Windows 8.2 to bring back Start Menu (supposedly, again...)

Apparently, Microsoft might bring back the Start Menu to Windows 8 in order to get more people to buy it and like it. And also, it might include the ability for people to run Metro/Modern apps inside the desktop.

Well, isn't this a shocker. Apparently the Vista disaster, MS Surface RT cataclysm and Windows 8 Start Screen apocalypse (am I being too dramatic, or not enough? EDIT: I can't stop my blatantly-obvious fake outrage until I've Shatner'd every acting bone in my body) that pretty much consolidated 'ol Cue Ballmer's retirement from Microsoft, we're now seeing a little bit of backpedaling.

Apparently, when the CEO says "Full Steam Ahead!" when you're pointing The Leaky Dingy towards an Iceberg (named the S.S. SteamOS) *is* enough for Microsoft shareholders to make a *slight* (cough, cough, I need to clean my air conditioner - you expected another comment here?) course correction. In honor of their (maybe, perhaps, possibly, I seriously doubt we can take this seriously after Windows 8.1... don't quote me on that) change of heart (*cough cough, spit, use fingers to air-draw religious signs over my chest, proceed to exorcise my mouth from the swill of lies I just spoke*), I decided it might be appropriate (where the heck are my pseudo-html sarcasm tags? <sarcasm></sarcasm>) to post this YouTube video (hosted by Google, their major rival and the source of most of the money they get from cell phones, many times whatever revenue they get from Windows Phone and their Nokia merger). Enjoy:

This might be the end for StarDock's ModernMix app, and the Windows 8 Start Menu apps by so many independent developers (and even some hired ones). Or you can wait until the next version of Windows.

Also, we've heard all these shady promises, optimistic insights and colorful analyses about how much this could help Microsoft sell Windows and how it might help keep Windows 7 from becoming the next Windows XP. Sadly, in the real-world being cynical generally leads towards you being correct in your opinions when it comes to corporations which have become too big for their own good.

Honestly, at this point it just seems like rumors about bringing back the Start Menu are just intentional leaks with no actual drive to fix the problem their leak claims to fix. This way they can keep people excited and interested about the future, while also keeping their current consumers happy by saying to them what roughly amounts to "our company cares enough to fix the issues you have, and we're working on a patch for it now so it's available to you sometime, and which you'll later be able to download through the Windows Store (of course)". Essentially, they're intentionally breaking their own product by leaving pretty important User Interface features out, leaking info that they're supposedly fixing what they broke to get people to think they care enough to actually fix it, in the hopes that it might get people excited about their product and that it might bring up their stock value enough before the end of this financial quarter (when their financial report ends). (This also allows them to verify that your copy of Windows is legit, and block it if it isn't. And regardless of whether or not your copy of Windows is legit, or even if your have a computer with Windows at all, they might just show up anyways with the police and raid your house and/or business like they've done in the past. They've been caught in Guatemala serving on-the-spot extortions to companies, demanding they pay up or surrender ALL data and operational software, effectively shutting down any service-driven or IT company. Link for more info:

Essentially, it's a tried-and-failed method of screwing over the consumer, and making people even more cynical of a company that has been dropping in credibility and reliability like a bag of hammers in an aquarium. And Microsoft also has some serious marks on it's security reputation to improve on with the American public and the global public after the NSA leaks by Snowden which listed Microsoft as one of their highlighted partners.

I don't believe that Microsoft will actually fix the Start Menu in Windows 8.2. They got people to buy Windows 8.1 because it fixed what they already broke in Windows 8. Why bother to fix all the problems at once, when you can fix one problem and sell each fix one at a time? (Microsoft seems to be learning all the worst possible traits from the MMO F2P model, it seems. If you've buried your face in both palms right now, I don't blame you. I share the same feeling.)

