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: http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-sued-over-guatemala-software-raid-2013-6)
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