Start button confirmed to make a comeback in Windows 8.1, sort of

By on April 22, 2013, 11:00 AM

We first heard rumors about a possible comeback of the Start menu button in Windows 8.1 last week, but now sources speaking to The Verge have confirmed that this will indeed be the case, only it’s probably not what most detractors were hoping for. The newly reintroduced button will reportedly sit on the traditional bottom left corner, and will look near-identical to the existing Windows flag used in the Charm bar, but clicking on it will simply bring up the tile-based Start screen rather than the old Start menu.

There are already several quick ways to get back to the Start screen from the desktop. Users can just press the Windows key on their keyboard, or hover their mouse over the lower left corner of the screen until a Start screen thumbnail shows, and then click. So while there’s nothing new here functionality-wise, Microsoft apparently hopes to appease at least some of the criticism by adding a shortcut users might be more familiarized with.

To be fair, you can already do everything the Start menu allowed with the redesigned Start screen -- searching, opening recent files, quickly launching apps, jumping to the control panel and so on. But those who have been criticizing the change have an issue with having to jump back and forth between Modern UI and the desktop to do these things.

Another noteworthy change expected to arrive with the upcoming “Blue” update is the addition of a boot to desktop option. So far only hints of this have appeared on internal builds, and there’s currently no toggle to enable it through the operating system’s UI, but Microsoft is apparently working on how to add this feature -- Windows Weekly’s Paul Thurrott believes it might be limited to Pro and Enterprise Windows 8 SKUs only.




User Comments: 41

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1 person liked this | Guest said:

Microsoft is just trying to get people used to the interface so they can get some of that sweet, sweet tablet market. People are using smartphones and tablets more than their PCs, so Microsoft just wants to make sure they won't be phased out in 3 to 4 years or so.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Microsoft apparently hopes to appease at least some of the criticism by adding a shortcut users might be more familiarized with.
They are lying to themselves!

If that is all the start button is going to do, they are wasting their time implementing it. Please don't tell me that is all they could come up with, to fight Windows 8 backlash.

4 people like this | Guest said:

Come on people! Do you really think this is anything more than a marketing tactic. Microsoft has perfected this strategy. They know people don't upgrade their Microsoft OS that often so they release an experimental/market test OS every other release or so. Do you really think Windows Me,Vista,and now 8 is a coincidence? They overstep what people are comfortable with on years when they know business/consumer equipment refresh is low.

I bet your thinking right now, "Hmm this windows 8 is too different, but ill surely get Windows 9 if they dial it back a little bit". Meanwhile you have now been exposed to MetroUI, so when they do tone it down in 9, it wont seem so new and "scary" to people. Windows 7 will start being outdated and/or no longer supported so you will almost have to upgrade. Windows 9 will be touted as a great success, and sales will skyrocket. They do this so that on the years businesses and consumers need new computers/OSs you don't start looking elsewhere. But you are still exposed to the future direction of the company.

Now keep in mind I'm not saying Microsoft is evil/bad. I personally like them. Its just smart business. No different from car companies releasing new models every 3-5 years. If they released new models every year they would be bankrupt in no time. Most people don't buy a new car every year or so.

Im still amazed that people are mad at Microsoft for Metro. Remember Vista? Windows 8 was not the OS designed for you. Get over it. Windows 9 will be out before you know it.

1 person liked this | ThanosPAS ThanosPAS said:

Microsoft is just trying to get people used to the interface so they can get some of that sweet, sweet tablet market. People are using smartphones and tablets more than their PCs, so Microsoft just wants to make sure they won't be phased out in 3 to 4 years or so.

Bullshit

JC713 JC713 said:

I think this is a step in the right direction. I feel like they should give the user freedom. Give them the option to put back the classic start menu or use this. People are just mad at MS because of their lack of flexibility. I dont blame them, I just feel their strategy is off.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

So what am I going to do with stardock. ?

JC713 JC713 said:

So what am I going to do with stardock. ?

Start8 will still be the best solution. Start8.1 incoming.

1 person liked this | treeski treeski said:

All I want is a solution to avoid hot corners while using mouse/keyboard. I like the start screen and other Win8 additions, but I really can't stand the hot corners. I made my own app that adds a start screen button and settings icon (in the notification area), but something official would be nice.