If this is the model which Microsoft is adopting for their Windows platform, of essentially creating Day 1 DLC's for their Operating System's basic user interface which unless purchased isn't user-friendly to the people who actually use it (instead of the people who like to look at it in the store but don't actually buy it), it's become apparent that it may be a sign that more frustration may be building among their user-base. If Microsoft needs to use a new UI to get people in the door of their stores and to get people excited about their Operating System, it's probably because the old methods aren't working as well as they used to. And rather than take the lesson that their users don't want a half-baked product, Microsoft seems determined to break what they sell and slowly fix it while marketing their patches as the best thing since sliced bread (which, sorry to say, is a position already occupied by Steam - no cookie for you, Patch Tuesday) they make so they can tell consumers they've got their OS together (yes, I just used Windows as slang for what it is - I went there, and it was great, I'll send you guys pictures or wherever I'm talking about later, although I'm probably stalling for time with no intention of sending any pictures... did anyone hear about the new Game of Thrones videogame series by 2K Games? pay no attention to the neckbeard-ish probably-a-guy behind the monitor, I am the great and powerful Oz!).

Microsoft could of course, take the lead and start innovating. Maybe give some new features a try? Maybe create features within Windows that are more focused on gamers, like fixing DirectX so it can compete with Mantle, NVAPI, and others. Maybe include their own middleware physics engine using OpenCL to encourage developers to stay on Windows.

But Microsoft might be trying something else here. It could be (and this is a very remote chance - like a snowball's chance in Phoenix-AZ kind of chance) that they're actually using Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to gauge how the market will react to having features taken away, slowly reintroduced, and (possibly in the future) slowly phased out (even if their users really like those features). If this is true, than it could be the largest marketing research in the history of ever - which is why I think the new UI was just an attempt for Microsoft to seem like it's still innovating, when Apple, Google, Samsung and several others seem to be stealing Microsoft's thunder in terms of UI design. (Choice: do I make the obvious Percy Jackson book reference, or do I make the obscure-as-all-heck Fantasia cartoon from the 60s reference? Decisions, indecision...)

Rather than actually spending time to increase security, add new features that users want or need, Microsoft keeps hitting their head against the wall in an effort to break through the wall. The problem is that it isn't a wall, it's a well, and they don't understand that digging a well with their heads instead, and that digging a hole without creating an easy way to get oneself out of it isn't the brightest idea. Fortunately, they haven't hit rock-bottom just yet. (If your head is hurting from all these puns, don't worry; it doesn't hurt half as bad as Microsoft's right now. Question: who here would prefer a Shovelhead shark joke, or would you prefer a Shovelhead motorcycle joke instead?)

(Oh well. Maybe we might get excited when Windows 8.3 comes out with ShadowCopy enabled? Or Windows 8.4, with a very minor update to DirectX 11.3 which maybe addresses a handful of bugs and gives no features worth mentioning, and maybe gives a negligible performance increase in all of zero games, the same as how Windows 8 came with DX 11.1 which basically did nothing.)

Contains less-than-information below. You have been warned, I think? :

They might incorporate a voice-assistant online software just like Apple's Siri or Google's own Nexus 5 voice-activated assistant. Maybe it'll sound like an angry german guy yelling at you when you try to install Linux using the Ubuntu installer within Windows. (Is this the first non-evidence of Windows NEIN?! Sorry Logan, I'm going after your worst puns ever benchmark score.) =P

Although enabling NSA full access to your OS via backdoors in the system is a feature that's likely to be in development, I'm not sure it'll make it to the marketing materials or commercials. Although we might see the return of the overly-chatty paperclip (and more-than-slightly obnoxious) MS Office assistant as an essential Windows feature for DRM-related purposes of verifying that you actually bought Windows, by forcing you to go online on every 24 hours or not be able to use most OS functions other than connecting and/or installing drives with which to connect to the internet. Bringing the "best" of Sim City Online-style DRM to Windows. Huzzah? Now you can saturate your 56kbps dial-up connection with DRM-related nonsense, keeping you from using the internet or the phone line so Microsoft can be sure you paid in full for your code. =P

8.2 better not be shit.


Preachin' to the choir, dude.

After Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, if you were to trace a straight line of how little the OS improves after they break it each time they release a new version, what do you think Windows 8.2 will look like? Now lower your expectations by exactly 'a lot', and prepare to be disappointed.

My entire blog post/article pretty much explained that breaking their product by not including features and then charging separately for the features they left out as is their new business model (unofficially). So now, do you really think that now after they figured out they can continue to milk customers using the Nickel-and-Dime strategy for things which ought to have been included from day 1 in the original release, and thus opened Pandora's box, do you think they really want to close it (or could if they wanted to) ?

