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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: >.<
By cknobman on 7/14/2014 2:34:47 PM , Rating: 3
There is organization just different than what you are used to.

Unlike Android on Windows you can make each app launcher/shortcut different sizes according to how much space you need it to take and if you want it to give you real time information right there on the home screen.

As for apps infinitely scrolling Windows has something cool called a jump list. This is used all over the OS and allows you to "jump" quickly to the area you want. For example in the app selection list the jump list is the alphabet. Click on a letter of the alphabet to "jump" to that section of the app list and see the app you want without scrolling. Its very easy and intuitive. Best part is you dont have to spend a bunch of time mixing/matching/sorting the apps specifically to get the view you want.

Not saying its better or worse, but its different and its effective.


RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 7/14/2014 2:42:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unlike Android on Windows you can make each app launcher/shortcut different sizes according to how much space you need it to take and if you want it to give you real time information right there on the home screen.


How is that different than a Widget? Which can also be resized in Android. Android also supports icon resizing too. What do you mean "unlike Android"?

quote:
As for apps infinitely scrolling Windows has something cool called a jump list. This is used all over the OS and allows you to "jump" quickly to the area you want. For example in the app selection list the jump list is the alphabet. Click on a letter of the alphabet to "jump" to that section of the app list and see the app you want without scrolling


How is that more efficient than going into the Android app tray, which is alphabetical, and opening the app from there?

And if you're leaving the home screen to go to the app selection list anyway, to do something that could/should be done from the home screen, you've totally missed my point.

That just adds another step that wouldn't be a necessity if the base UI wasn't such a seemingly disorganized mess.


RE: >.<
By nikon133 on 7/14/2014 5:14:12 PM , Rating: 3
Difference is really in the eye of beholder. I love geometric order that tiles provide. I wasn't inspired to use Widgets nor Gadgets, either on Android or Windows Vista/7 desktops. On WP8.1 (and, to a lesser degree, on W8.1) everything relevant is tiled to provide me with preview without opening app (calendar, mail, txt, phone...). In addition, it is my opinion that tiles use space better. Looking at my friends' S3 (comparable screen size to my 920), noone has equal number of widgets with same amount of info available on single screen.

As of app list, I cannot recall if Android lets you jump to specific letter - I believe you have to scroll through the whole list if you want to reach apps that start with W or Z. Might look minor, but makes a lot of difference - again, much as I am concerned.


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