The Start menu is coming, the Start menu is coming! Feel free to run up and down the aisles of your office building shouting the news at the top of your lungs. Act crazy enough and you may not have a job tomorrow, but at least you can look forward to the return of a feature in Windows 8/8.1 that should never have been left out in the first place. Oh, and to be clear, don't confuse the Start menu with the Start button, the latter of which made its triumphant return in Windows 8.1, but without the all-important menu (thanks for the half-assed concession, Microsoft).
Here's the deal -- the Start menu isn't returning tomorrow, next week, or even next month. Instead, it will be an optional feature in Windows "Threshold," the codename for Microsoft's next wave of updates scheduled for 2015 and designed to unify the Windows experience, according to Paul Thurrott and information scattered all over the web.
As ZDNetexplains things, Threshold will include updates to all three OS platforms -- Xbox One, Windows, and Windows Phone, all three of which share a common Windows NT core. Things get a little fuzzy at this point, but Threshold is supposed to bring these OSes even closer together.
In addition to the return of the Start menu as you once knew it, Threshold will also give users the option of running Metro apps in floating windows on the desktop, a feature that today requires the help of third-party utilities.