Windows 8.2 is just another example of why SteamOS might really be a god-sent for consumers, gamers and enthusiasts. Other than my Windows-dependent games, none of the programs I currently use have no Linux-based alternative. Opera has a Linux version, LibreOffice comes in Linux, Notepad++. Only my games keep me on Windows. Once that's solved, I probably might not ever use Windows for almost anything.

I truly hope that enough game developers make Linux-based x64 clients for their games. Once that happens, the floodgates will open, and Microsoft's hold on the OS world will decrease - by exactly 'a lot' per hour.

Gamers have always been testing the waters in the IT world before everyone else jumps in. Kind of like the kid who jumps in the pool first to test the temperature, and if it's alright, everybody else jumps in one by one until nightfall. That's how it was with Steam, that's how it is was with OpenOffice, that's how it was with streaming (and is, but it's becoming more popular), and so forth. Enthusiasts and gamers test the waters of the IT world before everyone else jumps in. If enthusiasts and gamers enjoy it, than someone takes the (*put pinky near corner of mouth*) one MILLION buttons, CheckBoxes, RadioButtons and Advanced Settings out of the equation.

Think about streaming when it first came out. Encoding method, bandwidth, QoS, etc. Now we've got ShadowPlay which lets you encode and stream with the click of a button (it's a bit more complicated than that, but it's getting better all the time), or maybe the PS4 which allows (read: -allowed-) you do to stream to (until a certain husband got a little frisky on the cam and did the unthinkable on the internet, where *nothing* is every forgotten and everything is recorded forever - except my baclups and the files I care about, which seem to vanish when I most need them).

Basically, enthusiasts figure out how to do something, gamers test it and market it to their friends, demand goes up, and a big company figures out a way to simplify the process so there's less button-clicking and configuring involved. Now everyone can use it, so much less technical knowledge is needed (in all the double-edged sword-y goodness and badness which comes with that).

That's how the market works. If enthusiasts and gamers approve of SteamOS, we might see people try it and like it. It'll all depend on how easy it is to use. If people have to use a command line every other hour to get the thing to work, nobody will use it. If it's familiar like Windows and easy to use, than people might use it. If it's like XBMC meets PlayStation interface, it might work. We really need to see how SteamOS is going to run as a desktop and as a console, in both modes in order to assess whether or not it'll be feasible for the average joe and the average gamer. We'll see what they come up with. But between Ballmer's and Gaben's record of successes and failures, I've got a lot more reason to be optimistic for SteamOS than I do for Windows 8.2

It better be just like this or I am still using startisback


Surprisingly good look Start Menu. However, for Windows 8 to make that work, they'd have to get rid of Metro/Modern UI. Not going to happen.

You can pretty much bet it'll have solid (non-transparent color) scheme, will follow the Modern UI colors and square tile design, to be touch-nonsense-optimized, etc. However, it might have a customizable layout for power users. After Windows 8.1, we might see some Power User features. Although they might hold out on those until Windows 8.3 so who knows?

Yea I think your right. Time will tell.

So, what did you think of my article/rant/parody/sketch-thingy? Was it any good, or funny, or was it just neckbeardly-ish elevated to the power of table-flipping outrage?

It was ok, I don't see how Microsoft is nickel and diming people with these updates, they are completely free once you've paid for the OS. I suppose they could just easily fix everything at once with the amount of resources they have at their disposal. Other than that it was informative and well written.

Oh. D'oh! >.< Sorry, I guess I didn't really research that little bit of info. I read somewhere a while ago that the Windows 8.1 update was going to increase the price of Windows for those who didn't already buy it, making it even less accessible for those who are planning to upgrade. I must have read it a while ago and thought it meant that they were charging existing customers. My bad. >.<

And thanks for the compliments. I try to write well and be informative, but I like to add in a touch (my inner critic: just a touch?) of sarcasm, cynicism, overly-acted drama/outrage (I think I just Shatner'd my acting joint) and internet stereotypization (my inner critic: worth 30 points in scrabble! Gryffindor wins!... no wait, making up words disqualifies you, Slytherin FTW! Gryffindor's been PWN'd!).

I guess some edits are in order. Thanks for the heads up. (As Weird Al would say, time to put some white-out all over my screen. Here's a bonus video for catching my little mistake: )

lol here's a bonus video for you

XP FTW! sorry microballsup still sticking with windows 7 antill steam os then your gone...

