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Beloved icon of Windows history appears to be in the rear view for good

For those upset about the lack of a start button in Windows 8, prepare yourself for another disappointment -- "Windows Blue", an upcoming short-cycle successor to Windows 8, is not expected to bring the feature back.

The source of this supposed leak is CNBeta, a site with close insider ties at Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), which gained respect by accurately leaking a number of early Windows 8 details.

Other info from the site includes suggests that Microsoft will further flatten the UI on the desktop (think the Metro/Windows 8 UI style), the taskbar/desktop will get tweaks, the price will be low (or free), and the new kernel version number will be v6.3 (corroborated by other independent reports).  The final remnants of the Aero UI, which was a staple of Windows Vista and Windows 7 is also being bid adieu, like the Start button before it.

Windows 7 Start Button
The start button went the way of the Dodo with Windows 8. [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

Neowin reports that a summer launch of Windows Blue is expected.  And its contacts close to Microsoft hint that the name will be some sort of riff on Windows 8, not Windows 9, as some suspected.

(For the record you can get a Start Menu-like menu by moving your mouse to the lower left corner of the screen and right-clicking.  Voilà, magic!)

Sources: CNBeta, NeoWin

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RE: Free market
By acer905 on 12/28/2012 12:34:03 PM , Rating: -1
The UI is essentially the same as it's been since Win95

Thats the point. Pre-Win95 the UI was entirely different, and it worked well. Then they changed it, and people were angry.

As for the Ribbon UI, whether or not the transition to it makes sens for people, there have been studies that show it is easier for newcomers to learn it. Instead of buring everything behind walls of text in menus, it presents the information visually as icons. Add the refinements that Office 2010 created and most people I know stopped complaining.

RE: Free market
By Griffinhart on 12/28/2012 1:35:38 PM , Rating: 5
Thats the point. Pre-Win95 the UI was entirely different, and it worked well. Then they changed it, and people were angry.

This isn't actually true. While Windows 3.1 was entirely different, Win95 was clearly an improvement and was enthusiastically embraced by both consumers and businesses. I know in the company I was working at during its release it brought massive advanages for us.

This was also a time when Norton Desktop for Windows was getting more and more popular. For those not familiar, it modified Win 3.1 to give it a windows 95 style desktop minus a task bar.

RE: Free market
By Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer on 12/28/2012 2:50:52 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, it's been a while, but I seem to remember Windows 95 being an improvement over 3.1, myself.

RE: Free market
By Labotomizer on 12/29/2012 9:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
It's easy to let 18 years cloud your memories because it's hard to imagine thinking 3.1 was better than 9x. But there were numerous people who swore they would never leave DOS. Those people didn't like 3.1 either. Eventually they adapted.

People hated Windows XP at launch more than the backlash for Windows 8, and there were more problems with XP than you could count. Security, stability were both trash. Again, 10+ years does funny things to people's memories. Everyone I knew swore they would stay with 98 if they played games, 2000 if they were business related. Or 98. But we see how that worked out.

I'm not saying I agree with MS, but I also don't think the lack of a start button is a big deal. Again, 7 year old daughter has had 0 issues finding her way around Windows 8, without my help. That speaks volumes. I know it's hard to break old habits, but there are some advantages. Especially as we move forward with more devices. I do like that I change my background and lock screen at work, it's updated at home. I sync photos from phone and it instantly shows up on 3 Win 8 devices I have. All traditional computers and a laptop. And the laptop supports multi-touch on the trackpad, so it works great with Win 8.

RE: Free market
By piroroadkill on 12/30/2012 6:22:08 AM , Rating: 3
One thing that is useful to note about the Windows 3.11 transition to Windows 95, is that the original 95 release actually would ASK YOU what UI you wanted, and if you chose 3.11 style, it would start progman.exe in place of explorer.exe.

Even if you wanted Windows 95 style, you could still start progman and go back to using literally the same old UI you had been used to.

I think Program Manager was included even in XP, but removed at some point during a service pack update, maybe it was SP2.

Point is, Microsoft used to be about choice. Now they've decided choice is the enemy of a slick walled garden, and they'd be right. But it represents a new and very recent shift in ideology, and is in no way comparable to old UI tweaks of the past.

RE: Free market
By BifurcatedBoat on 1/3/2013 3:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I never had a problem with upgrading an OS until now. Vista annoyed me greatly when I first installed it until I disabled UAC, but even in that case, it was worth it to get access to more than 3.5GB of RAM.

They made meaningful improvements with each release. Now, they take a step backward for the sake of tablets and phones. You can't tell me it's not a step backward. There is no way, in a world that didn't have tablets and smartphones, that we would have ended up with this kind of interface for desktop PC use.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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