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Microsoft Businesses Windows IT

Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015 516

Posted by samzenpus
from the coming-soon dept.
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft recently announced plans to reintroduce the Start Menu to Windows in an upcoming version of the operating system. While the plan was to roll out an update to Windows 8.1 and offer the Start menu later this year, it seems like this is no longer the case. Now Microsoft is reportedly looking to release the Start Menu with Windows 9, which is expected in April of 2015. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 have faced a boat load of criticism and hatred, partly due to the removal of the Start button and Start menu. The restoration of a visible Start button on the taskbar was one of the key features of the Windows 8.1 update, released back in October of 2013."
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Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

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  • by postmortem (906676) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:29PM (#47148171) Journal

    to "latest and greatest" version of Windows in 2014 either.

    MS may as well start selling retail copies of Win 7 again

  • Why bother? (Score:5, Informative)

    by whizbang77045 (1342005) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:32PM (#47148191)
    Why would anyone want to start anything on Windows 8?
  • I was forced to use Windows 8 because it's packaged in my new laptop, and a change in OS means I need to spend more money. So I gave it a try but I never liked it. I think, I might get used to it, if all the PCs I use (home/office/remote) are all Windows 8. If MS wants everybody to like Windows 8, they should have killed all other versions that uses the START button. i.e. Windows Update that automatically disables the start menu for Windows XP to Windows 7. Then everybody will be forced to grow accustomed
    • by gstoddart (321705) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:42PM (#47148283) Homepage

      i.e. Windows Update that automatically disables the start menu for Windows XP to Windows 7. Then everybody will be forced to grow accustomed to it.

      Wow, force adoption of an un-popular version of your software by crippling the other versions.

      Brilliant strategy! What could possibly go wrong? Just piss off everybody, and then they won't be pissed off about Windows 8.

      You, sir, have a brilliant future in PR ahead of you.

      What next, brick all of the XBox 360s so people have to buy an XBone?

    • by Kenja (541830) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:53PM (#47148377)
      For reasons known only to them, they wanted phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops to all use the same interface. Since a start menu doesn't work well on a phone, they opted to remove it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fahrbot-bot (874524)

        For reasons known only to them, they wanted phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops to all use the same interface. Since a start menu doesn't work well on a phone, they opted to remove it.

        Hmm... Sounds like Firefox 29...

      • by afidel (530433) on Monday June 02, 2014 @02:10PM (#47148583)

        It was to push Modern UI (nee Metro) onto every platform to try to bootstrap app development for their floundering mobile offerings and to try to capture the application revenue that Apple and Google were achieving through their walled garden app stores.

      • by Ravaldy (2621787)

        It's not for some reason, it's for a bad reason. They followed customer feedback without understanding what users really needed. Customers made them believe they wanted a seamless device to device experience which resulted in Metro GOOWY!! The intent wasn't bad but the implementation was horrendous. They should have had their own IT staff and programmers work with it. It would have been obvious that it's not friendly to the technical user or even a regular user with a mouse and keyboard.

    • you should have downgrade rights.

  • Every Other OS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by meerling (1487879) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:32PM (#47148195)
    Microsoft seems to be intentionally upholding the old meme about 'every other OS released by Microsoft sucking'.

    After a while, you really have to wonder why they keep doing this.
    • by djdanlib (732853)

      Publicists usually say that any kind of buzz is good for business.

      And they know people are going to buy it. When J. Random User with $400 walks into a store and wants to buy a laptop, does (s)he have any other choice?

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        When J. Random User with $400 walks into a store and wants to buy a laptop, does (s)he have any other choice?

        Well, how much is a Chromebook?

        • by NotDrWho (3543773)

          How much to run most software on it?

          $0, because you can't.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by roc97007 (608802)

        Publicists usually say that any kind of buzz is good for business.

        And they know people are going to buy it. When J. Random User with $400 walks into a store and wants to buy a laptop, does (s)he have any other choice?

        Sure. Buy a mac. And I'm saying that as someone who thinks macs are overpriced trendy hipster-ware. Besides all the shiny marketing, they are admittedly designed with usability in mind, which Microsoft seems to have forgotten how to do.

        I'm still using Windows 7, but if M$ hasn't gotten their act together by the time it reaches EOL, I'm actively considering jumping ship. Apple runs the apps I need. (If Linux did, I'd use that instead, but they don't yet.)

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Sure. Buy a mac. And I'm saying that as someone who thinks macs are overpriced trendy hipster-ware.

          Are there any $400 Mac laptops? Because, that was the specific example you replied to.

