Microsoft Backpedals On Swipe With Windows 8.1

startwindows8

After a disastrous Windows 8 launch that saw Microsoft embrace a new tiled user interface, the company announced today that it’s backpedaling and resurrecting popular Windows 7 features like the Start Menu.

Twitter was abuzz with the news of Start Menus with the majority of tweets cheering the return, but after closer inspection of the Franken-hyrbid interface we think they should have left it to rot in a tomb.

You can get a close-up of the prototype Start Menu Microsoft showed off to journos at Build today over at the Verge but it’s similar to the Windows 7 feature with a whole lot of tiles thrown on top.

To make the menu touch-friendly, the area has tripled in size to accommodate more touch tiles which also adds more clutter and distractions.  Windows 8.1 will also bring back windows so you don’t have to monotask in one app, and like iOS, it’ll be free for devices 9-inches and smaller.

After going balls to the wall on touch with Windows 8, Microsoft is now in an odd position of trying to find a balance between mouse-users and touch devices. We’ll see how users respond when 8.1 is released on April 8th, but what we’ve seen so far makes Apple’s decision not to merge iOS and OS X yet seem quite sensible after all.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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