RIP Live Tiles: Windows 10 is getting a new Start Menu

Windows 10 is getting a new Start Menu
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Windows 10, since its inception, has been filled with Live Tiles — dozens of squares in the Windows 10 Start Menu that auto-populate with news and information — and they're about to die. Or at least that's what a new report tells us.

This early Windows 10 Start Menu obituary comes from Windows Latest, which claims that "Microsoft is planning to replace live tiles with icons" citing people close to the software's development. We first saw Windows without Live Tiles in Windows 10X, the variant of Windows used by the two-screen Surface Neo.

As someone who always removes the Live Tiles whenever I use a PC or test a laptop, I'm more than ready for this change to the Start Menu. These info-heavy micro-windows first appeared in the Windows Phone OS, and were designed for at-a-glance information delivery — which isn't exactly why you open the Start Menu. 

When will Live Tiles disappear?

Windows Latest's source claims the change is expected to occur after Windows 10 20H2, which is scheduled to drop this fall between October and November 2020. 

We first saw signs of this icon-heavy version of the Windows 10 Start Menu last July, when photos of a Start Menu with really-big icons and no Live Tiles first leaked. And then the images of new Windows icons were published on the Italian tech blog Aggiornamenti Lumia. In that post, the Start Menu appeared sans Live Tiles, with new icons (many of which had color-matching backgrounds.)

We've known Microsoft was redesigning Windows icons since last December, when Jon Friedman, corporate VP of design and research, posted a blog on Medium detailing its plans to makeover "over 100 icons with new colors, materials, and finishes."

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.