Build 2014: Microsoft Presents New Start Menu

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | April 2, 2014 - 09:53 PM |
Tagged: BUILD 2014, microsoft, windows, start menu

Microsoft had numerous announcements during their Build 2014 opening keynote, which makes sense as they needed to fill the three hours that they assigned for it. In this post, I will focus on the upcoming changes to the Windows desktop experience. Two, albeit related, features were highlighted: the ability to run Modern Apps in a desktop window, and the corresponding return of the Start Menu.

I must say, the way that they grafted Start Screen tiles on the Start Menu is pretty slick. The Start Menu, since Windows Vista, has felt awkward with its split between recently used applications and common shortcuts in a breakout on the right with an expanded "All Programs" submenu handle on the bottom. It is functional, and it works perfectly fine, but something just felt weird about it. This looks a lot cleaner, in my opinion, especially since its width is variable according to how many applications are pinned.

Of course, my major complaint with Windows 8.x has nothing to do with the interface. There has not been any discussion around sideloading applications to get around Windows Store certification requirements. This is a major concern for browser vendors and should be one for many others, from hobbyists who might want to share their creations with one or two friends or family members, rather than everyone in an entire Windows Store region, or citizens of countries whose governments might pressure Microsoft to ban encryption or security applications.

That said, there is a session tomorrow called "Deploying and Managing Enterprise Apps", discussing changes app sideloading in Windows 8.1. Enterprise users are already allowed sideloading certificates from Microsoft. Maybe it will be expanded? I am not holding my breath.

Keep an eye out, because there should be a lot of news over the next couple of days.

Source: ZDNet

April 2, 2014 | 10:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


April 3, 2014 | 12:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

the person who said "lets replace the start menu with metro for desktops" should be skinned .... this is what they should have done in the 1st place...

April 3, 2014 | 06:08 AM - Posted by timmyisme22

Exactly. It's the bridge-point that should have been 8.0 but is finally coming in an update instead. Giving us the control that we enjoy and continue to enjoy.

To put it in simple terms: They should've waded into the shallow end of the pool rather than dive into the deep-end. They learned that lesson and are now wearing floaters.

April 3, 2014 | 08:51 AM - Posted by gloomfrost

Tiles? What are tiles. Installed windows 8 first day it came out and saw the tiles for about 30 seconds then installed Start8 and have never seen them again.

Those "Live" tiles make the desktop experience noisy and distracting.

So i ask if anyone knows can the tile(metro) part be turned off with this new start bar?

April 3, 2014 | 09:39 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

wtf So now we get metro start and from looks it could take half the page every time i click start...ill prob stick to start8

April 3, 2014 | 09:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

ignore half page comment he resized the tile but still metro in start menu IDK bout that

April 3, 2014 | 11:11 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That start menu looks like vomit.

April 3, 2014 | 11:35 AM - Posted by Steven (not verified)

Appears to be about as minimal of a compromise as they could get away with...

It's too late for my household, we've already moved over to linux. Anyone else looking to do the same...give these distros a try. ElementaryOS, Sparky, Zoran, Mint 16, and PCLinuxOS. Each one was simple to install.



April 3, 2014 | 01:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Windows store certifications, still show M$ true intent to wall off a closed ecosystem of its own, on Third Party hardware! Apple does not force its closed ecosystem onto any products that Apple does not brand and sell. M$ is still about taking over peoples Third Party hardware to establish a closed ecosystem of its own, with third party OEMs nothing more than de facto M$ divisions. For those that do not want a closed ecosystem/personal metrics gathering bloatware of an OS, time is running out, as windows 7 appears to be the last of its kind. Hopefully Steam OS can be for gaming a way to avoid this truely monopolistic land grab from the M$ Trust, before windows 7's EOL. M$ will not be able to do its dirty deeds with the mobile market, nor will Intel be able to dominate like it has done in the past with the PC market. I just hope that there can be a few Mobile SKUs that will be able to run a full Linux distro, and not be totally locked to a consumption OS, as some people still use their devices to create and not consume.

April 3, 2014 | 01:14 PM - Posted by idiot101 (not verified)

I can't believe their arrogance. People have been harping for these features forever and they reintroduce it finally. Being deaf to the concerns of the customers is never right and it will hurt them in the short term. I will not be surprised if Windows 8.1 + Update becomes the new Vista SP2. Enterprise customers like minimum flux in their software. Windows 8.1 will most probably be ignored.

The only other thing I would like MS to do is to get back the Service Pack. It is a bloody pain to wait for all the updates which takes hours. I want Windows 7 + SP2 real bad. At least call it update 2 if they don't want more cake on their faces.

April 3, 2014 | 02:43 PM - Posted by Trot (not verified)

It's literally stunning, watching people react so violently to change. As little as 10 years ago, the technically savvy welcomed change, understanding that they had to accept some bad to get the good that change and innovation strive for. It used to be a rare, (and pitiable) person for whom the technical advice eventually became, "Maybe you should try a Mac". They were the ones who couldn't keep up.

The sea change originated, I believe, with the tech press. These people are the drivers of opinion for the marketplace, and their focus has steadily turned from informing and aiding the user base to having buzzword contests. The few sources of decent old-style tech journalism, (Of which PCPer is a shining example, btw), are drowned out by the rest.

The predominant attitudes seep into the field as a whole, and the user base hears over, and over, and over, how bad something is, with the few helpful and informative articles either ignored, or focused on addressing the great "problem".

We used to see registry hacks explained in detail on cable tv. Now, the only real help the user base at large gets is advice on which overpriced phone is the most fashionable in the bay area. It's pretty sad.

So, Microsoft is putting training wheels on their latest OS, to try to get some traction. It's a good thing, I guess, for the ones who can no longer adapt.

April 3, 2014 | 02:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

tiles meant for touchscreen UI/metro not a desktop UI hopefully has option for classic start menu

April 3, 2014 | 04:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

tech blogs are a cesspool of crap, feeding its readers full of it....they they take turns throwing it at each other in the comment sections... *ugh*

this is the only tech site worth a damn.

April 3, 2014 | 08:24 PM - Posted by gloomfrost

wait a second?

Wanting a stable, worldwide compatible, unobtrusive, desktop friendly, mouse and keyboard compliant, Operating System that lets me be productive rather then trying to grab my attention away from my productivity, me like millions of other engineers are people "who can no longer adapt."


I don't design on my smart phone, matter of fact i turn if off when i am working on my Desktop.

Connectivity has its place, in my pocket, not on my Desktop OR my Start Bar.

April 4, 2014 | 05:42 PM - Posted by Luthair

Evidently you've never paid attention to computing before Windows 8. A lot of people:

  • hated Windows 95 for the changes from Windows 3.1
  • hated Windows XP for being "fisher price"
  • hated Windows Vista for UAC

The issue people have is not simply change, Microsoft decided force metro on users for business reasons. (Their mobile OS has been a failure and they tried to force users to become familiar with it by integrating it into Windows.) The interface has significant UX problems on PCs.

April 4, 2014 | 10:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

just put (HATED) in front of every windows version.

keyboard monkeys! we have work to do..keep bitching.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.