Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Start Menu Reviver Adds The Start Menu To Windows 8

Windows 8 is the latest operating system released by Microsoft. It came with some new changes in the user interface and does not have the traditional Windows Start button. This led to the development of many third party tools, which would help you get the original Windows Start button back. One such third party tool is Start Menu Reviver. If you are expecting a Windows Start menu just like in Windows 7, then it is best for you to go with applications like Iobit's Start Menu 8 or Stardock's Start8. However, the Start Menu Reviver gives a blend of both Windows 8 UI and Start menu.

When comparing Windows 7 vs Windows 8, one thing that the Windows 8 lacks is the Start menu. The Start Menu Reviver opens with the large size icons by default, when you first install the Start Menu Reviver. This will be more useful with touch screen devices. However, when installed in PC or desktop monitors, it looks very big and consumes much of the screen space. However, it is possible to customize the Start Menu Reviver according to the aspect ratio of your computer screen. This Start Menu Reviver can be seen a little bit right of the location where the original Start button should be seen. Like the other third party tools, it is possible to change the icons according to your taste.

Generally, the common Windows programs like Network, Task Manager, username and Run are seen in a column on the left side of the Start Menu Reviver. Likewise, the right part of the Start Menu Reviver shows Internet Explorer, link for the modern UI, and My Computer. This will also show the tiles corresponding to the modern UI and legacy applications.

The Search box in the Start Menu Reviver is similar to the traditional one. However, the fields or sections in the Start Menu Reviver are not neatly organized when compared to the traditional Start menu. It allows a faster way of navigation only when it is used with both keyboard and mouse. Besides these advantages, there are some disadvantages too. The switching between desktop and the modern user interface is not that smooth and is difficult.

Microsoft has decided not to include the Start button in the new Windows 8 operating system. However, by using tools like Start Menu Reviver, it is possible to put back the Windows Start menu in the Windows 8 OS. You can download the Start Menu Reviver free and start enjoying the traditional Windows Start menu.

For more discussions and Windows 7 vs Windows 8 comparisons, visit our Microsoft support posts online.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Microsoft Commits Yet Another Blunder

Microsoft released an Office 2013 non-security update as part of the massive Patch Tuesday, but the update has created more issues than it’s solved. This update is responsible for blanking out folder panes in Outlook which invited a lot of criticism over the Microsoft support page forum. On Wednesday however Microsoft acknowledges that a serious flaw existed within the patch and has removed the original one from the Microsoft support forum. Urging users to uninstall the update immediately, Microsoft also claimed that they are working on a workaround for the issue.

Identified as KB2817630, the objective of the update was to remove the stability and performance issues prevalent in many if the Office suite applications like Excel, SharePoint Server and Lync. These issues would cause Office to freeze when any document was opened in the Protected Mode. However the fix ended up emptying the folder pane. Kick starting a long support thread was a comment by Trevor Sullivan stating, "I can't view my list of e-mail accounts, folders, favorites, etc.," soon the thread got flooded with similar complaints from other users. On the same thread another user commented, "Same problem on multiple fully-updated Windows 7 Enterprise Edition, Windows 8 Enterprise Edition and Windows 8.1 Enterprise Edition workstations... all with Office 2013 32-bit."

However within a short span people stated reporting that the folder pane gets restored as soon as you uninstall the update. But this did not fix everything, and Microsoft failed to comment on that. Users commented that the original update has been yanked off the Windows Update and Windows Server Update services. While the former is used by small businesses or customers as a patch service the latter is a Microsoft provided patch delivery and management tool typically used by major or large companies.

This incident is a real embarrassing one for Microsoft, but it is definitely not the company’s first faux pas. It was in the month of August that the software giant had to pull out the Exchange securities update claiming that the patches had not been tested properly. Earlier in April another update designed for Windows 7 ended in crippling many systems around the world. The April update notoriously known as Blue Screen of Death, caused a lot of issues in thousands of machines prompting the Redmond-based company to pull it out immediately. The update was later released two weeks earlier.

These strings of events have ended in a public outcry asking the company to be more accountable. Comments from Triple Helix which said "Yeah, another Microsoft Update Tuesday Blunder" followed by "Someone on [Microsoft's] update testing team needs to get fired," added by The Computer Butler" have added salt to Microsoft’s wounds. More on the update can be found on Microsoft support page.