Microsoft teases its Metro style Windows 8 Start Menu

By Tom Warren, on 30th Aug 11 7:53 am with 46 Comments

Windows 8 Start Menu

Microsoft has once again teased a new part of its Windows 8 user interface.

The company revealed how the new Start Menu looks during a Windows 8 video on Monday. The Start Menu appears to have a flat and Metro look, using both text and icons to illustrate different options. The Start Menu contains:

  • Settings
  • Devices
  • Share
  • Search

It’s not immediately clear from the video whether this is the default Start Menu experience or a customised version that users can control. It appears radically different from the existing Start Menu in Windows 7 however. Microsoft has previously revealed that the Start Menu functionality will be replaced by the new Start Screen in Windows 8. The Start Menu and side parts of the UI appear to be identical to previous discoveries in leaked copies of Windows 8. A number of Windows enthusiasts discovered references to an “immersive” user experience in Windows 8.

Microsoft revealed its new Windows 8 Start Button during a previous “Building Windows 8″ video. The Start Button appears to be more flat with pastel colors, reflecting Microsoft’s adoption of the Metro design language it now uses throughout the company. Microsoft’s new Start Screen UI is designed to support the latest PC form factors, including touch-based slates and tablets. The main elements will include:

  • Fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start Menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.
  • Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps.
  • Fluid, natural switching between running apps.
  • Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows.
  • Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC.
  • Fully touch-optimized browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10.
Latest Windows 8 news:
  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Metro and Aero together haha, I know its just a work in progress. Cant wait for the Metro Interface :)

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Metro and Aero together haha, I know its just a work in progress. Cant wait for the Metro Interface :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Michiel.Papp Michiel Papp

    Looks good exept the clock there, it’s kinda huge, or is that his lock screen bugging?

    OR does a metro gui pop up when you open your start menu?

    interesting stuff….

    • Anonymous

      it shows up when you swipe from the right to get the options, its not usualy there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Michiel.Papp Michiel Papp

    Looks good exept the clock there, it’s kinda huge, or is that his lock screen bugging?

    OR does a metro gui pop up when you open your start menu?

    interesting stuff….

  • Tuxplorer

    I’m a little confused with this though. I thought the Start Button would take users to the new Start Screen. So, how would you go to the Start Screen from the desktop?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sebastian.guy Sebastian Guy

      I would assume you press the Start button again?

    • Tuxplorer

      That will be a bit counter-productive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sebastian.guy Sebastian Guy

      If you think about it though, say you accidentally press the Windows key
      on a keyboard. Do you really want it to open the (new) Start menu, or
      would you rather have it open that small menu that you can easily
      navigate away from?

    • Tuxplorer

      The new Start Screen is the real “home” of a Windows 8 computer. Desktop is no longer the default  location. So, they should make visiting the Start Screen as easy and fluid as possible.

    • Candid Calum

      I do agree with this. Due to how useful the Start Screen will be in terms of updates and information, I’m actually hoping I can keep it open on one screen at all times.

    • Candid Calum

      By default, one clicks on a file twice to open it. There’s no harm in them setting the behavour to two clicks by default when opening the Start Screen (perhaps they’ll give us the option like they do in regard to opening files). Sebastian Guy makes a good point.

    • Harsha

      It think it is a jump list for the start screen

    • Anonymous

      more likely than other ideas imo

  • http://www.facebook.com/sebastian.guy Sebastian Guy

    I don’t know if anyone else knew this, but at the end of the video they show a Windows 8 Start menu with 4 rows… was that officially confirmed? That’s new to me too :/

    • Tuxplorer

      Yeah, the tiles look smaller than what was shown previously. I would assume the tiles are ultra-customizable though. So they can be resized and arranged in whatever way.

  • Guest

    there is an start screen toward the end of video

  • Cloud

    Metro UI is simply beautiful. 

  • Harsha

    If you notice these are the same 4 options u get when u do a swipe on the right side on Win 8 tablet!!!!

