Microsoft Is Internally Calling The Upcoming Start Menu In Windows 8 As “Mini Start”

Windows 8 Start Menu

Yesterday, Paul Thurrott reported that Microsoft is planning to bring back Start Menu is the upcoming update for Windows 8. This move from Microsoft is targeted towards power users who use keyboards and mice. It would be similar to the current Windows 7 Start Screen allowing users to access their apps, folders, etc,. Maary Jo Foley today confirmed that Start Menu is coming back and it is internally known as “mini-Start”.

Since Thurrott’s initial December 10 report on the return of the Start Menu, I’ve heard from my own contacts that this is highly likely to happen. Microsoft is, indeed, highly likely to bring back Start Menu. Supposedly it’s being called internally “mini-Start,” (as it won’t be a full-screen Start Menu like in Windows 8), one of my contacts said.

Are you really looking forward to this upcoming Start Menu?

Source: ZDNet

  • SategB

    Ray Ozzie said it best:

    “But as the PC client and PC-based server have grown from their simple roots over the past 25 years, the PC-centric / server-centric model has accreted simply immense complexity…. Complexity sucks the life out of users, developers and IT. Complexity makes products difficult to plan, build, test and use. Complexity introduces security challenges. Complexity causes administrator frustration. And as time goes on and as software products mature – even with the best of intent – complexity is inescapable…ultimately a limit will be reached.”

    But rather then hearing these words Ballmer gives us Windows 8, and then spends another year fixing it. It hard to innovate future products when your spending resources fixing old mistakes.

    • Bugbog

      A most inane use of a quote for justification!

      • SategB

        No attempt to justify anything. What I did was use a appropriate quote to illustrate the “why” we find ourselves discussing topic issue while confirming it could all been avoided

  • Orc

    Zero interest for the classic start menu, its not 1995 anymore.

    • BIAS

      In top of that, its damn ugly.

    • NGM123

      When you grow up, leave home and school and actually start working in the real world you might feel differently.

      • Orc

        Please, how do you think I can afford my tech if I dont work…
        Its no problem using windows 8. If I want to start a program I just click on a tile, write program name or just click on the desktop link.

        • NGM123

          What about the rest of the dirty herd?? Tens of thousands of brain dead morons sitting in front of their PCs every day.

          It has to be simple and foolproof and W8 isn’t either. Great for us geeks with the intelligence and knowledge to work it out, and simply superb on a touch UI, but 300 pounds of Marybeth doesn’t get it, nor will she.

          KISS, ?Keep It Simple Stupid” is the motto for the dirty herd, otherwise productivity drops from bad to woeful.

          • Orc

            I thought you just said that the old start menu was for powerusers. You cant have it both ways,

          • NGM123

            Yes, WTF?! W8 in it’s current format isn’t simple enough, this change though is good, it keeps W8 simple for Power Users.

          • Orc

            And now its seems like you have to be a poweruser to use metro. Seems like you would be fine with metro.

          • Nham Thien Duong

            That is partially true, but don’t forget that most people are smart, all they need is 5 minutes of proper training, and Microsoft must build that into Win… oh wait, they finally have.

          • OleMorslille

            It’s funny that those same brain dead morons actually managed to “master” the start menu of Windows 95 – Windows 7. If you don’t know how to use the start screen of Windows 8.x my guess is you’re struggling with the Windows 7 as well.
            But start menu as an option is perhaps a good thing just to please the morons. :-)

          • anujgoyal

            people did not even get it when they moved from windows 3.11 to windows 95!

          • robertwade

            Oh, PLEASE. The truth is the 90% of users simply put shortcuts all over their flipping desktops BECAUSE navigating the old start menu is such a disaster. I deal with this EVERY DAY at my job. If it’s not a shortcut on the desktop, they morons are lost. So, planting what apps they want on a Start screen makes MORE sense. Anyone who claims to be a power user and can’t divorce themselves from the desktop way of doing things loses all credibility in my book. Sure, the desktop itself isn’t going to go away for some time until we convince developers to quit developing for the desktop and make full Metro versions.

