Report: Windows 9 Will Ditch the Charms Menu, Add Virtual Desktops

Illustration for article titled Report: Windows 9 Will Ditch the Charms Menu, Add Virtual Desktops

While the next update to Windows 8.1 is set to be minor, new reports suggest that Windows 9 will see Microsoft distance itself yet more from the bold Metro styling of the current OS.

The Verge claims to be able to confirm reports that Microsoft plans to remove the Charms bar from Windows in the next iteration of the OS. That bar is a kind of overlay, used to access the Start Screen, settings and search tools; it's useful on touchscreen devices, but clumsy on desktops, as it requires some very careful cursor positioning.


Instead of trying to make it work, it seems engineers are just ditching it. According to Winbeta and now the Verge, current builds of Windows 9—codenamed Threshold—don't feature the Charms bar at all. Instead, Verge suggests, the apps that featured in the Charms bar will just run as plain old floating applications to make things play nice with a mouse and keyboard.

The reports also suggest that the new builds feature virtual desktops. Windows users have always had to use third-party software to run virtual desktops, so the inclusion of such capabilities from the get-go would be a positive move.

That is, of course, a big would. These are still early builds of Windows 9, and there's plenty of time to change the direction in which it heads. But, sadly, a shift from the bold styling of Windows 8 does, perhaps, seems increasingly inevitable. [Winbeta, Neowin, Verge]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



I had no interest in windows 8 for the longest time. I did however like that start menu but have it within my chrome browser, when I load up a tab, all my important shortcuts are there. Recently I installed a second SSD in my desktop trying to install linux (ubuntu just won't stick and xubuntu I do not like) so I ditched that and installed 8.1 Pro.

I have multiple screens and have started appreciating the layout, if one of my screens is empty, the "start menu" will reside there. I also enjoy the taskbar on all screens which I was using "display fusion" for in windows 7. The side bar that comes up for settings start or search (I'm assuming that's the charm thing) is a bit funky (although just bringing the cursor to the corner doesn't seem so hard, unless 8.1 made it better) but I'm assuming they always think with the idea to prevent children from flailing out of control and accessing sensitive areas.

I've tried explaining the usefulness of the shortcuts as they are displayed in a pleasing fashion to many people but most I think are still attached to their desktops with their fancy wallpapers, which I admit I am a wallpaper junkie too, so I can see the appeal, specially when there isn't a shit storm of icons splattered about recklessly. My shortcuts have always resided in the taskbar and I rarely ever used the start menu in windows 7.

Has anyone at least done a review, visuals aside, if windows 8 has any better performance or smaller footprint than windows 7? I'd kill to see a 5gb windows install. My windows 7 windows folder is 22GB, and this windows 8 is 15gb, but I don't know if the difference is that I haven't installed that many applications yet.

I'm also intrigued as to the performance of the Surface Pro 3 as a "laptop" replacement, and am anticipating a purchase.

Also, I don't see the point of virtual desktops, or I'm having a major brain fart because I can't wrap my head around it, unless it's because I always use multiple monitors. ALTHOUGH, the only thing I'd want, if it's possible, is that the other "virtual desktops" would allow multiple instances of an application to open, that, I would totally approve.
Virtual desktops wouldn't be like a VMWare thing right?