Microsoft Admits That Removing Desktop Start Was Like Taking Away A Warm Blanket

windows_8_start_menu

If you’ve ever wondered how crunch decisions like these are made in large companies, then wonder no more. It is tough going, brother, with lengthy debates back and forth.

The principal program manager lead on Windows is here to offer the lowdown on what went down behind the scenes. Chaitanya Sareen, in an interview with CNET, talks about the internal debate about whether or not to include the desktop Start button during Windows 8 development.

A very, very long discussion he says:

“It’s not like someone sits there and says, ‘There will be no start button.’ It’s a long discussion. A very, very long discussion.”

All said and done, though, the final decision to remove such a key feature altogether in Windows 8 vanilla was a move that many (some would say most) people that used the modern operating system considered a mistake.

The senior executive terms this as taking a warm blanket away from a person — suddenly.

And we all know how that feels!

Microsoft, however, has been making the necessary changes to rectify this mistake. Windows 8.1 brought back the Start Button, and now a future update to the operating platform is said to be bringing back the Start Menu. That, or Windows 9, for sure.

Sareen, does mention that Microsoft is now responding faster and faster to feedback, then before. It is hard not to believe what the man says, what with how things have panned out in the past few months.

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Comments

  • philnolan3d

    It’s a shame they have to bow to the few when the many are happy with the way it is and it’s better for them anyway, even if they refuse to admit it.

    • Mayank Verma

      I love Start Screen, but it’s better to have options. I’m sure Start Screen isn’t going anywhere even when Start menu comes back!

      • Ted Smith

        I agree, Mayank. I actually prefer the menu still, but I would like there to be the option of either. It shouldn’t be too difficult.

        • Ray C

          I only use the menu for recently opened applications, documents, and music

  • KeithE

    The amazing thing is that most of us could have intuitively told them they were making a mistake from the get-go.

    • Bill Franklin

      Right on, Keith. Did they even conduct surveys or market research on this one?

      • Ray C

        They have data and statics on a lot of things. I’m sure the data showed them that the use of the start menu is not as heavy as it once was. Some people really use it a lot, but I do question if everyone complaining about its removal uses it that much

        • WillyThePooh

          Most people use it as program launcher and that is what start screen is for. But for most people, they like to have more and more features and that’s why Office is such big monster. Most people could only use a small part of it but if you take away some features right on their face, they will complain.

  • Emily W

    Perfect analogy. I’m glad it’s coming back!

  • Ray C

    Only kids can’t get over missing their warm blanket. And the main reason “most people” thought it was a mistake is because most of their sources of advise or tech news were telling them how big a mistake it was. Even the few that said it personally was fine the way it was refused to speak up. Yes, some people had some good reasons for why they missed the start menu, but far less of those people gave any reason for why they HAD to have it. I would have been fine with the 8.1 start list with them simply adding libraries to recently opened to the list

    • Wayne S

      I miss the start menu. I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I think the fair compromise is giving people the option to have it, which we know is plausible for the software. Everyone wins.

    • Bruce Regael

      Keyboards came up with the Start Key 15 years ago for a reason. The simple truth is that the Start Screen offered no real benefit over the Start Menu and the Apps requiring a completely new programming API really is what shot it in the foot.

      People spoke up because a lot more people incorporated it daily then you people that blow it off like it doesn’t matter did. I’m happy for those that adapted to an unnecessary or needed change. All they had to do was create an interchangeable OS in the settings that turned on and off Metro. It wasn’t that hard. Bottom line is they don’t have these 6 year cycles to screw up a OS anymore. The world is changing and Microsoft needs to discover its identity and stop making stupid gambles without consulting to ALL types of users. Not just a specialty class like they did with Windows 8.

      • WillyThePooh

        When I install those legacy x86 programs and specify to add to start menu, it will add to start screen instead. So there is no new API between start menu and start screen. Old programs can’t distinguish both.

    • WillyThePooh

      They are really crying like a kid.