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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 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.

“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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