Will MS ever get the Start Menu Right?


cereberus

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MS's track record on Start menus is woeful.

We has original menus in early versions that basically were not much more than a series of icons on a screen and most you could do was move them around a bit (jeepers - just realised we have gone full circle with W11 menu -LOL).

Then things evolved, eventually ending up with W7 menu which may still prefer.

They dropped the ball on W8 by not even having a proper one, thinking the full screen start menu was way to go.

They introduced W10 menu, and at first it was a bit unpolished but over time it improved e.g. nested folders, better visual themes etc. To me, the W10 Start Menu is pretty good now and flexible. You can resize it etc.

Then, to my horror, they have thrown it all away fro the pitiful garbage of icons on a screen with no grouping or nesting ability. I do not care much about cosmetic changes but I do care about functional changes.

Another major gripe of mine is the intrusive space wasting section at bottom for recommended apps. You turn them off in settings but it leaves the recommended text saying you can turn it on. I know that as I bloody turned them off in first case.

Who needs a search bar on menu. I have one on taskbar.

Worse still, the menu cannot be resized or moved. This is the lowest common denominator of a menu that is bloody possible.

The ruddy menu now is essentially back to W3.1 but worse due to wasted space!

One could always argue whether W7 or W10 menu is better but that is personal preference as both are functional and customisable.

On thing is for sure MS have no idea about a new menu for W11 of they think this pitiful garbage is an improvement.
 

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I'm not liken Windows 11 much to and I have the specs for 2 computers for it but I'm on the fence if I will use Windows 11, probably just get the free upgrade but go back to using Windows 10
 

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Well I have stated my opinion before. They pretty much had it right in Windows 10 - it was easy to use and efficient. And as you say, they threw it all away.

IMO, they are just following MacoS lead (rounded corners, flattened menus, etc) as they also did in Windows 10, and not very well, and throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

What is the point of Windows 11? I do not see anything significantly different and some things, like the start menu, significantly worse.
 

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Open Shell works except I can't get mouse hover to open the OS menu
 

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I'll be honest here, and this is as one who has originally whined severely at the awful start menu in W11... and its this... I'm actually not missing my highly configured (and yes attractively set out) W10 menu. The W11 one looks pretty grim but its functional and lets be honest, you don't normally sit looking at the thing and admiring its beauty.

The W11 one is a doddle to set up, something that was a real chore with a clean W10 install, at least if you organized and grouped it and laid it out neatly. I wonder how much ditching live tiles has saved on the resources front.
 

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MS's track record on Start menus is woeful.

We has original menus in early versions that basically were not much more than a series of icons on a screen and most you could do was move them around a bit (jeepers - just realised we have gone full circle with W11 menu -LOL).

Then things evolved, eventually ending up with W7 menu which may still prefer.

They dropped the ball on W8 by not even having a proper one, thinking the full screen start menu was way to go.

They introduced W10 menu, and at first it was a bit unpolished but over time it improved e.g. nested folders, better visual themes etc. To me, the W10 Start Menu is pretty good now and flexible. You can resize it etc.

Then, to my horror, they have thrown it all away fro the pitiful garbage of icons on a screen with no grouping or nesting ability. I do not care much about cosmetic changes but I do care about functional changes.

Another major gripe of mine is the intrusive space wasting section at bottom for recommended apps. You turn them off in settings but it leaves the recommended text saying you can turn it on. I know that as I bloody turned them off in first case.

Who needs a search bar on menu. I have one on taskbar.

Worse still, the menu cannot be resized or moved. This is the lowest common denominator of a menu that is bloody possible.

The ruddy menu now is essentially back to W3.1 but worse due to wasted space!

One could always argue whether W7 or W10 menu is better but that is personal preference as both are functional and customisable.

On thing is for sure MS have no idea about a new menu for W11 of they think this pitiful garbage is an improvement.
Hi there
IMO --OK I might be a Dinosaur but the best Menu for Windows was that in XP -- for those who have never seen or run XP : Here's a screenshot with the Lunar Black theme and using a nice Costa Rican Jaguar pic as desktop image.