JC713 JC713 said:

All I want is a solution to avoid hot corners while using mouse/keyboard. I like the start screen and other Win8 additions, but I really can't stand the hot corners. I made my own app that adds a start screen button and settings icon (in the notification area), but something official would be nice.

Good to see people who are frustrated to the point where they make their own app. If only MS sees that haha.

2 people like this | Guest said:

I was considering upgrading to Windows 8 if they put back the Start orb and the traditional Start Menu. This little stunt just makes me realize that I have made the right decision. Piss on you Microsoft. Looks like I'll be using Windows 7 for a bit longer, past Windows 8.1. I can wait as long as I have too. No hurry Microsoft. Keep futzing around while your ship continues to sink.

RH00D RH00D said:

You don't have to hover your mouse in the corner and wait for the Start screen tile to appear before clicking. You can just go to the corner and click immediately, and it works the same. Waiting for the physical indication will just make the process unnecessarily longer.

treeski treeski said:

You don't have to hover your mouse in the corner and wait for the Start screen tile to appear before clicking. You can just go to the corner and click immediately, and it works the same. Waiting for the physical indication will just make the process unnecessarily longer.

In my opinion the biggest issue is in any multi monitor setup. I know MS tried to make the hot corners work better, but they're just way too inconsistent and difficult to nab on side-by-side edges.

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

Come on people! Do you really think this is anything more than a marketing tactic. Microsoft has perfected this strategy. They know people don't upgrade their Microsoft OS that often so they release an experimental/market test OS every other release or so. Do you really think Windows Me,Vista,and now 8 is a coincidence? They overstep what people are comfortable with on years when they know business/consumer equipment refresh is low.

I bet your thinking right now, "Hmm this windows 8 is too different, but ill surely get Windows 9 if they dial it back a little bit". Meanwhile you have now been exposed to MetroUI, so when they do tone it down in 9, it wont seem so new and "scary" to people. Windows 7 will start being outdated and/or no longer supported so you will almost have to upgrade. Windows 9 will be touted as a great success, and sales will skyrocket. They do this so that on the years businesses and consumers need new computers/OSs you don't start looking elsewhere. But you are still exposed to the future direction of the company.

Now keep in mind I'm not saying Microsoft is evil/bad. I personally like them. Its just smart business. No different from car companies releasing new models every 3-5 years. If they released new models every year they would be bankrupt in no time. Most people don't buy a new car every year or so.

Im still amazed that people are mad at Microsoft for Metro. Remember Vista? Windows 8 was not the OS designed for you. Get over it. Windows 9 will be out before you know it.

Sorry, you're wrong on all counts. First of all, this is NOT smart business because 2013 would have been a bumper year for upgrades from XP if Windows 8 had been worth buying. That's what the enterprise was hoping for, as many within corporate IT have attested. Me and Vista are bogus comparisons - neither were the radical departure that Windows 8 is, and they weren't despised nearly as much, either (although Millennium came pretty close). Windows 7 gets the job done just fine and Microsoft ceases to support it at their own peril. What Microsoft will have to do if it doesn't want to be rendered obsolete is provide a "legacy" Windows 7 shell for the Windows 8 kernel. Another "XP mode" isn't going to cut it either for consumers or the enterprise. Meanwhile, "live tiles" and the rest of that rubbish will be relegated to phones and other electronic toys where it belongs.

coppersloane coppersloane said:

Come on people! Do you really think this is anything more than a marketing tactic. Microsoft has perfected this strategy. They know people don't upgrade their Microsoft OS that often so they release an experimental/market test OS every other release or so. Do you really think Windows Me,Vista,and now 8 is a coincidence? They overstep what people are comfortable with on years when they know business/consumer equipment refresh is low.

I bet your thinking right now, "Hmm this windows 8 is too different, but ill surely get Windows 9 if they dial it back a little bit". Meanwhile you have now been exposed to MetroUI, so when they do tone it down in 9, it wont seem so new and "scary" to people. Windows 7 will start being outdated and/or no longer supported so you will almost have to upgrade. Windows 9 will be touted as a great success, and sales will skyrocket. They do this so that on the years businesses and consumers need new computers/OSs you don't start looking elsewhere. But you are still exposed to the future direction of the company.

