Windows 10X, the new version of Windows 10 built for dual screens will come with a brand new Start Menu that won’t have any Live Tiles. We briefly saw the new Start Menu when Microsoft demoed the Surface Neo yesterday, and gone are the flipping Live Tiles showing you unread emails, upcoming calendar events, latest news, and more.
Still, despite the removal of Live Tiles, the new Start Menu in Windows 10X seems provide easy access to what users really care about: Unified Search, Recent apps and websites, and there’s also a “Recommended” section highlighting documents or websites you may be interested in. The whole design is a bit reminiscent of what you can see on Office.com, which also features Search at the top, a grid of apps in the middle, and a Documents section below
You can see the Windows 10X Start Menu at the beginning of the Live demo below:
Speaking with The Verge, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore explained that this new Start Menu experience should feel intuitive for consumers coming from Windows 10.
“We think this feels familiar to people who are using tablets and mobile devices today, and we’ve tried to use the screen real estate in a way that combines app launching with suggestions of things like websites, documents, or things you’re working on,” explains Belfiore. “We’re trying to really strike a great balance between familiarity and progress.”
Live Tiles were a key differentiation point when Windows Phone was still a thing, but the animated icons didn’t really have the same impact on Windows 8, and later Windows 10. The app gap is still real on the Microsoft Store in 2019, and very few apps make good use of Live Tiles. Earlier this year, Microsoft accidentally released a Windows 10 preview build that included a redesigned Start Menu with no Live Tiles, but the latest 20H1 preview builds still come with the familiar Start Menu.
It’s not clear if Microsoft eventually plans to make its Start Menu more consistent across Windows 10 and Windows 10X, but we wouldn't be surprised if Live Tiles eventually fade away. Most Windows 10 users probably don't spend that much time staring at Live Tiles on their Start Menu, and it's probably not a coincidence that neither Apple or Google copied that feature in their own operating systems.