Beats any of the W10 and W11 arrangements of start menu !!! Doesn't also take up a whopping amount of Screen real estate either

Cheers
jimbo
 

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Start Menu? Who uses that anyways? 😂
 

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Start Menu? Who uses that anyways? 😂
Sometimes if you have proper cascading menus in complex things like photoshop or CAD 3-D engineering stuff with zillions of sub options it's easier to use the start menu and drill down the options. For simple one / two task apps then I agree but there's nothing wrong with having a decent start menu -- you don't have to use it but if you provide a feature it should be a decent one and not the hodge potch of a mess that's the current W11 one.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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Worse still, the menu cannot be resized or moved. This is the lowest common denominator of a menu that is bloody possible.
The Start Menu can be moved to the lower left corner again and there are quite a few other customizations. Being one who uses many operating systems, I like the changes. They have taken a lot that has made sense from other places and kept what works.

Is it the best? The jury is out. But use it for a while and see if it grows on you. We tend to get stuck in certain paradigms and just need a nudge to see something different..or it may just blow. But I like it.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
    CPU
    i7
    Memory
    16gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel
Hi there
IMO --OK I might be a Dinosaur but the best Menu for Windows was that in XP -- for those who have never seen or run XP : Here's a screenshot with the Lunar Black theme and using a nice Costa Rican Jaguar pic as desktop image.


Beats any of the W10 and W11 arrangements of start menu !!! Doesn't also take up a whopping amount of Screen real estate either

Cheers
jimbo
That takes me back jimbo
 

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Start Menu? Who uses that anyways? 😂
Seriously, good question?

I have the apps that I use every single day pinned to the taskbar. For anything that I use once in a blue moon, I hit the start button on the keyboard and type the first couple of letters of the name and hit enter. I don't find that I need extensive configuration, nesting, etc to keep everything organized.
 

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    AZW SEI
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I'm in the camp that doesn't have much use for the Start Menu. IMO, the Start Menu is necessary for people new to Windows, not for those that have been using Windows for any length of time.
 

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    ASUS Z370-Plus
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Start menu? Gee.. I use it when I need to but that's not the subject. Will MS get it right? FWIW.. they did and they started to get it right with Win 8.1 on.

But of course.. YMMV.
 

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Open Shell works except I can't get mouse hover to open the OS menu
I use that as well and find it far more useful than the Windows excuse. No problems opening the Windows start menu using the Windows key on the keyboard on the rare occasion I need it for something.
 

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    ASUS ROG Strix Z590 Gaming
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My first question re: the original question is this:

Define right.

To me, as long as I can hit the Windows key and start typing for an app, I'm golden. But how about you? How about the guy reading this post 10 minutes after I make it? How about the person who sits in front of a computer 8 hours a day working in ForEx?

I turn off the search bar in the taskbar. No point in it. I prefer hitting the Windows key on my keyboard and typing. Faster, more efficient for my own workflow. But I'm not everyone. Neither is everyone me.

I also use a 3rd party file manager that I can have both profile and layouts pre-set with the folders I want open, with multiple tabs and dual panes. So, anything that Microsoft does is with Explorer is going to be woefully sub-par for me. But that makes my interactions with the start menu less of an interaction than others - I don't need nested folders, drives, etc on my taskbar, or in my start menu, for easy access.

I see this iteration of Windows as akin to what they were trying to do with Win8 - a unified OS for portable and stationary machines. Only this time they're not trying ot cram $%^#$^&%#%$^&#%^&*&$#%^* tiles down our throat. Whihci which is a good thing. And the shortened context menu is good - when you need it on a smaller screen.

What would be really good is if they make these things optional. So, people who want nested folders and drives on the taskbar or in the start menu can have them - and those of us who don't care don't use them. The people who want a full context menu at a single right-click can have them - but the rest of us who don't care can leave it the way it is.

