Start menu to return to Windows 8.1 in an update this fall, says Russian leaker

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Wzor, the Russian leaker that dished out a slew of information about Windows 8.1 Update 1 that turned out to be accurate prior to its release, has broken his silence, doing so in a big way by commenting on the next update from Microsoft.

According to Computerworld, Wzor says that the next significant Windows 8.1 update will either be dubbed Windows 8.2, or Windows 8.1 Update 2. On top of that, Windows 8.1 Update 2 (we like that name better) will feature a return of the sorely-missed Start menu, which Microsoft axed with the release of Windows 8 back in October 2012, but has slowly begun to bring back. Currently, Windows 8.1 includes a skeletal version of the Start menu, but it still falls short of providing the experience that the real thing offers.

The upcoming, refreshed Start menu was briefly teased at Microsoft’s Build conference earlier this month. At this point, it will incorporate elements of the tiled Metro/Modern UI.

Windows 8 Start Menu

 That may not be all though. Winbeta reports that Microsoft is also developing a Chrome OS-esque version of Windows that would require Internet connectivity to take full advantage of, and would be called Windows Cloud, while reverting to Windows Starter-like functionality when not connected to the Web. Then there’s Windows 9, which Wzor says could be offered as a free operating system, and has been rumored for an April 2015 launch.

MORE: 5 ways Microsoft could salvage its empire with Windows 9

Time will tell whether these rumors will prove to be accurate. What’s clear though is that Microsoft must do something to move the needle on Windows 8.1’s adoption numbers, which stood at under 5 percent as of last month, according to Net Marketshare.

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