Internal Windows 10 Build Shows Off New Start Menu Design Without Live Tiles

Posted on July 24, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows, Windows 10 with 61 Comments

This has been a really weird morning for Microsoft. The company mistakenly pushed out an internal build of Windows 10 to Insiders, and that build includes some new features we have not seen before.

The main new thing is a brand-new Start Menu design for Windows 10. The new start menu design gets rid of Microsoft’s popular live tiles, replacing them with regular app icons. The new design is obviously still under development, which is probably why it looks so rough and incomplete. Keep in mind that this is an internal build, and was never supposed to make it to the public just yet.

Either way, the new start menu design is an interesting change. Microsoft has been rumored to be moving away from live tiles in the past, and this new design could mark the end of live tiles. It is possible the new start menu design is only meant for Windows Lite, and may not actually ship on the desktop. That could make sense as Windows Lite is essentially meant to be a lighter version of the Windows 10 desktop experience as we know it.

Apart from the new start menu design, Microsoft also seems to be working on adding a GIF Search feature to the OS, and that could possibly be integrated into the existing emoji picker in Windows 10.

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Comments (61)

61 responses to “Internal Windows 10 Build Shows Off New Start Menu Design Without Live Tiles”

  1. dontbe evil

    nothing to see here, just an internal build of windows lite

  2. hrlngrv

    . . . Microsoft’s popular live tiles . . .

    You have access to the telemetry to back that up? If they're so popular, why would MSFT be effectively deprecating them?

    • zorb56

      In reply to hrlngrv: Yeah... "popular" is a stretch. Though I personally love them, everyone I talk to does not. And on my work PCs, I remove all of them so the start menu looks like Windows 98 or something because they're fairly distracting.

  3. codymesh

    They're keeping it simple. I like it!

  4. Patrick3D

    Could make for a better experience on low-end devices stuck with eMMC storage.

  5. crp0908

    This reminds me of Program Manager in Windows 3.1. The start menu has gone full circle!

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to crp0908:

      MSFT's new Start functionality from Windows 8.0 has been a reversion to Program Manager's single level of grouping with no subgroups. FWLIW, I disliked that enough back in Windows 3.1 days that I used Norton Desktop to get some hierarchy. I realize that isn't for everyone, but it's been more than an annoyance from Windows 8.0 on that MSFT no longer provides that functionality out of the box. Thus I may be using Classic Shell until you pry my keyboard from my cold, dead fingers.

      • Greg Green

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        I had subgroups in my PM. I remember a large window for PM, then an open sub window for my daily programs, and minimized windows in PM for my weekly and monthly programs that would expand to the size of the main PM window when clicked.

        But maybe I had some shareware that did that, I’m not sure. I’ll have to find that hard drive and plug it into something that can work with it.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to Greg Green:

          Program Manager had one level of grouping, called Groups. Within the Applications group, there were no subgroups. That's how Norton Desktop differed: any group could have subgroups; it also provided a toolbox view, a group which only showed icons tightly packed.

    • Daekar

      In reply to crp0908:

      That is exactly what I thought myself!

  6. Allen Markham

    Isn't that the 'Tiles' icon right under the three lines on the left? The one that displays the new screen is a new icon is below 'All Apps' icon. Could be a good as part of Lite.

  7. delicieuxz

    It still looks awful and inefficient. I've been happy with Startisback, which it looks like will remain my start menu replacement. And I hope the Windows default start menu returns to something similar to the Windows 7 start menu eventually, as it's much cleaner, more efficient, and more functional than any of the Windows 10 start menu iterations, which have been pointless exercises in everything other than what's useful or attractive.

  8. jimchamplin

    It could be nice once they get some polish on it. It actually looks pretty good in tablet mode.

    Pity the same can't be said for the rest of tablet mode.

  9. jimchamplin

    To anybody worried about losing the tiles, observe the lefthand margin of the menu.

    This new view is offered with a sidebar icon that was not present before. In this prerelease, that icon takes the form of the Insider program's mascot, Ninjacat who is fond of riding dinosaurs and unicorns. As of now there's every indication that this will be an optional view, so there's no need for terror just yet. :)

  10. Rob_Wade

    Honestly, I suspect this is also an A/B situation, too. 18947 ended up on one of my SPs, but it's 18947.rs_prerelease.190723-1401.

  11. hrlngrv

    Does the new launcher provide no grouping at all? Only so many suggested apps then a list of nothing by app icons in some order? I can accept that many, maybe most, people don't like deep folder hierarchies in their Start menus, but no grouping at all?

  12. Jorge Garcia

    So now there will be at least three types of prominent icons. Vista/Modern/This. It's like they aren't even trying to make windows look appealing. It's time for a ground-up rebuild based off of Android. But don't call it "Windows" anything.

  13. Byron Adams

    I've started to use the live tiles instead of desktop icons. That way I can arrange them and not have the arrangement lost.

