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Iconic Windows UI element makes a comeback -- but perhaps not how some hoped

In many ways, Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) new Start Screen -- originally codenamed Metro -- represents the old-fashioned start menu on steroids.  There's both good and bad to this; on the one hand it allows for rich animations, powerful sorting, and better support for touch.  On the other hand, many app developers make poor use of its extra space and many users feel it's uncomfortable and bloated on a traditional PC.

As it marches towards Windows 8.1, Microsoft is looking to show it's listening to criticism from its fans -- halfway listening at least.  The Verge is reporting that its sources are saying that the beloved Start Button will make a comeback in the upcoming release.

But this isn't your daddy's start button -- it will dump you right back into the Start Screen (Metro UI) similar to the Charm.

Windows Blue
A new Start Button is reportedly being added to Windows 8.1, but it doesn't work like the start button of yore. [Image Source:]

The second report corroborates  ZDNet's chief Windows expert Mary Jo Foley, who last week said her sources were buzzing over a Start Button comeback, contradicting previous rumors that it would stay dead:

For those looking to stay on the desktop and navigate a more traditional start menu, you can always grab a third-party app like Pokki.  As of January Pokki had already recorded 1.5 million downloads and was used on average 10 times a day by customers, despite Microsoft's insistence that its own internal research showed customers were no longer using the Start Button.  (Pokki monetizes itself via a bundled third-party app store).

Microsoft sold 60 million Windows licenses as of January, but a significant portion of those are though not yet to have made their way to end users.  Regardless of the actual number of live Windows 8 users, it's clear a relatively large minority have opted to restore the Start Button via third party workarounds.

Windows 8.1 will also reportedly have the option to boot directly to desktop via a setting.  The new operating system is expected to launch sometime in the next few months.

Source: ZDNet

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Win8 = Designed by idiots
By Belard on 4/22/2013 2:44:11 PM , Rating: 1
Not just the coders, but the management who don't use computers.
"Windows 8 is designed for touch screens"...

So why does it require the use of a keyboard to use? If its so easy, why is a Windows8 keyboard with the new shortcut keys is needed? Where is the TOUCH START button to get back to the start screen?

Anyone... with a mouse, how do you get to the HOME page easily... oh yeah, aim for that hidden button in the corner.

Win8 has you going from MOuse > keyboard > mouse > screen (if applicable) back to keyboard, etc etc.

Windows8 is ugly, not just the metro launcher.

RE: Win8 = Designed by idiots
By HavocX on 4/22/2013 4:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
With touch swipe from right and there it is! Of course this is only needed if you got one of the few old Windows 7 tablets.

As for keyboards the Windows key were introduced with Windows 95. If you call that new I understand you have a hard time adapting to Windows 8.

RE: Win8 = Designed by idiots
By Belard on 4/22/2013 4:49:18 PM , Rating: 2

Android OS 4 (like on my phone) wasn't designed by idiots like those who made Windows8.

Why the hell call it "Windows" when there are no windows.

Windows9 will not be Windows... Really MS, should have stuck with METRO. Not everything has to have the stupid WINDOWS or XBOX name stuck to it.

RE: Win8 = Designed by idiots
By HavocX on 4/22/2013 5:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
Have you found the Windows key yet? Get back when you have and I will teach you how to use the mouse as well.

RE: Win8 = Designed by idiots
By Pirks on 4/22/2013 6:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
Belard is the insane idiot who just posted here some weird BS about Windows 8 never being reviewed by major tech sites. He's clearly mentally sick and needs help. If you are a psychiatrist, please help to fix his broken head, otherwise don't bother. He's had some kind of head trauma or something, judging by lunacy he posts here.

RE: Win8 = Designed by idiots
By Belard on 4/22/2013 11:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
I guess the Windows key is where Ballmer stuck it where the sun doesn't shine.

RE: Win8 = Designed by idiots
By Pirks on 4/23/2013 4:24:13 AM , Rating: 2
in decomposing remains of your dead brain? :)))

RE: Win8 = Designed by idiots
By Belard on 4/24/2013 12:42:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yet above you.

RE: Win8 = Designed by idiots
By Pirks on 4/24/2013 1:46:17 AM , Rating: 2
Sure your lies about no reviews of Windows 8 from major tech sites are above my truth and facts. Idiot.

RE: Win8 = Designed by idiots
By Belard on 4/24/2013 8:45:07 AM , Rating: 1
Anandtech didn't do one. Most of what you posted were media sites with 2-3 pages. I was wrong about toms, I said that Already pencil dick.

Most of them were not impressed with Metro for the reasons stated.

Underlining issue is MS goal to remove legacy x86 all together. It was never about making things better, but money per app sold. Same stupid greed like game companies that want $$$ from the used game market. They are STUPID... Thinking that killing 2nd. Hand games will generate more sales...

TIFKAM is already incompatible with windows, so why bother? Other than the weak PC game market (which I too am going PS4) , most end users DONT need windows OS and they sure don't need TIFKAM.

Want to wager than WinPC loses another 14%+ market share in 3-4 months

RE: Win8 = Designed by idiots
By Piiman on 5/18/2013 1:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
Hey Perks you seem to have a real Anger management problem.
Why don't you chillout and go play with your best friend, Win8, for a while? You'll feel better I promise.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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