Microsoft to bring the start button back in Windows 8.1, but not as we know it Jim

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Microsoft is set to reintroduce the famous Windows start button in Windows 8, according to sources familiar with company plans. A report over on The Verge points at Windows 8.1 (aka "Blue") as to when consumers will be able to see a start button in desktop mode without utilising third-party software. The only downside is it's noted the button will simply take the user back to the start screen and not fire up a menu.

The button is said to share the same visual appearance as the existing Windows logo present in the Charms bar. This change follows a similar alteration based on consumer feedback. Microsoft is said to be working on implementing a boot to desktop option. This will enable consumers to boot straight into the traditional desktop, bypassing the new Windows 8 start screen. So is it all doom and gloom with the new desktop mode start button? Not at all.

The start screen has essentially replaced the menu used in versions of the desktop operating system prior to Windows 8. A single click will bring the user to a screen with numerous Live Tiles and easy access to all installed apps. That's not including the new search functionality, etc. so it seems Microsoft is attempting to find some middle ground and bridge the gap between the new start screen and the traditional start menu.

How will consumers react to the inclusion of a start button but no menu? That's yet to be seen, but taking into account the number of downloads accumulated by software vendors who published tools to enable a menu of sorts shows that a portion of the user base wish to have the traditional experience returned.

But what are your thoughts on this potential update? Would you be satisfied with more convenient access to the start screen, or is it a requirement to have the menu back in desktop mode?

Source: The Verge


Reader comments

Microsoft to bring the start button back in Windows 8.1, but not as we know it Jim



Right-click lower bottom corner? Not same but pretty close but I'd be surprised if many people knew about that.
Also windows key + R will give you run dialog.

Guys, look
I am using computers since before the PC was born, I was using every version of windows from 3.1 up to 8, and I want the start button in desktop.
I don't think what MS claims is true, in fact I believe it is a lie. I dont believe that when users ask for the start button they mean a button for the new Win8 tile screen. I believe they want the old Windows7 menu, and so do I, and I'll explain why:
Desktop has a way of doing things, there are windows on screen, all of them there on the desktop, and I work with all of them at once. I WANT A MENU THAT DOESN'T HIDE THE DESKTOP!!! That's the desktop philosophy, that's why the start button must remain there.
What I do agree with MS is that for the new Windows RT UI the new tile menu is indeed the way to go, and it is beautiful. Yet, this is no reason to crap the Desktop experience which was quite alright in Windows 7.

Lies. No human can work with several Windows at the same time. Multitasking is impossible for the human brain. No matter what you do you can't focus on more than one thing at a given time. You may be able to quickly switch between things, but not at the same time, NEVER! (Well, some autists may be able to multitask)
Anyways, why do you need to look at your windows when using the startmenu? The startmenu is not a place you spend a lot of time in. It's a quick hub to start new applications. There's just no need whatsoever to quickly have a look at other windows while doing something as simple as launching an application. And the new Startscreen does that just as well as Win7 Startmenu did + it has livetiles for a quick check of statuses.
Face it, it's just a habit. Using the Startmenu for 20 years just made it a deeply rooted habit for many people.
I do agree though, that the "All Apps" view is crap. But no one really needs it, just as no one really needed the Programs list of the old startmenu. Since Vista we use search which finds the programm in 1 or 2 seconds.

if you ever used MS Word, you might had needed to use say Calculator for a quick calculation needed in your document. With start button you could conviniently open calculator on top of MS word window, place some numbers you see on your page(which you conviniently see at all times) in your Calculator app, and finally get the result in your document page.
During this simple usage example, why do I need the distraction of having my MS Word page(which contais everything my mind is focused on) hidden? There is none, it only distracts me from my tasks. Seeing a blue screen with tiles makes me maybe to forget what I have typed or thought in my document seconds before. I will need another second or two when I go back to desktop to remember where I want to place may calculation or some other thing.
You may say this is just one case that favors my theory, I dare you to give me any case that demonstrates clearly(objectively) the benefit of having the new Win8 start screen between two desktop operations.

My granny, who is on a pc constantly and has been for work for YEARS, when i told her that the windows key was a start button, she was shocked.

Or just tell her to move the mouse a few mor pixels to the lower left and you will get a Start "menu" pop-up.  It's not that difficult.

Seriously it absoutley amazes me how a visual button is a top requested feature!!!! It barley any extra movement and if youve ever used windows you should be used to going to that corner in the first place. (facepalm)

i agree. When someone tells me theres no start button as one of the reasons to not get Windows 8, i correct them. "Its there, just hidden till you need it"

A visual button is not the the top request. People want original start menu like windows 7. Blue isn't giving that old menu, just a button to Modern UI. Because, if that start button open menu like Windows 7 and in addition to straight boot to desktop, then Microsoft will dissapoint many developers, coz meny people will never ever use modern UI and so less customers for the apps in app store.
SOLUTION: I think, MSFT should bring back Windows 7 start menu, but add some other method to access Modern UI. Maybe 2 Start buttons, 1 for W7 menu, and the 2nd start button on Charms for Modern ui.
And give customer the option to configure keyboard start button to any one of the start menu.
With straight boot to desktop, this means old school users can have their W7 back, at the same time W8 users can also have W8.

I told her that but she oddly keeps forgetting, and when she doesn't she doesn't move the mouse all the way into the corner... (She's like that sometimes). Still, the windows button has existed on keyboards since windows 98 if im not mistaken (I had a 98 PC with one once), yet a lot of people have no clue as to what it does. Its somewhat humorous and baffling at the same time.

