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Microsoft Backports Start Menu To Windows RT 39

jones_supa writes: Windows RT devices, such as the Surface RT and the Surface 2, won't get an upgrade to Windows 10, but instead Microsoft has been working on a platform update that brings the original Start Menu which the company introduced in the first Windows 10 builds. This means that it is technologically based on DirectUI, instead of an XAML-based menu which shipped with the RTM PC version of Windows 10. Aside from the Start Menu, the update is expected to include some minor tweaks and performance improvements as well.
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Microsoft Backports Start Menu To Windows RT

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    The RT Windows was dreadfully inadequate for Windows users that have always been able to run any Windows software on it. I am not even sure why Microsoft is even bothering upgrading the RT platform? The only software that runs is Office and then you rely on apps? Will it even support universal apps well?
    This reminds me of what Microsoft did with some 7.5 Windows phones. Instead of giving them 8.0 OS they did 7.8 a minor refresh that did nothing. I had a Surface RT a while back it sat idle for months never e

    • by Anonymous Coward

      At least Microsoft is trying, however minimally, to improve the user experience. I hate to admit it, but that's more than can be said for open source projects like Firefox and GNOME 3, which also trashed their UIs during the same era, yet haven't made any substantial effort to fix them. Firefox is still sporting the half-assed Chrome-imitating Australis look and feel, which is far inferior to what Firefox used before then, which itself was far inferior to the earlier Firefox 3.6 look. GNOME 3 is still a hal

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      It's for embedded use. Sometimes having a longer lifetime than many other usages.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    all those spying / telemetry updates will make it to rt, too, and won't be properly described there either. hey microsoft: 'fixes issues in windows' is NOT what the telemetry updates, or gwx nagware for 7/8 for that matter, does. those updates cause MORE problems and fixes *none*.

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @08:17AM (#50539703) Homepage Journal

    The real question is would they make this available to regular 8.1 users who aren't entirely comfortable about jumping to Windows 10 right now?

    Windows RT was only available for tablets, and (hacks combined with custom compiled executables aside - there really aren't many ARM Windows executables) only capable of running Microsoft Office on the "desktop" side. So this new Start button is of questionable usefulness, it's something the vast majority of RT users will never see.

    Regular X86/X86-64 Windows 8.1, on the other hand, would greatly benefit from a Start button.

    • Re:Good but... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday September 17, 2015 @08:56AM (#50539907) Homepage

      If you want a Start button in Windows 8.1, install Classic Shell.

      Do some googling, and figure out how you too can make Windows 8.1 look pretty much like previous versions of Windows. It's not that tough, but it makes it infinitely better.

      On my desktop, I've disabled their store, their apps, the idiotic Metro screens, and what I see is a classic looking Windows desktop with a Start menu. Not a single bit of the crap Microsoft believes is the future. Because I want a damned desktop for working on, not some damned romper room thing which thinks the world is now a tablet.

      The problem is that Microsoft doesn't seem willing to acknowledge your right to say "I don't want your Windows 10 crap", and are making it damned near impossible to identify which updates are the crap adding telemetry and other shit intended to force Windows 10 on you.

      So much of their updates are sneaking in telemetry, user experience tracking, and other shit entirely designed to benefit Microsoft .. it actually takes a lot of effort to keep that shit away or have any trust that Microsoft isn't installing stuff you don't want, or a ticking time bomb which is going to give you Windows 10 no matter what you think.

      Disabling Windows updates entirely might be something I have to start considering.

      • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

        So much of their updates are sneaking in telemetry, user experience tracking, and other shit entirely designed to benefit Microsoft

        I can imagine lots of ways that telemetry will help Microsoft -- by helping them understand their users better, and direct their efforts to better help users.

        Disclaimer: I work at Microsoft. Not on Windows10 - instead I'm on the C#/VB language design team. I look at telemetry every day. We put in an easy-to-use "send-a-smile/frown" button in the menubar of Visual Studio so it's easier for people to send feedback. We put a lot of effort into making that send-a-frown feature able to diagnose hung processes or

        • You know what, if Microsoft wants telemetry ... make it fucking well opt in.

          It is none of your business how we use our computer son a day to basis. Adding telemetry to our computers without asking and enabling it by default screams tha Microsoft is still managed by a bunch of self entitled assholes who think they can do anything they want to.

          I don't give a rats ass how much you'd like telemetry ... the only fucking telemetry Microsoft can have from me is "fuck the hell off, and stop acting like my data is

          • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

            Telemetry which isn't explicitly chosen by the user is completely indistinguishable from malware.

            So back to my question: how do you think telemetry helps Microsoft other than by helping it help end-users better?

            Maybe you didn't answer because, as per your quote above, you think it's irrelevant. Partly I agree with you, and I never like data taken without my explicit consent. On the other hand if you only get telemetry through opt-in then you're dooming yourself to unrepresentative data.

          • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

            Why not just an option to opt out?

