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The creator of the first Start menu thinks it's 'a little disappointing' it's still used in Windows 10

Danny Oran, who holds the patent on the original Start menu and taskbar design for Windows 95, stated in a new interview that he has mixed feelings about a version of his creation being used once again in Microsoft's Windows 10. He stated, "In some ways, it's a little disappointing the same stuff is in there,"

Oran spoke to Business Insider about how he created the original Start menu but also gave his thoughts on Microsoft adding a new version of it back again in Windows 10.

"He only watches Microsoft from the outside, and he hasn't gotten his hands on Windows 10 just yet. Still, those mixed feelings remain: Windows 8 had its ups and downs, he says, but at least it tried something new besides a Start menu he invented decades prior."

Oran only worked at Microsoft from 1992 to 1994, but he arguably had a massive influence on the Windows team when he was charged with coming up with a better way to interact with the OS. His solution was to create one button that led Windows 95 users to everything.

"Originally, Oran says, it was called the "System" button, and it lived at the top of the screen. But for whatever reason, maybe because it sounded too technical, users in these Windows studies wouldn't click a System button no matter what. But once they renamed it the "Start" button, people understood it intuitively."

Source: Business Insider

219 Comments
  • Cool
  • I can honestly agree with this guy because you'd think Microsoft would do something more unique by now as far as the functionality of the start menu. Of course, Windows 8 was unique, but in a bad way.
  • I like win8.1 though, but the crowds are just to lazy to adjust to new things.
  • When apple changes things its innovation when other companies change its bullshit. People accepted the tiles in start menu but they hate start screen which shows all apps and also notofications
  • That's because by nature, people are stupid. Apple creates buggy software and people live with it. Look at Apple Watch and Apple Music. The two most buggiest products (software and hardware) and people are like "Ya this sh!t's cool yo. <3 Apple".
  • The first sentence, absolutely true- which could explain the rest of your post. Apple Watch and Music could redefine the word "fluid" compared to many other devices and softwares. BTW, it took me literally 5 minutes to type this, thanks to Windows 10 and the Edge browser on my Surface Pro 3 (which I do love though).
  • Interesting. At least you have nifty live tiles now. I can't really imagine how you can improve something like the Win10 start menu. It is the perfect amalgam of pretty and useful.
  • But the thing is, Apple doesn't change, they only take ideas that have been around for a couple years lol
  • The start screen didn't show everything.  For that you had to delve into the mess of icons for every stupid little start menu entry a program would create and it was simply a nightmare. Fine if you only had 3-4 main apps, but utterly awful for almost every other use scenario, and the masses rightly rejected it.  
  • The Start menu doesn't show everything either. Unless you bothered to rearrange the location of the icons, you could end up digging through endless folders trying to find the app you're looking for. How is that any better than the Start Screen on Windows 8.1?
  • ^THIS. The start screen was a wall of icons quite similar to a wall of icons everyone liked to keep on their desktop 10-20 years ago. It was definitely a step backwards in terms of being able to organise information in a logical manner.
  • @Zybch Duh! As a user you get to choose what you want on the Start Screen. Even in Windows 7, not EVERY program I have shows on the Desktop, I get to choose what I want on my desktop. Delve into a mess of icons... you mean the ones that are alphabetically lined up? Ok, if that was to hard to go through, then Yes, Windows 8 would be to hard to figure out.
  • In Win8 I installed a program call LabView.  Its used in engineering and test instrumentation a lot.  It literally has 100's of programs it installs and every frick'n of them ended up on my Win8 start screen.  In Win8 I had no choice in this.  Took me forever to remove them all.  The old start button handled and organized engineering tools much better and I'm glad to have it back in Win10.   Best thing I ever purchased for Win8 was Start8 from StarDock.  It gave me the start button back on the desk top.    
  • It wasn't just an adjustment, it was jarring.  I used Windows 8/8.1 more than 8 hours a day since launch, and I never got used to the the Start Screen blanking my entire desktop. Live Tiles just don't offer much of anything once you have a notification center, so it's best to relegate them to the one or two places they're actually useful (maybe a Weather tile and...well, just a weather tile, actually). Now, if MS had done something useful with Live Tiles, like made them functional widgets so that users could do things like control their music from the music-player's tile, that'd have been great.  But they never did.  And so, they were (rightfully) rejected. Furthermore, it seems unlikely to me that there will be much uptick in the use of "store" apps in Windows 10.  Why would anyone develop those when they can target the desktop and get much more functionality.  So, MS should enable desktop apps to do cool things with their tiles.
  • Are you talking about live interactive tiles? I hope MS releases them in Redstone update.
  • Sigh.
  • *Too lazy to do things less efficiently. There fixed it for you
  • Fyi, i learned it. It was nice. Still prefer the start menu. But I lived with the tiles and accepted them.
  • I like windows 8.1 and still use it. Just upgraded win 7 to 10.
  • Well that what happens when people bitched and stayed on Windows 7 And don't want to try something new.
  • They'd have tried it if it had been a positive step forwards, but it turned the whole UI into a disgusting fisher price mess that offered less utility than previous UIs and very little actual benefit other than live tiles which most apps didn't use anyway.
  • A lot of people DID try something new... and found out it sucked. It's not surprising they wanted to stay with an interface that was more functional. It wasn't about 'people just didn't learn how to use it'. When something is an improvement, even a drastic change is embraced because people try it and can quickly see how much better it is. W8 was not an improvement to anything but tablet use. A lot of people still interact with their PC using the mouse and keyboard, and in that environment Windows 7 was far superior to Windows 8. Windows 8/8.1 is nice on a tablet, but that's it. I have it, I learned to use it, and I definitely prefer it if i'm using a tablet. But when I am at a desk, I prefer the W7 interface.
