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Start menu "coming back to Windows"

Windows 8.1

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 10 Dec 2013 at 10:33

The forthcoming "Threshold" update to Windows may herald the return of the Start menu, according to reports.

Threshold is the codename for the next round of updates to the Windows OS, expected to arrive in Spring 2015 - and it's already being dubbed Windows 8.2, although that's by commentators rather than Microsoft.

According to Windows-watcher Paul Thurrott, Microsoft plans to make the Start menu available as an option in the next version of Windows. The Start menu and button were controversially removed in Windows 8, and while the button returned in Windows 8.1, when clicked it now merely returns the user to the Modern interface.

If the Start menu is resurrected, it may be available only in desktop versions of the OS. Windows expert Mary Jo Foley reports that while continuing to push towards the "One Windows" vision, Microsoft will offer three distinct versions of the OS to suit different roles.

First, there will be a desktop-focused version, for those still using a traditional computer with keyboard and mouse. Second, there will be a Modern-style OS, focusing on apps for tablets, which may be offered for ARM as well as the Intel architecture.

Third, there will be a Windows Phone version, which will essentially merge Windows RT and Phone to work across ARM handsets and tablets.

In addition to those, she said, there will be an enterprise version, with the usual business features, but this may only be available via volume licensing.

Thurrott also cited sources saying that Modern apps will be able to run inside windows on the desktop, letting them act more like standard applications and making it easier to multitask.

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User comments

In my world windows 7 killed off the start menu and forced everyone to use the rubbish upside down Vista menu. Of course the start menu hasn't been default since ME but at least XP and Vista made it an option. I expect if it is brought back it will be the Vista menu; I’ll take Metro over that any day.

By PhilGQ on 10 Dec 2013

@PhilGQ

Don't really see the issue to be honest. Granted the default menu is too small, but it's easy to change it so it uses the full height of the screen. Other than that, "All Programs" works pretty much the same as "Programs" on the classic menu, and the search box is very useful.

I clung to Classic for a while, but with the improvements that Windows 7 put there, the newer Start Menu is fine IMO. Either way though, bringing it back in a supported manner would be a very sensible move for MS.

By Trippynet on 10 Dec 2013

@Trippynet

For me it is nothing to do with the menu size, it is the unintuitive nature of it, e.g. having programs at the top and directories at the bottom. Replacing the first menu with sub-menus, rather than the opening a separate list. It is so hard to find anything that they included a search function.

By PhilGQ on 10 Dec 2013

Start Menu Return

You only have to wait until Spring 2015!

This is the speed of Microsoft. 2 years to wait for what should be a simple ask. By that stage I hope not to be using Windows Anymore.

Please Mozilla/Google develop/adapt your OS for Desktop PC use for PCs, for all our sakes

By Manuel on 10 Dec 2013

@Manuel

I'm surprised they're not releasing it sooner as well.

My guess is that they are hoping to repeat what happened with W7 vs Vista to encourage upgrades in 2015.

Especially since if you use e.g. Classic Shell W8 isn't a bad OS.

By tech3475 on 10 Dec 2013

No Win 8

I recently upgraded from Vista to Win 7 on my desktop. My laptop is already Win 7. I cannnot see me upgrading to Win 8 anytime soon and that includes 2015 when they do a major update of Win 8. There has just been too much messing about with Win 8 by MS causing me to lose faith in it and them.

By BidAuto on 11 Dec 2013

No Win 8

I recently upgraded from Vista to Win 7 on my desktop. My laptop is already Win 7. I cannnot see me upgrading to Win 8 anytime soon and that includes 2015 when they do a major update of Win 8. There has just been too much messing about with Win 8 by MS causing me to lose faith in it and them.

By BidAuto on 11 Dec 2013

@Manuel2

"Windows Anymore"

Wow I've never heard of that version! :)

Mind you, I can see the (merth) potential in the 'Any' branding;

Windows Anyhow
Windows AnyWhere
Windows Anybody?
Windows AnythingGoes
Windows AnyChangeMate?
Windows AnyWayUp
Windows AnythingButApple

At that's just for starters! :))

By rjp2000 on 11 Dec 2013

Nicole Kobie is at least the second PCPRO reporter to state the new start button simple returns the user to the modern interface. This is true if you left click but try right clicking the start button! Hey presto - most of the old start menu is immediately available.

