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

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

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.