After downloading the latest preview build of Windows 10, here are my thoughts on the new Start Menu. (Full disclosure: I’m purely a Windows Desktop user. I tried a few times but never felt productive + empowered within the Windows 8/8.1 Desktop, so.. I’m a Windows 7 hold-out. We have a few tablets, but they’re all Apple + Android).
The Start menu in Windows 10 build 9926 isn’t great for me. Microsoft – please bring back something more similar to Windows 7’s start menu. With something more similar, this OS would likely do fine, maybe even great. And being 20+ year Windows developer (since NT 3.5), I really *want* Windows 10 to succeed!!
My Start Menu issues on Windows 10:
1) Right-side (with Windows 8 arbitrary color tiles) is really hard on my eyes + brain. Windows 7 had a small fixed list, emphasizing the item’s name + icon image… which was actually really useful! Looking through the default tiles, I am not interested in any of these apps. Maybe I’d feel different after months/years of dedicated use, but none of these apps are compelling. I already have my personal blend of Online (Weather.com) and Desktop apps. And I don’t want tiles with updating content. Concrete example – when one of my children logs in, I’d prefer arbitrary news information isn’t pushed to them in the start menu (e.g. in this start menu, see “ISIS video shows beheading of one Japanese hostage“). Honestly Microsoft, is this good?
2) The left-side items with Windows 8 green-background + icons of nonsensical-little-background-color-squares are hard on my eyes. AND to emphasize the arbitrary background colors, the actual icon image is tiny!! In Windows 7 the actually humanly-recognizable image (e.g. icon’s “essence”) was larger. Good grief, other than branding direction, what’s the deal with arbitrary colored background squares?!?!
3) Clicking the [All apps] button leads to… a single-column Windows 8 style list control, designed for low-density usage. Basically, this list’s vertical item spacing harkens back to Windows 8/8.1 touch-agnostic UI (don’t know if the user is finger-touching or mouse-clicking, so… position anything clickable for preschoolers. I have a preschool age son, and I love him with all my heart. But he doesn’t use Windows for desktop use. And I’m not a preschooler).
4) [All apps] button, take 2. I’ve unpinned all the “noise” items from my start menu’s right-side, except the [Windows Feedback] button. Goodbye arbitrary squares of arbitrary color noise!! But now [All apps] only uses a fraction of Start menu real estate – maybe 30%?? How about if this [All apps] list were actually an icon view that scrolls only horizontally? Then, it’s using all the start menu real estate. The way it is now… really… makes… scrolling… through… a… large… list… painful… geeze.
5) Resize-ability: why all-or-nothing? You get either maximized (ala Windows 8) or default size. Why can’t I drag a corner to make it the size I want? And even when maximized… the left side [All apps] list takes up a fraction of the screen.