          If there aren't, then the choices of someone with $400 to spend on a machine are much more limited.

        • >, Apple runs the apps I need. (If Linux did, I'd use that instead, but they don't yet.)

          I used Linux exclusively for many years. I was pleasantly surprised how natural OSX felt when I started using it. I knew that OSX is certified Unix, but I expected it to feel at least as different as FreeBSD. I certainly recommend OSX (not iOS) for people who like Linux.

        • Re:Every Other OS (Score:5, Insightful)

          by FuegoFuerte (247200) on Monday June 02, 2014 @02:21PM (#47148667)

          Besides all the shiny marketing, they are admittedly designed with usability in mind,

          I used to believe this load of bullshit about Mac usability, until I got one. I've been using a Macbook Pro for 6 months now as my primary machine, and I still hate it. Usability my ass... just TRY connecting the damn thing to a projector or second display in a conference room and making it behave in a rational manner. Or try taking a screenshot... what was that obnoxious key combo again? That's right... it makes no sense and can't be remembered by a mere mortal. Let's jump to the beginning of a line with the Home key, or the end of the line with the End key... oh wait, it doesn't have one. They conveniently replaced those with more key combinations that can't be remembered by us mortals. Apparently text entry isn't an important usability case for Apple.

          Any time I want to get real work done, I plug in a Windows keyboard and switch over to a Windows VM. Why? Not because I love Microsoft software and Windows so much, it's because it "just fucking works" unlike everything on the Mac.

          • Re:Every Other OS (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Belial6 (794905) on Monday June 02, 2014 @04:18PM (#47149785)
            I completely agree. OSX has a poor user interface. Their "Save screen real estate by only having one pull down menu" made sense when we were running on 320x200 screens. At that resolution, a pull down menu took a significant percentage of the screen real estate, and everyone was using a single screen. Today, screen real estate is abundant, and multiple monitors are common. With the single menu, there is no good visual cue to indicate which of your many open windows the pull down menu will affect. This is a poor UI giving poor usability. Putting removable media in the trash is the movement for ejecting the media? Total brain dead UI.
        • They should have a bigger mini with desktop cpu and maybe some kind of add in video card choice.

          The MAC PRO is nice but it is overkill for lot's of uses and the base system only comes with 256 GB storage.

          Why not have an mini mac pro at say $1,200-$1,500? with an I5 - I7 desktop cpu and 1 good mid range to high end video card?

          The imacs are ok but the AIO / thin part holds them back a bit and there video chips are a little under powered (even more with the screen size on them) the top of the line Imac does ha

    • Re:Every Other OS (Score:5, Informative)

      by jones_supa (887896) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:37PM (#47148237)
      Because those lists are not true. They always conveniently forget a release in between, or describe a release as good/bad even if it actually was the opposite.
    • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday June 02, 2014 @02:06PM (#47148539)

      After a while, you really have to wonder why they keep doing this.

      Yeah, they should only release odd-numbered OS's!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I installed Windows 7.

  • Microsoft has lied about this in the past, why should anyone believe them now?
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Microsoft has lied about this in the past, why should anyone believe them now?

      That's actually a good point. The start menu is easy to add -- third party developers have proven this. It's possible their strategy is to keep people using Windows 8 sans start menu, in the vain hope that M$ will fix it some day, and eventually just say to hell with it and use Win8 as it is now. And maybe that strategy will work.

  • MS is apparently buying into the whole "every other release is good" thing too. They sure seem to be in a hurry to iterate the version number.
  • flame away, but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by shadowrat (1069614) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:36PM (#47148227)
    I received a windows 8 machine at work to fix some compatibility issues with my product. I bitched and moaned about how awful it was for a month. Then i let out a stream of periodic muffled profanities every time some weird unrequested interface took over my laptop from out of nowhere. Then months went by and i realized something:

    Windows 8 is not really that bad. I know how to find all the stuffs now. I know how to shut it down. I know how to avoid having intrusive metro apps popping up. I no longer care if the start menu comes back or not. It's all still there. It actually seems to perform quite well. start up and shutdown times are decent. sleep when i close the lid seems to work. I'm through bitching and i just want to get on with my work. At this point, i'd rather it just stay the way it is.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ClownPenis (1315157)
      You know. You are actually right. Interface aside the rest of the "shit behind the scenes", seems pretty good.

      With an SSD in a new laptop it boots in about 3-4 seconds.
    • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:46PM (#47148319) Journal

      No flames here. For any new OS Microsoft craps out, there will be people forced for various reasons to try to live with it. That you managed to do so is more a credit to you than to Microsoft.

