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Start Menu May Arrive in Windows 8.1 Update 3

By - Source: EightForums | B 43 comments

There's a third update in the works, sources say.

During BUILD 2014 in April, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson revealed that the beloved Start Menu would return to the Windows platform in the near future, but didn’t specify an actual release date. Presumably it was going to launch in Windows 8.1 Update 2 slated to arrive sometime during the August/September window. Now sources close to the project are reporting that the Start Menu will not arrive until Windows 8.1 Update 3. Yep, there’s a new update in the works.

Unnamed sources report that Windows 8.1 Update 3 will take place in Spring 2015, the same window that Windows 9 "Threshold" was supposed to be released. Does that mean Windows 9 is already seeing a delay? Sources now point to a Q2/Q3 window for "Threshold," which could mean that Update 3 will be released in April and Windows 9 in June.

Popular Windows leaker WZOR reports that Update 2 will be free to Windows 8.1 Update 1 users, and sold to all other Windows customers at an "affordable price." The same holds true for Windows 9: customers who upgraded to Update 3 will get the new OS for free. That sounds a bit "off," as Microsoft made Windows 7 users pay $40 for the Windows 8 upgrade when it was first released. Then again, we've heard this "free" argument before, as Microsoft supposedly wants everyone on the newest version.

In a separate report by a user at EightForums, "Indianatone" called Microsoft about an activation issue. In the conversation, this person asked about when Windows 9 would be released, and was told that it would arrive in about a year. This same rep also admitted that customer support was currently being trained for Windows 8.1 Update 2, which will be released in August or September through Windows Store, weighing 3 GB: the same as Update 1.

WZOR indicated last week that Microsoft plans to have a huge internal event sometime this week to discuss the overall plans for Windows. Update 2 is expected to get an RTM escrow during the event, and will be distributed to Microsoft employees willing to take the new OS for a test drive. In turn this trial will help Microsoft track down the software leakers.

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  • 5 Hide
    segio526 , June 25, 2014 8:08 AM
    I don't get it. If Windows 8.1 was a free update to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 update 1 was a free update to Windows 8.1 and so on and so forth, exactly who on Windows 8+ is paying for these updates? Couldn't you just update in order and get all the way up to Windows 9 for free?
  • 0 Hide
    Osmin , June 25, 2014 8:24 AM
    I found a use for both versions of the start menu and hope Microsoft allows both to be available at the same time. Either have the capability to show 2 start buttons or a single split button to open either version. Bring back the concept of widgets so we may place a calendar or weather widget on the desktop and they can be Windows 9 apps for security. This should bring back most of Windows 7 functionality sans Aero interface.
  • 1 Hide
    Urzu1000 , June 25, 2014 8:31 AM
    Quote:
    I don't get it. If Windows 8.1 was a free update to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 update 1 was a free update to Windows 8.1 and so on and so forth, exactly who on Windows 8+ is paying for these updates? Couldn't you just update in order and get all the way up to Windows 9 for free?


    Put simply, that's because there's many many people afraid of change. So many people are still on Windows 7 that will end up paying full price. They're probably also trying to push Windows 8 under the rug because of the horrible reputation it has, so giving the Windows 8 users a little bribe will decrease the negative pressure on the company - which in turn - will increase sales. I personally just use Start8, and everything has been magical.
  • 5 Hide
    mgilbert , June 25, 2014 8:36 AM
    Quote:
    Funny because my home desktop of linux doesnt seem to need to have updates to have a "start menu"


    Yeah, but you can't do any serious computing on it. Linux is fine for dedicated tasks, servers, etc. but is severely crippling if you want to do any real work. It's just for playing around.
  • 0 Hide
    red77star , June 25, 2014 8:46 AM
    I believe Microsoft will take different direction with Windows 9 meaning it will be like Office 365, cloud based subscription <Mod Edit>.

    I have feeling that MS is about to alienate their user base even further, correct me if i am wrong. People are not afraid of change but they don't want to go to something which sucks in every sense and Windows 8.x sucks. I just hope Microsoft doesn't remove option to have local account but force people to use outlook account in order to install and use Windows 8.1 Update 2/3 otherwise you cannot. They already pulled first step <Mod Edit> in that direction with Windows 8.1 Update 1. When you do fresh install there is no way to install unless you use outlook account as your windows account unless type in some fake email and try it until setup gives up and gives you that option for local account. Not so obvious to average Joe yet forcing people to use cloud bullshit.

    With One Drive in Windows 8.1 Update 1, you cannot use it unless you completely switch your local windows account to outlook account. No thanks! Not gonna use your One Drive...i have 8TB NAS which is always there for my image and other backups.

    Bullshit Step 2. Microsoft is forcing people to update Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update 1 otherwise they won't be getting support for Windows 8.1. Speaking of being arrogant...Hey Microsoft people dislike shit you did with Windows 8.1 Update 1, they dislike shit you did even with Windows 8.1 let alone Windows 8.0 which are not upgrading at all...probably switched to Windows 7 or they are not using the device they bought. It is funny that Windows 8.x market share is around 12% which is total flop after couple year and half of that is still on Windows 8.0.