The one thing that Microsoft does really badly is not offering their users the absolute choice on how things work in Windows.

The right start menu? How about a fully customizable start menu that anyone can make any way?

That, IMO, would be the only right one.
 

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    Windows 11 23H2 Current build
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    HomeBrew
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    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
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    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
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    4 * 32 GB - Corsair Vengeance 3600 MHz
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    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti XC3 ULTRA GAMING (12G-P5-3955-KR)
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    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
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    2x Eve Spectrum ES07D03 4K Gaming Monitor (Matte) | Eve Spectrum ES07DC9 4K Gaming Monitor (Glossy)
    Screen Resolution
    3x 3840 x 2160
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    3x Samsung 980 Pro NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 2 TB SSD (MZ-V8P2T0B/AM) } 3x Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0 1 TB SSD (USB)
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    Defender + MB 5 Beta
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    ChromeOS Flex Dev Channel (current)
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    Dell Latitude E5470
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    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
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    Dell
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    16 GB
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    1920 * 1080
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    Dell
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    Logitech MX Master 3S (shared w. Sys 1) | Dell TouchPad
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    Dell
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    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex Ftth
People get mad because they don't get what they want. That's how life goes.. we don't always get what we want when we want it. MS decided on what they want the OS to look/feel like and how it functions. Do I like it.. yes,, so far I like it and adjusted to the changes from 10.

But then, I like change and I accept it. It's not a deal breaker to me that I can't adjust 11 to death. As long as I can run my apps and the OS looks interesting.. I will use it.

But that's me and as usual, YMMV
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Home(Release Preview) - 24H2 - 26100.1150
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    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Banana Junior 5600- G Series
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    AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
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    Asus ROG Strix B550-F
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    G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 64GB 4x16
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    Download: 295.11 mbps Upload: 65.35 mbps T-Mobile Internet
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    MS - Defender
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Seriously, good question?

I have the apps that I use every single day pinned to the taskbar. For anything that I use once in a blue moon, I hit the start button on the keyboard and type the first couple of letters of the name and hit enter. I don't find that I need extensive configuration, nesting, etc to keep everything organized.
Yeah, this is exactly how I do it too, except I don't pin anything.

My first question re: the original question is this:

Define right.

To me, as long as I can hit the Windows key and start typing for an app, I'm golden. But how about you? How about the guy reading this post 10 minutes after I make it? How about the person who sits in front of a computer 8 hours a day working in ForEx?

I turn off the search bar in the taskbar. No point in it. I prefer hitting the Windows key on my keyboard and typing. Faster, more efficient for my own workflow. But I'm not everyone. Neither is everyone me.

I also use a 3rd party file manager that I can have both profile and layouts pre-set with the folders I want open, with multiple tabs and dual panes. So, anything that Microsoft does is with Explorer is going to be woefully sub-par for me. But that makes my interactions with the start menu less of an interaction than others - I don't need nested folders, drives, etc on my taskbar, or in my start menu, for easy access.

I see this iteration of Windows as akin to what they were trying to do with Win8 - a unified OS for portable and stationary machines. Only this time they're not trying ot cram $%^#$^&%#%$^&#%^&*&$#%^* tiles down our throat. Whihci which is a good thing. And the shortened context menu is good - when you need it on a smaller screen.

What would be really good is if they make these things optional. So, people who want nested folders and drives on the taskbar or in the start menu can have them - and those of us who don't care don't use them. The people who want a full context menu at a single right-click can have them - but the rest of us who don't care can leave it the way it is.

The one thing that Microsoft does really badly is not offering their users the absolute choice on how things work in Windows.

The right start menu? How about a fully customizable start menu that anyone can make any way?

That, IMO, would be the only right one.
I 100% agree.
 

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There's nothing wrong with making your opinion heard. But I think it's just a matter of maturity vs deliberately treating you like an idiot.