      • anujgoyal

        dude, i work in a real world. I am an entrepreneur and from doing my business plan to client presentation are all done on my surface pro! How many times do you need to open start menu?

        • NGM123

          Far out. Who’s talking about the educated with a Surface Pro? I’m talking about the average uneducated moron sitting at a desk using a 5 year old PC for 8 hours per day, 300 pounds of prime beef with hardy enough brain cells to keep each other warm, they need a start menu and everything else as simple as possible.
          Hopefully this new iteration of W8 allows you and Marybeth to both use W8……..can we move on now FFS?

          • GG002

            “Can we move on now FFS”

            Nice way for you to give up. Don’t pretend like you didn’t just lose the argument. I can tell you that where my sibling works (a local municipality), they recently deployed Windows 8-only computers, laptops and tablets, and nobody wants to return to Windows 7/XP. And then we’re talking about lawyers, and other highly untechnical people who sit in front of their Windows 8 devices all day long.

          • NGM123

            Yeah, you win, …………..that’s why MS is making the changes

    • sizzlefinger

      Yes, and light switches in every room are so 1920’s. My home was rewired Windows 8 style. Now I just simply walk to the front door to turn on a light in my garage. Bam! Quick and efficient.

      • Orc

        Good for you.

    • xma1e

      Couldn’t have puf it better. I hate using the old interface now I’m used to W8

  • Ahmed A

    I’d love to see where it was confirmed

  • Viktor

    Still don’t see where it is confirmed.

  • Willem Evenhuis

    There is still no confirmation if this rumour i true. I still think it is an unwise decision as it will only confuse the consumer more as why windows 8 is the way it is. To me this step is saying that microsoft has lost its trust in the windows 8 platform. With the startmenu back it would be harder to tell friends and familiy why they really need to make the switch from windows 7 to windows8.

  • BIAS

    This is bullshit. It looks like crap!

  • NGM123

    Hell yes. Windows 8 is magic for touch, but a huge pain in the ass for power users.

    Let the negative post scoring begin, but facts are facts, W8 in the work place sucks hairy balls.
    So before you pre pubescent teenagers start voting me down put this comment into perspective. On a touch tablet W8 is superb, but when you grow up and join the workforce you might just find what rocks at home might not fit in at the office.

    Smart thinking by MS, there is now a proper solution for all environments, work and play, well done MS, everybody wins.

    • steveo99

      I don’t see the difference with Windows 7 when I’m working in desktop mode. I have visual studio, blend, eclipse, notepad++ and everything else pinned to the taskbar and works great. Don’t assume everyone that doesn’t need the old start menu as a teenager, it doesn’t even make sense.

      • sizzlefinger

        I do the same thing as you, but there are dozens of other apps and utilities that I have to access on a regular basis – back and forth, back and forth; fiddler, Mozilla, photoshop, onenote, word, excel, powerpoint, visio, sql studio manager, vs 2012, vs 2013, notepad++, VMware workstation, vsphere client, cisco asa client, zune, magic iso, calculator, command line, remote desktop, and more – these are all pinned to the start screen, but then there are the utilities and oddball apps like sql configuration, 7 cross platform command line tools, 2 remote debuggers, 7 Kentico CMS installers, toolkits, help files from various component vendors, tracing and diagnostic apps, the list goes on. It’s just plainly simple – I need a way to get to these apps in an explorer like fashion, as needed, as they are installed. A popup menu of some sort would be helpful. Something that I could launch with a single left click. And maybe, and I am just reaching here, a way to group the apps by the vendor that installed them, and sort them alphabetically. Oh and it would be cool if you could right click on the app right there in this futuristic popup menu and launch the app in administrator mode. That would be sweet!!!

        • ads

          Its there already, just pin your stuff to the task bar instead of the start screen and create folders on the desktop to group your applications in. I think they call em power users because they’ll sell more w8 machines if they don’t call em dumbasses.