By BrianDuggan26 on 12 Dec 2013

Nicole Kobie is at least the second PCPRO reporter to state the new start button simple returns the user to the modern interface. This is true if you left click but try right clicking the start button! Hey presto - most of the old start menu is immediately available.

By BrianDuggan26 on 12 Dec 2013

Who cares?

Certainly not Microsoft - they forgot about the user years ago. Classic Shell gives me a Start menu that I can use, unlike the POS that MS supplied with the last few iterations of their OS. A scrolling menu full of folders (a la Win7) that you have to click to expand and scroll again is simply retarded. That's not a menu, that's a child's toy box.

Classic Shell lets me use the 'windows classic' style (think Win98) in conjunction with Windows button shortcuts. This opens any of 20 or so apps using 'Win then A-Z' (e.g. Win.P for Photoshop) or I can easily browse for the rest in an attractive, self-contained *MENU*. It doesn't get more optimal than that.

In fact you can go one further and hang a submenu off of 'Win.Z' and add another 26 apps accessible via another letter (e.g. Win.Z.P for PagePlus).

BTW, Classic Shell also fixes the Explorer 'jumps to the bottom' bug, something else MS claim is intentional and which will never be fixed.

If Classic Shell could just find a way to replace all the moronic ribbon menus my life would once again be complete ;-)).

By scoobie on 12 Dec 2013

Options

If they'd hurry up and dump Ballmer and hire the Ford Guy Microsoft will get the wind back in it's sails again.

The Whole start situation has been typical of Ballmer's Bull headed attitude.

Layering Windows 8 with Options, rather than enforcing an Interface that they rushed so much they even failed to get Trade Mark for the name Metro.

Power Users and Admins like options, we like to choose how it works and what suits us, or the business model we support.

Forcing Metro has been like removing the Steering wheel of the Car and replacing it with Cursor keys, the expecting it to perform like a Rally Car.

By Gindylow on 12 Dec 2013

Solution

http://www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php

Is my answer to the problem, much greater control for free.

By Rye24 on 12 Dec 2013

Solution

http://www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php

Is my answer to the problem, much greater control for free.

By Rye24 on 12 Dec 2013

What's The Problem

Since the tweaks made to the Modern interface in 8.1 ,allowing you to set all apps with small icons as the start screen default, I find this is easier to use than the start menu in previous versions of windows. Also now that now that there is the option to set search anywhere as the default I can use my preferred method of launching applications, i.e. hit the WinKey, type a few letters, hit return in a fraction of the time needed via a start menu. You can also now set 8.1 to boot straight to the desktop and just use the Start Page as on big menu.

By RoyKirby on 12 Dec 2013

What's The Problem

Since the tweaks made to the Modern interface in 8.1 ,allowing you to set all apps with small icons as the start screen default, I find this is easier to use than the start menu in previous versions of windows. Also now that now that there is the option to set search anywhere as the default I can use my preferred method of launching applications, i.e. hit the WinKey, type a few letters, hit return in a fraction of the time needed via a start menu. You can also now set 8.1 to boot straight to the desktop and just use the Start Page as on big menu.

By RoyKirby on 12 Dec 2013

Please I hope not!

An option yes, fine, but definitely not mandatory for desktop windows, removal of the start menu was the primary reason I upgraded to Windows 8. I really don't understand why people moan about the start screen, may it's because I use a mouse not touch pad or some similar reason? With the start screen on my 27" display it's a single click, quick scroll of my mouse wheel, one more click and I can launch any of my 100+ applications within seconds, the Windows 7 start menu by comparison was limited by the height of the screen, the remaining applications were tucked away under numerous folders often full of junk that required numerous clicks to find, not exactly productive! If anything it was the Windows 8 search functionality that caused pain, but with 8.1 at least you can search while still having the document in view. The Windows 8/8.1 all programs however is still a massive jumble, they should at least squash that down to clickable sub folders.

By Samo42 on 12 Dec 2013

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