Windows 10


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Windows Ten Desktop, Folders, and Shortcuts

Windows Ten Microsoft wants to turn your desktop into a tablet or mobile device desktop, or something...

Is Windows Ten worse or better than Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 / 8.1?  A comparison...

One of the main irritations for me (and probably most of corporate America) is the use of libraries vs the old pre Vista file system.

When you turn off a feature on a folder in the post Windows XP file system it is propagated through out the complete file system.

In the pre Vista Windows Operating Systems you had two distinct options that you could use to customize the settings of a single folder: "Save settings" and "Remember each folders view settings". This allowed you to set each individual folder the way you wanted it to appear each time you opened it.

These options were removed with in the a new type of file system integrated in Vista and newer Operating Systems.

Even vendors that create and sell programs (more commonly known today as "apps") have dropped those two options...

And the biggest push is for the desktop that looks like a tablet or a cell phone. Where is the start and program menu of installed programs? It disappeared in Win 8, semi reappeared in 8.1 and in Windows 10 has a little more functionality but by far the old Windows XP is gone, but has it disappeared forever?

Where do I find ---?

Are we trending towards using devices that do not have the capability to do the tasks we do on a daily basis?

The progress from the old "KISS" (Keep It Simple Stupid) concept of yesteryear; from the old XP style start button and menu, folder options, and where the heck do I find a setting I need to change?

Note: Some of the desktop images show customization that I do to all my computers, the "High Definition" that is prevalent in today's Operating Systems really bothers my eyes, so some of the images will not be the default that is loaded when you install the operating system.

All these images were made from either a VM Ware virtual machine or an Oracle Virtual Box virtual computer.

Windows XP startup screen...

The image, table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....

XP splash start up screen

The basic theme was available from Windows 95 through XP, this is the classic theme. I use the green background because when I worked in a Data Center the blue back ground that was the default would give me headaches after working on a Server for a hour or more. The green back ground didn't bother my eyes so that is what I try to use.

The "Start" button is opens to a menu of programs and options. If you customized the desktop you could have all the tools you need along the left side.

XP customized desktop, note the "start button".


When you clicked on the "Start" button the menu displays, selecting an item will either launch the program or open a sub menu.

XP programs menu from the start button.


The sub menu may have more programs sorted by category, no searching through layers of large boxes looking for your program, a small useful menu.

Second layer of menu from start button


When you right click on the desktop the menu has a list of options, one is "New". You can create a shortcut or a folder on the desktop . This image is of the pre Library type folder, in the Control Panel you can set the options for the folder to remove all the frivolous options. Thus making the folder simpler and functional with out using excessive memory for things you do not need.

XP Folder layout, which will save the individual folders settings...


Vista startup screen...

Vista startup splash screen, a fading memory?


Vista start button...

Vista customized desktop, note the arrow to the "start button"...


Vista menu system, looks familure to the older XP style, basicly unchanged in the Classic view.

Vista program menu in the "Classic" view, so far so good, still works...


Open the folder for your user ID and this is the layout for your profile, both windows have a few added items. Some of these items are useful, however the "Network" shortcut will cause the folder to open very slowly if you are on a slow or very large network. One way around this is to turn off the navigation pane.

Microsoft has changed how the OS file system works, now the file system is a "Library".


If you create a folder on the desktop the layout is the same as your profile folder, changing any of the two options on the layout will propagate through all folders, that is if you turn off the left window (navigation pane) through the options all folders will have that option turned off.

The Vista folder has two options, any change is propagated to all other files.


You can add a short cut by drag and drop or by browsing for the program or file you want to use.

After creating a new folder in Vista, add some shortcuts...


Windows 7 startup screen...

Windows 7 startup splash screen, better than Vista but not as good as XP!


Like your desktop? I wonder if you can keep it in future versions...

Windows 7 customized desktop, note the start button...


Slowly moving the things you use on a everyday bais further from the first layer of your menu.

Your programs menu has moved...


With pre Vista menus your program would be one maybe two clicks away, now?

Three clicks later you are at your programs.


Fancy stuff those Libraries, however you need to consider how much memory those fancy options use...

The folder/file system display has changed, for the better? hummmm....

The new Windows 7 folder has four seperate sections you may work from; or turn on or turn off.

1. Libraries can only be removed by turning off the Navigation pane.

2. If you are on a slow network this will cause the folder to open very slowly. (You have to turn off the Navigation pane to keep Windows 7 file system from searching all available resources).

3. The "Preview" pane. (you can turn this off)

4. The "Navigation pane, you can turn this off and the folder will open almost as fast as a XP folder.


Give it time... The way you make a folder will change from two clicks to over four...

Menu for creating a folder in Windows 7.


And creating that short cut will become more time consuming (well how often do you make a folder?) but the programmers don't use their creations... (If they did this conglomeration would disappear!)

