Push start to begin: Microsoft are bringing back the start menu for Windows 8

Windows 8

Oh, Windows 8 desktop: you look much the same – so much so that we can almost pretend all the Metro stuff never happened. But there’s something missing. A familiar retractable limb has been pulled from your body in the name of progress. The great portal to all installed games. A phantom presence we’re suddenly aware of, whenever we absentmindedly swing the cursor down to the bottom-left corner of the screen.

It’s the ghost of the start menu – one that’s never quite stopped haunting Microsoft. And in an effort to get a decent night’s sleep, they’ve decided to bring it back.

Microsoft announced yesterday that they’ll secrete the start menu into a future update. We generally leave speculation to qualified speculators with books out – but it wouldn’t be too forward to guess that update might be Windows 8.2.

As you can see, the new start bar is sensibly similar to its Windows 7 counterpart – but Microsoft couldn’t resist slipping a shelf of tiles down the right-hand side, next to the ‘All Apps’ button.

Microsoft say they’ll also let tiled ‘Modern’ apps – i.e. those designed specifically for the Windows 8 UI – run in a window on the desktop. Which is actually a fairly big deal. As is, Windows 8 pulls you out of the desktop and into a fullscreen app to view a simple picture.

Honestly, I’ve got quite used to stabbing at the Windows key and typing the name of whatever program is in my head when using Windows 8. But perhaps you lot will be pleased to see the return of this slim old mucker?

Lookee here for a handy guide to the coolest 10 new features in Windows 8.1, flesh-eating spiders and all.