The Angry Windows Nerd: Windows 8 sucks at dual monitors [Video]

One of the nerdiest things that nerds like to do is show off our battle stations.  Our little corner in the world where we do things like play video games and get in pointless Internet arguments. As any nerd knows, no battle station is complete without at least two monitors. With previous versions of Windows it has been a piece of cake to have dual monitors. With only one environment (the desktop) to work in there really wasn’t anything complicating the experience. In Windows 8 that’s not so easy anymore.

The new Start screen in Windows 8 has greatly complicated the situation. It’s a very confusing experience that can be boiled down to one thing: Microsoft has no idea how to deal with Metro on two screens. As long as you keep Metro apps on one of your monitors the experience is fine, but try and put Metro apps on both screens and all hell breaks lose. It’s enough to make even the most patient and calm people get super angry. Maybe Microsoft should have thought about how their new OS would work on two monitors. How it is right now just seems super sloppy and botched.

Microsoft, this sucks. I’m angry. Fix it.

  • Not only that, but my experience with windows 8 on 4 different sized monitors together was that the soft corner hotspots disappeared after a while and remained useless until I did a hard reboot…

  • Jack B Nimble

    Just install the free, open source Classic Shell. It adds a Start Button and Start Menu for multiple monitors and even the Win key on the keyboard opens the Classic Shell Start Menu automatically on the monitor where the mouse pointer is. You can use Shift+Win+Left/Right arrow keys to move apps across monitors. And it disables the stupid Charms on the desktop, keeps them functional inside Metro.

  • I can understand and sympathize with the frustration but truly….. why would anyone want 2 metro environments. I believe this is more of the same crap Microsoft is famous for…. not having the BALLS to tell the world whats really going on.
    So here it is folks…. Metro is for tablets… you can say whatever you want and they can tell you whatever you want to hear…. but the fact remains the same… Metro is for tablets…. mosey on over to the desktop if you want to get work done… its as simple as that.

  • Annnnnnd this is why Windows 7 will remain on my gaming desktop. Sorry Microsoft, Windows 8 is a bastard child just like Vista.

  • The point of the video is he shouldn’t have to install anything extra. Everything you’ve said that Classic Shell can do.. should be inherent in Windows 8 by default. Microsoft got so focused on the mobile environment they forgot people still use desktops and like it.

