What’s So Great About the Start Menu Anyway?
It’s a good question. For years the Start menu was the quick route to any number of tools and functions in Windows, from the Control Panel to launching an application, but since Microsoft introduced the search bar in Vista, use of the Start menu has decreased for most users. After all, why spend time checking through the applications list in the Start menu when you can quickly tap the Windows key on your PC and type the name of the program you want to use. The search tool is so quick that it almost always displays the results straight away, and you then use the arrow and Enter keys, or the mouse, to select the right program.
With regards to the Start menu itself, Microsoft's Alice Steinglass was pretty clear about the situation.
“We realized that it was serving mainly as the launcher for programs you rarely use. The Start menu is not well-optimized for this purpose. It affords limited customization, provides virtually no useful information, and offers only a small space for search results."
Everything you would need from the Start menu in Windows 7 is available in the Start screen in Windows 8. As a result, the Start menu is now nothing more than a monolithic reminder of previous Windows versions, and it could be argued that it has no more place in Windows 7 than it does in Windows 8.