Is This What The Windows Start Menu Will Look Like?

Image: MDL ForumsImage: MDL ForumsWe’ve seen in quite a number of reports that Microsoft is eager to put Windows 8 behind it and move forward with Windows 9. The release of Windows 8.1 and Update 1 shows that the company is trying to make amends, especially for the desktop user who may or may not have a touch screen. Because of this, the public beta of Windows 9 is expected to make an appearance in 4Q 2014 followed by a full release in Q2/Q3 2015.

Over the weekend, Windows Build 6.4.9788 hit the internet, showing that Microsoft will indeed return the Start Menu back to where it belongs. As previously reported, the Menu will contain both your standard Windows 7-style links and Modern UI apps in one list on the left, and a list of live tiles on the right. The main taskbar aligned at the bottom appears to be unchanged.

Neowin points out that this particular screen reads Windows 8.1 Pro, not Windows 9. Neowin's sources allege that the screenshot is legitimate, and that Microsoft is still using the Windows 8.1 branding for now (this isn’t unusual). If it weren’t for the leaked build, we would have assumed that the screen came from Windows 8.1 Update 2, which is expected next month.

Keep in mind that because the leaked platform is an early build of the next-generation Windows operating system, features will naturally change before the platform officially goes public. Mashable reports that the new Start Menu showed in the leaked 9788 OS looks similar to what was demonstrated during BUILD 2014 back in May. However, the tiles are different, leading to the assumption that this release is indeed an early version of Windows 9.

Another screenshot pulled from Build 9788 shows a Modern UI PC Settings window lingering on the desktop screen. This backs up previous reports that users can open Modern UI apps either on the Start Screen or within the desktop.

As previously reported, Windows 9 will cater to the desktop user as well as those with touch panels. If Windows determines that the user has a non-touch screen and a keyboard and mouse attached, then it will automatically boot up the desktop. If the platform detects a touch screen and no attached peripherals, then it will boot into the Start Screen.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • CooLWoLF
    Those tiles are so ugly and forced. Give me a Windows 7 look and feel with Windows 8.1 performance.

    Wait. That's to much to ask....
  • Shneiky
    Anonymous said:
    No real horse in this race, I use 7 and love it, no plans on going to 8. What I found a little interesting was the posts with anything remotely negative to say about 8 all seemed to be downvoted - and anything with something positive were voted up. Interesting.

    I definitely agree. People sit on their laptops and tablets and down vote anything anybody says about the 8.1. But those people forget that there are people like me who make our bread with computers. I am a 3D/Compositor generalist and even the Z420s from HP that we got we have forcibly moved to Windows 7 because we all could not work on that. I want my workstation to feel like a computer. Multitasking or multiple displays are horrible on Win8. I don't need a toy. Keep your Metro for tablets where it was intended for. Don't push it on my workstation. And let the down voting begin.
  • dextermat
    ugly, but better than none.

    But monthly fee for os is completely stupid.(windows 9)
    What happens if you can't pay, you won't be able to go into your computer until you pay.
    Sounds like ramsonware to me
  • Other Comments
  • jossrik
    Looks funny to me. Prolly cause I'm not used to the tiles thing, I'm still on a tracfone.
  • CooLWoLF
    Those tiles are so ugly and forced. Give me a Windows 7 look and feel with Windows 8.1 performance.

    Wait. That's to much to ask....
  • AsTheDeath
    So it has a list of apps on the left-hand side, an "All Apps" option and a search bar, and some metro tiles on the right-hand side.

    Isn't the only difference between this and the start screen as it is now that the start menu is not full screen? I have all the apps I use regularly pinned on the left-hand side of my start screen, with the metro tiles pinned to the right.

    So if the only change is less usable UI space, I hope there will be an option to keep the start screen instead of a start menu.