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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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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By XZerg on 6/9/2014 2:54:01 PM , Rating: 1
I barely use the Start Menu, especially with having put most of the relevant programs in Quick Launch. The Metro UI tried to create start menu but as a flat out model and it fails miserably as it is not as easy to customize/re-arrange icons and group them properly. Add to that the fact that it is an extra button/click press away compared to Quick Launch. Their App Screen would have been a great alternative to Start Menu and Quick Launch had it allowed custom sorting by drag and drop instead of hacking it by creating fake folders and what not.

But the biggest underlying issue I found with W8/W8.1 and W8.1.1 is that it presumes all computers are based on tablet/touch screen. So a power user like me was getting annoyed daily with:
1) losing mouse control as some "gesture" triggered touch KB
2) charms somehow popping up randomly even when my mouse is no where near the sides
3) unable to disable any of this "natural/born with" issues that a non-touch computer user does not need
4) No Classic/no theme available that makes current window and current taskbar icon easy to determine.
5) having to "hack"/hack too many little things to work

I really gave W8.1 and W8.1.1 a try but these issues just had me reformat my computer after W8.1.1 not delivering these "basic" options.




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