  • Hopefully you'll love the Windows 10 UI.  Takes the best bits from 7 and 8 and fixes so much that was wrong with 8.
  • Nope. Windows 7 was so wrong and rubbish. 8 fixed all the stupidities of 7. 10 just messed it up again. 10 is the pile of nonsense.
  • They sort of did innovate, but only apple is allowed to these days with there "retina" (hd) screens and "digital crown" (turny knob)
  • Well w8 felt so much like 3.1
  • WTH are you even talking about? They tried something new and it almost killed the platform. As well, the current start menu is more unique than 95-7. Was 8/8.1 perfect? No, but no software is in its first iteration. That is the beauty of software, it can get better. But it can only get better if people buy it to allow it to grow.  
  • Except for the fact the Start Screen basically being a fullscreen Start Menu.
  • All the Win10 Start menu consists of is the Win8 Start menu and the "All Apps" list, crammed into a small space. At best, it is a bandage to quell the mad ramblings of those that can't handle change. There was nothing wrong with the Win8 Start screen - it worked, it was refreshing, and it made sense. The Win10 Start menu is the security blanket of the technically inept. It provides no useful change from the Win8 Start screen, it only springs forth from a button in the task bar instead of using the whole screen - apparently frivolous animation is what users value.
  • And yet its STILL less useful than windows 7's start menu.
  • How? Seriously? What are you missing?
  • it's exactly the same, just looks a little different. Instead of aero you have flat design, otherwise it's exactly the same.
  • You say that 8/8.1 were great an innovative but have you tried using Word, a pdf file, calculator and the browser to write a paper? Why would it be logical to stretch the tiny calculator on the whole screen? That has no place on a desktop/laptop
  • None of that ever went away. You have full desktop capabilities...
  • @UberToast_XBL
    ^THIS! Absolutely nailed it! Its funny how people didn't even remember or know that to look for their favorite programs/apps/system settings; all one had to do was start typing down the name of a program and Windows 8/8.1 would start finding it. No need to even select the settings charm. Though I agree that the whole "full screen" app view was jarring, almost everything else was better than Win.7 IMHO.
  • They DID try something new and people wouldn't shut up about how awful it was. It wasn't awful at all. People just didn't want it because people, overall, hate change. They added it back with a little more flair and if you really did like the start screen, you can have that too if you want.
  • Or maybe it was just shitter in almost every possible way (except only live-tiles)
  • We might agree with him, but the truth is that the public didn't react well to the absence of the start menu.  Instead they screamed that they wanted it back (not that they wanted something better even if different.) That is a really tough spot to be in when you try to give the users what they want, because they learned forcing a change won't be welcomed unless everyone (or majority) agrees that it was a good change.  I think their best option would be to create an alternative to START MENU but not make it default. Allow users to enable it (and disable the start menu) so that it starts to get traction, get feedback until they have a ready for public feature.  Live tiles have it's perks, especialy for touch environments, start menu has it's perks for keyboard/mouse users but to come up with a new system that replaces both, is intuitive and is highly functional is challenging enough that obviously if it was so easy -- they would have already done it. (/end rambling)
  • Well, thats your opinion and I respect that. However, Windows 8.1 is and will be one of the best OS Microsoft ever made. I see nothing wrong with Windows 8.1. Start screen in Windows 8.1?? :- It was just a full screen start menu for me ;) I'm on Windows 10 and missing the OneDrive Sync :(
  • I hate that OneDrive placeholders are gone.I enjoy most changes. That one is ridiculous.
  • Do you understand the reason its happening though? Each placeholder took up space, on small memory devices (read tablets) with a lot of files on OneDrive - the placeholders would fill up the memory. This is becoming more of an issue as OneDrive is going to give unlimited space (from what I have read) so you could have tens of millions of placeholders but not enough storage to store the databse holding the placeholders
  • Yes I ubderstand why, But give us the option to choose. To not be able to save to a folder makes onedrive almost worthless to me. I have to save to my machine then go to the website to upload? That is ridiculous. - Also, what is the lesser of two evils? The small placeholder or the actual file.
  • You don't need to sync photos and music, groove and the photo apps can read them online if that's help. They only changed the way onedrive works and for a lot of things it's quite smart. I hope that words will be able to read documents online too without sync.
  • I agree with him.  windows 8 was awsome.  Once you got your brian around using the corners to navigate.   It was easy, and worked great.  But people whined and complained about it being different.  Therefore we are back to the windows 95, start menu etc we have now.  And the poeple rejoice.
  • Windows 8.1 is fine but bogged down slightly by the seemingly never ending array of wannabe designers who never actually used it drumming un unsubstantiated parotting comments about things like the start button.  
  • Everyone wants change but when they get it they don't want to change. There was nothing wrong with Windows 8 except for confused idiots not willing to learn something new. Please tell me what was so bad about it?
  • But if it makes consumers happy then what's the problem?? People are never happy if they haven't got something to moan about
  • The nice thing is it doesn't say start anymore, now it's just an awesome windows logo that matches up perfectly with the one on your keyboard.
  • In fairness: It hasn't said "Start" since XP. Vista and 7 both featured Start buttons that were Windows logos.
  • Windows XP still have a Start word on it. Only starting Vista where only Windows logo became a trend.
  • But when you click on it in 8.1 and 8 it said start at the top left
  • That was start menu not start screen.
  • Coolll
  • The beauty of desktop operating systems is that the start menu's can be put on bottom, on the left, on top or on the right. It just depends on how you like it, I've seen Linux puts it on left, but in the end is the same thing. I wished this inventor was more positive about his invention, he changed the way we interact with computers.
  • He loved his original invention, he is just disappointed we still use it. Since there isnt a need anymore.
