Microsoft may have demonstrated its new Start menu earlier this year, but thanks to a recent "Windows 9" leak we’re now seeing every single part of the company’s plans for bringing back this popular feature. German site WinFuture has posted a two-minute video that demonstrates how the Start menu works in the next major release of Windows. As you’d expect, it’s very similar to what Microsoft demonstrated with traditional apps mixing with modern apps (and their Live Tiles) into a familiar Start menu.
The account options have been placed at the top of the Start menu for now, allowing you to lock and sign out of a machine, while shutdown and restart options can be access by a visible button alongside the account section. The new Start menu consists of two sections: one for a list of traditional apps in the familiar left pane, and a new section on the right that consists mainly of modern apps with Live Tiles. However, the right section can collapse to make way for Start menu users to dig into File Explorer, otherwise it appears to work just like the Windows 7 menu with options to pin apps and browse through a list of all apps.
Once more and more apps are pinned to the Start menu, it expands automatically and there are options to resize Tiles in a way that’s identical to the regular Start screen in Windows 8. While this new Start menu clearly isn’t designed for tablet users, there appears to be an option to "use the Start menu instead of the Start screen" for those with mouse and keyboard users. That will likely be enabled by default, and Microsoft may even remove the fullscreen Start screen altogether for desktop users in favor of a Start menu that expands.
Windows Technical Preview is coming soon
Floating modern apps are also demonstrated several times during the video, and they appear to work as you would expect. Modern apps will no longer need to be snapped into position or run fullscreen, instead they work like traditional Windows apps and can be resized freely. This is only a very early look at the next version of Windows, expected to be named just Windows or Windows 9, and the user interface of the desktop is bound to change significantly by the time this ships next year. Microsoft is expected to distribute an early Windows Technical Preview at the end of the month or early October so that developers and enterprise customers can evaluate the many changes the company is making.
Update (8:50 AM ET): WinFuture has uploaded a new video showing the Start menu without any Live Tiles. It's essentially a smaller version of the Windows 7 Start menu.