As you may know from reading some of my recent articles, I'm a bit fanatical about the Start Menu\Start Screen in Windows:
- Reset Windows 8.1's Start Screen
- How to reconfigure the Start Screen in Windows 8.1
- Make the best of the Windows 8.1 Start/Apps Screen with its new features
- When will the Windows Start Menu return?
- Start Menu Reviver 2 offers a better program manager for Windows 8.1
- The Windows 8 Start Menu reimagined and reinvigorated
Well, I recently got a good look at the Start Menu in Windows 9 via a YouTube video from the WinFuture channel. I'm not sure who runs the channel, but they are German and have been posting video demos of Windows 9 for the last week. The videos are actually very well done and are set to music rather than someone droning on about what they are doing.
One of those videos, called "Windows 9: The new Start Menu in action," does an excellent job of highlighting the new features in the Windows 9 Start Menu (see the video below). In this article, I'll highlight some of the features that you'll see in the video.
The Technical Preview
Before I actually get started looking at the new Windows 9 Start Menu features, I should mention that Microsoft is planning to release a preview build of Windows 9 at a press event in San Francisco on September 30. If you look closely at the desktop in the video above, you'll see a desktop watermark that indicates this is Build 9834 of the Windows Technical Preview.
While the build number may change between now and the actual public release of the Windows Technical Preview, chances are that — at this stage — the Start Menu is a pretty stable feature.
Once you see the new Start Menu, the first thing that will strike you is that Microsoft has basically grafted the Start Screen onto the Start Menu. On the left side of the menu, you'll find all your applications and links to items that have traditionally been on right side of the menu, such as the Control Panel and your Library folders: Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos. You'll also find the Search box at the bottom of the left side.
On the right side of the menu is a fly-out panel designed for the Modern App tiles, including Live Tiles. You can pin and unpin tiles, move them around, and even resize them.
You'll see that the top of the menu includes a Power button, allowing you to easily access the Sleep, Shut down, and Restart commands. Adjacent to the Power button is a user account icon that provides easy access to features like the Change account picture, Lock, and Sign out commands.
Enable or disable
The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog provides you with the ability to enable or disable the Start Menu. When the Start Menu is disabled, clicking the Start button will bring up the Start Screen just like in Windows 8.1.
Overall, I think that the new Windows 9 Start Menu looks very slick, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Windows 9 Technical Preview. What do you think? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.