News

Windows Start Menu Delayed?

Rumors are spreading that it may not appear until "Windows 9."

Microsoft won't bring back the Start Menu to its flagship Windows operating system until next year, according to a report.

The report, by veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, cites two of her unnamed sources as saying that the Start Menu won't appear in Windows 8.x until sometime in 2015. Microsoft may be delaying the release of that feature to coincide with its so-called "Threshold" OS release, Foley speculated. Threshold is a rumored code name for Microsoft's next-generation OS, possibly to be called "Windows 9," according to Foley.

The return of the Start Menu may not seem like a big deal, but it's been part of Microsoft's retrenched efforts to appease desktop PC users, who may have been put off by Windows 8's tablet-centric design, which heavily relies on a touch-based user interface. Microsoft showed off a mock-up of a planned new Start Menu during its Build developer event in early April. The mock-up shows a menu system running with multiple windows on the Desktop side of the OS (see figure). Shortly thereafter, Microsoft released Windows 8.1 Update, which added a Start Screen and various improvements for keyboard and mouse users, but no Start menu.

[Click on image for larger view.] Figure 1. Start Screen mock-up shown at Microsoft's Build developer event. Source: April 2 Microsoft blog post.

Foley said that Microsoft originally had planned to release the new Start Menu with Windows 8.1 Update 2, which is expected in August of this year, according to her sources. Microsoft hasn't announced a forthcoming Windows 8.1 Update 2 so that's also still at the rumor stage.

The ability to run multiple Windows Store Apps ("Metro") program windows on the Desktop side of Windows 8.1 was another feature shown at Microsoft's Build event in April. That feature also will be delayed until the 2015 Threshold launch, according to Foley's sources.

Microsoft has said nothing about the release dates of its next-generation Windows or its next Windows update releases, so it's all still at the rumor stage now.

In general, Microsoft has been issuing its software updates on a more frequent basis. It's also been describing an evolving "universal apps" experience that will make it easier for developers to port their apps across Windows and Windows Phone OSes. According to Microsoft executives, those internal development efforts, which got rolling with the One Microsoft engineering team reorganization last year, are starting to gel. Microsoft is moving more toward a common OS release cycle for its various products, according to David Treadwell, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Operating Systems group.

"We had to finish Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Phone 8.1, Xbox One," Treadwell said, according to The Seattle Times. "Now that those are done, we are now on the same logistical schedules. We're going to have one common OS schedule and everything's going to be aligned with that. We're doing common planning now, common priority, common release schedules."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

comments powered by Disqus

Featured

  • VS Code Now Has Apple Silicon Builds for Native Mac Development

    Goodbye Rosetta, hello M1. Visual Studio Code has been updated with new builds that let it run natively on machines with Apple Silicon (M1), the company's own ARM64 chips.

  • Visual Studio 2019 for Mac v8.9 Ships with .NET 6 Preview 1 Support

    During its Ignite 2021 online event for IT pros and developers this week, Microsoft shipped Visual Studio 2019 for Mac v8.9, arriving with out-of-the-box support for .NET 6 Preview 1, which the company also released recently.

  • Analyst: TypeScript Now Firmly in Top 10 Echelon (Ruby, Not So Much)

    RedMonk analyst Stephen O'Grady believes TypeScript has achieved the rare feat of firmly ensconcing itself into the top 10 echelon of his ranking, now questioning how high it might go.

  • Black White Wave IMage

    Neural Regression Using PyTorch: Training

    The goal of a regression problem is to predict a single numeric value, for example, predicting the annual revenue of a new restaurant based on variables such as menu prices, number of tables, location and so on.

Upcoming Events