Start Button to Return in Windows 8.1

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!

About the author

— Shawn Farner

Shawn Farner is a Harrisburg-based tech blogger who has been involved in online media for over eight years. He covers consumer electronics, Web companies, and gaming.

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  1. “has Microsoft failed in introducing a consistent experience across all devices?” Desktop PCs are not phones. They don’t bloody well NEED to have the same interface. The last thing I want with my desktop is to have it be a touch screen and get fingerprints all over it…

  2. If Microsoft can build an operating system that can legally replicate Apple’s, then I would surely invest in their stock. The Apple system is not constantly plagued with a poor kernel that continues to crash, a registry that cannot handle many applications as it continues to grow thousands of entries which is another guarantee of crashes. Lastly, more and more virus threats, malware, spyware, and of course, hundreds of windows updates continually plaguing a system while a service pack decides to appear.
    Yet, why did windows 8 not come with drivers for blu-ray and forced users to purchase them? Microsoft, you have had a ride for a long time and it is nearly over; people will not forget!!!!

    1. Well, Windows 8 seems a much “liquid” OS then before. It has a better user interface and a better way of using the kernel.

  3. Windows XP and 7 both are very stable and still the preferred windows for most businesses. 8 is unnecessary and instead of filling a void in the OS market, they are creating one by replacing XP and 7 which people are happy with. Google picked the right time to move in with their laptop OS

  4. Here’s a hint for Microsoft,

    (someone has to tell Microsoft how to do its homework properly… without the millions of dollars it pays its employees who I’m sure are competent people…)

    Hey, Microsoft, here’s how to do things (you can write it down on a notepad):

    Windows 3.11 = Interesting

    Windows 95 = Interesting

    Windows 98 Second Edition = Good

    Windows Millenium = Sh#t

    Windows XP = Very Good

    Windows Vista = Sh######t

    Windows 7 = Excellent

    Windows 8 = Sh###############t

    See…? It wasn’t that hard, now was it…?

    So, it seems that Windows XP and Windows 7 is the direction customers want to go.


    You see, it’s not companies that actually lead the way – it’s their customers, the ones who pay (remember those…?). They have the last word. I want to believe that Microsoft isn’t filled with dumb people who don’t have a clue about marketing and economy 1-0-1.

    Nokia and Sony have learned that lesson the hard way – they are both [still] trying to recover from it, and the reason is simple: THEY SIMPLY DIDN’T LISTEN TO THEIR CUSTOMERS. And now they are paying a steep price for that ‘stunt’: Nokia is half-broke and Sony is watered down by competitors like Samsung. Sony golden years are over.

    So please Microsoft, learn from others’ mistakes. That’s what History is all about: learning from mistakes from the past so that we don’t have to repeat them again in the future.

    Other than that is pure stupidity, in my opinion.


  5. Got Windows 8 on an ultrabook – hate it!! I have already installed a third party app to give me the feel of the previous Windows 7 (which I use comfortably and productively on my 3 other family computers). What was Microsoft thinking??

      1. They added incongruity and yes, people do complain. And “Desktop Mode” still leaves you chained to that damned Metro-monstrosity without the third party fix. Microsoft could have given us the option…they didn’t. It cost the brand and it didn’t even sell their tablets.

  6. I have window 8 and a touch computer from HP. I love it with a touch screen I find windows 8 beautiful to work and play on. I would not like it on a non touch screen it would be much harder to use. So why not come out with a non touch version of Windows 8.

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