If Windows 8 could not come off as a more radical departure from its traditional 9x-derived design, it’s only going to get weirder. While rumored for some time, Microsoft will be releasing the ‘Consumer Preview’ of their newest operating system officially without a Start menu. Yes, a hallmark of the Windows environment will be going away and I couldn’t be more excited.
Microsoft needs to catch up. The threat to Windows’ desktop dominance has never been greater, with threats coming in from all vectors as the industry shifts away from environments friendly to its experience. Introduced seventeen years ago (holy crap, has it been that long”) as part of Windows 95’s radical new UX, the at-times forever sprawling Start menu granted you easy access to content through menu trees, rather than individual folders. But my love affair with the Start Menu ended in 1999 when an update to Windows 98 introduced the Quick Launch bar that was included in every version of Windows since then. I’ve pinned all of my applications there since and have rarely needed to use the Start Menu at all.
With Windows Vista, Microsoft removed the infinite-sprawling trees of nested Start menu folders with a single pane that shifted contents based on where you navigated. This presented a much cleaner version of the menu that included a search feature from the beginning. With Windows 8, Microsoft is emphasizing its new Start screen, a Metro-based experience not unlike Windows Phone.
I think it’s wonderful that Microsoft is willing to kill its darlings to advance in this confusing age of computing.
Source: The Verge