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 …

  1. TheColinous

    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.

    1. AlexS

      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

      1. Blitterbug
        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!

    2. JDX Gold badge

      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.

      1. Bullseyed

        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?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Who needs icons anyway?

          I do.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. TheColinous

        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.

    5. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      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.

    6. corcoran

      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

    7. Jess

      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.

      1. Tim Bates

        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.

  2. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

    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.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      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...

      1. Barry Dingle

        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.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          it will continue to frighten the elderly....

          You mean those above 35?

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge

            You mean those above 35?

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

  3. Tristan Young

    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.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      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.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      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?

      1. JDX Gold badge

        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.

  4. veti Silver badge
    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...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        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

    2. Matt_payne666

      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...

      1. localzuk

        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.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          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!!

          1. robmobz
            FAIL

            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.

      2. Stuart Elliott
        Alert

        Re: Every other edition...

        Or the lesser spotted Win+X menu.

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

      3. Matt_payne666

        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...

    3. jb99

      Re: Every other edition...

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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!

  5. tempemeaty
    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.

  6. Tank boy
    Trollface

    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.

    1. tempemeaty

      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!

      1. Tank boy
        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.

      2. xBr0k3n
        Thumb Up

        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.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      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.

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    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.

  8. ShelLuser
    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 ;)

    1. Tank boy
      Thumb Up

      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?

    2. Ledswinger Silver badge

      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.

  9. h4rm0ny

    Microsoft jumps chasm in bus...

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

  10. Khaptain Silver badge

    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........

    1. bitmap animal

      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        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.

        1. MrMcginty
          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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just to let you all and Microsoft know...

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just to let you all and Microsoft know...

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

      Thanks. I'd been wondering. Honest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just to let ...-... Microsoft know...

        "I'd been wondering."

        If MS would just stop being stupid, then I'd likely buy a copy of Windows 8.x at some point; next time I buy a PC that doesn't include an OS.

        By 'stupid', I mean this nonsense of not even allowing a simple choice. It's a pissing contest now, and there's millions of us that are going to sit on our wallets until we get what we want.

        I've bought five PCs and an OS in the last couple of months, and not one of them was Windows 8. Not one.

  12. Matt_payne666

    It will be a sad day when they force that upon me and I hope its possible to keep that abomination of a start menu disabled... My start screen is setup just how I like it, with the screen divvied up into sections with a mix of shortcuts, internet favorites and different sized live tiles... When the computer is idling or I'm,using a different device that screen is up so I can see at a glance if I get email, if a monitored system,is havi g an issue, the weather, headlines and a little tile with my photos pinging round to remind me that life isn't all work.

    As fir a 'jarring' transition when you press the start button, its no more or less jarring than the launch pad in osx which is just a sea of tiny icons, or the android launcher, which again is just a jumble of identical sizes squares.

    1. localzuk

      Grouped shortcuts? You can do that with, you know, the desktop. Internet favourites? You can do that with the desktop, or in your web browser. Live tiles? You've got me there. I've never used any, as I've not found a single one that aids my computer usage.

      When my PC is idling, I have my email client open and it gives me a notification sound when email arrives. It even does this when it is locked.

      Weather, headlines and photos are just toys. Want those things? Get them on your personal phone.

      Just seems odd that you're arranging your productivity around non-productivity related things.

      1. Matt_payne666

        Everyone usage varies, but a couple of live tiles that I find useful are the calendar and email - instead of a small notification in the system tray, I can see the contents displayed there, in front of me, handy for my schedule changes, the management software for a dozen servers, if there is an issue with any of them, not only is there an email - but again there is a persistent alert... the more important have reptile stats...

        Yes, I could group bunches of identical sized icons on the desktop, and open my management software, resize and drag it into position every time I restart my computer... but I like my desktop generally clear, the desktop I use as transient storage, so yes I could open another explorer window....

        I am lucky with the way that I work, I am given the freedom and responsibility to manage my working patterns to the tasks in hand and yes, I do like a little non-productivity and I do weave that into my working day :)

        As I said, everyones working practices and needs are different, the start screen just happens to be more flexible to accommodate the way that I work.

        Tippis - search works just as well in windows 8, but requires one less keypress - halving finger resource in OSX! ;) and with Yosemite Launchpad will be made a much more prominent feature

      2. Tom 35 Silver badge

        "live" tiles

        I thought the mail one would be useful, until I had read all my new mail and the stupid thing started distracting me by displaying old read emails. Disabled.

        It took very little time for me to disable, and shrink all the live tiles on my surface. Out of the box it was like a web page full of Flash ads.

    2. Tippis

      The difference is that no-one uses the launch pad in OSX since you have the much more useful dock and the vastly more useful Spotlight bar at your disposal.

