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Microsoft demonstrates Windows 8.1 Start button

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Windows 8.1

Microsoft has demonstrated the Start button function of Windows 8.1 in further detail.

A week or so after confirming the inclusion of a Start button in the forthcoming Windows 8.1 release, Microsoft used Computex to elaborate on the newly reinstated function.

In a brief NetworkWorld video of the presentation, it's shown how the start button flips seamlessly between desktop and Start Screen views. There's also the facility to flip down from the Start Screen to the All Apps section when the start button is activated.

Just last week, Microsoft confirmed the presence of a Start button in the next version of Windows on its official blog.

“We’ve improved the way you navigate to Start with the mouse by changing the Start ‘tip’ to be the familiar Windows logo,” read the post, adding that “The new tip appears anytime you move the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen, and is always visible on the taskbar when on the desktop.”

This function is demonstrated on the new video.

Admittedly, the feature doesn't seem to be too far removed from the current Start 'tip' function in Windows 8, but Microsoft's obviously hoping that the reinstatement of a familiar element from past Windows versions will boost the take-up of its divisive new OS.

Windows 8.1 is also expected to add new personalisation options, including a photo slideshow function for the lock screen and motion backgrounds for the Start Screen.

In a function borrowed from Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1 will enable you to resize the icons on the Start Screen.

Search is another area to have been improved, with any query now including Bing search results alongside files, apps, and any other related items.

Expect a Windows 8.1 Beta some time this month, with a full release set for later in the year.

Next, read our Microsoft Surface Pro review for a look at the Windows 8 tablet.

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