      That said, the solution for me was a system restore to Windows 7, and Windows 8 goes back on the shelf until... 2015 I guess. But I can see where there are some cases where that isn't possible.

      (And yes, I know there's third party solutions to many of Windows 8's issues... but like you, I have to get work done.)

    • by Zelucifer (740431)

      It isn't that Windows 8 in general is terrible, it's that the UI is horrendous. Things that I used to be able to do by clicking a button now require me to stop my workflow and load a full page "Metro". Yes there are workarounds and once you do so, Windows 8 is very good.

    • by mcrbids (148650) on Monday June 02, 2014 @02:38PM (#47148853) Journal

      I partly agree. Windows 8.1 isn't as tragic as it seems at first. But they've forgotten one of the primary goals of a UI: discoverability.

      I'm a Linux geek, so I'm used to typing arcane commands into shell prompts. I can find whatever I need in a Google search if I don't know it already. Command line interfaces require you to specify what you are looking for. It's expected that you should know in advance what you want and how to ask for it. This is somewhat less true for the double-tab interface in bash, but still, the basic idea is to specify.

      What made Windows and MacOS such a big deal back in the day is that they were "discoverable" - you could figure out what options you had available by reading the menus and picking one, with the basic expectation that, if there was an option or command to run, there'd be a menu entry in a hopefully sensible place to allow it. Thus, anybody could "use" a computer by finding the obvious start button.

      Windows 8.x tosses discoverability to the wind. You just have to know in advance which combination of swipes and from which side in order to get what you want. Because of this, it's not discoverable. What makes Windows 8 so damning and frustrating for the new user is that stuff happens and there's no obvious reason why.

      With this recent statement, Microsoft has made clear that they're going to try to double down on the Metro Interface, and hope that by promising it at some distant, future date, the haters will shut up long enough for people to get used to the not-discoverable Windows 8 interface.

      I have mixed feelings about this.

    • by swb (14022) on Monday June 02, 2014 @02:51PM (#47148981)

      Microsoft has been on a long-term trend in the name of ease of use of burying everything behind complicated and convoluted UIs since at least Vista, although the default XP UI was also in on it a little.

      Little things, like changing your computer's IP address seem to require more and more clicks, dialog boxes and window changes to accomplish the same tasks as before. More and more settings seem to default to "idiot light' mode where basic information is deliberately turned off or hidden.

      This might be tolerable for a "home" edition of something designed to get grandma on the internet with a minimum of long distance phone calls to her grandkids, but it's absolutely maddening for "professional" editions and simply uncalled for in "server" editions.

      I just cannot fathom what group or individual decided that Server 2012 needed the same UI as the most basic desktop OS. I don't mind the concept of Metro and the execution seems OK on a Surface Pro provided you stay in Metro mode, but there should be a switch or something that just completely disabled Metro mode for server OSes (and should be the default) and it should be switchable for desktop OSes.

      Further, the desktop UI needs an "expert" mode where some of the "wizards" are disabled (can't I just have my network connections without the network and sharing center) and more details and technical information are presented to the end users without being filtered/turned off.

  • FTFY.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:38PM (#47148249) Journal

    "Microsoft will not have a new desktop-appropriate operating system until 2015." Fixed that for you.

    I'm not sure why they're doing this -- third party developers have proven it's easy to do.

    • Maybe they realized that they were already making too much UI changes in Windows 8 and wanted to cool things down to not confuse people anymore.
      • by roc97007 (608802)

        Maybe they realized that they were already making too much UI changes in Windows 8 and wanted to cool things down to not confuse people anymore.

        That's possible, but I'd argue that they stopped at the wrong place.

  • The Start Menu in 8.1 is crap. Most of the features that were in Win7's start menu don't exist in 8.1. Typical Microsoft, screwed up their "second" OS release:

    Windows 3.1x (1992) - Good
    Windows 95 (1995) - Mixed bag, at the beginning it sucked
    Windows 98 (1998) - Good
    Windows ME (2000) - Sucked (hard)
    Windows XP (2001) - Good
    Windows Vista (2006) - Sucked although not as hard as ME
    Windows 7 (2009) - Good
    Windows 8.x 2013 - FAIL
    Windows 9 - ???

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Windows XP (2001) - Good

      And this is where all these "every other release" lists derail. Windows XP in 2001 was terrible. It wasn't until SP2 and arguable SP3 until it was usable. Prior to that it was a security nightmare. I mean, Slashdot at the time was ground zero for railing against XP and its "Fisherprice" interface. How do you people not remember this?

