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Windows 10 Will Ditch Live Tiles (Report)

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Windows 10 may be seeing a change to the start menu. Windows Latest reported yesterday that Microsoft plans to replace Live Tiles in the Start menu with a more traditional grid of application icons at some point in 2020 or 2021.

Live Tiles were developed to offer more at-a-glance information than the icon grids found on iOS and Android smartphones. That way people could view important details, like the weather forecast or a meeting time, right from the Start screen.

Live Tiles were a core part of the Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 user interfaces. Even though Microsoft switched to a more traditional UI for Windows 10, the tiles remained in the Start menu, and they've stayed pretty consistent ever since.

But that could be about to change. Windows Latest said that "people familiar with the development told us that Microsoft is planning to replace live tiles with icons in a future update after Windows 10’s 20H2 release." (Which arrives later this year.)

Microsoft already removed Live Tiles from the Windows 10X operating system it developer for foldable devices and replaced them with standard icons. That didn't necessarily mean it planned to remove them from Windows 10 proper, though.

Or at least it didn't until Microsoft brought those icons to Windows 10 preview builds. The icons obviously clash with the rest of the current Start menu, so it makes sense that the tiles could be removed.

  • bigdragon
    The only live tile that I find useful is the weather info one. I normally set that one to the largest size possible. I never found a use for any of the other live tiles. I normally turn live tiles off because most of them are distracting or not useful.

    I do like the tiles idea -- not live tiles, just the different sized tiles. Microsoft never really finished it though. They should have hired an artist to create a library of icons and tiles for apps rather than just slapping the normal exe icon in a box. Microsoft could have learned something from the Linux community's shell theme developers and artists who create icons to go with their UI themes.
    Reply
  • justin.m.beauvais
    I always thought the Live Tiles made sense for a few applications. I loved my Windows phone and Live Tiles were a big part of that. However, using Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, I never really used the Live Tiles as more than a shortcut. It wasn't that I didn't like them, but with the infinite power of a full PC with the internet at my disposal and all the information of the world at my fingertips, Live Tiles were inadequate. Sure I could open my start menu and see the weather at the moment, but I rarely look at the weather for the moment. It was only an additional click to get to a website that not only told me the current weather, but gave me radar, an idea of what the weather for the day was going to be, and a forecast for the next few days. The only other moderately useful Tile was the mail one, and really I just open my mail because I want to see everything.

    I'm not going to miss the tiles, they took up a lot of space, they were more difficult to organize than just some icons, and just generally felt clunky. They were never really utilized to their potential. I kind of hope we get something better.
    Reply
  • pjmelect
    Isn't this a bit academic? Doesn’t everybody use Open Shell (Classic Shell) instead?
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    pjmelect said:
    Isn't this a bit academic? Doesn’t everybody use Open Shell (Classic Shell) instead?
    No, we don't.
    We also don't interact with the tile menu. All of my daily applications are pinned to the taskbar.
    Anything else is a WIN+S away.
    Reply
  • Chung Leong
    justin.m.beauvais said:
    I always thought the Live Tiles made sense for a few applications. I loved my Windows phone and Live Tiles were a big part of that.

    Live Tiles make a lot of sense on a communication device where the apps often have something to tell you. Ones that don't--say Word or Excel--you can shrink them down to quarter-tile buttons. The scheme works since productivity apps aren't frequently used on a phone. On a PC the usage pattern is opposite.

    I hope Microsoft will bring the UI back in an Android phone. Notifications are such a bane of the Android experience. Placing these (usually less-than urgent) messages into Live Tiles would really help bring peace of mind.
    Reply
  • Darkbreeze
    pjmelect said:
    Doesn’t everybody use Open Shell (Classic Shell) instead?

    USAFRet said:
    No, we don't.

    Well, some of us do. :)

    There is absolutely ZERO about live tiles that I will miss. I might even throw a party when they are gone, just to celebrate the fact. Depends on what kind of trash they decide to stick in it's place.
    Reply
  • alceryes
    Darkbreeze said:
    Depends on what kind of trash they decide to stick in it's place.
    Some kind of trash will definitely be put in it's place.

    I'm still miffed about the extra hoops they now make you jump through just to create a local account on a new Windows 10 setup. They've made it downright annoying.
    Reply
  • Chainyanked
    pjmelect said:
    Isn't this a bit academic? Doesn’t everybody use Open Shell (Classic Shell) instead?
    I found Windows 10 Tiles clunky and clumsy … didn't like the retro look either. Wanted to stay with an easy to use solution so implemented Star Docks Start 10 solution … its configurable, works seamlessly and cost peanuts.
    Reply