  • I agree, he definitely proud with his invention (why he can't be?). He is just disappointed that the fact after all these years, its basically the same thing, a menu. He seems like the Start screen but he also knows its issues, but like he said at least it did innovate something from his original invention. It's interesting what actually he can come up if he's in charge.
  • He was disappointed because it should have been evolved to something more advance and more modern as the technology advances, but because there more poeple who can not embrace change and want to have "START" menu for the rest of their lives, Microsoft brought it back even though it was decades old. Microsoft is just giving-in to what majority wants. I have grown out from the START menu, and I have conveniently navigated Windows 8 and 8.1 without issues. Now on Windows 10, I am more excited of the other features than the START menu.
  • Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. Though I understand the intuitiveness of traditional Start menu, but aren't restricting ourselves not to give a chance for something more than that? Well Windows 8 Start screen innovative as it is, but I know its issues and there are some big issues. In Windows 8.1 especially with Update 1, it was getting there actually and I think (at least for me and some people I know) works perfectly. Windows 10 Start menu isn't bad, its there for people who are too comfortable with traditional menu, but even with that aside from Live Tiles and slightly improved All Apps, I think it could be more than that. This is why I'm thinking that Interactive Live Tiles should come into play, which didn't make it at launch. That's what I'm excited ever since. Start screen in Windows 10 is OK, but its disappointing that they removed some features that actually useful like: Sorting Options, Semantic Zoom (hey this works even for mouse too), Swipe to open All Apps (useful for tablets and with supported touchpad gestures), All Apps grid (Make sense for Start screen), and its multi-monitor friendly, where it stays on screen even you do something else on the other monitor. Great use of Live Tiles, unlike in Windows 10 were it closes becuase its just a freaking full-screen menu. I remember that during the first introduction of Start screen, I was thinking if it will evolve into something it replaces desktop in a sense where you pin apps and files (not actually replacing desktop where windows float). Start screen will evolve into a window management of multi-desktops and windows (similar to Task View now). That reminds me of Gnome 3 Activities screen. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FXohlYRiqDc/VRK-oRHFDSI/AAAAAAAAV7I/YW6JS6xICqY/s1600/gnome316-themeupdates_2.png Well good thing that we have Task View in Windows 10 now. I'm now actually thinking if Start will totally combine with Cortana cards in future updates of Windows 10. Currently they're actually seperate, make sense since Cortana isn't available for everybody yet and still needs to improve further to actually help us on our computing task deeper. Charms also may comeback in another form somtime in the future, where (I hope) Universal Apps is everywhere and Win32 shares API from Universal Apps, making it Hybrid of UAP and Win32.
  • Try doing Tha in tablet mode and see how far you get.
  • Aren't we all? (disappointed)
  • Unfortunately "we" are a small number of bright people who saw and appreciated where Microsoft was going with Windows 8, the rest 90 percent wanted a new OS but keep everything the same like Apple does.
  • This 100X over. I would love to see innovation...but people just don't like change.
  • People are fine with change if it is logical and of benefit to them.  8 was one idiot's (sinofsky) force feeding of a dreadful UI rammed down user's throats that offered a steaming pile of unwiueldy mess that had no benefits other than the few and far between live tiles which most apps still don't use. It was absolutely appropriate on phones and small tablets, but totally unsuited for pretty much everything else that was on the market up to and including now.
  • Agree, W8 was logical only for mobile devices with touch screen and it should have been what tablet mode is now for W10 and have a desktop version as well
  • Disagree. The Start screen actually works far better with mouse and keyboard than the old "put everything in a list" Start menu. It is based on the truth that a grid is more efficient to navigate than a list. Consider a list of twenty vs a grid of 4x5. To get to the bottom of the list, using a keyboard you have to navigate over nineteen items. For a grid, you have to navigate over a maximum of 8. A mouse is even worse, since you can move diagonally: five vs nineteen. Sure it's full screen, which would mean something if mice didn't have two very different modes which I call: precision and movement. The start menu required precision. It was relatively small and required precision movements to a small target. The start screen very rarely required precision. You could zoom around the screen to the large tile targets and hit them 99% of the time. It really didn't make it worse for either mouse or keyboard to have a full screen Start menu that was a grid instead of an inefficient list, but people hated it because it was different. And don't get me started on people who still navigate through the mess that is the All Programs folder list instead of just doing a quick search...
  • This is the first proper logical argument I have seen for the advantages of the tiles over the menu for selecting an application. I AM one of those people who navigate through "All Programs", in fact I would like that to be the default top level for start menu (or whatever replaces it). For some use cases the tiles may be the best answer, but for me and many professionals it is worse for the following reasons: I use the computer for work. Our company designs electronic hardware and software. We use literally hundreds of applications. This is not uncommon in technical environments. I need to find the right application quickly. My "All programs" menu is neat and has a few very commonly used programs and a few folders. In my case these folders are "Hardware Dev Tools" "Software Dev Tools" "Mechanical Dev Tools" "Utilities" "MultiMedia" Lets say I want to open a Circuit Board design. I go to "Hardware Dev Tools" where I select the CAD suite that I want to use, then the program. Menu->Submenu->App, simple quick and I have selected from a very large number of apps in a logical way. "Ah" you say, "why not just type the first letters of the app?" " Good question, there are 2 reasons. First, if I start typing LAYOUT... I get lots of hits. I still have to go down the list looking for the right one. Secondly, lets say I have created my PCB design files but I need to check if they look correct before finalizing the release. Now what's the name of the app that does that? I only use it from time to time. It not Layout... or PCB... or View.. or anything that springs to mind. Can't remember what the Icon looks like either. Well on my system its easy. Its a hardware design tool so I select "Hardware Dev Tools"-> and I see sub-menus including "MentorGraphics Layout" and "File Viewers". I select "File Viewers". In the small list of apps I see "GCPrevue". Now I remember! It is often the case that I want to select a tool for a particular job, and with a hierarchical menu system it is easy to find  for example, all the image editing software on the computer. I know you can group tiles, but that is only one level and its not a patch on the menu system for serious professional use. So why can't we have both. Microsoft seem obsessed with imposing some particular solution on users. I would not mean having two complete separate developments for different interfaces and double the effort for developers. The start menu is merely a way of launching programs. Each one has a name and could have a tile object associated with it. Why not let the user choose to have fully customizable menus, tiles or a mixture.  
