Microsoft explains why Windows 8 doesn’t have a Start Menu button

As seen in Windows 8 Preview releases, Microsoft has removed the famous and much loved Start Menu button from Windows 8. The move was met with the widespread criticism with many users complaining that the removal resulted in Windows 8 being lesser user-friendly. But Microsoft says it has a different version for the story of the Start Menu button.

As The Verge reports, Chaitanya Sareen of Microsoft said that while analysing the data submitted by Windows users using the Customer Experience Improvement Program, they found that most of the users had now started using taskbar as a mere tool launching applications most of the time; and that this is the reason why Start Menu button has been removed from Windows 8 and the Metro style interface was chosen.

Plus, according to Microsoft, though the Start Menu button has been removed from the new edition of Windows, the functionality still remains, though with some slight changes. Instead of the traditional Start Menu button, we now have a hot corner at the left-bottom of the screen which can be used to launch the Start Menu.

But the Microsoft representative did admit that the taskbar’s skills still can’t be replaced by any other thing. Windows users who have always loved the taskbar and the Start Menu can anytime switch to the desktop mode, bringing back your favorite orb symbol at the left-bottom of the screen.

[via The Verge]

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  • Dorothy Sherman

    This is an example of why artificial intelligence forbodes a horrific, no-choice future. By making it “simpler,” you taken away a lot of options, so that you, the moneyed upper class select, computer-saavy in-crowd can feel and act superior. I can’t speak for others, but I feel resentment.

  • @DonFG: It works in the Release Preview too? They only talk about the Consumer Preview there…

  • DonFG
  • DonFG

    I have Win8 installed as a virtual machine and it runs fine. Now the critique. All the fancy stuff on the desktop and lack of a start button is fine.

    Now MS, pull your head out of your A$$! What is the problem of when the setup starts you ask if you want the new interface or a XP/7 interface? Don’t even tell me that it cannot be done. It took me a little bit of time but I know now how to configure Win8 to look exactly like XP/7.

    I used a program that is freeware called Classic Start Menu (classicshell.sourceforge) that puts the start button and menu back in place and it works flawlessly.

    All the flashy crap on the screen might be fine for a tablet but DOES NOT WORK FOR YOUR DESKTOP. This is like stepping back to Win3.1, retro only works for cars not software. As Don stated above, this will be just like ME or VISTA as far as users are concerned. Stop trying to invent the wheel.

    The belief that once you try it you’ll like it train of thought is also crap. You take any size business and have to retrain employees, takes away time. Especially for the IT and help desk departments that will have to field ALL the calls about were everything is at or how to find it. Yea, that’s real productive.

    This is all more than a few steps backwards in software evolution. We go from Win3.1 that was about 9MB to Win8 that is about 20G, is not an improvement. It’s like telling me Win8 is the fastest yet, well duh! Hello! You don’t think the hardware has a majority role in this?

    Come on people, wake up.

  • “bringing back your favorite orb symbol at the left-bottom of the screen.”

    Exactly where does this “fact” come from? The Start Menu was removed in the Beta of Windows 8, Paul Thurott has said that Microsoft is doing everything they can to PREVENT hacks to bring it back, and the author even says “Microsoft has removed the famous and much loved Start Menu button from Windows 8”

    Ashraf what happened?

  • Heyoka

    What a buzz about the Start Menu button! :) I use it very seldom, be it on XP or 7. I start most of my programs either from a task bar or by clicking on their icons on my desktop. So simple…

  • Peter

    @Don: Thank you!!
    Great minds think alike. ;-)

  • Kraal

    Oh I’m not interested in Windows 8 either. 7 works just fine, and it isn’t horribly outdated either. I find I use the start menu less and less as well. I do like having it there for the few tings I do know are there once in awhile though.

    As for your story, that’s funny. I’ve never heard that response before. I talk with alot of parents and the usual response is along the lines of ‘just because’ or ‘because it looks icky.’

  • tejas

    @Kraal: It’s like our son, when he was younger. We would try to get him to eat something new, but he would refuse. Once, when I ask him how he knew he didn’t like it, he said “because I’ve never had it before”.