Yes, the Windows key has been present since Windows 98.  In fact, the Windows key invokes a number of Windows hotkeys (which have been present for years).  For instance, WIN+E brings up File Explorer.  WIN+W brings up Search.  WIN+C brings up the Charms bar.  Those are just a few things you can do with the keyboard.

Most keyboards have a "Break" key on them too, and I don't know anybody that remembers what it does (outside of IT/IS circles). Heck, I still have people that don't know how to do screenshots too.
In other words, this doesn't surprise me.

I remember computers with Windows 95 and the keyboards already had the Windows key.
Fun fact: IBM's keyboards before the Lenovo transition had no Windows key.

and interestingly the 'popup' is actually a representation of your start screen - take a close look at the colors of the squares!
with a start button revived there would be 5 (!) different ways to return to the start screen on a Surface.

I have to be honest. I didn't know how to get there after I opened a new app. I'm a programmer. My friend (@wesbos), also a programmer, tweeted that he was stuck on the desktop and didn't know how to get back. There's a million ways, but if you're new to the system, on a non touch devices, its not very intuitive. My brother installed it and called me saying he had to keep rebooting because he couldn't figure out how to get to the tile screen. I feel stupid for not knowing, wesbos said "I feel like an idiot", but this is actually a problem and why they are needing to put it back in.

End users who do not take the time to familarize themselves... and programmers... dude. 2 seconds in a web search and you get a thousand sites explaining how to navigate the metro interface.
This is not 1989 anymore, computer ignorance is no longer an excuse, especially from a programmer.

I did. I could litterally show you my searches. I googled "how to close IE10 metro" and things like that. I was using it right when it came out. There wasn't as many people bitching about it then. But here:
There's no real results explaining it. At that time it didn't cross my mind, and I didn't know, that each metro app was closed the same way. I figured there was a "quit" button or something somewhere. I didn't think of googling "how to close metro apps" I was thinking "how do I close IE10".
I understand it's easy for you, but you need to understand that this is obviously such a big problem they're adding it back.

Well thats the sad part. you say you are a programmer?
and im not trolling you but really? you and your friend didnt know simple things?
starting with how new apps dont have to be closed if you dont want to. also, there has been always a F1 for help in desktop. F1 has been there since... i dont remember since I never needed it, but I always check it, and it has videos and all (in windows 8). how is it possible your friend and you would rather make searches in google than using the oficial windows 8 help? its like a manual.
yeah i wish Microsoft made a better guide for new users, just "dont show next time" checkbox and no need for a start button. a guide, a video, like old days. but they seem to try to please people with a useless and pointless button that will be just a waste of space in taskbar, than making a proper guide just like old windows (i think XP was the last one having one)
try F1 and you would see the help it would have given you when you didnt know how to navigate win8. :P

well i never called you stupid :P
but it was easier to deal with F1 when you got confused about windows 8, than doing a search in internet.
when you get a electronic device you dont go to internet to search how to install it or use it. you use the official manual. and thats F1 at the moment.
thats where i agree where Microsoft should make the Tutorial be there for new users until they check "dont show next time" checkbox. so people cant complain they didnt know how to use it, if they decided not to watch the tutorials. the instalation guide is nice, but only shows you how to use charmbar start button, and it only shows that for a couple of seconds when you create and account, then it disappears and never comes back.
I didnt mean using win8 was "simple things" but.. i mean, moving mouse around and finding somewhere to click would have been my style, using keyboard start button, or esc+ctrl. instead of restarting the computer.
of course people like you, and anyone, can get lost if they dont know how to do stuff like closing win8 apps, so again, a button to me its useless, i dont see a point of it, it wont fix anything. Microsoft should do a proper tutorial to watch it everytime you restart the computer if necesary.
and its not about feeling stupid. but sometimes users complicate things more. but again, Microsofty mistake is not takeing button away, is not doing a tutorial like old Windows. This button wont fix anything if you go to win8 apps, and then you dont know what to do.
I just found it funny you and your friend didnt move the mouse around like i would have. but im not calling you stupid. but you must admit, F1 is your bestfriend if you want to know shortcuts and how to navigate win8 easily. but you forgot about F1, which is understable.

All you had to do was look at a brief overview video. Every major tech blog had a video showing how to use win 8. The problem is you searched for ie10. Opening and closing apps is an os functions and you should have searched for a tutorial on using win 8. I will agree on one point. The little animation that plays during the install isn't enough. They should have a 5 minute video pinned to the start menu to show users the basics. If the users choose not to watch it, than any aggravation that is caused is on them.

Understandable. But now you know how to get there. Once you figure it out, you don't forget. Microsoft's biggest problem is having to support legacy products. This keeps them from moving forward too radically. They have to drag their entire history into future products!

And why do they have to drag there history into future products? Because of complainers who resist change and software vendors who don't want to spend the money to rewrite old programs.

I don't know why people think this so hard. I am not a developer, and the first time I used windows 8 was when I got my knew Lenovo last month. Having never seen or used not once have I even went looking for the start button. Windows8 is beyond easy to use, most people are to stuck on habits to realize all the other ways to do what they need.

When my computers are setting up I personally get up and walk away. I'd rather go on another computer while it sets up and do something productive :)

Everytime I read a complaint about not knowing how to do something in Win8 I think of this. I'm honestly tired of trying to help people understand the simplest of things. Its far beyond ridiculous and I almost want to think that people are being facetious purposefully just because its easy to draw out a negative reaction to change.

