updated 10:12 am EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Image shows potential Start Menu with Tile column, icon list
Microsoft's Start Menu may appear in the next major update for Windows, an alleged leaked screenshot suggests. The image believed to depict an early internal build of the update shows the Start Menu as having two main columns, similar to an image which surfaced a few months ago, taking the old style of Start Menu from Windows 7 and earlier iterations, and combining it with Windows 8's Live Tiles.
The leak on the My Digital Life forums is said by close sources of Neowin to be apparently legitimate, and while the screenshot does mention Windows 8.1 Pro, the source claims this branding is still used for internal builds.
The oft-rumored return of the Start Menu would follow another linked reversal in recent Windows history. Windows 8 initially dropped the Start Button after Microsoft spotted a trend by Windows 7 users of pinning apps to the taskbar for quick loading of regularly-used apps. After receiving complaints over its disappearance, in favor of users mousing to the bottom-left corner of the display, Microsoft added the Start Button back, but kept the Start Screen and tiled interface intact.
The reversal to a Start Menu does still use the Metro-style tiles, with the screenshot showing at least three Live Tiles. The Start Menu also incorporates a search box, a prominent and visual indicator that users can type the name of the app straight away, as well as a slightly more obvious "Shut Down" menu.
It is unclear if the build is intended as a new major version of Windows, or if it will instead be a service pack-style update for Windows 8.1.