Microsoft announces revived Start menu, universal apps

Windows 8.1 got us part of the way there by restoring the Start button, and now, Microsoft is going all the way. As PC World reports, the software giant's new OS chief, Terry Myerson, announced earlier today that the Start menu will finally make its return to Windows.

Myerson made the announcement at the Build conference in San Francisco. The details are "hazy," PC World says, but the Start menu will apparently be "pushed to all Windows 8.1 users as an update at some point in the future." And it looks like we're in for a design makeover, with live tiles borrowed from the Modern UI interface. I think we'll all be too happy to have the menu back to care, though.

Source: Microsoft.

In related news, PC World says Microsoft also announced "universal apps" at the conference. In a nutshell, developers will be able to write apps that run not just on Windows 8.1, but also Windows Phone 8.1 and the Xbox One. It will be possible to have "tailored experiences" for each device but "reuse the bulk of the code for all the apps," PC World reports.

This goes along with what Microsoft announced at GDC last month. There, the company revealed that Direct3D 12 would be supported on Windows Phone and the Xbox One as well as Windows. The PC World article doesn't say for sure, but I'm guessing some of those future "universal apps" might be 3D games.

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