Do people not read anything anymore? As a programmer, I would expect that you would want to keep upi to date on new software. When windows 8 came out, the first thing I did read an article about it and watch a demo video. Took me maybe 10 minutes to do that. That was all I really needed to get the basic and intermediate stuff an average user would need. I learned the advanced stuff by playing around for another 1/2 hour and looking through all the menu options and find where all the setting are. People keep talking about being intuitive. There isn't an os out there that is completely intuitive. They all have features that need to be learned. My wife got a mackbook pro from work. Neither of us really fully know how to use it yet and people keep bragging how great and intuitive osx is. I had to search the web for instructions for doing many basic things. Everything is learned and people have become to lazy to read anymore.

I came here and posted that comment under the intetion of sharing my personal frustration. Yes, I've been following Windows 8 for sometime and I'm an OS X user. I was excited abuot Windows 8 because it's so different. I actually like Windows 8. It's the first Windows version since 95 I've been excited about. I actually switched from iOS to WP8 (https://medium.com/adventures-in-consumer-technology/4b06dcbb98c9) However, I'm greeted by this community. 
You're all digitally lynching me. I fucked up. I didn't figure it out. My friends also trying it didn't figure it out. I said in my comment that I felt stupid. My friend said he felt like an idiot. I wasn't even complaining that Windows did that. I like that the menus are hidden. I love swiping to see the menus. I think it's rad. I just didn't know what to do when I first started. I didn't even think of reading the F1 docs. I haven't read those since I got internet. Never crossed my mind. I googled for 20 minutes solid. I have 1,300+ followers and when I tweeted "how do I close IE10 metro", not a single person responded. I couldn't figure it out. I didn't watch the install video becuase, well, I didn't feel like watching an OS install. I find that pretty boring. I didn't know it'd have a demo.
I understand that some of you "got it". That's fantastic, but calling people who didn't get it stupid after they already said they felt stupid isn't constructive. It doesn't really welcome us testing the waters with switching communities. In fact, this whole comment thread is pretty off-putting. If whenever I have to ask a question I'm going to get called stupid and get dozens of email notifications about people calling me stupid I'm out. I want no part of this. In the future, remember that just because something was easy for you doesn't mean it's easy for everyone. MSFT doesn't fix things people bitch about. MS Word has things that have been broken forever and people complain about. They fixed this because it was a massive problem. If you got it, great, but putting people down who already feel dumb doesn't help anyone.

Yah, people are real jerks on here. It's not your fault, the fact that people are saying you should have had to look up or pay attention to some training material speaks to the obvious fact Windows 8 is not intuitive. Intuitive means no one should have to "learn" it. Microsoft could have done a MUCH better job introducing people to Windows 8 by using hinting, an interactive tutorial, ANYTHING, but they don't even so much as show you a video. That tutorial when you first install Windows? It doesn't show you anything. Terribly planned, IMO.

Well, the First Time boot of Windows 8 does show a small tutorial. Microsoft has acknowledged that this really isn't the only time they should have shown it, for those situations like oscargodson pointed out. And with the exception of the Start Screen, pressing F1 will bring up the Help system for either the OS or an Application.

Oscar, don't take things too personally. I think most of the ire is due to hearing about how terrible Windows 8 is for months when in fact it is a pretty good operating system. A lot of pent up defensiveness here, and this is one place where most people are of a like mind in favor of MS products so posters feel "safe" in attacking those that hint at support of the feeling that Windows 8 is not "easy" to learn. I agree that certain aspects of the OS are not intuitive, and like many, I prefer to just start up a new piece of electronics (hardware or software) and automatically know what to do. Example: when I went to the store to try out Windows RT (thinking of buying a surface) I couldn't figure out how to empty the trash on the desktop. Who cares, right? Well, I care. I asked all of the store reps (this was a kiosk mind you), and none of them could figure it out either. Probably not a big deal (and I assume it is easy to do), but it was frustrating for me to not have it "just work". It's also frustrating when store reps don't know their product because that leads to a lot of people not buying it. Anyway, keep your head up...for the most part the people in here are helpful/nice except for those damn Lumia 920 owners (can I say that since I am one?).

Don't take any of this to heart. Just keep in mind that some on here take this stuff way too serious and personal. I enjoy my Windows Phone. I also find W8 fun to use. I also find my 3DS and Wii U fun to use. But my love for tech ends there and not with some sense of loyalty that I feel I need to defend and ridicule someone just for having a difference in views or opinions.

First of all, watch your language!  Not all of us appreciate that.
It is my opinion that if you have to read a tutorial to use a version of Windows, then Microsoft is doing something very wrong!  Most people want the start button back because of the menu it gives access to.  We don't care about the button itself.  We want the menu!  What does it say about Windows 8, when a small software company sells hundreds of thousands of copies of a program that brings it back?  It says that Microsoft isn't listening to their customers.  Making the user jump through hoops to get simple tasks done is poor software design.

Congrats on not paying attention to the installation! When windows is "getting everything ready" it plays a little animations saying move your mouse to any corner to see what happens. Did that ever cross your mind? Do what Microsoft suggested?

very true. I was at a store demo'ing it and it's not intuitive. I bet it'll be easy once you get the hang of it but i agree with your point.

