Start Menu Could Return to Windows in Spring 2014

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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  • de5_Roy
    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.
  • JD88
    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.
  • doomtomb
    I got a solution guys!!! Install Windows 7!!!!
  • Other Comments
  • Anonymous
    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.
  • b23h
    Please deadmeow tell me more stories!! I want to hear about running Win95/98 on a modern machine. Sing praises of XP!! Sing sing sing a laud to Linux, that is what's next on your calendar, no?
  • b23h
    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.