The forthcoming “Threshold” update to Windows may bring the return of the Start menu, reports say.
Threshold is the codename for the next round of updates to Windows, expected to ship in spring 2015—and it’s already being called Windows 8.2, although that’s by commentators, not Microsoft.
According to Paul Thurrott, Microsoft plans to make the Start menu available as an option in the next version of Windows. The Start menu and button were removed in Windows 8, and while the button returned in Windows 8.1, it merely returns the user to the Modern interface.
If the Start menu returns, it will only be available in desktop versions of the OS. Windows expert Mary Jo Foley reports that while Microsoft continues to push towards the “One Windows” vision, Microsoft will offer three distinct versions of the OS to suit different roles (as they should).
This includes a desktop version for those with the traditional keyboard and mouse setup; a modern-style version, focusing on apps for tablets; and a Windows Phone version. In addition to those, there will be an enterprise version, but this may only be available through volume licensing.
Thurrott also cited sources who say that Modern apps will be able to run inside desktop windows, enabling them to act more like standard applications and making it easier to multitask.