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Some flaws exist, but new menu overall should please most everyday users

It appears that Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) effort to bring back the Start Menu in revived form are nearing fruition.  A leaked shot of a Windows machine running Windows "Build 9788" surfaced late last week by a user with the screenname "DUF" in the forums section of the site My Digital Life.
While the build carries the title "Windows 8.1 Pro" (the currently available release), this does not appear to undermine the authenticity, according to sources.  Neowin reports:
One item about the image that was throwing off users previously is that is says Win 8.1 Pro in the bottom corner. We have spoken to a source close to Microsoft who says that this image appears to be legitimate, and that these builds inside of Microsoft still use this branding, so this is not a big deal.
The decision to drop the Start Menu was one of the biggest sources of customer frustration with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.  After much hemming and hawing, Microsoft finally admitted it goofed and announced at this year's BUILD conference that it would be bringing the iconic menu back.

Windows 9 Start Menu
Windows 9's new "Start Menu" [Image Source: "DUF"/MyDigitalLife Forums]

In its current form, the "new" Start Menu features two panes.  The left pane will include pinned apps, as well as commonly used apps or hubs.  The right will feature a compacted version of your Metro Start screen, with core hubs Microsoft considers important.  If you click the "All Apps" option, reportedly this hub will transform to a list of apps, similar to Windows Phone's scrollable alphabetic listing.
One major change is the lack of a folder-based system for accessing apps in the start menu.  This may irk some power users, however, it seems that typically users own use one key executable per major app anyways, and generally giving them that executable faster is probably the most efficient option.
On the flip side, the decision to include Metro (Modern UI) style hubs in the left pane leads to some redundancy in the left and right panes as we can see in the screenshot.  Microsoft might want to exclude core hubs that already appear on the right from appearing twice.
The current rumor is that Microsoft will release the new Start Menu with Windows "Threshold" (Windows 9?) sometime early next year -- possibly in April.

Sources: MyDigitalLife Forums, via Neowin

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RE: Come on MS....
By Reclaimer77 on 7/14/2014 1:31:35 PM , Rating: 0
We were all wrong. Windows 9 isn't going to be "fixed". We all thought because every other version of Windows was good in the past, so would 9.

But now I see they've gone full retard on the UI design, and NO versions of Windows going forward will be good for desktop users.

I agree with Motoman fully, no need for a rant of my own. I just cannot believe they keep intentionally screwing up the start menu. Just..what's the problem here? Windows 7 was PERFECT solution. Just go back to that, goddamn.

RE: Come on MS....
By peterrushkin on 7/14/2014 1:53:36 PM , Rating: 1
It's come TOP down...


mobile....... first!

See. mobile.... first!

When you sit down on your desktop, they want you to use a mobile interface.

Screw what you actually want.

Screw their user base.

Mobile, in your face... FIRST!

You'll all be sorry, when the next phase is CLOUD FIRST. They'll come out with Surface 4 which has no usb, no physical storage, nada. It'll be a repackaged chrome laptop but running Windows.


RE: Come on MS....
By DiscoWade on 7/14/2014 2:33:34 PM , Rating: 3
My complaint with Windows 8 is not the lack of a start button and start menu, although I was upset about that at first. The Windows 8.1 metro screen is not that bad. It is still inferior to what Windows 7 had.

My complaint is the lack of Aero and the hideously ugly UI that hurts my eyes. I tell you this in truth: the UI is the only reason why Windows 7 is my primary OS and not Windows 8 and the reason why I will never ever get Office 2013. All my other complaints can be fixed or ignored, but not this one. Judging by the leaked photos I will still be stuck with Windows 7 and Office 2010 for a long time.

My complaint is how Microsoft wants me to have a Live ID to log in and is not clear on how you can avoid that with Windows 8.1.

My complaint is how Microsoft pushes the cloud and their Bing search engine. I have to disable all this Bing junk in the Windows 8 settings menu and advertising junk and save to OneDrive junk. I hate the cloud for everything except backups and copies; the master copy should always be local because internet service can and will go down.