    • Before people say I forgot the server stuff... They did a little better here:

      Windows NT 3.5 - Crap
      Windows NT 3.51 - Useable
      Windows NT 4 -- Good
      Windows 2000 --- crap
      Windows 2003 --- Good
      Windows 2008 -- Good (after R2)
      Windows 2012 -- judgement still out

      • by jones_supa (887896) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:51PM (#47148371)
        Windows 2000 is crap? It's one of the golden releases, in my opinion the best one after 7.
      • I used to run WinNT 4.0and Win 2000 (Abit BP6 dual Celeron 266 MHz o/c 550 MHz) as my primary desktop.

        Both were good. Us game developers would typically use Win2000 to develop Win95/Win98 games until we switched over to Windows XP. (Some would argue that WinXP sucked until SP3.)

      • by fnj (64210)

        Windows NT and 2000 were NOT "server". 9x and Me literally did not even exist as far as I was concerned. I was happily using NT and 2000. Yeah, on the desktop.

      • Windows 2012 - I''ll have to say crap, due to the new UI, and mainly because there are a lot of bad Windows admins.
        Anecdote: Something about AD or DNS was corrupted on the only 2012 DC in the domain because it was not being shut down properly. It turns out, one of the Windows admins couldn't figure out where the shut down/reboot buttons were, so he was simply right clicking it in VMware and hitting reboot. To his credit, VMware tools was installed so it did a smoother-looking shutdown than just yanking th

    • 3.1 wasn't good, people just didn't know what a GUI OS could really do.
      Windows 95, stunk too.
      Windows 98, Combined the stinkiness of 95, with a web browsers embedded just to kill netscape, however
      Windows ME, Failed in some hardware support, made people deal with windows 98 for compatibility.
      Windows XP, Got better as it used the NT Kernel. However it did break a lot of compatibility of the old DOS programs, and no one really liked the Phiser Price colors.
      Vista, Driver Compatibility problems yet again. Took w

    • Not sure why you are merging Windows NT in that list.

      You missed Win95B, and Win98SE, amongst others. A *complete* 16-bit list is:

      * Windows 1.0
      * Windows 2.0
      * Windows 2.1
      * Windows 3.0
      * Windows 3.1
      * Windows 3.11
      * Windows for Workgroups 3.1
      * Windows for Workgroups 3.11
      * Windows 95
      * Windows 95B
      * Windows 98
      * Windows 98SE
      * Windows Me

      But yeah, every second major release was usually good (or bad.)

  • by GrumblyStuff (870046) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:43PM (#47148297)

    Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 have faced a boat load of criticism and hatred, partly due to the removal of the Start button and Start menu.

    Start Menu. A button is just a fucking button and only necessary to show you where to click. That's how the majority of 8's blatant mistakes with all the hold mouse here, charms bar, and other nonsense.

  • Who needs it anyways (Score:4, Informative)

    by penguinoid (724646) <spambait001@yahoo.com> on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:47PM (#47148329) Homepage Journal

    Who needs the most used button anyways?

  • I don't understand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xfizik (3491039) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:48PM (#47148333)
    One thing about Microsoft that I don't understand is its seeming slowness at doing simple things. OK, everyone agrees there has to be a Start Menu, it is not hard to implement (see lots of 3rd party apps doing just that), it will not break any existing Windows functionality, MS has virtually unlimited highly skilled resources, yet this obvious simple improvement takes months (if not years) to release. Let alone the fact that this problem should never have existed in the first place.
  • I am using Windows 8 (Score:5, Informative)

    by eieken (635333) on Monday June 02, 2014 @01:54PM (#47148391) Homepage
    And I can't do it without Classic Shell. Classic Shell [classicshell.net], making Windows 8 Bearable.
    • Indeed...Classic Shell removes all the suck from Windows 8 and makes it act like Windows 7, while keeping the "under the hood" improvements that Windows 8 has for CPU scheduling.
    • Yes. Classic shell is better than the start menu that came with any version of windows.

      If Microsoft reintroduce the start menu it's likely to mess with classic shell and make things worse.

  • What a great way to make sure Windows 9 sells like hotcakes!

    1. Remove a well-loved feature from a system with sufficient vendor-lock in.
    2. Only provide the feature in a paid upgrade
    3. Profit!

    Is this a patentable business model?

  • Me: No more Windows on my PC until.... forever.

    Linux... I heart you.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday June 02, 2014 @02:22PM (#47148669) Journal

    > "The restoration of a visible Start button on the taskbar was one of the key features of the Windows 8.1 update, released back in October of 2013."

