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back to article New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

A purportedly leaked screenshot of what appears to be an upcoming version of Windows has given us a closer look at the much-rumored new "hybrid" Start Menu, suggesting it may be coming sooner, rather than later. We were given our first glimpse at Redmond's future UI direction at the company's annual Build developer conference in …

Christ, can they make up their minds? I don't want the bloody start menu back on the box I've got Win 8.1 on. The start screen is a fantastical improvement on the start menu because you can organise it. For the first time since I got a computer, I have a clean windows desktop without a lot of icons on it. Because they are all grouped and ready on the start screen now.

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You can organsise stuff on the start menu as well.

Regardless I see the start screen as just a larger more prominent start menu. It works fine. I think those who don't like it haven't spent time customizing it to their requirements. You can take off Metro tiles and replace it with tiles that link to normal windows apps.

I think the real issue is some people hate metro.

Well Start screen <> metro, it just defaults to displaying metro apps. If you don't like it change it!

I've got no issues with 8.1.1

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JDX
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If they are changing things everywhere I agree going one way and then back is more confusing than making a change and sticking to it, for all those who had to figure out the new way.

BUT I suspect this only applies to the W8 desktop mode, so it's probably not an issue, and it looks rather nice.

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Anonymous Coward

Metro still

Microsoft are still messing about with that metro tile nonsense. So no, I won't be buying this either, for the same reason I don't buy Windows Phone, Surface, Xbox, or Windows 8. They simply don't seem to get it. Metro is a failed experiment that has no place whatsoever in their products.

You can bet they will be promoting their services in the big tiles and everyone else's apps will be resigned to old shortcuts.

Microsoft desperation is now really showing.

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Facepalm

Re: If you don't like it change it!

Not as simple as that.

Try right-dragging an icon from the start screen onto the desktop, as you can with the start menu. Oops - you can't.

Remember, many people like their fave icons on the desktop and not bloody pinned to the taskbar, which eats into the available space for running app icons!

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@ TheColinous

Exactly! MS have essentially legitimised the icon covered desktop into something useful for normal people.

I really don't see why you got so many down-votes for an opinion that, from the other posts on this page, many seem to share. Perhaps it's just the inherent spitefulness of the MS haters who by the last count numbered 60.

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Pint

Too bad that it's apparently impossible to have Start Button/Menu options

TC: "I don't want the bloody start menu..."

Too bad that it's apparently impossible to have Start Button/Menu options. You know: like the 327,485 other options available under Windows Settings, Options, Registry Hacks, etc.

Microsoft has successfully modified my behaviour. Here's how: I ain't buying Windows 8, or any PC that comes with it, until they back-off and provide the good old Start menu. This one with tiles is fine.

Obviously they should provide settings so people can have whatever they want.

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What? I've not had desktop icons since Windows XP.

I don't need to have a start menu that fills MY ENTIRE ESTATE. I'm a PC, quite literally. No touch screen. Just give me a neat tidy launchpad. With this update I might MAY perhaps COULD think about going from 7 to 8.X.Whatever

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The start screen is a pile of crap on a big screen.

It slows you down because you have to move the mouse too far.

It makes sense on a small touch screen.

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Originally I hated Windows 8. I still have Window 7 at work and on my desktop at home that I never use anymore. My girlfriend switched from a Mac to a Windows 8 laptop. Occasionally I'll use Google Docs on her laptop while doing work on my phone and I've come to be OK with Windows 8. The key for me was realizing that hitting the Windows key and starting typing brings up the search function, just like it does on Windows 7. Once I found that out, both OSs work the same for me. If I want the calculator, I hit window key + calc + enter and it comes up. Excel, window key + exc + enter.

Who needs icons anyway?

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Who needs icons anyway?

I do.

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Re: The start screen is a pile of crap on a big screen.

"It slows you down because you have to move the mouse too far."