      The reason for this is that the transition is massively jarring, offers no useful advantage and, in fact, serves absolutely no purpose at all that can't be done in far better ways by not splattering them all over the screen.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I get on very well with Windows 8 and actually really like the tiles start screen. Part of this may be because I know that if I can't find something then I just start typing a word (such as 'excel' or 'sql') then the apps will appear and I can quickly create shortcuts, which is another side of it, I've customised the Start Screen to be what I want.

    Perfect for me.

    On the other hand, moving and resizing tiles doesn't feel as natural as dragging and dropping icons on a desktop so organising the Start Screen may not be something with which our parents or grandparents would be immediately happy -- but they're all using iPads anyway so maybe it doesn't matter.

    1. Jim 59

      auto type-find thing

      I just start typing a word (such as "excel" or "sql") then the apps will appear and I can quickly create shortcuts

      The auto type-find thing is incorporated in many (non windows) desktops now. Even MATE, the minimal successor of Gnome 2, has it by default. Although you have to click the menu first, to get the smart search bar.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      That's exactly how it works in Win7 as well, which meant I really didn't miss the start menu. It's been a long time since I kept all my programs well organised in the start menu, instead I just hit start, and type the first few letters, and if that doesn't work then it's into the file manager to run the exe directly like the gods intended.

      Sure the start menu is now a start screen, but it's not like I was going to use anything else on the screen until I'd picked the program I wanted to run anyway.

    3. Wade Burchette

      If I wanted to live in a world where I have to type the name of program to run it, I would still be using DOS.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        @Wade

        Well put. That's been one of the niggles for me.

        On the other hand, MSDoS was pretty good in its time.

  14. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    The only thing I like about the start menu is that I can quickly find things more easily by looking down groups of folders and lists of apps, that I find easier than the tiled interface where you need a rough idea what you're looking for in order to find it. Apart from that I'm not that bothered but I do wish they'd make up their bloody minds! Either bring it back or don't, all this pissing about like a fart in a cullendar, don't know which hole to go out through!

    Stupid thing is, they bring it back now there will be this section of Windows releases where there is no Start Menu available, so we'd move from Windows with, through Windows without and back to Windows with!

  15. John P

    It's great that they've bought this back for the people who want it. I just hope they give us the option of sticking with the current start screen as I personally prefer it to the start menu.

  16. Chairo
    Happy

    Looking at this

    I suddenly realised why this windows 8 tile design always looks so familiar. They use square areas with no more than 3 colours in each block. Looks like I'm not the first one to realise it:

    http://www.retromagazine.eu/retro/2014-04/windows-8-1-fuer-commodore-64/

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Looking at this

      Yup. Windows 8(bit).

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Looking at this

      Oh my... and if anything like that really came out when the C64 was vaguely new, it would have been torn to shreds for being a useless waste of screen space and being barely usable.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ship has sailed, for me and mine

    Too late, unfortunately.

    The stubborn Metro persistence already caused me, via complaints, to roll out 7 or Ubuntu to nearest and dearest. They won't want their machines levelled off, and neither have I got the time to re-build them.

    Hence, it looks like this generation has already been 'sat out' , here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The ship has sailed, for me and mine

      Yep. Far too little, far too late.

      To be honest, even though I hated the start screen + metro, for $5 I got rid of it. It's not hard, and anyone reading this should be capable. (yes, I know it's the principle, but even so...). However, it's Windows in general that began to bother me.

      Metro just gave us something tangable to blame, but the problems lay much deeper than a crappy interface.

      Windows is for home users, middle aged office workers, grandparents... consumers! That's my problem with it. Metro just slapped us in the face and made us realise that.

      I'm an IT professional.. a developer.. and more importantly, a geek. Windows is no longer aimed at me (and hasn't for a long time).

      I thank the Metro/Windows8 team, for making me try Linux. I now enjoy computers, again.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: The ship has sailed, for me and mine

        "Windows is for home users, middle aged office workers, grandparents... consumers! That's my problem with it.............I'm an IT professional.. a developer.. and more importantly, a geek. Windows is no longer aimed at me (and hasn't for a long time)."

        And quite right too.

        It's an OS, which means it's there for users to use. Not only the middle aged office workers, but all office workers who use a computer to get a job done. Users. The clue is in the name.

        Win 8 on a non-touch device did nothing to help these. The users.

        Office's ghastly Ribbon doesn't bother users too much, because most only use a small proportion of the commands. But the OS! It's the front door to the computer.

        Win 8 is like nailing the front door to the ceiling, hiding the key in the kitchen and putting the letter box in the bathroom.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: The ship has sailed, for me and mine

      Ditto here... I have to say that in all likelihood Windows 7 will be the last MicroSoft OS I'll ever use. Given MicroSoft's insistence on Live Tiles... Of which I hated on the very first sight of WinPho7. Its clear that they've lost the plot. MicroSoft gambled that they could somehow re-invent themselves as the late-'90s/early'00s iFruit brand... Yeah... Remind me how well that's working out for them again? Perhaps had they been arsed to actually sell the Zune here in Europe it might have fared better foe them.

