Feeds

New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

Revamped launcher could arrive in update this year

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A purportedly leaked screenshot of what appears to be an upcoming version of Windows has given us a closer look at the much-rumored new "hybrid" Start Menu, suggesting it may be coming sooner, rather than later.

We were given our first glimpse at Redmond's future UI direction at the company's annual Build developer conference in April, in a presentation by Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive VP of operating systems.

Myerson showed off a screenshot in which a new version of the classic Start Menu was seen popping up from the taskbar. On the left of the menu was the traditional, Windows 7–style application list. On the right was a set of Live Tiles, reminiscent of the current Windows 8.x Start Screen.

The Redmond exec didn't say when this new feature would arrive, saying only that Microsoft "will be making this available to all Windows 8.1 users as an update." But the new screenshot, originally posted to the My Digital Life forums, seems to indicate that the change may not be far off.

Leaked screenshot showing new Windows 8.x Start Menu

Microsoft told us it was coming and here it is again. But when will it ship? (click to enlarge)

As with most prerelease builds of Windows, this one shows the build number on its desktop. In this case, the OS is described as "Windows 8.1 Pro, Build 9788." That doesn't sound like there's been any major overhaul, as the current, shipping version of Windows 8.1 is Build 9600.

It's hard to say whether the screenshot is authentic, because disk images of the purported Build 9788 have yet to hit the usual pirate sites. But it seems in keeping with what Myerson demoed in April; if it was a hoax, you'd expect to see something surprising.

Instead, the differences between the version of the Start Menu in the screenshot and the one shown at Build appear minor. The selection of default tiles is different – the new screenshot shows prominent tiles for System Settings, This PC, and OneDrive cloud storage, for example. The search bar also now reads "Search Windows and the web," where previously it was blank.

Other than those changes, there's little to indicate what other significant features might be in store for the next version of Windows – if any – not to mention when it will arrive or what it will be called.

Rumors that Microsoft is planning to ship another update to Windows 8.1 – possibly around October – have been swirling for months. But it's not known whether the software giant plans to continue its current oddball nomenclature and call it Windows 8.1 Update 2 or whether it might punt and call it Windows 9, in hopes that customers that have shunned Windows 8 will be convinced that big changes have happened.

From the looks of things, however, this alleged Build 9788 – if it is real – will be more of a gradual evolution of Windows 8.1 than a major update. Still, if the lack of a Start Menu was what was keeping you from upgrading from Windows 7, this next version may be the one you've been waiting for. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
Keep that consumer browser tat away from our software says Oracle
Big Red decides it will only support Firefox's Extended Support Releases
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
WordPress 4.0 is here, complete with one-click upgrade process
Don't relax yet, sysadmins, there's still a chance for some big messes here
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.