Start menu makes a welcome return in Windows 10

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

Why is the next version of Windows called Windows 10?

Because 7 ate 9.


Yes it is true, the next version of Windows to follow Windows 8 is going to be called Windows 10. I am not sure who decided on that, or the reasons for it, but I am sure it will confuse the hell out of a lot of people. It was probably the same people that decided on the names XBox, XBox 360 and XBox One, in that order.

Whatever it is called, Windows 10 heralds the return of the Start menu. For real this time. The Start button is there and clicking it opens up a menu, rather than taking you to a touch optimized Start screen. The menu now sports a section you can personalise with live tiles, which integrates some of the Windows 8 UI (user interface) with the old style desktop. I have seen a short demo of it and it does look much better. There are other improvements too, like being able to snap up to four apps at a time, or even to have multiple desktops you can switch between. So, you could have one desktop for work, one for play, one for music. Whatever takes your fancy. Some of the updates (like multiple desktops) have been available for Linux and Mac users for years, so it is nice to see Microsoft learning from the competition and using what works.

Windows 10 is still a way off yet, but is expected to be released some time next year.

Now something that has had a lot of Apple iPhone users bent up all week, is the #bendgate saga. Apple launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and the world rejoiced, but then shortly after there were reports that iPhone 6 Plus users were complaining about their phones getting bent. Yes, it turns out that the sleek aluminium body of the iPhone 6 Plus is just a wee bit too big and thin and tends to warp and bend when inside your pocket.

Where else would you put your mobile phone if not in your pocket?

Apple have been refusing to comment on the whole episode, while many tech reporters have been going out of their way to test the theory and prove that the iPhone 6 Plus does bend rather easily. So, if you are considering buying a new iPhone, please take into consideration the wibbly wobbly nature of the 6 Plus. The standard iPhone 6 appears to be much less bendable by the way.

Now a bunch of designers and artists would like to say “Ello”. Ello is a new social network touted as an anti Facebook, no adverts platform. It is invite only at the moment and the network is still in early beta, so I was happy when I managed to get an invite.

The design is minimalist and simple, which is a far cry from the blue confusion that is Facebook. Images are displayed ‘full bleed’ which is good, although the UI (there’s that acronym again) isn’t always immediately obvious. As I say, it is early beta for the network, so I expect a lot to change as features are added, bugs are removed and things are generally tweaked. It has managed to generate a lot of interest in the tech media this week, with thousands of people scrabbling to get a first look at what is hoped will be a breath of fresh air in the world of social media.

Alan Stainer