People are being jerks to you, so I just want to say you're right; it's not intuitive. And don't rag on this guy because he's a programmer; programmers are regular consumers too and even we have run into issues. Windows 8 is simply not intuitive from the get-go and I started from the Developer Preview. Windows 8 requires you to use the keyboard more than Windows 7; so yes, you get used to it, but it's not the convention average people are used to.
Also, the "tutorial" when you first boot up Windows 8 is terrible. It doesn't tell you anything. MOVE MOUSE INTO CORNER. By the way, I moved my mouse into the corners during that tutorial and nothing happened; it's misleading, it wants you to wait to do it, but it really needs to be an interactive tutorial. Why can't it go through the basics? It would probably have fixed a lot of user issues. Also, moving a mouse into a corner that shares a corner with another monitor is a terrible UX.
I think Windows 8 needed a much different interface for traditional desktop, because on a tablet it's awesome (I have a Surface) but the experience is not great on a regular desktop.
The other thing that's hilarious is that Microsoft says don't include search buttons or search hints in your app, but tons of people still don't understand how the Search Charm works or how to get it to show up. I LOVE the search charm but again, it's not intuitive. To combat this, many apps include a search button in the UI so it's more discoverable. Same deal with app settings...

Agreed!!! Also, have any of you tried to hit the corners of the screen in dual screen mode? It is nearly impossible to do so without veering onto the next screen. I have this very situation when using Windows 8 in a VM on my second monitor. My job requires me to use software that needs to be isolated in a separate OS. Unless I setup VMware to run the guest in exclusive mode (which traps the mouse pointer in the guest window) I have a hard time hitting the corners. At the very least, more of the corner needs to be a hot zone, not just a few pixels in the corner.

Agreed. I really don't use the start interface either though. I log in and go straight to my desktop where I keep essential icons on the taskbar and a few on the desktop.

If you had a hybrid device, you would use both. At work I'm in the desktop, but once I Leave I'm in modern mode. Once MS releases Modern/Metro office, I wouldn't have any need for the desktop except software vendors like Adobe, etc refuse to modernize their programs.

Media has dumb consumers down: “I Phone” Duh! You can also get "All Programs (Apps)" by creating a Menu Bar directed to: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs, and get over it, all your legacy programs straight from the desktop!

Exactly, I prefer using the keyboard than to use the start button on the screen. I also love the start screen with live tiles.

Sure, there's a Windows key on the keyboard. Sure, there are dedicated Windows buttons on all new tablets. Sure, if you move your mouse to the spot where the start button used to be, you get an image of the start page that you can click on and go there. But without an on-screen button that says "Start", how will we know what to do??? Putting this back saves everything. :)

Many customers don't know or don't like to use their keyboard unless they are in word processor or want to type some where. the whole point is Windows 8 has lost its usability for users who were primarily using mouse or trackpad as their first choice input device. that's not customer's fault. that's microsoft's fault because win 8 is not optimized for those. Desktop mode in windows 7 were.

Except win8 is perfectly optimized for keyboard and mouse...i can use win8 perfectly with only a mouse or trackpad(ie no keyboard). I've taught a fee 80+ year old lady's and they love it. It's not about learning win8 it's about wanting to take the 5 minutes to get accustomed to it(win7 took me 30 mins in comparison) you can't teach someone that doesn't want to learn and that is the customers fault.
Edit:trackpads are actually more usable since the advent of win8...mac trackpads actually have competition now BC of win8

"button will simply take the user back to the start screen and not fire up a menu"
That must be the stupidest thing I have ever heard.
What the hell is the point of that?
If that is indeed true I hope you will be able to disable it, as without a menu its just a waste of space on the tool bar.

The hover is buggy when using a previous windows version on hyper v or remote desktop as a guest os on windows 8 host. Even in full screen mode inside the guest os when you hover to the left bottom corner, the start menu to the host shows up

Yes,you are right about keyboard start button,but I think that  you have missed a point. People need clasic start menu ,not a shortcut to metro UI. My oppinion is that ,clasic start menu is so much organized and useful than a Metro UI. I like metro Ui,but users with basic knowlege,are so confused with metro style.With so many useless tiles after you install a some software. I still belive that clasic start menu is more convenience . Regardless,I am very satisfied with Win 8. Sorry for my lame English and gr.from Croatia. :)

How is this different to showing the "pop-up" Start screen button when taking the mouse pointer to the bottom left corner? Although I guess it will be quicker than the touch -mode option of having to swipe in from the right edge.

I Hope theirs an option where you can turn the start button off as i like Windows 8 without it. At least if theres an option to turn it on and off it should in theory keep most people happy

+1 I agree. I will actually like Windows 8 less (which is saying something, considering how much I advocate Windows 8 when I get the chance) if it gets a start button, so lets hope, if the rumors are true, that its at least optional.

I have refused to buy windows 8 because I honestly dont like it that much..but a straight to desktop mode might be nice so I will take a second look at it.

I'm afraid that's just silly. Sure the start screen takes a little getting used to, but it's no reason not to updgrade to W8. There's so many improvements over W7 in other areas that I find people who complain about the start menu/desktop crazy.
Sure MS should have had both these things as options, Windows has always been about options and not forcing users into "one vision" ala Apple, but even still w8 is much nicer to use than any previous version.

So how does Windows differ from OSX in terms of options?  Or are just using this example for using it sake.

Yeh, because Windows was built to sold.  MSFT was as software company that developed software including OSs and sold them to OEMs.  What does being able to be sold have to do with a comparison on configuration options which according to the commenter forces users into one vision?  Question still not answered.  It is silly to involve Apple in every post, be it related or not.

