The Start menu has turned into a must-have tool in Windows, as it’s virtually the first thing a lot of people launch after booting their systems.
Microsoft itself is aware of this very well, and also the company is focusing on further refining the knowledge using the Start menu as much as possible. And what’s more, because the Start menu itself has become an essential part of the experience with a Microsoft device, the software giant is trying to create it beyond the classic desktop.
Windows 10X, for example, an operating system whose goal would be to power dual-screen and foldable devices, has a Start menu of their own too, all so that they can help people get around the OS much easier.
The Start menu has evolved a great deal through the years, and also at one point, it even disappeared completely because of a strategy that took many unexpectedly making users feel lost around the Windows desktop.
Everybody remembers the Windows XP Start menu, and it’s because Windows XP itself has been one of the most successful operating systems ever released by Microsoft. Retired in April 2014, Windows XP included a modern Start menu that featured a far more colorful design versus the one out of Windows 98.
The blue bottom and top bars, together with shortcuts towards the most significant places in Windows, like My Documents, My Computer, and the Control Panel, made the Windows XP Start menu just the thing that most users needed to begin working on their desktops.
Windows XP also supported themes, and third-party tools brought lots of changes towards the standard design, including new looks that completely overhauled the beginning menu. But overall, most people liked the Windows XP Start menu in the default configuration, simply because it was precisely what they needed.
The Windows Vista Start menu was an evolution from the design utilized in Windows XP and introduced a number of changes versus its predecessor, including a black theme and a search engine integrated at the end of the UI. This enables for everyone to do searches considerably faster, that just about the way they can perform at this time in Windows 10.
The underside power options remained as there, this time around having a button to expand them and reach additional controls. Shortcuts to the Control Panel and file libraries in Windows were still offered, along with an “All Programs” link to see all apps which were installed on the unit.
Like in Windows XP, third-party apps allowed for heavy customization from the Windows Start menu, and people loved these a lot, despite in some instances, they caused a far more or less noticeable system slowdown.
Everyone knows the Windows 7 Start menu, and it’s as this one is still around these days. As an improved version of the Windows design, the Windows 7 Start menu was based on virtually the same approach, with minor design improvements.
Ought to be fact, Windows 7 is not supported by Microsoft, because the company stopped rolling out security updates in January this year.
Quite simply, if you’re still running Windows 7, you’d better upgrade to a supported operating system, as running software that no longer receives updates could open the doors to hackers.
Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 abandoned the beginning menu completely, as Microsoft replaced it with a Start screen optimized for touch input.
This was a super-controversial change that eventually turned Windows 8 itself into a practical system that many avoided, choosing to remain on Windows 7 for any more familiar approach.
Many of those who upgraded to Windows 8 eventually installed apps like Classic Shell, which cut back the Start menu, sometimes with a familiar theme such as the one in Windows 7.
Windows 10 brought back the beginning menu, which time it used a far more modern approach. Microsoft implemented live tiles, a feature borrowed from Windows Phone, and since the OS debuted within the Insider program in October 2014, the design evolved quite a bit.
The newest change that Microsoft announced for the Windows 10 Start menu is known as theme-aware tiles and pretty much features a modern design for that live tiles that users pin to the menu.
This feature is still in testing, however it is going live for everybody in the coming months.