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Start Menu Could Return to Windows in Spring 2014

By - Source: ZDNet | B 98 comments

That's probably wishful thinking.

Last week, there was talk that Windows would receive two key user-interface changes in an upcoming update. One of these is the ability to "float" Modern UI/Start Screen apps on the desktop, and the other is supposedly the return of the classic Start Menu.

According to sources close to the Windows team, the Start Menu goes by the codename "mini-Start" because it won't fill the entire screen like the tile-based Start Screen. There's also talk that unlike the new Start Button introduced in the Windows 8.1 update, this Start Menu will only reside on the Desktop. A link will likely take the user to the full Start Screen, as seen with third-party apps like Start8.

So what will this Start Menu look like? How will it work? The name seems to imply that the Start button will pull up a miniature version of the Start Screen, which will have Modern UI app tiles and tiles for desktop applications. This may be where the "floating" aspect comes in. Click on the miniature Facebook tile and launch a "floating" app on the desktop.

That said, then why would Microsoft need the Start Screen if the Start button launches a miniature Modern UI menu? Remember, this is an operating system built for different form factors; the Start Screen is better equipped to handle touch on tablets and touch-based hybrids. Of course, this is all mere rumor and speculation anyway, so take it with a grain of salt.

Microsoft may be adding the Start Menu back to Windows because it wants customers to upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Microsoft doesn't want these specific customers to shy away because it looks too unfamiliar. The Start Menu made its debut in Windows 95, meaning customers have grown accustomed to launching the Start Menu to access their programs and system tools for eighteen years.

So when will this new Start Menu make an appearance? That may happen during the Update 1 wave reportedly coming in Spring 2014, as Microsoft may be wanting to address the issue as soon as possible. Then again, the company may hold off on adding this feature until the larger "Threshold" wave, which is expected to bring the operating system up to version 8.2.

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  • 44 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 15, 2013 6:41 AM
    tech-backtrack of the year. :lol: 
    i wish microsoft made metro optional and regular desktops. at least give users to choose instead of forcing metro on them.
  • 35 Hide
    JD88 , December 15, 2013 1:21 PM
    Microsoft just runs around in circles. They need new leadership and they need it badly.

    No one here is arguing for a return to XP in the literal sense, they simply think Windows 8 is a bloated monstrosity. Linux supports multi-core CPUs and SSDs just fine yet requires far fewer resources and storage space than Win 8.

    Microsoft's problem isn't user interface, it's business model. As free alternatives gain ground in terms of user base and functionality, the paid OS model is going to be defunct and Microsoft doesn't have anything else profitable to fall back on. They need fundamental change and they need it fast.

    And the biggest problem with 8 was never really the start menu, it's the lack of flexibility that came along with it. No one wants to be told that they have to use a tablet interface and full screen apps on a 27" non-touch monitor. Microsoft's arrogance for thinking they can dictate what is best for everyone was a huge blunder.
  • 28 Hide
    doomtomb , December 15, 2013 9:53 AM
    I got a solution guys!!! Install Windows 7!!!!
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    deadmeow , December 15, 2013 6:05 AM
    How about the bring back the unbloated OS? Notice how fast 95/98/XP are, and then you try out Vista or Win7, even on a multicore machine and it lags behind, not nearly as snappy.

    Just spend time to give us a quick and unbloated operating system, with a classic interface. Even XP loaded with updates and patches is so much responsive than the newer versions of windoze.

    Let have a smarter, quicker, classic OS, not a bloated, dumbed down, limited OS.
  • 10 Hide
    b23h , December 15, 2013 6:22 AM
    Yes, stripping out the Start Menu was a blunder. I am uninterested in Sinofsky styled rationalizations about how the start menu was used or how some people filled their desktop full of shortcuts.