You answered your own question and don't even realize it. You are kind of right that its "built to sold" but more accurately its "built to support". Microsoft solved a big problem in the industry; build an OS that supports many different hardware configurations. It is a really hard thing to do and can make the OS a lot harder to remain stable. This created a competitive computing hardware market that only meant good things for consumers and companies. This is also why Macs stayed more expensive since they didn't have open hardware like the PC but they spun it that they were premium/trendy and people bought it. Also the OS is more locked down to guarantee everyone had the same experience. While Win left the OS very open which gave people options but also meant exploits were possible i.e. viruses/malware/spyware. But Microsoft seems to be trying to give us the best of both worlds now.

I know that this new interface can certainly put off a lot of folks. But you really owe it to yourself to try it, it's not as complicated as anyone is making it out to be. What you will notice quickly, is that there is a "start button" on your keyboard already, the Windows Logo Key. Additionally, the new interface makes running programs a breeze because you already know your favorite apps, like Word for example, which you can launch by clicking on the winkey and typing w-o-r (and just like that Microsoft Word is on the top left waiting for you to click on it, you'll also notice that you can launch your documents this way.
For example, you want to quickly bring up your resume; press the start key, click on files on the right charms bar and start typing the name of the file (you did add smart tags to your resume right?) you'll see all the files with those tags or the filename show up on the left.
This is the major difference between the old start "menu" and the new one. Jump in, the waters fine.

My 12 year old son took all of 10 minutes to figure out navigating around Win8. No issues using it at all on his laptop.

I don't mind having the start button back as long as it only opens the start screen. MS needs to stick to their guns with the metro style and not revert back to the start menu. Innovation and iteration will always receive negative feedback from those that don't like change. But not changing is choosing to fall behind in the tech industry. MS is on the right track with metro and apps on windows.

The problem here is that now on the desktop there's a start button and in WinRT apps, there's not.  So now people are going to be even MORE confused in WinRT stuff, because going back to the start screen will now be different depending on which part of the OS you're in.
The real solution here was to teach people to use the OS in the first place ("Move your mouse into any corner" doesn't count).  By adding this start button that only works on the desktop, Microsoft is basically accepting that the general public is never going to use a WinRT app because those are too different for them... which is a mind-bogglingly short-sighted decision from the people in charge at Microsoft.  (Note that the Windows team is very much against this decision).

Well it's all a silly fiasco and overblown. But I think for RT users it was less of an issue, it was people using Windows old style and being in the desktop all the time that were complaining (about the half second time it took to bring up the start charm). People running RT will have touchscreen tablets (Surface mostly) and no problems with the start screen.

You are completely correct sir: this start button will make it nearly impossible for new users to understand how to return to the start screen when they're inside a metro app, since they'll be actively looking for a button on the bottom left as oppose to going to the corner. MS can't put a start button in the metro interface, so I don't know how they're going to teach the public how to navigate around metro.

This is exactly what i think!
Start Button wont make any difference!, its better to implement a new user guide to teach them how to navigate around. with a checkbox "dont show this next time" and also telling people they can use F1 to get the WIndows Help.
That would be better for people, than re-adding the start button. I think its pointless and waste of taskbar space. a proper tutorial when you start a new account would be better for any new user than a button. becuase you are right, how they will know how to close an app? switch apps? search? how useful charmbars can be? they wont know.
well i figured everything out in 5 minutes of developer preview, another 5 minutes adapting from developer preview to consumer preview. BUT not everything will be as easy to learn as me, not everyone will do it in 5 mins, or move mouse around and try to find everything they need. so I think they need a guide, and learn how to use corners and how to use the new Windows 8 elements.
But a button? its not useful, if they click in "Immersive Internet explorer" and then they dont know what to do. they dont know they can just switch apps, and leave new Apps getting suspended so they dont have to worry about closing apps. and if you want to still close an app, it will teach you how to do it.
but it seems Microsoft is listening to the wrong people. and giving the bad impression that "i will not buy win8 for X reason"...."oh they added start button 8.1... so i will get next version that may have old start menu" so they still wont buy it. this is my view though.
But my point is they should do a TUTORIAL for new users! even a profesional $3000 software like 3dsmax have it, why windows 8 doesnt?

I feel if people want the Windows 7 look and feel they should stay with Windows 7. And its very hypocritical, people have no problem dealing with different android UI's or ios but Windows is supposed to stay the same till the end of time. In any case, desktop mode is useful to me but I use mostly Modern apps so I have no great need for a start button or menu.

You said, "That's not including the new search functionality" in regards to the Start screen. However, when on the Start screen, you can just start typing and the universal search does its thing - pretty much the same as before.

I don't like how Rich says "the only downside".  The Start Screen is great and is only going to get better with 8.1 and future releases.  I'm really tired of people complaining about the Start menu.  It's exactly the same as the menu only full screen and providing awesome live updates for your fav apps in one spot.  If you don't like, just simply press it and type and enter and you're out of there; or just pin your most used apps to your start bar or desktop.  Geez.

" It's exactly the same as the menu"
Really? I must be missing something then. How do I organize all my installed apps so they're in folders, then? I don't want every single app I have installed to all show in one long swipeable series of screens? I want to organize them into folders that I can drill down into to access any particular app.
Like I can with the Win7 Start Menu.
How can I do that with the W8 Start Screen?

Put the tiles in a seperate tile group and name the group. You can then drag the entire group of tiles to move them around.
Then order your Start Screen tile groups so that they go Left to Right from Most Important to Least Important.
When you need to view all of the groups, just hit the button on the Start Screen to zoom out. All of the group names will be easy to read and then you can click the group to drill down to it.
This is BETTER than folders because you can see what is in each group without having to drill down into it first.

