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Are you a Windows user still jarred by the removal of the Start button in Windows 8? Fear not — a report from The Verge states that Microsoft plans to bring back a version of the button in Windows 8.1, which is due out later this year.

A version of the Start button will make its way into Windows 8.1 later this year.
A version of the Start button will make its way into Windows 8.1 later this year.

It’s an interesting walk-back for Microsoft. The company did away with the Start button and Start menu in favor of the “metro” live tile look that originally debuted on Windows Phone 7. It was a move designed to introduce consistency across Microsoft’s desktop and mobile touchscreen devices — however, many PC and laptop users were not fans of the new interface.

A third-party Start menu download called Pokki saw 1.5 million downloads, all thanks to Microsoft’s omission of the Start button in Windows 8. Microsoft originally stated that its new look was a result of its Consumer Experience Improvement Program, but it appears that the return of the button that has graced every OS version since Windows 95 will come because of user feedback.

The location of the Start button likely won’t be a surprise for most Windows users. Look for it in the bottom-left corner of the screen by default. But don’t expect it to work like the Start button of old. Instead of opening a Start menu that lists recently used applications, installed programs and settings, this button will simply launch the Windows 8 Start Screen that already exists. The icon for the button will use the new Windows logo and be similar to the flag found in the Windows 8 Charm bar.

This news comes on the heels of another change Microsoft plans for Windows 8.1. The company will reportedly introduce a “boot to desktop” option that bypasses the Start Screen and heads straight to the traditional Windows desktop. This feature will be welcomed by many who simply don’t have time to dilly dally with the live tiles and just need to get some work done.

In light of this news, what do you think — with these changes, has Microsoft failed in introducing a consistent experience across all devices? Leave your thoughts below!


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