Microsoft is "exploring" a new direction for the Start Menu, says Live Tiles aren't going...


Posts: 224   +43

While opinions on Live Tiles in Windows are mixed at best, it seems they're here to stay. However, that doesn't mean Microsoft isn't working on cleaning up the Start Menu. Live Tiles have been a part of the Windows desktop experience since Windows 8, albeit the feature was de-emphasized within Windows 10. The polarity surrounding Live Tiles persists, and reports going as far back as last year have proclaimed the death of Live Tiles in favor of static icons.

In recent weeks the hype for a revamped Start Menu in Windows 10 has been fueled higher as fresh rumors and images surfaced showing a purported Windows 10 Start Menu sans Live Tiles. This all comes as Microsoft is re-polishing its app icons in an effort to streamline the Windows 10 and Windows 10X experience.

In the most recent Windows Insider Webcast, a team of staff members including Brandon LeBlanc, who's the Senior Program Manager of the Windows Insider Program, mused on both Live Tiles and the Start Menu. During the stream, the team demonstrated a new concept for a Windows 10 Start Menu with Live Tiles turned off -- which is something that can already be done in Windows 10.

The new design shows a Windows 10 Start Menu with Microsoft's revamped app icons centered in translucent blocks. The left side of the Start Menu shows a Recent apps list, where rather than having app icons inside of blocks and squares, each app icon is situated next to its name. According to those on the stream, the concept isn't indicative of a design that's shipping anytime soon with a Windows update. Rather, it's a new direction being explored, and one that's intended to help clean up the Start Menu and make it more unifying, both in light and dark modes.

Finally, while the concept seems to depart from Live Tiles, LeBlanc went on to say that "Live Tiles are not going away, we have not announced anything of the sort." So, while Microsoft isn't prepared to give up Live Tiles just yet, it seems they will be less of a focus going forward. And the fact that Microsoft is teasing a new Windows 10 Start Menu concept shows its investment in making the Start Menu prettier -- and the early designs seem promising.

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Posts: 3,460   +4,036
They just need to copy and slightly refine XFCE's start menu. Then they should bring back the sidebar and that's where live tiles and notifications could reside, with an option to reserve that desktop area. Everyone has widescreen monitors now - it just makes sense.


Posts: 95   +46
If I have an option to use a start menu with small icons. That is what I will use. I don't need a barn for target practice. Large icons in a start menu is counter productive.
I never really noticed until your comment. Holy moly! Some size.
I too would like the ability to make them smaller, like images/videos in explorer.


Posts: 15   +5
I hit the start button and I get a whole page of Live Tiles I've set up as shortcuts...stuff that I use often, but doesn't need to be cluttering up my desktop, it looks cool and leaves my desktop with about 8 shortcuts on it. Its a pity they didn't make the Live Tiles work properly or let you have them on the desktop itself.


Posts: 12,739   +6,107
or let you have them on the desktop itself.
Oh God no! I never would have left Windows 7, if that happened. Live tiles would have never been an option. It would have been a forced feature that people do not need and/or want. It is the main reason I never migrated to Windows 8. And the option not to have them with a third party start menu is why I upgraded to Windows 10.

I wanted more of Windows 10 to like Windows 7 aesthetics. We didn't spent more than a decade upgrading and enjoying them, just to have them stripped back to where we started.

I can understand occasionally wanting a live tile. But that doesn't mean everyone needs all their icons to be live. Especially if that means turning an elegant desktop into dozens of ugly squares. Either way I don't want them unless I can make them blend with my background. A bit of transparency/translucency goes a long way in hiding the square nature of a link clickable area.
The tiles would be great if the user had a LOT more control over them ..... but without that I can live without them so make sure we can still turn the darn things off!
I hardly use the Desktop Tiles, BUT,
how much control do you want. Just in case you did not already know, Rt click a Tile and, resize, unpin, uninstall. Rt click a start menu app to add new tiles to the desk top.
How about this, Drag your icons, to the task bar, Launch from the task bar, Rt click the taskbar app to see all recent files you have opened, rt click and pin.
I do not use edge, don't think web pages can be pinned there, so I use Firefox. ( you can drag a web page to the Firefox icon on the task bar)
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