Now keep in mind I'm not saying Microsoft is evil/bad. I personally like them. Its just smart business. No different from car companies releasing new models every 3-5 years. If they released new models every year they would be bankrupt in no time. Most people don't buy a new car every year or so.

Im still amazed that people are mad at Microsoft for Metro. Remember Vista? Windows 8 was not the OS designed for you. Get over it. Windows 9 will be out before you know it.

Finally an intelligent reply.

coppersloane coppersloane said:

Pretty hilarious. And people who still can't get used to swipe down-swipe up are pretty hilarious too. If you're struggling with Windows 8, you've got more considerable problems than an unfamiliar operating system to figure out. You've got an undeveloped intelligence quotient.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Finally an intelligent reply.
I'm glad you think so.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Microsoft apparently hopes to appease at least some of the criticism by adding a shortcut users might be more familiarized with.
They are lying to themselves!

If that is all the start button is going to do, they are wasting their time implementing it. Please don't tell me that is all they could come up with, to fight Windows 8 backlash.

I agree. W8 already has two UI's, and now their will be two start menu's. Yay.

TheBigFatClown said:

Pretty hilarious. And people who still can't get used to swipe down-swipe up are pretty hilarious too. If you're struggling with Windows 8, you've got more considerable problems than an unfamiliar operating system to figure out. You've got an undeveloped intelligence quotient.

I can become acclimated to pretty much anything. But here's the deal with Windows 8. It makes me wanna puke. And my Windows 7 installation is still kicking ass and taking names. So why in the hell would want to "get used to" something if I don't have to?

I love it when people try defending Windows 8. The perfect bullet point for purchasing an upgrade to Windows 8.

"Think the interface sucks a rosy red titty? Hahaha, don't worry.....you'll get USED to it". Translation for those who can't see through the bullshit. "#DEALWITHIT".

I am dealing with it just fine. Dealing with it by dealing without it!

VitalyT VitalyT said:

If this is really the kind of Start button MS brings with the update, they are the most stubborn business ever that will go against the entire market trying to prove their pathetic needly points while sitting on which with their a$$ bare.

It takes ballz to admit the mistake and correct it, that of which MS clearly has none.

RH00D RH00D said:

If this is really the kind of Start button MS brings with the update, they are the most stubborn business ever that will go against the entire market trying to prove their pathetic needly points while sitting on which with their a$$ bare.

It takes ballz to admit the mistake and correct it, that of which MS clearly has none.

I like Windows 8 just fine without a start menu or button.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I like Windows 8 just fine without a start menu or button.
I probably could to, if it wasn't for insertinsulthere that took its place. Why is it so hard for you to understand we can live with both StartMenu and StartScreen, if only we had a insertprofanityhere choice?

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I probably could to, if it wasn't for insertinsulthere that took its place. Why is it so hard for you to understand we can live with both StartMenu and StartScreen, if only we had a insertprofanityhere choice?

For the first placeholder - nothing really, it was there and now it ain't, so what do you call that - a black hole?

For the second one, the f. word is just fine, but MS is one of those matrix villains who used to say that choice is an illusion, 'cause that's what they are selling anyway.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

For the first placeholder - nothing really, it was there and now it ain't, so what do you call that - a black hole?
So you are telling me the Start Screen that took the place of the Start Menu is not really there. I'm not that naive!!

VitalyT VitalyT said:

So you are telling me the Start Screen that took the place of the Start Menu is not really there. I'm not that naive!!

We were talking about the button that vanished, right? Replaced with corner clicking, which I would call a catch-me-if-you-can approach to user interface. It is there somewhere, buried beneath all the prejudice against the classy-cool buttonix.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

We were talking about the button that vanished, right?
Yes, which will now serve as a starter for the Start Screen not the Start Menu.

In all actuality the button is irrelevant. What is relevant is the application that the button starts. So why would I be talking about the button itself? It is not the absences of the button that I care about. Its the absence of the start menu and what was used as a replacement. I can learn to ignore the Start Screen as I have so many other application MS has peddled, if only they give me a choice. A choice to keep what I'm familiar with or give me something I would be willing to migrate to before stripping the Start Menu from me.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

I love it when a company removes a feature and tries to sell it back to you.