Especially if you right click something on the start screen... You're going to take a road trip with your mouse for that.

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I dared post a neutral or positive opinion on Win 8. That's not on. I need to drink the hate, or be purged from existence. :D

Actually, I'm mainly a Debian 7 user. I only run Windows to play games, so I have my desktop with a dual boot Win8 and Debian.

I run Gnome 3 on Debian and Windows 8. In some ways, Gnome 3 and Windows 8 are more alike than not. Particularly with the idea that the common icons are off on a separate screen, and not on the desktop.

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They finally have the OS I want. Two years and four Windows 7 licenses too late in my case. I suspect the same is true with a large number of people who wanted the improvements in Windows 8, but without the bullshit.

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Still rather iffy about the tiles on the start menu. I'd have to play with it to see how loathesome it is, or isn't. Now, if only they could do something about the other squillion little annoyances in the OS...

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Just looks like a Frankenmenu, with bits stitched together instead of a coherent UI. As long as it's alive, it will continue to frighten the elderly.

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it will continue to frighten the elderly....

You mean those above 35?

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You mean those above 35?

I guess I should have said those who had a memory of Windows95.... Then.

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The Start Menu is only a small part of what I don't like about Windows 8.x. Fixing it the way they are planning just makes me want to avoid it some more.

I'm not a fan of the tiled interface, and I don't really want to see it at all. The overall Win 8.x appearance forces a flat and boring appearance on users. Some may like it, but I don't.

There is a way to bring back the Windows 7 theming style, but I don't know how this will work with this uglier Start Menu. I just wish Microsoft had some true artistic vision for their OS.

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The two things that bug me most

Other then the Metro crap UI are #1 the simplified error message, making most of them say "something happened" (even if you look in the event log) is not helpful. #2 now setting are scattered in even more places.

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TRT
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It is fugly, I don't think anyone would disagree with that! And why use an icon when a word does just as well and they include the word anyway?

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JDX
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I'd disagree. The W7 start menu was ugly to start with, and cumbersome - having to navigate multiple sub-menus isn't my idea of fun.

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Go

Every other edition...

From what I hear, Windows 9 is sounding like a nice release. It fixes what was wrong with Windows 8.

The tiled interface? It's not so bad. I have a Windows phone, and the interface has grown on me. At first I thought I'd miss the affordance given by "shaped" buttons in Windows 7 and earlier, but the truth is, those were never very consistently applied anyway. And sure the tiles have different looks/design styles, but how is that different from the icons on a start menu?

If the start menu is really back, and it gives you the option to do simple things like "run a command shell" or "shut down" without either remembering some arcane key combination, or waggling the mouse in a random screen location - I'm in. It's time I replaced my old XP machine anyway...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Every other edition...

Its the typical Windows release.......meaning every other release is successful! Vista failed, Windows 7 successful, Windows 8 failed, Windows 9 Successful......etc.

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Re: Every other edition...

Sorry, but I fail to see how clicking the the bottom left corner of the screen and clicking command prompt or command prompt (admin) is any slower than clicking start, run and typing cmd

I suppose you could always press win&r and type cmd just like xp/vista/7...

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Re: Every other edition...

The tiled interface? It works well on a phone. It's beyond awful on a large screen monitor.

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Re: Every other edition...

The typing of program names is one of the things that vastly improved Windows 7. Windows 8 just continued that one.

It was something that I even installed additional software to be able to do in XP, as having to do everything via the mouse is massively inefficient.

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Alert

Re: Every other edition...

Or the lesser spotted Win+X menu.

It's the first thing I miss when handling previous edition PCs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Every other edition...

It's beyond awful on a large screen

Other people's screens in my peripheral vision distract me whenever they click the start button.

When their Metro UI slaps them in their face, it gives me a sly dig too!

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Re: Every other edition...

interesting... people here appear to be masochists! 16 downvotes for pointing out that you can be more efficient and save a few mouse clicks...

