At the Microsoft Build conference earlier this year, Microsoft teased that it was going to bring the beloved Start Menu back in a future release of Windows.
So ever since April 4th the world has been in suspense, eagerly awaiting more information about the Start Menu.
Today, more than 5 months after Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s EVP of Operating Systems, flaunted the Start Menu and posted his thoughts on the feature, we now have something substantive.
A few days ago the guys at WinFuture.de posted leaked screenshots of the new version of Windows codenamed “Threshold”.
Then early this morning, they took it a step farther by releasing a full video demonstration showing off Start Menu in a way thats never been been seen.
The one minute video on WinFuture.de shows a user by the name of Han Solo unpinning Live Tiles from the Start Menu making it look very similar to the Windows 7 Start Menu we’ve all grown to love.
Mr Solo shows you how easy it is to add and remove Live Tiles from the Start Menu. You don’t have to jump to a Start Screen to view your apps anymore.
If one minute is too brief for you, check out the three minute video WinFuture posted which shows you the new way to shut down the computer, browse your apps and search for things.
The video shows a bunch of novel features such as floating Modern Apps.
You may also notice two new icons in the Taskbar between the Start button and Internet Explorer icons:
- A search magnifying glass
- Virtual Desktops icon
I think the magnifying glass is simply the Search Charm moved to the Task Bar. This makes sense because the Charms bar is purportedly removed in Windows 9 “Threshhold” so Microsoft wanted to make search functionality more conspicuous.
The Virtual Desktops icon is a way to have multiple distinct desktops on a single computer. In the past, users who wanted this functionality had to download extra tools such as Desktops by SysInternals, but now it looks like multiple desktops are built into the OS.
There are also new properties for the Start Menu that let you completely replace the Start Screen with the Start Menu. This is a welcome change for non-touch laptop users. I’m glad Microsoft is finally listening to user feedback about this.
You’ll also see new Privacy Settings for the Start Menu that let you purge your personal info from the tiles.
The Bottom Line
The new Start Menu attempts to blend the convenience of the Start Screen with the familiarity with of the Start Menu. You get both in one package.
After looking at these videos I think Microsoft is doing a good job redeeming itself. It received a heavy amount of derision when it removed the Start Menu in Windows 8. And justifiably so, Windows 8 was extremely annoying, Windows 8.1 was a little less annoying and I think Windows 9 could be positioned to be the next Windows 7.
Microsoft is expected to release a technical preview of Windows 9 on September 30th. Microsoft partners have already received the build labeled Windows Technical Preview” version 6.4 (9834.0.140908-0936.FBL_PARTNER_EEAP but we’ll have a wait a few days before we can get our hands on it.
What do you think of the changes Microsoft made with the Start Menu. Do you think Windows 9 is lining up to rival Windows 7? Let me know in the comments!