The return of the Start menu in future Windows 8.1 update: Thoughts?


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John Callaham

So the Start menu will officially be returning to the desktop in a future update for Windows 8.1..what do you guys think about this development? Is Microsoft doing the right thing in bringing back a feature that's been highly requested by many users or do you feel that the company should just let the Start menu go?

 

http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-shows-off-the-start-menu-that-is-coming-to-windows-81

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The_Observer

how long before they bring back Windows XP!

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Chris123NT

Oh yeah, definitely the right move, and it's done in a way that should make most people happy. IMO it's the perfect fusion of desktop functionality (MFU and jumplists) and modern apps/live tiles on the fully customizable right pane.  It takes the old menu and re-imagines it in a way that makes sense and is still highly functional for users of traditional PC's without touch.

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Lord Method Man

Clearly this is a topic that hasn't seen enough discussion on Neowin.

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Dot Matrix

They should have never brought back ancient 2001 functionality. It should have been based off the live tiles alone.

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PGHammer

Clearly this is a topic that hasn't seen enough discussion on Neowin.

It's kissing up - I understand why they did it; however, I wish they didn't have to.

 

This particular feature I will avoid/avoid/avoid - and it's not because I'm a fan of touch-screens, either.

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articuno1au

I think it's a mistake.

 

Windows 8 has done really well in retail. Most of the complaints seem to center around there being no desktop anymore.. I'm not kidding, that's what most consumers complain about with it. Once shown and explained why the start screen is the way it is and its benefits, people take to it like a duck to water.

 

The only change I would have made would be a desktop setting that made the desktop versions of the apps the default for PC's. i.e. No XBox Video/Music for opening your files, WMP instead. This addresses the most common returning customer complaint.

 

I legitimately dislike that MS have backpedaled after wearing the brunt of all the annoyance from people for so long. Very derpy..

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Dot Matrix

This proves that Microsoft isn't going to get anywhere, in making changes to the OS. Half of this code dates back to the 90's... Why are we still trying to hold onto it? Times have changed, operating systems have changed, it's more than time to let some of this backwards functionality go.

 

Windows is a mess of code, registries, and other assorted outdated paradigms. Metro was that clean break to start over.

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PGHammer

I think it's a mistake.

 

Windows 8 has done really well in retail. Most of the complaints seem to center around there being no desktop anymore.. I'm not kidding, that's what most consumers complain about with it. Once shown and explained why the start screen is the way it is and its benefits, people take to it like a duck to water.

 

The only change I would have made would be a desktop setting that made the desktop versions of the apps the default for PC's. i.e. No XBox Video/Music for opening your files, WMP instead. This addresses the most common returning customer complaint.

 

I legitimately dislike that MS have backpedaled after wearing the brunt of all the annoyance from people for so long. Very derpy..

 

That is what FUD (in this case, mostly misplaced FEAR) has done.

 

Not one of the critics has come up with any evidence that applications (desktop applications) rely on the Start menu - none at all. As opposed to Start menu shortcuts, we have StartScreen (or AppScreen) shortcuts instead.  Need to add a shortcut (from either one) to the Taskbar (Taskbar pinning ala 7)?  You can do that rather easily - from either screen.  Once my primary applications have been pinned, I find myself not needing to visit the AppScreen much.

 

The complainers didn't like their gravy train being derailed.

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redfish

I think it's a mistake.

 

I'm happy and all that the people who were complaining get to like their machines better...

 

I, personally, just don't think it was a problem that really needed to be solved. The criticism always seemed just to be armchair criticism.

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Chris123NT

They should have never brought back ancient 2001 functionality. It should have been based off the live tiles alone.

Jumplists and start search didn't exist in 2001 so try again.  And for what it's worth MFU is actually quite usable and has been shown to improve workflow, so think what you want about it but it's a good move.

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Hum

I prefer a hidden Start menu over 101 screaming screen tiles/icons. ;)

 

At least Microsoft should give the individual user the choice.

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Chris123NT

This proves that Microsoft isn't going to get anywhere, in making changes to the OS. Half of this code dates back to the 90's... Why are we still trying to hold onto it? Times have changed, operating systems have changed, it's more than time to let some of this backwards functionality go.