      • The problem I see with continuing to use Windows is not the annoyances you might have to turn off or live with in the short term. The problem is the change of physolophy at Microsoft: Windows used to be an OS which stayed out of the way, did what the user requested and whatever things did wrong was by mistake. Now it's a tool to make Microsoft richer: It endlessdly pushes their services to you (Microsoft login, Cortana, Bing, Windows Store, OneDrive), it sends data to Microsoft behind your back, it even sho
    • The real question is would they make this available to regular 8.1 users who aren't entirely comfortable about jumping to Windows 10 right now?

      That IS Windows 10. Unless you're talking about the Metro side of the Windows 8.1 interface. Only reason not to upgrade is in case some apps that worked under 7 or 8.1 misbehave under Windows 10

      Windows RT was only available for tablets, and (hacks combined with custom compiled executables aside - there really aren't many ARM Windows executables) only capable of running Microsoft Office on the "desktop" side. So this new Start button is of questionable usefulness, it's something the vast majority of RT users will never see.

      Regular X86/X86-64 Windows 8.1, on the other hand, would greatly benefit from a Start button.

      Windows RT being a fiasco could have been predicted from the fate of Windows on better platforms such as MIPS and Alpha. Not that Microsoft seems to have learned anything - they now want to migrate this disaster to the R-Pi. Instead, Microsoft should focus on migrating all the Windows Phones to Windows 10 Mobile.

      • Only reason not to upgrade is in case some apps that worked under 7 or 8.1 misbehave under Windows 10

        Horseshit.

        Among the many reasons to not upgrade:

        1) Tracking and analytics embedded in Windows 10
        2) Microsoft removing choices about when/if you apply updates and moving to a model of them doing anything they choose
        3) No interest in an OS which thinks the world is a tablet
        4) No interest in Microsoft's new app ecosystem
        5) Don't wish to be part of what is essentially a public beta they want to force everybo

        • I was talking about Windows 8.x, not Windows 7. As far as Windows 8.x goes, there are very good reasons to upgrade. Your reason #3 was somewhat truer about Windows 8.x (and that too not fully, since all apps forcibly went to the desktop even if they were Metro apps). Reason #4 was there in both 8.x and 10 - if you want to be in a 7 compatible world, 10 is better.

          Other than that, one can run Linux or PC-BSD on one's computer, or get a Mac.

      • Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 aren't remotely similar, no. There are drastic UI and functionality changes, and on the hardware I've tried 10 on, it's significantly more resource intensive.

    • The real question is would they make this available to regular 8.1 users who aren't entirely comfortable about jumping to Windows 10 right now?

      Doubt it. Since they essentially abandoned RT users (no Windows 10), they are giving all 3 of them this as a consolation prize. If you haven't noticed by the update icon / nags, they really want Windows 7/8.1 users to upgrade to 10 so they can say "look at how many users are running 10! Fastest adopted OS in history!"

      Classic shell can give Windows 8.1 a usable start menu.

    • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

      I think this was the start menu update originally planned for Win8.1 in the first place.

  • The current Start Menu is horribly broken [microsoft.com]. Microsoft has known this for months, but has failed to produce a fix.

    Currently, it is limited to 512 items. This also breaks Cortana's search for items in the menu.

    Of course, that is separate from another issue with the Start Menu: The inexplicable "flattening" of the program files structure to a single folder level, which maddeningly produces menu folders with countless "Uninstall" and "Help" links in some cases. That was, apparently, a "design decision" by some i

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      This is presumably intentional, so 'Telemetry' will show that hardly anyone uses the Start Menu, and now they can remove it. Again.

      The real question is: who, within Microsoft, hates the Start Menu so much, and why?

    • I was about to ask what the fuck you were doing with 512 apps in your start menu but then I used the powershell trick to identify how many I had. Close to 200 and I have a very minimal windows install.

      • VisualStudio 2015 alone is worth 32 items in your install. MS Office 2013 is another 20+ items.

        I'd bet the average developer has over 1500 items, and any gamer will also have over 1000, easily.

        The only people likely to have under 512 items will be the most casual users, people who only browse the web and read their e-mails. Microsoft screwed the pooch on this. The fix is taking a while because they baked in the arbitrary 512 item limit into the search index database file that is created. I'm guessing the nu

  • I sure hope I get the spying features for free, too. Just kidding, I probably already have them. It's a good thing my Windows RT device is only used in the kitchen for recipes and streaming media.
  • It's (sadly) funny that the OS feature most taunted in second decade of 21th century is...GUI widget, even if it's an "app launcher" (gui shell, aka. desktop). Notably, "launchers" can be changed in android without sweat. Why not in Windows?

  • But they determined via customer mouse tracking and research interviews with morons that "nobody" uses the start menu. So why include is in 8 now? OH WAIT does that mean they're finally admitting that they're wrong and hopefully firing their entire research and development department? I doubt it, considering Bing is now hard wired into my Win10 start menu.
  • "Microsoft has been working on a platform update that brings the original Start Menu"

    Don't mean a thing to me as I am on Lubuntu [lubuntu.net], been Microsoft free for years, at least at home ...

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