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Windows Start Menu spotted in alleged leak

by Mark Tyson on 14 July 2014, 11:09

Tags: Windows 8

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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.

Windows 9 'Threshold' is expected to ship in April 2015 with a public preview arriving in autumn this year. The new OS may be provided as a free update for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1 users.

HEXUS Forums :: 51 Comments

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I would be surprised if we didn't see it in an update before next year!
Seems like a backwards step to me, but if it stops all the whining, I'm all for it. :)
Microsoft is finally starting to pay heed to the general public. I think its because of Sathya Nadella.
I'm not really fussed about the Start menu, the Start screen has grown on me. If they do bring it back though, I hope they leave the right-click option in to access stuff like the event viewer and disk manager quickly, I really like that.
Seems like a backwards step to me, but if it stops all the whining, I'm all for it. :)
Whether it stops “whining” or not will depend on exactly what they do.

The daft thing is, had they given users this option, even having to find a default “off” setting, for ‘classic’ mode, and turn it on, there wouldn't have been any “whining” in the first place.

When a decision like this pushes large numbers of users to simply refuse to ‘upgrade’, and others (like me) to go to the trouble of migrating both OS and apps to Linux, and to find replacement/alternative applications, it's hardly fair to characterise it as whining. And MS clearly are coming to recognise that, first, it's a very significant body of users, and secondly, it's not a storm that'll blow over and people will give in and accept it. If they didn't realise that, however belatedly, they wouldn't keep trying to get round it.

My remaining issue is EXACTLY what these changes actually are, when and indeed IF they actually appear. Whatever, I won't trust it until it's released after the last time when “returning the start button” proved to be PR exercise, not what they implied. That was when I finally gave up in frustration at their cynicism and migrated several systems to Linux.

Now, to be honest, I don't really much care what they do with Win8/9. If it's a genuine inclusion of lost options, it MIGHT mean I upgrade the systems I sometimes boot into Win7. But frankly, I don't trust that MS have had an actual Damascene conversion, and I rather suspect it'll at best be a delaying tactic, and at worst, another “start button back” piece of cynical spin.