  • We are indeed.
  • Yes. Very. :(
  • No Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Am I the only one who is using windows from 95' ?
  • Hope so.
  • It would at least make sense
  • You are not alone.... Some computers in my school still run in Windows 95 & 98
  • Too bad.  They're most certainly infected or compromised.
  • I did a Win98 install a couple of months ago.  The client's business software just wouldn't run reliably on anything more recent. Never connects to the net though (no wifi or LAN socket) so hopefully they're pretty safe. Brought back lots of memories, good and bad.  Mostly bad.
  • Heck no, I had windows 1.1on one of my machines side loaded to a dos. Dos good old days lol.
  • No, I used Windows since 3.10. This sums it up: DOS 6.20 + Windows 3.10 > Windows 95A > Windows 95 B (skipped the C version) > Windows 98 > Windows 98 Special Edition > Windows Millennium Edition* > Windows 2000 Professional > Never installed XP > Enjoyed and sometimes hated Windows Vista > skipped Windows 7 > Liked Windows 8 > Enjoyed Windows 8.1 > Windows 10 is awesome (I'm also an Insider).   * = (Me! was one of my favourites! Yes, we have 7 billion people on this planet and there were maybe 5 people who loved that OS and I was one of them, LOL)
  • ME ran either magically well on your machine or it destroyed your machine... There was no in-between and unfortunately most people had the destroy version. It could even change between installs on the same computer as I had a magical one for a while, reformatted and went to destroy.
  • Yep, it could be magnificent and much of the media and UI capabilities XP took and ran with were first introduced in Me.  But it was also the start of the dumbing down and cutesifying of the UI.  Using it was like walking through the inside of a jagged marshmallow that kept crashing.
  • Skipped Windows 7? Wow... that was the best OS!
  • Sorry mate. 7 was the worst right up there with 2000 and XP. Top 3 of the shit pile of OS
  • Dude, you must be seriously drunk. XP was considered the best OS since Win 98. Many people used XP for almost 8-9 years, switching from their beloved OS only to go to W7 which was the single most amazing OS we'd had for the past 15 years. Seriously, there was nothing wrong with it at all.
  • He just loves Win 8 so much, any/everything else is stupid, and anyone that likes anything else is more stupid. It's best to let him be. Some people don't realize that there are other people in the world, and not all of them will care for your opinion.
  • Yeah, you're right - his other comments show that he's quite deluded and/or naive to the world before Windows 8.
  • I loved Windows ME too. Was one of the best OS' ever. Ran like a dream - never an issue.
  • I'm one of the few people that upgraded to ME, and had no issues. I had some odd issues with 98 SE at the time, and someone "borrowed" the OS disk, so I was forced to (Because of time and other restraints) to upgrade to ME instead to fix the problems. It was hectic, and a last ditch solution that worked well. I did love the confused expressions from others when I told them how great ME was treating me. Priceless.
  • I'm using Windows since 2.0
    I still have the single 720kB floppy disk with the whole system within
  • Time to dust off that old car in barn and head in to town for an upgrade..
  • And that's why I didn't upgrade(?) to W10...I'm very comfortable with W8.1 and their no start menu
  • Youbcan also have a full screen start menu in Windows 10
  • That's a terrible reason not to upgrade. You can still use a start screen instead of the menu. Just have it be full screen or simply switch to tablet mode; whatever makes more sense for you.
  • I was too. But as soon as I got 10, I realized what I was missing. I don't get interrupted with the 10 start menu. I can still see what I am working on, and that changes just about everything for me.
  • This was the main problem. The jarring change from your desktop work to the metro world turned off many people, especially desktop users
  • No Start Menu? The Start Screen is the Start Menu. They serve the same purpose.
  • They might serve the same purpose, but 8 fails horribly.  I've been using it since launch and it still frustrates the hell out of me.  Its so freaking difficult to find items that were easily locatable with the start menu design.  Instead we get a horrible grid of so many tiles and icon-like tiles all sorted stupidly and needing a LOT of user work to be useful. Using the save/open dialogues on metro apps is like tying a fishing fly while wearing boxing gloves.
  • Windows 8? Yes, it had problems. Windows 8.1? No issues. What, is it so difficult to type the first three letters of the program you're looking for to open it up? You don't even need to click, it's just type and enter! Besides, it's nice to see my desktop background every time I need to open a new program. It's refreshing after being working for a long period of time on the same apps... Start menu can't give me that refreshing sensation
  • I did upgrade to Windows 10, but I am with you, the start screen in Windows 10 is nowhere near as good as the 8.1 screen. All they had to do is put the all apps list on the left and leave the rest just as it was. Vertical scrolling and 3 column limit for tile groups make absolutely no sense for us who prefer the full start screen experience. They need to bring back horizontal scrolling and my user name at the top right of the screen as an option because I prefer to have it visible instead of going to the hamburger menu to see it
  • Same here. I'm sticking with 8.1. Not going to upgrade to 10 because its several steps backwards.
  • I like Win8 and was hesitant on upgrading. Trust me, you're not going to miss it. Win10 is great on my SP3.
