So, this week and last, I’ve been reading articles concerning the expected updates to Windows 8.1, and the rumors are that Microsoft is listening to IT folk and consumers alike. They are finally bringing back the Start Menu…well, KIND of.
First the rumors started with “no way”, then it was “yes, it’s back!”, and now (and probably the closest to the truth) is…”yes, BUT”. So, where art thou, Start Menu?
The latest according to TechCrunch (who got the rumor from The Verge), is the Start button will return to the lower left corner of the upcoming Windows 8.1, but it will bring up the live tile interface, NOT the Start Menu you know and love from Windows past. Oh Microsoft, thou art a cruel “mistress”…you’ve given us just a button. I suppose, I’ll have to be content with the win for a direct boot to desktop.
Personally, I’m going to miss the old Start Menu. I admit that habits are hard to break. BUT in 5 years, I might be saying the same thing about the tiles or some other feature of the new Windows paradigm, that I’ve become used to and am reticent to let go. If Microsoft’s compromise isn’t enough for you, you can download Pokki for Windows 8 and get your Start Menu back (and more).
So, does Microsoft’s approach to the Start Menu compromise make sense? If you look at it from their perspective, yes, absolutely. It’s about re-training your user base. Microsoft’s Windows users are used to getting to everything they need from the Start Menu (myself included). Now, Windows 8 shifted everything. So, by returning the Start Menu to its’ original position, but using it to bring up that SAME menu is going to give some level of comfort to the user base, but also start training them on a new interface. Eventually, the Start Menu will go away and users won’t start picketing outside of Microsoft headquarters to protest.
So, what’s the take away here? Perhaps that Microsoft should stop trying to get their users to leap over a chasm and, instead, lead them down the path of change little by little. As for me, I’ll miss you, Start Menu…I wasn’t ready for our relationship to end.