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Re: Every other edition...

Its the typical Windows release.......meaning every other release is successful! Vista failed, Windows 7 successful, Windows 8 failed, Windows 9 Successful......etc.

Windows 7 was a success?! REALLY?! Since when exactly... Oh that's right since Microsoft finally killed off Windows XP, and now everyone's fighting to get aboard the Lifeboat a.k.a Windows 7.

About the best thing One might say about Windows 7 was that it was so thoroughly ignored. That is until recent times.

NOTE: I'm not knocking on or dissn' on Windows 7 it's my OS of choice right now. But, methinks your playin up Windows 7 a bit to much. If Windows 7 were the "Success" that you seemed to think it was. Then perhaps MicroSoft might have spared us with Windows 8.

As to Windows 9.... I have this uncanny felling that we've seen it already... And it was called ChromeOS. I pray for their sakes.... that I'm wrong on this count... Though I'm sure I'm not far off the mark with that thought. After which MicroSoft will have become noting more then a footnote in the "Information Age.", as the continue their transition into some-kind of Services Company, that will eventually get swallowed up by Larry Ellison's Outfit....

Mark my words... lol

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Re: Every other edition...

The typing of program names is one of the things that vastly improved Windows 7. Windows 8 just continued that one.

It was something that I even installed additional software to be able to do in XP, as having to do everything via the mouse is massively inefficient.

While I do recall this being a much hyped-up thing when Windows 7 first hit the stage..... WHO THE F*** actually uses it? Unless they really are trying to find something.... Otherwise hidden, or lost on the HDD?

I mean I want to open Word... Start -> All Programs -> MicroSoft Office -> Word.... (lets call that ~4 Seconds of work).... As opposed to Start -> type word -> Click Word.... I saved what a whole Second... Perhaps 2 Seconds?! Whoopee-do! Life as they say may be short... But muscle memory is FOREVER!!

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Re: Every other edition...

The trick is to just ignore the mouse. I can hit the start button, type word and hit enter faster than I could move my mouse over the screen to click it.

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Meh

Not so fast...

"As with most prerelease builds of Windows, this one shows the build number on its desktop. In this case, the OS is described as "Windows 8.1 Pro, Build 9788." That doesn't sound like there's been any major overhaul, as the current, shipping version of Windows 8.1 is Build 9600."

It's just my opinion but it looks like from this part, "...Windows 8.1 Pro, Build 9788." it's likely a feature only for the crowd with the dosh to buy a "Pro" version of the OS. I will believe otherwise when I see it. I can imagine the all the pre-installs from the PC manufactures will continue to be sent out without this supposed start menu.

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Oh, you mean you put out another crap product?

MS Should have made 2 versions of 8.x, one for toys(slabs) and another for productivity (real computers). I'm running a 7 emulator so I have my start button, I do not like having to click through 4-5 menus to fix things. I know, I could set up shortcuts and such, no time. Guess I'll just wait for 9 or opt out and go back to Linux.

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Re: Oh, you mean you put out another crap product?

Not only do I dislike having to click through 4-5 menus to fix things, I'm also just tired of having to constantly fix things!

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Pint

Re: Oh, you mean you put out another crap product?

@ tempemeaty, I had to spend the day trying to figure out how to get to the menu which makes the screen resolution actually readable, and disable the little useless touchpad. Can't wait until I have to re-activate that useless piece of shit. I'm culpable, I turned on automatic updates... I'll just sit here and shake my head in shame.

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JDX
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Re: Oh, you mean you put out another crap product?

They put out 3. Phone, RT, and regular.

The whole point is that you can run proper applications on a tablet if you so desire.

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Re: Oh, you mean you put out another crap product?

Fix things like what? I have had my W8 install since release and no problems at all, look after your PC properly and it wont be problematic. As for the excessive clicking to fix things - cant say I've noticed a change, depends how you are trying to 'fix' things. Alternatively you could learn PowerShell :D

I've used Start8 since i got W8 and have loved it, this new start menu looks like the best thing they've done since W7.

