MICROSOFT COULD be preparing to rid us of the tiled interface that nobody asked for in Windows 10.
The Live Tiles feature was first introduced in Windows 8 and was designed to make life easier for Windows Phone and touchscreen device users, to lukewarm reviews.
Indeed, the tiled interface (known as Metro originally) was cited as one of the main reasons that users didn't take to Windows 8.
The much-refined UI returned in Windows 10, but now it seems it could be on the way out if a leaked build, released by Microsoft accidentally, is anything to go by.
The erroneous build shows a new Start Menu, much more akin to a Windows 7 layout. In fact, it looks more like an XP tribute, but that's because this is a skeleton. With 20H1 (Spring 2020) as the absolute earliest, we're likely to see the change, there's little doubt that this will look very different by then.
What you can see, however, is that the concept start menu leans heavily on friendly icons, but not tiles. It has a suggestion bar first, and along the side are all the nuts-and-bolts controls like shutdown and settings.
Despite the lack of polish, it's quite clear that this isn't an anomaly, not least because it seems to have an air of the forthcoming "language" of Windows, in terms of backgrounds and icon styling.
But of course, everything could change. By the time we get an official first look, it could have changed again, and once the Insiders start feeding back, it could change a third time. Or not at all - it's just as possible this is just an experiment.
The point is that just because Windows doesn't go up by incremental numbers anymore, it is still evolving. Live Tiles have been around for seven years now, and they've never truly caught the imagination as they should have. Seems Microsoft realises that and is already looking at Plan B. μ
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