My complaint is programs are called apps. That goes back to the mobile-first. Stop trying to make a hammer a screwdriver! Tablets have a different purpose than desktop and laptops just like a hammer has a different purpose than a screwdriver.

My complaint is that System Restore is neutered badly in Windows 8 and it is very difficult to get to safe mode. Seriously, you couldn't sacrifice one second of boot time to allow F8 to work properly? And why do you make it hard to find System Restore, one of the best ideas you had ever.

My complaint is Windows 8 never asks which time zone you are in when you first boot the OS. Most people are not in Pacific time.

RE: Come on MS....
By inighthawki on 7/14/2014 5:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
Take a look at glass8 from BigMuscle over on the msfn forums. He reimplemented aero glass for Win8.

The free version has a little nag popup once every few hours and a desktop watermark, and you can get the full version by donating a couple dollars. Granted this is no excuse for missing a feature, but in the meantime it's a decent alternative. There used to be an older version of the one for Win8 (not 8.1) that some people even hacked to remove the nag popup. Not sure if there's anything newer though.

RE: Come on MS....
By atechfan on 7/14/2014 3:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
You seriously think they will go from offering 512GB of Flash as the max to no Flash at all? Your hatred of MS makes you delirious.

RE: Come on MS....
By Jeffk464 on 7/14/2014 1:54:19 PM , Rating: 3
Basically, MS wrecked their desktop OS to try to push people to MS mobile platforms and nobody is interested in those.

RE: Come on MS....
By Reclaimer77 on 7/14/2014 2:04:47 PM , Rating: 2
And this is what I really hate about the whole "one OS to rule it all" strategy. It's impossible to have an OS perfectly optimized for mobile devices AND PC desktops.

Not to give Apple props, but there is a reason the iPhone and iPad aren't running OSX.

Seriously I have a $400 video card and a CPU that can cure cancer, why does my desktop UI look like it's on a tablet!?

RE: Come on MS....
By Spuke on 7/14/2014 2:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
Guess I'm going to be the only nerd able to use Windows from here on out. SO FAR, I like the compromise they've made on the start menu. Jury's still out on how they're replacing the folder system on the start menu but since I hate it anyways, anything should be good.

RE: Come on MS....
By retrospooty on 7/14/2014 2:28:07 PM , Rating: 2
Count me in, I like it. Folders would be better, but this looks pretty slick IMO. I like the hybrid non-full screen menu. It would be better to have folders on thje left and tiles to the right, but there are ways around it. At least it's no longer full screen.

RE: Come on MS....
By atechfan on 7/14/2014 3:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I don't like the nested folders the way some programs handled it, but other programs they made perfect sense. Office, for instance. I liked being able to select the Office app I wanted from the folder. Other times, the folder view seemed to make for completely arbitrary extra steps. It all depended of how the program's installer handled things.

I won't terribly miss the folder hierarchy as I rarely used it, but I know some people who use it all the time. A choice would be best. Folders on the left and a mini Start Screen on the right would be perfect for me. I'd have a few things in folders, and the rest Metro style.

RE: Come on MS....
By Jeffk464 on 7/14/2014 5:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
Guess I'm going to be the only nerd able to use Windows from here on out

I'm to the point where I only start cussing at my laptop when I accidentally launch a metro app. I'm perfectly fine using the start menu for navigating my laptop now.

RE: Come on MS....
By Spuke on 7/14/2014 10:43:11 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, I haven't used the start menu in years so the change in Win8 didn't bug me as much BUT after seeing the new start menu and the announcement of no folders on it, this is definitely a better way than before IMO. We'll see when it's in its final form and I can dissect it myself.

RE: Come on MS....
By Jeffk464 on 7/15/2014 1:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
Oops, I meant to say start screen not menu. Once you clean it up I think its actually faster to use than the old start menu.

RE: Come on MS....
By kattanna on 7/14/2014 2:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
Not to give Apple props, but there is a reason the iPhone and iPad aren't running OSX.

and if apple continues its trend with its mac's, so it will also not be running OSX, but iOS. especially its mac books. Soon i expect them to shift to their own ARM cpu's and move to iOS on them.

mac pro's would be further off

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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