Ahhhh, yes. "I don't have that capability, therefore what I have is BETTER than what you're asking for."
Nope. Sorry. What you describe is not BETTER than folders. Folders were an advancement in the state of user experiences. They are not the solution to everything. But, losing them is definitely a step backwards.
There is a reason the iPhone came out without foldering for its launcher, but has it now. Ditto for the stock Android launcher.
You have just confirmed that W8's Metro Start Screen is a regression in User Interface that puts it on par with Apple's and Android's First Generation mobile offerings.

You failed to state ANYTHING about WHY they are better. Please explain to me what folders can do that my method can't.
What is it that folders provide? Why do they help you? What do they accomplish? Answer these questions, and then tell me what it is that Tile Groups doesn't/can't accomplish.
You will never be able to use technology to it's full potential because you're stubborn. Technology will move forward and you will be left behind to rot with all of the other old stuff. Your way of thinking is obsolete.
Doesn't it upset you that there are 12-year olds that are better at using a computer?

The problem is that you are looking for answers about things you don't understand. Why ask a question if you will never be able to understand the answer?

Your questions reveal your lack of qualifications to engage in a productive discussion about user interface design. You don't know what folders are useful for.
That's like somebody wanting to argue about car design - when the car they like only comes with an automatic transmission - and saying "what is it that manual transmissions provide? Why do manual transmissions help you?"

Once again showing how unintelligent you are. I know the answers to the questions I asked. That is why I can understand how to be productive with Windows 8 and you can't.
I asked those questions to make YOU think. If you took the time to answer those questions, then you would have nothing to argue because you would realize how stupid your argument is.
Answer those questions, or shut the fuck up.

Ah, yes. Name calling, insults, and coarse language. The usual refuge of the passionately ignorant.
BTW, since you seem to be unaware of this, my Android tablet has all the same functionality that you have described about the Start Screen. And, guess what. I can ALSO (in ADDITION) create folders on those screen to contain groups of apps. W8, welcome to the party. Oh, and guess what else. I don't use that foldering on my Android start screen for everything. But, for some things, it really does come in handy!
I'm surprised to see you on this site. Usually, the passionate arguing for why their reduced functionality is better is reserved for the iOS fans. You must be one of those that likes to be different - like everybody else.

I'm a fan of the best technology and nothing more. I understand technology on a much deeper level than you and any tech-related job we both applied for I would get before you.
I reverse engineer code as a hobby and I understand how the operating system code works on levels you can't fathom. Anything you can't understand is considered wrong. You've demonstrated that.
I'm not going to argue with you anymore because you're wasting my time. In the real world, your a pile of shit that I accidently stepped on.

Thank you for not wasting any more bandwidth. You script kiddies really should leave software to the professionals.
I don't reverse engineer other people's code - except when I need to, to accomplish a task. I actually engineer code from scratch - for a living.
Good luck with your hobby. I'm sure it's a nice relief from thinking about how many burgers you flipped today.

You don't have to go to the start screen to find an app although you organize them there like in the old start menu. That's what the search charm is for, to allow you to find the item your looking for quickly.

"That's what the search charm is for, to allow you to find the item your looking for quickly."
That is just what some of the Linux-heads told me when I decided to try Ubuntu 12.10. I couldn't find a couple of different programs. Their response was "click here and type blah blah blah". So, W8 has also regressed to having some of the deficiencies of Linux, too?
Any User Interface that requires the user to type, in order to find an app they are looking for, is functionally defective. A well-designed UI should never require the user to type in order to find pieces of the OS that they want to use. There are several reasons for that, but one obvious one is that it requires the user to actually know some portion of the name of what they are looking for - instead of just knowing the idea of what they're looking for. For example, if I want to see the log of system messages, I should not have to know that it's called "Event Viewer" to find it (by typing in search criteria). I should be able to click through the UI to find it, where I only have to know the idea of what I'm looking for, and be smart enough to figure out that the name "Event Viewer" might be the app that shows me the log of system messages.
Typing (in the OS UI) should be only for entering data or entering search criteria against previously entered data.

^^ LOL. If anyone reads this comment and doesn't think you are a retard, then something is wrong.

You just contradicted yourself with what you wrote.

"Any User Interface that requires the user to type, in order to find an app they are looking for, is functionally defective."

"Typing (in the OS UI) should be only for entering data or entering search criteria against previously entered data."

As stated in one of my earlier posts, you can pin programs to you taskbar, pin them to the start screen, create desktop shortcuts to items like my documents, pics, etc. As for typing to search for an item, this feature exists in vista, win 7, as well as windows 8. Honestly, there is no need for the start menu in windows 8 for serveral reasons mentioned repeatedly:

from the start screen if you want to see all apps (same function as all programs in Win XP, Win Vista, Win 7), simply right click and select all apps and the items shown categorized. As for the scrolling left to right, in all of the OSes listed above, when you were looking for an item, you would begin by clicking the start menu, going up to all programs then move your mouse to the right to expand the tree view and select an item like accessories that expaneded even further to your right unless there was no more screen real-estate on the right (in that case,it would expand/open on the left), which opened up to system tools and go from there. In short, you were scrolling left or right just like on the windows 8 start screen and didn't even know you were doing it huh??? The only argument you have left would be veiwing the last items you had opened such as a document, in which case, in MS office, they've included a file tab that shows the last item you were viewing, in adobe 9,10,11, they also have included a recently viewed section. We can go on and on, but I see there's no point in explaining anything to you as you will not except the fact that it's the same function, just a different method of going about it.