Guest said:

Too late

aero?

Puiu Puiu said:

"To be fair, you can already do everything the Start menu allowed with the redesigned Start screen -- searching, opening recent files, quickly launching apps, jumping to the control panel and so on. "

Am I the only one who doesn't know where "opening recent files" is? It was my most used feature in windows 7 and I miss it a lot.

Also "to be fair" fullscreen sucks. Apps take hours to open and they are only fullscreen. This is why I avoid going into the start screen like the plague.

But I have to admit that the desktop improvements were fairly good. I use windows 8 for the boot times and battery life.

treetops treetops said:

My Dad is still mastering the start button and my gran pa.... Getting rid of the start button was the stupidest thing microsoft has ever done.

TheBigFatClown said:

"To be fair, you can already do everything the Start menu allowed with the redesigned Start screen -- searching, opening recent files, quickly launching apps, jumping to the control panel and so on. "

Am I the only one who doesn't know where "opening recent files" is? It was my most used feature in windows 7 and I miss it a lot.

Also "to be fair" fullscreen sucks. Apps take hours to open and they are only fullscreen. This is why I avoid going into the start screen like the plague.

But I have to admit that the desktop improvements were fairly good. I use windows 8 for the boot times and battery life.

Thanks for buying a (insert profane adjectives here) product that you appear to only half-heartedly embrace, if that. Why are so many people so hell bent on purchasing every piece of ****** update that is produced without weighing the pros and cons of it all? God, Microsoft truly has the masses brainwashed. They should do an experiment and produce the **********, *********, ******* operating system they can, release it as Windows 9, and see how many people still purchase it just because it's Microsoft's latest and proclaimed greatest OS.......oh wait.....that's what they just did.

People are so gullible.

TheBigFatClown said:

Moore's Law no longer applies to input devices such as the keyboard and mouse. There will never be a more powerful combination of input devices than these. Sitting around all day in a room with purple walls trying to invent something slicker and sharper is a waste of time.

Windows 8 has taken 6 steps backward with regard to the UI. Windows 8 operating system was like putting a lamborghini engine in a station wagon and expecting it to be a success. I don't care what the engine can do if the UI makes me gag. And that, unfortunately, is the state of the matter. Squares instead of rounded corners? Replace the keyboard and mouse with purple squares? Yikes. Who the hell is responsible for this catastrophe known infamously as Windows 8? Get'em up against the wall.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

So MS is now using colors to refer to the next OS version - Window Blue, huh, let's wait for Windows Pink, so some day you can finally pick up a box with new Windows OS while shopping for lingerie. Let's just hope it doesn't lose all of its buttons by then, for it will be a very loose outfit on your PC.

Vilandra Vilandra said:

Lol that would actually be really smart, to cobrand with Victoria Secret Pink lol

I'm actually the person that never upgrades their OS until they buy a new computer lol, but I actually gave W8 a try and I quite like it in general. But for the non-computer savvy people out there I don't know how they will find anything. Personally, I don't care about the start menu much, but I'd rather instead of having to search for everything they just put everything that used to be in the Start Menu on its own screen that you access from its own charm.

They could have updated it without making it confusing.

1 person liked this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

Lol that would actually be really smart, to co-brand with Victoria Secret Pink lol

I'm beginning to think it probably was designed to be a lingerie co-product after all:

sapo joe said:

SO, there's still the stupid Metro-like tablet-intended interface.

That means... I'll stick to Windows 7 x64 until I can.

sapo joe said:

" coppersloane said:

Pretty hilarious. And people who still can't get used to swipe down-swipe up are pretty hilarious too. If you're struggling with Windows 8, you've got more considerable problems than an unfamiliar operating system to figure out. You've got an undeveloped intelligence quotient."

Nice to see how much prejudice can a fanboy output on a single post. Measuring intelligence by how much someone likes a new M$ OS? NICE TRY, BILL GATES B*TCH!

The Metro interface is almost useless for non-touchscreen based computers, and that is a FACT.