I call your video, and raise you this obscure Tek gem (share this with everyone, I don't want to be the only one to know this kind of brain damage from watching this video on repeat for an hour) of "Logan + Beer = TEK"

Enjoy (well, during the few moments before your brain functions stop because of this video):

Merry convulsions! =P 

I would love a better start button than windows 8.1. I'm currently using windows 8.1 and I find it to be "okay". The start isn't great but offers some actual functionality. I hope Microsoft has a right click option to disable the travel between apps and desktop. If they don't want to listen to us well...I can't help. But since they like so called "innovation" why not make the start button like it use to be and to match the windows 8 feel , apply "cool",interactive features in the start button that still utilizes windows 8 as a touch OS. But at the same time maintain ease of use for desktop users.


Why?!?!?! Lol.

Logan has to see this !

Time for some bullet points. Because nothing says 'Merica!11!11!!!!!1 (note: it's unpatriotic to not add a bazillion exclamations points and 1s afterwards) like a stockpile of ammo that could make a dictator of a small country blush. =P

Here's some ideas on how Microsoft could improve the Start Menu, for Power User and for Average Joe users.

For MOAR Powah User:

  • Add an ability to group programs into user-defined categories, and maybe add keywords to make searching for them easier.
  • Add a small arrow button to option specific parts of a program using a small "jump list". For example, LibreOffice might have an arrow to allow me to select Writer, Draw, Spreadsheet, or any other. Steam might show a list of recently played games.
  • Same as the idea above, but includes tabs in the QuickJump menu to allow users to switch between "most recently played", "most played", "most recently purchased", and also allows the user to favorite his own items from that list (for his own convenience).
  • Several settings from the Desktop are saved online, and online cloud-storage can be enabled for folders, files, settings, and toggled on or off. But only Microsoft servers can store settings, and only they can authorize the download of files from cloud storage by using their own login. This avoids third-party systems having their systems hacked and their passwords stolen (although it happens all over the place). This means I could use DropBox, Google Drive or SkyDrive if I preferred, with no loss in functionality. All my customization options would be saved.
  • Online synchronization allows for a list of installed programs to be automatically downloaded. This means if you're on a new computer, you'll have a list of all the programs purchased from the Windows Store, but also from any other service. The "Uninstall Programs" list becomes cloud-synced so you can later remember the name of a program if you wanted to. Also would include links for the latest version.
  • Automatic driver updates included in the OS, in a driver section of Windows Update. No need for manual driver updates. Extra security and performance.
  • File versions for programs, registry changes and system resources. Also file versions for personal user files, like documents, images, and others. Also enable "File Version" be toggled on or off for individual files, folders and drives manually. 
  • Add an option for the users to choose the level of error protection in case of HDD or SSD bad clusters or damaged files (power shortage, cold reboot, blue screen while writing to disk, etc), and show the added performance degradation and/or extra space added or removed from the HDD/SSD depending on what level of error protection would be added.
  • Add tabs to the desktop. This allows users to have a desktop for a given purpose. "Work" desktop tab when at one location, "Home" desktop tab when at another, maybe a "Gaming" desktop tab when you're just focused on gaming, maybe a "Content Creation" tab. Rename-able by the user. A desktop tab would have it's own Theme/VisualStyle, it's own StartMenu settings, and so forth. It works like a user in terms of how it looks and feels, but switching is easy and all level of access is the same since it's within the same user account. It may look like another user account, but it's just a Desktop Tab. (Makes the desktop like a browser in some regards.)
  • Add the ability to "fence" off parts of the desktop. Think of a rectangle in the desktop that has some icons on it, and a label underneath. When clicked, it expands so you can quickly click something there. When you click outside of expanded rectangle, it collapses back to it's original size. This is quicker than folders to open and close, more intuitive, and more beautiful. It also can have nice shiny animations for the marketing guys to brag about.
  • Add a cog button next to certain programs, so it's easier to access the settings.
  • Fix Window's native audio solution. By adding an audiophile-grade solution here, Windows could really take off well.
  • At the bottom of the StartMenu, add the SearchBar that searches all of Windows programs, documents and so forth to help users get to what they want as quickly as possible. Using voice commands, if the users says "Hey Windows, search for birthday pictures", it'll show results within my own documents (files with that name or keyword), within text documents (contains those keywords), within windows functions, within my programs, and results online. The results appear within the StartMenu. To user voice-enabled navigation, hold down the Windows Key for 3 seconds and say "Hey Windows" within another 5 seconds, followed by your request (search or otherwise).