If you have loads of programs installed, go to start screen, right click, hit all apps and then zoom out (there is a minus button in the bottom right) this will show all your programs in groups similar to start menu for easier access.

please... if you want folders go to Windows 7 or get one of those 3rd party apps that give you start menu.
folders was crap organization... if you like that, i feel sorry for you. if you liked to navigate to "all programs" and million of pointless folders that can have subfolders. small ones, one miss click and you had to start over. then again, i feel sorry for you.

i can explain that if you rename group of tiles and use the lower left corner to zoom out, you will get something fast and easy to navigate through groups, like folders but better, but i doubt people like you will listen and/or try it.

Already explained this to him and his response was that of a typical troll: Avoid questions and retort with an unrelated argument.
His way of thinking is obsolete.

It saddens me to know that such consumer idiocy exists in this world. It is unfathomable to me that people cannot adapt to new things.

It's just a little button. There are a whole lot of people who just want to get work done instead of relearning how to use the newest gadget the IT department has set in front of them. I know some of those people. It's not idiocy, and this is imo a reasonable goodwill gesture to bring those consumers along gently.

Honestly isingbass it really takes about ten minutes learning the new windows. AND That's the average person if your computer savvy you really have no excuse

You gave a key point right there: If you're computer savvy. I'd dare say most people who use computers don't care about being savvy and aren't enthusiasts. It is very much an attitude thing, but Microsoft (and IT departments) are dealing with people with different styles and attitudes. Psychology is an important aspect to design.

I also stated its about 10 minutes for someone who is an average consumer. i think there should be some interactive demonstrations upon initial installation of windows 8. but to reiterate i said if your computer savvy you shouldnt have any excuse to not be able to use or learn windows 8 twice as fast as the average consumer.

People are so stupid sometimes. Friends of me are complaining that there's no start in w8, but you just don't need it! There also complaining about the new start screen and metro UI. But that's the big thing in w8 and Microsoft didn't implemented that into the OS without purpose. It just is awesome but people apparently don't like change...

Running Win8 or Server 2012 in a windowed virtual machine is a pain without a start button. It takes too long to find that right spot to click, and pressing the keyboard start key brings up the start screen/menu on the local PC, not the remote machine. I welcome this change.

I think the problem is that people try to "find the spot". There is no need to find anything. You do not need to move your mouse precisely or accurately.

The easiest way to explain it is to "throw" the pointer into the corner.

Just drag the mouse into the corner until it can't move any more. If you do it correctly, you should be able to bring up the Start Menu without even looking at the screen.

Exactly!! Hitting the corner is so much easier than trying to click a button. Don't understand why people don't get this. If they do bring back the button i hope they leave the hot corner too.

The hot corner was there in Windows 7 and XP too I think. But if you're running a virtual machine (VM) in a window, you can't just throw the mouse in the corner.

Yeah I was gonna say unless your running it in a window that isn't maximized.

I'd have to imagine there are all sorts of ways to fix this though. Creating a taskbar shortcut to a command that opens the start menu, or through the VM. I'm sure the VM has to provide some sort of way to send the Windows key input to it.

I don't understand why a "hidden" start button is not enough and consumers want something "visible". Really silly.
Love the way it is right now. I hope they have an option to keep it the way it is right now - "invisible"!

See the post above yours, that's one very good reason for it. It'll also help the transition of people who aren't used to gestures. It's an unfortunate fact of life that people don't like to have their 'cheese moved'. If somebody has spent time learning to use a computer, why should they have to learn something else, just to do what they are used to doing before.

There are three differences between now and then:
1) Voices are louder now with Internet access to the masses.
2) Computing is more accessible to everyone in general.
3) People are less tolerant of "speedbumps" now than in the past.  People want things instantly.

The Start screen IS a menu. One of Windows' strengths has always been availability of many paths to accomplish a task. This seems like a sensible add-on, at least for now.
I'm always switching between XP at work and 8 at home and still hunt for that non-existent Start button for some functions.

I know we all here love Microsoft but I have to admit this is a smart move. Microsoft acted to rash when it made win8, they should have "eased" consumers into the new style and not just immediately place it at us and say deal with it. Things will be better in the future!

This is stupid. If it aint broke, don't fix it. Sticking with Windows 7 just like with Windows XP until they release Windows 9, when crappy sales will make them fire whoever designed this awful OS for desktops.
I won't buy any computing device with Windows 8. Period.

Well good luck because everything else (XP, Vista, 7) will be phased out and Windows 8 will be their primary focus and 7 their second. Plus the company that doesn't innovate and try new things will end up perishing and there's plenty of those examples out there...

MSFT will put in this hand holding "Start Button" till 8.3 (Green???) comes out then it will go away again and no one will care.

...which keeps the largest portion of their customers (the ones who have been using Windows for many years) happy and upgrading into the future!

So it's going to be like in the developer preview? I really don't like this move, for once MS should hold their ground.

i feel people are just reluctant to try windows 8.
it's not something wrong, just different.
seems like people don't wanna try new stuff.
i got used to it over time, and honestly i like it a lot more than the older windows versions.
it's so much more lively and interactive. and honestly there is no lack of functionality.
talking about that, how many people actually used all the parts and columns of the old start menu? the new start screen concept is actually nice.
just needs a little trying out.

I think the bigger issue at the moment is "what is the advantage of Windows 8 over 7 if I don't have a touch screen"? Nobody can say because there isn't really one....at the moment. I have and use Windows 8 every day. First thing I do when I log in? Go to desktop mode.

Also Windows 7 is pretty much universally loved by all and people recently upgraded from Xp to 7, so they are their own worst enemy right now.

