Windows 10 could get a new Start menu as Microsoft kills off one of its most useless features

(Image credit: Future)

Windows 10 looks set to get a redesigned Start menu in a future update, with Microsoft finally killing off Live Tiles for good.

Live Tiles were introduced with the Windows Phone 7 operating system, and made their way to Microsoft’s desktop operating systems starting with Windows 8, back when the company wanted to make Windows an OS that was suited to both traditional PCs and touch-screen devices (and ended up failing at both).

Even after Microsoft ditched Windows 8’s unloved ‘Metro’ interface for the more traditional Start menu with Windows 10, Live Tiles managed to stick around.

However, it now seems like Microsoft is planning to ditch Live Tiles. Microsoft has been neglecting Live Tiles recently, with the feature not getting an update for a while, and now Windows Latest is reporting that people familiar with Windows 10’s development have indicated that Microsoft is planning to replacing Live Tiles with static icons in a future update after the Windows 10 20H2 update – which is due to land in the second half of 2020 (hence the name).

If these rumors are true, then we could see the end of Live Tiles by 2021.

Live and let Live Tiles

The idea with Live Tiles was that they were large icons for programs that would update with new information. For example, the Live Tile for the weather app would also show you the current forecast, as well as acting as a shortcut for the app.

While these worked fine on a mobile device, on a traditional PC or laptop, they just took up space – and not many people used them.

Once Microsoft stopped updating Live Tiles, and third-party app makers abandoned them as well, Live Tiles became even more useless, so few people will mourn their passing.

Taking cues from Windows 10X

There is speculation that Windows 10’s new-look Start menu will ditch Live Tiles for static icons, and will look similar to the Start menu in Windows 10X, the upcoming version of Windows that Microsoft is designing for dual-screen devices.

We’ve already seen Microsoft introduce new icons to Windows 10 for people testing early versions of the software, so it’s clear that the company is planning to change the look of Windows 10 in the near future. 

Giving the Start menu, a part of Windows 10 that most people use daily, a new look and feel is well overdue, in our view.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.