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 Thursday, April 24, 2014
« What is a modern app? | Main | Limitations of Portable Class Libraries »

Ho hum. Microsoft is going to bring back the start menu in Windows 8 – presumably in August.Windows-8-logo

That might be ok, though I’ve long since adapted to the start screen so I’m not sure I care at all.

What I do care about are much more real challenges when working in the ‘modern’ or WinRT (Windows Runtime or Windows Store) side of the operating system.

My top list:

  1. The file save/open dialogs don’t sort or filter items and so are almost useless if you have a lot of files
  2. The file save/open dialogs (and OneNote app) often don’t show the full filename or properties of files, making similar files hard to distinguish – again making these core aspects of the OS extremely challenging if not useless
  3. The OneDrive app doesn’t let me access folders shared to me by other people – a feature I use constantly, and so spend more time in the web UI than the app
  4. Unpredictability and lack of control about how WinRT apps display side-by-side is a continual thorn in my side – I launch an app in one monitor and it messes up the display in another monitor? Seriously?!?!
  5. The Calendar app is lame at best. It has some good features, but wastes amazing amounts of space and lacks simple bits of functionality like copying an item or moving an item from one calendar to another. Hopefully it turns into something more like the Windows Phone 8.1 calendar
  6. There’s no way to schedule Lync meetings using the Lync app – how lame is that???
  7. I’ve tried nearly all the file manager apps out there, and some are not bad, but what I _don’t_ understand is why the OneDrive app (which already does OneDrive and local PC stuff) doesn’t just handle things like removable and network drives so it would literally be the “one drive” app
  8. I want a notification summary screen like we now have in Windows Phone 8.1 - _that_ is a useful feature!

I guess what I’m getting at is that I understand that Microsoft feels like they need to add back the Start menu to lure stubborn people into using Win8. BUT what I’m afraid will happen is that they’ll lure people into the WinRT world only to have those people suffer the same day-to-day frustrations I already suffer because these core fit-and-finish capabilities aren’t implemented or complete.

Personally I think it would be better to make the WinRT platform so nice and compelling and fun to use that people will _choose_ to use it over the legacy Desktop with or without cosmetic stuff like a Start menu.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 2:44:27 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
You have to understand, it was a MAJOR engineering feat to bring back the Start Menu. :p
Saturday, April 26, 2014 8:41:33 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I have so much producive with my current WPF LOB app. yes, its complex beast of UI technology and its not touched opitimize. It blows AngularJS out of the water when comparing features rich like databinding/commands/validation using MVVM pattern. Don't know why MSFT essentially put all their investment efforts in yet another new platform(WINRT) just to please consumers side of things and not to continue to refine such a solid technology.
I know mobile space very hot and is the current trend, but Mouse and Keyboard is still rule in the enterprised space.
It takes years if not decades for them to have a solid platform for developers to become productive with it again.
I am feeling your pains because I have similar experience ventured out to the Javascript/WINRT world to keep myself relevant.
Andy
Saturday, April 26, 2014 10:42:50 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I doubt they'll succeed in luring anyone but the diehards who feel Microsoft can do no wrong.

Frankly they can rip out "junklists," "ribbons," and "powned to taskbar" when they restore the Vista-era UI and rip WinRT out as a failed "Microsoft Bob" experiment on the backs of customer.

But you are on target about WinRT deployment as a deal breaker that suppresses WinRT development. Why bother?

If you are concerned about mobile support focus on native Android first, native iOS second, and ignore Microsoft. They abandoned that market when they ashcanned Windows Mobile 6.x and will never get it back.
Bob
Saturday, April 26, 2014 2:19:04 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I am in the same boat as you. I am totally comfortable with the concept of the start screen and have invested time in, say, learning keyboard shortcuts to show charms bar etc. So I am not unwilling to transition but I simply haven't found a compelling reason to use the Modern environment much over Desktop yet.

The core apps like Calendar, Photos, OneDrive etc. are simply not upto par. And I am absolutely annoyed by the design of some of the "Bing" branded apps. MS needs to get their inhouse apps in order, partly to entice customers, and partly to show third-party developers what is possible with WinRT apps. If the examples they give are as lame as the Calendar, how do they expect third-party developers to make good apps?
helloworld
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