  • Well blame those idiots that wanted it and didn't like change. Just saying..
  • So true...
  • Windows 8 was the operating system what i wanted on my tablet. The metro UI was perfect and beautiful. But windows 10 is also about what users wanted back from Microsoft from Microsoft. They took the risk of removing start button in 8 but they thought ppl would love to use new start screen but eventually windows 8 wasn't that much successful. It's really difficult to convince majority to have new experience of doing things.
  • The problem was that people DID experience it, and fucking hated it.
  • Because they had no fucking is what they were doing
  • Not true. A lot of people knew what they were doing, and hated it. I loved 8/8.1 on my tablet, but I always hated having to work with a Windows 8 desktop. It felt cumbersome, and clumsy. On my tablet? Fluid and, while annoying at times, useful. When I have a mouse/trackpad and a keyboard though, I can't stand 8 in either flavor. I have a Windows Phone too, so I do see the value in the Metro (Modern sounds dumb to me) UI, just for touch. I don't get why people can never accept that a vast majority of people just didn't like it. Why does it always need to become an insult fest on them? Can't it be that your tastes are just different from others? In the end, however, I'm sure no one will convince you or others to stop hating others for not liking what you like, but I guess I'm just an optimist. I hope we can all start enjoying Windows 10, and put this crap behind us soon.
  • Hiding options and expecting people to magically find it is just stupid. The charms bar sucked, and hot corners were stupid. Don't get me wrong, I love using 8.1 on my SP3 but I really hated 8.0 on my desktop PC but liked it a bit more on 8.1. Sticking a tablet & touch UI on a desktop was a terrible mistake, and W10 is proof that they've learned from their mistakes.
  • I actually prefer it more on my desktop than my Pro 3. I love it on my PC. Charms, hot corners et al all work perfectly for me with my mouse and keyboard. Still using it. I refuse to upgrade to Windows 10 which is a piece of crap! Better off using OS X than 10.
  • The majority didn't think that they had to buy a brand new tablet to use 8 properly. You say you wanted 8 on your tablet but are you using 8on your desktop as well?
  • Does not seem like an issue IMO.
  • Blame the public or maybe the press that the start menu is back, not Microsoft or the windows team, they did their best to find a new way of interacting. Actually, I like to think of W8 as a great beta test. I don't think we'd have anything close to what w10 is if w8 had been well received and people took the few minutes to change they way they interact with the PC.
  • Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.
  • Star screen >>>>> Start menu
  • While Danny may be disappointed he needs to recognize why it is still there and he said it himself. It is intuitive. That is why people still use Windows over Mac and Linux. Windows is intuitive to the way most human beings naturally operate coming out of the "box" haha. The system can change, evolve, devolve, etc.. People just need a place to be able to start, restart or go to for information. This is true in technology and every day living.
  • Exactly - Sometimes the paradigm really, really works. Apple uses a similar feature in OSX - the little apple button - so it can't be all bad, right. Right?
  • The place to start was the Start Screen in W8.1 - your comment makes no sense???
  • If you have a touch screen, sure.
  • Win 8.x Start Screen for the tiles was fine. It was everything else that got pushed out to swipe ins from the edges that didn't work in a desktop keyboard/mouse world. Part of the attraction of the "classic" Start menu environment was it was compact and concise.
  • Agree, I found it difficult, even annoying, using W8 on a laptop. However, I think 8.1 was the best touch OS ever. That is until W10 came out with Cortana, Task View, swipe app down and to left or right, Notifications/Action Centre etc. Now I will keep W10 but will miss universal share and Charms Bar, as well as the swipe up for Apps. Taking everything into account, if W10 satisfies the mouse/keyboard people and brings them on board, the OS and ecosystem will flourish and that's all awesome.
  • No complaints from me so far.....
  • Ask him to use Cortana for all tasks..by disabling start button or ignoring that button....
  • I'm with you, Oran. At least they didn't give us the SAME Start Menu. It's fun to play around with at the moment, but I wonder if I'll begin to ignore it the way I did in 7.
  • I dunno, I think he should be happy that he came up with a solution that its not only practical (in the sense that it gets the job done) but also very intuitive. And genuinely loved by millions and millions of users. Windows 8.x's interface is great on tablets, to the point that pretty much everyone else is taking ideas from it, but it just doesn't really work on PCs, whether they're desktops or laptops, the devices people need to use it on. At least it doesn't work the way people want it to work. And changing stuff just for the sake of changing is, well, a bad idea.
  • Wholeheartedly agree. One-stop-shop.
  • This. With a touch screen, Win 8 works well, on my laptop it's annoying. Constantly invoking the charms bar by mistake among other things
  • Changing stuff just for the sake of changing stuff. Windows 10 Mobile?
  • The "system" or "start" button should move around the screen, keep people on their toes. Even better, like the shell game, offer a Bing-rewards type incentive for tracking a Start button that hides after each brief appearance. Maybe some incentives towards swag through Microsoft Health...after all, brain games are good for mental health.
  • ... I'm oddly attracted to this idea of a nomadic start button.
  • I have no problem with them brining back the Start Menu, I'm more upset with them butchering my Start Screen.
  • If going back to an old concept brings the masses forward, then I am fine with it.  I like the Windows 10 implementation.  I think it is an improvement over the Start Screen in Windows 8.  I was find with the Start Screen, but I think a lot of the arguments against it were legitimate.  8.1 solved some of those issue, but Windows 10 solves most of the rest.  If people are still not happy, they can stay in the past or get Start10 or another replacement menu.  If you like the Start Screen instead of the new Start Menu, you can still use that, albeit in a modified form.
  • I'm using a Start screen too in Windows 10. Though generally seems similar, there are functionalities and behaviors that is missing and change. First it doesn't act as a home screen and features like Syncing, Flexible Tile Grouping, Sort by, All Apps grid view and Swipe to open All Apps are one of the few things not present in Windows 10.