  • ChaosHusky

    I feel i have to say, i’ve been using Windows 8 since the very first preview. I never even bothered to install the second preview, as the first worked remarkably well! I was testing it on my laptop, however, not using dual screens. I do on my desktop, though now i use my laptop for the second display. Why? Due to the whole power saving cutting down the FPS of all background apps bullshit, i can’t game in full screen (read: i can’t use CrossFire) if i’m watching something on the second monitor without windowing the game. As i’m used to the edge scrolling in games like WarCraft III, Starcraft II, etc….it gets quite annoying that i have to use the arrow keys. I know some people prefer to play like that, just used to edge scrolling. What i do now is connect my laptop to the second screen to run video/websites etc whilst gaming. Until the line-in on my SB Recon3D mysteriously stopped working on the left, this wasn’t too much of a problem. Only thing is now, unless i loop it through the mic port of my laptop, i’m only able to plug my headphones in to the laptop, therefore not getting any game sound at all! Though, unlike from Laptop headphone out to PC line-in, going from my PC’s line out to the mic in on the laptop doesn’t require a ground loop isolator (mainly due to the laptop having its own floating ground, instead of common earth/ground) although the only other alternative that i can see, is using my old KAM 300 mixer….except that defeats the point of the SB Recon3D having a headphone amp…and whilst my laptop nor the mixer is stupid loud (mixer tends to distort…) , i’m actually starting to like the sound from these headphones (Sennheiser HD429) with my laptop as the source more than this irritating SB POS…i wouldn’t mind, but the line-in port is down already (mic still works – also in stereo. pre-amp failure?) and it’s just about as stable as to be expected from Creative… I also have to say, i don’t even miss the start button, plus once you’re used to the odd thing you have to set or install in Windows 8, you realise it’s actually easier and smoother than 7 was. It also boots up much faster. In fact that’s an understatement. My PC, with the same SSD, used to take about a minute to have loaded Win7….but on Windows 8, not only has it used just under half the disc space of 7, it also uses less ram, and i’m fully booted just under 30 seconds – but only because my motherboard’s POST and boot time is really f**king annoying! Only complaint about this board! (Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 v1.0 (24-Phase)) And the boot time on my laptop, with a 320GB Samsung regular HDD, is about 15 seconds from BIOS message/boot logo to getting to the desktop – including putting the password in! Mostly thanks to the hard drive and very fast boot-up procedure (PC board has 3 onboard SATA controllers, for a start…) but even on such a “crappy” machine it’s awesome fast! (Core 2 Duo 2GHz w/4GB DDR2 800 RAM + GeForce 9200M-GE (256MB DDR2) 40,000 Aquamark3 score! Woohoo!) Plus, isn’t even MacOS shipped without some features? I haven’t seen ALL Mac desktops have that funky yet irritating ‘smartbar’ or something at the bottom that holds your most used icons and you roll over them with the mouse to zoom in – Ubuntu’s Unity tried to copy this a bit, you think? It’s like, trying to be half MacOS half Windows 8 Interface, plus it breaks installing KDE and Gnome. I like a choice, damnit! That was a lot of babble there, sorry about that. To all of those who got this far i thank you for bothering to read it! The only thing i wish for is that Microsoft “fix” or give the option to toggle the lower FPS bullshit so i only have to use one PC! Though, to be honest, i’m finding my current work-around even better….separate control of both screens! No need to alt-tab or worry about what runs where! I used to have a set-up like that back in th’day (well, not all that long ago) with basically a KVM to switch keyboard and mouse (in the end – not at first, had two keyboards and two mice) but a screen connected to each PC instead of the KVM. then i went a bit mad, put a second screen on my main PC and kept the other one running too! It was good, though! I got way more pointless shit done in the same space of time! :) The main problem now – that would take a lot of space! Anyway, i’ll cut my pro-windows 8-babble short. Long story short: it really is as far away from being the “next Vista” as it could possibly be – and as this OS was designed with single, touch screen devices in mind, dual screen being AN OPTION on laptops/desktops with more than 1 VGA or DVI output/tablets with HDMI output and just basically to show off that not only does the classic Desktop run almost independently – you can close it by dragging down just like any other Metro app! Bloody show-offs! Windows 9 will probably be “the one” when it comes to the best of both worlds – but i bet you it’s a bit more bloated and RAM-hungry! Then again, they might even improve on that! The amount of RAM you needed for 7 to perform optimally (and believe me, it DOES make a difference) at 16GB is rather ridiculous….but i’ve had Windows 8 running on a Single core 1.6GHz Athlon64 laptop with 2GB RAM, not only does it boot up faster than ANY machine i have currently, it runs brilliantly for what it is – and that’s with old, Vista-era graphics drivers and Windows 7 audio drivers! And, it’s perfectly stable! (Radeon Xpress2xxM) Windows 8 also runs great with 4GB RAM and the first ever Phenom quad core, and 8GB RAM with a Core2 Quad 6600 @ 3.08GHz sat behind me! Main one has 18GB (lol!). Sure, Windows 8 would be best with a touch screen – but even Metro is quite usable with a mouse! Crapple Macs are actually more awkward to use now, also imply dumbness on the user’s part – do you have right-click yet? Crapple key + click is so lazy! Or is it? Doing many things with a PC-style mouse input speeds things up and you only have to use one hand! Plus, randomly, I have an old PowerMac G4, right button is dormant using that one! Lol. Poor thing needs to be put out to pasture! Need to get a better graphics card for it though – the ATi Rage Pro 128 16MB that’s in there is…starting to show its age in a rather large way!

  • nigratruo

    Agreed, but Windows 7 sucks terrible in multi monitor situation all the same: Windows opening randomly on any monitor and, so it seems to me, preferably on the monitors that are currently off, it is super annoying and totally pathetic, that in over 10 years that multi monitor setups have become normal, it still is not one bit closer to being solved. You still can tell Windows that you want one program to only ever open on monitor X and define that it should NEVER EVER open on monitor Y.