Though they haven’t officially confirmed it, Microsoft’s update to Windows 8 (codenamed “Blue”) is supposedly set to give users back their “Start” menu and the ability to boot into the more familiar “desktop” mode of the OS, as opposed to using the tile-based interface that Windows 8 boots into currently. According to Microsoft, the impetus to remove the Start menu from Windows 8 was provided by user interface data gathered automatically by previous versions of Windows, but it’s fairly clear that whatever the data shows, customer feedback has been fairly pointed about the lack of the Start menu: Users want it back.
What this means for you:
The developer preview of Windows 8.1 is set to be released in June of this year, and should be publicly available in August, according to Microsoft’s timeline, so we won’t know for sure for at least another month as to whether Windows users will actually have their wishes granted. Many analysts point out that it’s likely the Start menu won’t be what everyone remembers – current opinion is the returning menu will actually only be a button to launch the Windows 8 Start page, ie. the screenful of tiles that everyone’s been avoiding by switching to “desktop” mode, which emulates the Windows interface from version 7 on back. These concessions are likely in response to lackluser sales figures and slumping PC sales, possibly in response to the general public’s reluctance to move to Windows 8.