As a part of its Build 2014 announcements, Microsoft showed off an interesting twist on its classic Start Menu. Coming to Windows 8.1 in a future update, it has the look of the Start Menu Windows users have experienced for years, but adds the Live Tiles Microsoft has been pushing as a part of Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Terry Myerson made the announcement as part of an example of how universal Windows apps will be able to run in a window (and on Xbox), although users craving something familiar will probably just be happy to see their old Start Menu again. We didn't hear any more details on exactly when to expect the update, but you can follow along with our liveblog for all of the information as it happens.
Update: Myerson has posted a few more thoughts after Day 1 of Build over on the Windows Blog, calling the demo a way Microsoft "could enable more productivity for customers working in desktop mode, while building smart bridges to the new modern user experience."
Finally, I previewed some work we are doing for the next iteration of Windows, which builds on the journey we began with Windows 8 just over a year ago as well as the releases we've done since then. In particular, I showed some early thinking on how the user experience in Windows will evolve in a way that will help developers' apps make their way to users across devices and form factors.
We set out to do this is a thoughtful way – one where we could enable more productivity for customers working in desktop mode, while building smart bridges to the new modern user experience and ensuring customers can get access to all your great apps in the Windows Store no matter where they are in the experience, or which device type they're on.
As I said today, these are glimpses of our roadmap, with a particular focus on the parts of our roadmap that are most relevant to our developer partners. We'll continue to invest in these and many other areas to build a great platform and experiences for developers, customers and partners and you'll hear more from us when this work is closer to being ready to ship out to the world.
Microsoft Windows 8.1