Rejoice! The Start menu is coming back to Windows

Your cries have been heard, o' PC faithful.

You heard right, devout desktop lovers: The Start menu is coming back to Windows, Microsoft operating system head Terry Myerson announced at Build.

The details are hazy, aside from the fact that it's going to be pushed to all Windows 8.1 users as an update at some point in the future. But it's a-coming--though it's not quite the Start menu you're familiar with. Beyond the traditional mouse-friendly features, the Windows 8.1 Start menu will be crammed with Live Tiles, along with the ability to find and install Microsoft's universal Windows apps, also announced Wednesday.

But the desktop friendliness doesn't end there: Those new universal Windows apps, which scale across PCs, tablets, and phones, will be able to run inside windows on the traditional Windows desktop. Both the Start menu and windowed Metro apps appear in the screenshot above.

Your prayers haven't quite been answered, PC fans, but Microsoft is definitely listening to your concerns--and it's bending over backward to create a Windows that mashes its touch-tastic, cloud-connected vision of the future together with the keyboard and mouse that the PC faithful know and love.

The compromises begin when the mouse-friendly Windows 8.1 Update hits on April 8, though it's unknown when the Start Menu and windowed Metro apps will push out as a feature.

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