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.

  • SolidSonicTH

    Lol, boo hoo. Microsoft does something people want and the haters are scrambling to find ways to shoot it down.

    It’s not the Start Menu you remember but I can no longer imagine ask yourself how this is a bad thing. It’s got the recent programs list from Windows 7’s Start Menu and the All Programs area as well.

    What more are you asking for? Anything else the Start Menu once had can now be accessed by right clicking the Start Button/pressing the Windows + X keys. It’s a Start Menu. That is no longer a valid reason to disparage Windows 8.

    • Kr00

      Care factor…… 0

  • Scott Landis

    Good god that is ugly, but it may be the only way for Microsoft to get users to accept Windows 8.

  • Kr00

    Who cares!! Microsuck don’t do anything well. Never have.

    • bondr006

      oooh! you’re just so witty and cool….

  • Guest

    BTW Buster….Windows 8.1 is already out. Have had it since Dec 2013 and I like it a lot. You may not like it and find childish fun talking shit about it, but it’s a damn good OS that I like just as well as I like OS X. Grow up and realize that there is room for more than 1 OS. They both co-exist in my house with no fighting, name calling or otherwise. This isn’t the eighties anymore when Apple had to fight to be recognized. Show a little maturity and intelligence sir.

    • D R

      Um, no, what he’s talking about is the soon to be released Windows 8.1 Update or Windows 8.1 Update 1 [who knows why they couldn’t just name it either Windows 8.1.1, Windows 8.2 or Windows 8.1 SP1].

      And yes, it’s Microsoft trying to fiddle with making a touch-based UI not totally suck when used with a keyboard and mouse, and continuing to fail.

      • bondr006

        Um, Buster never once calls is Windows 8.1 Update in his trash news article. He simply refers to it as Windows 8.1. Read it for yourself in the last two paragraphs of the crap he passes off as news.

      • D R

        Sure he uses the wrong title for it. But only a moron harps on it. As a reporter he could have spent more time making sure the name was right, and Microsoft could have used an ounce of intelligence making the name less confusing.

  • bondr006

    BTW Buster….Windows 8.1 is already out. Have had it since Dec 2013 and I like it a lot. You may not like it and find childish fun talking shit about it, but it’s a damn good OS that I like just as well as I like OS X. Grow up and realize that there is room for more than 1 OS. They both co-exist in my house with no fighting, name calling or otherwise. This isn’t the eighties anymore when Apple had to fight to be recognized. Try to show a little maturity and intelligence sir.

    • Rafterman00

      LOL, you are correct. Currently I prefer OSX, but this Windows hate sounds more like insecurity than anything else.

  • http://www.robgadv.com/ RobG

    I tried to use a Windows 8 machine last week while helping a coworker. I finally threw my hands up in disgust and said he was on his own. It’s impossible.

About the author

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

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