Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on March 25, 2015 By Frogboy In Personal Computing

Windows 10 is coming along nicely. A definite nice step from Windows 8.1 (once the bugs are out).

Still, not all is well yet.

The Windows 10 skin

image

The Windows 10 skin has some issues. The title bar is thicker than some apps expect (such as Microsoft Live Writer). Stardock’s WindowBlinds has had to tackle this issue for years.  I suspect WindowBlinds will be making a comeback with Windows 10 as the title bar and borders in windows 10 are a combination of not pretty and a bit hard to use at times (the border is one pixel making resizing a bit of a pain. Seriously.

 

The Start menu

image vs. image

I’ve seen people argue that there is no need for a Start10. I think these two screenshots (the Windows 10 start menu on the left and the beta of Stardock’s Start10 on the right) make it pretty obvious that yes, a lot of people will want Start10.

Let’s walk through some of the issues:

  1. Where’s my home folder? Those items at the top left are hard-coded. You can’t remove them. Maybe they’ll fix that but time is starting to run short.
  2. It has no context menu whatosever for the menu. So it’s not easy to understand how/if you can change its behavior.
  3. If I want to pin my home folder, I have to pin it to the tiles part of it.
  4. I don’t even want to go into the spam abuse here. It already includes a bunch of junk I have on interest in, didn’t ask for. I can’t imagine what the OEMs will do. One can almost picture that that is the purpose of the tiles in there in the first place. 
  5. You cannot pin short-cuts to the start menu.

 

image

If I remove the junk I get this.

image

This is what you get if you choose “All Apps”.

Please, someone go ahead and make the argument that this is an improvement on the Windows 7 design? Tell me how it’s superior. In fact, if you can name 1 way it’s more usable than the Windows 7 design I’d really like to hear it.  I’ll start with 1 freebie: it’s easier for touch UI.  But if I’m using touch, I’ll be using the Start screen. 

Home Group

image

Speaking of the home group, these are the icons. I hope these are not what they plan to ship in the final. They’re very distracting.

Then there’s the ribbon.  The giant “Pin to Quick Access” thing is very annoying.  Luckily, I can minimize it but it seems like a step back.  Another thing are all the little pins on the left. I get it, they’re pinned. I hope (assume) they will have an option not to show those. I couldn’t find any options in the folder options panel.

Did I mention how annoying it is that the borders are only 1 pixel?

It’s better than Windows 8

I prefer Windows 8.1 over Windows 7 with some caveats (Object Desktop installed). That’s because Windows 8 is so much better dealing with high DPI and it’s faster.

Windows 10 seems be be an improvement over Windows 8 in those terms as well. But the UX needs a lot of work still.  On the other hand, if they don’t do that work, well, I guess I’ll be able to afford to send my kid to college after all. Winking smile


Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 25, 2015

Well, I can tell you one thing as I have it on a laptop... it's ugly as hell! Every single graphic (if that's what you can call them), is so ugly it makes one want to throw up! Must be a serious bunch of total and complete idiots at Microsoft now, it is no way better than Windows 8/8.1, far from it, and I don't even like those OS's to begin with. Microsoft should have hired Stardock to create the UI, (not sure what a UX is). 

on Mar 25, 2015

They definitely have their work cut out for them with a summer release.  Last evening I found out that when you go to Update Driver from the Device Manager the window which pops up asking where to find the driver software has barely readable title text because it is a black bar with dark gray text.  Not sure how many other windows have this issue, but I hope that is fixed soon.  Several reports already in the feedback app.

on Mar 25, 2015

I won't be using it without Start 10 and WB's (and looking at those icons, I'd say there is a dire need for a nice new, fully up to date release of IconPackager) Please, please make that happen, Brad! Saddest crap I've ever seen. Win 98 icons had more appeal. Come to think of it, so did 98's Start Menu IMHO. MS keeps this up, my Windows 7 install will outlive me.

on Mar 25, 2015

Just had a thought, which doesn't happen often, but what will MS do if folks don't download the free update to Windows 10 and just use what they have, be it 7 or 8.1?  

By the way, I'm still running Windows 7, 64 bit, SP1.

on Mar 25, 2015

Philly0381

Just had a thought, which doesn't happen often, but what will MS do if folks don't download the free update to Windows 10 and just use what they have, be it 7 or 8.1?  

By the way, I'm still running Windows 7, 64 bit, SP1.

They'll just continue using what they have. You aren't being forced to update.

 

on Mar 25, 2015

MS wants to get this out in time for "Back to School."  After seeing this mess, MS is looking like the ones who need to go back to school.

on Mar 25, 2015

The only reason I'm even considering upgrading from Win7 64bit is because of DX12 and what it will bring to the table. I'm also sure that's why MS is only going to let it work with Win10 because they want us to all upgrade for whatever reason they have...

on Mar 25, 2015

DX12, and also I don't want to be that old guy saying no to every new technology. 

on Mar 25, 2015

I haven't used ten,  but i used 8 , and 8.1 there is no way 8.1 was superion to 7 without the classic shell. At least 10 will have a start menu,  and control panel this time around. I do agree that whoever thought that users want the computer and cell phones do the same thing at microsoft is retarded,  and dhould be fired.

on Mar 25, 2015

admiralWillyWilber

I haven't used ten,  but i used 8 , and 8.1 there is no way 8.1 was superion to 7 without the classic shell. At least 10 will have a start menu,  and control panel this time around. I do agree that whoever thought that users want the computer and cell phones do the same thing at microsoft is retarded,  and dhould be fired.

Oh I wouldn't use Windows 8 without Start8.

on Mar 25, 2015

Heavenfall

DX12, and also I don't want to be that old guy saying no to every new technology. 

I don't mind new tech, much of it is a good thing,  but I try to keep my distance from ugly and stupid.

on Mar 25, 2015

There is no way on Earth I'll use astart menu with feching tiles on it... they're gaudy and would mess up any theme one applied.

So yeah, it'll be Start10 and WB for me.... not to mention IconPackager, which NEEDS some TLC to bring it up to date.

Frankly, I'm interested in only what's under the hood, the improvements to speed and hardware optimisation, etc.  Without that and ObjectDesktop it wouldn't get a look in cos the UI is butt ugly and would cause me to suffer eyestrainn, not to mention nausea.  The colours are positively sickening and certainly not something I could look at for very long, so thank goodness for Stardock, which yet again, along with the skinners, will help make the intolerable visually appealing.

on Mar 25, 2015

Wizard1956

I don't mind new tech, much of it is a good thing, but I try to keep my distance from ugly and stupid.

Ah..so that's why you're sitting so far away from me...

If 10 can handle my 'cutting edge' hardware better than 7 .....will be the ONLY reason I'll upgrade...

on Mar 25, 2015


Ah..so that's why you're sitting so far away from me...

Perhaps, but you are heading dangerously close to me in the near future. I live in central Illinois.

on Mar 25, 2015

Frogboy


Oh I wouldn't use Windows 8 without Start8.

That goes without saying... 

I mean would Steve Jobs use Windows?

Would the CEO of Coke drink Pepsi?

Would HP recommend using generic ink cartridges in its printers?

 

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