  • The swipe to open all apps is there, it just brings up the task view.  But functionality wise it's the same if not better.  The app flyouts in 8.1 werer cool but not as funtional with more than two apps.
  • You mean with a touchpad, and that's 2 finger swipe on mine, not 3 like the Task View. So no, there isn't really. Though they put the flick up gesture on the left pane of Start menu and even on Start screen when the hamburger menu is opened, make sense its All Apps is unfortunately just a list now. If they just bring All Apps grid option at least for Start screen users with Sorting Options, that would be nice. Also it looks jarring and old not having any animation slide when opening and closing the All Apps. What do you mean by fly out? I don't get it.
  • You can still use the start screen in Windows 10, so I don't know what's the problem. I love the new Start Menu on my PC and I love Tablet Mode on my Surface.
  • Mark, why did you unpin all the tiles?
  • He hates tiles.
  • I don't think it's intuitive to use the start menu, I think it's just force of habit that's so ingrained and natural it gets mistaken for intuitiveness.  I haven't used a start menu since the windows button started opening up a search bar, and that's become so ingrained in my muscle memory I find the whole start screen controversy baffling.  I actually kind re-discovered the start screen with Win10.
  • That's literally the definition of intuition . . .
  • So life began as a "system button." Nobody used it. Renamed it to "start button" the world loved it. They changed how it looked people hated it with passion. They now re-mixed it and people love it again. Damn start menu had a hell of a life so far lol. 
  • The Chronicles of Mr. Start. XD
  • Hmmm...I'm actually curious what he can come up if he was in charge in Windows 10. He seem disappoint about the Start menu in Windows 10 despite the fact that is actually quite nice. He acknowledge the Start screen for its good and bad, but not totally bad at all. Still as for now, its great that the Start still lives on. For now as a menu will be still there and we know that general public isn't ready for big changes.
  • My thoughts have been the innovation would be in getting rid of the desktop, which just becomes a canvas for running apps. I've suggested it a few times which winds up making people on here very mad or confused (so it must be an innovative concept).  In simple terms it would just auto load the start screen when no forground apps are running.  You also have to forego making the desktop a dumping grounds for files and shortcuts. It could even still be partial screen on a desktop.
  • Hmmm...I get that.
    So you mean making the Start screen completely a home screen, so when there is no window(s) in the foreground, Start screen will show up instead. I actually like that behavior in the desktop, it requires less click to launch something from supposed to be blank desktop.
    Sure there should be an option to not automatically show Start screen and you can click Start but to manually to show blank desktop so you can see the wallpaper fully.
    It's also much make sense for average users where they don't click Start button after they closed all the windows.
    That's what I'm thinking too, is that Start screen can be a future replacement of desktop, or a second desktop. Last thing it really needs really is to have Live Folders and pin files (not actual file) over there for easy access. Much more organized IMO. We should really avoid actually storing files on desktop in the first place, that's the purpose of Document folder and other categorized folders (Music, Videos, Podcast, Pictures), just dump files under User folder, not in,desktop permanently.
  • I think a BIG reason why a lot of people didn't embrace it was because it costed $120 for an OS that you don't know what you're gonna get out of. If Windows 8 was free, it definitely would've gotten more usage. So I don't think it's that the public isn't ready for big changes (smartphones were big changes, etc.), Idk how many people would spend that much money on a big change until first seeing how it pans out with others.
  • Folks just couldn't let.go. Microsoft tried to innovate and everyone grabbed their pitchforks......It's so funny because we are basically moving away from the desktop OS as time goes forward
  • Just because something is innovative doesn't mean it can't suck.
  • i will keep 10 on my laptop but for my desk top i can not see that happen
  • I prefer both versions of the start menu, but I despise how Microsoft changed the location. They need to give us the option of sticking it back in the notification bar along with the power button. It's so unnatural to move your thumb all the way down to activate the start menu. Ts easier in the middle. I currently have the start bar at the top to make things more simple.
  • More an issue with your device and its location of the hardware windows button (I assume you're referring to a tablet). The Surface Pro 3 has it dead centre at the side as does my Acer 8" tablet.
  • I agree with Danny Oran.
  • What a baby! He should be honored to still see his influence 20 years later.
  • There always are things that a lot of people miss about what is inside a creator's mind. This situation reminds me the story behind one of the most popular pieces composed for orchestra: Ravel's Bolero. Everyone felt in love with this piece since first day of its publication, but when Maurice Ravel started to hear his work in every place he went, he felt down about it because he said that he wrote it thinking on an orchestration study for orchestra composition, not like a "masterpiece".
  • Always striving for perfection. Creative types always know it can be better and are harsh on themselves. 
  • The Dutch inventor of the Mac OS dock what was added back in 2001 with the launch of version X, says the same thing about.
  • He should have invented a bit better than to just copy the start bar and make it glossy.
  • NeXTStep had a dock in 1988, way before the taskbar appeared: http://toastytech.com/guis/ns08deskabout.png
  • So nothing new in win10? Right! :)
  • I don't like the current one, it impacts the user experience negatively. Bring back the Win7 one
  • Not satisfied with Start menu in 10?
  • I thing the order should have been Windows 10 and then Windows 8
  • I agree with the guy. However, as indicated by the tepid response to Win 8 from the masses, a sudden change away from the start button wasn't happening! You know how it is: people in general can be so resistant to change. Ooh well...
  • He's oversimplifying the situation, though. The Start Menu in Windows 10 is quite different than the Start Menu he invented decades ago.
  • When apple change something its oh my god yeah apple. Even though osx and iphone os are way behind. And buggy as hell. Microsoft changes and they are evil!!!! Lol. Windows 10 is the best os I've ever used. Its amazing.