  • Anonymous

    haha since i saw the video i knew Tom would write about it. it wasnt a surprise at all just matter of time. good to see microsoft giving these hints about kinda what they are testing, developing and such. every video seems to have a new test in UI. but i bet it will look amazing, and if not… there will be a way to make it look the way we want like uxtheme patch or themes like hyperdesk ones, or whatever. but i doubt microsoft seeing windows phone 7 and xbox live new dashboard will not bring a cool Win 8 interface since its the best from microsoft.

  • Anonymous

    Finally something to be atleast not sad about, the Windows 7 start menu was a straight up nuisance along with the search bar…finally they learned, better late than never..hahahahaha!!!

  • Anonymous

    Finally something to be atleast not sad about, the Windows 7 start menu was a straight up nuisance along with the search bar…finally they learned, better late than never..hahahahaha!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Julzz Χαράλαμπος Pap 

    what the hell is this gamoto?

    metro + areo together is a work in progress? looks like dog turd. hopefully it looks better before release

  • Tim

    Is it just me or is anyone else wondering where the search box is? One of the best features of Windows 7 is the fact that you can use the start menu to type in a location on your network and it give you the folders in the start menu rather than opening an explorer window.

    I love the new start screen, but I can’t help but feel it’s a second desktop. Why not just build it into the desktop and when you haven’t got any windows showing, hide the task bar. That way you can just use the show dektop butting to bring it up.

  • Anonymous

    Its not a new start menu. Its part of Start Screen. I just read at AskVG:

    http://www.askvg.com/microsoft-leaked-new-metro-style-start-menu-in-windows-8-video-not-really/

  • Anonymous

    Good, they made changes to the left part on the taskbar especially but other parts should be changed please

  • Anonymous

    As long as it doesn’t kick you back out to the Start screen as it did in early builds, I’m happy.

    I wonder where Don (who argued over the Start menu in a previous topic) is now… seems all his information was wrong.

    • DonBolton

      Isn’t it obvious that’s what it’s for?  Use some logic, man.  The Start button shown there WILL kick you back out to the Start Screen, aka new desktop.  The only current familiar “start button/start menu” functionality will be facilitated with the Search facility (also shown) so you can find your apps that way too.  Otherwise, all apps will be immediately represented by tiles.

      This stuff shown here was grabbed from a larger video showing new ISO and VHD functionality.  And yes the Start button shown there is just to take you BACK to the Start screen.  As time goes on maybe you will come out of the world of denial and see all the information that I’ve been providing is correct.I know it’s hard to grasp, but big changes are underway.  Get used to the concept:  Start Screen FIRST, legacy desktop SECOND.  Need any more help?

    • Anonymous

      I never said it wouldn’t kick you out, Don, use some logic for half a second. I said it would make me happy if it didn’t do that as it did in previous builds, I never said it would operate any differently. My statement was in regards to you saying the start button is no longer to be used and that we’d all see how Microsoft was telling us not to use it anymore. Your statement was wrong. 

      And, for the millionth time, the Start screen is not the new desktop. It does not replace the desktop. The desktop still exists. It is even specifically labeled as such in all the Windows 8 previews thus far. They are two separate entities that peacefully co-exist. The desktop exists because it is impossible to do all the more intensive tasks in the new Start screen. Why on earth do you think Microsoft keeps showing off all the new functionality of the desktop environment in these videos? Because Microsoft knows that’s what PC users are going to be using. Tablets and touch screens, however, will likely use the Start screen environment more.

      You seem to have the worst problem with comprehending what someone writes. You have it in your head that my opinions are statements of fact. They are not. They are opinions. I don’t want it to kick you back out to the Start screen. That is my opinion. I have also made statements of fact in regards to what Windows 8 does. Please do not get the two confused. Here’s a tip: when I use words like “want”, “like”, “hope” (or any synonyms or derivatives thereof), it’s an opinion. Need any more help?

      Discussing things with you would be so much better if you even read through what you were responding to in full. (Man, I wish it was possible to block you, since you never add anything intelligent to conversations, just inaccuracies.)

    • Anonymous

      the legacy desktop isn’t going anywhere.  I love the tile interface but i don’t think it would work well with muli monitor, vertical monitor, high res monitor setups very effectively.  Task switching is nice in the new UI but less effective an advanced setup.

