Microsoft might bring back the Start Menu to Windows

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When Microsoft introduced Windows 8.1, then codenamed Windows Blue, the company (sort of) brought back what people were asking for. The Start button was back. While it simply served as a means to access the Windows home screen, its familiarity might have alleviated some of the pains with the Modern UI.

Now, it seems that Microsoft is planning to take things back even further in the next major version of Windows, currently known as “Threshold.” According to Paul Thurrot, the entire Start menu will be returning. Adding in the Start menu UI would make the Start button behave just like it did with previous versions of Windows prior to Windows 8 — and a significant step back from Microsoft’s aggressive approach to overhauling the Windows interface.

In addition to bringing back the Start menu, Thurrot also adds that Microsoft might introduce the ability to run Windows 8-style apps as separate Windows on your desktop, making them, again, behave much like more traditional programs.

Microsoft is expected to release the Threshold update for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox One sometime in 2015. It’s likely we’ll be hearing much more before then.

[via WinSuperSite, The Verge]

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5 comments

  1. NGayanP

    According to the article, the next version of Windows will:

    1) Add a Start Menu
    2) Run Metro apps on a desktop window

    As much as this may be a good thing for many users – it isn’t really positive news for some developers.

    There are numerous programs that now mimic the older Windows Start Menu (Classic Shell, Start 8, and a lot more). Programs such as ModernMix replicate the effect of running metro apps in windows, on your desktop.

    If this information was accurate, it would mean that Microsoft are:

    i) Admitting that they made some mistakes with Windows 8
    ii) Discouraging small scale users / firms working on small Windows tweaks

    Going back and forth are signs of a company that is unsure about what they want and undecided on what their customers want. It just confuses everyone.

  2. Seamus McSeamus

    [@Bub] That’s my general take on the whole start menu deal also. Yes, the start screen is a different way to navigate, but it’s still easy to grasp. People just like what they know, and the start button symbolizes that perfectly.

    That said, I’m using Windows 7 and Linux waaaay more than I am using Windows 8.

  3. Bub

    Start menu vs. Start screen: I know some folks get worked up about this, but I don’t find that it takes me much longer to find what I need either way.

    On the other hand, the ability to run Metro apps inside a Desktop window? That might actually make me consider using Metro apps on occasion.

  4. Mike S.

    Even better, as it sounds like Microsoft finally might be listening and to avoid making people wait, why not issue out a Start Menu optional update now, simply adding the feature to Windows 8/8.1, should people want it? It should be easy enough to do and issue, given the numerous private companies doing so. Microsoft could even use the freeware Classic Shell, my favorite to get Win8 back to where it should be.