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Start Button is back for Windows 8.1, but may act differently


Windows 8.1
Start Button returns with Windows 8.1 (credit: winsupersite.com)

It's been rumoured for months that the iconic Start Button would be returning when Windows 8.1 launches this summer and now a leaked screenshot seems to have proved it beyond any doubt.

The button, which had been a popular navigation tool within Windows until it was controversially axed by the new 're-imagined' OS has been missed by punters who've upgraded.

Windows blogger Paul Thurrott has shown off a screen grab obtained from the most recent preview built with the Star Button back in its rightful place at the bottom left corner of the screen.

However, the story doesn't end there.

ZDnet's Well-connected Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley reckons although the look and location of the button will be familiar, the functionality may not be.

Sources tell her that hitting the new Star Button will bring up an 'All Apps' screen with icons and no tiles.

Whether this replaces the conventional tabbed interface that allowed users to easily wade through programs and documents, or accompanies it remains to be seen

The report also intimated that the Start Button won't always be visible within Windows 8.1, when Metro apps are in use, but rather will appear when users mouse over the bottom left corner of the taskbar.

The speculation surrounding Windows 8.1 (previously known as Windows Blue) is likely to continue until the company details its update at the Build conference which commences on June 10.

Would the return of the Start Button make you more likely to jump on board with Windows 8? Let us know below.


May 29, 2013, 10:17 pm

Hi. I added 'Classic Shell' to my windows 8 laptop (classicshell.net). It works just fine and can be thoroughly recommended and it's free!

Paul Brasington

May 30, 2013, 10:57 am

There's lots that needs tidying up in Windows 8, but I don't miss the old start button at all. The greatness of the Win7 UI was that I rarely needed the start button, with all my commonly used programs pinned to the taskbar and jumplists offering recent docs. That's still true with the Win8 desktop. It would certainly be good to have easier and fuller options to customise the start screen, and it looks like MSFT will address this to some extent. Generally they have created unnecessary problems simply by failing to tell people where everything is, but "boot to desktop" is also a non-issue: is it really so onerous to have to click the desktop tile (or just press esc)? I work on a large screen so have no reason normally to delve into the Modern UI stuff (it would be interesting to see if MSFT ever finds a way of making it useful/usable on a large screen) but clicking between the desktop and the start screen is always easy, and it is very occasionally interesting to see what's come up on one of the live tiles. With gradual refinement it will become a much better tool than the old start button for managing your computer and the things it's linked to ...


May 30, 2013, 1:15 pm

The text on the image covers the start button....ha.

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