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  (Source: Microsoft)
Is this the start button you're looking for?

Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) "Release Preview" builds of the upcoming free Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 upgrades aired today.  Windows 8.1 represents Microsoft's bid to revive slumping personal computer sales and make up for the misses of Windows 8, which led some to pan the ambitious user interface redesign.

The changes in the Release Preview are pretty much along the lines of what was previously shown in media previews:
  • "Start Button", which switches you to the "Modern UI" Home Page
     
  • Color theme customizations
     
  • Large and Tiny Live Tiles
     
  • Batch Live Tile operations (move, etc.)
     
  • Improved knowledge-enabled global, unified search
     
  • Side-by-side resizable app panes
     
  • Improved Windows Store
     
  • Improved SkyDrive support
     
  • Camera UI and photo slideshow on lock screen


The first change is the most notable -- and probably the most controversial.

After initially saying that customers no longer were using the Start Button and thus it was gone for good, Microsoft took note of the noisy outcry surrounding this topic and changed its mind, allowing the Start Button to make a comeback in Windows 8.1.  

...well, sort of.  Instead of the traditional Start Button, which pops up a menu of apps (on the same screen) in Desktop Mode, the new "Start Button" yanks you out of Desktop Mode and drops you onto your "Modern UI" (aka "Metro") Home Page.

It's clear that this won't be the Start Button many Windows traditionalists were hoping for.  But it does allow faster transitions to the Modern UI, for better or worse.

Windows 8.1 Preview

Microsoft has a full guide on the other new features here, and a Faq on Windows 8.1 Preview here.  Microsoft warns that some systems with 32-bit Intel Corp. (INTC) Atom processors will need to update their drivers before running Windows 8.1.

To get the update itself, go to the Preview page, which will install the necessary updates, then take you to a download link in Windows Store for the main installer.

Microsoft's annual BUILD Conference for developers is kicking off today and runs through June 28.

Sources: Microsoft [download link], [YouTube], [Blog]



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RE: Right Click on Start
By InsGadget on 6/27/2013 4:32:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do I need a 30-inch screen to work with MS Word? I do if I have word in one window, control panel in another, excel in a third, this browser in a fourth, that game, etc at the same time and still be able to monitor all of these windows at the same time? Windows 7 lets me do this

Windows 8 does too. All your old Win7 applications will run fine in desktop mode, and you can arrange the windows however you want them.

It would seem you don't really know how Windows 8 works.


RE: Right Click on Start
By cyberguyz on 6/27/2013 9:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
I certainly do. I've used Windows 8 for a few months and absolutely hated it for two reasons:

Its insistence on switching modes even after I have modified it with add-ins to never show the metro start screens. If I am using the desktop, I do not want the OS yoinking me away from it for any reason. Being pulled to a full-screen control panel or start page (via this new start button) is as annoying as a BSOD.

The UI that Microsoft decided to use is butt-ugly. Sorry, but IMHO Microsoft should have fired their entire GUI design team and got someone in that knew wtf they are doing.

Windows 8 (including this laughable "start button/menu" solution) is fine for tablets and phones, but it is pretty dysfunctional in the desktop world. And it will continue to be that way as long as Microsoft insists on the center of the Windows universe is to pull you away from your Windows and throw you against a metro Wall.


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