    Moral of this story is for people to be aware of what MS is planning to do because as i said i have great feeling they are going to pull more <Mod Edit> on us like Windows 8.x wasn't enough.

    <Mod Note: That's three edits for language. Watch your language in the forums>
  • -1 Hide
    segio526 , June 25, 2014 8:48 AM
    Quote:
    I found a use for both versions of the start menu and hope Microsoft allows both to be available at the same time. Either have the capability to show 2 start buttons or a single split button to open either version. Bring back the concept of widgets so we may place a calendar or weather widget on the desktop and they can be Windows 9 apps for security. This should bring back most of Windows 7 functionality sans Aero interface.


    I like your idea. Perhaps they can expand the functionality of right-clicking the Start Button that turns it into the old Start Menu and leaving the left-click what it is today!
  • 4 Hide
    Ikepuska , June 25, 2014 9:17 AM
    Quote:
    Yeah, but you can't do any serious computing on it. Linux is fine for dedicated tasks, servers, etc. but is severely crippling if you want to do any real work. It's just for playing around.


    That rather depends on a lot of things, including what you define as "Real Work"TM. The truth is that there are plenty of developers, engineers, and others that use Linux for "Real Work" including a huge number of scientists, that's because linux is well suited to certain tasks, just like windows has software that makes it suited to other tasks.

    But to try and claim that you can't do real work on a linux desktop is just silly, and parochial. Just because your work doesn't generally get done on linux (which doesn't mean it can't, I don't know since I don't know your workflow) doesn't mean others can't either.
  • -1 Hide
    antilycus , June 25, 2014 10:00 AM
    I gave WIn8 a try on my new laptop. I spent 3 hours updating to WIn 8.1 (typical time). I eventually was so out of my element on Win8 I went back to win7. Metro sucked, programs sucked. now I only use Windows for programs that require it, otherwise it's all linux. I've been in computers since dos 4.0 and never felt more out of place than with Windows 8. BeOS and OS/2 Warp felt more at home than Win 8
  • 0 Hide
    jimmysmitty , June 25, 2014 10:51 AM
    Quote:
    I believe Microsoft will take different direction with Windows 9 meaning it will be like Office 365, cloud based subscription <Mod Edit>.

    I have feeling that MS is about to alienate their user base even further, correct me if i am wrong. People are not afraid of change but they don't want to go to something which sucks in every sense and Windows 8.x sucks. I just hope Microsoft doesn't remove option to have local account but force people to use outlook account in order to install and use Windows 8.1 Update 2/3 otherwise you cannot. They already pulled first step bullshit in that direction with Windows 8.1 Update 1. When you do fresh install there is no way to install unless you use outlook account as your windows account unless type in some fake email and try it until setup gives up and gives you that option for local account. Not so obvious to average Joe yet forcing people to use cloud <Mod Edit>.

    With One Drive in Windows 8.1 Update 1, you cannot use it unless you completely switch your local windows account to outlook account. No thanks! Not gonna use your One Drive...i have 8TB NAS which is always there for my image and other backups.

    Bullshit Step 2. Microsoft is forcing people to update Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update 1 otherwise they won't be getting support for Windows 8.1. Speaking of being arrogant...Hey Microsoft people dislike shit you did with Windows 8.1 Update 1, they dislike shit you did even with Windows 8.1 let alone Windows 8.0 which are not upgrading at all...probably switched to Windows 7 or they are not using the device they bought. It is funny that Windows 8.x market share is around 12% which is total flop after couple year and half of that is still on Windows 8.0.

    Moral of this story is for people to be aware of what MS is planning to do because as i said i have great feeling they are going to pull more <Mod Edit> on us like Windows 8.x wasn't enough.


    Every time Microsoft released a major update they cut the previous versions off. When SP3 was released, SP2 or earlier versions of XP lost support.

    As for 8.1, people actually liked 8.1. It added more functionality for desktops and if they ad the classic start menu back in I think people will overall be happier with it as 8 is a more secure, stable and faster OS than 7 ever was.

    Of course people are blinded by the hate for Metro too much to see that Windows 8 as an OS is actually better than 7. Reminds me of the die hard Windows 98SE/2K fanboys who hated XP just as much.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , June 25, 2014 10:51 AM
    Total non-story, everyone has been able to have a Start menu with ClassicShell since day 1 - next story please
  • -1 Hide
    CaedenV , June 25, 2014 10:55 AM
    @red77star
    You are wrong.

    First off, Balmer did toy around with the idea of a subscription based version of Windows, but the idea was shot down because nobody wants to be the person who says 'you can no longer use your computer until you pay up" when people are down on their luck. It is one thing to be locked out of business software like Office which would be a bad day, and quite another issue to be locked out of your computer entirely... nobody want's that kind of bad PR.

