Microsoft isn’t returning the beloved Start Menu to Windows 8 anytime soon. But hope is not lost, thanks to these handy third-party tools!
Beyond all of the colorful tiles; the bolted-on Modern user interface; the giant, full-screen apps and panels; and the inability to boot to the desktop—to name just a few of our gripes—there’s one issue above all others that’s guaranteed to universally frustrate Windows 8 desktop users: the Start Menu.
Note: This article was originally featured in the September 2013 issue of the magazine.
Windows 8.1: Another year in the oven makes for a tasty piece of meat
Reviewing an update to an operating system feels a little odd, doesn’t it? After all, if you already use Windows 8, it’s not like you’re not going to install Windows 8.1. Sure, there’s always the threat of compatibility issues, but Microsoft seems to have this one covered pretty well with the website (and scanning tool) that it’s dedicated to the Windows 8.1 update.
A visual walkthrough of 20 new Windows 8.1 features and changes
Microsoft has recieved a lot of negative flack for the radical changes it’s made in Windows 8 with the complete disconnect from traditional UI elements like the Start button. With the release of the Windows 8.1 preview, which you can try out now if you are willing to use beta software, Microsoft is making strides to appease the user base it left out in the cold.
Sound the trumpets and cue the chorus line to begin singing songs of praise, Microsoft is bringing back the Start button! That's right, in a sneak peek at Windows 8.1, the Redmond software giant displayed the Start button's triumphant return, which at a glance is cause for celebration. Are you excited!? Well, don't be. Sorry to play with your emotions like that, but even though the Start button is making a return, clicking it only drops you right back into the modern UI. You can toss those trumpets aside and tell the chorus line to put a sock in it.
Alright, Windows 8 fans. You’ve taken our advice and speed-ran your way through a clean installation (or upgrade!) of Microsoft’s latest OS. You’ve created or attached an existing Windows Live account to your installation, you’ve taken care of the few prompts Microsoft’s asked you to fill out or click through, and you’ve even given a cursory glance to the company’s brief “How to use Windows 8” video.
Windows 8's Metro UI has gotten its fair share of negative press since even before the Developer Preview came out, with a lot of the hate directed towards the lack of that oh-so-familiar Windows Start button. Why'd you have to go and remove the Start button, Microsoft? Yesterday, an MS executive delivered one possible answer: People used it a lot less in Windows 7 than in previous versions of the operating system.
The Start button and accompanying menu are iconic parts of Windows first introduced in Windows 95 over a decade and a half ago, and it looks as though the run will end with Windows 7. Leaked photos of Microsoft's Windows 8 "Consumer Preview" build show a Super Bar without a Start button, whereas in previous versions it showed up with a flat Metro-style makeover.