Microsoft is trying to simplify, and in the process has to rewrite a lot of code. Many features you're used to won't be present at first. It will just have to mature. Keep letting them know how important those features are, but please spare us all the victim mentality... Progress isn't always comfortable.

I mean, lots of people complained about Vista and Windows 7 at first, but many eventually came to feel like W7 was better than XP. Despite the fact that W7 was a barely re-skinned Vista.
 

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Start menu is a very personal thing.
It's like your favorite store. You know which aisle to go when you need something. And when the store changed their layout... it is very a chaotic and stressful experience. MS still don't get that. I have no issue with all the change they want to implement as long as there is a high level of customization based on personal preferences.
But I stopped complaining. What I normally do now is create a folder (and customize the icon) and put shortcuts off my most used apps there..

1628116741521.png
 
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There's nothing wrong with making your opinion heard. But I think it's just a matter of maturity vs deliberately treating you like an idiot.

Microsoft is trying to simplify, and in the process has to rewrite a lot of code. Many features you're used to won't be present at first. It will just have to mature. Keep letting them know how important those features are, but please spare us all the victim mentality... Progress isn't always comfortable.

I mean, lots of people complained about Vista and Windows 7 at first, but many eventually came to feel like W7 was better than XP. Despite the fact that W7 was a barely re-skinned Vista.

I have to disagree on this. And I'm sure I'm not even close to the only one.

7 took all of the good things and 'necessary' things (cough UAC cough) from Vista and spun it into a fabric that was much more bearable. Vista was a resource hog, pure and simple. Running 7 and Vista on the same exact rig Vista used more resources and had tremendously more pagefile calls, from what I remember. 7 was smoother, more fluid, and much easier to use. There were definitely people out there who used Vista, and still do, over using 7 - but there was not a 'free' upgrade path from Vista to 7 like there is to 10 and now 11.

If it wasn't for my TechNet subscription, I'd have never been able to update my mom's old DEll desktop from Vista, which it came with, to 7, which ran 100x times better on that machine.

Start menu is a very personal thing.
It's like your favorite store. You know which aisle to go when you need something. And when the store changed their layout... it is very a chaotic and stressful experience. MS still don't get that. I have no issue with all the change they want to implement as long as there is a high level of customization based on personal preferences.
But I stopped complaining. What I normally do now is create a folder (and customize the icon) and put shortcuts off my most used apps there..

I can agree. But the store didn't change it's layout so much as it changed what you can do to make the layout more familiar to you, or work the way you want it to. The greatest amount of griping is coming from folks who cannot pin folders and have cascading folders from start and from the taskbar. Those who do like Slice N Dice and I do, never even really see the start menu to begin with.

Still, though, I'm not against the start menu being changed to look more retro, or act more retro - as long as I can hit the WinKey and type and start my app.

For the taskbar, though, I do like to have some apps pinned - especially when loading an app from the start menu doesn't allow you to proactively select a particular profile in your browser, or a particular layout in my File manager app. But too many icons on the taskbar gets old.

I used to use an app called Bins, by one of the StarDock developers. It worked great to 10, as recently as ... 2009, IIRC. But then it started having issues.

I now have looked at TaskBarGroups, the original by tjackenpacken and the fork by Pike. I'm using Pike's 2.0 Alpha and loving it - I have pop-up mini taskbars with only the icons in each mini-taskbar group that I want, and have attached 14 different groups totaling well over 70 individual apps to that I can have easy access to them. The vast majority of these are applications that are not 'installed' but, rather portable apps, and opening my file manager to then find the right folder to then run the app was getting old.

An example - the apps I have installed for use with my music collection:

78.png


I made these more for testing the TBG app than anything, I'll probably get rid of most of them. Probably keep everything to the left of the Notepad++ icon and remove the ones from the right of it.
 

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    Windows 11 23H2 Current build
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    HomeBrew
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    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
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    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
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    4 * 32 GB - Corsair Vengeance 3600 MHz
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    Dell Latitude E5470
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