Windows boss takes on taskbar turmoil, pledges to 'make Start menu great again'

Users aren't the only ones questioning the Windows 11 feature's utility

Windows boss Mikhail Parakhin has admitted that the Start menu needs a bit of work.

Posting on X (formerly Twitter) in response to a plea to "just fix the start menu" so all apps could be scrolled, Parakhin agreed, saying it "annoys the hell out of me too" and promised to "make Start menu great again."

X does seem to be the place for people to proclaim that something needs to be made great again. But we digress.

Whether the Start menu was ever that great is open to question. Console jockeys would obviously avoid such GUI embellishments as a matter of course. At the same time, this vulture has heard several senior developers mourn the loss of the old Windows Program Manager. Then again, Parakhin did say that he'd been a fan of Windows since 3.0, so never say never.

Microsoft introduced the Start menu with Windows 95, and it arguably reached its peak with Windows XP and Windows 7 before the disastrous Windows 8 attempted to do away with it in favor of a full-screen tiled affair similar to the Windows Phone.

The Start menu has since crept back into the Windows design language, although users have not universally appreciated the changes made in Windows 11.

A small industry has sprung up around the user interface element, with companies like Stardock more than happy to sell add-ons to users that deal with the worst excesses of Microsoft's design decisions.

Parakhin has an uphill struggle ahead of him. Windows Insider builds are due to resume shortly and will provide the first indicator of whether his attempt to deal with the complaints regarding the Windows 11 Start menu will bear fruit.

Parakhin's openness is refreshing, certainly when compared to the legendarily bad communication of the Windows team itself. He also responded to complaints regarding app switching (apparently, the Windows Vista and 7 approach was the best) and taskbar positioning options disappearing between Windows 10 and 11 (blame widgets and Copilot).

However, if Parakhin can indeed push through changes to deal with at least some of the woes of the Windows 11 Start menu – even if it is to ditch the "all apps" click – that will be progress appreciated more than having yet another AI assistant pushed onto the desktop. ®

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