A couple of weeks back during Microsoft’s annual BUILD developers conference, we got wind that the software giant would be reinstating the traditional Start Menu for those running desktop versions of the famed OS. At the very least, it was said, the option would be there for traditionalists looking to restore a sense of familiarity to proceedings, and although we knew that it wouldn’t be arriving with the just-released Windows 8.1 Update 1, it seemed almost certain that a subsequent release would reinstate one of the operating system’s longest-serving features. Now, a new report has indicated that said feature will indeed re-emerge this fall.
The scoop for this particular revelation goes to Wzor, which states that the highly-missed Start Menu will return in a release likely to be called Windows 8.2 / 9, or rather ‘Windows 8.1 Update 2’. Up until BUILD, we were lead to believe that the most recent update would be called Windows 8.1 Update 1, with Microsoft curiously opting to remove the numbering at the eleventh hour. At the time, this was seen as an implication that no further updates to Windows 8.1 would be forthcoming, but irrespective of the moniker Microsoft decides to select, the Start Menu now looks very much like it’s coming back.
Microsoft has done a lot of back-tracking with Windows since 2012, which saw the release of the touch-optimized Windows 8 OS. Despite the fact that the ‘Metro’ tiled interface worked fluidly on touch-screen devices such as the Surface, the multiple millions on desktop were essentially hung out to dry, and although there’s always a degree of resistance to major changes in software, the backlash from Windows 8 was quite unprecedented.
It is also being stated that the upcoming major release, which is Windows 8.2 / 9, will be a cloud-centric OS, much like how Chrome OS is.
Windows 8.1, as well as its subsequent update, have refined the experience for those using the keyboard and mouse combination, and when that Start Menu does finally arrive, users will hopefully be able to put the rollercoaster ride since Windows 8 behind them.
As you can see from the shot of the Start Menu, it still incorporates the modern, tiled UI, combining elements of old and new to create a look and feel that will seek to suit everybody.
As more information emerges about the next Windows update, we’ll likely hear more tidbits regarding this Start Menu, so stay tuned for further developments on this story as it unfolds.