back to article Microsoft takes tweaking tongs to Windows 10's Start Menu once again

Microsoft has unveiled a long-teased update to the Windows 10 Start Menu for its loyal fans... or at least some of them. Marking yet another step away from the vision of Windows 8, Dev Channel Windows Insiders were treated to a "more streamlined design", which Microsoft described as "refined", free of the Windows 8-style solid …

  1. Anonymous Coward


    "Other notable improvements in this version included browser tabs ... Edge ... appearing during Alt+Tab navigation"

    There are a few problems with this: Some of my colleagues open so many tabs that you can barely see them. No one I know uses Edge.

    1. Dave K

      Re: Edgy

      I often browse with quite a lot of tabs open. Including them within Alt-Tab just adds extra incentive not to use Edge.

      As it is, I've seen screenshots of the new start menu, it really is just a case of applying a little bit of lipstick to a pig. It still looks crap and in need of a complete overhaul. Or ideally, just revert it back to something more like the start menu from Windows 7.

      1. beep54

        Re: Edgy

        Fortunately there's always Classic Shell. I've always loathed any version of the 'metro' start menu.

        1. Unicornpiss

          Re: Edgy

          100% agree about Classic Shell. Why, oh why couldn't MS provide this functionality built-in to Windows? Oh right, it was someone's bright idea about 'starting fresh' I suppose. Including a way to have the older menu systems everyone had used for years would be admitting defeat.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Edgy

            would be admitting defeat.

            Even before I read this comment I was thinking something along those lines.

            It's as if those execs who foisted Win 8 on us, insisted it was wonderful and what everyone wanted, then launched their shill army to pretend everyone loved it, are still refusing to give up.

            Now they're hiding in the woods and launching annoying darts of Modern at us when they think we're not watching.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: Edgy

      Yet another reason to use Open Shell.

  2. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Clearly I've missed something but

    Why ?

    <i?the decidedly old-school world of the Control Panel System page now fall into the About page of Settings. </i>

    The Control Panel did what it did. I don't say it was perfect, but it did what was needed.

    So what's the point of shifting everything around into a place that's still a Control Panelly sort of space?

    It's a bit like when a library moves the Crime and the Thriller sections of books into one called Crime and Thriller- on the same bookcase. (Or the opposite for that matter).

    1. Chris G

      Re: Clearly I've missed something but

      Exactly my thinking, when I first got W10, finding so many basic functions that were still in use but moved to obscure locations and a naming convention that is anything but bleedin' obvious, took me some time to overcome and produced some choice language.

      Gradually and grudgingly, Microsith goes back to to some of the better functions of prior incarnations but not often enough.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

        Re: Clearly I've missed something but

        Whenever I want to change something in Win10, my muscle memory goes straight to: Win+R, c o n t r o l [enter]

    2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: Clearly I've missed something but

      I'm a long term Windows System Admin and User. Personally, I don't understand why Microsoft needed to change Control Panel to "Settings". "Settings" may be a better name than "Control Panel". This is debatable, as it contains controls, and every machine has some sort of Control Panel, even if it's just an on/off switch, and some of the "Settings" listed in the settings page aren't, strictly speaking settings. The Add Hardware "settings" are, I would argue, Controls.

      Sure change the layout of the control panel, but keep it as a control panel. No need to create something else to do the same job. Certainly no need to create the current mess in Windows 10 with some controls/settings being available in either the Control Panel, or Settings page (looking at you System Center Configuration manager control panel), and some being available in both.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Paradroid

        Re: Clearly I've missed something but

        Agree. The reason they changed it to Settings was because instead of evolving the Control Panel into what they wanted it to be in Windows 8, they decided to go scorched earth and start again with something new..They needed a new name and conveniently forgot that Control Panel was a universally known name that had value.

        This is one area where Apple scores much better. When they name something, the name is a good one and designed to last. The file browser has had the same name since 1986, whereas Microsoft has had three. And Apple even hark back to past names when it makes sense e.g. Sidecar. They try to manage down the number of concepts their users need to hold in their heads.

    3. David Lawton

      Re: Clearly I've missed something but

      Even worse is apart from Settings being a mess and badly designed with endless wasted space so it now takes up a full screen, I could in Control Panel have multiple Control Panel Applets open at the same time, I cannot do that in Settings. It has improved NOTHING but made many things Worse.

      Maybe that should be Microsofts new slogan? Improve nothing and make things worse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clearly I've missed something but

        Full screen? FULL SCREEN? I'd pay money for full screen. Some need more scrolling than Instagram!

      2. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Re: Clearly I've missed something but

        Change for the sake of it.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clearly I've missed something but

        Hutber's Law of Economics: Improvement causes deterioration.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Clearly I've missed something but

      "So what's the point of shifting everything around into a place that's still a Control Panelly sort of space?"

      It's about the CONTROL, and not the "Panel" we're used to (for windows 7 holdouts, anyway). Micros~1 will FORCE YOU to like "Settings" by MAKING you use it!