    I think what we are going to start seeing is that as the Windows Store becomes more profitable it will become more and more important to keep everyone on the same version of Windows, using the same APIs, and keeping the price down to entice a larger and larger audience. I would not be surprised if we start to see cheaper versions of Windows Home in the near future where you either buy into the system once per machine and get free upgrades, or if major revisions will simply drop in price ($40 is really not a bad price for an OS). I imagine that Pro and Enterprise users will still have to pay for revisions as their upgrade cycle is quite different.

    As for the cloud... it is time to grow up. Windows 8 and 8.1 work just fine without a Microsoft account, though having an MS account does give you access to the Store and the ability to more easily sync various services and settings across all of your Winodws devices (including Windows Phone, and soon Xbox). If you want Winodws 8.1 and don't want a MS account then you can still go out and purchase a Windows 8.1 disc and use it that way rather than making an MS account and getting it for free in the store.
    If you do tie an MS account to your log-in, many of the cloud services can go unused, or be turned off entirely. If you have sensitive documents then you can put them in a folder that is not going to sync with OneDrive. If you do not want things like your background, or user settings, or start menu layout, or apps, or wifi passwords to sync across machines, then you can turn all of that off. In short, you can configure these services any way that you want so that you can take advantage of the features and services that you want, while turning off ones that you believe to be more of a security risk.

    A little bit of education on the topic may add a whole lot of convenience to your life while offering very little in the way of added risk.
  • 7 Hide
    wysir , June 25, 2014 11:06 AM
    Please quit posting speculations on the Windows 8 Start button and simply let me know if it actually happens.
  • -1 Hide
    CaedenV , June 25, 2014 11:08 AM
    Quote:
    I found a use for both versions of the start menu and hope Microsoft allows both to be available at the same time. Either have the capability to show 2 start buttons or a single split button to open either version. Bring back the concept of widgets so we may place a calendar or weather widget on the desktop and they can be Windows 9 apps for security. This should bring back most of Windows 7 functionality sans Aero interface.

    The start menu SHOULD (though not necessarily will) come with floating Metro apps, many of which would/could act like the gadgets of Windows Vista/7. Some of the other neat things they are looking into is the ability to activate a tile without launching a program and having access to a lot more features and opitons much like the old gadgets, but built right into the start screen/menu.

    As for the menu itself, the early build shown off at the Build conference looks much like the current start screen, while cutting out a lot of the dead space so that you have something pop up out of the corner, but may be wide enough to fill the entire screen.
    Personally I would like to see it look more like a combination between Windows Phone and Windows 7. Like Winodws 7, have a start menu with a predefined size that is split between the application list on the left, and common settings and links on the right. For the list on the left make the default view look more like Windows Phone where you have your tile layout, and can swipe from the right to get to your total program list. This would further unify Windows UI development, while giving power users the quick and easy access to common features that they are accustomed to.
  • 1 Hide
    canadianvice , June 25, 2014 11:40 AM
    I hate to say it, I'm usually a defender of Win8, but with over 7GB of updates, MS very clearly did not release a polished, workable product. I guess it's to the usual refrain of alternating versions; win8 is good mind you, but I think that Win9 will be a lot better, since they'll have fixed the quirks of 8 (an experimental stage from the looks of it).
  • 2 Hide
    bison88 , June 25, 2014 12:00 PM
    Why couldn't they just call it Windows 8, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, etc if they were going to copy the Linux/OSX naming conventions. It's just getting stupid silly with this Update 1, 2, 3 nonsense.
  • -3 Hide
    RedJaron , June 25, 2014 12:42 PM
    Why does the Start menu need to come back? I don't understand what's so hard about hitting the Windows key and simply typing what you're looking for ( assuming you don't already have it pinned to the start screen. ) Do people really prefer scrolling through lists of folders for program shortcuts?
  • -1 Hide
    CaedenV , June 25, 2014 12:56 PM
    Quote:
    Why does the Start menu need to come back? I don't understand what's so hard about hitting the Windows key and simply typing what you're looking for ( assuming you don't already have it pinned to the start screen. Do people really prefer scrolling through lists of folders for program shortcuts?

    People just need something to complain about. It is right up there with all of the whining of Windows Vista when MS changed a bit of artwork and had users decide if they liked Windows 7 or the rebranded Vista better and just because the name was changed people didn't have a major preference of one over the other. If MS ever does release a metro style Start Menu then I will be all for using it, but I really don't get what all of the uproar is over the current Start Screen. If anything it is a minor annoyance to deal with on rare occasion while you get to enjoy all of the other additions and features.
  • 0 Hide
    dimar , June 25, 2014 1:43 PM
    Classic Shell works just fine. If MS is going to release a new Start Menu based on metro UI, these people are wasting their time. How much time and resources can Microsoft afford to waste?
  • 1 Hide
    warezme , June 25, 2014 2:53 PM
    Just more MS BS. Stringing people along trying to fool the dumb people that an update equates to they restored the start button back, maybe get a few extra sales out of it. At this stage, nobody cares anymore. Big businesses aren't falling for it and they aren't going to switch to 8 or 9 until the start screen comes back. It's as simple as that.
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