      As it is the World+Dog can only see MicroSoft as a purveyor of Operating Systems, and Office Programs. Something of which they just can't seem to get right these days. The question is... Or in my opinion has now changed to: Are they even still interested in these "Markets". After all MicroSoft, are now a "Cloud First/Mobile First" Company. So who's to say that Windows 9 won't be like the ChromeOS of today?

      I don't know how you lot would take that... I'd personally be off like a shot, to Diebian, or Cinnamon Mint, in that case. The last thing MicroSoft need right now is another Windows 8 on their hands. For I foresee a former Tech Company if they eventually lay another rotten egg like that on the World again. Questions are... 1) Do they know this? And, 2) Do they even care?!

      1. John Sanders
        Facepalm

        Re: The ship has sailed, for me and mine

        """Ditto here... I have to say that in all likelihood Windows 7 will be the last MicroSoft OS I'll ever use. Given MicroSoft's insistence on Live Tiles..."""

        LOL, If only the only thing wrong with Microsoft were the Live Tiles.

  18. ProperDave
    Windows

    One...Two...Done.

    Whatever happened to the old UI design mantra that everything should be accessible within 3 clicks?

    Microsoft seem to have forgotten this...

    1. Tank boy
      Thumb Up

      Re: One...Two...Done.

      The times they are a changin'. I remember those days, what happy times I had, the UI was so much easier. The kingdom has fallen on dark times. I'm an American, so to me it's as if MS just did it to fuck with everybody. Here in the States it's a pain in the ass to downgrade (7 is better), so here I am shackled to this useless OS that I can't really understand, nor do I want to relearn PC 101, already did it when I was in the Army. This old dog can learn some new tricks, but don't make me jump through flaming hoops.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One...Two...Done.

      click 1 - to get you the start screen

      click 2 - at the bottom of the start screen to show all the installed apps

      click 3 - select app of your choice

      Or have I missed something out?

      1. Matt_payne666

        Re: One...Two...Done.

        A/C - the masses prefer the following win7 method

        click 1 - to launch the start menu

        click 2 - to select all programs

        click 3 - to select the folder

        click 4 - to select the app of your choice

        just imagine all those wasted clicks over the years!

  19. BobChip
    Linux

    Win 8.x?

    If 8.x is supposed to be a taster for win.9 (as I suspect it may be), then 9 is also a fail. Like many other commentards, I prefer a clean, almost empty screen, mouse control (you can't do serious CAD on a touch system) and generally a minimal interface all round. This leads to speed and productivity.

    I also hear there are proposals to tie Win 9 even more closely to the hardware it is first installed on, and to MS's cloud, further reducing the options for modifications and flexibility that I depend on while increasing costs to the user.

    That's why I'm sticking with Linux.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Win 8.x?

      > If 8.x is supposed to be a taster for win.9 (as I suspect it may be)

      I don't think so. It's supposed to be a taster for windows mobile, one area where MS haven't saturated the market and therefore hope to gain new sales.

      I discovered right-clicking the start button brings up a useful menu from the time that TIFKAM forgot. Actually, it looks a bit like a Win3.1 drop-down menu, so I'm not surprised that they want to theme it. However, a tile-themed menu sounds like something else I'm going to have to edit to fix.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Win 8.x?

      I prefer a clean, almost empty screen, mouse control (you can't do serious CAD on a touch system) and generally a minimal interface all round. This leads to speed and productivity.

      That's why I'm sticking with Windows 8.1 desktop for work.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too Little, Too Late

    Tried Win 8 just after it was released and after three months of fighting to make it work to enable us to work, went back to Win7.

    Followed all the news and updates since but nothing I've read or seen has made we want to try it again.

    Microsoft screwed their core users and customers and treated them with total contempt with Win 8. Their feeble attempts to "listen" after the event are just too late and not enough.

    In the fullness of time, Linux will completely replace Windows on our PC's.

    7 is the last windows we'll be using.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too Little, Too Late

      That's the problem with Microsoft. It seems to think everything it has done previously is broken and requires a radical "fix". Apple on the other hand just tend to refine OSX, not completely change it.

  21. Gil Grissum

    The problem with the premise that bringing the start menu back might increase interest in Windows 8, is that Classic Shell gave the Start menu back to Windows 8 and 8.1, for free, many months ago. It's a bit late in the game for Microsoft to have finally come to their senses and realized that lack of the start menu turned almost everyone off to Windows 8. They should've figured that out after the thing wasn't selling well to begin with. Will bringing back the Start menu move the needle enough to increase Windows 8 uptake? We shall see, once it appears as a download.