      (it's kinda like holding your dog's nose in whatever it was he did that you do not like. He probably won't get the message, other than "you are bigger than me and can do this")

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clearly I've missed something but

      For clarification, which is the crime and which the thriller here? The pure detection of finding out where everything is these days or the excitement as you try to get things to work?

    6. Eli...

      Re: Clearly I've missed something but

      Supermarkets do the same thing every few months, to 'ensure the freshness of your shopping

      experience' … so just when you start to remember the Pasties are in isle 3, front row, they move

      them to isle 7, rear row.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Clearly I've missed something but

        Supermarkets moving stuff. At their own peril!

        I found Tescos had moved some stuff but no worries I found it at Sainsburies.

      2. MCMLXV

        Re: Clearly I've missed something but

        You have to get multiple ferries to do your shopping?

        1. Paul Herber Silver badge

          Re: Clearly I've missed something but

          If the M27 is very busy try Lymington -> Yarmouth, drive to Cowes, over the floating bridge to East Cowes, drive to Fishbourne, ferry to Portsmouth. Shop, Return.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clearly I've missed something but

        My supermarket has not changed it's ilse for at least 5 years. May be getting on 10 now. They did have one switch other at one point. And sometimes move the crisp isle, but generally only when they increase/decrease the size of the stock types.

        They have however completely redone the fresh food deli and replaced most of it with an expensive massively overstocked "olive bar" with fresh olives that all rot, as we have the demand for about 2 tubs of the stuff a week (I like them, but cannot eat 2 shelves worth!).

        Now? Now they closed the butchers entirely. Ok, enough of that rant, but for all their faults, moving shelves is not one!

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: My supermarket has not changed it's aisles for at least 5 years

          Does your supermarket sell deckchairs?

          If they start moving them around it is time to get out the store ... NOW.

          1. Paul Herber Silver badge

            Re: My supermarket has not changed it's aisles for at least 5 years

            That's going a bit overboard!

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Clearly I've missed something but

          This does not sound like one of the major chain supermarkets, where product positioning is determined by head office algorithmically according to some arcane combination of profit margins - including supplier payments or discounts for premium locations, demand prediction (including advertising campaigns), and customer tracking. As well as good old fashioned seasonal variations.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: Clearly I've missed something but

            Nah it is. It's just it's too small to move anything around. There is no where else TO put it. XD

            Beer, cos that's always been in the same place.

    7. NightFox

      Re: Clearly I've missed something but

      "It's a bit like when a library moves the Crime and the Thriller sections of books into one called Crime and Thriller- on the same bookcase. (Or the opposite for that matter)."

      Or when they put several Crime and Thriller sections in different parts of the library and randomly put the crime and thriller books into any one of those sections. Or maybe have the Hound of the Baskervilles in two different sections, but each one being a different version of the same story.

  3. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    This, for me, isn't an improvement. Quite the opposite. During the normal run of things, while surfing, I can end up with a lot of tabs open. Not hundreds, but certainly a lot, and I do regularly remove unused tabs. I use Alt+Tab to switch between different applications, as it can be quicker than clicking on the taskbar button (if busy, I tend to use the keyboard in preference to the mouse/trackball). If I want to switch between browser tabs, there is already a shortcut for that, CTRL+TAB..

  4. regadpellagru

    Win 8 icons

    "free of the Windows 8-style solid backgrounds for icons, which are replaced with a partially transparent and uniform backdrop."

    At last ! The systems from the 80s had better looking icons than all the W8 shite !

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Win 8 icons

      Give it 6 months and someone will release a Windows 8 icon pack!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Win 8 icons

      I think your Rose Tinted Glasses forget MS BOB.

      (PS, funny enough, I honestly thought my memories as a child of MS BOB were from a dream till I saw the Wiki page. That or the Mandela effect. ;) ).

    3. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
      Thumb Down

      Re: Win 8 icons

      I actually prefer some app icons having different colored backgrounds; makes them easier to find. If all the tiles are going to end up looking the same -- white widget on semi-trans -- then might as well just give me an ordered list (curated, not the full list) instead of tiles.

      Oh, wait, I rarely use that menu anyway since I tend to also pin the same things to the taskbar. Same problem, though: if all the icons will eventually lose their color, then quickly telling things apart (especially the parts of MS Office) will be impossible.

    4. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Win 8 icons

      To be fair, it is rather inappropriate to criticize Microsoft for the mix of modern Metro and old skool app icons. As you know, app icons are provided by the app publisher as either an icon file or embedded in a DLL / EXE, and therefore Microsoft would have to create and supply new icons for software that it didn't even write nor is responsible for the upkeep thereto.

  5. Craig 2

    AKA the "more lipstick" update...

    1. PTW

      or more glitter?

      1. BenDwire Silver badge

        Or glittery lipstick ?

        1. logicalextreme


          1. ivan5

            But you can't polish a turd!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Like heck you can't!


              Still doesn't change what it is, but at least it can be shiny...

  6. batfink

    Loyal Fans

    What - both of them?

