Microsoft double down on removing the Start Menu

Microsoft understand their users, you hear this. It seems that Microsoft is determined to get rid of the start menu but you knew that already. What I didn’t know is how determined they are to make it history forever. This from Paul Thurrott:

Related to this second point is information I’ve received that Microsoft has been furiously ripping out legacy code in Windows 8 that would have enabled third parties to bring back the Start button, Start Menu, and other software bits that could have made this new OS look and work like its predecessor. In fact, I’ve seen that several well-known UI hacks that worked fine with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview are no longer functional in the coming Release Preview. And those with hopes that Microsoft would allow businesses, at least, to boot directly to the desktop should prepare for disappointment. That feature not only isn’t happening, it’s being removed from Windows Server 12 (Windows 8’s stable mate) as well.
That’s disappointing on many levels. First on the start menu front, they can only make it difficult, they can never stop a start menu hack. Software works on the key/lock principle. If there’s a lock, there’s a key. The more they lock it down, the more attractive a hack will be and the more hackers will drill deep into the code to make it happen. This also seems like a very insecure way to design an Operating System.

Here are some quotes by some wise people that are being ignored:

We wanted to create an experience that works however you want to work, powering a new class of PCs that you are proud to own and love having in your life. We recognize that in the proper hands, or in the hands of someone who is willing to tolerate the downsides, these are not features to be critical of, but assets of Windows. Our intention is not to lock down Windows, but to provide a platform that meets consumer expectations for how a device should work. These assets are far too easily abused or accidently misused—there is a better way. We do not view the desktop as a mode, legacy or otherwise—it is simply a paradigm for working that suits some people and specific apps. This is very much like the person who uses a mobile “phone” but really uses it for the mobile browser and mail client and rarely uses apps or the phone. It is like the person who has a brand new tablet but only uses the web browser. If you only want to “live in the desktop,” if you never plan on using a PC with touch or using any apps from the Windows Store whatsoever, Windows 8 still has a lot to offer.
These design principles as espoused by Microsoft seem like the way to go. Any attempt to strong arm users into this boat will not work. Not allowing users to boot into the environment of their choosing is not “creating an experience that works however you want to work“, it’s creating an experience that works however Microsoft thinks that I should work. After spending money on an Operating System, if it tries to force me to do what I don’t want to do, I will either:
  1. Stay with Windows 7
  2. Go to Apple.
It’s not an angry, fist shaking choice. At that point, it will be clinical because it just makes sense. This is just a story by Paul Thurrott at this point. I hope it’s not true. What do you all think?]]>

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