    Nor do I want to engage those Windows 8 people who claim that anyone who is interested in a old style Start Menu is stupid and do not know how to use their PC. I am running Windows 8.1 and am uninterested in other people's opinion on how I prefer to organize my PC.
  • 44 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 15, 2013 6:41 AM
    tech-backtrack of the year. :lol: 
    i wish microsoft made metro optional and regular desktops. at least give users to choose instead of forcing metro on them.
  • 21 Hide
    goodguy713 , December 15, 2013 7:37 AM
    My stance on this is this. I admire innovation however we should have the freedom of choice. Its not the lord of the rings here one ring to rule them all. I get the concept of the metro ui and the desire to do away with desk top short cuts plus the user friendly tablet and touch interface. to make a cleaner more organized look but some people have their own sense of organization. They do things in their own way and some people just think differently.
  • 11 Hide
    albert 89 , December 15, 2013 7:48 AM
    Fortunately win8.1 uses more power than win7 ! Which makes win7 like XP but 10X better, not to mention a hassle free start button.
    Besides M$ are too stupid to get people to adopt win8 because of one reason & one reason only. Give up ? Its that win8 is toooooooo expensive. M$ should revert back to $29.99 for a full stand alone OS not a watered down upgrade, before I reconsider.
    For the idiots who like win8 it appears that you are to few for anyone to care. And to think M$ made windows more compatible with Intel is a never ending list of disasters this company has brought on the public !!!
  • 18 Hide
    shadownet666 , December 15, 2013 7:53 AM
    Our entire IT department with the exception of one of them is running windows 7, Linux or OS X because of windows 8's start screen.

    The switch to an optional metro interface and gadets would actually make it an option for us to migrate workstations to windows 8 due to no training needed for our users. We have better things to do than respond to trouble tickets of people that don't know how to use the interface because it is different from what they're used to.

    This is a huge win for Microsoft if they pull it off and if they had this from the beginning then windows 8 would've been a huge success.
  • 5 Hide
    deadmeow , December 15, 2013 8:28 AM
    I have no hardware bottleneck with Win7, with a hexacore CPU and GTX 260. H264 encoding uses 100% of all 6 cores on XP, only 92-93% on Win7. Any OS will run fairly fast on modern hardware, but bloated operating systems lose their snap, that remains in XP. XP is also good for using more than 4 gigs or ram as is Vista, or Win7, or any other 64 bit OS.

    I use Win7/XP/Linux Mint, but XP is still my favorite. I understand fan bois like to re-buy their old software if it is packaged in a new shiny box with a new year added to it. Enjoying microsoft office 2014? Just wait you can spend another 200 dollars on microsoft office 2015 in a few months, with new features such as increased loading time, and hard drive bloat.
  • 19 Hide
    brandonjclark , December 15, 2013 8:29 AM
    If you like your Start menu, you can keep your Start menu. Period.
  • 12 Hide
    SuckRaven , December 15, 2013 8:54 AM
    Metro is so.......retro. Next interface: Retro! Geez.......what a paradox.
  • 21 Hide
    Jordan Nwokolo , December 15, 2013 9:00 AM
    Honestly..i don't give a sh*t if they bring back that start menu again or not..M$ time is over..They' ve Lost their credibility since they force us(profesional user,gamers n enterprise) to use that ugly cripple Tablet OS on our powerful Desktop..Adios M$
  • 12 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , December 15, 2013 9:07 AM
    bring back aero glass too windows flat taskbar and window frames are an eye sore to look at it's like I'm looking at windows 3.11 all over again.
  • 0 Hide
    jasonpwns , December 15, 2013 9:18 AM
    Nothing bloated about Windows 7. I can keep my computer running for days and it seems to run as if it was just booted in most cases. Everything opens in a snap. I loved XP when I first used it. I was reluctant to switch at first to 7, but I never looked back. Now when I try to use XP I cringe. I have tried Windows 8. It is even snappier than 7. Windows 8 is far superior in handling hardware and other things compared to 7. It only gets called a bad OS due to its GUI. Which is sad. I don't consider it a bad OS, but I'm not ready to change.
  • 16 Hide
    SoiledBottom , December 15, 2013 9:21 AM
    Start Menu = Coca Cola Classic

    Metro = New Coke

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