    The missing start button wouldn’t bother me much, I seldom use it anyway.
    But personally, I’m ambivalent about Win8, I just can’t get interested. For my computing needs, I’m quite happy with my win7/quad-core/dual monitor desktop machine.
    But for phones, and pads, it’s Android FTW. ;)

  • Kraal

    I think that’s unfair. I really agree with Godwin here. There’s always going to be the people who complain about something new, because it isn’t ‘what they’re used to’.
    Shall we move on from the past, yet? Things change. We get used to them. We adapt. It’s what we do. Even if that road is a bit bumpy and complaint filled.

    Why do I think your comment is unfair? Without trying something new, we tend to stagnate and fall into a rut. Microsoft is trying something new, with the metro interface. I think it’s great that they want to come up with a new and better UI for windows. I don’t particularly like the looks of it, I enjoy my desktop the way it is, but hey. So what? See:
    “Windows users who have always loved the taskbar and the Start Menu can anytime switch to the desktop mode, bringing back your favorite orb symbol at the left-bottom of the screen.”

    A large portion of people are terrified of change, in one way or another. Terrified of something different, something not ‘normal’, and never give it the chance it deserves. It’s only a new computer UI. Relax. The article states we can change to the desktop we’re used to. There’s no reason or sense to be calling Microsoft idiots for the Metro interface.

  • Tex Jay

    I like Win 8 x 64 RP and am allowing customer experience program to monitor use. I have installed a program called classic menu that gives me all the functions of a start button. The metro buttons can be allowed to display videos and pictures, but I am used to XP and thus use the desktop more.

  • Oh THAT Brian!

    In corporate environments, one of the biggest complaints we hear is about the learning curve when we upgrade. Office 2007 to 2010 was bad enough – the ribbon made a lot of people very upset, until they realize that it can be collapsed. The Orb at the left was replaced with the ‘lost for one generation’ FILE.

    When we switched from XP to Windows 7, it started all over again. Why does my start button look like a ball? Where is the RUN command? Why did the file browser have to change? We hear those questions over and over and over …

    My manager asked me what I thought of Windows 8. Bluntly, I told him that it was too unfamilar to our uses and unless we can come up with a supported interface that made it look more like WIn 7 (or even better – XP), we would be better off just holding off. These people were hired to run a business – not waste their time having to re-learn how to use their computers!

  • JonE

    Most companies, whether they be service or manufacturing oriented, or both, spend hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of dollars to do research to figure out what we the consumer aka end user wish to have and want to have in and on our services, software, hardware, and other gizmos (sorry Gizmo).

    MS on the other hand is more like our Uncle Sam; Bill Gates and some of his associates think they are smarter than us and know what’s better for us even if we don’t know it ourselves. And of course if we’re not smart enough to know what’s best for us we’re certainly not smart enough to figure out that they’re spying on us.

    Spy on us; would MS do such a thing? And what are they doing with all this collected data; doesn’t seem like they’re using it to improve their software.

    You don’t suppose that MS is really a branch of government now, do you? Who else would spy on you as much as Uncle Sam; Google maybe?

    Just for explanation purposes; I use an MS OS (XP). But, I’m not an MS fan by any stretch of the imagination; can you tell?

  • Don

    MS could have offered a simpler explaination – “We’re idiots”.
    or, “Hey,we think the pubic will buy our butt-ugly Metro on desktops and laptops: if we believe that, we’ll believe anything is marketable”

    My prediction- Win8 = WinME for the new century.

  • Godwin

    That’s a really valid point. :)

    But still, companies usually have to make something ‘default’ to get users to get used to changes. As time has proved, many good changes have come after lots of criticism and ‘getting used to’ things by the users.

  • Leslie

    I agree with JT.

    Microsoft are a pretty stupid bunch if they think that experienced users are going to allow anyone to spy on them. We all pretty much opt out of everything we can as soon as we can – perhaps they should rename the program the “Inexperienced Customer Improvement Program” because that’s closer to reality in terms of the stats they are gathering.

  • JT

    Most of us who use the Start menu are ones who opt out of the customer experience improvement program. I wish they would’ve left it there, but at least we’ve still got a hot corner to bring it up. Thanks for the article!