Combining Old and New
As you can see, this time the Start menu is back for real, only with a few modifications to its visual appearance which combines both the old Start menu style together with the newer Metro-ish design.
The decision of bringing back the Start menu instead of the Start screen to the desktop is part of Microsoft’s new attitude towards its products called convergence, which they announced on earlier this year.
This decision is a result of many factors such as, the harsh criticism its current Windows release (8 / 8.1) got and, the relatively, very low consumption rates, for instance.
Aside from the Start-menu there are also a few other changes apparent which worth mentioning, and those are:
- Taskbar has a new search icon next to the Start button.
- Virtual desktops feature is apparently going to land on this version (you can see its icon next to the search icon).
- Metro-style apps have window decorations by default, i.e. close, minimize and maximize buttons (seen in the video below).
Convergence was already here
You might be interested to know that the whole idea of convergence didn’t start with Microsoft Windows 9, and is actually already here in some other OSs.
This year’s Apple’s OS X 10.10 Yosemite, which revealed a concept they call “continuity” is actually apple’s take on convergence and how it should be applied.
In 2013 Canonical (Ubuntu) had introduced a new idea called convergence where one code-base will run across different devices, which is practically about the same as what Windows 8 is doing.
And even way before that, in 2008 it was the KDE Community that introduced the concept of convergence utilizing it on netbooks and desktops, offering optimized interface for each device.
So yes, convergence was certainly already here, even before the guys at Microsoft have came to the conclusion of realizing the concept.
Video: Using The New Start Menu
Back to Windows 9, the current release schedule of the above appearing version, which is a “technical preview” is tentatively expected for later this month or in early October. early adopters, ready yourselves…
So perhaps Microsoft’s Windows 9 will eventually not end up looking like this beautiful mockup, however for some who had tried Windows 8 / 8.1 and felt it was a terrible experience, the herein changes would probably still be much appreciated.