  • People still use mice and keyboards to interact with their computers, those are decades older than the start menu. Besides, most apps have a 'menu' button that lists all tasks in one place, literally the same thing
  • Totally agree. People are strange though, they don't accept change unless it comes wrapped in an apple logo ;)
  • I was thinking the same... When MS tried to innovate by removing start menu, people started whining as they didn't want to get out of their comfort zones and learn something new... And so MS was left with no choice but to bring it back.
  • He's right.
    Microsoft tried to change this but so many people that are terrified of change kind of forced their hand.
    Microsoft is still innovative. Unfortunately, most of their customers aren't.
    Hell, my place of work is still running Windows 7.
  • Maybe it's just that he designed something that stood the test of time, at least in terms of a mouse and keyboard input system. Its still a "one button to access everything" without ever launching a new window. It is a familiar navigation concept we use everywhere (file menus, hamburger menus etc) and there isn't a good reason to abandon it yet.
  • I totally agree with him.  I hate that Microsoft caved on this.
  • AMEN! It's past time for the legacy Start Menu to go!
  • I like the start menu. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • waa waa, waa, cry babies. Its better than apples, and it will grow including tiles interactive ones
  • I got used to the full-screen Windows 8 Start Screen. The Windows 10 Start button that opens a partial-screen Windows 10 Start menu is a welcome compromise for all those Windows 7 and Windows 8 people who prefer the Start menu over Start screen.
  • The Start button was still there in Windows 8. All anyone needed to do was set up a shortcut to the desktop on the Metro screen. Took you right to the old start menu version. 8.1 made it easier yet. And still people complained that it was too difficult.
    It was understanding that MS was frustrated.
  • Yeah, it's really odd how things that work continue to be used year after year, being redesigned and improved over time. Change for change-sake is not improvement. It's just change.
  • Yes. I still prefer the Start Screen in Windows 8.1.
  • You can still have the start menu act like the start screen in Windows 10. I think that's OK.
  • My wife left the Windows OS when they removed the start menu and said that Windows without the start menu it's not Windows. Now she is a Mac user who still has no start button but in the Mac that's OK. So in a way it's disappointing that people were those who asked for the start menu to return. Windows 8 was clumsy but advancements and further innovation were possible...
  • this article doesn't even really state why he finds it disappointing
  • It is under statement saying that for some reason most people do not support or try to see or appreciate the new UI design and get stuck at Windows. 95.
  • Totaly right. It was 20 years ago, technology changes but people don't. That's poor!!
  • Just got a call from the guy who invented the first mouse, he's disappointed after some 40 plus years, we are still using a mouse.
  • I know, right?
  • They wouldn't be using the mouse if they just got a touch screen and evolved to the point where they could use Windows 8.
    I only use a mouse at work, because our IT is stuck on Windows 7.
    Haven't used a mouse at home since Windows 8 release.
  • Hopefully, by the time 2035 rolls around, we won't STILL be refusing to use something different. The implications, for future computing, suck.
  • Just got an email from the guy who invented the first keyboard, he basically says tell the guy complaining about the windows start button/bar to STFU.....
  • At least with the start menu in Windows 10, it's just an option. You don't have to use it to launch a program. You can use, in addition to the Start Menu: Taskbar Icons Desktop Icons Cortana. Just say, "Hey, Cortana, launch <name of app here>." and she starts it without you ever having to touch a mouse or keyboard. If you want to open Excel, and then open a particular spreadsheet named Budget.xlsx, you can just tell Cortana "Hey, Cortana, open Budget Spreadsheet." Yep, you guessed it. She'll find that spreadsheet and open it for you in Excel, assuming you have Excel installed of course. I'd say Cortana adds a bit of progress on this front.
  • Yeah and Microsoft records everything you tell "Cortana". Brave new world!
  • Nah... not everything. Just the good stuff like when you ask her, "What's the best way to kill my ex-wife?" and other "interesting" questions. I won't say any of the others, because the CIA would probably immediately swoop down on my house for posting them. ;)
  • Not sure how these people are getting my info but the guy that invented the first cell phone just sent me a text saying to tell the guy who created the first mouse to get a life. News travels fast I see....
  • So the article says "He only watches Microsoft from the outside, and he hasn't gotten his hands on Windows 10 just yet".  Wouldn't this article be more informative if he HAD gotten his hands on Windows 10?  Maybe, just maybe, he WOULD be more positive about how his designed has evolved.  Maybe John or Daniel can do a follow-up article to see what he thinks of his design in Win 10.    Really, how many designs (especially in 30 year-old  technology) wouldn't have evolved and improved, but the basic idea is still there?  Although I liked Win 8.1, I like the new Win 10 Start menu even better.  One knows where everything is and by right clicking on it (as was Win 8.1) you get all kinds of further controls.  All nice and neat in one corner. Combining the 'traditional' start menu with the 'modern' apps is like updating a kitchen with new cabinets, floors and work tops.  The plates, glasses, pots & pans and food in the cabinets is the same, but the refreshed look says more modern.
  • Regarding UI innovation, MS always seem to be a little too advance for most people. Look, look Iphone screen, what do you see.? The Window 95 desktop UI graphic and the Iphone not that much different . And take a look at android phones . Do you see any different at all? Luckily Apple and MS have cross licensing agreements. Not so with Android, that why MS can made any Android OEM pay licensing fee.
  • Massive influence is an understatement lol, the impact his and his/ the then teams made have fundamentally ingrained (for better or worse) how people use their Windows PC for generations. I wonder which publication or blog will take his words out of context lol.