Windows 7 folder created, add some shortcuts.


Windows 8 startup screen...

Windows 8 startup splash screen


How nice, the Microsoft programmers have changed your desktop into a mobile device, just tuck it under your arm and walk away from your desk, what you don't have enough batteries in your UPS? Silly programmers it is a computer not a cell phone!

How nice about 14 useless shortcuts, sheesh it is a desktop not a cell phone!

Two things about this fancy desktop:

How many of those shortcuts do you actually use on a daily basis?

The logon ID was erased in this image, why you ask? Because it is one of the two things a hacker needs to gain access to your computer...


Have you tried to change the background on your Windows 8 installation? Not many choices are there?

Window 8 background...

Opps we seem to have lost the start button! How do you shut this conglomeration down gracefully?

And where are your programs? Don't say the startup page, they aren't there, unless you...

Microsoft programers said: "Start button, we don't need no st****** start button!" I think they were wrong by the way (BTW)


Well this still works as it has since Windows 95, create a folder or shortcut.

Creating a folder or shortcut hasn't changed...


Whew, I first thought I would have to go down four or five layers of clicks to actually create a folder then a shortcut for my favorite programs, which by the way are still in the same place and with the same name. The command box (or window) and notepad.

Folder created, add some shortcuts.


Copy a item not move it! Or create a short cut, simple enough...

Should you copy, move, or create a shortcut to your program?


Windows 8.1 startup screen...

Windows 8.1 startup splash scree, BTW Win 8 was so bad this one was free just like Win 3.1...


New welcome screen, as I said: The logon ID was removed...

Really some programers bad idea, a white background on a 23x19 inch monitor? Need a suntan? Sheeesh.


Still at the cell phone desktop, you have to find and click on the desktop shortcut (hint - I colored mine green)...

Windows 8.1 (don't know what to call it!) display black and white...

Notice the start button and taskbar...


Now at the desktop where you can actually do some work, play a game, or something useful.

Windows 8.1 now has a startbutton, but I don't think you will like your choices...

Try clicking the "start button", where do you go???

Then again you may have to create a toolbar to actually get to your programs...

Windows 8.1 start button lacking options? Create a toolbar.


Two clicks to create a folder or a shortcut.

Windows 8.1 the create a folder or shortcut still work as they did with Windows 95, amazing!

Need an app (program)? Supposedly (like the mobile devices) the Windows Store only has programs that will work seamlessly with all Windows Operating System versions...

The change in how the Windows Operating System displays colors will take some getting used to, gone are the soft colors and now the glaring bright colors, that maybe good for a cell phone (my cell phone will not display a web page...) but it sure does make my old tired eyes hurt... Still searching for a color scheme that I can live with.

Well don't look now but Windows 8.1 has "High Definition" display, does your monitor?


I think the new options for the folder are a step in the right direction, but will it last?

Your Windows 8.1 folder with options on what you can change.

The top toolbar can be shrunk down to a manageable size, however the left pane is still cluttered, turning it off will turn it off in all folders, something you may not want to do...

The right click menu is basically the same.

If you pick too many options (like with the newer Microsoft Office) your display window size will shrink. I did not try to resize the folder window. Why? Because when you resize one all other folder  when you open them will be the same size as the one you changed, this becomes annoying over time when you have two folders open, one has to be moved to the side or they will overlap, more commonly known as "tiling".

Windows 8.1 folder addtional options.


Windows 9 startup screen...

Sorry the Windows 9 kludge didn't make it out of beta testing - lucky us!

Windows 10 startup screen...

Windows 10 (Ten) startup splash screen, free for one year.


In the desktop / laptop world if the installed Operating System isn't in a domain then the user ID will be visible unless you use the Group Policy that you can set to remove the ID when the OS starts, one of my pet peeves, all a hacker needs is the user ID and then because the first ID that is created when the OS is installed it is the system Administrator ID, guess what? The system Administrator ID can not be locked out by entering the wrong password... This means a hacker can run a dictionary attack on the user ID to find the password. Hummm--- My suggestion is that you create another user ID and give it administrative rights, rename the first user ID to something else and only use the second user ID, the lock out on that ID will be 3 wrong passwords. Then the ID displaying on the log on screen is protected.

Windows 10 logon screen...


After logon this background will be the installed (it may change when Windows 10 actually goes into production). Normally I use a solid color for my background. The new "high def" colors of Windows 10 are really bright, trying to come up with a usable theme is time consuming and there are very few choices.

Customized Windows 10 background and the start button...

Test your start  button, not what you would expect with Windows 10?

Of all these "shortcuts" I only see one that I might use: Microsoft Edge (the new web browser). There are reports that the new browser will use all available memory, one user said they had 12 GB of memory and it used every last bit, then it crashed the OS...  (This VBox virtual computer only has 1.2 GB of memory, Edge would not load...)