    • delicieuxz

      In reply to Byron_Adams:

      In my experience, Windows 10 (at least the newer versions) already automatically preserves the desktop icon layout when programs change the resolution to something lower than the desktop's.

      There are some 3rd-party programs that will do that on versions of Windows that don't automatically do that.

  14. Adlton

    It looks hideous.

    Please stop changing start menu it is part of OS that needs consistency more than almost any other.

    I really do not want to have to explain people how to use start menu again,

  15. BlackForestHam

    > Microsoft’s popular live tiles

    About as popular as AIDS in the Congo. This new menu looks nice. Hope it makes it into the final build.

  16. Dryloch

    Let us choose because to me that looks terrible. I like my customizable tiles.

  17. sharpsone

    Leave it to the user as an option..freedom and expression sells. Mainstream windows is a robust OS sometimes usage is basic and then there are those that want more than static menus or icons. If that shit up there is slated for mainstream it has to grab the user - on hover the icon should pop, scroll or explode with colorful useful data, eye candy but useful. Like a live tile on call, not sleek square modern...Seattle Grunge Style

  18. michel_lali

    For desktop, a la "Classic Shell" is the way to go.

    For tablet, titles is fine wirh me.

  19. illuminated

    I like tiles. All icons have shrunk to a tiny size so that fruit flies could read them I assume. Tiles are still sized for humans. Also monochrome icons just suck.

  20. blackcomb

    It looks ugly. Ms still trying to make Windows a mobile OS.

  21. AlexKven

    Let us put the live tiles on the desktop, like the desktop widgets.

  22. PeterC

    well when I look at it i'm reminded of Microsoft's android launcher dock too, you know the select the number of columns in your dock option..…. possible dock synchronisation from Launcher to Modern/Lite OS. Maybe...

  23. Biswajit Deb

    If you closely on the left-hand side, there's a dog icon that's highlighted blue as if that's the current tab being displayed with this grid-style apps list, like some kind of Profile tab. Above that is the same old Start Screen icon but no App List icon.

    Compare this setup to the current and the new Tablet-mode Start experience as seen in the Twitter image: the Start Screen icon is there on the old and new design as is the App List icon, but this new dog icon is not.

    Based on what you're saying Brad, this looks like a new combination of the old Start Screen and App's List into one grid that's being worked on alongside the other two tabs until they can remove the dedicated Start Screen and App's List entirely to leave just this new thing.

    Or they actually intend to keep a dedicated App's List and user-customisable Live Tile screen alongside this new grid tab, though that seems a little redundant.

  24. bbold

    I hope MS gives users an option to 'toggle on/off' the live tiles, since I have grown used to them, but feel they aren't necessary in EVERY case use I have encountered. It would be nice to have a choice between flat plain and/or live tiles. What do you think?



      In reply to bbold:

      As long as they don't get rid of them in the Pro versions. I use the Newsflow app to populate my menu screen with one live tile per RSS feed, and live tiles are one of my favorite features of Windows 10, so that those who have no need of a "Start Menu" can use it as a datafeed and control panel. A single button press and I see all the latest data in a single glance without even having to launch anything. Gorgeous.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to SYNERDATA:

        If live tiles became desktop widgets, a la Rainlendar/Rainmeter or Windows 98 for that matter, then it'd only take pressing [Win]+D to show the desktop and thus all the widgets. Then the [Win] key alone to bring up the launcher could show something else.

        I understand some people prefer tablet mode. As long as I have a PC mode which uses a classic (pre-Windows 7) launcher, NBD for me.

  25. martinusv2

    Lol, look like the modern style of Start10 from Stardock.

  26. T182

    Just as i get my tiled start menu set up just the way i like it....

  27. Ron Diaz

    “Popular live tiles”?!?

  28. will

    Soon all of the icons will just be B&W versions ;)

  29. iantrem

    Wonder if they've made other changes and they've just not incorporated live tiles back into this build yet?

  30. Jordan Meyer

    That's the Ninja cat mascot, not a dog! ;)

  31. dcdevito

    Who cares? I turn that off completely anyway.

  32. glenn8878

    How are they icons? They are tile representations as if they could easily replace with live tiles as an option.

    I wish they will return actual icons. They just look better than the silhouette style tiles.

  33. bob_shutts

    It seems MS and Apple are totally embracing the "flat" UI look. Personally I hate it. (But they didn't ask me. LOL)

  34. Rob_Wade

    This got automagically installed on my 2017 Surface Pro (but not on my SP6). Thank GOD I'm not seeing that putrid excuse for a Start menu on version of 18947 that ended up on my 2017 SP. I run EVERYTHING in Tablet Mode, and if I had to see that screen on my devices I'd puke.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Rob_Wade:

      Everything's subjective to an extent.

      This may be one of the few times I've agreed with what you've written: this new Start menu looks like a great leap backwards. OTOH, it doesn't make me sick; it's just one more thing to avoid or replace.

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