        • scotthumble

          First of all, ditch VMware Workstation. Hyper-V Client is considerably more powerful and integrated. :)

        • jcfan1979

          You sound like you’re talking about the Start Screen in Windows 8. You can group and label your app shortcuts and you can right click and run as administrator from there as well. Otherwise maybe something like Stardock’s Fences would suit you for organization.

  • grs_dev

    Lame! If it’s truly for the “power user” out there, then they should make it a downloadable add on or something from the windows store in Windows 8.

  • Nham Thien Duong

    But I use Windows 8.1 (Blue) on a keyboard and with a mouse, and the start-screen works great with it, ¿why is Microsoft doing this? I really hope this will be optional, I don’t like Windows Vista’s/7’s start-menu, and the ”all apps” choice of Windows 8 resembles the Windows XP one way more, sure having both would be great, but ¿why not return the today screen to Windows Phone then? if you’re going to put back unneccesary stuff.

  • Nham Thien Duong

    Hopefully this is only for Windows Server.

  • sizzlefinger

    I don’t see this as a power user feature, but a legacy desktop computer feature. As a software developer, I spend all of my time in the desktop mode and would appreciate a faster way to access the dozens of apps, utilities, command line environments, configuration tools, etc. in a way that proves to be more efficient than swapping between desktop mode and the start screen; adding them as live tiles or searching by typing is still less efficient, which adds up to countless hours of navigation per year of development. I love Windows 8, but with a mouse and keyboard, it is less efficient to get my work done. What’s silly to me is the 8.1 update with the right-click popup with all the system/administrative tools menus, but no apps! Anyway, I would vote for a split button. When you are in desktop mode I like going to the start screen in one click for checking my live tiles. So it would be cool if you had the window logo for the start screen, and then a simple split and a solid square or something synonymous with apps to click on, which simply brings up a clean explorer style menu with your apps, shutdown/logoff, etc. Ideally in the near future, all apps would be metro and a desktop mode would just be non-existent. But until then I think we need a menu of some kind. Oh, last thing – I equally do not like that Windows 8 refers to ‘PC Settings’ and ‘PC and Devices’ everywhere. Just call it ‘Device Settings’ – it seems strange on a tablet to see PC – a very 80’s term :). That’s my too long, two cents.

    • Simon Paul

      So you think clicking through cascading folders in the Start Menu is more efficient? I really don’t get that at all.

      On the Task Bar alone, you can pin 10-20 applications on any moderate screen size. That is PLENTY for most people using the desktop.

      If you use more than 20 applications throughout the day, then the Start Menu is a horrible interface as you have to click through endless lists of folders to get to your application. And pinning applications to the Start Menu quick launch is the EXACT SAME THING as pinning them to the Start Screen.

      The only difference is the fact that the Start Screen is full screen. What’s wrong with that? And don’t say because you need to keep the rest of the screen for multi-tasking. If you are going to open a new program you are focused on that task, nothing else at that moment. You don’t need to be looking at some other application to compare to while you are navigating the start menu, or copy files from one folder to another, etc.

      It’s preposterous how people are so married to the Start Menu given how horrible a UI it is AND how easily you can use the Task Bar and Start Screen.

