Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Windows 8 Features Slick Search from Start Screen

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 96 comments

Metro has some very cool search UI.

When we talk about "search", most people would assume we're talking about Google, Bing and the like. While cataloging and searching the endless stream of information from the internet is vital, sometimes we just want to find something on our own computers.

Thumbing through the dozens of programs installed in the Start menu is one way to do it, but these days it's all about search. Check out the video below to see how Microsoft is improving search on Windows 8. Those who are also a fan of keyboard shortcuts or just hate using the mouse will also find a lot of love about the new search functions.

 

Windows 8 Search

Power users can also search down to a very granular level using AQS, such as the examples noted below:

Query

AQS Syntax

Find all files authored by Brian or David

author: (Brian OR David)

Find all photos with an F-stop of 2.8 where no flash was fired

f-stop:2.8 flashmode:no flash

Find all files where the file name contains a word starting with Metro and the file size is greater than 1MB

filename:$<Metro* size:>1mb

For more, check out the full Windows 8 blog.

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2011 10:40 PM
    I don't understand why switching to a separate touch UI is necessary to utilize existing Windows 7 search functionality.
  • 13 Hide
    klavis , October 23, 2011 9:54 PM
    being able to quickly search by details of how a photo was taken is pretty cool, I would use that. One could say I am almost looking forward to being able to do that.

  • 12 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 23, 2011 10:47 PM
    campb292While I am at it - stop with all the gimmicks and mac-like menus. Windows has an 85-90% market share. Rewrite the kernel, upgrade ntfs to a new file system, stop write throttling, end 32 bit, stop turning on automatic updates after I just turned it off... improve. Stop turning the round wheel into a box; Round just works better.


    I wouldn't mind a new file system, hell they had one planned for Vista, WinFS which looked to run circles around NTFS, but that was cut for now. As for rewriting the Kernal, why do it again? It was rewritten for Vista, hence why you can't really upgrade from XP to Vista, and reworked for 7. The 7 Kernal works great, why redo it if you don't have to? How many times do you think Apple has rewritten its Unix Kernal for OSX?

    killerclickIf I promise never to buy or use a Windows tablet, will they include the normal Start Menu in Windows 8?


    It wont matter because they already have the classi 7 Start menu in 8. This is the Metro UA and much like Aero, can be turned off.

    Have people really been paying attention to the Windows 8 info or just missing it all together?

    amk-aka-PhantomHe's right, I don't want to switch to Start, either... It IS two clicks - one on the Start button, another on the Calculator icon. And 2 mouse clicks ARE faster than 5 keyboard presses.


    Unless you have Calculator pinned to the Start menu, its 4 clicks. Start> All programs> Accessories> Calculator.

Other Comments
    Display all 96 comments.
  • 11 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 23, 2011 9:28 PM
    Thats pretty neat. Makes 8 look a bit more attractive.
  • -4 Hide
    campb292 , October 23, 2011 9:37 PM
    People need to start stepping up and criticizing this stuff. This whole concept doesn't save time. I don't want to "switch to start" with the logo key and type "calc" to bring up the calculator. Right now it is 2 clicks. Why would I want to increase that to 5?
  • 10 Hide
    campb292 , October 23, 2011 9:45 PM
    While I am at it - stop with all the gimmicks and mac-like menus. Windows has an 85-90% market share. Rewrite the kernel, upgrade ntfs to a new file system, stop write throttling, end 32 bit, stop turning on automatic updates after I just turned it off... improve. Stop turning the round wheel into a box; Round just works better.
  • 13 Hide
    klavis , October 23, 2011 9:54 PM
    being able to quickly search by details of how a photo was taken is pretty cool, I would use that. One could say I am almost looking forward to being able to do that.

  • 2 Hide
    klavis , October 23, 2011 9:56 PM
    campb292People need to start stepping up and criticizing this stuff. This whole concept doesn't save time. I don't want to "switch to start" with the logo key and type "calc" to bring up the calculator. Right now it is 2 clicks. Why would I want to increase that to 5?


    Being able to use the keyboard to make 5 clicks is a lot faster than moving the mouse and making it click twice, it also interrupts the flow of what you are doing on the keyboard.
  • 9 Hide
    AbdullahG , October 23, 2011 9:57 PM
    campb292People need to start stepping up and criticizing this stuff. This whole concept doesn't save time. I don't want to "switch to start" with the logo key and type "calc" to bring up the calculator. Right now it is 2 clicks. Why would I want to increase that to 5?

    You do realize you can just use the mouse then, right?
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , October 23, 2011 10:02 PM
    I fail to see how this is better and more useful than the Start Menu in Windows 7. In fact, this seems like a full screen Start Menu that doesn't have all the features the current Start Menu has.

    If I promise never to buy or use a Windows tablet, will they include the normal Start Menu in Windows 8?
  • 5 Hide
    killerclick , October 23, 2011 10:04 PM
    Try this in Windows 7... Ctrl+Esc and then type a file name! Amazing, right?
  • 4 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , October 23, 2011 10:09 PM
    killerclickTry this in Windows 7... Ctrl+Esc and then type a file name! Amazing, right?


