The Start menu really does look like it’ll be making a comeback in the next version of Windows. ZDNet confirms a report from Paul Thurrott earlier this week that Microsoft plans to bring back the Start menu to a future version of Windows 8. ZDNet doesn’t yet know whether the Start menu will come in a Windows 8.1-style update or whether it will be part of the larger “Threshold” update that’s on track to release in early 2015. All the same, ZDNet says that the Start menu is definitely on Microsoft’s radar especially because it doesn’t want Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 users to hold off on upgrading their PCs to Windows 8 because they’re worried about the new platform’s learning curve.
Beyond this, however, ZDNet’s sources say that Microsoft is still trying to hash out details of exactly what the new Start menu will include. There’s apparently some debate over whether to simply bring back the full Windows 7-style Start menu or whether to add a more scaled-back version that will still incorporate elements of Windows 8’s polarizing Metro user interface.
“I’d assume the Start Menu will be a Desktop thing, like the 8.1 Start Button is,” speculates ZDNet reporter Mary Jo Foley. “Maybe it will simply provide users with a mini version of the list of all the apps installed on their Windows 8.x machines. I’d expect it to be designed to work decently with touch, even though from what both Thurrott and I have heard, the primary target audience for the new Start Menu will be those using Windows 8.x with keyboards and mice.”