For the Average User:

  • Sync browser bookmarks and program settings via the cloud.
  • Add various means to log on, including voice recognition when the user says a specific set of random words (to help avoid password stealing, password authentication is done on the server-side using voice). No typed password needed.
  • Show real-time Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr feed and notifications within Start Menu. This could be done using bottom-aligned tabs, helping to make navigation quicker. Same goes for e-mails, which small previews could be seen within the Start Menu, and a delete button might be added so the user can quickly delete Spam.
  • Allow users to choose several themes. Much like how Windows 7 has visual styles, incorporate those into Windows 8, and allow users to make them and distribute them through official channels. This allows users to make and share their own themes. Allow varying levels of transparency (with fully transparent Window borders all the way up to fully opaque), smokiness, level of blur, colors, etc.
  • Allow users to have much more granular tile size. Don't just make tiles fixed sizes, like 48x48. Allow them to resize tiles to fir their needs. Also, allow other things besides squares. Maybe slightly wider rectangles (great for thumbnails for FullHD videos of FullHD pictures), maybe taller rectangles (a square icon with a text label beneath it, and a bottom arrow to show extra options).
  • Not only can programs, shortcuts, files and folders be added to the desktop. You might be able to add web pages too (well, shortcuts to the default browser to open the target link, but visually it includes a thumbnail, and maybe a text label beneath it). This may make it look like the Speed Dial for Opera 18, but it helps integrate the Internet and Desktop experience into a more unified experience.
  • Add voice-enabled usage and typing, so that way I don't have to worry about typos, and so I don't have to type 8,000 words in my book or article by hand. Allow versions of Windows to store some capabilities in offline mode, such as voice-enabled typing. Allow the program to learn how the user in question speaks, and add data files so the program can adjust to that user. Allow that to be stored in flash drives, backed up, or synced via cloud storage (including third-party).

Anyways, that's all I got for now. Hope you like that. That's how I'd fix Windows and make it a more compelling option, with a better UI, better features, etc.

I'd rather wait for Windows 9.

And then a 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20...

Or Windows Nyan, featuring a poptart cat theme by default. Or how about Windows NEIN! featuring a voice-capable AI of an angry german guy screaming and cussing at you in german the whole time you use your operating system? Or Windows Nerf'd, a version of Windoiws with so few features you'd think it was DOS with a wallpaper and a different font.

lets hope that microsoft will bring a normal startmenu.

By the way i never understood microsoft, theire goal was one OS for all devices, but why didn´t they just let theire users, choose what kind of GUI they want, same as Linux does for ages with KDE and Gnome desktops.

If they just give a user the option t choose, which kind of desktop ui to use, windows classic, or windows metro ui. that solves realy everything, and would be easy to realise.

And if the settings are available to be synced online to a user's Microsoft account, than a person could logon wherever they wanted to, sync all their settings, and it would customize the desktop and their preferences to match. I also agree that giving users the choice is best, however, Microsoft suits must think (sorry for the oxymoron) that people are too dumb to be able to make a choice between user interfaces. Apparently, flipping a button or switch to go from "Win7 Mode" to "ModernUI" mode is too complicated.

What Microsoft just doesn't seem to get is that their sales of PCs in the desktop environment are dropping in all areas, especially main consumers, and it's the ModernUI interface that many experts blame (well, that and the economy). Yet only the Power Users, Gamers and Workstation areas seem to keep up, and it's those very people Microsoft doesn't seem to target. Instead of targeting the people who are growing, and pleasing them, they're trying to recover the other areas that aren't growing, and by doing so, they've successfully p*ssed off everybody at once and have pulled out the coffin nails and hammer.

Hopefully they'll realize it sooner rather than later. Although I don't put much faith in Microsoft anymore. After Windows RT and Windows 8's horrid ModernUI, there isn't much point for hope or optimism with them. Doom 'n Gloom, now that sounds much more accurate for a company that got engaged to the NSA and has been going to bed with it in sleazy MotelServer6 places with all our confidential, personal, private data we've entrusted them with.