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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: Report...
By Labotomizer on 6/9/2014 3:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
I think they let us read too much into the entire thing. They said Update 2 would continue to improve support for desktop and mouse users and they showed the above screenshot. Same presentation, different times. Perhaps they were hoping to have it ready for Update 2. I don't think getting the start menu back is the hard part though, even with the live tiles. I think getting Metro apps to run in a window is probably what's taking up the bulk of their time. And in their mind those two are tied at the hip and I agree. If you have the start menu then suddenly throw someone to a full screen app it will be less than pleasant.

If they do it right then April of next year will be well worth it. And shy of Windows tablets, enterprise wasn't going to deploy Windows 8 no matter how good it was. Windows 7 rollouts are still going on and, in major enterprise, has been being planned since prior to Windows 8's release. Windows 9 may gain desktop enterprise traction but it won't be until 2017 at the rate those rollouts go.


RE: Report...
By Samus on 6/9/2014 11:44:57 PM , Rating: 3
Lift the shell code from Windows 7, drop into Windows 8. Forget about the Metro integration until Windows 9.

In the words of Jeremy Clarkson "How hard can it be?"


RE: Report...
By Labotomizer on 6/10/2014 9:29:30 AM , Rating: 5
Why half ass it? They would rather implement it correctly. And I'm okay with that.

As has been pointed out by other posters, Windows 8 is written off by the consumer and industry at large. Just like Vista. Vista with SP1 or SP2 and current drivers was quite good. But at the point everyone was regurgitating hate for Vista that it didn't matter. Windows 8 is dealing with the same thing. No matter what MS does, it's still "Windows 8 sucks". The smart thing to do is bring the new start menu back with Windows 9 and get a fresh start in the consumer and enterprise mindshare.


RE: Report...
By FaaR on 6/10/2014 6:53:38 PM , Rating: 2
The start menu from windows 7 is half-assed?

I think about a quarter billion win7 users disagree with you there, but even so, considering how dismal a failure win8 has been for MS so far (even Vista sold better over time I seem to recall reading somewhere some while ago, which should tell you something), that ANY help this OS can get should have been a top priority for MS.

They just don't get it though, those fking suits over in Redmond. It's a prestige dickwagging thing, they just can't stand having to admit they were wrong about metro and the start screen. MS ran the software world for so many years, and it went to their heads. Now that they're no longer the center of everything and all their mobile efforts turn to muck instantly after being released they become headstrong and stuck in their ways, preferring to pretend they're still almighty, dominant and the center of everything.

"We're the leaders - wait for us!" is their constant call these days.


RE: Report...
By Labotomizer on 6/11/2014 9:56:43 AM , Rating: 4
Reading your post it's fairly clear you have no idea how consumer and business minds work. Windows 8 has been written off. What they do to Windows 8 now will not help. They're better off releasing an improved start menu and windowed metro apps for Windows 9.

Metro apps are important because they can run on different architecture and on Windows, Xbox and WP. Is it really that difficult to understand? Do you really think you know more about the market than the executives at Microsoft? That's laughable at best. If you did, you'd be working somewhere making those kinds of decisions instead of posting on a forum.


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