  • Well tell that to consumers who demand it back... I liked windows 8
  • Why would he be disappointed?  If it works and people like it, why get rid of it.  I understand that he thought that Microsoft would be more innovative by now.  The fact is that it's a good idea and there really is no need to do away with it.  I wonder if the guy that invented pizza could see everyone still eating it, would he think "Couldn't they have come up with something better by now?"
  • Honestly because windows is used by so many ppl it is hard to divert from tradition without backlash. I do agree that we should have evolved enough away but still keep some sort of a way to engage into a layout of apps like the traditional start menu
  • But truly and very well designs start menu that i love it the most!!!
  • Start menu is fine, but the start screen is a disaster!!! I hope Microsoft fixes it.
  • what a shitty statement, the start button became something iconic of the windows platform. I think that this should stay forever cause its the perfect way to start apps or go into documents. Its quick, easy and the only thing that EVERY windows user understands
  • I agree with him, it's disappointing. I liked the start screen, it was a good way to organize your apps, and also a place, where you could see the information of the live tiles. I liked the horizontal scrolling, it gave you more space to add tiles to groups. Now in 10 it's vertical scrolling and that's kinda shitty and very limited. That's the most annoying thing I have to complain on Windows 10. And I miss the charms bar. I had Windows 8 for three years on my Desktop PC, and was so used to it. ^^
  • People are stupid. Except me.... And maybe that other guy..... Oh and that hot chick in the corner.
  • That menu was just ahead of it's time. We still hold on to the past.
  • So, should the creator of the wheel also be disappointed because everyone is still using it? Some things just don't have to change. Sure, today we make wheels of rubber tires now instead of wood, but that doesn't change the fact that it's still round...
  • Microsoft tried to removed it and people didnt like it, people want the start menu, its functional and simply a good way to have it.
  • I think what people really wanted was everything to run on-top of the Desktop, and not the other way. Had the Windows 8 Start Menu been on-top of the Desktop, I think people would have had a better reaction, as it would just have been a maximized Start Menu.
  • Which is what they moved to with Windows 10. It's still a Start screen, if you want it to be.
  • I disagree. The Windows 10 Start Menu is literally the best of both worlds. If you don't want the tiles, you can completely remove them. If you want the Windows 8 Start Menu, you can maximize the Start Menu. It's the best of both.
  • I agree with your disagree.  Agree?
  • Funny thing is, when the Start menu first appeared people complained about it, ridiculing it, saying things like, "Only Microsoft would make you shutdown a computer with a Start menu." And then people cried like infants when it was taken away from them.
  • People love it and he is disappointed??? What a dumb ass!!
  • windows 10 should have been windows 8 and after enough modern apps windows 8 should have been released as windows 10    
  • Here's some context for the evolution of the Start thingy:
    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/07/the-windows-start-menu-saga-from-...
  • Blame the stupid users
  • In other news.....folks dislike stuff that is too new....
  • Returning a pure form of the start menu would be a huge step backwards. You are seeing many finally come forward to note that Windows 8.1 was actually a pretty good OS. As usual, MS tended to overreact to an extremely vocal minority. The current start menu is a compromise at best. Tablet mode needs a lot of work to be as useable as the start screen in Windows 8.1
  • None of it matters.  I tell you what was truly innovative, that technical people hated.  Unity in Ubuntu.  If your PC is fast enough and can handle it, there are no issues.  If you have a slow PC it is a major headache. The thing about the Start Screen in Windows 8 is that criticisms are warranted, yet ignorant, at the same time.  Microsoft tried something new.  It was not intuitive.  Reminds me of UAC in Vista, or the Active Desktop in ME.  Perhaps ahead of its time, and perhaps it is a technical feature PCs are either not ready to use yet, or an option you should give people, rather than forcing it onto them.  Active Desktop in particular used a lot of system resources and opened up ME to a lot of security vulnerabilities.  But Microsoft did try something new. We'll hear similar complaints about Continuum and Holo Lens.  I'm sure people already hate it, because of the dual screen nature and the fact that no Windows Phones in existence can handle it.  As far as innovation, Ubuntu tried this in the past but it was not polished and it definitely was not ready for prime time.  Plus they weren't doing dual screens, that was more of a screen mirroring approach. My point is that with enough time you can find ways around all of Microsoft's poor designs, and all of their experiments.  But people complain, b_ and moan so much they're forced to come up with something new.  If it were me, I would quit while I was ahead, and implement new changes as options for those users who want them, at their own risk.   Standardization is what kills Microsoft.  You can't please everyone.  They have to come up with new ideas, but they cannot be too new, or too revolutionary, because that will alienate their base.  I'm not suprised that the start menu has "returned" to Windows 10.  Looks like some unweildy widget, swiss army knife of a solution; perhaps it works well I haven't used it, but visually, it just seems like overkill to me.  If it were me, I would have just kept the start menu the way it was in Windows 7, and just allow people to run modern apps on the desktop without their having to go into a special mode to do so.  That's all people really wanted.  Some of us like modern apps because they aren't the PITA regular apps can be at times, and they're streamlined and we don't need a thousand options we just want to do fire up an app and do something quickly.  But I think that is too obvious for Microsoft, and it doesn't drive sales. I take the fact that this is supposed to be the last edition of Windows as an admission that the days of making money from changing the aesthetics of Windows are behind us.  We'll see more apps available as services, or with in app purchases, like Solitaire.  It seems weird now, but once you get people used to free apps and services you can't go back to the way that things were.  Perhaps the enterprise still purchases software, IDK.  
  • They should bring a start button to the phone instead of home buttons
  • I liked win 8. But win 10 is way, way better.
  • I understand his feelings but he should be happy that his legacy has lasted this long.
  • just help for add references,  hotcopas(dot)com/evolution-display-the-start-menu-of-windows-95-up-windows-10/