  22. Phil_Evans

    Unity at last...well almost

    Seems like the look 'n' feel merchants will be unwittingly moving the looks towards Ubuntu Unity (say, what?!!?). As always, real class is understated. Well OK, pretty much unknown.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tiles

    I recall the first time I saw XP, with the bright blue windows and taskbar, the default tellytubbyland desktop wallpaper and the first thing I did was go back to classic mode.

    But now people make out it's some kind of design classic. It was a very good operating system, especially compared to what went before. But it looked awful.

    Win 8 actually works quite well, despite the toytown interface.

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: tiles

      I think people mean the start menu re: win xp being a classic, not the teletubby/fisher-price appearance. Like you, that's the first thing I disabled. Win 8 is very usable, once you disable all the silly poking about in corners for randomly hidden features. To me that's the ultimate killer for win 8, not the noddy appearance, the utter unusability unless you're psychic

  24. Teiwaz Silver badge
    Devil

    Looks quite nice...

    What? It's NOT KDE Next?

    Forget that then.

    Heh Heh!!

  25. Yugguy

    You keep Windows 8 then son. Personally I'll be glad to see the back of it.

  26. The last doughnut
    Meh

    Its all very nice looking but

    Where the hell has it stuck all of my documents now?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So nearly 20 years on from the release Windows 95, Microsoft still can't think of another decent way to launch applications.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear me, it's still the childish colours I see. Clearly aimed at the customers they think they will get in the third world of BRICs.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who cares anymore??

    I really don't give two hoots about this new start menu. Within 10 minutes of installing Win 8.1 I found StartIsBack and since installing it I've had the original Win 7 functionality without any Metro crap.

    In fact I have no idea Metro even exists since I disabled hot corners completely and set it to drop me straight into Desktop upon login.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Who cares anymore??

      I really don't give two hoots about this new start menu. Within 10 minutes of installing Win 8.1 I found StartIsBack and since installing it I've had the original Win 7 functionality without any Metro crap.

      And you propose to shell out additional $$$ for a fix... Start is Back isn't free ya know! To fix a problem that MicroSoft didn't "know" it had?! If anything Start is Back looks a zillion times better then MicroSoft's "Solution"... But I have a better One....

      Install Cinnamon Mint 17... And, it won't even cost ya a single Cent....

      Otherwise chill-out on Windows 7 til Valve perfect their SteamOS/Box then jump ship!

      Windows... Negh the whole of MicroSoft are IMHO sitting on a razors edge right now. Vista sucked... Windows 7 was practically ignored! Windows 8 SUCKS! Windows 9 had best be something special.... I have every doubt in the World that it won't be.... And, woe betide 'em [MicroSoft] if its not... As it is though.... I'm thoroughly awaiting some kind of Chrom-ium style OS in a MicroSoft Badge.... And me thinks that will be the last straw for 'em...

      Thankfully for Mr. Gates he should be long gone by then... Assuming that we don't see Windows 9 before mid-late 2017 that is. Those few who think hes ever coming back to set things "right" are IMHO delusional...

    2. Martin-73 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Who cares anymore??

      "hot corners" (aka the psychic's user interface) are disableable? Excellent,

  30. Stephen Horne

    I like metro in some ways, but I still want a start menu when I'm working in the desktop. I find metro as a start menu annoying and distracting - a whole-screen change with animated tiles. Sure, I can tweak it to stop animations and be less desperately attention-grabbing, but I can't keep my work in my peripheral vision as it's still a whole-screen change and besides, that means metro isn't optimised for what it *should* be optimised for. As I said, in some ways I like it.

    So... a start menu. Which is bigger than the already big Windows 7 start menu, and half-covered with presumably animated tiles. Because the people who keep vocally rejecting a screen full of animated tiles must obviously want even more animated tiles.

    Don't get me wrong - assuming I can configure this to suit me, hopefully making it more like the Windows 7 start menu, it might just be the thing to eventually get Windows 7 off my machines - though what I've spent on Windows 7 recently isn't just going to get thrown away overnight.

    But it seems to me that Microsoft has missed the point again, or is still focused on resisting being dragged to where large numbers of customers want to be. To me, it seems obvious that with metro there anyway for when it's the right thing, if anything the start menu should be simpler, smaller and less attention-grabby than the Windows 7 one. It definitely shouldn't try to be a mini-metro. If you have two different tools, it makes sense for each to be specialised for a different job or at least a different use-case - not for both to try as hard as possible to be the same.

    Then again, by now the whole Windows 8 line is doomed anyway, even if the next tweak gave everyone exactly what they want using psychic powers to do the configuration. It's not about the features any more, it's about the name and the reputation.

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