This weekend a new screenshot said to be of the new Windows Start Menu has been doing the rounds of various internet chat forums and news sites. We saw a glimpse of the new Start Menu at BUILD in April, when Microsoft promised its return to the desktop, however we haven't seen any more examples of its use, until now.
Depending upon where you read about this latest Start Menu screenshot it is either a legitimate screenshot taken from an internal testing build of Windows or likely to be a Photoshop job. NeoWin says that its source close to Microsoft has said the "image appears to be legitimate". Also explaining the Windows 8.1 branding of the build, that is said to be a usual practice for the internal builds for the next version of Windows. One thing that the nay-sayers are sceptical of in the new image is the build date of 4th July, US Independence Day, saying that no one was working at Microsoft on that day…
from BUILD, April
Looking at the new screenshot, below, you can see it doesn't really show us anything new. The blend of old Windows 7 style start menu with a bolted on Modern IU column of (live) tiles is just what we saw in April. The official image from April is above and the new image is below. You can click on the image below to zoom in and have a good nose at the detail.
recent leaked image, click to enlarge
So overall this new image showing the new Windows Start Menu looks likely to me to be legitimate – why would someone make a fake without some kind of 'startling' revelation involved: it doesn't show anything new compared to April's BUILD screenshot. But just because the screenshot has Windows 8.1 branding doesn't mean we will get to play with this feature until Windows 9 arrives. That's just Microsoft's internal working practice, we hear.