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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: WindowsForum.eu]

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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RE: Start
By InsGadget on 4/24/2013 6:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need touch to use Win8. I'm using Win8 on an existing non-touch laptop, hooked up to an non-touch monitor, and I'm having exactly zero problems. Don't believe/spread the FUD.

Also, I spend about as much time on the Start Screen as I did on the old Start menu: very little at all. It's just a menu. The real meat, on the desktop, is exactly the same or better. Better task manager and much better file transfers.


RE: Start
By Piiman on 5/18/2013 1:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
Talk about FUD.

You can't even tell if a program is not responding in the new Task Manager without expanding it. It has some nice new features for sure but the basic screen you access first is rather worthless now.

Just wait until MS figures out no Company is going to put this in house and their business sales drop like a rock in water and see how fast they change things back.
Face it win8 is a tablet OS and doesn’t belong on a productive desktop.
Just because you think Metro and Win8 is super cool doesn't make it so.


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