  7. streeeeetch

    Classic Shell

    Nuff said.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Classic Shell

      Same here, at least on machines where I have administrator access. I have been trying to get Classic Shell added to the approved software list at work to no avail. At least the quick launch panel is still around.

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    more fiddling while Redmond burns

    As if this was their top priority... What about fixing that real bone of contention... Windows Update.

  9. MJI Silver badge

    Work PC

    Is inflicted with this mess.

    Luckily managed to learn most dialog names like services.msc and the .cpls

    Not yet found shut down button, but I just restart anyway with shutdown /r

    Most thing is the grey 2D UI, is total shite compared to 98/NT/2000/XP and all.

  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    I've seen it

    They've made it worse.

    Low(er) contrast flat colors.

    Effing brilliant. /s

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Desktop Themes

    I am surprised that the bean counters at Microsoft haven't floated the idea of a Plus Pack for W10 that includes a tool for changing the desktop theme to something other than the stock Windows 10 theme. Some of the code for legacy Windows themes is still in there as you can tease out the old 9x and XP style themes when you tweak the compatibility mode of a 32-bit exe.

  12. Paradroid

    I've been moaning a lot about Windows 10 lately but am pleased with this new start menu. Might be too little too late but at least it shows design is getting some focus again inside of MS, after them completely ignoring it for years.

    The tabs in the task switcher idea is ridiculous though. This has been tried before with Windows Phone and I believe Chrome OS, and nobody likes it. Ctrl-Tab is for switching tabs, not Alt-Tab. They should improve how Ctrl-Tab works

  13. Barry Rueger

    User and device signal

    The "Programmable Taskbar" will only apply to new accounts or first logins, and Microsoft plans to tailor the layouts "based on user and device signal" to cut down on "perceptions of bloatware".

    Leaving aside the absurd suggestion that Microsoft will do anything to reduce bloatware, I really do not want them auto-magically sticking things on my taskbar. It's the one place in Windows where I'm in control, and they can stay out of it.

  14. a_yank_lurker


    The updates to the Start Menu look to be meh at best. What I would like the Rejects of Redmond do is fix USB connectivity of wireless keyboards. It is rather irritating to be typing something and suddenly nothing appears as I hit keys. And the real irritation is when this happens when logging in.

  15. Aquilus


    Wow I sure can't wait for Candy Crush saga to decide to reinstall itself !

  16. Big_Boomer Silver badge


    Are you all deaf or something? Several people above have suggested that you install Classic/Open Shell and choose your Menu layout. You can have Win 2000, Win XP, Win 7, and you can even customise it to make your own unique layout. I have it on EVERY Windows PC I use including several VMs. When I have to connect to a customers PC I greet the tile interface with a groan of resignation and then spend the next 45 mins trying to find what I need to resolve their issue. If MS were going to listen to their users they would have listened by now, but they just listen to their Marketing and Design people and don't seem to give a flying **** about their customers, so just install Classic/Open Shell and end 99% of your menu woes. I have even persuaded several customers to use it over the years. I have nothing to do with the team who developed it but I would like thank them from the bottom of my heart for a great product that has probably saved me hundreds of hours of wasted time over the years.

    1. hoola Silver badge


      All well and good but in the corporate world you get what you are given and very rarely have the luxury of installing such things. Even back-room IT professionals get lumbered with the same restrictions that standard users get at our organisation.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A general moan. It is Friday after all

    <start rant>

    This is a moan about possibly all desktop updates although Windows 10 is a particularly egregious case . One of the things that really bugs me about desktop updates is this constant need by the developers to tweak the appearance of the desktop. A little bit of background shading here, let's move that menu over there. It is much like the continual rearrangements of groceries in supermarkets. Biscuits have been moved nearly 50 metres from aisle 4 to aisle 32 in my superstore. They are the same bloody biscuits, just made more difficult to find. Same with desktops. If there was new functionality there may be an excuse but layout changes for the sake of it? It is putting different coloured lipstick on a pig.

    I can appreciate the value of modernising things when the developers release an entirely new operating system like they did moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8 (ok, change is not always good and you can trust Microsoft to screw things up) but at least the user has the option to refuse. I chose (still choose) to remain on Windows 7 for that reason. But when I update my existing system I don't expect it to look, feel and operate differently afterwards.

    When i send my car to the garage for a service it doesn't come back with a changed paint job, no fifth gear and the instruments reading in metric. I want the same for my PC.

    <end rant>

  18. aqk

    M$ Edge? Why, it IS FANTASTIC!

    Actually, I just came here to see all the nasty comments from the Macintosh / Safari weenies. heh-heh..

    Com'n, you el-Rag punks! Let's see how many downvotes you can give me!

    Don't forget to keep spelling it as M$ ... And keep saying Win-XP will NEVER DIE! Right?

  19. Neiljohnuk

    More shite?

    If the latest 'update' is anything to go by it'll screw things up. My reasonably fast lap-top and my work tower have both slowed down significantly when started/rebooted, now instead of ~15 seconds it's over a minute before it's possible to login, then often several more before you can do anything with it. ITS SHIT Microshite!

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