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Facepalm

But... It still takes up far too much

Screen Real-estate.

If MS makes it easy to get rid is the Metro crap (vis tiles) then it might pass muster.

(hits self with a piece of wet fish) Microsoft making things easy? Don't be silly.

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Windows

So I think it's safe to say that...

... if this does turn out to be true then we've learned some very important things.

First off, and I know people who actually follow all the news surrounding Microsoft will know this already, but it would appear to me that Mr. Ballmer isn't the visionary or "business mentalist" which some still seem to account him for.

Basically we're back to where we started.

And I can't help imagine how much money, good will and customers this will have cost them.

Lets assume this is true; would we also see the revival of TechNet?

That would be a virtual slap in the face for a certain ex-CEO if you ask me ;)

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Re: So I think it's safe to say that...

That idiot is going to buy the Clippers, possibly the worst team in the NBA for 2 Beeeeeelion dollars. What could go wrong?

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Re: So I think it's safe to say that...

"And I can't help imagine how much money, good will and customers this will have cost them."

Cost in money: Nothing, as they'd have employed the same number of people doing different (unrequested) things, like the ribbon in Office.

Goodwill cost: Nothing. Microsoft don't have a good name to lose.

Customers: Next to none. Businesses keep buying the licences (be that for 7, or 8 with downgrade rights, or in a few cases for 8 intending to use it), home users buy whatever OS is offered with a new machine. OK so that's a big simplification, but the fundamental point is that they've lost few PC sales to Apple in the grand scheme, and few business or home users will chance their arm on Linux.

In theory there is also the economic opportunity cost that they could have done something different, clever, and market focused. In Microsoft's case I'd argue that they don't have a good track record of that sort of innovation, so the opportunity cost is nil as well.

When you're a monopolist, you feel no pain.

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Microsoft jumps chasm in bus...

Decides in response to passenger screams to stop half-way across.

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Now remove the Tiles

Anything +Tile+ related will be like have your eyes poked with a sharp thing, so that has to go too. If they remove the tiles and the kiddy icon set we will be back to a nice comfortable desktop.

I genuinelly believe that MS have made a major error with W8 and I do not believe that they will fully recover from it. MS has now moved solely into the hands of "the "unvisionaries"...

Definition "unvisionary" : n,m : Those that are incapable of understanding that ripping up the playing field means that you can no longer play........

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Re: Now remove the Tiles

I have a serious dislike of these interfaces. When I was at school I learned to read, I could read instruction manuals, I could read labels on switches, and I could read lists of commands.

Now it seems that for each device I use I am having to learn what each over-sized and over-coloured icon means.

I’m sure this interface is great for a smaller touch screen device where you have to choose between two or three actions, but for a desktop computer where you are expected to productively work it’s just horrible and a huge step backwards.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Now remove the Tiles @Khaptain

"Anything +Tile+ related will be like have your eyes poked with a sharp thing, so that has to go too. "

Wouldn't it be better to offer the choice, as people have been demanding? Some people like tiles, after all.

"Please stop trying to dictate how we work........Each of us is different and we need to do things in our own personalized manner....."

- Khaptain, 3 days ago.

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Re: Now remove the Tiles @Khaptain

Up until the moment that they offered tiles no-one was complaining, everyone was able to do as he pleased.

The Tiles aka .Metro changed that optic... There was no option other than to use this new, unwanted by most, method, the paradigm in itself that was not accepted.

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Devil

Re: Now remove the Tiles @Khaptain

I wonder if Metro had been a 'Power Extra' if it might not have caught on? It was the coercion that made it unbearable.

Actually no, fair enough, it was genuinely shit.

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Anonymous Coward

Just to let you all and Microsoft know...

I will not be buying or running this on anything I own.

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