Also, Windows 7 uses a well proven user friendly interface, that's been perfected since Windows 95. Then, all of the sudden, they change things to a tablet interface, and hope people will like it all the same? NO WAY.

Puiu Puiu said:

Thanks for buying a (insert profane adjectives here) product that you appear to only half-heartedly embrace, if that. Why are so many people so hell bent on purchasing every piece of ****** update that is produced without weighing the pros and cons of it all? God, Microsoft truly has the masses brainwashed. They should do an experiment and produce the **********, *********, ******* operating system they can, release it as Windows 9, and see how many people still purchase it just because it's Microsoft's latest and proclaimed greatest OS.......oh wait.....that's what they just did.

People are so gullible.

I got it free from my college so it's not problem for me. and as I pointed out I avoid metro but I do like the other improvements, but certainly I would NOT pay the full price for it.

1 person liked this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

Without a doubt, price was a factor for many who bought it. I bought Windows 8 for $15, that's $30 deal price, minus $15 of their special discount. Right away I bought Start8 for $5 and installed it all together on my Macbook Air as a second OS, and it works quite well. After all $20 for the latest OS isn't that much to consider. I paid way more than that for Windows 7 back in earlier days. And now the rumor has that Windows Blue will most likely be free for anyone who purchased Windows 8, makes it even better deal.

Edited: Just out of curiosity I visited this web page: [link] and clicked Download Upgrade Assistant, to see what it says about a possible upgrade path and the cost of the upgrade...

Well, I liked the upgrade path, and that no serious compatibility was found, but when it came to the page with the upgrade price.... - are you ready?

295 euro!!! That's $383 for an upgrade from my Windows 7 Ultimate x64 to Windows 8 Pro. Now how do you like that? So I was looking and thinking - ok, $15 .... $383, $15....$383, man, I need a discount... and a big one...

There is no way I'm gonna touch it for this kind of money, I never paid that much for Windows 7 Ultimate, or for any Windows version for that matter.

Microsoft - some bolts are evidently loose...

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Microsoft - some bolts are evidently loose...
Some bolts? I'd say every single one of them.

Tomkatpc Tomkatpc said:

Microsoft is just trying to get people used to the interface so they can get some of that sweet, sweet tablet market. People are using smartphones and tablets more than their PCs, so Microsoft just wants to make sure they won't be phased out in 3 to 4 years or so.

You really can't blame them for wanting to remain profitable. It took me a little bit of time to get used to Windows * but I am getting used to it. It is easy to tap the windows key to get back to the start screen and then right click on the bottom of the screen and select all apps for a list of your installed programs. I personally had a harder time adjusting to Apples format the 1st time I used one of their products than transitioning from Win 7 to Win 8.

gingerbill said:

Come on people! Do you really think this is anything more than a marketing tactic. Microsoft has perfected this strategy. They know people don't upgrade their Microsoft OS that often so they release an experimental/market test OS every other release or so. Do you really think Windows Me,Vista,and now 8 is a coincidence? They overstep what people are comfortable with on years when they know business/consumer equipment refresh is low.

I bet your thinking right now, "Hmm this windows 8 is too different, but ill surely get Windows 9 if they dial it back a little bit". Meanwhile you have now been exposed to MetroUI, so when they do tone it down in 9, it wont seem so new and "scary" to people. Windows 7 will start being outdated and/or no longer supported so you will almost have to upgrade. Windows 9 will be touted as a great success, and sales will skyrocket. They do this so that on the years businesses and consumers need new computers/OSs you don't start looking elsewhere. But you are still exposed to the future direction of the company.

Now keep in mind I'm not saying Microsoft is evil/bad. I personally like them. Its just smart business. No different from car companies releasing new models every 3-5 years. If they released new models every year they would be bankrupt in no time. Most people don't buy a new car every year or so.

Im still amazed that people are mad at Microsoft for Metro. Remember Vista? Windows 8 was not the OS designed for you. Get over it. Windows 9 will be out before you know it.

I hope your right , I been assumning the same thing , it has been a long running tradition now of a crap OS followed by a decent one. I can't believe they would be stupid enought to try and force this crap metro onto desktops , no matter what people say there are still a lot of desktop users and will be for the forseable future. Unless of course microsoft scares them all away .

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