Windows 8: Does the new Metro interface mean diminished functionality?
July 16, 2012 3 Comments
‘Mitch, I have been in love with the Search feature in Windows 7 since you demonstrated it at the House Party launch at Artisano’s… how come Microsoft took it away?’
These were the first words a community member said to me when they ran into me at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference last week. I had to pull out my laptop and show him he was wrong to appease him.
It’s true, when you look at the Metro Start screen on Windows 8 there is nowhere to type. In Windows 7 it was so easy… you clicked on the Start button and started typing. Life was simple, and it would find documents, applications, and even e-mails for you right away (as long as they were properly indexed, which was easy enough to do and the default for proper file locations).
So here’s the question… how often has Microsoft actually removed functionality from one operating system to the next? Oh sure, Windows 7 saw the removal of features such as Windows Messenger and Outlook Express, but those were actually side-loaded to lighten the OS, and were put into the Windows Live Essentials bundle, a free download.
No, it’s still there, and just as easy. From the Metro Start screen just start typing and POOF… see what happens!
As you see the Search bar appears, and what you typed (in this case the word ‘word’) appears, and the Indexed Search starts just like it did in Windows 7… but cleaner! As you see, the Results pane shows all of the results, and the Search pane allows me to specify what I am searching for… Apps, Settings, or files.
By default we are going to see the Apps results appear first, but without starting a new search all you have to do is click the context that you are looking for, and the Results pane populates accordingly:
Once I demonstrated how easy it is to search in Windows 8, the community member smiled wide and told me that he was looking forward to seeing what kind of a launch party I have planned for the new OS. I have to admit, I don’t know just yet… although several people have asked me of late if I (the countdown man) am planning to throw a party on the day that Windows XP Support ends (follow @mgarvis or #EndOfDaysXP on Twitter for the near-daily countdown), and I think that is a great idea… Stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll do SOMETHING!
I should mention though one possible bit of diminished functionality in the Search… Windows 8 (Release Preview) does not seem to search your e-mails, and that is something I did all the time. I hope that it is coming in the RTM release… although my speculation is that it will be a tie-in to Microsoft Office 15, for which we were hoping to at least hear an announcement of a public beta at #wpc12, and did not get that. I am sure it is coming, and I hope that it will tie in with the search.
As we get closer to the official RTM date for Windows 8 (first week of August!) these articles should be coming more frequently… keep following this space to learn more functionality in in the big 8!