Microsoft, recognizing the disappointing truth that iOS and Android aren’t going to being chivalrous and slow down while it fixes Windows 8, is planning to speed up its release cadence yet again. The original plan was to push out a large update every 12 months, rather than releasing a whole new operating system every three years. Now, however, it seems the next major update will arrive as soon as August or September, just a few months after the release of Windows 8.1 Update 1. Yes, this means that, after a very odd 18 months in limbo, the Windows Start menu will officially return this summer.
At its Build developer conference at the start of April, alongside the official unveil of Windows 8.1 Update 1, Microsoft teased the audience with a new Windows Start menu and the ability to run windowed Metro apps on the Desktop. Everyone was rather excited: These were the two main features that keyboard-and-mouse users had been clamoring for since Microsoft first revealed the new Metro Start screen way back in June 2011. At the end of the demo, as the audience gave Microsoft a resounding why-did-this-take-you-three-years? round of applause, Microsoft’s OS chief Terry Myerson dropped the bombshell that these features would come in a “future update.”