No Windows 8.1 Start menu this year - check back in 2015

Windows 8 Start menu concept
Our kingdom for a proper Start menu

If you've been kept up restless nights waiting for the return of something resembling the classic Start menu for the modern version of Windows, we're sorry to dampen your spirits even further.

ZDNet has word Microsoft may not introduce a more functional Start menu with the forthcoming Windows 8.1 Update 2, which is widely expected to arrive in August or September.

According to reliable insider sources close to Redmond, the team charting a course for the future of Windows decided to hold off in favor of resurrecting the Start menu in the next major version of the operating system.

Codenamed "Threshold," that big update is expected to see an April 2015 release and is commonly being referred to as Windows 9, although Microsoft apparently has yet to firmly commit to that name.

Same as it ever was?

The Microsoft insiders were unclear as to the reason for the delay, though it may be because the revamped Start menu simply isn't ready for primetime or some other internal rationale.

Either way, the longtime Windows faithful may wind up being disappointed when the feature does arrive, given that it apparently won't be a faithful copy of what Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 users were accustomed to.

Microsoft guru Mary Jo Foley describes the Windows 8.1 Start menu as offering "some familiarity," but claims it will also "integrate Windows 8's Metro-style Start screen concept" in some as-yet-unknown way.

Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson showed off an early version of the new and improved Start menu during the company's Build developer conference in April, where he announced it would arrive as part of "next iteration" of Windows 8.

  • Speaking of Microsoft, check out our full review of the Xbox One!