A leaked video shows the Windows 9 Start menu in interactive glory. If it's for real, this Start menu beats out all other previous versions, as you can see in the video I've embedded. I'd like to get my hands on it right now.
The German site WinFuture has the two-minute video, which focuses primarily on the Windows Start menu in action. I've embedded it below, so there's no need for me to give you a second-by-second narration. But there are a few important features in it that do a great job of helping turn Windows 9 into more of a unified operating system than is the kludge that is Windows 8.
Notice the way in which the Start menu is divided into two sections, the left-most of which looks like the Start menu of previous Windows versions, and the right-most one which is a kind of blank canvas onto which you can drop Metro apps. When you pin Metro apps to the Start menu, the menu automatically grows to accommodate them. You can also resize all the tiles of the Metro apps on the menu in much the way you can on the Windows 8 Start screen.
One way to think of the right side of the Start menu is as a mini Start screen. Just put the Metro apps there you like, and you'll never have to visit the Start screen again. This is important , because Metro apps do some kinds of useful tricks that desktop apps don't, including flashing notifications and displaying changing content, such as the weather or stock prices.
The video also shows Metro apps running in their own floating windows on the desktop, just like traditional desktop apps can do.
The upshot of all this? I, for one, can't wait to try out the Technical Preview when it's ready within the next several weeks. I'm hoping for a version of Windows that I can use again.