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Start Menu will be bundled into upcoming Windows build, possible Windows 8.2

Back when Windows 8.1 was the stuff of rumors, we wrote that Microsoft might be looking to implement a Modern UI (aka Metro) styled Start Menu similar to Windows 7's, but with a flatter look.  Some readers pointed out that depending on how you read the rumor pieces, Microsoft was instead talking about repurposing the start button for an entirely different functionality -- just dumping the users in the Modern UI mode whenever they pressed the button on the Desktop.
 
I wrote at the time:

I was hopeful based on the language of both reports that it will instead be a Live Tiles pop-up menu (which is possible given that the Mary Jo Foley report which you site -- and which I link to in the article -- is relatively older). But maybe not.

Hopefully Microsoft is listening though and indeed goes that route.

People want a Start Menu ON the Desktop, not to be yanked out of the Desktop when they click a button.

Indeed, the readers were right -- the Start Button didn't bring up a Metrofied menu, instead it dumped you in the full blown Modern UI, disrupting your Desktop Mode experience.  The reaction to the new Start Button we heard ranged from indifference to annoyance.  Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) hadn't gotten it.  Users didn't want a token button that dumped you into the Modern UI.  They wanted an actual menu to use in Desktop Mode.

new Start Button

Not everyone agreed that a Metrofied Start Menu on the Desktop (which would unify the look, but add more Metro which you might hate) was a good thing (I personally felt it did).  But virtually no one wanted the Start Button Microsoft gave us with Windows 8.1.  It just wasn't the Start Button we were looking for.

That was the baffling thing about the Steve Ballmer era at Microsoft.  At times the company appeared friendly and open to feedback, at other times it seemed to refuse to listen, or worse yet misheard everyone putting forth solutions that pleased virtually no one.

But the good news is that there's a new man at the helm of Microsoft (Satya Nadella) and lo and behold part of his plan to fix Windows 8 is to actually listen and bring back an actual menu that pops up in Desktop mode, when you click the Windows button.

The feature was previewed by Terry Myerson and Microsoft's BUILD conference.

Windows 8.2 Start Menu
[Image Source: Redmond Pie]

To me this is a good thing as the menu works as it always has in Windows and offers more utility than a mere mode-switcher.  And while it won't please everyone, the change has drawn cautious praise.  Redmond Pie's Ben Reid writes:

As you can see from the accompanying screenshot, it’s obvious that elements of Windows 7 and Windows 8 have been combined to create something of a middle-ground. The functionality and general construction of the UI points the desktop that Microsoft has been pushing since the nineties, but in retaining a place for the tiles as well, users aren’t completely left behind from changes being made in line with the touch-based future of digital hardware.

The only thing unknown at this point is when the Metrofied Start Menu will roll out.  Rumor has it that it may be released with the upcoming Windows 8.2 release, which is expected to be free and also add better mouse and keyboard support for traditional desktop and laptop users.

Source: Redmond Pie





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