    Apparently this needs to be pointed out yet again: A button that takes you to the start screen is not a start button. What users requested was the start menu back. What was delivered was at best a condescending "we know what you really want better than you", and more like a calculated insult.

  • by kriston (7886) on Monday June 02, 2014 @02:27PM (#47148741) Homepage Journal

    Windows 8.x is pretty good only as long as you have a touchscreen.

    What is really atrociously stupid is Microsoft's idea of putting the Metro interface onto Windows 2012 Server. It is just breathtakingly stupid to put an animated, graphical user interface onto a system that is almost always accessed via Remote Desktop Connection.

  • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Monday June 02, 2014 @02:38PM (#47148857)
    Microsoft had an epiphany. That epiphany was called iTunes and later spun off as the App Store. You see Apple gets a cut of EVERY APP SOLD via their marketplace and I believe they might even share in revenue from ads in ad supported apps as well. Since it is impossible to sideload apps without jailbreaking an iOS device they have ISV's over a barrel if they want to sell to Apple's customers. Microsoft decided they liked Steve Job's decidedly Gatesesque business model. They knew their mobile devices would be a hard sell given the saturation of iOS/Android so they decided they could back door their model into their desktop OS. It has been a multi-tiered approach but non of their vectors has gotten much traction. Surface RT was DOA and Surface Pro and desktop users continue to use traditional [pcworld.com] Windows apps. If Microsoft brings the start menu back it would delay even further Metro App adoption and Microsoft's newest revenue stream. So they will continue to promise to bring it back so people won't just throw Windows 7 on their new PC but keep delaying it as long as they can in hopes Metro App use continues to climb.
  • Too Late Microsoft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Irate Engineer (2814313) on Monday June 02, 2014 @04:18PM (#47149779)

    Windows has jumped the shark. It's all downhill from here.

    Many folks have finally tired of Microsoft just churning the interface just to make a new product. All that did was alienate the users that had grown accustomed to menu interfaces in Office and the Start menu. Paying to buy a whole new version of the OS and then dealing with the headaches of just trying to figure out how to just get back to the capability the user had before the change got really old.

    The problems with Windows 8 are not necessarily with the features. Windows 8 may be the best OS under the sun, but most users won't ever know that because it is buried under one of the most craptastic PC user interfaces contrived. Folks probably would be happy to have the core features of Windows 8 if the menus and buttons looked familiar to the last version. They do not.

    I finally went to Linux simply because they kept a lot of the UI features like menus and start buttons that Windows abandoned. Linux really is now at a point where it is an easier OS to transition to from Windows XP and 7 vs transitioning to Windows 8. That is not because Linux interfaces improved dramatically (though they are better than they were) but because Windows 8 broke a lot of UI features that the users really liked and wanted.

    Happy trails Microsoft, best wishes from a formerly happy customer from the Windows 3.1 days. Friendly advice - stop pissing off your loyal customers and give them what they want to see.

    • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

      Linux really is now at a point where it is an easier OS to transition to from Windows XP and 7 vs transitioning to Windows 8. That is not because Linux interfaces improved dramatically (though they are better than they were) but because Windows 8 broke a lot of UI features that the users really liked and wanted.

      Happy trails Microsoft...

      This. Although I mildly disagree about the Linux interfaces. Ubuntu is kind of weird, but Mint is nice, and I've been fooling with lubuntu, also nice for a minimalist package.

      But the point to me - like you - is that even the gnarliest linux interface is now immensly better than Metro, or whatever they call it these days. And a whole lot more intuitive for an XP user.

      But the problem of course is that many of the XP faithful are not all that likely to change over now

    • " Folks probably would be happy to have the core features of Windows 8 if the menus and buttons looked familiar to the last version. They do not."

      While I'm more than happy to criticizeWin8's looks, that's not the crux of the problem. It's the behavior. Randomly switching between Classic and Metro, hidden functions that have to be swiped or god-knows-what if you don't have a touch screen, two control panels, one in Metro, one in Classic, and neither can do everything so you get to hunt within both, and
      • Yeah, I think you get my drift. The problem is really with the user interface and the experience, not necessarily with the underlying capabilities of the OS.

        If users are confused and frustrated by trying to do simple things with the OS, the "advanced features" are pretty much invisible, no matter how great and innovative they may be.

        When your business leaves your customers wondering "What the fuck am I paying for again?", you have a problem.
  • by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Monday June 02, 2014 @04:36PM (#47149917)
    While Microsoft will not bring back the Start menu anytime soon, they promise to keep or increase the amount of pure Suck in Windows 8.

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