MSPoweruser predicts Windows 10’s Start Menu will be getting redesigned because Windows Lite, Microsoft’s ChromeOS competitor, is getting rid of live tiles in favor of a common, static app launcher
. As support continues to decrease from both Microsoft and Windows developers, there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to keep the current Start Menu around
, the core portion of which revolves around live tiles. Windows Central, which broke the news on Windows Lite, is convinced the concept is dead due to lack of updates.
Except, as it turns out, most people don't need access to those live tiles on desktop. I've seen internal documentation from Microsoft that suggests people aren't really opening the Start menu to look at or customize live tiles. Users prefer pinning everything to the taskbar.
The reason I bring this up is because I've been speaking to quite a few internal sources about Windows Lite
, and it's looking like Windows Lite doesn't even have live tiles. It appears Microsoft is entirely omitting this feature in favor of the more common app launcher with static icons as seen on iOS, Android, and Chrome OS. If Windows Lite launches without live tiles, where is the incentive for developers to continue supporting such a feature on desktop?
Is Microsoft finally going to drop the idea that they've been stubbornly trying to get people to use for the past 22 years?
This all started back in the Internet Explorer 4 days, in 1997, when they bundled that IE version for Windows 95 with some optional components, one of which was the Active Desktop:
Active Desktop placed a number of "channels" on the user's computer desktop that provided continually-updated information, such as news headlines and stock quotes, without requiring the user to open a Web browser.
It was also shipped with Windows 98 the following year.
For those wondering how it looked like:
As you can see, it was the perfect playground for, well, ads. What is old is new again, right?
It never gained much traction in either Windows 95 or 98 (nor Me), and after a good period of sanity with Windows XP, where it was available, but not enabled or used, they tried again with Windows Vista, with the Windows Sidebar. Then they made the system more flexible for Windows 7, by not requiring the gadgets to reside in an actual bar, and that was called Windows Desktop Gadgets. And then in 2012, with Windows 7 well under the mainstream support period, dropped support for the feature due to security vulnerabilities and advised people to turn it off.
Then they brought the idea back again with the live tiles in Windows 8 and then because it again didn't gain traction, they put them in the Start Menu for Windows 10. And now it's apparently finally going to start to go away. Is Microsoft going to try again or is 22 years of failed attempts enough?