One of the most surprising announcements at the Microsoft Build Developers Conference earlier this month was the impending return of the Start menu. Although Microsoft attempted to eliminate the Start menu altogether in Windows 8, users never stopped clamoring for it, so the company finally caved and began development on a Live Tile upgrade for the feature. The conference ended without any release information, but according to The Verge, sources close to Microsoft say that the Start menu will be added back to Windows 8.1 in an update coming this August.
The desktop experience has been more than a bit lacking in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. By focusing on the touchscreen potential of the software, traditional desktop usability has suffered. On top of the Start menu, sources say that Microsoft is also looking to bring floating windows back to the desktop. This addition is not expected make it into Windows 8.1 Update 2 (or Windows 8.2).
There’s still a chance that both features might be rolled into the larger Windows 9 update next year, but Microsoft wants to start repairing the reputation of Windows 8 as quickly as possible. Bringing back old classics might be the way to do it.
For now, we’ll have to settle with the minor improvements introduced in the Windows 8.1 Update.