    • DonBolton

      “I wonder where Don (who argued over the Start menu in a previous topic) is now… seems all his information was wrong.”  …Block, no block?  Make up your mind dude.  You are so wishy washy with your “want”, “like”, and “hope”.  Then you “wonder” where I am, then you “wish” to block me.  Sheesh.
      Never said Start button was no longer to be used.  Simply said it would no longer provide the same functionality you are currently used to with the Start menu/desktop paradigm, as, once again, most of the learned community is trying to point that out to you please-say-it-isn’t-so types.  I DID say that Microsoft does not want to use it the old way anymore, that it would lead to a new way of approaching your apps, and that happens to be through the Start Screen.  And you betchya I stand by that.From inception you made the statement that you did not want to waste your time going back to the start screen to find something.  When I started to point out to you that the Start Screen is the new de-facto desktop, as many of the industry pundits are pointing out, and that the Start Screen/tiles combination is in fact meant to save you time, you just refuse to accept that the Start Screen is now the dominant/home/starting point from now on, from evil-wish-squasher-me.Dude, last bit of help then:  don’t waste your time “wondering” and “wishing” about me any more either.  But if you wish to invoke my name again, I WILL be here to watch you flagellate all over this message board.  Hope you enjoy Windows 8.  Really do.

    • Anonymous

      I never said it wouldn’t kick you out, Don, use some logic for half a second. I said it would make me happy if it didn’t do that as it did in previous builds, I never said it would operate any differently. My statement was in regards to you saying the start button is no longer to be used and that we’d all see how Microsoft was telling us not to use it anymore. Your statement was wrong. 

      And, for the millionth time, the Start screen is not the new desktop. It does not replace the desktop. The desktop still exists. It is even specifically labeled as such in all the Windows 8 previews thus far. They are two separate entities that peacefully co-exist. The desktop exists because it is impossible to do all the more intensive tasks in the new Start screen. Why on earth do you think Microsoft keeps showing off all the new functionality of the desktop environment in these videos? Because Microsoft knows that’s what PC users are going to be using. Tablets and touch screens, however, will likely use the Start screen environment more.

      You seem to have the worst problem with comprehending what someone writes. You have it in your head that my opinions are statements of fact. They are not. They are opinions. I don’t want it to kick you back out to the Start screen. That is my opinion. I have also made statements of fact in regards to what Windows 8 does. Please do not get the two confused. Here’s a tip: when I use words like “want”, “like”, “hope” (or any synonyms or derivatives thereof), it’s an opinion. Need any more help?

      Discussing things with you would be so much better if you even read through what you were responding to in full. (Man, I wish it was possible to block you, since you never add anything intelligent to conversations, just inaccuracies.)

  • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

    Umm, my first thought. Where’s the shut down & log off commands?

  • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

    Umm, my first thought. Where’s the shut down & log off commands?

  • http://www.andrewtechhelp.com/ Andrew Tech Help

    Umm, my first thought. Where’s the shut down & log off commands?

  • Anonymous

    When did we start calling computer programs apps? This is not a phone, its a computer!

    • Anonymous

      uhhh.. they were always apps.

      apps=application

      BTW, the beauty of windows 8 if they pull it off right is that you won’t need a phone app, a tablet app and a desktop app, it would simply be the same app with 3 screen implementations.

  • Anonymous

    what a constrast. the clean metro UI against the ugly ribbon UI. why on earth are these guys using the office UI in the shell. it is crazy.

    • Anonymous

      That is not the final ribbon UI.  An image leaked many months ago of the ribbon in Outlook and it looked much different very zunish (desktop) was a very nice change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Marston/542557737 Jonathan Marston

    Has anyone else noticed that all the B8 posts so far have had a mixed bag of screenshots showing the current Windows 7 Aero styling, and a slightly different theme that has more squared windows and min/max/close buttons? I wonder where they’re heading with that.

    Especially after seeing the tease in this video I hope the go even further in Metro-izing the desktop GUI. As it stands now, they don’t mix very well…

  • Anonymous

    Am I the only one thinking it is probably just a right click function????!!!!!!!