When it comes to computer interfaces, change isn’t always easy. There was a time when many techies spouted the merits of DOS commands versus a ‘more restricted’ GUI experience.
Not everyone was keen on the introduction of the start bar/start menu and the changes from the program manager in Windows 3.x and earlier. With that in mind, it isn’t a huge surprise that there are some users that seem a little upset with the massive changes that come with Metro
Personally, the verdict on whether or not I find Metro useful enough to enter into on a regular basis is still out. Still, I don’t find that the absence of a start button or the start menu gets in my way either.
I recognize that not all users feel that way. This is why, in the past, most major changes in Windows have had ways to disable ‘modern’ features, in favor of the traditional styling.
Even Windows 7 let you choose whether or not you would get the new grouped icons for displaying open programs, or view them in the traditional way (a very tiny icon and text that displayed what was open).
So, many users probably expect the same treatment in Windows 8. I am here to tell you that, unfortunately, Microsoft isn’t looking back with Windows 8. It is all about embracing the future of touch and social interfaces.
While Windows Developer Preview had an easy to access registry hack that would return the start menu, the code has been scrapped totally in Windows 8.
This means that there is no simple hack that can turn back time and give you a Windows 7 style. For many, this might be a deal breaker, to each their own. For those that aren’t sure if they should be worried or not about the new UI, I tell you don’t panic.
Sure, for some of us it may not be all that apparently useful (at least not until more high-quality apps start making the rounds in the near future), but it doesn’t hinder the experience. When in the desktop I almost completely forget I’m even using Windows 8.
It feels no different.
So if you are on the fence, my best advice is to download Windows 8 Consumer Preview while it is free. It should be more than stable enough to use as your primary OS, though you might want to install it on a different partition just in case.
Use in every day that you can. Familiarize yourself with the way it works. It is better to decide that Windows 8 just won’t work for you now, than to make that decision after you’ve ponied up $100+ for a brand new copy.
Will Windows Start Menu eventually make a reappearance on Windows 8? I’m sure it is possible to create an external program that might offer something like it as a replacement. Only time will tell. For now though, it isn’t an option.
What do you think of Metro? Does the news that you can’t enable it seem like a deal breaker to you? Share your thoughts below.