1 and we'd never have seen the Start Menu.
      • Just to be clear: Is listening to customers a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

        The fact that MS has released Win 8.1 with these changes so quickly after the release of Win 8 would seem to suggest that listening is a Good Thing. Or are you disagreeing?
        • Just being pedantic

          They should listen, but they shouldn't always cave in, otherwise we'd never move forward, because humans in general don't like change, once they get used to doing something a certain way, they don't like changing the method they use.

          If Microsoft had listened to the nay-sayers, when Windows 1.0 was released, we'd still be using DOS and the outcry that came up when Microsoft tried to introduce the Start Menu in Windows 95, replacing the Program Managerm that is nearly as bad as the outcry now about the removal of the Start Menu.

          To be honest, I find the Start Screen an improvement over the Start Menu, it provides more information and it is easier to customize than the Start Menu is under Windows 7.
          • Is beating customers into submission allowed?

            Perhaps MS could have identified those customers who refused to accept Windows 8, and have had them flogged publicly?

            All in the name of "progress", of course! MS is, "obviously", assumed to know best in all circumstances. And hence dissenting users must necessarily be both stupid and wrong. Such extreme "corrective" measures can therefore "only" be for their own long-term good!
        • Further clarification

          Microsoft was planning on yearly updates to Windows even before Windows8 released. 8.1 seems to be following on that schedule plan.

          I'm just surprised that some of these changes were not in Windows8 to begin with. Having a start button to click on in the desktop seems like common sense.
          • IMO common sense would be...

            Removing it. Pinning apps, files and folders to the task bar is the most efficient way to access them. removing the start menu clears space to put more things on the task bar. No functionality is lost, just a useless icon.
    • @FADS_z

      Yup. I whole heartedly agree that these features must be there at the time of releasing Windows 8 itself or even earlier(like in customer preview).

      But listening to customers... I am neither against your point nor behind you.