You only use it for a few seconds to search for or launch a program but it has become one of the most controversial parts of Windows in the last decade. Ever since Microsoft drastically changed it with Windows 8, the Windows Start Menu has become the subject of much design debates and changes over the years. It may be due a refresh in the next major Windows 10 release but if this latest teaser is any indicator, the next Start Menu will just get an aesthetic upgrade, at least for now.
From full-screen menus to flat monochromatic icons, tiles both live and dead, Windows users are usually split in their opinions of the Start Menu’s design. That’s also why it has undergone rather big changes between Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and all throughout Windows 10 that it seemed almost sensible to expect that Windows 10X would bring yet another new change.
In fact, the revelation of the Surface Neo dual-screen tablet seemed to suggest that the Start Menu would undergo a radical change, something that looks more like a search-centric menu for tablets. Of course, opinions were once again split but, fortunately, that might not be happening anyway.
Windows Latest points to a screenshot posted on the Microsoft 365 Facebook account that clearly shows a Start Menu that’s very different from the current Start Menu in terms of color treatment. We have, of course, seen this before, even in Microsoft’s own teasers, so it’s nothing completely new. It does confirm that tiles will get backgrounds that match your color scheme while icons will have a splash of color on them. There’s also a bit more breathing room, partly thanks to the visual effect of Fluent Design, but that’s pretty much it.
This new Start Menu does offer a more familiar experience rather than the jarring change that Windows 8 suddenly dumped on users. Microsoft may not be ready to make big changes yet, not until it actually has a device where such a menu might not be as usable anyway. When that device will finally come is, however, still up in the air.