back to article August Patch Tuesday to bring Windows bug fixes AND FEATURES – report

Microsoft's next major update roll-out for Windows 8.1 may be less than a month away, if the latest rumors are to be believed, but just what will be so "major" about it is still anybody's guess. Over the last few months, we've heard plenty of talk about a follow-up to April's Windows 8.1 Update – itself a release so …

  1. Blitterbug

    Time to ditch Start8?

    Would be nice, finally, to use the native OS functionality of my Surface Pro... but then I look at the fugly blocky mess on the right-hand side of the proposed new-fangled start menu (where the User folders should be), and realise it's a vain, vain hope hope indeed...

  2. Tannin
    Paris Hilton

    Microsoft, please don't add a start menu ....

    ... 'coz I'm worried that an official Win 8,x start menu will cripple or disable the best start menu Windows computers have ever had.

    Its name is Classic Shell and Microsoft had nothing at all to do with designing it; which is probably why it works so well. Apart from the luxury if being able to choose for yourself which overall style you find most productive and prefer (Win 7, Win XP or the timeless Classic itself), you, the user, can easily mix and match individual different elements, styles, and behaviours to make it do exactly what you want it to do - and isn't that what computers are for? Mixing the best of several different Windows start menu models, it is better than any of them.

    Do whatever you want with your bound-to-be-inferior menu, but please, Mr Microsoft, don't take my Classic Shell away.

    (PS: possibly similar comments apply to Start8 and one or two others. My brief experience with Start8 suggested that it was competent and practical but no better than the mediocre native Windows 7 menu. It may have improved since then or I may well have overlooked really good features. It was a while ago and I didn't spend long with it.)

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Microsoft, please don't add a start menu ....

      I seriously doubt that an official Microsoft Start Menu will "kill" Classic Shell or Start8. Remember that the start menu is a part of explorer.exe. Worst case scenario is that you need to do a complete shellectomy and replace explorer.exe with something less asstastic.

      Now, that would be a lot more work than knocking together a new start menu, but it wouldn't be the first time complete replacement shells were created for Windows. They'd cost a big of money, but after some initial proliferation, the world would settle on a standard set of two or three.

      We aren't beholden to Microsoft for the UI. Quite frankly, I think Microsoft should go ahead and continue screwing the UI up royally. If Windows 9 doesn't have a positive reception form the market either then there will be real effort put into new shells. The viability of sticking with Windows 7 once Windows 9 comes out is pretty small. But we aren't going to collectively accept the design decisions Microsoft tries to force on us unless we actually agree with those decisions.

      What's more, Microsoft can no more lock down the ability to replace the shell than it can throw out it's military contracts, contracts with banks, etc. There are lots of instances in which full shell replacements are in use in critical areas. It's just time they made their way into the public consciousness.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft, please don't add a start menu ....

        They might though.

        They might decide that all total shell-replacement applications have to use Embedded variants, instead of Desktop.

        And to be fair, they're right as far as the kiosk, PoS, cashpoint, and industrial machinery applications go.

        There are a lot of such devices using desktop Windows XP, one assumes through ignorance as they damn well should be Embedded.

        If they did that it would kill shell replacement software dead, and probably increase the uptake of Embedded.

        The question is whether they would do that.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Microsoft, please don't add a start menu ....

          I'd like to say "nobody could be that tone deaf", but this is Microsoft. If there is a way to alienate customers, partners, developers or staff Microsoft will engage in that activity with gusto.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Microsoft, please don't add a start menu ....

            A little harsh Trevor, you try listening to customers while vigorously chest thumping and cock blocking other managers.

            I know this will be sacriligous and I'm not for token employees but what if there was female boss at MS, what if.

            (Misogynists morning call that will be)

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: Microsoft, please don't add a start menu ....

              Uh...what? Your solution to "make Microsoft suck less" is misandry? Awesome possum.

              Put me in the category of "hire the best person for the job." Experience, knowledge and a willingness to solve the ongoing cultural issues is what matters.

              Gender, OTOH, absolutely doesn't matter.

              That said, I vote Mary Jo Foley for MS CEO. She'd do wonderfully.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Microsoft, please don't add a start menu ....

              Well if it was Julie Larsson Green, we would have had even more Metro...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Microsoft, please don't add a start menu ....

                Ah yeah I hadn't thought that through.

    2. stucs201

      Re: Microsoft, please don't add a start menu ....

      I don't think there will be a problem. Classic Shell works perfectly well on Windows 7, even though that has it's own start menu.

    3. Blitterbug

      Re: My brief experience with Start8...

      For a long while it was the best of the two, as ClassicShell didn't emulate all behaviours of the Win7 start menu correctly. But it's since caught up and I am gradually moving away from Start8. Which is good, 'cos you only get a few installs before you have to buy it again (using a different email account, buggeringly).

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