      • sizzlefinger

        Yes – I do think that clicking through an ordered list, grouped by folder is more efficient than looking at a full screen of all my apps with indistinguishable title blocks. See attached example.
        Pinning all the utilities that I use would be around 40, and would make my taskbar un-useable because the icons are almost all the same.
        The start menu is not a horrible interface for finding items grouped and ordered logically, but rather it is perfect for this. Just like file explorer is for files. Pinning to the start menu is not exactly the same thing as pinning to the start screen. You cannot see the names of the tiles on the start screen unless you use a medium tile; this is too large. Another benefit of the start menu is that I can get to recent items of the app that I have pinned. So, no, these are not exactly the same. There are other differences too numerous to list. A screen shot or video would be more valuable.
        I use a handful of apps that are pinned to the start screen and clicking the windows button and swapping to the screen to pick those is just fine. It’s the dozens of apps and utilities that I must be able to use and find that are the issue here. When I must find them, it is a pain in Windows 8 without the start menu. In Windows 7, with the start menu, it is a breeze.
        I’m not saying that the new metro look and start screen isn’t the way to go. I’m just saying that if you are going to have a desktop mode, then have a menu that you can use within that mode. Otherwise, get rid of desktop mode. Anything short of the start menu in that mode is less efficient.
        If you would like to feel what I feel when using the start screen to find the things I need, the best analogy I can come up with, without doing a video, is go and change your account picture. Now click browse, and then browse through your file system. Hopefully you will have a folder where lots of sub folders exist. If so, take notice of how your eyes dart around the screen trying to orient your brain with how the tiles are ordered – it’s kind of like sitting at Game Stop and trying to figure out where the d’s and e’s end and begin. At this point, Im in support of a start menu and I’m fine if it’s a setting.

  • sizzlefinger

    Here’s what I had in mind. Just the button.

  • sizzlefinger

    Regardless of what Microsoft ends up doing, the real question is how much did it cost to remove the start menu, and then kinda put it back, and then really put it back? Chalk this up as another possible Ballmer regret – the Windows 8 A-Team ponders the lower left corner of windows 8 for 12 months…pondering…thinking…wondering…looking…not-coding…what to do.

    • Orc

      It will cost them alot more ignoring that the market is moving to touch enabled mobile devices.

  • anujgoyal

    Bad move, why to give into stupid critics, i use my Win 8.1 with mouse all the time at home, never felt need of a start menu, all my regular apps are pinned on screen section 1. I don’t even remember when did use start menu at my work windows 7 computer! People who crib about a start menu are people who are reluctant to change! Especially media ppl as they compare everything to iproducts, with these menu MS loses the point of a touchscreen OS which is the future.

  • Mati

    They should change the old icons…

  • Franki86

    When I need to start an app on Windows 7 (at work) I simply press the Windows key, type the first few letters of the app name, and press Enter. On Windows 8 (which I use everywhere else) I follow the *exact same process* to start an app – there is no difference what-so-ever. So, for me personally, I don’t see the need in a mini Start menu.

    However, our company evaluated Windows 8 (not 8.1 – yet) and determined the learning curve was to high to deploy out to 1,500+ employees. I’d be willing to bet that once they see that the Start menu that they’re used to seeing in Windows 7 is coming back (although it won’t be exactly the same) that they would likely skip the evaluation of 8.1 and wait for 8.2 (or whatever it’s called). It’s not costing our company anything to keep our employees on Windows 7 which works just fine for everything we do. If Windows “8.2” can provide a similar experience to Windows 7, then why not wait?

  • jeff

    just make it optional and please everyone, move on already

  • scotthumble

    There are many reasons to use Windows 8 over Windows 7 that have nothing to do with the Start Screen. If this further increases adoption, it is a good thing. Personally, I’m sick of hearing about it.

  • m$s0ft

    Will this update be called 8.2? Seems like windows9 will actually be better than 7. probably metro dropped off version

  • robertwade

    Not at all. The old start menu is for the completely stupid.

    • Simon Paul

      Exactly! It was grossly inefficient with it’s endless folders tucking applications 2, 3, sometimes 4 clicks away. And people want that insanity back!?!?!

  • Aslan Monem

    I don’t know how want this thing anymore?

  • -7-

    Yup.. As expected.. Now nobody wants the start menu :< U guys should be on the apple ecosystem.. They remove and add features as they like.. Never check user opinion.. And the users also comply like the new changes are what they wanted.. Hope next CEO wont be namby-pamby

  • tomakali

    touch is 50% less productive.
    adding tabs will make it easier to access to the system

  • Ajey Chandhan