 

Windows is a mess of code, registries, and other assorted outdated paradigms. Metro was that clean break to start over.

I really beg to differ with this, they are getting somewhere.  They are FINALLY building a unified OS that has a dynamic user experience that is dictated by the type of hardware you are using.  It's one Windows for everyone with a UI that is adjusted specifically for the type of device it is running on.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach and IMO it's what they should have done with Windows 8 in the first place.

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PGHammer

I really beg to differ with this, they are getting somewhere.  They are FINALLY building a unified OS that has a dynamic user experience that is dictated by the type of hardware you are using.  It's one Windows for everyone with a UI that is adjusted specifically for the type of device it is running on.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach and IMO it's what they should have done with Windows 8 in the first place.

Chris123NT, it's really not any more "unified" than it has ever been.  What was added was a kiss-up for the pointing-device-centric - nothing more.

ModernUI is still around, and so is the Windows (app) Store - expect both to still be complained about.

 

The Start menu's return is not in this update, but in a future update; worse, all THAT does is screw over third-party software that did the same thing (such as ClassicShell and Start8).

 

I use neither one (or any other third-party "bringback"), because, as a keyboard-centric (not pointing-device-centric) user, I have no respect or love whatever for the Start menu, and I'm not putting it back with Update 2, either (if at all avoidable).  Why screw over third parties?

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Torolol

I use neither one (or any other third-party "bringback"), because, as a keyboard-centric (not pointing-device-centric) user, I have no respect or love whatever for the Start menu, and I'm not putting it back with Update 2, either (if at all avoidable).  Why screw over third parties?

you doing it wrong,

after you press "WinKey" you can immediately press keyboard's keys for search, as added bonus: you can still view your other works as it wont be obscured by screen full of tiles.

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PGHammer

you doing it wrong,

after you press "WinKey" you can immediately press keyboard's keys for search, as added bonus: you can still view your other works as it wont be obscured by screen full of tiles.

I said I hated the Start menu (ala 7 and earlier) - I have zero issues with the StartScreen.  The searchability of said screen is something I pointed out way back in the Windows 8 Developer Preview.

 

The reason I despise the return of the Start MENU is at this point all it does is screw over third-party developers (not alone Stardock) - whether it is any more usable than said third-party utilities I could care less about, for reasons i explained.

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+LogicalApex

I'll review this addition when it gets added later this year and decide if Windows 8 offers enough to compel me to upgrade.
 

This is a welcome addition and looks like it should have from the outset. Since I can block the store I might be willing to jump to 8.1 after this, but we shall see...

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Andre S.

I think we're finally past that period at Microsoft where they're in panic mode over mobile and neglecting every other technology. Some people from Microsoft came to visit us at my company, where we develop a large-scale desktop application, and were quite adamant that there has been a change of mentalities at Microsoft and that they would not abandon their most used technologies anymore. Build 2014 shows a healthy mix of topics - it's not just Windows Store apps anymore - and I think we're in for some good surprises with http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2014/2-535 and http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2014/2-563(talks not available at the time of writing, should be there within 24-28 hours).

 

So it's much more than just a piece of UI coming back to Windows, the whole vision at Microsoft is changing, and for the better.

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NEVER85

Having the choice is good. Personally I could use either interface and won't constantly complain about having one over the other like many never seem to tire of doing.

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+Frank B.

Microsoft are doing what they should have done right from the Windows 8.0 release onwards: They're giving users a choice of UX paradigm. It remains to be seen when this update comes out and what else it will bring (here's hoping for a visual overhaul with new desktop theme, new icons) - in either case, re-introducing the Start menu is not a regression, it's a blessing.

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zhangm

Comments removed.

 

Please keep the thread on topic.

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HawkMan

It feels a bit like going backwards into the future. it's unecessary.

 

if they needed to add a start menu they should have dropped the left classic start menu part and just had a wider pinnable tile area. 

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+Red King

IMO, Microsoft is merging the two environments so using both is easier.

It is fusion in progress, DBZ style.

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Nashy

I'll buy it now.  I don't care what the fanboys think, I hate the start screen.

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