Click the start button and this is what you get... Hey! Where are my programs?

The left arrow shows some of the options on the start menu, the power off button is back!

Try adding a program to your start menu. Didn't work for me, then again...

Try adding a program to this conglomeration...

When you need to change a setting try the "Settings" button or the Control Panel, you have to search through pages of very large thumbnails to find the actual item you are looking for and they have been moved further away from the old XP style icon that opened the properties page of the item you would like to change.

The screen size for this Windows 10 install is 1280x1024 pixels, that should be large enough to display what you need. However with out resizing the desktop folder I will have to move it to one side before I can create the test folder. Resizing any folder will make any other folder you open the same size, gone are the days of XP style folders that you could make as big or small as you needed and each individual folder retained those settings but did not propagate the changes to other folders. With Vista the rules changed, one size fits all.

The "Libraries" file management system, looks like Vista/Win 7,8, 8.1...


Wonders never cease! Still two clicks to create a folder!

Creating a folder in Windows 10, same as before.

With the search function box now on the taskbar your real estate on the taskbar is less...

Now that the folder has been created (I gave up and resized the desktop folder, as you can see both folders are the same size) and now I need to make my shortcuts.

Creating a shortcut in Windows Ten...

Windows 10 has a new feature, it is a second desktop, try it. I don't think you will like the results. If you trully need more than one desktop then search Microsoft's Technet web site for this program: desktops.exe (don't download this program from any other web site because the thieves have put a virus in it!)

Creating shortcuts stays the same, drag and drop or search. This image is of the drag and drop but I had to find the program wordpad.exe before I could drag it to the new folder.

Finding your program file just became harder, longer, and sometimes frustrating.


Using the search box on the taskbar for cmd.exe revels where the programmers have hidden it:

Using the search function in Windows Ten to find a program.


Then I will drag and drop the program, you can either copy, move, or create a shotcut. Do not MOVE the file, it has a registry entry to it's location. Copy it if you need to change any of the files properties other wise create a shortcut.

In Windows 10 once you find your program you can create a shortcut.


When you do a search you have four options when you right click on the search return, why is the return box so large?

In Windows 10 once you find your file you do have options...


This is another image of doing a copy from the original location (notice it is not in the Systems32 directory anymore...)

In Windows 10 using the "Open file location" makes it easier to drag and drop to create the shortcut.


I changed my mind and made a shortcut.

In Windows Ten I did a search through the Windows directory to find the CMD.EXE file...

In summation:

I find that Microsoft is making it harder to do an everyday task (I have tested Microsoft's new Server 2016 and that is worse still...) such as open notepad or cmd (command line box) to do my everyday stuff.

If I, a certified MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), have difficulties using their newest creation Windows 10 (and some of the previous ones!) then how the heck are you going to be productive with Windows 10?

There are a few features of Windows 10 that have been corrected from the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 but it still is far from functional for the everyday user.

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In Windows 10 you could create a toolbar on the taskbar with the programs you need to use on a daily basis, this would be a better choice over pinning them to the task bar now that the search box is taking up about 40% of the taskbar. However when you create the new toolbar you have to take what the programmers want to give you the choices for customizing the toolbar are very limited.

The Windows 10 super large menu from the "Windows logo start button" is useless in the everyday world, try adding a program to it.

Windows Ten has new display features of the high definition video driver is bad for people that have vision difficulties, I changed the background to the one I use daily (see the XP and Windows 7 images) a dark green, the high def version was so bright I gave up on it after a few minutes, it really makes my eyes hurt! And the colors for your folder are harder to change even with the "color wheel" where you can select the color you want for the folder toolbars and borders.

There are a lot of things about Windows 10 that I would like to change/remove but what I found out was you have to be very careful when changing settings or removing unwanted programs... It will crash the OS and then can you say: "Reinstall Windows 10"?

I may revisit this in the future then again I may just toss any Microsoft product I own (which over the years has cost me a very large sum of money) and try to use Linux...

My recommendation?

Stick with XP and if ya really have to upgrade use Windows 7 all newer versions are not ready for prime time...

Update 03/04/20 - Happy Birthday Windows 10 is now Five Years Old! Has it improved over the years? Yes in some respects, no in others... At this time I have two laptops and one tower computer with Windows 1o, the laptops came with Windows 10 Home installed, one will have to keep Home installed... it will not be in the business domain (When I convert from Server 2003 to Server 2008 R2) the other laptop and tower have Windows 10 Pro. Some differences I see between Home and Pro are significant (this will be noted in some new content soon). At this time I am using XP in a VM Ware because I can load XP on a computer with an i7 processor however support for XP drivers are non existent...

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