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Microsoft's reenvisioning of the classic Desktop Mode Start Menu may be taking longer than expected

Top Windows blogger Mary Jo Foley wrote a post last week seeking to clarify exactly when Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) was planning on releasing its revived, reimagined version of the Windows Desktop Start Menu.
 
While slightly overhauled to feature a flatter, more graphical rich Modern UI style, the new Start Menu will be available in Desktop Mode and is expected to function much like the old Start Menu you knew and loved from Windows XP/Vista/7.
 
The bad news, according to Ms. Foley, is that the new Start Menu likely won't be finished until the launch of Windows 9 in April 2015.  We already know that Windows 9 is expected to be a pivotal release, unifying the APIs and app marketplaces of Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone, and Xbox.
 
According to Ms. Foley's sources -- sources that have a "good track records on Windows information" -- Microsoft had initially hoped to offer the Start Menu revival with its Windows 8.1 Update 2, which is expected to launch later this year.  However, it wasn't satisfied with the results, so it decided to push that item on towards Windows "Threshold" -- a codename that is believed to stand for the next major version of Windows, Windows 9.

Windows 8 Start Menu
[Image Source: Redmond Pie]

The ability to run Modern UI (Metro) apps in a windows form in Desktop Mode has also reportedly been punted until Windows 9.
 
So what's Windows 8.1 Update 2 going to include, since the two big-ticket items (Start Menu, windowed Metro apps) are gone?  Ms. Foley says she's not sure, writing:
 
So now what's going to be in Windows 8.1 Update 2? Will there be any user-interface changes or will it be more a vehicle for under-the-covers programming interface and reliability improvements? I don't know at this point.
 
If true, this is rather disappointing news for many Windows fans, but it is not altogether unexpected.  At BUILD 2014 in April, Ms. Foley asked Microsoft's Windows executive vice president Terry Myerson why the Start Menu wasn't included in Windows 8.1 Update 1.  He explained at the time:
 
The reason we (showed) that work is we thought it was important to share with developers. When do I deliver it? I really don't have anything to share there. We're just not ready yet.
 
If Ms. Foley's sources are to be believed, it sounds like Microsoft is still feeling the same way, hence it has opted to make an already major release (Windows 9) even more of a leap.  For now Windows 8 users will have to make due with less tightly integrated third party alternatives, such as Start8 from Stardock and the Pokki Windows 8 Start Menu, if they want a Start Menu on their Windows 8 desktop.

Source: ZDNet



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RE: No start menu good or bad?
By Manch on 6/9/2014 1:00:00 PM , Rating: 2
Restoring a disabled function is not a feature.


RE: No start menu good or bad?
By rocky12345 on 6/9/2014 1:21:02 PM , Rating: 4
Yea but MS will spin it off as a Big feature in Windows 9 & everyone will eat it up of coarse & make MS look like hero's
Which will promote Windows 9 sales so it is a win win for both the consumer & more so for MS because most of us get what we want & they get a bigger bank account so a win win.


RE: No start menu good or bad?
By xti on 6/9/2014 2:24:19 PM , Rating: 1
overdramatic.


RE: No start menu good or bad?
By Nekrik on 6/9/2014 1:40:08 PM , Rating: 3
For the group responsible it sure is a feature. It still requires the same dev/test/pm resources to introduce it into the current code, then test/verify functionality, fix bugs, etc...

Point being, it's far from a freebie for them to bring it back. If they see limited return on implementing it for Win8 when there are already third party solutions out there they may have decided to push it till Win9.


RE: No start menu good or bad?
By inighthawki on 6/9/2014 2:40:46 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft, like every other software company, has a source repository. If they REALLY wanted to, they could theoretically, nearly freely, go back through and undo delete commits on the old start menu code and have what existed in Windows 7.

The issue, I imagine, is the old start menu may have simply been implemented with legacy technologies, so they are probably rewriting it to also integrate with things like the start screen's live tiles, etc.

So arguably yes, it could be a freebie to just resurrect the old code (and thus wouldn't really be a feature), but they probably just decided to make it a bit more modernized.


RE: No start menu good or bad?
By Nekrik on 6/9/2014 5:15:48 PM , Rating: 2
I usually follow and agree with many of your comments, but to think this would be a freebie, and that they could simply undo some code changes, not perform full blown test pass, and then send out the worlds most popular operating system is insane.


By inighthawki on 6/9/2014 6:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I didn't really mean "freebie" in that they could just click revert and send it out, but rather they'd have to write very little code. All that would really be needed would be to make sure the start button loaded it, and a lot of regression testing.


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