    Yep.

    Stupid, anyhow... I can't recall when was the last time I used Search. I really can't. Whether or not Win8 will have better search doesn't matter to me.
  • 8 Hide
    molo9000 , October 23, 2011 10:21 PM
    Pretty much all of this is already there in Windows 7 Start Menu search and Mac OS X Spotlight.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2011 10:22 PM
    What are you talking about campb292? How is it 2 clicks now? Also, are you talking about 2 "mouse clicks" vs 5 "keyboard key presses"? If so, it's clear that 5 keyboard key presses is many times faster than 2 mouse clicks.

    I'm all for criticizing stuff that needs criticizing, but I don't find your criticism very compelling.
  • -5 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , October 23, 2011 10:28 PM
    Quote:
    What are you talking about campb292? How is it 2 clicks now? Also, are you talking about 2 "mouse clicks" vs 5 "keyboard key presses"? If so, it's clear that 5 keyboard key presses is many times faster than 2 mouse clicks.

    I'm all for criticizing stuff that needs criticizing, but I don't find your criticism very compelling.


    He's right, I don't want to switch to Start, either... It IS two clicks - one on the Start button, another on the Calculator icon. And 2 mouse clicks ARE faster than 5 keyboard presses.
  • 4 Hide
    Stryter , October 23, 2011 10:35 PM
    amk-aka-PhantomHe's right, I don't want to switch to Start, either... It IS two clicks - one on the Start button, another on the Calculator icon. And 2 mouse clicks ARE faster than 5 keyboard presses.


    I think this is one of those cases where it is to each their own. Some people who use the start menu search will probably find this really helpful, while others will continue to use the mouse to launch programs. Why should there be only one way of doing something? It is nice to have the option either way.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2011 10:40 PM
    I don't understand why switching to a separate touch UI is necessary to utilize existing Windows 7 search functionality.
  • 1 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , October 23, 2011 10:41 PM
    Quote:
    I think this is one of those cases where it is to each their own. Some people who use the start menu search will probably find this really helpful, while others will continue to use the mouse to launch programs. Why should there be only one way of doing something? It is nice to have the option either way.


    Exactly. Problem is, most likely we won't get that choice.
  • -5 Hide
    lp231 , October 23, 2011 10:43 PM
    Windows 7 search is broken, Vista was slightly better because you still get Advanced search by hitting Windows+F and bringing up the search pane.
    Both Vista and 7 search takes a long time to complete and sometimes can't find a file, even though it exist.
    Let's hope Win8 isn't broken.
  • 12 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 23, 2011 10:47 PM
    campb292While I am at it - stop with all the gimmicks and mac-like menus. Windows has an 85-90% market share. Rewrite the kernel, upgrade ntfs to a new file system, stop write throttling, end 32 bit, stop turning on automatic updates after I just turned it off... improve. Stop turning the round wheel into a box; Round just works better.


    I wouldn't mind a new file system, hell they had one planned for Vista, WinFS which looked to run circles around NTFS, but that was cut for now. As for rewriting the Kernal, why do it again? It was rewritten for Vista, hence why you can't really upgrade from XP to Vista, and reworked for 7. The 7 Kernal works great, why redo it if you don't have to? How many times do you think Apple has rewritten its Unix Kernal for OSX?

    killerclickIf I promise never to buy or use a Windows tablet, will they include the normal Start Menu in Windows 8?


    It wont matter because they already have the classi 7 Start menu in 8. This is the Metro UA and much like Aero, can be turned off.

    Have people really been paying attention to the Windows 8 info or just missing it all together?

    amk-aka-PhantomHe's right, I don't want to switch to Start, either... It IS two clicks - one on the Start button, another on the Calculator icon. And 2 mouse clicks ARE faster than 5 keyboard presses.


    Unless you have Calculator pinned to the Start menu, its 4 clicks. Start> All programs> Accessories> Calculator.

  • 0 Hide
    Stryter , October 23, 2011 10:50 PM
    amk-aka-PhantomExactly. Problem is, most likely we won't get that choice.


    I dunno, I may be wrong, but from what I've seen of the latest changes they've made to the start menu, programs will be categorized similar to being in a folder, except that they will be visible right off hand. So I would assume that any program should only be about two clicks away (may be some scrolling involved), plus you can always pin a program to the start menu (again, from what I have seen).
  • 8 Hide
    lradunovic77 , October 23, 2011 10:53 PM
    Please remove pile of crap called Metro. It makes sense for phone but not for desktop and laptops.
  • -3 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , October 23, 2011 11:12 PM
    Quote:
    Unless you have Calculator pinned to the Start menu, its 4 clicks. Start> All programs> Accessories> Calculator.


    The example suggested that the person uses Calculator often. In that case, I'd expect it pinned to the Start Menu.
Display more comments