I see what you did there, Microsoft. Give them the BIG change, shock the world, then bring back some of the old glory to shut them up. Anyway, I never had a problem with the Windows 8 taskbar.

I'd say no to start button. And for boot straight to desktop, Hell, all it takes is one swipe on my touch pad or one click on metro tile and im in desktop. That cant be hard for average joe now can it?

Apparently from the many complaints out there it is... Yet it takes a fraction of a second to do what you just mentioned.

Oh, where are the know-it-alls that kept saying to me that the Start button wouldn't come back? Ups. =P

That said, yes, I welcome the return on the start button. It's absence was a deal breaker to me. I don't use touch screen computers so I have ZERO use for the Metro-Look on my computer. I much prefer to work in desktop mode. And with W8 in desktop mode laking the Start button and turning the entire experience a nightmare, I for sure won't leave W7.
I don't want "hidden" buttons. I have no patience and most of the times I have no time to waste on looking for buttons that are hidden just to look pretty.
I don't want an OS that looks pretty but is a nightmare to work on. I want functionality. And W8 lacks that. If I were a kid or a teenager whose life was spent on Facebook and other stuff like that, sure I would like W8. But since I'm not and I use the computer to work (and also for gaming but there the OS has no influence apart from the incompatibilities), I don't need live tiles nor "modern" nightmarish interfaces.
So I welcome the return of the Start button. And I would welcome even more if it opened menus in desktop mode.

(post scriptum - you may disagree with my opinion. But it's my opinion based on my experiences with the OS and with what I WANT in MY computer. You're wasting your time trying to argue with me to impose your view on the matter ;) )

I call that lazy. This is what I do for a living and 8 is no more complex than is 7. Any one saying otherwise is simply not a tech.

I think your last point speaks to alot of the disconnect regular users of this site seem to have in relation to what's easy for you versus what is easy to pick up for regular consumers.

Yeah must be a real pain "finding" the start button on Windows 8. I agree with the Technlogger it is part laziness and you definitely don't have to be a techie to learn it. I taught a 78 year old women how to use W8 in a matter of minutes and I will tell you she was no techie. You just got to have a little bit of patience which by the looks of it, you don't....

well I think you are confusing BUTTON, with MENU.
dont you know the difference of those 2 words?
if you click on this start button that is supposed to come back, you will still go to start screen.
also... why are you talking about "metro" and windows 8, if you clearly stated you are using win7. Its really silly to talk about something you dont even use, especially if you dont give the real try, because EVERYONE who has really used win8 knows it doesnt take away any functionality, how would it be? if it works the same as win7... the only difference is its fullscreen, and please.. its not like you look at windows, when you use win7 start menu, or you go to all programs and you have to focus in the small folders to find a program you want to run.
so stop trying so hard to believe windows 8 doesnt work, especially when you clearly stated you arent even using it. so how you would have a use for new win8 apps, if you dont even use it?... also you make it seem like its like OSX where you have to eventually upgrade after some years. well people still run xp and they will even if support stops.
and im sorry but the "it looks bad" doesnt change functionality, which works the same as win7 start menu. i dont care if you want to see it, but its funny people like you can lie about it, and pretend they have used something when they arent.
i bet you are the ones that say "it doesnt work with mouse a keyboard" but i use it like other windows with only mouse 97% of the time. but maybe im smarter than you so i can use windows 8 :) that might be.

I have only just upgraded from windows 7 to 8 and i prefer 8 to me its smoother and easier. Love the live tiles hence why i got windows phone 8 hope Microsoft continues with the live tiles and as for the start button i don't really care about.

It's noted in the report that it's not currently present in most internal build (along with the boot to desktop option).

Relax - It's just the rumour mill started by Thurott, on to Ms. Foley, and from there to Tom Warren - The Verge article made me think I was on ZDNet for for a moment. The Start button is not being raised from the dead - at least not as we used to know it.

I don't use full-screen metro apps on my office desktop. I do use 4 monitors and trying to get anywhere without a start button is a pain in the ass.  My business clients don't use full-screen apps either, why should they endure a screen full of nice looking tiles?  I do agree Windows 8 is a much leaner, faster OS, but let's be truthful about functionality in the workplace.  I started using Start 8, but now use Iobit's Start Menu 8 for free.  If they can add it that easily, why can't Microsoft? Or at least give me that option?

The media have done a really good job of convincing people who've never actually seen Windows 8 that they're going to hate it because there's no start button and that it needs a start button. Let people decide for themselves. Once you know a couple of good tips the start screen in Windows 8 is far more effective than the Windows 7 start menu.

Personally I welcome the start button back for one reason: dual monitors. Going to the left corner is fine on my left screen but not so much on the right. And the keyboard button is useless since it just runs start in your last used screen.

I suspect this will be something like the option in Windows XP to use the "classic" start menu (which a large number of coworkers use for some mystifying reason--I dislike it's lack of a My Computer button, for example). It can be enabled or disabled, and some will prefer to use it, thogh I can't understand why. They may not know what they're missing, but they'll get to stay happy and productive instead of griping and frustrated.

Don't miss the start menu one bit, I'm loving the start screen, it allows me to find things much much quicker than the start menu ever did

Am I missing something? That is what a touch screen needs, right. For systems with no touchscreen that is what the windows button does, right?

I don't miss it. My kid doesn't miss it. My wife doesn't miss it.  Am I missing something? Oh well, people like to complain about something so this must be it. :P

Well the idiots have won.  Congrats Microsoft for giving in to idiots and luddites.  I'm glad Ford or Daimler never gave in to luddites or we'd all be driving horse and buggys still.